Tough Topics

Is He Sure He’s Saved?

—Sally Middleton

In one of our children’s classes we mentioned that some people doubt God’s Word. “Not me,” Danny said. “I don’t doubt.” He hasn’t! Greg belongs to the same group, hears the same lessons, asked Christ to save him a year before Danny, but still responds to nearly every salvation invitation. It’s sad to see a child struggle with assurance of his salvation, for God clear­ly says we can know we’re saved eternally (1 John 5:13).

What Causes Uncertainty?

Part of Greg’s lack of assurance stems from a less-than-stable home. Most children with a poor father-son relation­ship have greater difficulty trusting their Heavenly Father. Some former doubters, now strong Christians, gave additional reasons:

  • “My lack of assurance came from al­lowing sin to stay in my life.”
  • “I based my assurance on my con­duct rather than on the Word.”
  • “I couldn’t remember the exact time when I received Christ.”

When a child questions his salva­tion, it could be God’s prompting—he may not be born again. More often someone receives the Lord, learns more about Him, then wonders if he really un­derstood all he needed to when he asked God to save Him.

Use God’s Word to Bring Assurance

Give the child a key assurance verse when you lead him to Christ and when­ever he expresses uncertainty. Guide the believer to base his salvation on Bible facts. Show him a condition-promise verse such as Acts 16:31, Romans 10:13 or John 1:12. Explain the verse. Read it aloud, re­placing words like “all,” “you” and “ev­eryone” with the child’s name. Point to the condition in the verse and ask, “Did you do this?” If he agrees ask, “Then what did God do?” Avoid saying, “Now you’re saved.” Allow God’s Word and His Holy Spirit to give assurance (Rom. 8:16).

Make Opportunities for Testimony

A parent told me, “We always let our children testify of their salvation. We don’t do it for them. That helps them avoid doubts and remember what they did.” Allow opportunities in your class for children to testify. Along with the rest of your review questions ask, “When did you trust Christ to save you?” Besides the response you’re looking for, expect to hear, “I did it last night” or “I do it ev­ery night.” These answers create perfect leads for further teaching.

Give Instructions on Dealing with Sin

Instruct new believers in how to handle sin after salvation. Have them memorize 1 John 1:9 and urge them to obey it. A young woman told me, “I had a terrible temper, threw things in anger, slammed doors and yelled at people. So I thought, ‘If I’m really a Christian, why do I act the way I do?’” Help kids know that they will continue to be tempted to do wrong as long as they live on Earth but Jesus will forgive them and help them overcome sin in their lives.

Take time to talk to a child who is unsure of his salvation—over and over if necessary. Don’t act irritated because he keeps responding. He may need more one-on-one time with someone who can show him God’s lovingkindness.