Have you ever struggled with assurance of your salvation? If you have, you can be certain that children do too. Assurance of your salvation is important because it allows for peace-of-mind-thoughts like, “God loves me and will never leave me. He goes with me through every problem I face. God forgives me when I fail to please Him. My Father accepts me and is preparing a home in Heaven for me.” Here are five ways you can guide kids into assurance of their salvation.
1. Use Scripture as Assurance of Salvation
First, when you lead a child to Christ, show Bible verses that give a condition for being saved and then the salvation promise. For example, Acts 16:31 says “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” You can ask the child “did you believe?” If they agree, ask “then what did God do?” Help the child put their name in the verse to personalize the truth, while reminding them that this is God’s Word and God’s promises, and He never goes back on His promises.
2. Encourage Kids to Share Their Own Testimony
Second, when a child receives Christ as Savior, let them tell others what happened and share their own testimony. Don’t rush to tell others about their faith decision for them. Give kids plenty of opportunities to testify at home, in class, or when out with friends. Help them to get excited about their decision and find pride in it. This is an important step towards reinforcing their faith in God’s promise.
3. Treat Faith Decisions Seriously
Third, when a kid expresses faith in Jesus, be sure you treat it as a real decision so as not to cast doubt in their mind. If you question whether they said the Sinner’s Prayer right or if they take their decision to follow Christ seriously, they might feel like their prayer wasn’t good enough. Assure them that God loves the simple faith of children and even tells adults to trust God the way kids do. Children joyfully making the decision to trust and follow Jesus is THE standard for how we should love God!
4. Teach Kids How to Deal with Sin
Fourth, show kids how to handle sin after salvation. Unconfessed or repeated sin can cause a person to doubt their salvation, while they might have been taught that if they die without confessing sins at church or to a priest, they won’t go to Heaven. Explain that when you do something wrong at home, a good parent doesn’t kick you out of the house or disown you, but that the wrong thing does still hurt your relationship with them. In the same way, sin doesn’t get you kicked out of God’s family, but it does hurt your relationship with Him.
Confessing sin, receiving forgiveness, and asking for help is simply a way we can have more victory in that area of life. God has given us all that we need for victory, but we have to allow ourselves to receive that help—whether it be meditation on Scripture related to the sin, practicing accountability with fellow believers, or seeking counsel on why we looked to that sin to fill our longings rather than looking to Jesus.
5. Help Kids Recognize God’s Presence
Finally, to give kids assurance of salvation, help a child look for evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their life. When a child gets saved, there can be a significant change in attitude and actions for which there’s no other explanation beyond God’s redemptive work. Help them to identify that change in attitude—no matter how small it might seem—as the Holy Spirit working in their heart, helping them to remember what God did for them.
What Does a Saved Life Look Like?
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” There’s something in our God-given conscience that responds to truth and agrees with God’s Spirit. Help children recognize that internal joy in truth as coming from Christ and to commune with God in their heart over it. The Bible says it’s only by the Spirit of God we can confess Jesus is Lord. If a child confesses they believe in Jesus, they can be assured of their salvation!
We can also see spiritual fruit in a life guided by the Holy Spirit. That fruit is listed in Galatians 5:22, where it outlines a saved person as someone who has love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control. Someone could say, “I’m not a patient person, so I must not have the Holy Spirit and be saved.” But I would ask that person, “Are you convicted when you don’t have patience? Are you willing to grow in that area? Can you see at least a little growth over time?”
Without the Holy Spirit, a person wouldn’t even care about whether or not their life was bearing any fruit—much less if it showed any growth. It is only when there is no evidence of a surrendered, growing life that one should question their salvation. And perhaps when talking to that person, it would be prudent not to give reassurance, but rather start fresh with the plan of salvation again.
When one’s heart is sincere, we can rejoice in the truth that salvation is a wonderful gift from God—and He never takes His gifts back! Help children in your life feel the assurance of their salvation by guiding them through these five steps.