I have wanted for awhile to post Bethel’s testimony (given by permission) as a part of our childhood conversation series. Now, Bethel had a harder time with her testimony than David. She is 18 months younger, and places her salvation testimony about two years ago (when she was about 5 years old). This is consistent with my observations about when she started saying “I AM saved, Mom” and I just smiled at her. On the other hand it was about that time when she very seriously began wanting to learn to read, “so I can read the Bible” she said. I had never said this to her, although I had told David this during school time. She literally learned to read by reading the Bible at night.
Part of the challenge was that her story was inconsistent. In bed, at a table, in Texas, in NewMexico, and so on. I wasn’t sure if she was making up a memory, or if she was confused, or if I needed to scrap the whole conversion and tell her she had to get saved again. I ended up taking about two weeks of conversations to get the result we ended up with. I didn’t want her to feel like she was being interrogated or disbelieved. I didn’t want my interest in her response to influence any doubts or confusion she may have had (i.e., mom wouldn’t like it if I couldn’t remember when I was saved). So every few days, I’d pull her to the couch (when the other two were in another room) and say, Let’s work on your testimony. Tell me again when you remember.
I asked a lot of questions. At first, she said that she got saved in Texas. That surprised and alarmed me, because I had no idea what time she had in her mind, and I do remember when she started saying she was saved in New Mexico, and when she demonstrated a marked interest in spiritual things. I asked her if she could remember where she was when she decided to trust Christ as her Savior. I asked her what house it was, and other similar details in order to tug at any memories that she hadn’t thought of. I finally understood that the Texas part of her conversion story was referring primarily to a conversation we had (that I did remember) about needing to get saved over and over. I had been pretty sure she was at a point where she once thought she was saved, but was concerned that she didn’t know any more. I felt guilty for not taking her seriously earlier, and I was working on helping her make her calling sure.
She had talked a little bit about not telling anyone that she had been saved, which was why I brought Up Romans 10:9-10. With the heart man believes, and with the mouth we confess. It’s why I believe that even though a child might “believe” all his cognitively aware life, there should be a point where he deliberately confesses faith and trust in Christ. That is the “moment” of his salvation practically speaking. In any case, that conversation was encouraging to her, but she wasn’t inclined to make a new decision at that point. I told her that if she had trusted Christ, that her faith should be that God always does what he has promised. If you have believed in your heart and confessed with your heart, then what does the Bible say about you? Resting on what Christ has done (instead of worrying about my age or memory or words) is powerful. I didn’t realize that the time that it solidified her decision in her mind.
That was several months ago, after David made a profession of faith, but before I started working on writing down what they were saying about their salvation. As best I can tell, she believes she was saved in New Mexico, but wasn’t sure she was saved until our conversation in Texas. As we wrote out details, I asked her to put them in the right order. That helped me stay out of her memories better, I think. She wanted the verses at the end. Time will tell how God’s Word and the Holy Spirit will work in her heart. She quickly and confidently gives Romans 10:9-10 when she is asked how she knows she is saved.
Like with David, I’m struck by how valuable writing down her version of her testimony has been. Although her testimony is different in many ways from David’s, writing it out gave me a great platform to talk about it with her in a non-threatening or coercive way. Here is her story.
Before I was saved, I used to be afraid of thunderstorms. Now I’m not. I remember being disobedient tons of times.
I got saved in New Mexico when I was five. When I was on my bed, I asked Jesus to save me. I didn’t understand that Jesus saved me because I didn’t know Romans 10:9-10.
In Texas, I thought I wasn’t saved. I started talking with my mom about being saved. Mom helped me find verses in the Bible that helped me. I asked my mom how to be saved, and mom said, “You only need to be saved once.” That means if you ask the Lord Jesus to save you, you don’t have to do it again. Because God made a promise, and he never forgets it.
I know he saved me because Romans 10:9-10 says That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in him that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
To be saved means to trust in Jesus to save from your sins.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 means that if you believe in Jesus, you will be his son or daughter.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.