The salvation of children is an important issue for a number of different reasons. I happened upon, through Justin Taylor’s blog, a series of conversations between Jim Elliff and Dennis Rainey, host of the radio program Family Life Today. Jim is a pastor and speaker, and he appears six times on the show to discuss how children come to faith in Christ. These conversations address some of our questions and difficulties. I will highlight those this week by way of encouragement to listen to them or read them.
Genuine Salvation: More Than a Prayer: Interview #1
Here is a snipet of the first interview:
Dennis: You’re actually talking about prayer being the expression of a heart attitude.
Dennis: And that sometimes we get into a rut of thinking that a prayer expresses a heart attitude that isn’t there? The child really isn’t repenting and believing, that child is merely reading a prayer or saying a prayer because Mommy or Daddy or Grandma or Grandpa want him or her to say a prayer?
Jim: That’s right. We formularize this idea of Christianity into a prayer. If we can say this prayer, then it’s like putting money in a vending machine, and God has to give us eternal life. But I contend that there are many, many millions of people who prayed a perfectly worded prayer that they found written someplace or been given to them by somebody else but don’t know Christ at all and are on the way to hell.
Unfortunately, the emphasis, the wrong emphasis on that issue, has deceived many.
As you can see above, this first interview will define the gospel and highlight what conversion is and is not. You can listen to the audio for free or read the full transcript. It will be well worth your time.