Salvation of Children
There is not one instance in the Bible of a child being baptized. Baptism is voluntary. Children who were sprinkled have not been offered a choice. This is a violation of soul liberty.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
There are also no examples in the New Testament of children being saved. As Baptists, we would readily agree that we should not be sprinkling babies, but we must also point-out that in many churches today, we are leading children through baptismal waters after instructing them in a prayer to Jesus for salvation. We will find no such instances in Scripture, so we are giving our children an unbiblical “salvation.” Then we wonder why our churches are carnal, our children come to nothing, and our families falter. This is because there is no repentance being granted from God. Instead, through our zeal without knowledge and misguided goodwill towards our children, we are teaching the concepts and mechanics of faith for salvation instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to do His reproving work for each individual. If we were to be perfectly honest concerning these “conversions,” we could get most small children to pray the same, “sinner’s prayer,” to Santa Clause, and, “really mean it,” as we usually say. Because we have gotten away from Scripture in our “soul winning,” the overwhelming majority of salvation testimonies today go something like this: “I was saved when I was young and then I backslid and got away from the Lord. Later, I got right with God and rededicated my life.” That person then struggles with doubt because they can’t believe how badly they acted, and the horrible sins they committed while they were, “backslidden!” They will always wonder, “How could I have acted that way if I was really saved?”
First of all, we will search the Bible in vain for such a testimony. Secondly, we must understand that there is absolutely no salvation without repentance.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 21:32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen [it], repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Mark 2:17 When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mark 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Repentance in the life of a believer always brings forth fruits of salvation! Whether young or old, there will be fruits!
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
This now points us to the fact that the person with that kind of testimony may actually have been saved when he, “got right with God,” but has not been properly baptized because he claims he was baptized as a child. Do we see the problem? This person has not been scripturally baptized and therefore cannot claim the blessings of Christ’s inheritance through the church.
What if that person’s, “getting right with God,” was simply a matter of maturity where he now wants to come home at night, stop carousing, and attend church because it is good for his family. This man has not born any fruit unto repentance. He lived like a dog. But because he has grown-up a little, he goes back to the time he said the sinner’s prayer as a child and bases his salvation on that fruitless endeavor. He is still lost. He can’t claim the inheritance promised to the children of God.
But what of the person who said a prayer at a young age and doesn’t ever, “Get right with God?” It is hard to get someone to hear truth that is counting on a religious experience for their salvation. This person continues in sin, completely unchanged by the power of God’s Spirit in regeneration, and yet believes he is, “OK,” or “Good with the man upstairs,” or “Forgiven,” and other pithy meaningless rhetoric to soothe his own defiled conscience. This is the unfortunate destiny of most of those who make a profession as children. They will become hardened. They will be reprobated. God help us!
The examples of baptisms we are given in the New Testament reveal to us that it was always an adult who was voluntarily immersed because of their testimony of salvation and fruits of repentance.
If we would simply train our children in obedience to the truth of God’s Word, their hearts will be prepared to hear the reproof of God’s Spirit concerning their sinful condition. In other words, we need to get our hands off of the Lord’s salvation and allow Him to do His perfect work!
Jonah 2:9 …Salvation is of the LORD.