This Sunday, we have the privilege of having two young people profess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Make no mistake, this is a real blessing, for a power has been working in the hearts of these two young people that no one can really fathom.
The Holy Spirit has convicted these two young people to profess their faith publicly before the Lord’s people that they trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. The Holy Spirit, using God’s Word, along with the witness of their parents and other family members, including the church family, has so moved their wills and changed their hearts that they have now reached a point of publicly acknowledging Jesus as Lord of their lives! That is a great reason for rejoicing and for which to give thanks to the Lord.
Now someone may ask, “How do we know that their profession of faith is credible and genuine and not something that is done because the family or other influential person has brought pressure to bear on them?” Well, other than the usual checks and balances we use, (i.e: elders examining them, their life and conduct, their love for the Lord and His word), we cannot be sure. However, why would we even cast doubt on their profession? In today’s western societies, the norm is not to profess one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but to walk away from it and the church.
No, if their profession of faith is genuine (and only the Lord can really know), then we can be assured, they have been saved in Christ from before time began (Eph 1:4ff). Furthermore, we can be sure that God will complete the good work He has begun in them (Phil 1:6). It is not possible for them to be lost to the devil! Yes, there may be periods of time when their love for the Lord may wane a little. There may even a season where it seems they have walked away from the Lord, being rather disobedient in life and conduct. However, if their profession of faith is genuine, they cannot fall from God’s gracious hands and He will in His good time cause them to repent and turn back to Him. We do not fall in and out of God’s gracious hands – that is not possible. Once saved, forever safe!
So, what do we say to those who seemingly have walked away from the faith? We keep praying for them! We keep reminding them of the promises they made before the Lord and His people as the opportunity presents itself. We lovingly appeal to them, even with tears if necessary, to return to the fold.
Today, we give thanks for the Lord’s gracious work in the hearts of these two young people. May we as God’s family surround them with much love and encouragement and may the Lord use them and us for the glory of his name and the extension of His kingdom. JZ