In the particular church I'm affiliated with, almost without exception, folks can name you a day and even moment in particular when they "got saved". I've often felt (my own bias, i'm sure) shamed or weird in some way that I'm not able to do the same. I can't tell you exactly how old I was or commemorate that date in any way. (the whole blogging birthday thing got me thinking about this) I know I was a child, somewhere between the ages of 6 or 8, when I first genuinely believed that Jesus was God's son and He died to forgive me of the wretchedness of my sin. I'm not being sarcastic here. I knew, that early, that I was lost without Him and that I was sinful. I do remember knowing and having a full grasp of that fact. At some point later, when I was maybe 11 or 12, I knew, I just KNEW, that I needed to continue my journey in Christ with baptism. I felt called to be baptized, or, as we would say, "convicted" that I needed to be baptized. I knew that it was time to identify fully and publicly with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Most in my current church circle would say that it was at this point when I was truly "saved". And some, on the fringes of the circle I'm a part of now, would say I've yet to be saved because of the order in which I believed and a few other specifics about my baptism. So....take heart gay readers....there are those out there who think I'm going to hell right along with you! (please laugh heartily at this point)
Anywoo....I do have a point in all this.
Later, sometime during the middle of my first marriage, I began to question everything I'd ever been taught or thought I knew about being a Christian. At the low end of that journey, I even questioned the existence of a personal God who cared even one iota about the lives of any of us. I believed at that point that I was basically on my own, just battling it out one day at a time and trying to make the best of things and treat others fairly. I believed in God, but not as a personal sort of God who cared about my day to day life. My day to day life at that point was really great in many ways but totally SUCKED in so many other really important ways. Que sera' sera'. (i'm a child of the 70's and I hear Doris Day singing right now....bear with me...hehe!)
I'll cut the journey short here and make my point. It was during the time that I was divorced and on my own that I began to really search and seek God. Yet again. Why I would seek a God who I'd decided didn't care about me personally, I can only attribute to the wooing of the Holy Spirit. I do believe that He sought me; pursued me. (i've been thinking along this line as well due to kevin beck's recent post about a book i intend to read)
Finally, my point in all of this, is that salvation is a journey. It is not a one time event. It is certainly not within our realm of judgment to decide who is "in" and who is "out". We can only proclaim truth as we have it revealed to us (by way of scripture and the Holy Spirit) and keep on truckin'. (i told you i was a 70's child)
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