Guess what happened last week? (insert random gloom and doom here)
Last week was report card week. Grades were finalized sometime during my annual Valentine’s rebellion. After sulking for an appropriate length of time, I returned to reality, annnnd found myself at the southern end of a northbound billy goat.
I was NOT expecting another struggle over schoolwork- at least not this year. No, my chosen child is not cast in gold, but he is a very bright young man. I thought we were over this lapse in self discipline.
His schoolwork for the grading period was a dramatic reversal from his (generally) high marks. And who, then, is to be held accountable?
If I’ve learned anything at all in life, it is this: The river flows from the mountain top to the sea. All things (y’all know which things) roll down hill. I am the responsible party for lapses in judgement, perceived slight, or blatant rebellion by my young crusader.
But this was bigger than childish rebellion. It was practically a mutiny. These grades were almost as bad as that horrific school year we spent out west. So there must be a larger problem.
He lasted five days before finally coming clean about the deeper issues. I asked for the whole truth. And that’s exactly what I got. After two full hours of discussion, he narrowed his concerns into appropriate proportion. He ranked them as follows:
- He is concerned for his soul. My soul. Bob the Cat’s soul. Grandpa’s soul. Bitty’s soul. And any number of randomly chosen relatives’ souls.
- The world’s humanitarian climate is NOT favorable for the true Christian.
- He is still a kid.
- He is no longer a “child”.
- He has questions. Many questions.
- He has received conflicting answers from the trusted adults in his life.
Obviously, we needed a plan. Ready? Well, that makes one of us…Each issue is integral to the next. To break it down enough to hold my son’s attention, I must address each concern individually. It will take more than one post.
Part 1: Assurance of Salvation
When my son expressed his concern for his loved ones, and to a lesser degree, concern for himself, assurance became my top priority.
If at any point a Christian questions the validity of Jesus’ Atonement for all believers, for all time, he need simply open the only complete and perfect written Word. As it is written…
~ We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater, because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God’s testimony, has made Him out to be a liar.~ 1 John 5:9,10
~ And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son does not have life. ~ John 5:11,12
~ I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. ~ John 10:28
Once we’ve made a true conversion, our salvation is guaranteed. The eternal destination of our soul is protected by grace. The only circumstance for which salvation is revoked is subsequent denial of Christ as the only means to salvation. In other words, as long as we don’t take back our belief, He won’t take back our life. For all eternity. Period.
When our hearts are cleansed, we feel convicted for the transgressions we have committed, and we are led to repent (acknowledge), and seek God’s mercy and guidance to not repeat the same transgressions. By His grace we are purified, cleansed, and made whole.
I believe salvation is the most urgent of my son’s concerns. The next few concerns pale in comparison, but in his young mind, none is greater than the next.
I do not have a job, task, commitment, or desire that will ever supersede my responsibility to give God every bit of the glory for lending me this child. I have no doubt that my son’s heart is one of the purest, loving, and faithful hearts there is. I know the Lord has great plans for him.
All the guidance I need is contained within the Bible on my lap. I don’t need anybody to digest, spin, or rewrite it- and neither do you. No self help book, pastor’s sermon, radio program, tradition, or praise service takes the place of God’s Word. Don’t take my word for it, take God’s Word.
~ To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. ~ John 8:31,32
Be blessed, Y’all.