I have met many who seem to stumble over questions like, “How do I believe?” or “How much do I have to trust?” In contrast, Matthew 18:3 says, “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” I would like to tell how I was saved in order to illustrate the fact that we should not be preoccupied with these questions, but rather “become as little children.”
Although I was born in Ontario, I was raised in Chile. This is because my parents are full-time missionaries, and we had moved down there in 1977. During the winter of 1981, my dad was having gospel meetings in a place called Curimn. It was there that my sister was saved. By my reckoning, this made me the only one in the family who wouldn’t be in heaven. That fact bothered me.
About two months later, I made a point of asking my dad if I could sit with him during the drive home from meeting that night because I wanted to talk to him. Once we got going, I asked him, “How can I be saved?”
Since I was only a young boy, he cautiously asked: “Well, why do you need to be saved?”
“Well, because I am a sinner, and sinners have to go to hell. But Jesus died for sinners, and if you believe in Him, your sins are forgiven and you don’t have to go to hell.”
Taken aback, he replied: “Well, do you believe that?”
“Oh yes! I believed that, but I just wanted to be sure.”
Thus, all I did was believe what God said. “Except ye become as little children,” is what Christ says. I had no trouble accepting God’s Word as absolutely true. John 3:36 is unequivocal, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” A person either believes or rejects the Son of God. Although I was very young, these simple facts were what occupied my thoughts. I just gave God credit for telling the truth and believed it. He kept His promise and saved me.
I have found that many can’t get beyond thinking that it is necessary to believe the “right way” or trust “enough.” These queries were inconsequential to me the night that I was saved. I wasn’t worried about how I believed what God said, I just knew that it was true. I wasn’t good enough for heaven, and therefore I would be in hell. Nobody had to convince me of it, since God already had. Finally, I just gave up trying and believed that Christ had died for me, the guilty sinner. God then gave me the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, because Christ died for me, not because I could master all of the intricacies of salvation.
Someone might object that faith is reliance on a promise of God, and they might doubt that someone who is very young could know enough to be saved. Well, thanks to God’s grace and power, it is possible. Salvation is a work of God. Christ died so that He could offer forgiveness to sinners. Like a trusting and helpless child, all we can do is accept it. The little that I knew was all that anyone needs to know: I am a sinner who deserves to go to hell, but God says, “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.”