Q. I have a question regarding my Salvation. I was required to attend Church by my Grandmother. I can clearly recall the Pastor giving the Altar Call and without any outside influence, I went forward at age 12. I was Baptized and continued to attend Church. You mention that our Salvation depends on acknowledging that we are sinners and need a Savior and that we believe God raised Jesus from the Grave. I now believe all of that. However, at the time I answered the Altar Call, no had told me I was a sinner and even my Grandmother did not tell me that I needed to be saved and how to be saved. My question is was God providing for my Salvation without my knowing it? Also, I spent 4 years on an aircraft carrier during Viet Nam and can assure you I completely forgot about God. After returning, I realized I needed Church and returned. How does that relate to my Salvation?
A. The bottom line for our salvation is belief. Over and over again the New Testament confirms this. In fact Jesus said belief is the only thing that God requires of us (John 6:28-29). I’m convinced that means we believe Jesus died for our sins and rose again.
The fact that no one told you these things doesn’t mean you didn’t believe them. You could have learned about salvation indirectly through your grandmother, your Sunday School teachers, or your Pastor, or you could have learned them directly from the Holy Spirit. And most likely it was He who prompted you to go forward that day.
The fact that you spent time away from the Lord is not unusual, nor is the fact that you felt drawn to come back. These experiences are typical in young Christians. Once we believe we are included in Christ and the Holy Spirit is given to us as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). Even if we wander away, as sheep are prone to do, our Good Shepherd will track us down and bring us back. His Father’s will is that He would lose none of us (John 6:38-40).