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January 18, 1998

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Q/A Topics:
Faith & Healing (James 5:13-18)

Comment:
I receive your messages from a friend who forwards them to me via email. I just now read the one on James 5:13-18 and feel it is the best explanation of the passage that I have ever heard. I was raised in a conservative Baptist church here in the South, but when I was about 16 I started going to a "full- gospel" type church. (I am now 40) So, to make a long story short, I've been full circle, I guess, as I am now back in a conservative Baptist church. I've heard all the sermons on "faith" and "healing" and the above mentioned passage. I always had my doubts while in the charismatic churches, and no one could explain them to me. I appreciate your willingness to share.

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Ol' Time Gospel?

Comment: (from a postal subscriber)

I was so glad to read your article "Ol Time Gospel." The preaching of repentance has become an extinct message, but needed more today then any other time in history.

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Saved at 5?

Q. (from a postal subscriber)

I was a bit confused by your statement of being "saved" at age 5. Don't you believe that little children are innocent of damnation? If they are not at an age of accountability how can they purpose in their heart to make a commitment to follow Christ with full understanding and repentance? I find that children 10 or 12 may have difficulty making such a deep confession let alone one of 5. Have we forgotten the meaning of salvation is "saved." and the TRUE meaning of discipleship.

A.
This topic of "age of accountability" and "umbrella" of covering has been discussed at length at the website, e-mailing list. Ever since the "change" that happened in my life when my "unequal yoke" left and I was on my back in a total night of sleeplessness and confession before God, I have often wondered about my "conversion" at age 5. I remember the night quite distinctly. It was July 13, 1954. The part I recall about that night was of "receiving Jesus." I don't recall "repenting" before God. But this doesn't mean I didn't. I don't remember all the theological details of that night. I was only 5. But, as I have mused on this, I have remembered Jesus' words, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 18:3) How much does a child understand? Not much. He also speaks of the "faith of the mustard seed." And in Joel 2:32 it says, "And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved..." And, even before "that" night, I have "known" I was His child. There has been the "witness" of the Spirit.(Rom8:15-16) So, while that night of confession produced as dramatic a change, in many ways, as though I had "just" been saved, I have concluded that I was, truly, saved at age 5.

As for various children and their ages of understanding. Each child is different. Each child has different parents, and a different level of Scriptural teaching in the household. Not "all" little children are "innocent of damnation." Only those where there is at least one Believing parent.(1Cor7:14) The word "holy" in that verse refers to their standing before God. And, at what age do they become "accountable" before God? Only God knows. (Heb 4:12) The "Lord knows those who are His.."(2Tm2:19)

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