It seems that a lot of Ministers, Pastors and teachers seem to think that if you can't give the exact time and place of when you came to believe in Jesus then you are not saved. This never made any sense to me. Can you remember the first word you ever said? Does that mean you can't speak? Surely you can remember the day you were born. I mean really. How could you possibly not remember that? Does that mean you were not born?
But you want a date and a place, don't you? OK, here goes.
As far back as I can remember this little song plays in my mind. "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." I remember singing that song in a little house that the church that my parents went to used to house all the little kids. This made a lot of sense to me so I believed it. In sixty five years of living I have found no reason to think I choose wrong. Now this was an entirely emotional decision. Three-year-olds are not real big on empirical evidence, if you know what I mean. The date was around 1953-1954 give or take a month or two or maybe a year. The place was Downey, California. I was around three or four years old.
If you want an intellectual decision the date comes much later. I always felt you should be able to give a valid intellectual reason for why you believe in Jesus. First Peter 3:15 States "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" As I look back now, knowing what I now know, I see that my intellectual knowledge was sadly lacking. I really did not understand the true mechanism of salvation until I did a report on evolution in an anthropology course I was taking at a local community collage in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Up until then I had never seriously considered the links between scientific truth and Biblical truth. I had assumed evolution was true and it fit into the Bible's world view somehow, someway. After a very intensive study of evolution I was totally shocked at the total LACK of scientific evidence for evolution. As an off shoot of all this evolution study I also got into all the evidence for the Bible being true, of which there is a LOT. It is amazing how much faith the scientific community has in evolution because they sure don't have much fact. Don't argue with me over this. You go do the research, just like I did.
Anyway, I guess my intellectual understanding of salvation occurred in the early 1980s. The only trouble with this is that I was wrong in one of my opinions. Even though it is handy, you do not have to intellectually prove your reasons for belief in Jesus. You only have to believe emotionally and if you believe it as a child believes it, that is OK. In fact, it's required.
Jesus said in Matthew 18:3 "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." The key concept here is simple. You have to BELIEVE in Jesus to be saved. That's it and nothing more.
Jesus points out in John 3:15-18 "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
Pretty simple, huh?
If it bothers you, or anyone else, that I can't give an exact date, that is OK. I am not relying on you for my salvation. I am relying on Jesus.
If it bothers you that you, yourself, do not know your own, exact, date of coming to belief in Jesus and you do believe in Jesus, just write today's date on a stick and go put it in your garden. The next time some one asks just point them to that stick!