She’s the most notorious sinner in town. When you think of the type of woman that you want your little boy to avoid when he grows up, she is the first person that comes to mind. She exemplifies the Proverbs 7 woman as she mocks your Proverbs 31 ambitions.
This is why you are shocked to get a phone call from her. First, you wonder who put your number in bathroom stall as a joke. Then you realize that this woman has hit rock bottom and she is crying out for help. You learn that she got your number from a mutual friend (which kind of makes you wonder how you share a friend). You set up a lunch date to hear her story in the hopes of sharing Christ with her.
As you listen to her story your heart simply breaks for her. You realize that not only is she guilty of sin, and guilty of encouraging men to sin, she has her own scars as well. The conversation quite naturally turns to the Lord and whether or not she has faith in Jesus.
You ask the question about her belief in God with the assumption that you’ll know the answer. Of course, such a woman has probably never heard the gospel. You doubt if she’s ever been in church a day in her life. But here she is at the end of her rope and God is calling out to her. You brace yourself for some postmodern hogwash and a vague belief in some higher power.
As has been customary for this entire lunch, what she says next jolts you. She articulates the gospel pretty well and tell you that she is actually a Christian. She informs you that her grandmother was a strong Baptist woman that took her to church all the time when she was little. At the age of nine she prayed to receive Christ at a VBS.
What do you do at this point?
Do you need to convince her that she wasn’t legitimately saved at the age of 9? How will you do that? Do you need to “get her lost before you can get her saved”?
Personally, I don’t spend a ton of time analyzing her profession of faith at the age of nine. Jesus is concerned with disciples that endure to the end, not one time professions. And my counsel doesn’t change a ton based upon whether or not she was actually saved at the age of 9.
What would your counsel be if she was saved at 9 but has been living in rebellion instead of redemption for the last 15 years? You’d likely encourage her to repent and trust in Christ. She, like you, needs the gospel. So, you would share Christ with her and ask if she is trusting in Christ today. There is no need to emphasize anything that happened at the age of 9. You’d likely ask her whether she is trusting in Christ today and then talk about what that meant.
Would your counsel change if she wasn’t saved at 9 but thought she was? Mine wouldn’t change much at all. I’d still call her to repent and trust in Christ.
Therefore, I don’t spend a ton of time trying to see if something was legit 15 years ago. What I want to determine is whether or not she is trusting in Christ today.
What I’m assuming here is that if she really does come to trust in Christ (whether for the first time or not), this will not be my last conversation with her. There will likely come a time when we need to talk about baptism and whether or not she really was saved at an early age. You don’t need to nail that down today. The Spirit will do work on her heart and let her know whether or not she is/was truly saved.
Simply proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to her and call her to repent and trust in Christ.