Dates Never Saved Anyone!
After recently reading a chapter in Larry Moyer’s book entitled, “21 Things God Never Said: Correcting our Misconceptions about Evangelism,” I agree with his assessment concerning the misconception of “if you don’t know the date you were saved, then you’re not saved.” Dates do not save people, Jesus Christ does. I do believe that there is a time when someone is born again spiritually just as there is a time when someone is born physically. I have heard evangelists preach over the years that you must know an exact date and time, and I disagree with them. Don’t get me wrong, if you do know the exact time and date, that is wonderful. Remember though, that the key truth is that a person should know they have been born again because they understood who Christ is, they accepted His person and work, repented of their sins and they trusted in Him alone to save them. John 3:3 clearly says that a man must be born again. This indicates an action that has taken place as the Spirit of God drew them and they responded by accepting and believing the truth of the gospel.
Paul was saved on the road to Damascus and had a unique salvation experience that included events he would never forget. The average person who trusts Christ does not have such a dramatic experience surrounding their conversion. I have known some people who genuinely trusted Christ and had little or no emotion after they were saved. I have been with others who cried and some who have shouted or even given me a “high five.” There have been many who trusted Christ for their salvation as a child and were not saved out of a “lifestyle” of high profile sins. They did not experience a phenomenal change of lifestyle.
The problem with relying on a date is that the emphasis is generally on the date and time instead of Christ! In my dealings as a Pastor, I personally give the plan of salvation every Sunday morning because that is when the majority of visitors and potential lost people are in the service. I am very careful to state that “you may not remember the time or the place, but you had better know that you have been born again.” Man’s eternal destiny is not something that should be taken lightly or given over to frivolous thinking. Paul made it very clear when he said, “I know whom I have believed.” John stated it well when he said that he wrote the words he did so people would know they have eternal life. A date on a calendar never saved one soul…I am so glad that my faith rests in the finished work of Christ on the cross, and I am glad I have placed my faith and trust in Him and Him alone!