MUST YOU KNOW THE EXACT DAY AND TIME OF YOUR SALVATION?
by Shawn Brasseaux
Recently, I had a phone conversation with a very confused and troubled Christian. My heart went out to the poor brother. He had major and persistent problems with understanding the doctrine of eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. When asked, he provided a clear testimony of his salvation. He knew his works were not the issue. He readily admitted that Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork was the only means whereby he could be saved from his sins. The man knew it and believed it. So what was his problem? Unfortunately, for 20 years, denominational churches had produced in him a lot of garbage thinking. He could not rid himself of that nonsense. Denominationalism and legalism (Law-keeping) had greatly muddled his thinking and completely crippled his Christian life. Even some so-called “grace” (?) preachers and teachers had added to his confusion!
One of this brother’s concerns was that preachers would constantly stress the idea of knowing the exact day and time of one’s salvation. Because he could not point to a calendar and identify the precise day and time of day he trusted Christ, he wondered if he was even saved! Is it really necessary to know the exact day and time of day we trusted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour? Or, are preachers just out to place us under false guilt trips and force us to “run” on legalistic treadmills? Perhaps, dear reader, you have been “harassed” by this type of preachers/religionists and “bugged” by this kind of thinking. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). We hope that this brief Bible study will provide you with joy, peace, and hope.
I reminded the dear brother that there is no Bible verse that tells us we have to know the exact day and time we were saved unto eternal life. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). If there is no verse, then there can be no faith. Whenever someone would pester him about that matter, I explained that he should just ask them point-blank, “And just where is that Bible verse about me needing to know the day and the hour of my salvation? No verse? Then it is a non-issue with me because it is a non-issue with God!”
(One reason why he was confused was that he said he would never hear a clear Gospel message in those denominational “Evangelical” churches. When they would discuss “salvation,” they would tell him to “walk the aisle to the altar,” get water baptized, say “sinner’s prayers,” “call on the name of the Lord,” et cetera. Having him do all of these things repeatedly just further compounded his confusion as to exactly when he was saved anyway! After him doing all the “works” in religion for 20 years, someone finally gave him a clear Gospel, and he was saved by trusting it, but that did not make void all the misinformation he had been told.)
Furthermore, I explained to this dear brother that I am still unable to pinpoint on the calendar exactly when I came to personal faith in Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour. I trusted Jesus Christ as a small boy about 20 years ago, but no one—not even my Mom who led me to Christ—can remember precisely when it happened. Honestly, it does not matter when it happened. What matters is that it did happen and I know it happened. As long as you can remember that there was a point, any point, when you came to trust entirely in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, as sufficient payment for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3-4), that is enough, my friend. You do not need to know “I was saved in this month, on this day, this year, at this time of day.” In fact, you may only know your age: “I trusted Jesus Christ alone as my personal Saviour, when I was a small boy, aged 6 or 7” (that is my testimony, by the way, and I no longer bother to try and be more specific).
Some Christians can tell you exactly when they came to trust Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour—they can give you the month, the day, the year, and even the hour. They may tell you exactly where they were when they did trust Jesus Christ, and/or may remember who gave them the Gospel. Good for them! Others can only tell you their physical age (“I was 6 or 7”), a range of ages (“I was in my late teens”), or a time period (“during summertime”). Some people do not know the name of the person who led them to Jesus Christ. Concerning those Christians suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other mind-debilitating issues, they cannot tell you anything at all about time and day they were saved! (Again, precisely dating our salvation is a non-issue. It is just a religious work.)
The good news is that when we Christians get to heaven, God will not give us a theological test to see if we can identify the exact day and time of day of our salvation unto eternal life. (If He did, a lot of Christians would be permanently kicked out of heaven!) God the Holy Spirit knows the exact moment He baptized us into the Church the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13), and that is enough, dear friends. Our salvation is not dependent upon when it happened. It is dependent upon the fact that it did happen. Our salvation is not dependent upon what we do, but upon what Jesus Christ did because we were unable to do anything to please God. We need to keep the focus off of ourselves—“tell me exactly when you trusted Christ!”—and we need to remember that the Bible speaks of that which is most important. There is no verse that tells us to know any precise day or time of our salvation from sins and hellfire, so that is not important.
As long as we can agree with Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:12, that is all that matters. Knowing not the time or the hour when we trusted, but knowing the Person (Jesus Christ) in whom we have trusted, is all that matters: “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”