“But since they have no root, they last only a short time.” Mark 4:17-18
Miss Linda set aside the Bible and smiled at her classroom of six-year-olds. “So that’s all there is to is! Who loves Jesus? Who wants to go to heaven some day? Raise your hand!” All fourteen hands went up. “That’s wonderful!” cried Miss Linda. “Now repeat this prayer and you are saved forever!” Miss Linda went home satisfied that there were 14 new converts in the kingdom of God. But were there? Were those “converts” still following Jesus ten…twenty…thirty years later?
We sometimes reduce the plan of salvation to a 1-2-3 formula that supposedly assures us of heaven while we resume our regular lives. But Jesus never preached any such thing (Luke 14:25-33). While some 5-year-olds truly are able to surrender their futures to Jesus, many people assume that because they once prayed a prayer or got baptized they now belong to God—despite the decades of hellacious living that followed.
Scripture does not support this idea (1 John 3:6). When a seed is planted, we can tell it is alive because it produces roots, stems, leaves, and eventually fruit. If it doesn’t take root and produce, it is dead and useless. Likewise, when the word of God takes root in our hearts, our lives begin to change. If His word has not produced roots, growth, and fruit in a person’s life, then what they considered a “decision for Christ” may also be dead and useless.
Are you relying on an early “decision” for your salvation that has not resulted in a transformed life?