Bob's spiritual leadership to the family was especially meaningful after Josiah's diagnosis when we were grappling with the question of salvation and Autism. The Bible says that to be saved from Hell one must confess with his mouth the authority and sacrifice of Jesus, but what if you can't speak? Our theological instinct was to view Josiah (and later Jalen) through the same Scriptural lens as newborns that die and find grace despite their inability. Bob, in his poem (which is below and which hangs on our wall at home), points to the even greater truth of God's complete sovereignty in every persons deliverance from Hell. The bottom line is that we ought not think a person has an advantage in coming to Christ because of their own ability, and likewise we ought not consider a person spiritually disadvantaged because of their disability. Bob's post follows:
Any condition that hinders their loved one’s ability to comprehend information naturally heightens Christian grandparents’ concern that their grandchild with special needs might not understand the gospel and flee to Christ. Most evangelical Christians embrace the clear teaching that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone. We mouth those words, often without meditating upon the reality of how pervasive the grace of God is in the salvation of any person, no matter how “normal” he or she may be? A careful and prayerful reading of Ephesians 1 and 2; I Corinthians 1:18-25 and 2:1-16 reveals a desperate dependency upon the Holy Spirit to make alive those who are “dead in trespass and in sin” and to grant unto them “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 11:18; 20:21). It is out of our firm conviction that salvation is of the Lord whose grace is both compassionate and comprehensive that my wife and I pray that God will bring all of our grandchildren to Christ. While sharing the gospel with them through our lips, and we trust by our lives, we ask for God’s amazing grace and mercy to grant unto them repentant faith for His glory.
“Salvation is of the Lord”
There is no fortress of the mind,
No dungeon of the heart so black,
That light and life can be repelled,
The call of Truth e’er be brushed back.
Nor is there rebel bulwark made
Where Sovereign grace cannot invade--
No ‘heartland’ distant, cold and dark
Where Love’s sure Word cannot persuade
The arrogant or ignorant
Who will not, or who cannot see
Their desp’rate need of saving grace
That beckons them to bow the knee.
A soldier of the hosts of light,
Mine is the herald’s humble role.
Christ leads me to engage the hosts
Of darkness that enslave the soul.
I must not fail to press the fight,
Full knowing it is God’s to win.
No matter that I doubt myself--
To doubt my God is grievous sin!
“All souls are mine!” Jehovah cries,
And draws my focus to His pow’r
That reassures my fainting heart
Amidst doubt’s dark, oppressive hour.
Though oft’ rebuffed, I persevere,
And bravely lift God’s two-edged Sword.
N’er trusting in my own resolve,
I gain new hope through Christ the Lord.
God hears the often wordless prayers
That from my burdened heart ascend
As love compels me to press on,
And plead for grace time and again.
Strengthen my faith, Almighty God,
As I recall that saving grace
Quickened my own dead heart to life,
And drew me to Thy resting place.