Do you have to know the date and time when you became a Christian?

Frequently, preachers claim that you must know a time and a place when you accepted the Lord as your Savior or became a Christian.  The average hearer sometimes thinks, “If I do not know this time or place, then I must not be a Christian.”  However, such a conclusion is false.

It is definitely advisable to know when and where you trusted Christ as your Savior for personal testimony reasons.  However, the main point of the gospel message is that we believe in Christ (Acts 16:31), not trust our works (Rom. 4:5; Eph 2:8-9).  The Bible does not say, “Except you know the time and place of your conversion, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.”  Instead, it says we must be born again which is by receiving Christ in faith (Jn. 3:3-5; cf. Jn. 1:12-13).

We are not to trust a date, a time, a method, or anything else, but Christ alone!

Whenever we believe, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, "In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise," (Eph. 1:13).  If a person does not know the time and place when he or she became a Christian, it is irrelevant.  The key question is: Are you trusting in Christ alone for your salvation now?  Whenever this trust in Christ alone began, you became a Christian.1

  • 1. I must say personally that this was a struggle for me when I was growing up since I do not remember the exact date or time when I became a Christian since I accepted Christ when I was 4.  When I was 17, I went through a long period of doubt where I would pray the sinner's prayer ten times a day.  However, what liberated me was the fact that I am not trusting a prayer, a date, or time, but the living Christ!  The moment I believed I was saved, whenever that time was.