Tolbert Fanning's Conversion & My Conversion
Of Tolbert Fanning it was stated, “When sixteen years of age, he was encouraged to read the New Testament, with the view of really acquiring spiritual light. Soon all was plain, and his gloomy doubts gave place to an intelligent faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. About the first of October, 1827, he heard a discourse on the gospel and its conditions, and, at the conclusion of the discourse, he walked forward, and, with a perfect understanding of the truth, made the confession, and was immediately immersed into Christ” (Moore, W.T. (1868). The Living Pulpit of the Christian Church).
Important facts: “He was encouraged to read the New Testament with the view of really acquiring spiritual light.” This was in spite of the fact that he had previously been told by preachers that it was impossible to be enlightened apart from a direct operation of the Holy Spirit. As a result of his reading the New Testament, “his doubts gave place to an intelligent faith.”
Later, “he heard a sermon on the ‘gospel and its conditions.’” At the conclusion of the discourse, “he walked forward with a perfect understanding of the truth, made the confession, and was immediately immersed into Christ.”
Some questions to consider: Was Tolbert Fanning saved from his sins after doing this, or was he still in his sins? Did he obey a false doctrine?
I have done as Tolbert Fanning did. Yet, I did not pray a sinner’s prayer. I did not confess my sins, but confessed my faith in Jesus as Lord and Chris (Acts 2.36). In regard to my sins, I repented of them. I was not baptized with the understanding that I was already saved, but with the understanding that my sins would be washed away in baptism.
Some questions to consider: Was I saved from my past sins after doing this, or am I still in sin? Did I obey a false doctrine?
As the apostle Paul said, “I write these things according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction” (2 Corinthians 13.10)