“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10, NIV).
What Kids Think
Kids ask, “How can my sins be forgiven?“ Most children are acutely aware that sin separates them from God. The Gospel is so simple that children can readily understand it. Between the ages of 4 and 14, more respond to the Good News than at any other time. Children need life changing truth of the Gospel, but many children are never given the opportunity to receive new life.
Salvation is God’s free gift through personal faith in Jesus Christ. When are children ready to trust Christ as Savior?
- Hearts—when they feel sorrow for their own sins.
- Heads—when they understand that Jesus took their place, dying to pay for their selfishness and shortcomings.
- Hands—when they are ready to respond by repenting in attitude and action, receiving His new life.
Jake was the son of our lead pastor. He learned the truth of the Bible from a young age: attending church, reading Bible stories at family devotions, and practicing daily quiet times. Jake was generally a cooperative child, although sometimes his selfishness and poor attitude were in charge.
One day, Becky, his mother, noticed that Jake looked rather distressed. That Saturday afternoon had been a battle—Jake had been wrestling the “me monster” and losing the battle. After trying many times to choose obedience, he grew increasingly discouraged!
When Becky started talking with Jake about his disobedience, he started crying. In a distressed voice he asked, “Mom, sometimes I really don’t want to obey! How come I don’t want to?” This six-year-old was acutely aware of his internal battle. Becky took the opportunity to explain sin and the power of our sin nature. “Jake, we can have victory when we tell Jesus about our sin, feel sad about our selfishness, and ask Jesus for his forgiveness! Jesus wants to forgive us and give us new life. Jesus gives us victory over our sin!
Jake listened intently. He had heard the gospel many times, but something was different today. Jake had experienced the strong pull to disobey. He had noticed the presence of his sin nature and it upset him! Becky helped Jake apologize for his sins, and accept Jesus’ forgiveness. Little Jake grasped what many adults did not. He had a sin problem and knew he needed Jesus’ help and salvation. Becky was full of joy! They danced around the living room as Becky praised Jesus for Jake’s new life!
What You Can Do:
- Pray. Trust that God’s Holy Spirit is at work.
- Deal with each child individually.
- When you sense the time is appropriate, present the Gospel twice. The first time through, clearly explain the Good News. You may want to use visuals, stories, or diagrams to help communicate the message. As you review the Gospel, invite your child to ask questions. Then offer him/her an opportunity to respond.
- Encourage your child to express his or her faith through prayer.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:31
For help explaining the Gospel to children, download Good News for Kids here.