2020-02-26 to 28 Pictures: Charleston, South Carolina

One of the few upsides of having to cancel our Spring Break trip last March at the onset of the pandemic is that we are "stuck" with a rather large voucher from one of those discount airlines. Last autumn, Tricia and I spent a weekend in Savannah, Georgia and had a...

A John 3:16 Craft for Kids

John 3:16 is one of the most well known and reassuring verses in the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16 (NIV) The following is a little craft I threw...

2020-03-01 Pictures: Lyndsey’s College Signing Day

This afternoon Lyndsey made it official, signing her letter of intent to play college basketball for the Hiram College Terriers starting next year. While she made the decision and committed to Hiram before Christmas, she has been looking forward to this day since her...

2020-02-13 Pictures: Lyndsey’s 18th Birthday

I am little behind on posting photos. These are some of my favorites from a couple of weekends ago when we got a chance to celebrate Lyndsey's 18th birthday. It's hard to believe that my little girl is officially an adult. It was nice to have the family all back...


Introduction I love working with kids, and I love teaching them hard concepts in ways they can understand. To that end, for years I have been working on a dictionary of theological terms for kids and teens. In sharing those definitions, there seemed no better place to...

If You Want It Done Right

In all likelihood, you know how the phrase ends: If you want it done right, DO IT YOURSELF! This is a bit of a mantra for me, and frankly, something that I struggle with daily both in leadership and in my Christian walk.  In theory, this is easy to accept. ...

What Does God Hate?

This is the little and humble post that started it all. I happened to be reading through my Bible, and this passage impacted me so much that I posted a little blurb about it on Facebook. That was July 28, 2008, and I've been writing and sharing ever since. (Maybe...

#5: God Is Just and Right to Punish Sin (10 Essential Gospel Truths for Kids)

10 Essential TruthsToday we continue our detailed look at a presentation given by Jill Nelson at the 2007 Children Desiring God Conference entitled “Presenting the Gospel to Children.” In my last post, I introduced the series (including links to both the audio and the handouts.  Thus far we have looked at the following:

Today we will continue with the next Essential Gospel Truth which kids need to understand to combat false gospels and to understand the true and saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So, let’s get started.  ESSENTIAL TRUTH #5 IS:

God is just and right to punish sin.


In her talk and in the handouts to the talk, Ms. Nelson gives poignant, concise and theological sounds explanations for each of the truth which will work great with kids.  I have included my notes of these explanations below, but I would encourage you to listen to and/or read her full narratives as well.

  • Sin, even one sin, is not ok with God because he is just and holy.
  • God hates sin.
  • God is angry with sin.
  • The right punishment for sin is death and hell.
  • Death means experiencing God’s great anger in a place called hell.
  • Because everyone is a sinner, including you and me, we all deserve to be punished by God.
  • There is nothing we can do to help ourselves.
    • We can’t become sinless.
    • We can’t obey God.
    • We can’t wash away our own sins.
  • Mommy and Daddy can’t help either.
  • There is nothing worse than hell.
  • You can never be happy in hell.
  • Sinners can’t go to heaven.
  • It is a huge problem. It is our biggest problem.

Ms. Nelson explains that we need to let this sink in for kids.  Don’t jump right to the message of salvation.  Kids need to have the time to wrestle with this.  Don’t worry about them feeling bad.  Ms. Nelson explains they:

“Need to feel something about the depth of condemnation before you can truly be amazed by the free gift of salvation and justification from God.”

Let children think about it, ponder it and feel it!


  • Look at the world.
  • Examine the earthly effects of sin with kids.
    • Jails are an indication of crime.
  • Is it good to punish?
  • What does it show?
  • Cookie example
    • Bake cookies with your kids
    • Do one thing different
    • Bake them for an extra half hour
    • Ask kids, is this the way cookies are supposed to be?
    • Would it be right to say these cookies are good anyhow?  No. That would make us a liar.
    • What would be the right thing to do with these cookies? Throw them away.
    • Can cookies un-burn themselves?
    • This is a little bit what it is like that God is right to punish sinners
    • As they became darkened and hard when overcooked, our hearts do the same thing.
    • It wouldn’t be right for God to say they were good anyway.
    • Just as the cookies are helpless to un-burn themselves…we are helpless to change ourselves.


The implication of this truth to kids is:

You deserve God’s punishment of death and hell.  You are helpless to save yourself.

Scriptural Support

Romans 1:18

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. [Romans 1:18 ESV]

Romans 6:23a

For the wages of sin is death, [Romans 6:23a ESV]