Today 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:
- Essential Truth #1: God is the Sovereign Creator of All Things
- Essential Truth #2: God Created People For His Glory
- Essential Truth #3: God is Holy and Righteous
- Essential Truth #4: Man is Sinful
- Essential Truth #5: God Is Just and Right to Punish Sin
- Essential Truth #6 – God Is Merciful. He Is Kind to Undeserving Sinners
- Essential Truth #7 – Jesus Is God’s Holy and Righteous Son
- Essential Truth #8 – God Put the Punishment of Sinners On Jesus
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 #9 IS:
God offers the free gift of salvation to those who repent and believe in Jesus.
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.
- Jesus came to earth to save sinners from death and hell.
- He did it so we can live forever with God in heaven.
- Salvation means to save someone.
- Because of what Jesus did, God wants to give sinners the free gift of salvation.
- Salvation is the best present you could ever receive.
- It’s a free gift because there is nothing you can do to earn it or work for salvation.
- Jesus did all the work for you.
- God has decided to give this free gift of salvation to anyone who repents of their sin and believe in Jesus.
- When God decides to save a sinner, he brings about a change in their heart.
- That change is repentance and belief.
- Repentance is understanding that you are a helpless sinner who deserves the punishment of death and hell.
- Knowing that, you feel terrible about your sin and disobedience to God.
- You hate your own sin, your sin nature and all kinds of sin.
- You want to turn away from your sin and towards Jesus.
- Believing in Jesus means you believe the things about him that are true.
- God’s son
- Never sinned
- Died on the cross
- Punished in your place
- Rose from the dead
- Living today
- He alone can save you
- Believe is not just about knowing and agreeing with true things about Jesus.
- Believing also means you are trusting him to save your life.
- Depending on him
- Placing your confidence in him
- Believe he died on the cross for you not just for other people
- He will bring you to heaven to live forever with God.
- If really trusting in Jesus, you will also repent of your sins.
- Repentance and belief always go together.
- What does it mean to trust somebody?
- Don’t make a direct comparison – here is an illustration
- Show children and uncooked egg
- Give them a small prize
- Set egg somewhere
- Give them a whistle
- I promise you if you blow this whistle three times egg will break
- If you blow it three times, egg will break and you will get prize
- If you decide to blow it three times and egg doesn’t break, I will take away prize
- Keep prize, or trust me that egg will break if blow whistle three times
- If believes and trusts you, they will blow whistle three times
- Then you break egg
- They were thinking whistle was going to break egg
- It wasn’t the whistle or them that broke the egg, it was me responding to you blowing whistle
- A little bit of what it’s like to have faith and trust in Jesus for your salvation
- Depending on him.
- Confident he will do what he says.
- Not our faith that saves us but the object of our faith that saves us.
The implication of this truth to kids is:
God tells you to believe in Jesus and repent of your sins and you will be saved.
and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." [Mark 1:15 ESV]
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. [John 3:16-17 ESV]
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." [Acts 4:12 ESV]
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. [Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV]