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...

#9: God Offers the Free Gift of Salvation to Those Who Repent and Believe in Jesus (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 #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.

Scriptural Support

Mark 1:15

and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." [Mark 1:15 ESV]

John 3:16-17

"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]

Acts 4:12

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]

Ephesians 2:8-9

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]