This past weekend, I was teaching the pre-teen class at my home church.
We are in a salvation series called Road Trip (check out the series at this link).
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.
I was sharing that Jesus is the only way to heaven. One of the pre-teens raised their hand and asked this question.
What about kids who live in other countries and never hear about Jesus? Do they go to heaven?
Good question. Tough question. Doctrinal question.
The room got quiet. The kids listened to hear my answer to this tough question.
I shared with the child that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Everyone owes a sin debt. The only person who can forgive people for this is Jesus. This happens when a person opens their heart and and invites Jesus to be their Forgiver, Leader and Friend. Everyone has to make this decision for themselves.
A child in another country may have never heard God’s plan of salvation. If they live their life and never enter a relationship with Jesus, they will be separated from God forever when they die. We have a command to go and share the Gospel with everyone on earth.
If people don’t know about Jesus, it’s up to us as believers to take the Gospel to them. I believe that if a person wants to know more about God, that He will send someone to share the Gospel with them.
This is made clear in Romans 1:20. God’s handiwork in creating the world is a witness to the reality of a real, loving and caring God.
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
I was excited that the pre-teen asked this tough question. It led to a great time of discussion and engagement.
As kids grow up in today’s culture, they will be labeled as bigots and intolerant if they say Jesus is the only way to heaven. We must equip them with the biblical knowledge they need to defend their faith. We must help them get the “right answers” to the tough questions. If we don’t, they will grow up and get the wrong answers from secular teachers, leaders, etc.
Did you know that Brad Pitt grew up in a Christian home? He grew up attending church each week. When he was around 13 years old, he started having questions about the faith. He asked his parents, people at church and youth leaders why Jesus is the only way to heaven. No one took the time to discuss this hard question with him.
Today Brad says he is an agnostic/atheist.
We must be prepared to answer the tough questions that many children ask when they are looking for answers.
Let me take that a step farther. I do not believe we should wait until children bring up the tough questions. We must be proactive and bring the questions to them. We can’t wait until they are in college, hear the questions and get the wrong answers.