Knowing how to explain heaven and hell to a child is crucial for parents and Sunday school teachers. When we’re teaching kids about heaven and hell, we often leave out something important. Jesus says people who believe in him as their Savior go to heaven. But he also says people who don’t believe in him go to hell.
So we need to tell children the whole, Bible-based truth. Of course, we also need to present the information in age-appropriate ways. Avoid scare tactics that convince children they’ll suffer eternal damnation if they snatch an extra cookie. Instead, use a biblical foundation for all messages to kids.
6 Points for How to Explain Heaven and Hell to a Child
1. Heaven and hell are real places.
John 14:2-3 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Revelation 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
This is important! Our society has such a misconception of heaven and hell that children might get confused. Emphasize that those are real places, according to the Bible.
2. God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell.
Revelation 20:10 And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Hell is for the devil and his demons. God doesn’t want any people to go to hell. That’s why he provides a way of escape, so no one has to be separated from him forever.
3. You can’t go to heaven by being good.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Many people falsely assume that if they are good people, they go to heaven. They think only bad people go to hell. This isn’t true! Nobody is good enough for heaven. Everyone deserves hell.
4. Jesus died on the cross so we can go to heaven.
John 3:16-18 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Knowing how to explain eternity to a child can be quite simple. Let kids know that Jesus is the only way to salvation and heaven. If children believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then they will go to heaven.