A few weeks ago, I was sharing the Gospel with a group of kids at a summer camp. Most of the kids were from a Christian, church-going background. I always ask some key questions when I am sharing the Gospel in that kind of format.
One of the questions I asked was this:
What does a person need in order to have eternal life through Jesus Christ?
To be honest, I was shocked at some of the answers I got. One girl in particular believed that Jesus alone is not enough to have eternal life. She believed you also had to do a lot of good works to enter heaven. Several of the kids affirmed this line of thinking. Plain and simple, they believed in a works salvation. Which obviously moves away from grace and into having to earn your way to eternal life.
I took the opportunity to share with the group of kids that salvation isn’t based on what you do, but rather on who you know as your Savior…Jesus.
I used an illustration to help them see this. This is a great illustration to share when you are teaching kids that you can’t earn your way to heaven.
“Let’s say that I brought you a gift. It was already paid for. It had your name on it. I held it out to you. What would you have to do for it to be yours? That’s right. You would have to reach out and accept it.
Does Jesus love everyone? Yes. But is everyone going to heaven? No. Because some people say, ‘I don’t want the gift Jesus is offering me. I don’t believe He is the only way to heaven. He can keep His gift.’
Would those people be going to heaven? No. Because they didn’t accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation. If you want to live with Jesus forever one day, there has to be a time when you reach out and accept His gift of salvation.”
Think about this as well. If something is a gift, you can’t earn it, buy it or work for it. It is something you must reach out and accept.
What if I brought you a gift, but before I handed it to you, I said, “You have to wash my car before I give you this.” Would that be a gift? No. Because you had to work for it. Again, if something is a gift, you can’t earn it or buy it.
Look what it says in Ephesians 2:8.
“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”
Notice how this verse shows us that salvation is a gift from God that we must accept by faith. There is nothing you can do to earn it. It must be accepted freely.
There is nothing more important than sharing the Gospel with children. We must present it clearly, so it can be understood and accepted by the next generation.
The culture today’s kids are growing up in says there are many pathways to God. And to say that there is only one way is intolerant, unkind and narrow-minded,
Share John 14:16 with kids and help them examine the exclusive claims that Jesus made.
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Is Jesus really the only way to heaven? Yes. And we must share the Gospel clearly so kids understand and believe the exclusive claims that Jesus made.
What the next generation needs more than anything else is a personal relationship with Jesus. Let’s be faithful to share God’s plan of salvation with them.
There is nothing more important than this.
This article originally appeared here.