The fear and tears returned in force.
My son was fully convinced of the Word of God. Just not yet the good part.
And so it was my job to teach him the whole counsel of God, which does not end with Gethsemane, a cross and a tomb. “Son, Jesus died on the cross for us, and death may be the cost of following Jesus. But do you remember what happens to dead Christians?”
With each biblical reality we discussed came a new and corresponding wave of emotion.
Smirking through his tears, Carson looked into my eyes, and in perfect bad-guy defying, 5-year-old form, he made his hand into a knife, dragged it across his throat and applied the Bible to his life: “Then Satan can cut off my head.”
I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears, and yet I could. He remembered the resurrection, and death lost its sting.
I knew only to pour more gas on his little fire of gospel faith.
“Son, Satan may send a man to kill us. This is true. And many more will come who hate Christ. But Jesus will come and destroy this man. Do you know how?”
“With his breath.”
He rose to his feet, walked across the room, picked up the Bible off my desk, put it in my hand where it belonged in this conversation and told me what to do: “Read me the Bible. Read me the part where Jesus breathes on the man.”
Suddenly 2 Thessalonians 2:8 became my new favorite Bible verse: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.”
Hearing this word, Carson breathed in my face like a dragon and then giggled. It was the sound of faith. Breathing doesn’t take a lot of effort, and Carson understood.
Jesus’ breath is stronger than death.
I studied 2 Thessalonians for a week before preaching it to my son and our congregation. In a day, my son knew it better than I did.