Vacation Bible School (VBS) was nearly upon us, and the children's ministry workers had gathered for a final preparatory meeting. Anticipation filled the room as we eagerly awaited the opportunity to minister to the precious little souls that the Lord would send our way. Thankfully, we would be using curriculum that faithfully proclaimed the Gospel.
The meeting was progressing well until a "pillar" in the church suggested that we "avoid speaking about hell and judgment and those types of things and instead focus on the love of God." This is a common sentiment and desire in the church these days, which is only heightened when the audience is primarily children. "We don't want to frighten the children with such a scary subject as hell, do we?" Actually, yes, we do. I'm not suggesting that you turn your VBS into a haunted house. I am pleading with you, though, not to shy away from teaching children the whole counsel of God, including the Bible's teaching on sin and eternal condemnation.
When talking about hell, use the same imagery as Jesus (cf. Matt. 13:40-42; Mark 9:43-48). Let me illustrate: Recently, my daughter asked, "Daddy, what's hell?" I said something like this:
Katie, that is a wonderful question! Hell is a place where people go forever and ever once they die if they did not turn away from their sins and trust in Jesus Christ. Hell is a place where people will be "away from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thess. 1:9), only experiencing God's wrath and never His Love. Jesus said there will be weeping in hell, which means it will be a place of sadness at all times. There will be no laughter in hell, no giggles, no dads tickling their little girls. Jesus also described hell as a place where people will "gnash their teeth," meaning it will be a place of anger. There will be no friends in hell.
I went on to explain how glorious Jesus is because He took the wrath of God in the place of every sinner who will trust in Him.
Do you want the children God has put into your life to trust in and love Jesus Christ? Then warn them often about hell. This vital doctrine is one that will drive children to the Savior, and therefore, one we would be foolish to avoid.
Sing4Him, Rapture Ready 38 Comments
[6/28/2008 9:57:59 PM]
Fundie Index: 7
Submitted By: Katz