What questions should I ask a child who wants to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior?
Before we dive into how to lead a child to accept Jesus as Savior, did you read Part 1? If you jumped to what you thought was the “good part,” you might need to back up.
- Are you ready to spot “parrot” answers and kids who understand without knowing the right terminology?
- Do you understand when to STOP in this conversation and why that can be so very important to do?
If you answered no to any of these questions, check out Part 1 of this article. (You can skip the testimony if you like.)
Remember that this is not a study guide for a test, but rather a way to see how the Spirit is working in their heart.
This sounds weird, but it may help you be patient as you wait for God’s timing. Think of these questions more like a thermometer than a study guide. If your child’s not “done,” stick him or her back in God’s hands to “bake” some more.
Remember that God works in a person’s heart to bring them to Christ. We are just the messengers (Romans 10:13-15).
“I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7, NIV).
We can’t push someone to be ready when we want them to be.
Ok. Here’s the diagnostic tool I promised that will also help you lead a child to Christ. (For a video Gospel presentation for kids that makes a good starting place, click here.)
Who’s In Charge?
Who Made the World?
God made everything (Genesis 1:1).
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him’” (Colossians 1:16, NIV).
Who Is In Charge?
If you created a game to play with your friends, who would be making up the rules players must follow? Whoever made up the game, right?
Since God made everything, He makes the rules. This included things like the Law of Gravity and the speed of light as well as how to go to heaven and how to live in a right relationship with Him.
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being” (Revelation 4:11, NIV).
What Is Sin?
What Is Sin? Can You Name Some Sins?
Sin is anything that displeases God. It is the poor choices we make that fall short of God’s perfect standard. Sin could be thoughts, words, actions, or things left undone. (See Romans 1:28-32.)
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect’” (Matthew 5:48, NIV).
If you can name some sins as well as define it, then you truly understand what sin is.
Who Has Sinned? Have You Ever Sinned?
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NIV). All means everybody. Everyone has sinned and done something that makes them fall short of God’s perfect standard (Matthew 5:28).
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9, NIV).
If you understand what sin is, but don’t think you have ever done it, then you are not yet ready to accept Christ as your Savior. Without sin, what is there to be saved from? (See 1 Peter 3:15; Romans 3:23-24.)
What Is the Punishment for Sin?
When you make a bad choice, are you punished at home or school? There are consequences to our actions. God has consequences for our actions too.
Remember that God’s standard is perfection. Perfect is a tough thing to be. Just one small sin makes us not perfect and deserving punishment. That punishment is death—eternal separation from God. God is all things good, pure, right, and true. Separation from Him forever would be the opposite.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, NIV).
(Don’t worry. Good News is coming.)
Tell Me About Jesus
Who Is Jesus?
Jesus is God’s Son (Matthew 3:13-17). We celebrate His birth at Christmas (Matthew 1:18-2:12; Luke 2:1-12). Jesus is special because He is God’s Son, but He is also human just like us. The difference is that Jesus never sinned, not even once! (Luke 4:1-13; Hebrews 2:17-18; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
“We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:15, MSG).
Jesus showed who He was by teaching people, doing miracles, and forgiving sins while He lived on earth. He fulfilled hundreds of prophecies written when people looked for Messiah God promised, Jesus Christ.
He died on the cross to take our punishment for sin. Three days later God raised Jesus back to life again, proving that He conquered sin and death (Matthew 27:62-28:10).
“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, NIV; see also verses 5-8).
Why Did Jesus Die On the Cross?
Jesus died to pay the consequences for our sin. Jesus didn’t die for His sins because He didn’t have any. Since Jesus Christ is the only One who has ever lived perfectly and without sin, He is the only One who could die in our place and take our punishment for sin. (See Acts 7:55-56; Isaiah 6:1-7;
“But Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us. We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of Christ. So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger” (Romans 5:8-9, ERV).
How Can We Get Right With God?
How Can We Be Forgiven?
God is perfect and heaven, where He lives, is perfect as well. No sin is allowed in heaven (Revelation 21:27). That means you and me can’t get there without taking care of our sin problem.
There is nothing we can do to fix our sin problem (Ephesians 2:8-9). We can’t be good enough to make up for the bad things we do. We can’t go to church enough, give enough money away, or fix ourselves to become better.
Jesus never sinned Himself (Hebrews 4:14-15), so when He died on the cross He did not have to pay for His own sins. He died in our place, to pay for our sins. Jesus now offers us the free gift of forgiveness.
All we have to do is tell God that we have sinned and that we are truly sorry. We need to ask Him to help us not do those things anymore. (That is what turning from sin is all about.)
Then we need to believe Jesus is who He said He was, and that He died to pay for our sins, coming back to life again three days later (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
“If you openly say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved. Yes, we believe in Jesus deep in our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we openly say that we believe in him, and so we are saved” (Romans 10:9-10, ERV).
What Does “Lord” Mean?
Lord means the one in charge, kind of like a boss. When we ask Jesus to be our Lord, we ask Him to be the one in control of our lives. Following Jesus as Lord means that we do what He wants rather than what we want. (See Matthew 16:24; Luke 22:42.)
“This is all there is in the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. But none of these comes from the Father. They come from the world. The world is passing away, and all the things that people want in the world are passing away. But whoever does what God wants will live forever.” (1 John 2:16-17, ERV).
For example, let’s say you really want some chocolate chip cookies. You know where to get some, but your mom said you could not have any before dinner. That is hours away. What do you do?
God wants us to obey our parents (Ephesians 6:1-3). When we decide to do what God wants us to do, obey Mom, and wait rather than sneak a cookie when no one is looking, we are letting God be in charge of our life as our Lord.
This is not always an easy thing to do. In fact, it may start out very hard. However, like we get better at sports or music with practice, the same thing happens as we practice living the way God wants us to live. This is sometime called growing in our Christian walk.
Remember that God loves you very much and has good reasons for the rules He makes. He’s the one in charge, remember? We obey Him because we love Him and we trust Him to do what is best for us. This makes it easier to choose to follow God every day.
How Do We Learn and Grow As Christians?
How can we follow God well if we don’t know Him very well? We learn more about God primarily by reading the Bible. We talk to God when we pray, which strengthens our relationship with Him. We also learn and grow when we serve God, worship Him, and spend time with other believers. (See Acts 2:42-47).
Are You Ready?
Is This Something You Want To Do Today?
Now it’s time to get personal. Are you ready to make a life-long commitment to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
If you are, pray and talk to God. There is no magical prayer. Simply tell God you are sorry for your sins and ask for forgiveness. Tell Him you believe Jesus is who He said He was and that He died for your sins.
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10, NIV).
No Matter How Your Talk Ends, Pray For That Person.
Ask God to bless them, continue to teach them more about Him, and draw them closer to Him each and every day. Ask for His hand of protection over that child.
Share with the child who asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior and meant it the promises of Scripture for those who choose to follow Christ.
If the child has made a genuine profession of faith, go celebrate it! Have them share it with as many people as you can. Introduce them to their new brothers and sisters in Christ. Let them know of the party in heaven called in their honor (Luke 15:8-10).
What works or doesn’t work when you share the Gospel with kids? Are there specific things you look for to know if kids really understand? Share your stories and ideas in the comments below.
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