Repent & Believe


June 12, 2023

About 10 years ago I visited a small church with one of my friends. There was a family sitting in front of us with a young girl about 4-5 years old. At the end of the service the pastor invited people to pray at the alter if needed. The mother sitting in front of me leaned down to her 4 year old (who was playing on her iPad) and asked her if she wanted to go pray and ask Jesus into her heart. The little girl shook her head no, and the mother kept asking. Finally, the daughter gave in and my heart sank. They walked down the aisle to meet the pastor and he knelt down to talk to the little girl. Thankfully, he could tell it wasn’t sincere, prayed with them, then sent them back to their seat.

I am thankful that little girl did not have a false conversion that day, just like I had when I was not much older than her. I remember seeing all my friends at church getting baptized and wanting to do it too. Not knowing why I was even doing it. We had been taught for years in children’s church that all we had to do was ask Jesus into our hearts then we could baptized. Easy peasy.

The Bible tells is in the book of Mark, that Jesus commands us to “Repent & believe.” Not ask & accept. Yet somehow a good majority of Christians think all you have to do is say a prayer asking Jesus to come into your heart and boom, you’re saved. In the book of Acts, when Jesus revealed himself to Saul (Paul) on the road to Damascus, did Jesus wait and see if Saul was going to ask Him into his heart? No, He believed Jesus was who He said He was.

I personally know so many young adults (like myself) who have been saved in their 20’s & 30’s after being falsely converted at a young age. Most of them will tell you that they never really knew what it meant to be saved other than getting to go to heaven instead of hell. No one wants to burn forever so of course young kids will ask Jesus into their hearts to avoid that. But heaven is not the goal. Jesus is. Those whom God has given to Christ get to enjoy Him forever. Praise the Lord!

So sisters, let us not force our children into making a false decision. Let’s teach them the gospel. Tell them that God created them. And that He created them to be image bearers. Tell them that God is holy and required perfect obedience. When they sin, explain to them what sin is and that we have broken God’s law. Show them that the penalty of their sin is death and that they can’t do enough good things to earn favor from God. But God, sent His only Son, Jesus to live a perfect life of obedience and demonstrated God’s love by dying on the cross to pay the penalty for those who would believe. And that Christ rose from the dead and is alive today! By grace we can be saved through faith! Teach them that sinners must repent (feel regret and turn away from) their sin and believe in Jesus to be saved. Then teach them the ways of the Lord. Be a daily example to them of how to put God first and live a life that seeks to glorify God in every single thing that you do. When you mess up, use it as a lesson to teach them how to ask God for forgiveness and how God extends grace to us. Let us raise a generation of Christ followers who know why they believe what they believe.

gospel tract

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