Q. As I grow and learn all that God wants to teach me, I’m more and more burdened for my children. (ages 11, 8, and 5). Last night, during our evening family devotion, the older two began asking questions that tied in with end-times and were related to a passage in Thessalonians we had just read. Their sentiments were of course those of fear that they might get left behind or have to endure hardship in the last days. I tried to comfort them by telling them that instead of worrying over what might happen, they should be mostly concerned about their salvation and their personal relationship with the Lord. (The older two have made professions of faith but still are learning about faith and what it is to be a follower of Jesus Christ). I don’t want to burden them with deep teachings that their little minds can’t yet comprehend, but I do want to help prepare them to meet our Lord. Do you know of or can you recommend any Biblically sound literature or resources for children their age that I might study and implement in our devotion time?
A. Take comfort in the fact that children who are not intellectually mature enough to understand the issues of sin and salvation automatically go in the Rapture, because the Lord doesn’t hold us accountable for things we can’t understand. Once they’re mature enough to comprehend these things, they need to learn about them and make an informed decision for themselves. If the two older ones already understand and are born again, they don’t have anything to worry about. Ephesians 1:13-14 says the Holy Spirit has been sealed within them to guarantee their inheritance.
Remember, we’re saved because we believe a certain thing, not because we behave a certain way. All we need to understand to qualify for the Rapture is that we’re sinners, that Jesus died for us, and if we ask Him to He will save us from our sins and give us eternal life. You don’t need any special curriculum to teach a child that much. Just get a Children’s Bible, read the verses with them, and talk about it. John 3:16, Matt. 7:7-8, John 6:28-29, Romans 10:9 Ephesians 1:13-14 and others like those should do it.
Be careful not to get them confused about how they should act because these verses make it clear that belief is all that’s required of them. You can teach them about good behavior as a sign of their gratitude later. The worst thing you can do to them now is make them think that Jesus will only love them if they’re “good” or that if they misbehave He’ll take their salvation away from them.