Monthly Archives: April 2012

Thorns and candle at Easter

Good Friday: Justice or Judgmental?

It’s easy for our children to have a warped view of God’s Justice. They see judgmental Christians and mistake it for the justice of God. They see “tolerance” worshipped on every street corner and confuse “loving their neighbor” with accepting and embracing their neighbor’s sin.

God has no tolerance for judgmental Christians. He knows the damage they can do. God has no tolerance for sin; He knows the damage it’s already done. Actually, our culture doesn’t have any tolerance for sin either… that is—if it’s a sin we don’t like.
Josh McDowell produced a t‐shirt that illustrates this well. It says:

Intolerance is a Beautiful Thing…
Mother Theresa was intolerant of Poverty
Bono was intolerant of Aids
Nelson Mandela was intolerant of Apartheid
Martin Luther King was intolerant of Racism
Jesus was intolerant of Bigotry

We’re hypocritical about sin. We judge those that sin in a way we find offensive, but ignore those sins we have a personal affection for. Our Just God, however, is not hypocritical about sin. Because He is Holy He finds all sin offensive– from using His name in vain to murder, from stealing a pack of gum to stealing a child’s innocence. His justice requires a penalty be paid for each and every sin. Overwhelming isn’t it?

Fortunately God knew a way to forgive our sin penalty without compromising His Justice! Because He is Merciful, Loving, All-Powerful, Unchanging, Faithful and Eternal, Jesus satisfied God’s justice when He died on the cross for our sins, paying the penalty in our place. It is the humbling reality of Good Friday and the inexpressible joy, and relief, of Easter Sunday!

God won’t force us to accept Jesus’ payment for our sin. Each of us has a decision to make: pay for our sin on our own and be forever guilty and separated from God, or accept Jesus’ payment and be forever set free—living in eternal relationship with God!

Understanding God’s Justice will not only encourage your children to begin a relationship with Jesus, it will also motivate them to stand up for what is right, empower them to fight for the weak and abused, and give them a message of hope for the hopeless.

Teaching your children that God is Just will pave the way for a humble heart…one that truly loves the sinner but hates the sin.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Romans 4:25 (NIV)

Who was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification (our [a] acquittal), [making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God]. Romans 4:25  (Amplified Bible)

Praying 2

Is a child ever too young to accept Jesus?

Brad did it when he was 3 ½ and the memory is etched in his heart and mind. Jack was also 3 ½ when he did it, but he doesn’t remember a thing about it. When his dad recently read through the new 4Keys 4Kids evangelism tract with him, Jack, now five, said he wanted to pray and ask Jesus into his life. His dad asked if he remembered when he prayed the prayer before. Jack said ‘no’. So they bowed their heads and Jack repeated the prayer, signed his name in the back of the book as a solid reminder of the decision he had made.

Is a child ever too young to accept Christ? Was Brad’s decision more real than Jacks? Easter week is upon us and many parents will have the opportunity to answer questions kids have about what they see and hear regarding Jesus’ death and resurrection. How do you know if a child is “ready” to accept Christ? Theologians differ radically in their answer to this question. Rather than get tangled in the weeds I will keep it simple…

Because God knows everything, He knows the heart and mind of a child. Jesus encouraged the little ones to come to Him. He didn’t put an age restriction on the invitation. When a little child wants to come to Him our response is a no brainer—we show him/her how to “come!” Booklets like the new 4Keys 4Kids are a great resource and help explain the decision in terms a child can understand. Of course, that is only the beginning of the journey!

Many people who accept Christ at an early age will choose to surrender to Him again as they mature. This second decision doesn’t negate the first, but rather reinforces it. Again, God knows the heart of child. When children come to Him with a childlike faith, He opens His arms, receiving them without reservation and begins the life-long adventure of drawing each one into a deeper relationship with Him.

Studies show that if a child in America doesn’t accept Christ by their 14th birthday there’s only a 6% chance he/she ever will. It’s a sobering reality. The best time for your children to discover who God really is and begin an eternal relationship with Him through Jesus is now. They’re never too young to love God and get to know Him!

If you would like to order some of the 4Keys 4Kids tracts you can email me at: info@dg4kids.com and I’ll send you the information. They will be available to order on the DG4Kids website in the next two weeks.