Summary: What is involved in bringing children to Jesus?
We’re familiar with songs like “Jesus Loves Me” or “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” Those songs are based on biblical truth. Jesus does love children. The parents of these children wanted Jesus to touch them and bless them, and He was more than willing to do so. With this in mind, I want us to think together about bringing children to Jesus; and in so doing, we will answer four questions:
1. When should a child be brought to Jesus?
A. Children should be taught about Jesus as soon as possible.
The Greek word used for children was paidia, refers to children from infancy through perhaps toddler age.
“People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them.” - Luke 18:15a (NIV)
B. Children should be brought to Jesus as soon as they are ready.
We refer children being ready to be brought to faith in Jesus when they’ve reached the “age of accountability.”
What does this mean?
Rather than referring to a specific age, it refers to a level of awareness. Awareness of sin and accountability for their sin before God.
Scripture indicates that parents of children who die before reaching this level of awareness can know they’ll see them again one day, as David said when he lost his child (2 Samuel 12:23). This would also include the unborn and those who, because of developmental disabilities, are unable to understand their sin and need for a Savior.
So what is the indicator that a child has reached the point of awareness that they have reached the age of accountability?
Simple. Personal conviction of sin. Once a child is aware of how their personal sin is an offence to God, rather than a general definition of sin as “all the bad things we do,” but “All the bad things I’ve done,” that is an indication of their having reached the age of accountability.
2. Who should bring a child to Jesus?
A. Parents - Obviously, the ones bringing their children to Jesus in this instance were their parents and/or grandparents.
B. Church - As indicated by what Jesus said to His disciples, the church has a responsibility to partner with parents in bringing their children to Jesus.
3. How should a child be brought to Jesus?
A. Laying the foundation -
1) Live your faith
2) Share your story
3) Be involved in the church with them
4) Teach them Bible truth
B. Leading them to faith - When a child is personally aware of his sin and need of God, share the Gospel with them.
Peter tells us how:
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. . .” - 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
1) Lead them correctly - Learn how to share the Gospel message. God is holy. We are sinful. God is just. We are condemned. But Jesus took our punishment for us. God is love. Therefore, we can be forgiven. God is faithful. So we can trust in Jesus as our Savior and receive eternal life.
2) Lead them gently - Don’t demand they articulate things as an adult would. Let them express themselves as a child would.
3) Lead them respectfully - Take their conviction and decision to trust Christ seriously. (Tell about Clyde Cook)
4. Why should children be brought to Jesus?
Because the sooner a person can start living for Jesus the better.
D.L. Moody was preaching a revival meeting in a town where a friend lived. He stayed at his friend’s home during the time he was there. One night after a service that his friend was unable to attend, his friend asked him, “How did the service go this evening?” Moody replied, “Great! We had two and a half people trust Christ.” “Oh,” said his friend, “You had two adults and one child give their lives to Jesus?” “No,” said Moody, “We had two children and one adult come to Jesus.”
Conclusion: This sinful, dark world needs more light in it. We need more Christians to help with the work of the kingdom.
So let’s get busy bringing children to Jesus!