Zach is at a fun age. Our bedtime routine each night includes prayer, and he is starting to close his eyes, and say "Amen" when I finish praying. He's not praying on his own yet, but I can't wait for that since little children say the most hilarious things when they pray!
They also say some of the most simply profound things.
I think the Lord knew that, and that is why He has pointed us to children as our example for faith.
A few days ago, I was online looking at local churches' websites. We go to a church that we don't mind, but we're open to trying other churches and I really want to find a church that has the AWANA program. Anyway, I would go to each website and look at their statement of faith - specifically what they said about Salvation. Although not surprised, I was completely disappointed. Most of them had a looong paragraph about inviting Christ to be the leader of your life, turn away from your old ways, make Him Lord of your life, repent completely, etc...
I couldn't help but think what a far cry all that "noise" is from what Christ said:
- Matthew 18:2-4 (NIV)
I can only shake my head at the idea of sitting down with Zach and trying to explain to him that in order to become a Christian, he needs to fully repent from all his sins, ask the Lord to forgive him, then he needs to make Christ Lord of his life by living as the Bible says he should, oh and by the way, if you slip back into your old, sinful ways, there is a good chance you weren't fully-repentant the first time, and so you weren't saved. Don't forget that it's important to make sure that he isn't just doing this in order to not go to hell - that's fire insurance, and that is wrong. You have to only want to become a Christian because you want to live for Christ.
What I can see, and hope to witness fairly soon, is sitting down with Zach and telling him that if he wants to go to Heaven, then all he has to do is simply believe that Jesus came down from heaven, lived a sinless life, died on a cross to take the punishment for our sins, rose from the dead three days later, and went back to heaven to wait for us. If we believe, we are saved - completely and permanently. It is a free gift that Christ has given to anyone who wants it.
Will he understand that? Definitely.
All that other stuff like making Christ the leader of your life, comes later as an act of discipleship. It has no place in the Gospel, but we adults seem to have an insatiable need to make things MORE complex - instead of keeping them simple.
We've mutated the salvation message into something that our own children cannot understand.
I wonder what Christ would think of that.
- Mark 10:13-16
I guess we already know what He thinks. Let the little children come - do not hinder them!