John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
The only requirement to become a child of God is to believe and receive the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible does not designate a specific age a child must reach in order to experience salvation. Jesus urged parents to bring their little children to Him, and rebuked those who attempted to keep the children away.
Luke 18:16-17 “But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.’”
Most small children will respond to an invitation to ask Jesus to come into their hearts. Their innocence, sense of wonder and trusting hearts provides fertile soul for the gospel. The following are truths that a child must receive and should be explained in simple, age-appropriate language. As they mature, they will grasp the deeper meaning of these truths.
- God made us, and everything around us. He loves us and watches over us from heaven.
- God is good. He has never done or thought anything bad.
- All people are sinners.
- Explain to the child that this means that every person has done naughty things.
- Give the child examples of sin: lying, stealing from others, hitting others, etc.
- Acknowledge to the child that you have done naughty things, and that you too are a sinner.
- Ask the child if they have ever been naughty. You may need to remind them of something naughty that they did recently.
Romans 3:23 “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”
- God loves us even though we are sinners. He wants to forgive us.
- Explain to the child that to forgive means to not be angry and to not remember that we have sinned.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
- Jesus is God’s Son. He lived in heaven with His Father. A long time ago Jesus came to earth. He came to tell everybody how much God loves us.
- Explain to the child that because all people are sinners Jesus died on the cross. Jesus did not stay dead. Three days later He came back to life!
- Because Jesus died and rose from the dead, God will forgive us for all of our sins if we believe in Jesus.
Romans 10:13 “…for ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
- Jesus now lives in heaven with His Father. He also wants to live inside of our hearts.
- Explain to the child that if they invite Jesus, He will come to live in their hearts. They will become God’s children.
John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”
- Ask the child if they want Jesus to forgive them for their sins and live inside of their heart. Tell the child that even though God is in heaven, He hears us when we talk to Him.
- If the child is willing, ask them to repeat, sentence by sentence, the following prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus,
I know that I am a sinner. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for forgiving me. Help me to live for you everyday. In Jesus’ name, Amen.