An Appeal for Biblical Accuracy in Child Evangelism
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
CONCERN #3: IT EASILY CONFUSES CHILDREN.
Easy-believism angers me. Careless Bible study frustrates me. But taking the most important message in the entire world and making it confusing for little ones both angers and frustrates me.
Bob Wilkin in his book Don’t Ask testifies of the confusion this inaccuracy has wrought among children when he writes,
I had my students write out their testimonies after I had explained what I have recounted above. I found that quite a few of the students went through years of confusion because someone told them as children that if they asked Jesus into their hearts they would be saved.
Consider as well this personal testimony from Dr. John MacArthur:
- And every time, as a little kid, that somebody said, "Ask Jesus in your heart," I can remember saying, "Jesus, please come in my heart." I can remember that over and over: "In case you’re not there, please come in today." You know? I mean, I did that as a kid. I’d go to camp, the guy would give a message, and just to be sure, you know, I’d say, "Lord, if you’re not in my life, please……"
Then, of course, there is the problem that children are not generally able to think in the abstract until about age seven. So, we should not be surprised when children take "asking Jesus into their heart" in a literal way. We must be absolutely clear when dealing with children about their eternal souls. Remember, the Bible tells us that child-like faith is essential, but it does not say the same about child-like intellect. While many children are saved at a young age, they must understand the essential truths of salvation in order to properly direct that precious faith in trusting Christ.
Making sure children learn the doctrine of God’s Word. Allow me to condense his article to just the main points.
Becoming a Christian is much like joining an army. It costs nothing to join but the good soldier is willing to obey and even lay down his life for the general. When somebody does join the army, their life is no longer their own. When somebody joins the army, they surrender their rights to their leader. That's what God expects of us. Look at what Jesus said about becoming a Christian (follower of Christ):
will finish on Sunday