Everyone loves to hear a good story about a changed life – sinner to saint, drug dealer to preacher, or a terrorist to evangelist. These stories capture our attention and make us think about the powerful message of Christ. The Apostle Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus in Acts is one of the most famous depictions of a radical turnaround. Paul went from persecuting Christians to being persecuted as a Christian. Chuck Colson, special counsel to President Nixon and convicted criminal, gave his life to Christ and was dramatically transformed. He went from prisoner to prison minister and national speaker.
Testimonies like his are inspiring. There are countless stories of people who have been rescued from darkness and brought into the kingdom of light – the kingdom of God. Many pews in churches today are filled with sinners who have been transformed. Some of them have a “Damascus Road” event, while others have a much different story.
Their story goes a little bit like this: “I was raised in a Christian home with parents who took me to church – sometimes dragging and screaming. But, I am thankful that they took me because I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Sunday school, and I was saved at an early age.” Perhaps, some Christians with this type of testimony see it as boring and uninspiring. The truth is that any sinner who is saved is amazing. It does not matter if the sinner is a child or an adult or someone with a sketchy past, anytime someone is brought from death to life, there is great rejoicing.
The benefits of becoming a Christian young are tremendous. There is great value in teaching the gospel to children. Christians should work hard to teach the gospel to their own children as well as other children.
Becoming a Christian at a young age not only saves from sins, but it can prevent committing a multitude of sins that will later be regretted. Charles Spurgeon said, “To reclaim the prodigal is well, but to save him from ever being a prodigal is better. To bring back the thief and the drunkard is a praiseworthy action, but so to act that the boy shall never become a thief or a drunkard is far better; hence, Sabbath-school instruction stands very high in the list of philanthropic enterprises, and Christians ought to be most earnest in it. He who converts a child from the error of his way, prevents as well as covers a multitude of sins” (from The Soul Winner).
Because of this, we should devote time and energy to the salvation of children and teenagers as well as adults. It is not a lesser task to win children to Christ. We should not look to child evangelism as the minor leagues. Spurgeon also said, “The conversion of a child involves the same work of divine grace, and results in the same blessed consequences as the conversion of the adult. There is the saving of the soul from death in the child’s case, and the hiding of a multitude of sins, but there is this additional matter of joy, that a great preventive work is done when the young are converted. Conversion saves a child from a multitude of sins” (from The Soul Winner).
In a couple of weeks, our church will have a week-long Vacation Bible School. There will be hundreds of kids singing songs, listening to Bibles stories, making crafts, playing games, eating snacks, and hearing the gospel. Our goal is to proclaim the gospel accurately and clearly to the kids who attend in hopes that the Lord will call many of them to himself and they will be saved. Vacation Bible School is not about the goofy skits, the silly songs, the amazing snacks, or the decorations. It is first and foremost about proclaiming the Gospel. Let us unashamedly proclaim the gospel to our children. Let them come to Jesus.