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Evangelizing to Children - Should We Talk About Hell?

by Sylvia Chua

should-we-talk-about-hell

We evangelize to children because we believe that children, just like adults, need Jesus. They need to hear the good news about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ so that they can accept Jesus and receive salvation. Our role in all this is simply to convey the gospel as clearly possible and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to the hearts of our listeners.

Only If It Helps Them Understand the Gospel

In general, there is no need to talk about hell. We should talk about hell only if it helps the child understand the gospel.

The fact is, children have limited attention spans. We should try to keep our gospel presentation as short and simple as possible. Rather than dwelling on the topic of hell, your time would be better spent explaining the key points of the gospel.

Talking about hell may take your discussion in a different direction, and as a result you may lose the opportunity of sharing the gospel with the child.

However, if the child specifically asks about hell, we should never brush away their questions. Give them the facts as plainly as possible:

  • Yes, the Bible tells us that hell is a real place.
  • Hell is a place that is separated from God and it is a very unpleasant place.
  • God does not want us to be separated from him. God does not want us to go to hell. He wants us to go to heaven instead, where we can be with him.
  • Other than these facts, the Bible does not give us very much detail about hell, and so we do not know exactly what hell is like.

After dealing with the child’s questions about hell, avoid dwelling on the topic. Instead, gently lead the child back to your discussion on the gospel of salvation.

NEVER Use Hell to Frighten Children Into Accepting The Gospel

There are people who talk about hell in the hope that the listener is frightened into accepting the gospel. This is plainly wrong. Apart from being unethical, this approach gives listeners the wrong impression about God and the gospel.

While it is true that God is holy, just and righteous, we must always remember that God is a God of grace. God is love. He loves us and wants to be with us. Using scare tactics simply runs contrary to God’s nature.

We cannot emphasize this enough: NEVER frighten children into accepting the gospel by talking about hell!

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