“Do you ever wonder if you believe in God just so you won’t go to hell”?
Being a good parent, I couldn’t just drop him off on the freeway and turn around and go home.
I did the next best thing and sped up so that we could arrive at our destination more quickly.
“How do you know that what we believe is true”?
We were pegging 80 on the freeway now…
“Will ___ go to hell”? He doesn’t believe in God”
Now, I’m hoping the airbags deploy spontaneously.
He is only 11 and he has already decided that his fathers faith is not sufficient, that his faith must be his own.
He wants answers…not so that he can reject the faith, but so he can embrace it and take ownership of it on his own.
I can give him the standard answers…the ones about the reliability of the text, about our common doubts and fears, about all the doctrines that combined make up the body of our faith.
They will not convince him.
When he was a bit younger he used to ask everyone he met whether they believed in God.
It mattered…he didn’t want anyone going to this hell he had heard of.
I told him that doing so was rude and impolite…that faith was a private matter.
Now he wonders why I don’t care if people are going to hell.
Shouldn’t we at least tell them?
The stock answers are insufficient, they are true, but they are words on paper repeated by rote.
They will not convince him because if you’re going to teach a child that a loved one may spend eternity in hell, you better do it with tears in your eyes.
If you are going to speak of the love of Jesus for a lost world, you’d better model it.
If you are going to speak of a sacrificial life you’d better live it.
That’s the only way the words have life…it’s the life that will convince him…one way or the other.
The messages my actions speak will determine the veracity of the Bible I carry.
A sermon is so much easier…
Make your own application…