How Do I Know If My Child Really Understands The Gospel?
Many Christian parents wrestle with this question. Their child asks spiritual questions, wants to go to church, and wants to read the Bible. Their child can give the right answer to Gospel-related questions. They say they love Jesus. All of this is great, but does the child really understand the Gospel?
Asking open-ended questions will help you see what the child really understand about the Gospel message. Here’s a list of some questions I ask when talking with a child. You can tailor these questions based on the age of the person you’re talking to.
- What is sin? (You are looking for answers like, “Doing bad things, disobeying God, or the child giving specific types of sin.”)
- Can you give some examples of sin? (They should be able to identify examples of sin. “Lying, hitting my brother, disobeying my parents, etc.”)
- Have you ever sinned? (The answer must be “Yes.” If they do not believe they have sinned, they do not see the need for a Savior.)
- Who is Jesus? (You are looking for answers like, “God, the son of God, our Savior”)
- Why did Jesus die on the cross? (“He died for our sins.”)
- What happened after 3 days in the tomb? (“He rose from the dead.”)
- What is Jesus offering? (You are looking for answers like, “Forgiveness, eternal life, a new life”)
- What is faith? (You are looking for answers like, “To believe in something, to trust someone”)
- Would you like to have a relationship with God? (Yes)
If a child can biblically answer these types of questions, they understand the essentials of the Gospel. That’s the first step. Part of placing faith in Christ is understanding the Gospel message; a second part is entrusting yourself to that message. As the Holy Spirit draws someone to salvation, they have drive to act upon what they know.
In essence, we are looking for two things: (1) A basic understanding of the Gospel, (2) A personal desire to act upon the Gospel. When those two pieces line up, move forward by leading them to Christ. If either piece is missing, do not coerce a decision. If the child has a personal desire (without a basic understanding)—they are not ready. If a child has a basic understanding (without a personal desire)—they are still not ready. The Holy Spirit gives both understanding and desire. Wait until He has done the work.