Life or Death

Whenever something keeps coming up over and over again in my conversations or interactions with other people, I often find that it is because God is trying to tell me something.  On both Saturday and Wednesday night of last week I had conversations with children about Heaven and Hell.  The first conversation took place with Ranaja.  After church, Ranaja spent a long time drawing a picture for Jesus.  She wrote, “I love you Jesus” on the paper and drew  a beautiful picture of a rainbow and two people standing together.  When she was finished she brought the picture to me and put it in my hand.  Then she whispered in my ear while pointing, “If we die and I go down there and you go up there, will give this to Jesus for me?”  I have to admit I didn’t quite know what to say to this.  I was shocked that this girl who spent so much time writing a love note to Jesus thought she might go to hell.  I did all I knew to do and held her close and told her that as long as she loved Jesus just as much as she does right now, she never had to worry about going “down there.”  We talked a little while longer and when she left I think she understood, but she still looked a little sad. I realized that she had no assurance of her salvation.  She is a little girl, just 8 years old, and she truly loves Jesus, but somehow she doesn’t realize that this means she is saved from hell.

The second time this came up was a few days later on a Wednesday night when I was outside watching the kids play.  Some of them were misbehaving.  Lacea came up to me and whispered while pointing at the boys who were misbehaving, “They’re going down there.”  I told her that that was a pretty awful thing to say about someone and I asked her why she thought that, “because they’re being bad” she said sincerely.  I told her that if that is the case then we really need to pray for those boys, that they will get to know Jesus and stop being bad because hell is a terrible, terrible place and we don’t want anyone to have to go there.  She nodded and then asked,”Do you know that little red guy with a fork?” Was it God’s plan for him to go to down there?”  I was astounded that this question was coming from an 8 year old.  Once again I felt like I was so unprepared and unqualified to answer.  I said a quick prayer and told her what God put on my heart, “No, God never wanted anyone to go down there, but the devil, that red guy, made really bad choices.  He stopped loving God and went against what God said, so he had to go to hell.  Now when people do the same thing they also have to go down there with the devil.  That is why it is so important for us to love God and listen to him.”

I don’t know exactly why God placed me in these two very similar conversations.  I think that he was trying to remind me that salvation is not something to be taken lightly.  They were a reminder to me to talk to the kids about the salvation message, which  has never been easy for me!  I can spend all kinds of time showing love to kids and teens, but if I never tell give them the salvation message does it really matter?  The fact is that Lacea was not being mean in what she said about those boys; they really are living ungodly lives.  We can’t judge, but Lacea just spoke what she saw and unfortunately it was probably right unless they make some major changes in their lives.  I thank the Lord for a sad, but much needed reminder.

This is life or death.

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