Recently I attended an event at another church for children. They had a special speaker who entertained the children with demonstrations of physical strength (breaking objects etc.) and then began to preach. He was good speaker and the children listened carefully to what he said. There was only one problem …
He never really preached the Gospel. He told the children to respond by “asking Jesus to forgive them” but he never told what Jesus had done to save them.
While I think this man meant well – he actually failed to mention the righteous life, sin removing death, or victorious resurrection of Christ. In effect, forgiveness was offered without telling us what we need to believe about Jesus! It was Christianity without the cross.
This is something to guard against in all our teaching. We must never preach Jesus without his cross because the atonement is our only hope of being accepted before God. It is the message about the cross that we are commanded to believe in order to be saved.
I really like this short Gospel summary by Mark Dever:
“The good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in His image to know Him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from Him. In His great love, God became man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in Him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and to trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.”
In our children’s ministry we use a very simple Gospel outline called “Who Will Be King?” It tells the whole story of the Gospel in a way that children can easily understand. You can go and learn this presentation for yourself. It will help you to get the Gospel right. You can also download a series of 8 Sunday school lessons based on this Gospel outline. There are many more ideas on using “Who Will Be King?”