I woke up this morning to, what seemed to be, a typical Sunday School morning. I had been preparing the lesson for today all week with careful thought and consideration. My audience, Junior Higher’s ranging from ages of 11 to 13. My lesson plan? I thought it would be rather clever if I were to carefully disguise the lesson in a few different discussions using a “newspaper” type format. Of course I would have the occasional comic strip here and there to keep things “loose”. Well, after about 35 minutes of me doing most of the talking and the kids looking at me as if I had just arrived from Pluto, I decided to ask a serious question. I asked, if they were to die today, a difficult concept for an early teen-ager, do they know for certain that they would go to heaven and be with God the Father for eternity? I asked for a show of hands. I didn’t get one.
Of course, being the diligent Sunday School teacher that I am, I asked them all if they did, indeed, want to know for certain that they could spend eternity in heaven with God the Father and with Jesus at His right side, would they be interested? They all raised their little hands. It was quite moving. It was also quite surprising. After all, this is a Reformed Church! We know our Doctrine of Grace, don’t we? I mean, how could this happen? With so many theological works in the foyer available to anybody interested in understanding what being Reformed is, how can somebody NOT know what being saved is? Well, then it hit me. It seems that, unfortunately, the big picture has been missed. Maybe because there are so many Christians that don’t understand Doctrine that the emphasis, at least currently in my local church, must be addressed. But at what cost? Do we put on the back burner the spreading and giving of the Gospel? By all means no!
Thankfully, God has not been remise in His power to draw His chosen to Himself, no matter how much we may get in the way with our doctrine teaching, sacrament abiding, and Easter specials! Truly, God is a God of wonders!
Ephesians 1:11-12 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
I lead those kids in prayer asking God to forgive us for our sin, acknowledging that Jesus came to Earth, sent by the Father, to be crucified for our sin so that our debt is paid in full, to bring us back into a personal relationship with Him. Also, that we may know, without a doubt, that we will truly spend eternity with Him. I then asked each student if they would talk to their parents and tell them that they had prayed to be saved today.
It seems that sometimes we get “stuck” on not giving the Gospel because we didn’t cover all the details of what soteriology has to offer. This, I guess, would depend on your audience. My audience was pre-teen and early teenagers. I’m pretty sure that I even mention “soteriology”, I will be back from Pluto. This is where discipleship begins. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that I thought I was already doing that, until today.