Last week I shared with you the interesting first session of a Religious Education class I began teaching at a local primary school where eight fourth and fifth grade students started asking me lot’s of questions about God and the Bible. Yesterday was our second session and the goal was to share my beliefs (the Gospel) with them in a clear way and later answer some more of their questions. Instead of taking ten to fifteen minutes as planned however the Bible lesson lasted almost fifty minutes. Some of this time was spent making sure the group wasn’t too loud but the majority of the class session focused on answering their many questions.
As question after question was asked (what is Hell? Once you are in Hell can you go to Heaven? How could Jesus be God’s Son if Joseph was his father? If I believe in Jesus and pray for my parents can they go to Heaven too?) I realised the Lord was giving me a huge opportunity to share His truth in a bold way. According to the School system as an RE teacher I am not restricted from using words such as “sin” or “God”, correcting wrong beliefs the students may have, or stating Faith in Christ is the only way to Heaven. The only way these and other responses are allowed is if a student asks a question about God or my opinion at which point I have complete liberty to answer it directly with Scripture since in the eyes of the school I am not longer sharing my faith but answering a question.
So for fifty minutes I answered countless questions about Heaven, Hell, Sin, Jesus, the rapture, placing our faith in Christ, and a number of other subjects. As each answered question kept giving birth to three or four more it occurred to me that many of these children had never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel like this before. This became clear as I asked what Jesus did to pay the price for our sins (they answered he killed himself, committed suicide, and lit himself on fire), the fact that some of them had never seen a Bible before, didn’t understand what the numbers I was reading with the verses were (chapter and verse), and didn’t know what Hell was like or if it even existed. During our time with the Lords help I did my best to answer all of their questions including those about Hell with honesty while also encouraging them to study the Bible for themselves instead of just taking my word for it.
Yesterdays experience reminded me that many children in the city of Melbourne don’t understand basic truths of the Bible and developed a hunger in me to continue sharing God’s truth to those young people in a way that is loving and kind but also true to the truths of Scripture. Since most of my volunteer work with children is in the school system as a teachers aid or homework tutor this would usually need to be done in a discussion or conversation style in response to their questions. This is why I am asking the Lord to open doors for me to start conversations about my personal beliefs with these young people but especially that they would ask questions that lead to a presentation of the Gospel.