Essential Gospel Truth #5

5) God is just and; right to punish sin

Suggested Verses: Romans 1:18; 6:23a

Explanation: “Because God is holy and righteous, He is right not to permit or allow any sin. Sin – even one
sin – is not okay with God. God hates sin and is very angry with sin. God is right to punish sin. That’s what it means that God is “just”. And God has decided that the right punishment for sin is death and hell. Death means experiencing God’s great anger forever in a place called hell. 

                  Because everyone is a sinner – including you and me – we all deserve to be punished by God. God would be right to send us all to hell. And there is nothing that we can do to help ourselves: We can’t become sinless by trying to do more good things than bad things – its too late for that isn’t it. We’ve already sinned too many times.  We can’t obey God perfectly – no matter how hard we work at it. We have a sin nature that makes us like the wrong things and makes us want to do the wrong things. We can’t clean away our sin.  Mommy and daddy can’t help you – mommy and daddy are helpless too. 

                  There is nothing more terrible than hell – it is worse than spankings, or bad ouwies, or being afraid, or being apart from mommy and daddy forever. We can never be happy in hell but we are helpless to save ourselves. We can only be happy forever if we go to heaven and live with God forever. But sinners can’t go to heaven. We deserve to be sent to hell. This is a huge problem – it is our biggest problem!”

H. B’s Interjection: As hard as this could have been to read, it would be even harder to get the words out of your mouth to a little child. Yet even harder still will be to stop yourself from jumping to the end of the story and telling what Jesus did on the cross & what he accomplished there. Why would you stop yourself? Well Jill Nelson said this:
Now let this sink in!  Don’t jump to the solution. We want our kids to wrestle with this. Don’t worry about having them feel bad! In fact, none of us can feel as bad about our sin and the offense it is to God as we should. And you need to feel something of the depth of condemnation before a Holy God, before you can begin to truly be amazed by free gift of salvation, justification from this same God. Let your children think about it, ponder, and feel it.
Illustration: (Looking at the world & the earthly effects of sin)

·       Crimes & Jail: “People are punished for their crimes & sent to jail, disobedience to parents results in various kinds of punishment”

---Why is it right that guilty people be punished?---
·       Angry Child: “He/she kid throws rock & cuts your eye: Why would it be a good thing for him to be punished? What does punishment show?”

---Why we can’t save ourselves & why it is good & right for God to punish sinners---
·       Bake cookies- (Instead of baking cookies for 10 minutes bake them for a half of an hour. What you will come out with is a very burnt cookie.) “Is this the way cookies are supposed to be? No. Would it be right for me to now say ‘These cookies are good anyways’? No, because then I would be a liar. It would not be right for me to say ‘These cookies are okay. They are good. No problem lets serve them to company’ That wouldn’t be right.

Where do these cookies belong? What would be right for us to do with these cookies? Throw them away. Can those cookies unburn themselves? No. They can’t. That’s a little bit-just a tiny bit of what it’s like that God is right to punish sinners. When we disobey God, even one of his commands, it’s a little bit like baking cookies at the wrong temperature. Just as the cookies have become darkened and bad, our hearts have become darkened with sin. It wouldn’t be right for God to say ‘that’s okay, they’re good anyway’ Then God would be a liar. God will not say ‘I was just kidding when I said you have to obey me perfectly all the time & be righteous & Holy. I won’t really punish you with death & hell. It’s okay. You are okay just the way you are.’ Just as those cookies are helpless to unburn themselves, we are helpless to change our own hearts. And you know what, you might be sad that we threw away a whole batch of cookies, but there’s something a whole lot more sad. That is, that you and I deserve to be thrown into hell and be punished forever by God. That’s a lot sadder.

Implication: You deserve God’s punishment of death and hell and you are helpless to save yourself.

Heather’s thoughts: With that, I don’t have much else to say. I wrote an entire blog on my feelings about presenting the ENTIRE, COMPLETE, WHOLE gospel to children. (Click here to view it). Yes, that would include telling children there is a place called hell & we deserve it.  Jill gives us an excellent way to share it lovingly & truthfully.

Tomorrow will be Essential Gospel Truth #6 which is “God is Merciful. He is kind to undeserving sinners.”

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