Every child born is on a road-trip to eternity, finding themselves in the same spiritual predicament as their parents were born into—separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world (Ephesians 2:12). So is it ever too soon to begin sharing the good news of the gospel with young children?
Jill Nelson, author and blog director for Children Desiring God, has written 25 short stories gleaned from the Bible and compiled them into a very helpful book. In God’s Gospel, following the pattern of creation, fall, redemption, Nelson carefully guides children through the narrative of the covenant of redemption, staying faithful to Scripture while at the same time explaining complex theological truths in ways that even a 5-year-old can understand. The book is 128 pages and published by P & R Publishing. God’s Gospel is also part of a series entitled “Making Him Known.”
Nelson shares her passion for leading children to Christ right out of the gate.
We have no greater responsibly and privilege than to pass the gospel on to our children. It is the only means of their salvation. If our children are to inherit the kingdom, they must embrace the gospel. Therefore, we must take the greatest care to present the true essence of the gospel, making sure that we include the bad news as well as the good news.
The book’s introduction provides a roadmap for its use. God’s Gospel is first and foremost a book for parents to use with their children. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not appropriate as well as beneficial for Sunday School teachers. The chapters are interactive, incorporating questions and Bible reading (ESV) that lead a child to think critically. They also facilitate interaction with your child’s mind and heart as you depend on the Holy Spirit’s convicting and illuminating power.
One of the additional blessings of slowly reading through the book with your child is the creation of theological categories in their understanding. So many people have a vague understanding God that is divorced from the Bible. This book lays out one truth-brick after another—God’s sovereignty, man’s sin, God’s promises, Christ’s substitutionary atonement— creating a strong foundation for all future Bible teaching in your home or classroom.
Accompanying the stories are beautiful illustrations by Fred Apps. Young children are about 75% visual learners, so the colorful pictures help to reinforce the truths being presented.
The book closes with an appendix entitled “Ten Essential Truths.” These ten truths include Scripture references and implications. This is a great addition to the book because it can serve as a convenient outline presentation of the gospel.
We highly recommend this book for parents and teachers. It would make a wonderful addition to your family worship time or homeschool Bible instruction. Sunday School teachers will also find much help here as they seek to keep their lessons gospel centered rather than morality based.
Read an interview with Jill Nelson, the author of God’s Gospel.
Purchase God’s Gospel