Believing in Jesus and making a confession of faith is super easy! Truly, all we have to do is confess Christ with our lips and believe in our heart that Jesus is Lord. When I became a child of God sixteen years ago, I did exactly what Paul wrote in Romans 10:9. I got on my knees, repented of my sins, and began following Christ!
But salvation is also a ridiculously hard thing. To become a Christian requires us to die to self and to willing embrace the reproach of Christ. No one can do this apart from the work of God! When we present the gospel to our children, we need to present all of it including the hard truths.
Yes, believing in Jesus will give our kids unimaginable joy, hope, and peace. It will give them eternal life and the ability to do good things. But claiming Jesus will also cost our kids a lot. They have to stop cheating at school, stealing candy, and (yes, worst of all) they have to start loving their brother. They also have to start proclaiming Christ to a world that will degrade, attack, and hate them. In the United States (not to mention worldwide persecution), chaplains are being disciplined for speaking against premarital sex, television hosts are being fired for publicly endorsing the Bible, and college students are being denied the freedom to worship on college campuses. Faith, God, and Jesus are no longer popular terms in America. And we shouldn’t be too surprised. Jesus told this would happen, “because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19). We need to be honest with our kids. Faith is costly.
I love meeting with kids to talk about how God is working in their life. Such conversations are the highlight of my ministry. But as we talk about following Christ into the waters of baptism, I always want to make sure they know that the way to Christ is profoundly simple, and yet extremely costly.
Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple – Luke 14:33