What Is Salvation?

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What Does God Want Us to Do?

This story was written by, Larry and Elaine Clark. Elaine saw an article about a book I was fortunate to illustrate, "God Gave Us Colors, Colors for Africa" and tracked me down. We met at a Barns and Noble in Wichita and I was so impressed with her presentation of the Salvation message for children; I published it here on my site for children as a way of leading them into their personal relationship with Jesus.

What Is Salvation?

by Larry and Elaine Clark

©1994 All rights reserved Larry and Elaine Clark

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It was a chilly Sunday afternoon. Michael and Shane had ridden their bikes across town to visit Grandma, and they arrived cold and out of breath. Meeting them at the door, Grandma gave them each a big hug and said, "Come on out to the kitchen. I've made you some chocolate chip cookies and cocoa. How does that sound?"

"Wow, Grandma," said Shane, "How did you know we'd be cold and hungry when we got here?" Grandma laughed, "Hon, I haven't been a grandma all these years without knowing that boys like cookies and cocoa. Your dad liked chocolate chip cookies and cocoa when he was your age, so I've had lots of practice." They all sat down around the old, oak kitchen table, and Grandma gave them each a big, steaming cup of cocoa and set the plate of cookies in front of them. "Thanks, Grandma," they said, almost in unison. For a minute or two they sat quietly, enjoying the crunchy cookies as they waited for their cocoa to cool a bit. "Grandma," Michael suddenly asked, "At Church School this morning my teachers talked about a big word called salvation. I didn't understand everything they said about it. Will you explain it to me?"

"Of course," answered Grandma. "Salvation means you are saved and will spend eternity with God. Bring me the Children's Bible from the bookshelf and we'll look up some scriptures that help explain it." As Michael hurried off to get the Bible, Shane asked, "What's eternity, Grandma?" "Good question," Grandma replied. When Michael returned with the Bible, she asked, "Michael, can you explain eternity to Shane?" "Sure, that means forever!" he quickly responded. "Oh, that's not such a hard word, is it?" Shane added confidently. Then Grandma helped Michael find John 3:16 in the Bible and Michael read what it said about salvation and eternity. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. (International Children's Version)

"Grandma, do you mean God sent His Son so I won't ever get lost again, like I did last week in the mall?" asked Shane. "No, Shane, that's not the kind of lost Jesus is talking about," said Grandma. "When these verses tell us we're lost, it means we won't be able to spend forever with God after we die here on earth." Then Michael asked, "But, Grandma, what does it mean that God gave his only Son? Our Church School teachers said Jesus came to earth so we could have salvation." "That's right, Michael," said Grandma. "Look up John 14:6 and see what it says." Michael read the verse.

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Jesus answered, "I am the way. And I am the truth and the life. The only way to the Father is through me." (ICV)

Grandma added, "Isn't it wonderful that God provided a way for all of us to be saved, so that we can live forever with Him? Here's what it says in Acts 4:12." Jesus is the only One who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save people. And we must be saved through Jesus! (ICV) "That makes it pretty plain, doesn't it?" Grandma continued. "Some people try to tell us there are many different ways to God, but the Bible tells us there's only one way--and that is through our belief in Jesus." "There is one more scripture that is extremely important for our discussion," said Grandma. "Michael, turn to Romans10:8-10 and read it to us."

Michael earnestly read these verses. This is what the Scripture says: "God's teaching is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart." That teaching is the teaching of faith that we tell. If you use your mouth to say, "Jesus is Lord," and if you believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from death, then you will be saved. Yes, we believe with our hearts, and so we are made right with God. And we use our mouths to say that we believe, and so we are saved. (ICV)

Michael looked at Grandma and said, "That sounds simple, Grandma. I already believe in my heart that Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for my sins. And I know that on the third day God raised him from the dead."

do not copy or use on the net © 1998 Cherbear

"That was the first Easter, huh Grandma?" Shane interrupted. "Yes," said Grandma. "And now Michael has done the next important step. He has used his mouth to confess it out loud to me."'When Grandma saw the puzzled look on Michael's face, she explained, "You must be wondering why I used the word confess. The translation of the Bible that I usually read uses the word confess where your translation has tell, so confess is what I am used to saying.

Sometimes words have different meanings. "Let me give you an example. Think about the word light. We get light from the sun so we can see. And here is a box light enough for Shane to carry. When the Bible uses the word confess, it doesn't always mean the same as when you tell the truth and admit to your mother that you have done something naughty. In this scripture the definition still means to tell the truth, but you tell something you believe instead of something you did. God wants us to believe Him and tell other people about it."

Shane quickly exclaimed, "Grandma, I believe Jesus died on the cross, too. And I know He was raised from the dead and came back to life! My Church School teacher says Jesus is in heaven now, sitting at the right hand of God."

Grandma beamed. "That's wonderful, Shane. You just did the important step of telling someone else--Michael and me--what you believe.

"Now, I want Michael to look up one more verse in the Bible. Read what it says in Matthew10:32." Michael quietly read.

If a person stands before other people and says he believes in me, then I will say that he belongs to me. I will say this before my Father in heaven." (ICV)

"Wow," said Michael and Shane together. "That's awesome! We're saved, just like you and Grandpa."

The End

©1994 All rights reserved Larry and Elaine Clark

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