At what age?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Tom Bryant, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    At what age do you start teaching Sunday School children about the reality of hell?

    This came up in a children's ministry meeting with our workers.
     
  2. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Well, I'm not a Pastor, but I am a Sunday School Superintendent and have been teaching children for 40 years. I myself was saved at age seven, and I vividly remember fully understanding what Jesus saved me from and what he had to do to do it. So I must have been taught.

    Personnally, I do not hesitate to tell the truth to a child of any age when asked, and do give them the opportunity to accept Jesus when it fits the lesson. However, while I teach about hell, I would admit my emphasis is more on heaven than hell. I explain how sin seperates us from God, and by asking Jesus to forgive us and to let His punishment count for us, we may have Him here and now to help us live for him, and may look forward to being with Him in heaven some day.
     
  3. tinytim

    tinytim
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    I learned it at around age 5.
     
  4. palagislandgirl

    palagislandgirl
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    At what age?

    I don't recall when I first heard it Sunday School but I can remember being very young around 3 and hearing the preacher preach about hell from the pulpit. I would think that to teach about it in Sunday School would depend on the group of kids that you had.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    I've been pondering over this question this morning, and I have come to the conclusion that you can't teach a child about heaven without teaching them about hell for fear of making salvation universal - and it isn't. And for fear of making heaven trivial with fluffy clouds and harps and angels flying around. :rolleyes:

    Granted, you don't have to teach the really young children about fire and brimstone and worms and eternal suffering and eternal damnation, but you should emphasize with them the idea of being separated from God forever and about it being a very bad place for people who don't love God.

    But never tell them that hell is a place for bad people! Little children are bad sometimes and I believe that's where many guilt complexes that adult christians have come from. They are taught as children that hell is for bad people and heaven is for good people and that's just not true.

    I also don't think it's good to teach on hell only for fear of scaring someone into joining the church without them really being saved - spiritual fire insurance is what some people call it.
     
  6. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    Thanks for the great answers everyone.

    Scarlett, I think you put down in words an answer to our children's workers. I will pass that on to them. I will even give you credit. :laugh:
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    When children asked me about heaven or hell, I asked them to hold their hand out and extend their fingers....Heaven and Hell are just beyond those finger tips, and they either include the fellowship with God or exclude His presence.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. AAA

    AAA
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    a.s.a.p.

    In the old days they did not have nurserys, so the children heard about it even before they could remember. But that message should be balanced-out or taught along with the message of GOD'S GRACE, LOVE and MERCY.

    :godisgood:
     
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Children can handle more than what we give them credit for.
     
  10. Prodigal Daughter

    Prodigal Daughter
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    When I was growing up, I had always heard of Hell. It wasn't until I was older, around 12 or 13, that it really sank in how serious this was. Let the children know of Hell, and let them know of sin, but really relay to the youth group. Let them know of everything there is to know.

    My thoughts.
     
  11. trainbrainmommy

    trainbrainmommy
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    I think one has to be careful not to address this topic in great detail with very small children. My 3 year old DS has a VERY vivid imagination. He is also very sensitive to "scary" things. He has told us to change the channel if something frightens him - like a cartoon character being chased by a vaccuum cleaner. He is very impressionable and retains things easily. He tells us over and over a Bible lesson he was taught in which a girl was killed. He doesn't always get all the details correct, though, and needs reassurance that someone isn't going to kill him. I want him to know about salvation as a result of knowing of God's love. I think he would be traumatized if someone told him about hell and all that entails.
     

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