Salvation is a Free Gift that will Cost You Everything

Today I am reposting a blog post from a fiend of mine, with his permission, because children’s evangelist Jerry Moyer nailed this.

Salvation is a Free Gift that will Cost You Everything

by Jerry Moyer

Opening the magic chestI have noticed that when Christians describe their relationship with Jesus, they usually say “Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” Many times, it’s said so fast that it’s all slurred together like “Lordandsavior.” Like it’s all one word. Over the last several decades the church has focused a lot on the savior part and with much teaching on grace as of late most people understand that salvation is a free gift that is paid for with the blood of Jesus that washes away our sin, so we can be born again.

What I have not heard a lot about is that even though Salvation is a free gift it will cost you everything.

I can hear people saying now. “Well how’s that? If it’s free how does it cost anything?”

Well, it cost God his only son.

It cost Jesus his Life.

It will cost us our life.

Crossing the Jesus bridgeSalvation is FREE! There is nothing we can do to deserve it. It was paid for with the blood of Jesus. That’s why it’s called grace. We cannot earn it. Grace is an unearned favor. If you ask someone for a $5 favor you’re are asking them for $5 that you did not earn. It is not owed to you. We needed a huge favor from God and there is no way we could possibly earn it, pay for it, or be good enough to deserve it. Ephesians 2:8 says that “we are saved by grace through faith not of ourselves. It is the gift of God not by works.” Salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned by good works. Most people have a pretty good grip on this part of the gospel.

What I feel we don’t have a good grip on is the Lord part. Romans 10:9 says “If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.

Sure, Jesus wants to be our savior or he would not have died on the cross, so we can be born again. But he also wants to be our Lord. The following Scriptures are things that Jesus said that we have not heard a lot about over the last several decades.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

christian-funky-retro-easter004Deny yourself means that we quit doing things our way and start doing things God’s way. When people in the bible times took up a cross only one thing happened. They died. We must die to ourselves and live unto God. Many times, dying hurts! When we die to our plans and take up God’s plans many times it will hurt. It will hurt because we really wanted to do certain things and now God might want us to do something different.

Jesus wants to be our Lord. Here in America we really don’t understand what Lord means like people in some other countries do. Lord means boss, master, we love what he loves and hate what he hates. When Jesus is our lord that means, we have turned our back on our way of doing things and we only do things His way. It will cost you everything to make Jesus your Lord. It will cost you your life. It will cost you your dreams and ambitions for your life for his dreams and ambitions for your life. Your plans and purposes for your life for his plans and purposes for your life. It’s not just saying “Jesus is my “Lordandsavior.” It actually means doing something. Doing his will for our life no matter what it cost us. Giving up our will for his will.

Jesus said in Luke 6:46 Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say”?

He said in Matthew 7:21Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

I believe that too many times we have presented the gospel to people emphasizing the Free gift of salvation and say to people “come say this simple prayer and you will be saved” and have not told them that Jesus wants to be their Lord. When we have said make him your Lord and savior we have not explained what Lord means.

Salvation is a free Gift! But following Jesus will cost you everything!

I think we have done people a big disservice by presenting a one-sided message. Everyone wants a “FREE GIFT” especially one that will get you out of hell and into heaven. People have not really understood what they were getting into. Then after they find out that Jesus wants their whole life, their will, their everything they say to themselves “I did not sign up for all this” and many times fall away.

I have often wondered why so many Christians ride the fence with one foot in the church and one foot in the world. They want just enough of God to escape their problem, but not enough of God to fulfill His purpose. When evaluating how we have presented the message of salvation it’s no wonder we have so many halfhearted Christians that have said a prayer and might be born again but are not living for God. There is no difference in them and the world. They never really understood that this “FREE GIFT” was going to cost them anything. So, we have our American version of Christianity where we love our American lifestyle and culture so much, that we are not willing to conform it to God’s will for our life. We are not willing to give up anything to follow Jesus; and Jesus wants it all.

I realize that some may say aren’t you preaching a works salvation by talking like this?

To that I would say NO!

We are not saved by our good works. We are saved unto good works. Paul said in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. The change in our heart when we are born again will produce the good works. Sure, we have a will we can choose not to listen to our heart and not do the will of our father, but if Jesus is really Lord of your life then you will want to do the will of your heavenly father.

When we are born again there is a change in our spirit man. According to Romans 5:5 God puts his love in our heart. That love will cause us to want to do good. As we listen to that love in our heart and obey it, we will follow God’s plan for our life.

Jerry Moyer
Jubilee Gang Ministries

5 Ways to Lead Children into a Heart Knowledge of God

Teaching the Bible systematically to children is important. I go so far to say it’s essential to have children grow up knowing the Word of God, but it’s not enough. Children need to have a heart knowledge of God even more than they need head knowledge. Children need to internalize the truths they learn and make them they’re own. To do this, they need to have their own relationship with God. Here’s some things to consider to determine if the children in your ministry have a heart knowledge.

WishingSalvation: Too many ministries focus on helping children know how to be good according to the Bible. It’s important for children to know what God expects from them, but they can never be good enough to please God. Children need to know that they are sinners and that Christ died for them so they could be set free from the curse of sin. He took their punishment. Until they give their sin to Him, they will never be saved no matter how good they are or how often they attend church.

Depositphotos_69423471_originalChanged Lives: Children need to know that when they are saved, their lives will change. They will want to please God and stay away from sin, and when they do sin, they can go to God to make it right. All morality and good works should stem from their relationship with God, not from trying to do good works or check the boxes to be a “good” Christian.

Cute african girlA Living Sacrifice: We need to teach children to understand that when they are saved, they’re giving their lives to God. God now has control and has a direction for their lives they need to follow. The more children yield to the direction of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the stronger they will grow spiritually.

Revival Celebration 1.2bHoly Spirit: Children don’t have a junior Holy Spirit. God has provided the fullness of the Holy Spirit in every Christian’s life regardless of age. We need to teach our children to seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit and to yield to His direction in their lives. As they are continually being filled with the Holy Spirit, they can expect to be filled with love, grace, joy, peace, and power in their lives. The more they yield, the more they’ll be filled.

Revival Celebration 2.6Relationship: We need to teach children that once they are saved, they have a right relationship with the God who created the universe. They can talk to Him through prayer. They can get guidance from Him through the Bible. They can ask Him anything, and He will answer. They can fellowship with Him and come into His presence through praise and worship. When children have a relationship like this with God, they won’t fall away as teenagers or adults. They will stand firm through all the trials of life.

Resolutions for Children’s Pastors – #3 Have More Children Saved

Little boy praying with the Bible in hand

The Holy Spirit is the only one who can convict and convince somebody of any age to be saved. But there are things you can do to create an atmosphere to allow God to move on the hearts of your students. Here are a few.

Teach about salvation. Children need a Biblical Foundation about the importance of salvation in their lives. There are many children’s pastor who teach children the practical points of the Bible. They believe if they teach children how to be good, they’re teaching them how to be godly. But that’s not what the Bible says. None of us are good in ourselves. We can’t live out the practical aspects of the Bible unless we are transformed by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. That goes for children as well as adults. Here’s a post  about why it’s important to have heart knowledge about salvation.

Teach children that we are all sinners. In this day of self-esteem and tolerance, the message that we are all sinners and that we all need to be saved is sometimes lost. It isn’t wrong to teach children that they have a sin problem that needs to be addressed. All children know they do wrong things sometimes no matter how hard they try to be good. They aren’t good children who just get saved because it’s a good thing to do. They are sinners who need to be saved from their sins.

Give children opportunities often to be saved. It doesn’t matter how you do it, whether an altar call, a prayer at the end of children’s church, or individual one-on-one discussion, you will find that children will respond to the Gospel more readily if you give them an opportunity to make a decision for Christ.

Have special salvation services. You could have a fun Sunday or friend Sunday once a month where children invite their unsaved friends. Have games or contests about who can bring the most friends. Do something special or different that day. This is a good opportunity to give a salvation message.

Do follow-up. When a child is saved, make sure he or she understands the commitment they’ve made. Give them materials to help them on their walk with God, and talk to their parents about it. Call them during the week to ask how their doing and if they notice any differences since they decided to be saved. You might even have a class for new converts.

Bible Verses about Children Part 3 – Salvation

Child PrayingHere are some Bible verses that show that salvation is for children as well as adults. I’ve included my comments with some of them.

Matthew 19:14  But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

In other words, don’t stop children from getting saved.

Acts 2:39  For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Notice the verse doesn’t say that when the child is old, he will come to God, but that he won’t depart from God.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Children don’t have to be taught to lie or be disobedient, and at a very young age, they know these things are wrong.

1 John 2:1  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

There are some who believe the word children here means adults who are younger than the writer. It does, but it also means children.

Romans 10:9  Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

I don’t see an age limit here or even the word, adult.

1 John 5:1-21  Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Psalm 51:5  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.

There is no such thing as an innocent child. We are all born into sin.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Again I don’t see an age listed here. 

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

2 Timothy 3:14-15   But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Still not convinced? David Egner shared a warning we should all heed:

The  Lord Jesus became angry on only four occasions in the New Testament.  Significantly, one of those times had to do with children.  You remember the story.  Some children wanted to come to Jesus, but the disciples refused to let them.  We can probably understand why.  The disciples were busy learning all Christ wanted them to know in their ministry as His followers.  Besides, they also knew His time was very important, so they didn’t want to bother Him with interruptions by something as trivial as a group of children.


But Christ did not see it that way!  Mark tells us that when Jesus saw it, “He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God’ ” (Mark 10:14). The words rendered “greatly displeased” literally mean “became angry.”  [David C. Egner, writing in the forward of the booklet Don’t Forget the Children by Alan D. George (Radio Bible Class publication).]

Adults are the ones who make salvation complicated. Children easily understand and accept salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to forgive them of the things they’ve done wrong. That doesn’t mean there isn’t an age of accountability. I believe there is. But we don’t really know what that age is. Also if we wait for the age of accountability, we risk a child’s heart becoming hardened to the Gospel.

Consider this. 80% to 85% of all Christians were saved between the ages of 4 and 14. So the question isn’t can children be saved. The question really is why aren’t we focusing on evangelizing children.

Evangelistic Fun Sunday for Children’s Ministry

Fun Sunday are themed events to get children to invite their friends to church. Lots of children’s ministries do a variation of Fun Sunday, but this is the way I did it.

Theme: Every Fun Sunday has a theme from the moment children’s church starts until the event ends.

Children’s Church: Children’s Church has an evangelistic message that goes with the Fun Sunday theme.

Prizes: Have prizes for visitors and for children who bring visitors. You could have a drawing that visitors have to sign up for. When they sign up, you have a record of their information to invite them to the next event. If your church doesn’t have a lot of money to spend, try going to pizza places, ice cream parlors, bowling alleys, and roller skating rinks. Most of them will donate free coupons.

After Church Event: Fun Sunday works best if you continue it after children’s church is over. Tell the parents to pick their children up in two hours. Tell them that this gives them a chance to have a peaceful time at a restaurant. Plan activities that go with the theme, and serve an inexpensive lunch to the children. If you have more than ten children to a group, have a rotation between the activities.

Workers: It’s easier to get workers if they know they’re only doing one activity in their area of interest. They might want to do games, crafts, lunch, skits, balloon animals or a variety of other activities.

Follow Up: Make sure to follow up on the visitors who don’t attend regularly and the children who got saved.

The next post will give suggestions on themes for Fun Sunday.