Yesterday morning in Sunday School we had a very intense discussion on who would and would not be spending an eternity with Jesus in heaven. We talked mainly about what happens to those individuals who had not heard and may never hear the good news of the gospel, and what the age of accountability might be in children who have been taught about Jesus' sacrifice. As you can imagine, raw emotions surfaced and ran wild!
If there was ever a Mommy Moment which elicited strong emotions about being a mother, this was it. A fellow mommy in my class was in tears by the end of class, and my eyes burned as I fought back tears a few times too. Let me tell you how it started.
We recently began a Bible study called The Gospel Project. The first part of the curriculum is about the ways in which God communicates. Last week we talked about how God audibly spoke to some in the Old Testament (can you imagine God audibly speaking to you?!), and how he speaks more subtly through answered prayers, his Word - the Bible, strangers, friends and family, and even something like the radio. Our God is a speaking God. Isn't that wonderful?!
This Sunday we discussed how God speaks through creation. There were so many neat things the study guide and our Sunday School leader had to say, but what made the subject so intense was one verse in Romans: "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (vs. 20)." Let's break it down.
God's invisible qualities have been revealed and seen from the beginning. And the Bible says they have been "understood," which means (as defined on Dictionary.com) people have regarded it as fully communicated, have clearly apprehended the character, nature, and subtleties of God, and have grasped the significance, implications, and importance of God. "From what has been made" means what God has made, which is everything, as described in Genesis 1 & 2. Therefore, "people are without excuse". Wow. That's where it gets tough.
Our leader, simply reading from the Bible, had every question and raw emotion in that room thrown at him. I have never heard so much discussion in class! People were on the defense! A lot of the class felt it was unfair for those people who have never heard about Jesus to automatically go to Hell. A lot of the class was concerned about those people who might not have the mental capacity to understand the gosel. And many of us wanted to know what that meant for children, infants, and unborn babies.
But I think many of them missed a vital point. As I sat in class listening to the questions and defenses from others, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmingly convicted. My heart was unbelievably heavy. We believers from the beginning of time to now, have dropped the ball. We have not spread God's Word like we are supposed to. It is a sad fact that some people may not be saved because we didn't spread the gospel. Romans 1:18 tells us that men "suppress the truth" because of their sins. My heart hurts for the people who have not known and will not know Jesus on this earth. I pray Jesus will reveal himself to them when they die and that they will get the chance to choose Him.
Even more than the conviction I felt about spreading the gospel to others, I knew that I was not doing good enough in my own home. My children are young, buy they understand so much more than I give them credit. I love my babies so much and I can't imagine the possibility of them spending an eternity away from Jesus. It is my honor and responsibility to teach them about Jesus and His sacrifice for us. I don't know when they will fully understand the ramifications of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins or when they'll be able to truly accept Him as their Savior, but I do know I want to do everything in my power to help them get there.
That responsibility weighs heavily on me and I definitely have a fear of failure. As moms, we sometimes experience "mommy guilt" and worry about messing up our kids. But failing in this way means eternal death for our children. It makes me physically sick to think about that. I pray I can be an example of Christ's love. I pray I can be an example of strong faith and a heart on fire for God. I pray I can teach them about Jesus in a way that they will understand that they are sinners, Jesus died for their sins, and they must accept Him as their Savior to have eternal life with Him in heaven. I pray that they never reject Jesus. I pray for God's guidance. And I thank Him for His amazing grace!