Why Ephesians 2:8-9 Is Crucial for the Next Generation

A recent survey by Cultural Research Center has revealed that a third of pastors believe you can earn your way to heaven by being a good person.

This viewpoint is in direct opposition to the teachings of Scripture.  

Ephesians 2:8-9 reveals to us how you receive eternal life. 

''For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.''

This is no small secondary issue. This is in direct opposition to the clear teachings of Scripture regarding salvation.  God's Word is very clear that eternal life is not based on what we have done, but rather on what Jesus did for us on the cross. 

It is crucial that we teach the next generation the truth about how you receive eternal life and what a growing relationship with Jesus means.

Eternal life is a free gift.  You can't earn it.  You can't be good enough to deserve it.  You can't work for it.  It is by grace through faith in the Gospel that we are saved.  Scripture is very clear on this.  

We must be diligent to teach kids the truth about eternal life.  We must be diligent to teach kids that it's not about what you know, but rather who (Jesus) you know that brings eternal life.  It is not by works that we are saved, but rather it is faith in the finished work of Jesus.

Are you sharing the Gospel with kids on a regular basis?  Are you teaching them that we are saved by trusting Jesus as our Leader, Forgiver and Friend?  

This is no secondary issue we are talking about.  What you believe about this determines if you have eternal life or not.  Salvation through faith in Christ is the most important teaching in Scripture.  Get this wrong and you will forfeit eternal life.

We must, must, must, must teach children doctrine. If they get the doctrine of salvation wrong, they have missed everything.   

Here are a some proven ways you can teach children about salvation.

A teaching series about salvation needs to be a high priority.  Check out the teaching series Road Trip. It clearly lays out the plan of salvation so kids understand what it means to know Jesus (can be used on Sunday morning or Wednesday night).

An apologetic series will help kids understand why Jesus is the only way to heaven. Mythbusting helps kids see why Jesus is the only way to heaven (can be used for Sunday morning or Wednesday night).

Starting Point is a class designed to help kids know what it means to accept Jesus and follow Him.  Hundreds of churches are using this class to reach kids and parents with the Gospel.  

I am reminded of these verses in Romans 10:9-13 today.

"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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, 'Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.'  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile - the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"

With more and more churches and ministries turning toward a works salvation, it is crucial that we teach kids God's plan of salvation as outlined in Scripture.