Apr 22, 2014

Should You Teach Kids About Hell?

I grew up in church hearing about hell.  As a child, I listened as preachers passionately described it's horrors and urged me to avoid going there.

I was even taken to see a movie called "The Burning Hell" that imprinted images of people burning in hell into my memory.  That was over 40 years ago.

Fast forward to today.  Do I still believe hell is a literal place?  Yes.  Do I teach kids about it?  Yes...but with a different approach.

Here's how I communicate it to kids in our new believer's class...
  • Romans 6:23 says the penalty for sin is death. 
  • Spiritual death means being separated from God.
  • Instead of a person living with God forever in heaven, they would be separated from God forever. 
And that's it.  I don't go into "weeping and wailing" or "gnashing of teeth" or "a fire that is never quenched."  At that stage in life, I don't think it's necessary.

How and when you communicate the truth is important.  I believe some truth in the Bible is better communicated at later stages in life.  The Beast of Revelation is in the Bible, but that's probably not the best subject for next week's preschool lesson.

What do you think?  Should we teach kids about hell?  How much detail should we go into?  What is your approach?

Share your thoughts with us below.