The Most Misunderstood Concept about God


I often ask groups of children when I teach them, “Will you go to heaven if you’re a good kid?”  And I usually get the same resounding “yes!” from the crowd.

Many adults in the Church would answer the same way.

This is a big problem in the Church today, and it starts in Children’s Church.  We are inadvertently (or sometimes directly) teaching kids and adults that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell.

That’s the prevailing view around the world among both religious and non-religious people – that religious people think they’re saved by living a good life.

That’s a Santa Claus theology.  That’s legalism.  That’s religiosity.  And that’s heresy.

God is not Santa Claus.  He is God.  And He saves people by His grace alone (an undeserved gift).  If we could save ourselves by being good, then why did Jesus die on the cross?  If we could save ourselves by being good, then we would boast about it, returning again to being bad (Ephesians 2:8).

Grace comes to us through faith on our part.  Sound too easy?  It’s not.  It costs a ton – the suffering and death of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, to be precise.  So there’s nothing easy about it, especially because Jesus requires His followers to come and die with Him.

But we don’t suffer in order to be saved.  We die to ourselves because we are saved.  That’s a BIG difference.  Even the good deeds we perform are not of us, but rather Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).

Grace really is amazing.


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Dr. Jesse Joyner travels nationwide as a speaker and entertainer. His primary role is that of a performing juggler spreading joy and the love of learning to family and kids events. H earned his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their three kids - the perfect number for juggling children.

4 thoughts on “The Most Misunderstood Concept about God”

  1. I agree…I think that our puny efforts to add anything to what Jesus finished on the cross is an offense to the price he paid and arrogance on our part…our righteousness is as filthy rags.

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