Christopher and I had another interesting conversation before bedtime tonight. Here is how it went...
Christopher: "Dad, why would someone go to hell?"
Me: "Well, people go to hell for ignoring God and doing things their own way without considering what God wants."
Christopher: "Like killing someone?"
Me: "Yes, that would be one reason for going to hell. But even if you have ignored God and done things your own way, you can be forgiven. You don't need to go to hell because of what Jesus has done to forgive you."
Christopher: "How can you be forgiven?"
Me: "God wants you to trust him and to turn to him. He wants us to stop ignoring him and living our own way without considering his way of living. He wants us to follow Jesus. The first thing we do when we start to follow Jesus is to be baptized."
Christopher: "I don't want to be baptized."
Me: "Well, maybe someday you will...when you want to follow Jesus. Do you know what baptism means?"
Christopher: "Going into the water."
Me: "Yes, but it is more than just going under the water. When you are baptized, you are burying your old life of ignoring God and doing things your own way. You come up out of the water ready to start a new life of following Christ."
Christopher: "Is that better?"
Me: "Well, it feels good to be forgiven. And you look forward to when Jesus comes back because you will be able to enjoy being with God forever. None of the bad things in this life will be a problem anymore when that happens. You will have only the good things in life left to enjoy."
Christopher: "You won't have to see anyone die anymore? Mommy won't have to cry?"
Me: "That's right. Only good things will happen for Jesus' followers when he comes back. Nothing bad will ever happen again."
Sometimes my son amazes me. I never considered that a 6-year old boy would ask such deep questions. I hope that I answered them in a way that he understood.