I hope you liked the story about Stanley the Snake in the Garden of Eden. Remember 2 weeks ago we talked about how Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden. They were so sad because it was a wonderful place. God would walk and talk with Adam and Eve. God was sad too. Because Adam and Eve sinned, we can't be with God either.
But God has a plan . He wants us all to join him in heaven! (2Pt3:9) Heaven is a perfect place. We can't go there because we are not perfect. Jesus is perfect. He was very happy in heaven. God asked Him to give up everything so that we could be allowed to go to heaven. Here is God's wonderful plan:
Jesus came to earth as a baby. That's when we celebrate Christmas. Jesus' birthday. He lived a perfect life.(Heb4:15) He never disobeyed his mom and dad, or never lied or stole. When he was 30 years old, Jesus started teaching people about God. He healed some people so that they would know God, but His main purpose was to be punished. Why do you think He came to earth to be punished? God is so good that he can't let anyone get away with sin. He has to punish someone. Jesus came to take our place. He was punished so that we don't have to be.
Have you ever been punished for disobeying? What if you lied, and your mom said to go to your room while the rest of the family went to a movie and out for ice cream. As you were walking upstairs to your room, your dad says "Wait, I'll go sit in your room. You go to the movie and out for ice cream." God loves us so much that He sent His son Jesus to take our place so that we could spend forever in heaven! (Jn3:16)
So why doesn't everyone get to go to heaven? Because God gave us a choice. He created Adam and Eve with the ability to choose, and they made a bad choice. (Next week we will talk about why we can choose right or wrong and why God made us like that) We can choose the gift of heaven that God is offering us, by believing that Jesus took our punishment. We know that we deserve to be punished.(Rm3:10) We understand that Jesus took our punishment. We are so grateful to Jesus that we want to obey Him from now on.
Here is a fun way to remember. A B C !
(A)dmit that you have sinned.
(B)elieve that Jesus is God's son and that he died for you.
(C)onfess that you will follow and obey Jesus. (Rm10:9)
When we do this from our hearts and really mean it, God says that you are guaranteed a place in heaven when you die. The Bible also says that every time someone is saved (ABC), the angels throw a big party in heaven. (Lk10:15)