Christ Alive and Well in New Zealand
Jesus was twelve years old, the family went up to the Feast
of the Passover. After the Feast his parents returned home
unaware that Jesus had stayed behind in Jerusalem. They
went back to to look for him and found him in the temple,
sitting among the teachers. When his parents saw him, they
were astonished. Why were you searching for me?" he
asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's
returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.
But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with
God and men.
CHILDREN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT GOD
do you know about God?
Some people think of God as an old man who
lives far, far away. Too far away for us to get close to Him.
Some people think there are many gods, like Neptune, who is
supposed to be the Roman god of the sea, Thor, who is supposed
to be the Scandinavian god of thunder, Eros, the Greek god
of love and Ra, whom Egyptians long ago thought was the god
of the sun. In some countries, like India, there are people
who believe there are hundreds and hundreds of gods for all
kinds of things. Many people believe that there are no gods
at all. Some people would like to think there is no god, but
they can’t help noticing that there is some power greater
than human beings that controls all the things we see in the
world, like the rising and setting of the sun, the weather,
the seasons and the things that grow in the garden. Have you
ever noticed that something controls ocean waves so that they
can only travel a limited distance in shore?
In the world there are hundreds of thousands of different
kinds of plants of all types of sizes, shapes and colours
growing out of the earth. Millions of different sorts of creatures
live on the land, swim in the sea or fly in the air. So it
is only natural to ask, “Where did they come from?”
They couldn’t have created themselves, could they? So
how did they get here? All of these creatures not only exist,
but they are provided with all the things they need to have
to keep them alive, like food, water and the invisible air
we breathe. Do you think that these things came from nowhere?
All living creatures are covered with something to protect
their bodies, like fur, feathers, leather or scales. Do you
think this happened by accident? Have you ever wondered why
no cows are covered in feathers, no birds have scales and
no fish grow wool on their bodies? Isn’t it because
there is some being greater than us who created these creatures
and decides what they will be covered in? More amazingly,
you will have noticed that all these animals, birds and fish
have babies that grow up and bring more of their kind into
the world, just as all the plants produce seeds that grow
into new plants. And here is another interesting thing; all
these things I mentioned keep growing. Have you ever wondered
what makes them grow up, get old and in the end, die? Have
you wondered what keeps us alive? It is not only our bodies
that grow, but even when we have stopped growing taller, the
hairs on our bodies and our fingernails and toenails keep
Must Be Something Greater Than Us.
is because of all these amazing things that we don’t
understand that are all around us everywhere in the world,
that people know that there is someone or something greater
than us that keeps it all going. We know that you couldn’t
have things that are not alive, like books and toys, if somebody
didn’t design these things. So we have to understand
that there wouldn’t be any animals, birds or fish, which
are living creatures, if someone greater than them didn’t
design them and keep them alive. It is because of this that
no matter where you go in the world, even where people are
separated from the rest of the people in the world and live
in the middle of jungles, you will find that people believe
in some kind of god. Most of these people can’t understand
it, but they know that there is something greater than them
that they don’t have any control over. This is why many
of them make statues and carvings to remind them of these
gods they don’t understand.
If you believe in some kind of god or many gods who are greater
than you are, you are said to be religious. Some religious
people believe that they have to do things like lighting fires,
bowing down and dancing in front of statues or carved poles
to please their gods, as if these things were greater than
Most people who belong to religions believe that the things
they have been taught about the gods they believe in are true.
However, since all religions disagree with each other, only
one at the most can be right. Don’t you agree? Just
as when we do sums, there can only be one right answer. All
other answers that are different to the right answer must
The Right Answer.
If we want to know the answer to the question,
“Which group of people is right in what they believe”,
we ought to do what Jesus Christ said we should do. Jesus
said if we sincerely try with all our heart to find out the
truth about God, we would find it. He said that we should
ask God for the things we need and He will give them to us.
He also said that if we want to know God better, He would
always make us welcome, just as when we knock on the door
of a good friend, the friend will open the door and ask you
to come inside.
Jesus Christ is a person whom many people believe is the Son
of God. The people who believe this say there is only one
God and Jesus is His Son. Jesus is the one who started the
Christian faith. Christians don’t like to call themselves
members of a religion, because religious people believe they
have to do certain things to please their gods. Whereas, while
Christians believe that they should do good things for other
people to please their God, the most important thing is to
believe that Jesus is the Son of God and to believe all the
things He said. So what is more important to Christians is
not what they do, but what they believe in.
Great Thing About The Christian Faith.
The great thing about the Christian faith is
that it not only helps us enjoy this life we are living, but
Jesus taught us that if we believe that he is the Son of God,
apologise to God, His Father, for all the wrong things we
have done in the past and try not to do them again; after
we die, we will come back to life again and live with Jesus
forever and ever.
Jesus proved that people could come back to life after they
died because it happened to Him. Some people who hated Him
arranged to have Him killed. But three days later, after He
was buried, His Father, God, brought him back to life again.
After He came back to life, Jesus spent some time with hundreds
of people and told them to go and tell everyone about himself.
He wanted everyone to know all the good things He taught about
and how He suffered so that we could be forgiven for the wrong
things we have done. But most of all, He told the people to
let everyone know that if they were sorry for the wrong things
they had done and believed that He was the Son of God, one
day they would come alive after dying and live with Him forever
and ever. Jesus said that the only way we can come back to
life is by putting our faith and trust in Him.
Is Coming Again.
A few weeks after Jesus came back to life again and spoke
to those hundreds of people, He left the earth and went to
be with His father who is in a place called Heaven. However,
He promised that one day He would come back to earth and everything
on earth will be changed as quickly as the wink of the eye.
This time He will never leave us. He will be the King of the
whole world and He will be such a great and kind leader that
everyone will be excited just to know that He lives with us.
Is Jesus Buried?
A lot of people who don’t believe in
Jesus have said that it is not true that He came alive again.
But it must be true because although people looked everywhere
for his dead body, no one ever found it. When somebody dies,
people nearly always put a sign on the place where the dead
person is buried so that people will be able to know who was
buried there. But there is no such burial place with Jesus’
name on it because He is not buried anywhere.
Happiness When Jesus Comes Again.
Jesus promised that in the next life everyone
would be perfectly happy. There will be no more pain or sickness,
no sorrow, no problems and no worries. We will never die or
lose any friends or relatives because of death. It will be
a place where there will be perfect peace because everyone
will love everyone. There will be beautiful gardens everywhere
with no weeds in them. Nothing at all will grow old. The weather
will always be warm and sunny with no wind or rain. There
will be absolutely nothing at all to be afraid of. We really
wouldn’t be able to imagine anything that could make
us happier than this future life that Jesus has promised us.
The question is, “Can we believe Jesus?” It all
depends whether or not Jesus was telling the truth when He
made the promises. If He wasn’t telling the truth, then
He would have been telling lies, and that would mean that
He was not a good man. But Jesus proved that He was a good
man and not a liar because He always did good things and told
everyone to always do good things for other people. He spent
his whole life doing good deeds. He was the most honest, loving,
unselfish, and kindest man who ever lived.
Some people wondered if Jesus was crazy because
He believed He was God’s Son. But you can tell if someone
is crazy because crazy people do strange things and other
people keep away from them. But not only did Jesus never do
anything silly, but everywhere He went, crowds followed Him
because they wanted to listen to Him because He was so interesting.
If anyone ever tried to trick Him by asking difficult questions,
Jesus always had clever answers.
Another reason why hundreds and hundreds of people followed
Him round was because he did a lot of amazing things that
we call ‘miracles’. He once fed a huge crowd of
people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. And after
everyone was full, there was still a lot of food left over.
Another time at a wedding, He turned the water in a lot of
very large jars into wine. He was able to walk on water, and
even stop a storm by just putting His hand out and telling
the storm to calm down. On top of that, He could cure sick
people. He was able to make blind people see, deaf people
hear, and crippled people walk. He could even bring dead people
back to life. No crazy person could do those things.
Tells Us How To Behave.
Jesus said that you should always treat other
people the way you would like to be treated. He even said
that we should be kind to people who hate us and want to harm
us. He said that we should forgive anyone who hurts us or
says bad things against us. He said we should share all our
things with others and never be selfish or greedy. He said
if someone needs your help to do anything, you should do twice
as much as they ask you to do and not ask for anything in
return. He said that before we say that there is something
wrong with another person, we should first look at ourselves
and try to correct what is wrong with us.
He said that we should never steal anything or desire to have
something that we are not supposed to have. He taught that
we should love and obey our parents and respect people who
are older than us. He said that we should be polite to everyone,
especially the people that we don’t want to be nice
to. In fact nobody ever taught people how to be honest and
kind to others more than Jesus did. But he didn’t just
tell people how to behave; he showed them how to behave by
doing all those things himself. So you can see why so many
people now believe that he was telling the truth when He said
he was the Son of God. It was because He was so honest and
Remember that He said that no one would be
able to come back to life and live happily with Him forever
unless they believed in Him and trusted in Him. Well, what
is more, when we believe and trust in Jesus, God sends His
Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. This changes us so that
we become like a new person. We begin to think differently
so that we will always want to do what pleases God.
Date and Jesus.
By the way, did you know that the date is always
so many days, months and years after the year that Jesus was
born? The year I wrote this book is 2011. That means it was
written 2011 years after Jesus Christ was born. I was born
in the year 1936. That is one thousand, nine hundred and thirty-six
years after the birth of Jesus. More books have been written
about Jesus than any other person who ever lived. Most of
them tell us about how good and wonderful Jesus is. I say
‘is’ and not ‘was’ because remember
that although it is nearly 2,000 years ago that Jesus went
back to heaven, He is, and always will be alive.
Unfortunately, since nobody is perfect, we
cannot be certain that everything that has been written by
men and women about Jesus is totally true, even if most of
it is. However, there is a set of books called the Bible which
we can certainly believe is true. There are 66 books in the
Bible, which were written by 40 different writers. Each one
of these writers said that they only wrote what Jesus’
father, God, told them to write. Since God is perfect and
cannot tell lies, then what God told these men to write must
also be perfectly right. It is from these books in the Bible
that we learn all about Jesus and all the other things that
are important to know. Things like, how God made the world,
how He created us, why He made us, what happens to us after
we die, and even more importantly, it tells us all about God
the Father, himself.
More copies of the Bible have been printed and sold every
year than any other books ever written. This is because more
and more people want to know about God and understand him
better. Most of what is written in the Bible is not easy for
young people to understand, but a lot of the stories in it
have been re-written in books especially for young people
so that they can be more easily understood. There are even
some comic books with lots of great stories from the Bible.
You should ask your parents to buy you some of these books
so that you can read them for yourself.
Perhaps the reason the Bible is so popular is because it not
only tells us about who God is and how He created us, but
it tells us how much God loves every one of us. And because
He loves us and because nothing is impossible for God to do,
we can be sure that His love is not just a feeling, but that
he will do everything in His power to look after us and provide
all our needs. This does not mean that He will give us everything
we want. All too often we want to have things that God knows
are not good for us to have, even if they seem to us to be
okay. Jesus said that we should notice that birds never plant
any seeds and yet God always provides food for them. He then
said that we are more important than birds. So if His father,
God, looks after the birds, He will look after us also.
Love Makes Us Happy.
It is this knowledge that God loves us that
makes us feel good, because we all have the need to be loved.
When God made us, He made us with the natural desire to both
love and be loved. Too many people in the world are unhappy
because they don’t realise that there is a real God,
and that this real God loves them and wants them to love Him.
When people don’t feel loved, they feel unwanted.
Unfortunately, when people feel unloved and unwanted, they
find it hard to make friends. Often they treat other people
like the way they feel treated, so they don’t love others.
If they knew that God exists and that He loves even those
people who don’t know him, these people would probably
be nice to other people; even the people who don’t like
them, because this is what God wants us to do.
God Made Us.
At the very beginning of the Bible, it tells
us that God made the first man out of the dust of the ground
and breathed life into him and he became a living person.
God called this first man ‘Adam’. After that,
God made a wife for Adam so that he would not be lonely and
so that they could have lots of children. God called this
first woman ‘Eve’. God created them both as grown-ups.
If he created them as babies, they would have had no one to
look after them. So Adam and Eve had children, and their children
had children, then their children had children, then those
children’s children had their own children, and this
continued for right up until today. Now the world is full
of people. Every type of person in the world with every different
colour skin and from every country came from Adam and Eve.
So we can say that everybody in the world belongs to the same
God made all the first animals, birds and fish, together with
all the plants on the same day. He just said, “Let there
be animals, birds, fish, plants and trees” and they
suddenly appeared. Nobody can understand how He did this,
but He did. There is no other way of explaining how God made
us and the other creatures that makes sense.
Always Was And Always Will Be.
Although we can’t understand it, the
Bible tells us that God did not have a beginning like everything
else. He always was and always will be. To try to understand
this, let me ask you a question? If you made a cake, do you
think that the cake would understand you? Of course it wouldn’t.
So in the same way, we are not able to understand God who
made us. But unlike the cake you made that doesn’t even
know you, we know that God exists because He gave us the ability
to recognise all the wonderful things in the world that He
made. He also made us like himself in many ways. For instance,
just as God created the oceans and the mountains and everything
in the sky, He gave people the ability to create things. That
is why people can build houses; make clothes and so many other
things like cars, aeroplanes, clocks and other things we use.
However, the very big difference between God and us is that
God can make things out of nothing. People can’t. We
have to have stuff that God made, like iron, wood and concrete
to make things out of. This stuff is called ‘raw materials’.
Only God can make raw materials.
Human Beings Have Imagination.
Apart from human beings, no other creatures
that God made can invent things. Sure, birds can build nests,
and spiders can make spider webs, but that is only because
God gave these creatures the ability to make these things.
No bird has been able to improve on the nest God showed it
how to make, and no spider has ever invented a better spider
web. If God didn’t make people a bit like himself so
that they could imagine how to make things, the whole world
would be in a mess. Not only would there be no such things
as houses, cars, roads, books, machines and tools to make
them with, but nobody would look after these things if God
didn’t make people. You will never see an animal plant
anything in the ground or tidy up a mess. So you can see that
human beings are special in God’s eyes and we are His
favourite creatures. As I said earlier, He loves us.
When God created Adam and Eve, He meant for them and every
person who came after them to live forever. He put Adam and
Eve in a beautiful garden called the ‘Garden of Eden’
where they had everything they needed without having to work
for it. In fact, when God made the world, everything in it
was just perfect. The weather was perfect every day. There
were no weeds in the gardens. Everywhere Adam and Eve looked
they saw beautiful scenery. They could have played with lions
and crocodiles and have them for pets, because all animals
were at first very tame and ate only fruit, vegetables and
grass, instead of meat. But very, very sadly, before God created
the world and everything in it, something very terrible happened
in heaven where God lives.
Devil And The Bad Angels.
Long before He made Adam and Eve, God created
millions of angels to serve Him. Angels are spirits who continually
serve God, both in heaven and on earth. They are usually not
visible to human eyes, but they can sometimes become visible
so that they can bring messages to people. However, this is
very rare. Angels have men’s names, like Michael and
Gabriel, but they are neither men nor women, and they don’t
have children. God made them all beautiful. The most beautiful
of the all was one called Lucifer. Unfortunately, Lucifer
became full of pride and, loving himself more than he loved
God, wanted every angel in heaven to like him more than God.
He started a rebellion and somehow he got a lot of angels
to take sides with him against God. As you can expect, this
made God very angry. So God threw Lucifer and his rebellious
supporters out of heaven forever and sent them down to earth.
Bad angels don’t have bodies like we do, so we can’t
see them. They are invisible, but there are a great many of
them. Lucifer, who is now called either the devil, or Satan,
is their leader. Somehow, these evil angels are able to make
people believe things that are not true, especially causing
them to forget about God. Worse still, they encourage people
to not want to believe that there is a God, even though they
know in their hearts that there must be one. And since these
evil angels hate God, they are always trying to get us to
do bad things that upset God.
Garden of Eden.
Now I mentioned before that when God made Adam
and Eve, He put them in the beautiful Garden of Eden where
He provided them with plenty of everything they needed, so
that they wouldn’t have to do any unpleasant work and
would be perfectly happy. Because they were meant to live
forever, they kept young and good-looking. On top of this,
they had perfect health. Best of all, they could talk to God
just as we are able to talk to each other. So at first they
lived without ever getting sick, and they could get as much
exercise as they wanted without getting tired. God also gave
them all kinds of delicious food to eat so that they would
not only never go hungry, but would always get great pleasure
from eating the fresh delicious food. There was just one thing
that God told Adam and Eve that they could not have. There
was a tree in the garden called the ‘Tree of the Knowledge
of Good and Evil’. God told Adam and Eve that they must
not eat the fruit that grew on this tree. He warned them that
if they even touched this fruit, they would one day die.
At first, this didn’t really bother Adam and Eve because
they had so much else to enjoy. But one day, the Bible says
that the devil, who always tells lies, came up to Eve disguised
as a snake and told her that God had not told them the truth
about the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and
Evil. He told her one of his worst lies. He told Eve that
God didn’t want her or her husband, Adam, to eat this
fruit because it would make them like God. Unfortunately,
Eve believed the Devil and took a bite, and what’s more,
she talked her husband into eating the fruit. This was truly
the worst thing that Adam and Eve could ever have done, because
they disobeyed God and even believed that God didn’t
tell them the truth. Worse than that, they wanted to be equal
to God. (Remember that that is what the devil did when he
was in heaven). It was not so much the eating of the fruit
that was so bad, but the fact that they did exactly what God
had told them not to do. When anybody does something that
God says we shouldn’t do, it is called a sin.
Now, remember that I told you that God said that if Adam and
Eve even touched the fruit on that tree, they would one day
die. Well, unlike the devil, who always tells lies, God always
tells the truth. He always keeps His word. So after many years,
and after they had many children, Adam and Eve died. The Bible
tells us in many places that the punishment for sin is death.
Are All Born With Adam And Eve’s Sin.
Now since Adam and Eve sinned, it changed their
bodies. They were born perfect so that they might live forever.
But after they sinned, their bodies became imperfect. That
is, their bodies would now grow old and die. And because their
bodies were not perfect anymore, neither were their children,
or their children’s children perfect. And because everybody
had Adam and Eve as their first parents, nobody is perfect.
We all do things that do not please God. In fact, Adam and
Eve’s first son, Cain, was so bad that he murdered his
younger brother, Abel. Because none of us is perfect, we are
all sinners and continually do things that God does not want
us to do. These sins separate us from God. And the more we
are separated from God, the more the devil and his followers,
the other bad angels, encourage us to do more things that
God doesn’t want us to do.
The reason God doesn’t want us to sin is not just because
it displeases Him, but also because sin always hurts somebody.
Some times our sins hurt other people, like when we hit someone,
take something that doesn’t belong to us or say unkind
things about other people. We all know this because we don’t
like it when someone hits us, steals from us or says something
that is not nice about us. Sometimes when people do things
like smoking, taking drugs and getting drunk they harm themselves.
But most of the time when we sin, bad things happen to both
other people and ourselves. If you steal or tell lies, you
don’t just make it bad for other people, you actually
make yourself a worse person. If we are not pleased when other
people do wrong things to us, how can we be happy with ourselves
when we know we have done something wrong to others?
Still Loves Us.
But in spite of us continually being disobedient
to God, He still loves us. That is God’s nature. Just
like good mothers and fathers, He will always love us no matter
what we do. The more you find out about false gods, the more
you will find that the people who teach us to follow them
don’t teach about love and forgiveness, nor do they
teach that we should forgive people who do bad things to us.
In fact these other gods are really bad angels disguised as
gods. Therefore they are very evil. They try to get people
to worship them so that they will not worship the real true
God, who is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Worshipping God means to love, trust and obey Him. Often,
people show God they love Him by singing to him and praying
to Him. It is very good to do that and we should do it often.
But, really, anything we do that pleases God is a type of
worship. Jesus said that if you give a hungry person some
food, or if you visit someone who is sick or in prison and
tell them about Jesus, you are worshipping God. God wants
us to worship Him and Him only. This is not because He is
selfish, but because He deserves it for creating us and providing
for all our needs. I said earlier that in spite of people
continually being disobedient to God, He still loves us and
wants us to live happily forever. The trouble is that to be
really fair and just, God has to punish people for sinning.
Otherwise we would never stop sinning.
To try to protect everyone from having bad
things done to them, every country has rules to keep. Another
word for rules is ‘law’. That is why when people
drive too fast, or rob houses or beat people up; it is called
breaking the law. So in every country we have policemen, judges,
and prisons to try to catch very bad people and punish them
for breaking the law.
People who are caught breaking the law have to go to court
and a judge will decide how they must be punished. Sometimes
the punishment might be being sent to prison and sometimes
people have to pay a lot of money for doing wrong. This is
called paying a fine.
When we break the law, it is called a crime. Some crimes are
worse than others. If you kill someone, or set someone’s
house on fire, it is called a serious crime, but if you just
steal a cake of chocolate or travel on a bus without paying,
it is called a petty crime.
Besides these laws that people decide on, God,
Himself, also has special laws of His own that He wants us
to keep. For instance, as I have said, God does not want us
to worship false gods. He does not want us to say bad things
about Him. He wants us to be obedient to our fathers and mothers
and he wants us to rest for a whole day once a week so that
we can spend that day worshipping Him. Many people don’t
get caught for breaking the laws that people make, so in a
way, they often get away with it. However, God always catches
everyone who breaks His laws because He knows everything that
happens. When we break one of God’s laws, He is the
judge who decides what the penalty will be.
Now, you will remember that I said that when God made Adam
and Eve, He said that the punishment for sin was death. I
also said that with the laws that people make, there are serious
crimes and petty crimes. However, with God’s laws, all
sins whether you think they are serious or not have the same
punishment. That punishment is death. And that is why everyone
dies, because everyone sins. The reason that the punishment
for all sins, big and small, is the same is because God cannot
stand any kind of sin at all. But please don’t be afraid!
There is some great news coming up.
In God’s court, He made it possible for
someone else to take the punishment for us. In a people’s
court, if the punishment for a crime is a fine, it is possible
for someone else to pay the fine so that the person who should
have paid the fine can get out of it and leave the court a
free person. Now because God loves us so much, He made it
possible for another person to pay the penalty for our sins.
The problem is that God, the Judge, decided that the price
to pay for our sins was the cost of a perfect person’s
life. That meant that a perfect person could offer to give
his, or her, life up as the punishment for everybody’s
Can you understand why this was such a problem? It was a problem
because every single person who has been born has sinned and
therefore there are no perfect people. It was also a problem
for God, because He wanted us to be able to come back to life
after we died and live forever. If you can understand how
our good parents love their children and never want to lose
them and how most children never want to lose their parents,
you will be able to understand why God, who is our heavenly
Father, doesn’t want to lose us. So God solved the problem
of sin and its penalty, which is death, by sending his own
perfect Son, Jesus, to become a human being like us. His plan
was for Jesus to willingly offer His own perfect body as the
price for all our sins. So now, all we have to do to have
the price of our sins paid for, is to admit to God that we
are sinners, be really sorry for this, and with God’s
help want to change. We must also believe that God sent His
Son, Jesus, to pay the price for us. God promises us that
if we do this and allow Him to control our lives, we will
overcome sin and we will one day rise from being dead, just
as Jesus did, and live with Him forever.
Do We Know This Is True?
We know that this is true, because it is written
in the Bible. All the books in the Bible that were written
before Jesus was born make up what is called ‘The Old
Testament’, and all those that were written after Jesus
was born make up ‘The New Testament’. The whole
New Testament was written by men who knew Jesus well and spent
a lot of time with Him after He rose from the dead. In fact,
two of the writers were Jesus’ half brothers. I say
half brothers because these two men, who were called James
and Jude, had the same mother as Jesus. Their mother’s
name was Mary. James and Jude had a father called Joseph.
But Jesus did not have a human father.
Let me explain why Jesus never had a human
father. After creating Adam and Eve, instead of creating more
people by just saying “Let there be other people”
as He could have done, God designed Adam and Eves’ bodies
so that seeds of new people would grow inside men’s
bodies and these could be put in women’s bodies and
grow. This is how we get babies. But since every human seed
in a man’s body will grow up like its mother or father;
that is, not perfect, no perfect person could be born to a
man and woman. So God sent an angel called Gabriel to Mary
to tell her that she was very special because God was going
to put His own perfect seed into her and that this baby would
grow up and save people from their sins. God also sent the
angel, Gabriel, to Joseph, who would become Mary’s husband,
to tell him to be like a father to Jesus until he grew up.
When Jesus grew up, He told people that they must stop sinning
and stop worshipping false gods. He told the people that His
Father in Heaven was the only real true God, and that His
Father sent Him into the world to save them from being separated
from God forever because of their many sins. But because the
devil and the other bad angels persuaded most of the people
not to believe that Jesus was the Son of God, even though
He said He was, and proved it by the many miracles He performed,
the people got the rulers of the city to have Jesus killed
by nailing Him to a cross.
Jesus Did For Us.
The reason Jesus was nailed to a cross was
not because he had done anything wrong, but because He said
He was the Son of God. If any other man said that he was the
Son of God, the people would have had good reason to believe
that he was either a bad person or a crazy person. You see,
since Jesus was telling people that He was the Son of God,
it was like saying that He was equal to God, just as all of
us who have been born are equal to our parents. A lot of the
people hated Jesus for this. They themselves said that they
believed in God but thought that Jesus was lying when He said
He was God’s Son.
Could Have Escaped.
When the rulers of the City decided to kill
Jesus in order to please the people who hated Him, Jesus could
easily have stopped them and gotten away. And just as He was
able to stop a storm by holding out His hand, Jesus could
make people fall to the ground helpless by doing the same
thing. He could also have called on thousands of good angels
from heaven to stop the soldiers from killing Him. But instead,
he didn’t even try to stop them.
Even though He knew that he had done nothing wrong and that
the soldiers shouldn’t have treated him like a bad person,
He still let the soldiers whip him, put a crown of thorns
on His head, spit on Him and make fun of Him. But Jesus never
once complained. Instead He prayed to his father in heaven
and said, “Father, I can’t stand this, but if
this is what you want to happen, I will take whatever punishment
you want me to go through and give up my life to please you”.
Can you see what happened? Jesus was the perfect man and he
gave up His life willingly to pay the price that God the Father
said must be paid for everybody’s sins. This was so
that everyone, including you and me could come back to life
after we die and live forever with God. But never forget that
we must also tell God that we are sorry for our sins and believe
that Jesus is the Son of God. Before we finish, there are
a few more important things that I want to tell you.
Of The Devil.
I have told you that God created the first
two people, Adam and Eve, out of the dust of the earth and
how the devil lied to them by telling them that if they ate
the fruit that God told them not to eat they would become
just like God. Well that devil is still secretly telling lies
to people today, and sadly, too many people believe those
lies. He is telling people that the story of Adam and Eve
is not true and that before the first people became human
beings, they were monkeys. People who believe this are foolish,
because if that were true, we would have people who are part
monkey, and monkeys who are part human beings in the world
today. But there are no such creatures.
Do you know the reason why the devil doesn’t want us
to believe the story of Adam and Eve? It is because if this
story was not true then there is no reason to believe that
the first man and woman sinned by eating the fruit that God
told them not to eat. Then if that part of the story wasn’t
true, we wouldn’t have to believe that everyone is not
born perfect. So that would mean that we actually were born
perfect. And if we were born perfect and without sin, then
Jesus wouldn’t have had to come on earth to suffer and
give up His life to pay the price for our sins would He? This
would also mean that we wouldn’t have to believe in
Jesus to escape God’s punishment for our sins. So it
is no wonder that the devil wants us to believe his lies.
It is because he does not want us to come back to life after
we die and live forever with Jesus.
Another lie that the devil wants everybody
to believe is that Jesus is not the Son of God. Do you know
why? It is because Jesus said that everything in the Bible
is true. And the Bible tells us that the devil is God’s
worst enemy and that Adam and Eve were the first two people.
That’s why. The Bible also says that in the end, God
is going to throw the devil and all his followers into a pit
of fire, where they will suffer forever and ever because of
all the bad things they did and all the bad things they got
other people to do. Who are you going to believe, Jesus or
The Good News.
The last thing I want you to know is this.
After Jesus came back to life after dying on the cross, He
told everybody He spoke to, to go and tell everyone else about
Him. He said tell them the Good News. The Good News is that
if people are really sorry for their sins and believe that
Jesus is the Son of God, then after they die they will one
day come back to life and live with Jesus forever.
Because of what Jesus did for us, we should always be thankful
to Him and show Him that we love Him. The best way we can
show that we love Him and, indeed, love other people, is by
doing what Jesus told us to do. That is, to go and tell everyone
about the Son of God and what He has done for us. One way
you can do this is by telling your friends about this book
you have been reading. If they are not able to get a copy,
you could let them borrow yours.
I’m sure that now you have learned a lot of things about
God the Father and His Son, Jesus, you will want to know more.
So why don’t you ask your parents to buy you a children’s
book of stories from the Bible. In the meantime, you will
probably be able to borrow one of these books from a library
near you. Every good library will have at least one of these
Another way you can learn about God is to pray
to Him. Praying means talking and listening to God. If you
pray to God, you won’t hear God talk back to you like
you hear another person’s voice. But in the Bible, God
promises that if you want to know and understand Him more,
and if you want to know what He wants you to do to please
Him, He will certainly let you know one way or another. Actually,
the Bible says that God reads our hearts more than He listens
to our words. Jesus said that we must love God with all our
hearts. He never said that we must love God with all our words,
although we should. It is always good to say that you love
God, but only if you really mean it. As you know, it is easy
for us to say things that we don’t mean. But when people
say that they did something, or wanted something, or gave
something with all their heart, we know that they really meant
it. And just as God listens to our hearts, He speaks to our
hearts. So often, when we are not sure whether we should do
something or not, if we ask God what to do, He will put a
message in our hearts.
When you start to pray, you should first tell God why you
love Him. It is all right to just say, “God I love you”,
but it is better to tell Him why you love Him. For instance,
you could say that you love Him because He made you. You could
tell Him how wonderful He is because He made everything in
the world. Yes, everything from the tiniest things at the
bottom of the sea to the furthermost stars in the sky. You
could tell Him that when you look at all the stars in the
sky, they remind you of how amazing He is for putting them
there and for caring about human beings.
To really get close to God, He wants us to have a clean heart.
That means that if we know we have done something wrong and
have not told God we are sorry, we should do so. That makes
our heart clean. When you talk to God with a clean heart,
you should ask Him to help you to stop doing any more things
that are wrong. Ask Him to make you more and more like Jesus
who is always good. Don’t forget to thank God for all
the many things He has given you to keep you alive and healthy.
Thank him for giving you people like your parents to look
after you. Try to think of all the good things that happened
to you during the day, or during the last week, and thank
God for them. But most of all, thank Him for sending Jesus
to us. You can never do this enough.
Once you have talked to God in these ways, you can start asking
Him to do favours for you. But don’t ask God to favour
you more than He favours others. That is being selfish. God
wants you to ask Him how you can be kind to other people.
Ask Him to do good things to your parents and your brothers
and sisters. Ask Him to do good things to your friends. Ask
Him to make the sick people you know better. Ask Him to comfort
people who have big problems. Ask Him to feed the poor and
hungry people in the world. And here is something that you
might find hard to do unless you really try hard. Instead
of asking God to give you things for your own pleasure, ask
Him to show you how you can do things for other people’s
pleasure. The more you do things to please others, the more
God will do things to please you. Never ever forget that God
made us. Never forget that He watches over us and knows everything
that we do and even think, and never forget that He loves
us and wants us to live with Jesus forever.
Christ Alive and Well in New Zealand