Have you ever been in the presence of an awesome theologian when he/she preaches? (Or read his/her articles on a Christian website?) I mean how did he/she figure out how to “unpack” those passages from the Bible?
Many of them have a PhD to the right of their names (or at the very least “Pastor” to the left of their names), and they seem to walk on air. How can they not walk on air when they can translate complex Bible passages into human understandable words that you and I can understand? (I think I understood, although sometimes I am not so sure).
The Bible was written in the Greek language (literally for the New Testament) and Hebrew language (for the Old Testament). The stories and teachings therein were set in a cultural context that is practically extinct in its historical form. It is not easy to contextualize what the Bible says and thus understanding it can also be challenging in many places. And we want to understand the Bible because it tells us how to enter the kingdom of God.
“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Mark 10:15
Let us consider the verse.
Q: You and I want to enter the kingdom of God, do we not?
A: Speaking for myself, yes.
Q: Does theology degree matter in the kingdom of God?
A: I do not know, but if I were a betting man, I would not bet on it.
Q: So if you can know what you really need to know to enter the kingdom of God, would you like to learn it?
A: Of course.
Q: What does a child know about the kingdom of God?
A: Compared to PhDs or pastors, not much, except whatever he or she is taught in the Sunday School.
Q: What is taught about the kingdom of God in Sunday School?
A: It varies on any given Sunday from church to church. The essential basics are the following (and I am paraphrasing, heavily).
- God created everything there is, including mankind.
- Mankind sinned and is still sinning and cannot enter the kingdom of God on their own.
- God loves mankind (including you and me) so much that he sent Jesus so “whoever believes in him should not perish”.
- God is almighty.
- Jesus died on the cross on our behalf, laid in the tomb for three days, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.
- Then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be amongst us until he comes again.
That is the gist of what children learn in Sunday School.
And if the children believe it, then that is enough for them to enter the kingdom of God. (Absent is the requirement to understand theology, Hebrew, or Greek).
To conclude, let me borrow from Robert Fulghum’s 1980’s book title,
“All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Sunday School.”
Have you received the kingdom of God like a child?