“For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:39).
As you know, this is one of the key passages we point to defending our understanding of the New Covenant – that the New Covenant includes our children. The promises that God made to Abraham in the Old Covenant included his children, and so Peter insists that those same promises are being fulfilled in the New Covenant and so we include our children.
But Peter also insists in the same place that these promises apply to those who are afar off – strangers, gentiles, sojourners, foreigners, as many as the Lord our God will call. And so if we understand this correctly, our enthusiasm for including our children really needs to match our enthusiasm to welcome the strangers. The task of evangelism and missions, sharing the gospel, is not really something different from welcoming our children to Jesus. It’s the same covenantal promises that invite our children to trust in Jesus as invite all unbelievers to trust in Him.
So don’t think of evangelism as something that takes highly specialized training, even though God does call and equip particular men as evangelists. But how do you talk to your kids about Jesus? Do you point out God’s beautiful creation and teach them to give Him thanks? Do you teach them that if they confess their sins, God will wash them clean by the blood of Christ? Do you smile and correct their sins and weaknesses patiently? You should, and it really isn’t that different with your neighbors, coworkers, and classmates.
Or make it even simpler: How were you welcomed to Christ? What were the things that clicked with you, that won you, that made you love Christ? Then tell someone. Tell your kids, tell your neighbors, tell your classmates, tell your boss. Welcome them to your table, share the feast with them. And don’t forget to look around at this table – are there faces you don’t recognize here? Meet someone new after church, look for a hungry student and invite them over. We are sharing Christ here, and this means you are being thoroughly equipped to share Him everywhere you go. The promise is to you and your children, and to those who are afar.
Come and welcome to Jesus Christ.