Explaining Sin to Kids

Alex EarlyBy Alex Early5 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Thinking About God: Theology Q&A for Kids by Alex Early


Chapter 5

When God made the world, everything was good. There was no evil, fighting, crying, sickness, or death. The world did not need police officers to keep people safe, firefighters to rescue us from disasters, or paramedics to rush people to the hospital. You couldn’t find a cemetery because there was no death. That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? That was the world God made and the world He’s going to remake one day! All those sad things exist now because of what the Bible calls sin. Sin affects everything. It messes up relationships, makes work difficult, and leads our minds into bad decisions. Even though we humans are made in the image of God, we are all sinful.

What is sin, and did it come from?

Sin is disobeying God. Any time our thoughts, motives, or actions are not in line with God’s desires, we sin. Genesis tells us sin came into the world when the serpent slithered into the garden of Eden and deceived Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-7). The serpent tempted them to distrust God and to eat the fruit God had forbidden, saying, “If you eat of the fruit, you will be like God.” God warned Adam and Eve that if they ate that fruit, they would die. Still, Eve took the fruit, ate it, and gave it to Adam, who did the same. All the pain of the world begins there.

Why does sin matter so much to God?

At its core, sin breaks relationships between God, yourself, and others. This is why sin matters so much to God. He is holy and loving, and sin rejects holiness and love.

In the garden, Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with God, self, and each other. Eve took the fruit because she believed the lying serpent. She believed God was withholding something good from her, and she was going to see to it that she didn’t miss out. She and Adam became sinful by distrusting God, insisting on doing things their own way, and breaking His command. This moment is known as the Fall because Adam and Eve fell away from obeying God.

After the Fall, people began making bad decisions—and for all the wrong reasons. Today, the world continues to tell us that sin is okay and that selfishness and lying and disobeying God’s rules are no big deal. But all sin breaks our relationship with God, and that’s definitely a big deal.

Sin offends God, who loves us and made us. Because of sin, we will always fall short of God’s standard until Jesus returns and makes everything new again. We need His grace, mercy, and forgiveness to restore our relationship with Him.

Why does God allow sin, Satan, and evil to exist?

This question is ancient and uncomfortable. It’s not a question about God’s power. We know He can do anything, including putting an end to evil forever. It’s a question about God’s character, right now. Can we say God is always good (even right now) as He allows sin, Satan, evil, and all the consequences of a fallen world to exist?

Yes! God is still good. In fact, God only allows sin and evil to go on because He’s achieving an even greater purpose. Peter told us God “is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change” (2 Peter 3:9 MSG). God will conquer Satan; that’s definite. But He allows sin to go on right now because He is patiently working and waiting for the people He loves to believe and follow Him.

To Think About:

Think of a time you hurt a friend’s feelings or disobeyed your parents or guardian. How did it make you feel? Did you want to be around them? When you sin, do you feel like God doesn’t want to talk with you anymore? Although sin hurts our relationship with God, He most certainly still wants to talk with you!

Because of SIN, we will always fall short of God’s standards until Jesus returns and makes everything new again.

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