How to Explain Heaven & Hell to Children: 5 Steps - MakeSureHow
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The Bible is a good tool for teaching about heaven and hell.

Some religious families often express the hope that their beliefs and good works will get them into heaven after death. You might send your kids to Sunday school or take them to church regularly, content with the knowledge that they'll develop a picture of heaven and hell. This might be enough for some children, but if yours is one who wants to know more, sharing your religion's beliefs about the afterlife helps give your child hope, but could scare him if you explain it in the wrong way. Child-friendly explanations are important.


  1. 1
    Look up Bible passages that describe heaven and hell. Don't just slap down the Bible on the table in front of your child and start at the beginning. Look in the Bible's index to find specific verses that pertain to heaven and hell. To prevent freaking your young child out, read through each before reading them aloud. Use the following verses as a starting point for your discussion: Specific verses dealing with hell include Matthew 13:50 and Revelation 14:14 and verses that describe heaven include Revelation 21:4 and John 14:2.
  2. 2
    Use appropriate language. Rather than describing hell as being in the presence of Lucifer and doing never ending labor and heaven as the utmost in ecstasy, use words your child understands. For example, say, "In heaven, people are happy and bad things don't happen." Describe hell as "a unhappy place where people have to work a lot." These simple explanations make it clear that heaven is good and hell is bad without confusing or frustrating your child.
  3. 3
    Explain how to get to heaven or hell. Some religions say good works are enough, while others say that people must believe that Jesus saved them from their sins. Still others require baptism for entrance into heaven. Stick to the facts from your chosen religion to keep things simple. At the same time, tell your child that people who don't believe, who do bad things, etc. might not get to go to heaven because they don't follow God's laws.
  4. 4
    Reassure your child. The idea of infinity or the fear that friends and family might not go to heaven can be scary to young children. Comfort him if he's scared and talk some more about heaven and hell if it makes him feel better.
  5. 5
    Visit with your clergyman. If you find yourself tongue-tied or feel you aren't doing an adequate job, go see your pastor, priest or other official at church. Go over your child's questions and let this person help you answer them.

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