As a Foster Dad with my fifth child in the home, I’m in new territory. Until recently, the youngest I had come into my home was 4 (literally on her 4th birthday actually). So welcoming an 8 1/2 year old a month ago has been a new experience. She’s been a joy to have and has loved coming to church with us on Sundays. She’s even anxious to serve because she sees her older brothers and sisters serving already. But the new experience is actually about how to explain the Bible. Her experience has put her a little behind in reading (although she’s very intelligent) so I need to keep this simple enough. She’s also already had a tough life with trauma, at such a young age, so I need to make it relate-able to her experience too. So here’s my challenge. How to tell the entire Bible summary in under 5 minutes or 650 words. Here goes (above words not counted).
The Bible is a book of both History and Instruction. The first section called the Old Testament is all about the history of the world as it relates to God. Here is the summary of the Old Testament.
God it timeless. He had no beginning and has no end. Because of this, thousands of years can go by on earth and it would be just a blink of an eye to Him. First He created Angels who were very powerful (not as powerful as Him though). One named Lucifer thought he was better than God so he and 1/3 of the other angels fought him. They became bad and we’ll see more from them later.
Then God made humans, a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. He put them in a beautiful garden where they could live forever with God. Lucifer tricked them into disobeying God. Since they were no longer perfect, they could not be with God anymore. This also meant they could not live forever anymore, they would eventually die. Back then, people would live for hundreds of years but now we only live for around 80 years or so (some longer and some shorter).
For thousands of years, people tried all kinds of ways to be good enough to be with God again. God kept trying to guide his people (called the Jews) to learn more about him but they kept messing up over and over again. God wanted the Jews to learn about Him so much and then to teach everyone else about Him too, but they couldn’t do it on their own. God continued to guide them. Even when someone did something terrible, God would eventually use it for wonderful things. Sometimes it took years, but God always took care of His people.
The second part of the Bible (New Testament) has two parts. The Gospel is the story about Jesus and the rest is the story about how the church began after Jesus.
God sent His Son Jesus to live among the Jews (starting as a baby and growing up with them). When He was 30 years old, He began to teach people about how to be with God again. He told them the two most important things are this. First they had to love God with everything they had. Second they had to show love to everyone else too. Loving God seemed to be easy for them but showing love to others was the hard part. They kept messing that up too.
After three years of trying to teach the Jews (and other people too) about how to live for God, Jesus went to the next part of His plan. If people kept making mistakes (or sinning) then they couldn’t live forever. If they couldn’t live forever, they couldn’t be with God. So Jesus decided to die for them. Every one of us deserves punishment for not living as God tells us, but Jesus said He would take the punishment for us.
Although Jesus had never sinned (He was perfect), He was killed as punishment for all of us. Anyone who believes that Jesus is God’s Son and that He died for them, can then be adopted into God’s family. Once they are adopted into His family, they are His forever. This means that after their body dies on earth, they go to be with God forever and ever.
Today, many people still try to figure out what they have to do to make it into Heaven with God. But they can never do enough. The only way is to believe that Jesus died so they could get into Heaven.
And what should we do now? Even though we will still make mistakes, Jesus said we should do our best to love God with everything we have and do our best to show love to everyone else.
There we go. Not the most scholarly way to tell the story, but it’s done in simple words and in 5 minutes or less.