SAVE OUR CHILDREN
The children are the most neglected area of our society, and that attitude has slipped into the field of church growth in the United Pentecostal Church.
IT IS IN THE MOUTH OF THE PROPHETS
“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6).
We must become aware to the need of reaching children or God will hold us accountable for our neglect, with severe consequences. This was the eye opener of the New Testament Church. Why? Because God saw that for four hundred years children were not being reached. They had failed to teach their children and that was why God could not touch them.
Today Israel operates on the fact that they have taught
their children and that generation has taught their children, and that generation has taught another generation. How can we get around the fact that children are a most vital part of a church operation? We must reach the world that needs to be saved.
JESUS MADE A GREAT APPEAL,
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent into thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not? Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:37-39).
We must rise to the occasion of reaching our children. It is
in the heart of God for us to do so. If we do not, our houses will @e left desolate and our homes will be scattered. Oh, that God would awaken us to the great responsibility of reaching our generation through children who are at the heart of God!
WE MUST BREAK THE NEGLECT SYNDROME
1. Children are innocent
We must be aware, regardless of our cultural thought concerning the innocence of children, that all through the Bible God has judged children with their parents wrong doings at the time of judgment:
A. Noah and the flood – there were no children savedi all were destroyed with their parents.
B. Sodom and Gomorrah – there were no children saved; all were destroyed with their parents.
We must understand that all judgment is not eternal judgment. Some children suffer because of the judgment against sin in this present life. We can help save them from eternal judgment.
2. Children don’t understand
Children are a unique mechanism, created by God, with the ability to start learning immediately at birth, A child can hear and understand sounds long before he can communicate sounds. He can see and read motions long before he can communicate with motion. It is amazing the amount a child can learn between the ages of one and six. The child’s character is formed during these short years. Children must not only be taught but must be trained. We as spiritual leaders and parents are held accountahle for teaching and training these children.
3. If you get the parents you get the children
This statement is far from true. If it were so the Pentecostal movement would be the strongest and largest of all movements, but everywhere in the country we have children who are lost, whose parents are still in our congregations. We must reach the heart of the child to train them in the precepts of God. We fail to realize how quickly children become adults. In a short time we can have a strong and growing church. Oh, that we can see children as God sees them!
WE MUST INVEST IN CHILDREN
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5-6).
We must understand that these sheaves are not just adults.
These sheaves consist of children along with adults.
“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
It is important that we build the foundation of our Church
as God expects.
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2)
There is more to a growing church than having weeks of revival, long late services, and working programs day and night.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3)
Children are a heritage of God and the reward of a growing church.
“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are the children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:4-5).
Children are a strength to the church and will stand for truth. They will often seek God more desperately than any other part of a Church body. As a result, they grow up as a strong body against the enemy in the gates of darkness.
Jesus Christ is just as interested in us getting a burden and spending our time in weeping and labouring for our children as
He is any other part of the church.
“And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children” (Luke 23:27-28).
Jesus himself turned to the multitude and told them not to weep for him but to weep for themselves and their children. So many times we get carried away in our prayer and worshiping because of the sorrow of Calvary instead of weeping for the purpose of Calvary. One of the main purposes is the saving of our children.
CHILDREN HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AT THE HEART OF GOD
“And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he
asked them, What was it that ye disputed among
yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for
by the way they had disputed among themselves; who
should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called
the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to
be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant
of all. And he took a child, and set him in the midst
of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto
them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children
in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive
me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me” (Mark 9:33-37).
Jesus made a strong statement with this portion of scripture. While people are looking for and working toward positions and personal accomplishments in church work, God is looking to the children. God cares for children more than he cares for positions, recognition, and what we consider success. Let us save our children for in doing so we please God and God will cause the church to increase daily such as should be saved.
“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:13-16).
The disciples rebuked the people for spending time with the children at a service where Jesus was the teacher, but Jesus rebuked the disciples and told them to bring the children to him for of such is the kingdom of God. In these words was manifested the desire and heartbeat of Christ. We have too long organized, planned and promoted for the purpose of adults and left our children to be babysitted by someone that has no spiritual training in training a child for God’s service. Oh that God will forgive us. Let us put first things first. If we do so, God will bless our local assembly abundantly.
“And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them” (Luke 18:15).
They brought infants so Jesus could touch them. Too long
we have placed our infants and smaller children off somewhere in a nursery or perhaps left them on a pew instead of taking them to the altar. If we take them to the altar during these most impressionable years, the Spirit may influence their character and development. Our time and effort spent in the life of a child pays great dividends. Jesus says in His word that if we will make special effort to help a child find Him it will be the greatest thing a man can do. But if we hinder this process God’s judgments are sure.
“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the
sea” (Matthew 18:1-6).
“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them and departed thence” (Matthew 18:1-6).
God’s judgment has always been severe on those who mistreat children. Satan has often used the tactic of destroying the children so he could destroy righteousness.
1. Pharoah’s house killed all male babies, but God spared Moses in the bulrushes to continue righteousness.
2. King Herod killed all babies under the age of two but God had an angel to speak to Joseph to take baby Jesus away.
In our generation Satan is still using the same tactic; if he can destroy the children’s minds and characters then he can stop righteousness, We can not allow this to happen. We must, with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, reach out to save our children in this evil generation. God help us to awake to the realization that children could be the key to the greatest revival we have ever experienced.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
The word of God is telling us that if we want to be a good Christian and be clean and pure we must spend some time with the fatherless. There are so many children in our cities and countrysides that are fatherless. Who will help us reach them in this time of darkness?
DOES GOD JUDGE CHILDREN? YES!
A. “And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he
was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of
the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go
up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head” (II Kings 2:23).
They were not excused when they made fun of the prophet. As
a result, they were judged immediately. The bears came forth out of the woods and destroyed forty-two children.
B. God has always put judgment of children in its place. “And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In the day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not” (I Samuel 3:11-13).
Eli’s sons were judged and so was Eli because of the sins of his sons.
C. “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left
to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Proverbs 29:15),
If a child is not corrected his mother will be brought to shame.
D. “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his works be pure, and whether it be right” (Proverbs 20:11).
A child is known by the things he does, whether they be right or wrong. His actions are shaping his character. May God help us to help shape a righteous character while he is young.
E. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-4).
The Word of God tells us that obedient children will have a long and pleasing life. If this be true, the children who learn not obedience will have a life full of trouble and heartaches. Somebody will be held accountable for the way these young lives are shaped. If we are going to see a mighty revival, we are going to have to get to the heart of the problem. Children must be taught righteousness and holiness. Then God will honour with revival.
GOD HAS ALWAYS REQUIRED STRONG DISCIPLINE
“And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death” (Exodus 21:15).
“For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him” (Leviticus 20:9)
“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will
not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not harken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of the city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
“The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it” (Proverbs 30:17).
God would not be a just God if he did not give recompense for evil as well as for good.
GOD HAS ALWAYS HAD CHILDREN IN HIS PLAN
“There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among themw (Joshua 8:35).
“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance” (Ezra 8:21).
Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off” (Nehemiah 12:43).
“And all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children” (II Chronicles 20:13).
“And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise” (Matthew 21:15-16).
God’s work was often promoted by children. The greatest and the strongest leaders in the Bible were by young men such as David, Joseph, Samuel and Timothy.
“I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, Which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also” (II Timothy 1:3-5).
In this scripture we see that Timothy was a recipient of great faith from his grandmother and his mother. Children are easily influenced either for good or for bad.
IF WE WOULD PLANT FOR A DAY – PLANT MUSHROOMS.
IF WE WOULD PLANT FOR A YEAR – PLANT TREES.
IF WE WOULD PLANT FOR ETERNITY – PLANT CHILDREN.
If we plant children, we are cultivating them for eternal purpose.
We have a red hot revival all ready to go. We must fan the flame in the hearts of the children to respond to the call of God. The greatest opportunity of the Church is the reaching, teaching and training of children. Our communities, cities, and countrysides are full of them, Children are everywhere! LET US SAVE OUR CHILDREN! God
will hold us accountable for this neglect syndrome.
THE NEGLECT SYNDROME
What are the mistaken causes?
1. That children are innocent.
2. Children don’t understand.
3. If you get the parent you will get the children.
God forbid that we would allow this spirit of deceitfulness
to keep us from reaching our generation through the children.
LET US SAVE OUR CHILDREN.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are
your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens
are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than
your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
The scripture states that when we understand that God’s ways
and thoughts are in a much higher realm than our own way of understanding, we will see that God always sees his work in
a creative state. God nude the world and everything in it
in a creative state before he ever made it into actual existence.
Children must be seen as God saw in creation. As we teach,
we visualize the development of the childrens lives into the future. God has given us His Word and it carries a powerful impact upon the lives which receives it.
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater” (Isaiah 55:10).
This scripture is compared to the strength of the word of God.
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
The word of God, if it is planted into the children’s hearts, will fulfill that which God has intended it to do. It will build a resistence against evil.
“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah 55:12-13).
The planting of the word will grow in the hearts of children as they mature into adults and will force out the thorns and briars of sin that try to spring up in these young lives. God has made it possible that through every temptation or obstacle he will make a way of escape. However, if we as saints and workers in the Church would spend more time on prevention of evil, we would have to spend less time on the correcting of evil. Much of the preaching and teaching that is produced is directed toward the correcting of the wrong that has been done. The prevention of wrong through the teaching and training of children in righteousness and holiness will save us many problems in the future.
We are always so concerned about holding our young people in the church, and are constantly trying to find something to entertain them or to fill the generation gap. Entertainment is not the answer. Is there really a generation gap in the church? If there is a gap, perhaps it is the separation of holiness and sin. If we can plant the word of God in the hearts of children there will never be a separation of the adults, youth, and children in the church. God’s word has
a way of reaching every age group when it is taught and ministered under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. There is one gospel for all age levels.
Isn’t it strange that prisons and reformatories in this country allow praying and reading of the Bible, but our Judicial system will not allow it in the public schools. Our prisons and reformatories would not be as crowded if we were not so inconsistent.
We need World-Wide Revival, and the only way to have World-Wide Revival is to start now in working with our children by teaching and training the word of God with the anointing. If we spend more time teaching and training and loving children, we will spend less time on correcting and salvaging wrecked lives, God help us in Jesus name.
We must SAVE OUR CHILDREN.