I am constantly amazed at the words that come out of parents’ mouths. Recently one parent said, “I just wanna get them saved so I can quit worrying about them.” Really? First of all, you can lead them, you can pray for them, guide them, instruct them …. you CANNOT SAVE them.
John 3:16(HCSB) “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
The Gk word houtos, commonly translated in Jn 3:16 as “so” or “so much” occurs over 200 times in the NT. Almost without exception it is an adverb of manner, not degree (for example, see Mt 1:18). It only means “so much” when modifying an adjective (see Gl 3:3; Rv 16:18). Manner seems primarily in view in Jn 3:16, which explains the HCSB‘s rendering. Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
Salvation is the gift of God. You do not earn it and you cannot give it to someone, least of all your child. You can share what salvation in your life means and you can pray they come to know God through His son Jesus Christ. They have to accept the gift, you can not make them take it so they will be safe.
But, once they are saved it is not over. You must raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Disciplining them in the ways of our Lord, helping them to grow. When a baby is born into this world that is not the end. Just as you care and raise them in the world, a new-born in Christ must also be cared for and raised in the spiritual world. You would not let your newborn flounder around on their own for sustenance, yet many a parent “gets” their child saved and thinks, “whew, now that’s done.” As a parent you see to their physical and mental needs (or you should) and likewise you need to see to their spiritual needs, teaching them in the ways of the Lord. Getting them to Sunday School, youth group and church is a start. But, you must also walk the talk you talk. It is not, “do as I say do while you’re doing as you please”. Your child becoming a man or woman of God is a growing process. It does not happen overnight or when they are saved. It is not over at that point. It is just starting.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (NASB) “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”
When you bring a child into the world, you must tend to their physical, mental and emotional needs or you are abusive in the world’s eyes. God’s Word says you are responsible for their spiritual life as well. How much more accountable should we be to their spiritual needs? They have all the electronic toys, stylish clothes and treats to eat. But, have you provided for their spiritual needs?
Proverbs 22:6(KJV) ” Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Some people cling to Proverbs 2:6 as a promise. It is not a promise, it is a proverb. However, if you ignore the proverb you are setting your child up for spiritual failure and being lost and condemned. It will always be their choice to choose God or reject God. It was satan’s* choice that got him kicked out of Heaven. God is not a puppet master and we are not puppets. If you do all you can do to raise your child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and they choose to not accept, do not let satan* lie to you and blame you. Just keep praying for that child. You planted the seeds, someone else may harvest the crop. You just keep watering it with your prayers.
It ain’t over … it’s just begun.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) 5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.6 Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.”
Pingback: Spare the rod, spoil the child « Walks of Faith