In Matthew 18:3 we read, "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." Jesus gave us some very specific instructions in regard to our dealings with our children. You'll find several helpful instructions in Matthew 18:1–6.
1. The Lord loves the children! That's pretty obvious, but it often gets ignored. These children, whether they are mine or yours are precious to the lord. Each one of them is a precious soul for whom Jesus died.
2. Children can be saved! Look at verse 3 again. As soon as a child can understand the issues of sin, salvation, eternity, and other such matters, he or she can be saved.
3. Children should not be pushed into a decision too early. Children who get exposed to the Bible and to the Gospel will come to understand their need and how it can be resolved. Parents should always lead the way in introducing their children to Christ. Sunday school teachers, bus workers and others who work with children should always be attentive to the spiritual condition of the children entrusted to their care.
We want them to be saved, but we do not want them to be led to make a decision that is superficial. Being sure that children have the necessary understanding is crucial to a genuine conversion to be saved and born again. Be sure that they are "getting it" before you press them toward a decision.
4. Don't become so cautious that you can't function. We want every child to be treated as though he or she were the only one with whom we were dealing. We want to get every one of them genuinely saved. Caution is in order, but I don't want you to become so careful that you are afraid to try. Working with children is a big responsibility and a necessary one. We must not get so bogged down that we fail the lord and the children by our failure to try.
5. When children have biblical instruction at home and at church, they will look to their parents and other mentors for help. Remember the instructions from Deuteronomy 6:6 and 7, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: "And thou shalt teach them diligently- unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. " So when we make much of such major matters, the impact upon our children will be good.
6. Pray for your children too! You should pray for your children, and they should get to hear some of those prayers. At meal-time, at bedtime or whenever, you should let them know they are important to you and that you talk to God about them.
7. If we do a good job, most children will be saved between the ages of six and ten. You can't schedule this, because there is no spiritual timetable for determining when a child understands, is under conviction, and is ready to be saved. But if parents and church workers do their jobs right and do them well, the children will be knocking on your door wanting to be saved.
May God's blessing be upon you this week as you read and meditate on the 4th message from the series on The Master’s Plan from Matthew 28:18-20, "The Master’s Program."
In His Amazing Grace,
The above letter was taken from an article written by Dr. Sheldon Smith in the “Sword of the Lord, April 24, 2013.
Note: It was slightly edited to fit available space.
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