WILL OUR CHILDREN GO TO HEAVEN?
BY: RUSSELL MCLAUGHLIN
Elders all over the nation are concerned about the dropout rate of our young people – and they ought to be. It is so precious to see our young boys and girls thrilled to go to Bible study and worship God with others. The tragic thing, however, is somewhere around the teenage years, most of our young people grow cold and uninterested in the Lord’s work. Church leaders are now saying that by the time our children graduate from high school between 55% and 75% of them are also leaving the church. Why?
Not to long ago, several congregations made an in-depth study of all the factors available concerning young people and worship. They wanted to know what could be done to help solve this problem. They began their research by asking these questions: What do we need? Do we need more youth programs? Do we need more youth rallies? Do we need more specialized teachers? The findings of their research were very interesting. Consider the following:
“Where both parents were faithful to the Lord, and that includes active interest in the local congregation’s programs, 93% of the kids remained faithful to the church.
On the other hand, if only one of the parents was faithful, 73% of the children remained faithful. Where both parents were only what we would call “reasonably faithful” only 53% of the young people maintained their faith.”
Now here comes the “shocker”: “In those cases where both parents attended infrequently and were not involved in the work of the church, the percentage of children who remained faithful to the Lord dropped to only 6%.”
From the material that has been published on these studies one great central truth surfaces – faithfulness of a young person to Jesus doesn’t have anything to do with special programs or teachers. It is not dependent on whether they are members of a large congregation or a small one. The single most important factor is their own immediate family.
Will Our Children Go to Heaven? Parents we cannot make our children go to heaven, but we can certainly increase their chances. We have the ultimate responsibility, and if they end up lost forever because we failed to “bring them up” correctly, the Judgment’s going to be terribly sad. Consider this poem:
Before your child has come to seven
Teach him well the way to heaven!
Better still the truth will thrive,
If he knows it when he is five!
Better yet, if at your knee,
He learns it when he is only three!
Best of all is when you have begun,
To teach Jesus before he is one.
Let’s be disciples of Jesus and let our kids see our discipleship deepen. Experts say it’s not what you know or the techniques you have that makes the most difference in your kid’s spirituality. It is who you are and whose you are. If you’re a disciple of Jesus that’s what will truly impact them for Christ. Let’s deepen our discipleship.