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April 22, 2016

Teach Kids About JesusEarly and Earnestly!

What you teach your kids in the early years is critical. Researcher George Barna confirmed what we have known—that it becomes progressively more difficult to influence children spiritually as they grow older. The data shows that if a person does not accept Jesus Christ as Savior before the age of fourteen, the likelihood of ever doing so is slim. Here are his disturbing findings: 

A series of studies we conducted regarding the age at which people accept Christ as their Savior highlights the importance of having people invite Jesus into their hearts as their Savior when they are young. We discovered that the probability of someone embracing Jesus as his or her Savior was 32 percent for those between the ages of 5 and 12; 4 percent for those in the 13–18 age range; and 6 percent for people 19 and older. Inother words, if people do not embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior before they reach their teenage years, the chance of their doing so at all is slim.

Specifically, we must do what we can to assure that our boys and girls are established in their faith and have a clear understanding of right and wrong. That is not a generally accepted responsibility. The politically correct ideology contends that all behavior and beliefs are considered equally valid. Nothing is morally wrong and absolute truth doesn't exist. This is called moral relativism and it is the prevailing philosophy in the academic community and in the culture at large. This view holds that children are born good and become corrupt only when they interact with an imperfect society.

Sadly, the concept of sin has no validity for many people because it implies the existence of an eternal Father who judges the affairs of humankind. That makes no sense to unbelievers. We, of course, know and revere Him as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Others are utterly oblivious to Him.

Many churches no longer discuss the concept of sin, choosing instead to focus on positive thinking and that which is "uplifting." Certainly, encouraging words have their place in Christian teaching, but Scripture is explicit on the nature of evil. The Apostle Paul said, "The wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). King David wrote, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Ps. 51:5). Jesus' disciple, John, wrote, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). How can representatives of Christ justify "hopscotching" over basic scriptural principles in this manner?

Here's another question: If nothing is offensive to God, why did Jesus come to this earth? Why did He have to die an agonizing death on the cross? Wasn't it to provide a remedy for sin and depravity? If good and evil don't exist, what exactly was the mission of the Messiah? Its meaning is rooted in righteousness, as defined by the eternal God. He holds each of us accountable for it. Someday, "every knee shall bow to me; every tongue confess to God" (Rom. 14:11b). That is what I believe with all my heart, and if you agree, then you should be teaching it to your children.

Now I will share something with you that will explain my passion for the issue we have been discussing. It espouses a theological perspective that some of you might not accept. It has been my lifelong conviction that if a Scripture addresses a specific issue in straightforward language, it should be accepted as written. We need look for no other interpretation. The biblical writers said what they meant and meant what they said. So it is with regard to the certainty of life after death. 

When the Creator blew the breath of life into Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He made them in the image of God. Respected commentaries interpret that to mean all human beings were given eternal souls and they will live somewhere forever. Those who have been "washed" in the blood of Christ and whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life will be in Paradise eternally. Those who reject the gift of forgiveness and salvation will be lost forever, separated from God and His saints. The word "hell" is one of the most frightening and disturbing words appearing in Scripture, but Jesus Himself spoke of it as a literal place. We can't ignore those emphatic words, because they bear the authority of Christ.

From Dr. Dobson's book Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift.

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