The Future of the Church
by Carey Fortenberry
Many of us who are getting older are beginning to see in our children and grandchildren the future of the church before our eyes. It is a wonderful thing to see our young men beginning to lead singing, give lessons, teach, and do good deeds. Our young women are teaching, learning to prepare the communion, and doing things to serve others. We as parents and grandparents must never stop guiding and teaching these precious ones. We have an ongoing responsibility to instruct diligently and set Godly examples for them.
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. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deut.6:7-9.
We shall talk of God’s words with reverence, seriousness, and for the benefit of our children, as well as friends, coworkers and anyone you are in contact with. These principles should be included in the scenes of everyday life. The New Testament requires total self surrender. Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
Our grave and awesome responsibility to the next generation is to teach the Word daily, to make sure our children are getting their Bible class lessons, to speak to others about Jesus and the plain truth and laws of God in their presence. To avoid speaking ill of others in their presence (or not at all). To show them that attending worship services and Bible classes should come before any and all secular activities. To teach a special love and respect for our church family and respect for the decisions of the elders. To remember to be thankful to God when they are prosperous and have plenty and lack for nothing, as well as when they are suffering or things are not like they wish they were. To explain to them in Biblical detail why we take the Lord’s supper, why we assemble, and other questions they might ask.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (to whet or sharpen them) Ephesians 6:4. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Colossians 3:21.
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 receives 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 18:4-6.
· Humble. Modest, not prideful, not envious, forgiving, overlooking wrongs, not proud and haughty.
· Receive. Giving of material needs, affection, shelter, help and support in spiritual things, encouragement and instruction in holiness.
· Offend.-tempt them to sin, lay obstructions in their way, make their way rough or difficult, impede their progress.
· Millstone. swift and terrible penalty for a crime.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:10-13