A pastor asked a group of children in Sunday School class,“Why do you love God?”
He received a variety of answers, but the one he liked best was,
“I don’t know, Sir, I guess it just runs in our family.”
That is a cute adorable answer from a child and it brings a smile to my face, but I wonder if that is the only reason our children say they are “Christian”.
In Sunday School we teach our children the story of Christmas and Easter. We tell them that Jesus loves them and they should believe in Him. If they believe, they will be saved.
This is all true, but are we teaching them about true repentance?
What is the first word of the gospel?
John the Baptist preaching about Jesus’ coming...
(Matt.3:2) “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
The beginning of Jesus’ ministry…
(Matt.4:17) “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say,“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
(Matt. 9:13) “For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
On the Day of Pentecost when all of those, who were expectantly waiting in one accord, were filled with the Holy Ghost, it caused great commotion and confusion in the crowd of people outside. Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit and the anointing began to preach Jesus to them.
(Acts 2:37-38) “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Again, Peter preaching on another day to a different crowd…
(Acts 3:19) “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
I believe that ‘repent’ was the first word of the gospel. Sadly, we seldom hear it preached in churches today. The Gospel has been watered down, so as not to offend.
To be completely honest I’m not sure, in my fading memory, if my sons heard the complete gospel of repentance while growing up in church 30-45 years ago.
Is this why so many of our children who were raised in church leave the faith when they start making life choices? Was their faith anchored through repentance, or just a mental acceptance of what they agreed to believe at that time?
Only the convicting power of the Holy Spirit can bring the unbeliever to repentance. The Spirit’s irresistible power draws him to the Master, changing his mind, attitude and behavior instantly, for all eternity!
2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Love and Prayers,