Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Pastoral Letter to Fathers of Young Children

My dear brothers,

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ, who is God over all the universe. I write this letter as a warning. Please read it as such.

It is my expectation that hard times are coming for Christians in these United States. There is already discrimination against us, of course. There are places we can’t preach and can’t pray. Symbols of our faith are banned from the workplace and the schoolroom. Faith in Christ is regularly ridiculed. Imagine, if you can, a Muslim’s faith being mocked as was Sarah Palin’s Christianity in recent weeks. I suspect it will get much worse in the socialist state which is about to be created here.

What do we do? Just a few quick thoughts.

First, we remember that God is sovereign. It is He who allowed – who gave permission, if you will – for the current climate. It is He who will rescue His people. Way back in Genesis 17, He promised that He would be our God for all the generations to come.

Secondly, we need to remember that nations rise and fall. We should not be shocked to think that the United States may be past its prime. Rome was once great, but it fell under the weight of its own excesses. We may be in the same process. Be ready for hard times. We are no longer a super-power. There are wolves at the door.

Finally, we must stand firm. This is where we come in. This is the level at which fathers must prepare their children. About a dozen times in the New Testament, we are told to “stand firm.” In 1 Corinthians 16:13, it is put this way: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” Notice that standing firm does not imply standing on your “rights,” or protecting capitalism, democracy, or even conservative social and political thinking, It says “stand firm in the faith.”

What faith? In the third verse of the letter of Jude it’s explained this way. “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” This faith entrusted to the saints is not just an amorphous faith in whatever I find to be trustworthy. It is a rock-solid faith in Jesus Christ as the One redeemer of His people. It’s a faith in the God who created the universe and sustains it still. It’s a faith in the Holy Spirit of God who illuminates God’s Holy Word and who calls us to this precious faith. It is upon that which we are to stand firm.

Are your children prepared to do that? Do they have a faith upon which to stand? Are you, Christian father, preparing them to stand? In Deuteronomy 6, we are given this admonition:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (vv.4-7).
The task of the Christian father is to pass on the great truths of the faith which have been entrusted to all the saints. At home, on the road, in the car, at all times and in every place it is our role to be instructing them about God and His goodness. Our children need to know about the provision of the Lord. They need to understand about Israel and the first Passover, and the Exodus. They need to appreciate that their salvation can come from none other than God Almighty. The need a faith upon which to stand. Are you preparing them?

Brothers, we know that faith is a gift of God. Yet, God teaches us that it is our job to pass that faith to the next generation. This is the only way we can help them be prepared for the hard times which may be coming. Are your precious little ones prepared to stand Firm? Are you?

3 comments:

~big sis said...

this is printable...time to post this around to keep us even more vigilant!

~big sis said...

as always, thanks pop!!

Curt said...

Feel free to pass it around; send it to everyone in your address book; discuss at at Bible studies and church.

I do want people to read it.