What role did God intend for the Christian home and family to play in his salvation plan, the Gospel? (Part 2)
In part one we talked about how God wants to have salvation and his blessing come to our families. In part two I would like to talk about God’s calling on Christian families and how God wants to work through them.
Let’s go back and take a closer look at the verses about why God called Abraham.
Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” (Genesis 18:18, 19)
Let’s look at all three parts of what the Lord said here. First he outlines his promise, Abraham is to become a great and powerful nation and (also) all the nations on the earth are to be blessed through him.
Next he states that he has chosen Abraham to direct his children and household after him to follow and obey the Lord.
The first two words of the final part is the key to my point here; “…so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
The Lord said that Abraham had to raise godly children and have a godly household. Also each future generation needed to do the same thing in order for God to fulfill his promise to first, make Abraham a mighty nation and second for all nations to be blessed through him.
God reminded the Israelites again and again that raising godly children who knew God’s Word was important. The few times that they did, Israel grew into a great and powerful nation. When they didn’t, the next generation went astray. Other nations around them started picking on them and each time they became small and weak.
It’s not rocket science really. We all die at one point and the next generation takes over. If the Israelites did not teach their children to obey God then that next generation would go backwards not forwards. God was just connecting the dots for Abraham.
Here is where it gets interesting. That covers the first promise but there was a second promise that the Lord also said was contingent on teaching each successive generation to follow the Lord.
The second promise was that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Abraham and his seed. We know from Paul’s explanation in the book of Romans that God was referring to Jesus, that through Abraham’s seed, (singular) Jesus, the nations would be blessed.
Stay with me here, how is that promise contingent on Abraham and his descendents teaching their children after them to trust and obey the Lord?
We are still living in the middle of the second promise being fulfilled. Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all the nations and we are still in the ‘go’ age. The nations get blessed through Christ’s death and resurrection but Christ’s Body, the church, needs to carry the message.
If sin had never entered the world there would be only one mission field, our children. In the Old Testament there was only one mission field, the Israelite’s children. In the New Testament we have added a mission field, the people of the nations who need Christ.
However the first mission field has not been taken away. It still stands and Paul brings it forward into the New in Ephesians when he commands us to bring our children up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
It’s still not rocket science. Every Christian alive as I am writing this will eventually die. If we, as a church, have not successfully passed our Faith on to our children, they will fall into the world and the church and its impact will be lessened.
If we faithfully trust God to help us reach our children and raise them to love and follow him then the church’s impact will be great and powerful and grow with each successive generation.
So here is something to think about. Current stats say that well over 70% of the kids growing up in the church leave it when they have the ability to make a choice. Surveys conducted with these same kids show that they do not understand even the basic truths of the Christian Faith and in many important matters they have adopted an anti Biblical and worldly view.
Why? I am sorry to say it but it is because we have fallen down on the task God originally gave us through our father Abraham, to direct our children and our household after us to follow the Lord, SO THAT God can bring about his promise.
According to the figures it appears like the church in North America is not growing, but we all see new converts coming in, so what’s happening? The trouble is we are losing the kids out the back door faster than we are bringing new converts in the front ones.
Coming back to my point, this does not have to be. God’s plan is for the church to disciple the new converts and for the families to disciple the original mission field, our children. It is God’s plan now and always has been to work in families and then to have the families be the foundation for the church and work together to reach the lost.
Please join with me and help squash the lies that tell us that it is the churches job to teach our children spiritual things, that we as Christian parents do not have what it takes to do what God has asked us to do. It is our job and with God’s help and a little help from the Christian church we can do it.
If we want our children blessed, if we want to see the nations of the world blessed then we need to rise up and cooperate with the way God said that he would accomplish these things.
In my third and final post of this three part blog series I would like to talk about exactly how God can use our families to impact and bless the nations.
For help with teaching your children about their Faith, we recommend, The Singing Bible.
(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad – your source for Christian Parenting advice)