Twisting the Truth
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons... 1 Timothy 4:5
In 1797, William Wilberforce wrote, "The young have a way of seeing right through the charade of those who profess the faith but don't live the life." Today's challenge is for parents and grandparents to be very intentional to teach, speak, and live out the gospel in an authentic, honest, and grace-filled manner. Live the life!
I have been in full-time ministry for over 25 years and during this time I have seen many former students walk away from their "faith." Many of these I could have predicted because they never seemed very serious about their relationship with Jesus. But a few appeared sincere, only to have time reveal something different. I believe Scripture clearly teaches that those who have a genuine relationship with Jesus will continue to see the evidence of transforming grace in their life and need not fear falling away. R.C. Sproul noted, "True Christians can have radical and serious falls but never total and final falls from grace."
So what is the greatest common denominator I have observed for those continuing to stay true to Jesus over the years? It would be the influence of one or both parents in the home! My experience has been confirmed in many different studies. Parents continue to be the single greatest influence on their children's faith. Another study even finds the influence of grandparents is far greater than is often recognized.
For those of you reading this email, the "false teaching" most likely to influence your child or grandchild probably won't be coming through Grace Church. But it comes through social media, internet ads and searches, YouTube videos, and the constant barrage of ideologies and philosophies worked into articles and blogs.
So what can you do?
Truly seek God through the Word and prayer every day!
Know the gospel and direct your kids/grandkids to the gospel over and over. It's all about Jesus!
Pray real and meaningful prayers in front of your kids. Redeem those mealtime prayers!
Use God's Word to intervene, but not as a weapon.
Focus on the underlying heart condition of your kids/grandkids, not on their behavior alone.
Read and study God's Word together.