The rich and the poor have this in common,-Proverbs 22:2-6
The Lord is the maker of them all.
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself,
But the simple pass on and are punished.
By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards his soul will be far from them.
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
It is estimated by https://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/ that 8 percent of young Christians will turn to atheism or agnosticism. This could be interpreted in two different ways. 1) This is simply just a change of mind with no extraordinary results. 2) This is an alarming number that ultimately determines where these young souls will end up. We believe in two eternal places, In heaven by God’s side and hell away from God. It should be alarming that these young souls are ending up away from God. What are the reasons for these young souls decisions to walk away from God. What can we do to help them retain their destiny by God’s side.
It all starts at home, children mimic parents. Children often want to be like their parents. Parents that get along together are able to provide a good healthy environment for their children. But what if the parents have a different opinion about how to raise the child. On the one hand one parent believes that is good and healthy to take the child to church and follow God’s path. On the other hand the other parent believes that the child should do what the child wants. This will create a conflict of interest on the child’s heart. The child more likely see the parent with God’s interest in mind as the bad parent, and by consequence the other parent as the good one.
This conflict in the child’s heart will likely lead him to believe that God is not as important as it seems. The child will lose interest in God therefore abandon Jesus. In all my years in this life leading the youth at my local church I see this happen time and time again with conflicting parents and child. In my personal experience my parents always agreed in instructing me in God’s path. Now all grown and away from my parents household I still remain in this path with struggles and afflictions but with certainty and assurance.
By church environment I mean the child’s church beliefs, treatment of the members etc. The wrong teachings at a church will lead the child to have confliction in his beliefs, if the bible says one thing but the church does the opposite we can not expect the child to remain in the church when he is grown. If the pastor does not act according to the scriptures, the grown child will see the hypocrisy and turn away from God. A conflicting church does not provide a solid base for any believer to continue on God’s path.
In talking to many ex-christians I have found that this is a big reason of followers abandoning the church. They often find that sadly the pastors are not living in accordance to the bible. It hurts to see that souls walk away thinking because of one man’s hypocrisy. Not only these pastors are to blame, church members are also at fault, when they have no love for the souls. This is not to say that they are all the same, because there are pastors that love the souls and also there are church members serve God rather than themselves.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.Hosea 4:6
According to https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/religious-tradition/evangelical-protestant/ the average christian that reads the bible at least once a week is 30%. That means that at least 70% are biblically illiterate. To strengthen one’s beliefs we must educate ourselves and find the truth in what we believe. Again it starts at home by our parents teaching us, we then develop the need to learn ourselves. The church’s wrong teachings will be exposed and wrong religion beliefs for that matter when we really decide to search for the truth.
As a youth teacher I can see the biblical illiteracy on some students thru the expanse of 20 years, not because the church is unequipped to teach but because the parents are not adequately teaching the children. The lack of teaching by the parents does not absolutely absolve the believer of any fault. In some cases the believer’s parents do not attend church but they make an effort to learn the truth for themselves.
What can be done to help prevent the abandonment of Jesus?
- Parents must teach and educate the child in the path of God.
- The church should be compliment of the parents teaching unless the parents are new believers.
- Not forcing them into reading the bible or praying, these should not feel like punishments, rather a joyous moments with God.
- The church must be well equipped to teach the child.
- The child should be able to learn what the church’s beliefs are.
- The churches should have adequate learning programs to teach the students according to their age.
- For the student, seek the truth.
- You owe it to yourself to be sure that you chose the right path.
- I challenge you to really seek God and exhaust all possibilities, I know that he will find you.