We live in a world today that eerily mirrors the world of the Israelites long ago. As the Bible states, God’s people began their journey in the promised land by putting their trust and faith in God, much like the early Americans did. But over time, as they were introduced to other religions and idols, the later generations forgot about the Lord and all that He had done for them. The people no longer followed Him and began to follow ways of other religions, and the culture became farther and farther from God’s original intention.
Today recent studies in America show the same thing happening. ColdCaseChristianity, created by apologetics author J Warner Wallace, presents a compelling article entitled, “Are Young People Really Leaving Christianity?” referencing several books and studies on this subject, including these two findings taken from his article below.
LifeWay Research Study
LifeWay Research and Ministry Development (2007)
Study Findings: 70% will leave the faith in college. Only 35% eventually return. 7 in 10 Protestants ages 18 to 30 – both evangelical and mainline – who went to church regularly in high school said they quit attending by age 23. 34% of those said they had not returned, even sporadically, by age 30.
The Last Christian Generation
Josh McDowell, David H. Bellis, Green Key Books (2006)
Book Findings: 63% of teenaged Christians don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of the one true God. 51% don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead. 68% don’t believe that the Holy Spirit is a real entity. Only 33% of churched youth have said that the church will play a part in their lives when they leave home.
Our country is turning more and more to relativistic thinking, that “you can believe whatever you want, and I can believe whatever I want”mindset. Cultural convictions are changing, and over the course of time, some of our Biblical beliefs are portrayed as discriminatory and even unlawful at times. There is evil all around us in the news, at the touch of a button on the internet, and on TV programs, and we are so used to it that it often doesn’t phase us like it should!
So what is our challenge in all of this? I believe it is to teach our children to live in this world and make a difference by truly loving others and treating all people with respect, yet be strong enough to not become “like” the world, giving into sin and falling away from God.
The world is going to teach our children different perspectives that conflict with our Biblical beliefs, whether we like it or not, so we have to be intentional about teaching them and training them by God’s Word while we have them in our home. We have to pray more than ever and seek God for His wisdom in training our children in this way.
I believe that God is doing a mighty work in the coming generation. He is raising up a remnant who will follow Him whole heartedly. We need to raise this next generation not to be casual Christians that go to church occasionally and are halfhearted about God, but Christians whose hearts are steadfast in the Lord. Christians who love others who are different from them, and yet are secure in their own beliefs, so they may share them in a loving way when given the opportunity. Because we don’t know what the future holds for our country and the world around us, our children need to be prepared to stand firm through whatever persecutions may come their way in the future.
It is our job to sow the seeds, but we must trust God to make them grow. We cannot control how our kids turn out, and at the end of the day they will make their own choices. We can, however, rest assured that we did our part, pray, and put them in God’s hands.
So how can we do our part in sowing these seeds of faith? How can we have the encouragement we need when parenting is so hard? Thankfully the Lord has not left us without a multitude of resources and encouragement, from His Word, the Holy Spirit who speaks to our hearts, and other godly parents that bring ideas and wisdom. Books have been written full of Godly wisdom on how to train our kids in righteousness with love. Websites and blogs bring encouragement and hope.
Growing Kids for the Kingdom is a place to provide these types of resources and encouragement. A place where you can come when you are feeling discouraged from a difficult day and find encouragement and tools to help guide you. Together, let’s make a difference in our children for this next generation!