OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to list of articles||Next|
WHY YOUR CHILDREN NEED THE CHURCH
Victor M. Eskew
For some Christian families, the church is a very important element of their family life. Much of what the family does centers in church activities. For others, such is not the case. The church is only a minute part of their lives. The only contact they have with the church is during the A.M. worship service. If you fall into the second category, we address this article to you. It is this author’s opinion that children need the church. We want you to understand “why” they need the church.
First, children need the church because they have precious souls. In II Corinthians 4:16, Paul referred to the soul of man as “the inward man.” According to Jesus, the soul is the most important possession that an individual has. He once taught: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). There are many institutions that exist in the world that deal with the physical man and his needs. Only one institution, the church, addresses the issues surrounding the soul of man.
Second, children need the church because they need to know God. In Isaiah 2:2-3, the prophet looked down the corridors of time and saw the coming kingdom, the church. He also saw those coming to the house of the God of Jacob. In their coming, they developed a relationship with the God of heaven. “And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” It was God who planned the church (Eph. 3:8-11). It was Jesus who shed His blood for the church (Acts 20:28). It is the Spirit of God who governs the church through the Word that He has revealed (II Tim. 3:16-17). If an individual truly wants to know God, he must come to His church. There, he can have fellowship with the Godhead three.
Third, children need the church because they stand in need of salvation. The words, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” apply to our children. As sinners, they need salvation. They need the cleansing blood of Christ applied to their lives. This blood is found in the body of Christ, the church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). According to Ephesians 5:23, Jesus “is the savior of the body.” To say our children do not need the church is to say that they do not need salvation.
Fourth, our children need the church because they need a moral compass to guide them through this ungodly world. The world is not concerned about self-control and discipline. The world is not concerned about right and wrong. The slogans of the world cry out, saying: “If it feels good, do it,” and “reach for all the gusto you can.” The life the world encourages is one of no restraint and no moral guidance. Such a life usually ends in heartache and despair. The church has the Word of God as its light (Ps. 119:105). It leads men in paths of righteousness. It warns men about the ways of ungodliness and worldly lusts. If our children follow the teachings of the church, they will have life, health, peace, and joy. What parent would keep these things from his child?
Fifth, children need the church because of the rich fellowship it contains. The world is an enticing, alluring, and evil place. Christians have been called out of the power of darkness and have been translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Col. 1:13). This fellowship contains all who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. It contains those who had died to the world. Its members have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. They seek to be holy and live like the Son of God. Isn’t this the kind of people parents want their children to fellowship? Don’t they want them to be influenced by those who seek to be good and righteous? If so, the church is where they need to have their children. The saints of God are found therein.
Sixth, children need the church because of the rich blessings that are found therein. Paul wrote that all spiritual blesses are found in Christ (Eph. 1:3). Prayer is one of those blessings (James 5:16). Prayer opens the storehouse of God to the redeemed. Prayer provides a place where the suffering soul can find comfort. It accesses a power that can change the course of human affairs. Another blessing found within the church involves hope. This hope extends beyond the cold, dark grave. It lies in the world to come. This hope lightens our load, brightens our day, and causes us to press on in the midst of great adversity. These are just two of the many blessings found in the body of Christ. Surely, no parent would intentionally keep their children from such wonderful blessings.
There are those in the world who want no part of organized religion. There are those who have dabbled with the church, and who believe that it provides little for their lives. There are still others who stay connected with the church, but who do not experience its richness and fullness. Many of these people are seeking to rear their children in this world of wickedness (I John 5:19). They want their children to “be good.” They want them to be happy. They want them to be able to establish strong and happy homes. Sadly, their neglect of the church is hindering their goals. These parents need to study the church in more detail. They need to immerse themselves in the church and experience its completeness. When they do, they will genuinely understand “why” their children need the church.