Summary: Hindrances to Children Coming to Jesus
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
Hindrances to Children Coming to Jesus
February 28, 2010
Here is the situation. Jesus was a very busy person, he preached to thousands and the crowds were always clamoring him for personal attention. There was quite a bit of momentum and speculation about him being the long awaited Messiah who would deliver the Jews from Roman oppression. They had seen Jesus touch people and make them whole. Because of this the parents were bringing their young children to Jesus to have him bless them. Yet his disciples rebuked them for doing so; Jesus had no time for toddlers. He used the situation to teach the disciples and us what it means to enter the kingdom. ‘For the kingdom belongs to those who are humble and lowly and needy (v. 14).’ From this passage I want to focus on this: Followers of Christ should remove all hindrances that keep children from coming to Jesus.
1. The First Hindrance to Children Coming to Jesus is Neglecting our Mission
When parents are not Christ followers children are at a great disadvantage because there is no one at home to bring them to Jesus. There are children and youth in our church and many more in our neighborhoods who live in these tragic circumstances. God has placed people into our lives specifically for mission.
There are two ways to remove this kind of hindrance. One is to try to reach those children around us who come from unchurched homes and lead them to Jesus even if the parents don't want anything to do with Him. Many parents are willing to let someone else take their children into the presence of Jesus. If they will let us we should do it.
But it is far better for these children and for their parents if we lead the parents into the presence of Jesus. If the unbelief of parents is the chief hindrance to the children, then the best way to remove the hindrance is to point these parents to Christ.
2. The Second Hindrance to Children Coming to Jesus is the Lack of Bible Knowledge
A second hindrance that keeps children out of the kingdom or weakens their usefulness in it is the lack of sound biblical theology among parents and teachers. It takes as much or more understanding of a Biblical truth to teach it to children than it does to teach it to adults. If you understand something well, you can usually make it plain for ordinary people and children. But if you are fuzzy in your own thinking, you will usually be unclear in your explanation.
A great hindrance to the salvation and the growth of our children is the weakness of our own grasp of the full range of Biblical truth. I am regularly amazed at what children can absorb and retain when they are repeatedly and systematically instructed in biblical truth. This was a main reason Kathy Beachy changed our Children’s curriculum a few years ago. Let me encourage you to get your children involved in our children’s Sunday School program. It is a great program to educate your children in the great truths of Scripture in a systematic way. You are setting habits and patterns for life.
The best way to remove this hindrance is to help all the adults of CCC get excited about the joy of knowing God and growing in our understanding of his character and ways. We need to develop our own little systematic study of the bible for Adult Sunday School to teach and train as many as want to in the great truths of scripture and how to share them with others.
3. The Third Hindrance to Children Coming to Jesus is the Lack of Planning by Parents
A third hindrance to our children coming to Jesus is the lack of disciplined planning especially in us parents. What I mean is that we often fail to teach our children not just because we lack understanding of what needs to be taught, but because we do not take the time to plan to teach. Fathers, it is your privilege and your delight to teach your children about the glorious truths of justification, sanctification, redemption, regeneration, adoption, salvation, reconciliation, original sin, the deity of Christ, the atonement, the resurrection, the second coming, the work of the Holy Spirit, the nature and importance of the church, the inspiration and authority of the Bible. It is a great hindrance to our children that we do not sit down and plan a systematic presentation of these things to them during family devotions for a few minutes each day.
Our children are growing up so fast and before you know it they will be gone. Every night we sit down together to read the bible; we read Global Prayer Digest; and memorize Scripture. I put younger ones down and pray for them and we also pray for each other in the morning. We do it because we have planned and organized our family around it. If you are not doing it, sit down for fifteen minutes today and plan a strategy to take ten minutes a day to teach your children the most important truths in the world. How much time do we spend talking to our children about school, sports, and just stuff, but neglect the most important arena in their life? If your family schedule is too busy then your children are in spiritual danger. The way to remove this hindrance is for us to cultivate a culture in which parents do not neglect their duty thinking that it is the responsibility of the church to teach those things.