RESTORING TRUE CHRISTIANITY

 

Restoring true Christianity must be unending. Around 200 years ago our forefathers in the faith realized that it was time for them to get back to the Bible and break free from denominationalism. They were willing stand up for Godís truth and to hold fast the doctrine within our Bibles as Paul commanded Timothy:

 

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

 

All it takes is one generation to either grow the church or severally damage the church. Unfortunately, it did not take long after forefathers in the faith had moved in the right direction that a new generation was born that was in desperate need of being taught the importance making the Word of God their rock. Since they were not, history shows that the church began to suffer once again from lack of knowledge, and many Christians slowly but surely left the church and went back to existing denominations, or they created new ones.

 

This is why restoring true Christianity must be unending. Each new generation must be taught about God because if they are not, the church will suffer. Even those that are in the faith must constantly refresh themselves with Godís teachings because is seems to be in manís nature to forget about God and what He has done for us in our lives.

 

An example of how a new generation can affect the church can be seen from Joshua. During Joshuaís days the children of Israel saw and experienced the great works of God. That generation was committed to serving God, which is why they were successful at conquering the promise land. But that generation died out and a new generation came along that had not been properly taught about God and they had lost their way. We read about them in:

 

Judges 2:10 When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel.11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals;12 and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.13 They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.

 

I want you to understand that all it took was one generation to change the children of God from being faithful to unfaithful. Understanding this should motivate us to teach each new generation about God and the importance of holding fast to the doctrine of Christ.

 

We also cannot be like the Samaritans that we read about in:

 

 

2 Kings 17:33 They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods -- according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.

 

It is not enough to fear God or just to know about Him, we must be fully committed to Him. We cannot serve Him on one hand and continue you to live in sin on the other. The farther we move away from Godís Word, the more we are going to find ourselves compromising Godís truth with manís ideas.

 

It is easy for us to drift away from Godís truth, and to let the next generation be unfaithful because moving away from Godís Word happens gradually. When things happen gradually, you donít realize the damage that is done until much later. It is kind of like the example of the frog. If you try to put a frog in boiling water, it will jump out right away, but if you put it into cool water and slowly turn the temperature up it will not jump out and will boiled alive because gradual change is much more difficult to notice. This is why the writer of Hebrews warns us:

 

Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation,

 

As Paul taught:

 

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

 

We need to understand that Satan is at work and he wants us to fail to teach the next generation, and he wants us to wavier in our faith and compromise Godís truth. We must never forget the devil is the father of lies (Jn. 8:44) and as Paul says:

 

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

 

Satan wants you to believe restoring Christianity as it was 2,000 years ago is impossible and impractical in a modern society. He wants you to believe that Church of Christ is just another denomination and is no different from any other denomination. He wants you to accept the idea of worship at church of your choosing. He wants you to think that God does not care about the details as long as you worshiping Him in some way. But Paul says:

 

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

 

Do not be deceived by the devil or those who are working for his cause because God has not changed and His Word has not changed. If we are going to be pleasing to Him, we must worship Him in Spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:24). If we worship Him any other way, then our worship will be in vein.

 

People have a tendency to want to do whatever is popular, and Christians who are weaker in the faith will allow the world to influence them and they will adopt manmade doctrines just so they can fit in, but John tells us:

 

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.

 

Jesus warned us that the road to heaven is difficult (Mt. 7:14), but the reward of heaven is worth it all, so we must sometime go against the grain. Sometimes a church will find itself chasing aftermanmade ways because the elders of the church do not stand up for what is right, and they allow themselves to bullied into something false. Elders should never compromise Godís truth even if half a church walked away because God would rather have half a church worshiping Him correctly then a whole church worshiping Him in vein.

 

The world has been pressing in hard against the church trying its best to corrupt the faithful and to train the new generations in the way of the world. Usually, if you want to see the direction the Lordís church is headed just look at the denominations and how they are being influenced by the world because they will usually adapt worldly practices before they end up influencing the Lordís church later down the line.

 

One example that comes to mind is how many denominations have noticed how they have started losing membership especially with their youth, so in order to try to save their youth, they created a worship service just for them. They are attempting to appeal to a generation who is no longer satisfied with traditional worship as they call it and so they allow them to dress how they want, and them jam out with Christian based music. Some from these denominations would disagree with me, but it easy to see that they are simply trying to entertain these younger folks.

 

But they are finding out it is that it is not working because their membership is still declining. As far as I am concerned, if worshipping God His way is not good enough for these younger folks, then they are lost anyways because they are not interested in worshipping God in spirit and is truth.

 

The denominations have been doing things like this for years, and in last couple years we have heard of several congregations of the Lordís church that have started thinking this way. They have started adding musical instruments, giving women roles they God has not authorized, they have starting using praise teams and some have started teaching that baptism is not necessary for salvation.

 

If we want to remain true to God we must plead with our brothers and sisters in Christ about the importance of restoring true Christianity and to reject all manmade doctrines:

 

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

Of course the only way that we can be prepared to deal with false teachings and the influence of the world is by being students of the Bible. Far to many Christians are ignorant when it comes to Godís Word. I am sure you have heard that phrase ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to ignorance of Godís Word, your ignorance can cost you your soul and cause you to face the torments of hell. As Hosea said:

 

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.†††

 

As Jesus said in Jn. 8:32, the truth will set you free, but if we continue to neglect Godís Word and live in ignorance, we will be destroyed, and we will have no idea when something false is being taught. So, we must never stop teaching the basic principles of the Bible so that the faithful will remain faithful, and so that next generations will be properly trained in the way of God.

 

We have a great challenge before us, but we must never relent on emphasizing the truth about God and how we must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. One of the most important places that we must begin in training the next generation of Christians is in the home. Far too many Christian parents have become lazy at the job that God has given them as:

 

Deuteronomy 6:6" And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.8 "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

 

Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

 

Parents I want you to understand that if you do not get involved with teaching your children about God by your example and by Godís Word, then you are going to lose your children to the world. The latest statistics I have came cross says that 7 out every 10 children raised up in the church will leave the church by their 2nd year of college.

 

Sometimes, we have around 30 children in our church on Sunday morning and that is wonderful, but if these numbers hold true, only 9 of that 30 will remain faithful to God. Only 9 will most likely make it to heaven. Those numbers should upset you, but I can promise you this, we do not have to let these number come true. We can defy the current trend and take action starting today and make sure that we keep the majority of our children faithful to Lord.

 

We can do this by training them at home. We should not expect our children to get all their education about God at church because it is not enough. Your children are being influenced by world in many ways. For example, when you send your children to public school, not only do they get taught the fundamentals of education, they are also taught about evolution, and how we should accept people no matter what they believe in or do. The language in the text books are being changed and some text books starting at the youngest grades are teaching how its normal for a child to have two moms or two dads. They are teaching that truth is relative and many other things that contrary to Godís Word.

 

The world understands that if they train our children with information like this, that they can change our nation. Adolf Hitler understood this, which why he said:

 

ďLet me control the textbooks and I will control the state..Ē Adolf Hitler

 

During a speech he delivered on November 6, 1939 Hitler said:

 

ďWhen an opponent declares, ĎI will not come over to your side,í I calmly say, ĎYour child belongs to us alreadyÖ. What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.íĒ

 

If we do not combat the worldly views our children are being taught in their textbooks, then we will lose our children without even knowing it.

 

After I written this lesson, I heard a man on radio from Dallas, Tx who got fired because he had was asking his fellow teacher of what she thought about Obama. She complained, and his boss told him did not have freedom of speech as school and he also has been written up earlier for say Merry Christmas to one of students. When I got home, my wife showed me article about teacher Florida that might have to go jail for saying prayer for lunch at school. Stories like these show how things have changed in the school system in last 20 years.

 

Of course, our children are also being influenced by their friends and by what other kids their age are telling them. Many times they will start thinking like those that are around them because they do not want to be different because they want to be popular.

 

If that did not make our jobs hard enough, we have to combat what Hollywood and the internet is teaching our children. If we are going to save our children from all these worldly influences, we must take time out of our busy lives to teach our children about God, and why some things are right and some things are wrong. We need to teach them that Godís Word is our only guide, and that there is no reason to doubt that it is absolute truth.

 

Before you can ever begin to train up your child in the admonition of the Lord, you must be committed to serving God. You cannot teach your child with mere words on they should live their lives and expect them to remain faithful because, they must see you living the life of a Christian. They must see your dedication to God because your example is the greatest influence on your child because if you do not practice what you preach, then your children are not going to listen.

 

For example, if you tell your children how important it is that they attend all the church services because Christ purchased the church with His own blood, but they see you only attending when you feel like it, or they see you missing church because you want to watch TV or pursue a hobby, do really think they are going to consider attending church important when you do not do it.

 

Many other examples could be given, but the simple message is, practice what you preach. You are the one that sets the standard, so donít be surprised when you child follows your example, instead of your empty words.

 

Once you have made the commitment to serve the Lord and you are being a Christ-like example, then you can be effective at training your child up in the way of the Lord, but you must make time to do this. We donít seem to mind to make the time to get involved in our childrenís activities such as sports, choir, band, or some hobby, but many times we cannot seem to find the time to have Bible study or to talk about God. Which is more important? I hope that you agree that God is more important. So, if you examine yourself and you realize that you are neglecting opportunities to train you child in the way of the Lord, I hope you start making time for it and I would suggest that you pray to God for guidance in this area because the fate of our children, and the fate of the church rests in your hands.

 

We are very fortunate here at Lone Grove to have so many children because they are the next generation that can either grow the church or help destroy it. I hope this lesson will open your eyes to how important it is that we train this next generation so that they will not compromise Godís truth and that they will in turn teach their children the same message, so that the Lordís church will remain strong and faithful to Lord in the future. So, lets us never grow weary of doing our part to restore true Christianity by teaching Godís Word to future generations and teaching them to live by it so they will not compromise Godís truth or turn to the world.

 

(Adapted in part from Sacred Principles on which we Stand Ė John Waddey)