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The Stakes Are Too High

By J. W. Jepson, D.Min.

Life In Christ Center, 3095 Cherry Heights Road, The Dalles, Oregon 97058

(541) 296-1136

copyright � 1998 by J. W. Jepson

All rights reserved, including the right to grant the following permission and to prohibit the misuse thereof:

The Author hereby grants permission to reproduce the text of this article, without changes or alterations*, as a ministry, but not for commercial or non-ministry purposes.

*Permission is given for publication of excerpts and condensed versions.

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It is interesting to observe the outcome of people's spiritual habits and choice patterns. Consider two examples.

Parents A are committed to serving Christ faithfully in the fellowship of His church. They are present at most services. There is no question about what to do or where to be on Sunday. They find opportunities of ministry and accept responsibilities. The family's roots go deep in the nourishing soil of the church, and they are in the mainstream of its life. Their lives revolve around Chirst and His church. Their primary parental goal is to make sure their children know Christ personally and live godly lives.

It is no accident that their children grow up to love the Lord, His church, and His kingdom.

Parents B have a different attitude and agenda. They are casual about God and eternal values. They attend church one, maybe two, Sunday mornings amonth, but are seldom seen Sunday nights and rarely if ever on Wednesday night. They never put themselves of their children into the mainstream of the church. Church in only part of the mix, perhaps an expendable, peripheral part. They assume that because their children are "raised in church" they are Christians, will be good "church-goers" when they grow up, and will make it to heaven.

It is no accident when their children go their own way, bringing pain and tears to themselves and their parents.

There are exceptions, of course; but when it comes to vital spiritual matters, children often adopt the values of their parents. They learn very early what is really important to Dad and Mom, and they tend to absorb the same attitudes, especially regarding the things of God.

We dare not be carless with the souls of our children. Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking to devour them. The world exerts tremendous pressure on them to pursue everything except the priceless riches of Christ. The flesh is always a source of temptation.

We must do everything possible to surround them with every godly influence, provide them with every spiritual resource and means of grace, keep them solid in their personal relationship with Christ and faithful in discipleship. To do this we must establish them in the life and ministries of the church, leading by our own example.

A Sunday morning now and then just won't "cut it." We must keep our values true and our priorities in order. The stakes are too high to do otherwise.

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