Core Christian Value
Parents should pray earnestly for the salvation of their children but children grow up and they must each choose to love and obey our Lord. Mature believers stand alone before God.
Do you ever feel like you are part of God’s family because your mom or dad loves the Lord? Is it sort of like mom or dad is the child of God and you are the grandchild? Listen to Paul teaching young Timothy about grandchildren:
“I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”
2 TIMOTHY 1:3-5 NKJV
First, this grandchild is Timothy, a young man that Paul prayed for unceasingly. When a righteous man prays to God it is of great benefit to the target of their prayers. Listen to James: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” JAMES 5:16 NKJV. When we who love the Lord, pray for our children and grandchildren, it makes a difference!
Second, we see that a faithful mother and grandmother had a positive effect on Timothy. But the point upon which we must focus is this; God has no grandchildren. Each of us, as we achieve maturity and are wise enough to know right from wrong, must choose for ourselves to love God. When we are judged as mature persons, we are judged individually, not as a family. Our relationship to our Lord must be personal and individualized. The faith of our family members is a great assist but faith is not something we inherit, it is something we personally acquire by the grace of God, having faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ, and then acting on that faith in our daily lives. Listen as Jesus teaches us about accountability:
“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” MATTHEW 16:27 NKJV. We will each be rewarded according to our works, that is, as a person of faith, the actions that you took with the resources God gave you (strength, wisdom, wealth, etc.) will form the basis of your standing before Jesus at the time of judgment. That is why we must not take comfort in the works of our family members; we must develop our own record of service to our Lord. The faith of a family member is of assistance as Paul explains here: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.” 1 CORINTHIANS 7:14 NKJV.
But still, the child is born “clean” because of a believing mother or father will mature and then this child, born clean, will be rewarded according to that child’s faith and obedience.
Does being a member of a Christian organization make you a Christian? If you are a member of a Christian family, and are mature, does that make you a Christian? Does having a Christian as a best friend mean that you are a Christian too? Are younger, not yet accountable children, advantaged by having been raised in a Christian family? Does God love and protect all young children?