Today’s Neglect – Tomorrow’s Emergency
Warren E. Berkley
What we neglect to teach today, we will have to teach tomorrow.
God’s people are to be “fellow-workers for the truth,” (3 Jno. 8). That calls for the commitment of the individual to the truth God has revealed in His word. It means in our work together in the local church, that truth must be our standard. And the home needs to be a place where parents lead children to believe and obey the truth.
In the absence of faithfully preaching and obeying the truth, what can happen? The Bible identifies the possible consequences:
- “Tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine…,” Eph. 4:14
- Being deceived “with persuasive words,” and cheated “through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men,” Col. 2:4,8
- Concerning “the faith,” suffering “shipwreck,” 1 Tim. 1:19
- Departing “from the faith,” 1 Tim. 4:1
- Turning “aside to fables,” 2 Tim. 4:4
It is our solemn undertaking – as the people of God – to give up no truth for any man; to speak the truth in love and teach the truth to the next generation.
Are we doing that? Are we faithfully engaged in the good work illustrated by Lois and Eunice (2 Tim. 1:5; 3:14,16)? Are we teaching others “who will be able to teach others also?” (2 Tim. 2:2).
Here’s one way to focus our thoughts on this: What we neglect to teach today, we will have to teach tomorrow!
Someone will teach our children about divorce. Who will it be? Will they learn about divorce from their friends at school or the worldly portrayal of marriage and remarriage on television? Or will they hear it first from you, as you tell them: “…whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery,” (Matt. 19:9). What we neglect to teach today, we will have to teach tomorrow!
What do your children know about the Holy Spirit? Do they know who the Holy Spirit is and how He works through the Word (Eph. 6:17). Are we teaching the next generation about the gifts of the Spirit, in their temporary role of bringing to pass the New Testament volume? Do the young people where you worship understand that the modern charismatic claims have no biblical foundation? What we neglect to teach today, we will have to teach tomorrow!
Have we just stopped teaching about the work of the local church? Are we raising a generation without showing them what the New Testament says about the advancing denominational approach, unity-in-diversity, the sponsoring church, the social gospel, etc. Do our grandchildren understand that the things we learn in the New Testament constitute a pattern, and that we must do these things for the “God of peace to be with” us (Phil. 4:9). What we neglect to teach today, we will have to teach tomorrow!
“Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren,” (Deut. 4:9).