Comfort Says Commandments are Key to Keeping Kids Christian
- Tuesday, March 15, 2005
A well known evangelist is trying to battle what he sees as "shallow theology" among many parents and Sunday school teachers. In his new book, How to Bring Your Children to Christ and Keep Them There (Genesis Publishing Group, 2005), Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministry says there are biblical principles that can be implemented to help prevent children from falling away from the faith.
Comfort believes too many people in the church think all that is necessary for any child to be saved is merely to ask Christ into his or her heart. "The correct way to bring a child to Christ and keep him there, by God's grace, is to teach them the Commandments," he says. "And the reason for this is that, when they hit their teenage years and sin begins to rise in their hearts -- specifically sexual sin -- they will know that God condemns adultery, fornication, but it also considers lust to be adultery of the heart. So it brings the knowledge of sin."
It is extremely important, the author says, to instill the fear of the Lord in the hearts of children. In this way, he says, adults can help to ensure that young people "have a reverence for God, and they do everything in the light of His frown or His smile."
Comfort contends that children must have a solid understanding that they have violated God's laws and stand in need of Christ's shed blood to cleanse them from their sins. In his book, which is subtitled Avoiding the Tragedy of False Conversion, he asserts that more emphasis needs to be placed on biblical repentance when the plan of salvation is presented to children.
"People think the fear of the Lord is something that you should shun," the evangelist notes, "and this is because modern evangelism and popular preachers stay away from words like the fear of God, hell, Judgment Day, repentance, and all this sort of stuff because they don't want to make people feel guilty." However, he points out that guilt and fear are appropriate responses to the gospel, if it is presented biblically and completely.
"To come to Christ, you have to feel guilty, because we are guilty," Comfort explains, "and the Bible says, 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.' And, in fact, Jesus said, 'Fear not him who has power to kill your body and afterwards can do no more.' The Bible says it is 'a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'"
A Barna Research study found that 88 percent of children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18, never to return. Comfort believes fewer young people will fall away if they are given a firm scriptural foundation for their genuine conversion to faith in Christ from the beginning.
Living Waters Ministry (http://www.livingwaters.com)
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