Child abuse has become a major issue in America today. According to the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, 2.5 million children are abused each year.

Physical, sexual, and emotional abuse are listed as being the nature of most child abuse cases, but did you know that there is a type of child abuse in our society which is far worse than physical, sexual, or emotional abuse? It's true! Millions of innocent children are being abused every day BY THEIR OWN PARENTS!

Millions of parents take great pride in the fact that they are providing their children with proper food, shelter, clothing, and education, but at the same time these parents are FAILING to provide their children with the greatest need of all! Yes, food, shelter, clothing and education are important, but the Lord Jesus Christ says that there is something far MORE important: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Mt. 6:33.

According to Jesus Christ, the most important need in a person's life is their need to escape the damnation of Hell by entering into the Kingdom of God. You may be meeting the CARNAL needs of your children, but what about their SPIRITUAL needs? Jesus also said: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mk. 8:36.

Friend, you can provide your children with every carnal necessity under the sun, but if you are not providing for their spiritual needs, then you are committing child abuse of the worse kind: SPIRITUAL CHILD ABUSE! You may not think much of it, but God thinks a great deal of it. Psalm 127:3-5 says that children are an heritage of the Lord and that they are His reward. God expects parents to raise children RIGHT, and He will hold those accountable who do not.

In Proverbs 22:6 we are commanded to "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." God commanded the Israelites to TEACH their children the word of God in Deuteronomy 6:6-7, and Paul tells you and me to bring up our children "in the fear and admonition of the Lord." Eph. 6:4.

Parents, you have the first 18 to 20 years of your children's lives to properly TRAIN them in the ways of God. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to train them for a life of devotion to God. It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to provide them with a clean Christian home, with Bible reading and prayer in the home, and with a Bible believing church. It is also your responsibility to encourage them to seek out good Christian friends for fellowship. Are you meeting these important needs? What are you doing to bring your children closer to the Lord Jesus Christ? Are your children saved? Are you? Parent, what are you doing to keep your children from spending eternity in a burning Hell?

Many parents say, "I don't believe in telling my children what to believe about God and the Bible. I think they should decide that for themselves." NONSENSE! You're just lazy! You don't let your children decide whether or not to take a bath, do you? You don't let them make up their own mind about going to school, do you? NO YOU DON'T! You believe in TEACHING your children to do right; so why won't you teach them about Jesus Christ and the wonderful Salvation that He offers? Parent, are you training up your children in the ways of God, or are you letting them gradually wonder into the arms of Satan?

Jesus said, in Mark 10:14, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God." If you are not living a devoted Christian life for the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are abusing your children by STANDING IN THEIR WAY. You are setting a bad example for them, and God will certainly hold you accountable. In Acts 16:31, Paul and Silas told the Philippian jailer to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

Friend, have you been saved? Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? If not, then you need to receive Him today. John 1:12 says, "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." To RECEIVE Jesus Christ is to BELIEVE on His name. Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

We are all sinners, according to Romans 3:23, which says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 5:12 and Psalm 51:5 tell us that we were BORN in sin with a sin nature. That is, we INHERITED our sin nature from Adam. But Jesus Christ came to PAY for our sins and give us a NEW sinless nature. So those who receive Christ as their Savior are BORN AGAIN (John 3:3) in Christ.

Romans 5:8-9 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" The wrath of God will fall upon everyone who refuses to receive His Son as Lord and Savior. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. In Luke 13:3 Jesus said, "...except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

Friend, God wants you to turn from your sins and RECEIVE the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Paul says, "For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9.

Your sins have all been paid for, and your Salvation is free, IF you will receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, trusting HIM ALONE to save you. Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Then we read these blessed words in Romans 10:9: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

The decision is your's, and the time to make it is RIGHT NOW. Will you pray and ask the Lord to save you? Will you give up on your own self righteousness and trust Christ alone? Will you become a true Christian and set your house in order? Will you become the parent that God wants you to be for your children? The decision is your's, and we're praying that you'll receive Jesus Christ today.

Copyright © 1994 James L. Melton

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