March 3, 2015
Dear Brethren around the world,
Warm Christian greetings with Luke 15:8-10: “What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
After delivering his sermon on the Sabbath, a minister steped to the church door to greet the people. Finishing his greetings, he went back to the pulpit to get his books, when he met a little boy crying. Asking the boy why was he crying, the tearful response came: “I am lost. My parents forgot me.” After considering this unusual situation the minister uttered to himself: “Lost in the church!”
The parable of the lost coin has a special application for those who are lost in families and in the church. The lost coin is not the guilty one. The woman of the parable lost it. And the coin doesn’t know that it is lost, and it cannot find its way back. The woman must do the work. And in the parable, the woman lighted the candle, swept the house, and worked diligently till she found the lost coin.
There are many families whose children are lost to the Lord. The parents do not realize it neither do the children. It is a very sad picture. Because our children go to church as they are growing up and they take part in the programs, we are tempted to take for granted that they are saved. But do they know Jesus as their personal Savior? Do the parents talk to them about the Savior? Do they take time to pray and to study God’s word with them?
How about those who are regularly attending church services, and even are members in good and regular standing? They too, may not know the Savior by personal experience. Many even hold offices in the church, and like Nicodemus, need to be born again. Nicodemus was a church leader, member of the Sanhedrin, and liberal contributor to the church, but Christ told him clearly: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, 5).
Our main concern is regarding our children and young people around the world. Are they receiving proper individualized spiritual attention from the parents and from the ministers, Bible workers, and church officers?
In some countries we have visited, we see clearly that many of our children and young people either are lost in the church or outside the church. And they need much more attention from all of us. On the other hand we appreciate very much the work that our teachers are doing in behalf of our children in many churches. These teachers need strong support from our Ministers, Elders and Bible workers, so that their work becomes more effective.
Dear brethren, parents, ministers, elders, and church officers, we need to wake up and immediately begin a serious work at home and in the church. Let us give special attention to the children and the youth. An experienced minister told us that, in many cases, we are spending a lot of money to bring people from the outside (and that is right) but, at the same time, we are neglecting the salvation of those who are already inside the church, but receive no attention.
“The lost coin represents those who are lost in trespasses and sins, but who have no sense of their condition. They are estranged from God, but they know it not. Their souls are in peril, but they are unconscious and unconcerned. In this parable Christ teaches that even those who are indifferent to the claims of God are the objects of His pitying love. They are to be sought for that they may be brought back to God.
“If there is in the family one child who is unconscious of his sinful state, parents should not rest. Let the candle be lighted. Search the word of God, and by its light let everything in the home be diligently examined, to see why this child is lost. Let parents search their own hearts, examine their habits and practices. Children are the heritage of the Lord, and we are answerable to Him for our management of His property.
“There are fathers and mothers who long to labor in some foreign mission field; there are many who are active in Christian work outside the home, while their own children are strangers to the Saviour and His love. The work of winning their children for Christ many parents trust to the minister or the Sabbath school teacher, but in doing this they are neglecting their own God-given responsibility. The education and training of their children to be Christians is the highest service that parents can render to God. It is a work that demands patient labor, a lifelong diligent and persevering effort. By a neglect of this trust we prove ourselves unfaithful stewards. No excuse for such neglect will be accepted by God.
“But those who have been guilty of neglect are not to despair. The woman whose coin was lost searched until she found it. So in love, faith, and prayer let parents work for their households, until with joy they can come to God saying, ‘Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me’ (Isaiah 8:18).”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 193-196. [Emphasis supplied]
Before the second coming of Christ, God expects us to fulfil the task prophesied in Malachi 4:5, 6: “I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Are we willing to put ourselves under the control of the Holy Spirit so that He can do a special work in behalf of our children, our little ones, and our young people? May the Lord richly bless us as we carry out, by His grace, this special work!
Your brother in the blessed hope,
Davi P Silva