Do the churches even have a future anymore? Is the Christian faith in Europe nothing more than a discontinued model? Such questions are on the minds of many people. The answer to this is quite clear: the church of Christ will remain to the end. This conclusion results from the mission which the Lord once assigned to Peter: “…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16: 18). The Lord will see to it that His word is proclaimed and that the sacraments can be dispensed so that mankind can be prepared for His return. However, we bear responsibility for passing this faith on to those who will come after us.
“For the promise is to you and to your children…” (Acts 2: 39). These words from Holy Scripture are both a promise and a directive: dear parents, you are responsible for this and must see to it that your spiritual legacy is passed on to your children.
Today it is customary for parents to delegate many things to others: to educational institutions, to the Church, to the Sunday School teacher, and so on. However, it is first and foremost the parents who are responsible for their children. Parents must take the time to pass the promise of salvation along to their children, even if their schedules are booked solid. After all, it is quite normal for people to drive their children to music classes, take them to sports practices, pick them up from tennis lessons, and so on—and there is nothing wrong with that! But shouldn’t we take more time in order to provide for the eternal life of our children?
Passing our faith along also means helping to build the Church of tomorrow. What image of the Church do we impart to our children? How do we talk about our Church? This begins at home. How do we talk about the ministers? How do we talk about the members? What do you talk about when your conversation at home turns to the Church? This is the information that your children receive from you! This is the image that you are imparting to your children!
Thoughts from a divine service by the Chief Apostle