Christian parents are all-too-well-aware of the wayward children out there in the church. My dear reader, you may have prodigal sons or daughters, or you know the lament of others who carry the burden of unbelieving children. Note: these burdens must be entrusted to the Lord, who is faithful to His covenant people in every generation.
When Christian children, that is, children raised by Christian parents in the fear and admonition of the Lord, wander off into the pig pens of this world, they carry with them the seed of faith that was planted in them from earliest days. Like the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable, the child openly and actively rejects his father’s house, that is, the faith of his fathers.
When a father and mother invest the knowledge of Jesus Christ into their children, they are inculcating the love of God into their progeny. Their hope is that their children will be walking in the truth all of their days. As God authors the story, the prodigal may manifest. This may occur at any age. The quest for a reason is probably futile, especially because God has His purpose in the loosening tether.
The squandered inheritance is the forsaken riches of Christ, in whom the child once professed faith. All the spiritual blessings are set aside for things of the world. It was the lust of the eyes that began to entice the departure from the narrow way. This led to the lust of the flesh and then came the bizarre pride of life.
Pride is bizarre because of the child’s pig pen existence. He or she is oblivious to the blessings and benefits forsaken. Lavish and lascivious lifestyles linger until laments loom large as luminaries. Laments are a sure sign of the prodigal coming to his senses.
The unbelieving child of Christian parents should be an anomaly, but their number is many. Granted, Christian parents vary in their prowess to convey love and truth. In some cases, they reap what they have sown. In other cases, the devil’s design simply overwhelmed parents and child.
Deceiving spirits are legion in the world. The blinded mind is the devil’s work, and only the Holy Spirit can re-orient the covenant child back into alignment with Christ. The mind is incessantly assaulted by lies, in the world. Truth in advertising is an oxymoron. One’s trusted advisor is tempted with dark motives. With every man being a liar, only God, who is true can set the sinner free from bondage to sin and darkness.
Christians retain hope in God when trial and tribulations come. They pray for their wayward child to come home from the worldly pig pen. They hold onto the promises of God. If they remain in communication with their lost child, they are the voice of reason. If not, prayer must suffice until mercy and grace prevail.
The implanted Word of God is the unbelieving child’s hope. The truth of God’s Word is suppressed, but God’s Word is powerful, and it is summoned to remembrance by the Holy Spirit. It is God’s grace that causes repentance. It is God’s grace that restores faith.
The mystery of God’s providence is profound. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. All things, including seasons of lost wandering, are from Him. This is crucial to remember when praying for wayward children of any age. All things are possible with God and apart from Christ, sinners can do nothing.
The Christian hope is Jesus Christ. This is true for those with the mind of Christ and true for those who have lost their minds. He alone is able to keep His own until the day of judgment. The Lord knows those who are His and the state they are currently in.
Any one of us believes because He has made us believe. In the end, none of His elect, redeemed, regenerated people will be lost. We have that promise from Him in His Word. He alone is the Savior, and He is mighty to save. No one can resist His will, especially covenant children who He has set His love upon.
The wayward, unbelieving child of Christian parents must remain in our prayers. God will be glorified in His execution of justice upon all people. He will be glorified in those vessels of mercy, salvaged from the junk heap of sinful, fallen humanity.
We trust in the Spirit of Christ, not the lost child of the covenant, to bring restoration and right relationship with God the Father. Take time, today and everyday, to pray for the lost children of the house of Israel — that they would come to their senses by the mighty work of God’s Spirit and His Word.
We pray for light in their darkness. We pray for truth to dispel the lies. We pray for repentance from the world and unto God. We pray for vibrant faith to return. We trust in the One who has put hope within us who believe and hope in those who are not believing at the moment. May this one hope not disappoint, but manifest by God’s grace in the execution of His providence, at His appointed time and for His glory.
Spokane Valley, Washington
August 14, 2021