Saturday, March 23, 2013

The end time through eyes of a child

I work with five-year-old children for my job. It's with kindergarteners at a public elementary school. I love children and I contend that I have the best job in the world.

Sometimes it's a little disheartening, though. I just want the best for every kid, and some kids never get the best. Enough said.

The Lord is THE most sensitive about children. He spoke much about them and this is recorded in the bible. We know one of the most famous verses about children:

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." (Psalm 127:3-5)

"When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world." (John 16:21). Therefore you can guess what the Lord thinks of abortion...just sayin'.

"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers." (Proverbs 17:6)

Look at the scene here in Mark 9:35-37-

"And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”'

Not just what He said but the scene. Picture it in your mind. Jesus had been teaching The Twelve all day and then they came to the house at Capernaum where they stayed. He continued teaching. And to illustrate His point, "He took a child". So I ask, what child? Where did the child come from? Luke 9:47 says the child "was by His side." Usually didn't the children remain outside the adults' purview, especially when important matters were being discussed? Yet Jesus hadn't dismissed the child when He continued teaching the Twelve inside the house.

The idea there was that children are weak, powerless and innocent. You come to the Kingdom like that, with no achievements, no portfolio of awards, nothing to commend one's self. Like a child.

Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, raised seventeen children and had these words to say about raising children: “The parent who studies to subdue [self–will] in his child works together with God in the renewing and saving a soul. The parent who indulges it does the devil’s work, makes religion impracticable, salvation unattainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body forever” (cited in The Journal of John Wesley [Chicago: Moody, n.d.], p. 106).

In other words, children are important to Jesus.

I follow a guy on twitter who tweets from Syria. As you know, the situation there is one of chaos, strife, hunger and war. The rebellion against Dictator Bashar al Assad has been going on for two years and there is much shelling in all areas of the nation, including Damascus (Isaiah 17:1) and Aleppo, one of the largest cities in Syria. The gentleman posted the following last night:


A young child who looks to be about age 12 is interviewed after a rocket barrage had destroyed his neighborhood in Aleppo. The set of his chin, struggling mightily to not cry, the dignity and the cut-to-the-heart question of "Why", brought tears to my eyes.

I post this not to depress you but that though we are mindful of the times, let's also be mindful of the people. Especially the children. When we in America say 'man up' to a young kid usually we mean get along without your cell phone for half a day. 'Man up' for this boy means pulling out dismembered cousins from the rubble of their home and telling his father he is not injured so as to spare him further worry.

Please be in prayer for the people of Syria, and all children around the world who are experiencing unimaginable hardship, who don't know Christ and don't understand why this is happening.


Reporter: "Tell us what happened."
Boy: We were sleeping. It was about 10 pm. At a point we heard a sound coming from above and we said get out of here. I screamed to the people to help me but those were the people who needed help. We entered and pulled out my brothers, cousins. 40 have gone. My grandfather's family members have gone. The missile fell on their home, and there was a leg and there was a...what can I say to you? My grandmother was in 4 pieces, my aunt "flew away" because we have not found her. We don't know. I just want to know, why is he shelling us? For the law of the powerful over the weak? Only for that?"

He goes on to say that though he was injured, he did not want to tell his father, who was having enough trouble with the situation. Throughout, he manfully tries not to cry.


Gabriele Galimberti photographed children around the world with their toys. That's it. Accompanying each photo is a very short bio. That's it. And though the photo is simple and the text is short, these photos are powerful in their storytelling.


Arafa and Aisha are twins. They sleep in the same bed, have the same clothes, go to school together and share the same toys. They live in a two-room house in which both of the rooms are bedrooms, and the kitchen and restroom are outside. The big photo above the closet is a portrait of the formal president of Zanzibar.


Bethsaida was born in Port-au-Prince where she has always lived in a house with her family since, almost 2 years ago, a big earthquake destroyed it. Her parents are both deaf and dumb but fortunately she’s not. Now they live in a camp site out of the city. The camp was built from an American NGO which works with deaf and dumbs, so in the camps almost 90% of the people can’t hear and talk. All the toys that Bethsaida has are donated from the NGO. She wants to be a hairdresser and loves combing her doll to practice, but unfortunately her brother has cut off half of the hair of the doll.

Chiwa lives in a small hut with her mother, father and sister. They don’t have electricity and running water. Chiwa used to help her mother to carry water at home from the river. In the village there are other 50 children (more or less) and they always plays all together outside. Chiwa has just 3 toys that some volunteers of a NGO gave to her when she was born. Her favourite is the dinosaurus because she says that he can protect her from the dangerous animals.


Tangwizi was born in a Masai village in the south of Kenya in a small hut made of dung and straw. His bed is made of a few rags on the ground. He always plays outside with all the other children of the village but every night he sleeps together with his unique toy: a little pelouche monkey.

Kalesi loves to cook for her dolls using her small cook tools and the mud from the garden. She has an older brother which goes to school every morning and she love to pretend to go to school too. She puts small toys and some paper in her back pack (the one from transformers is her favourite one) and she goes in the garden where there is a small table that she uses as a school desk.

Niko was born in a small town in the mountains of Alaska in the Kenai peninsula. His father is a fisherman and his mother is a teacher. Niko loves to play with Legos and similar games. He built a small Lego spaceship and likes to imagine he’s bringing little men up to space.

There are many more photos at the link. They are wonderful.

The end time is a time when mature Christians pray and sing and anticipate with joy the coming of the Lord to remove us from this earth and bring us to glory before the Tribulation. Often, this attitude is mocked by others who call us escapists, or weaklings. Aside from being the wrong attitude to have (because every Christian should want to be with the Lord more than cling to the sinful world and the things in it) I say that why wouldn't we want the rapture to come...if that means that all the children will finally be safe??

Though the bible does not specifically address the issue of children being taken in the rapture, I believe it is consistent with the implicit verses in the bible, and consistent with the character of God's mercy to take the children and babies in the rapture. GotQuestions thinks so as well.

O, come, Lord Jesus, remove us, and the children from the world. Its sinful effects are so towering and so devastating, and wear the most on those least powerful or able to comprehend.

3 comments:


  1. Hello Elizabeth, As always, I enjoy reading your daily posts. Today is no different.
    I have a comment and question about the subject of children and the "age of accountability". I've understood many to believe this way.
    Because of my own questions, I have searched the Scriptures as well, only I do not find evidence of this example anywhere in God's Word. Where is the Scriptural support?
    Since all who are born into this world are born separated from God because of our inherent sin from Adam, Genesis 3:3-6, Romans 5:12, we are born spiritually dead in our sins, Romans 6:23.
    We are all "sinners" not because we sin, but because we ARE sinners, born that way. Many believe children to be born "innocent", but Scripture says differently.
    Only through Salvation in Christ Jesus are we made alive again, that is spiritually alive. By God the Father sacrificially giving up His Only Begotten Son to die in our place, He imputed our sin on His Son, 1 John 2:2. Jesus Christ, being born sinless, has become our righteousness. If one has not put on Christ, then there is no righteousness in them at all, 2 Corinthians 5:21.
    Back to my original question for you...
    If a child, who like the rest of us, is born separated from God the Father, why do many claim children are automatically exempt from the eternal consequence of inherent sin?
    Why do many claim children will be taken in the Rapture to be with Jesus Christ for eternity, even though many/most may have not yet been "born again", as Jesus explained to Nicodemus that you must be born again in order to see the kingdom of God, John 3:3,7.
    If children automatically get a "free" pass to go in the Rapture, why did God send His Son to die the death for them, since they apparently didn't need His Blood to wash them of their sin? There will be no sin stain in heaven, yet children, even those who haven't been washed of their sins, will be there, according to your words?
    Salvation is indeed a "free" gift, yet salvation for mankind "cost" God His Only Begotten Son, His Life, His Blood, poured out for all mankind, 1 John 2:2.
    Thanks for your time in this.

    In Him,
    Shannon

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shannon,

      I'm glad you look for the explanation in scripture. The answer as to the problem of children in the rapture or not is kind of in scripture but only implicitly. It is alluded to in Romans and Deuteronomy among other verses.

      We are all sinners, babies and children included. However it seems that according to many OT verses, esp in Deuteronomy, children are referred to as innocent. The word innocent is one that has a context of innocent as in not guilty.

      Romans 7:9 has Paul saying, "I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died", which some take to mean he was not under condemnation as a babe but when he was old enough to cognitively understand right from wrong, he came under judgment as a sinner. See Isaiah 7:16 here.

      Here are two links which explain much more. Here is the opening:

      "Some of you who tuned in to the Larry King Show a week ago Saturday will remember that Larry fired a question to me on the air that came out of nowhere. The question that reveals a nagging, troubling issue in the human heart. He asked me, "What about a two-year-old baby crushed at the bottom of the World Trade Center?"
      I answered, "Instant heaven."
      He replied with another question. "Wasn't a sinner?"
      I again answered, "Instant heaven."
      That's a compelling question, what about a baby crushed at the bottom of the Trade Center? What about any baby that dies? It's an agonizing question. It's a question that plagues Christians and non-Christians alike...what happens to babies that die? ... I said, "Instant heaven." Now what was my authority for saying that? In a sound bite environment like that I didn't have time for an explanation and he didn't ask for one. But you deserve one so I'm going to tell you why I said what I said."

      The Salvation of babies who die, part 1
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/80-242

      Also this one-
      Age of Accountability
      http://www.gty.org/resources/Articles/A264/The-Age-of-Accountability?q=age+of+accountability

      I personally believe that based on the implicit interpretation of the above verses in Deut and Romans, plus Isaiah 7:16 and others, plus my understanding of God's infinite mercy, that children and babies do not go to hell.

      Delete
  2. Infants and children who die can go to heaven. I think that election and predestination can give us solace in this. A lot of people don't like E & P. They think that it isn't fair, so the argument goes. For those who think this, read Romans 9 and Ephesians 1 and the Book of John and on and on.
    But if you think about it, this is the perfect explanation. If children die, my guess is that they were part of the elect. All of them. The same with the mentally incompetent, those with very little mental capacity to understand even if they are adults. They die in grace. It is Grace that saves us, not some choice we make when we reach a certain age. Jesus' blood covers them because God elected them and wrote their name in the Lamb's Book of Life BEFORE the foundation of the world. God saw the Lamb slain BEFORE the foundation of the world. Jesus' death was effectual for all those chosen THEN. He did not die hoping some would believe, because the Bible says NONE seek God. So God who is rich in MERCY saves and I believe He doesn't let any of the children perish based on that.

    Pam

    ReplyDelete

4000 posts!

Dear Reader, As of yesterday I have published 4000 essays at the End Time. My goal has been to share thoughts on the three general topics ...