Word for Wednesday

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

A recent advertisement by an agency that works to help underprivileged children in third-world countries shows a mock auction of a textile worker. The worker is a little girl, perhaps eight years old, dirty and dressed in rags, and sewing a garment together. The purpose of the advertisement is to show the great tragedy of child labour in too many places in the world. Such scenes are touching, as we consider the plight of those little children so cruelly exploited by inhumane masters. The Lord Jesus agrees, but directs His sharpest criticizm at those who would stumble children who have trusted in Him as their Saviour. And those cruel people are found in favoured lands like ours as much as in third-world countries.

We all agree that the best time to reach people with the Gospel is when they are children. That is why Sunday School is so important, and children’s meetings such as those being held this week in a tent in the park in Sussex. When children are saved, they have their entire lives to offer to their Lord, an entire lifetime to spent in the greatest of possible pursuits, finding and fulfilling the will of the Lord. Most well-meaning parents fail miserably in the most important matter concerning their children, their salvation, mostly because they are not saved themselves. They simply don’t know any better, and do ‘the best they can’. Hopefully, most Christian parents do all they can to keep the Gospel before their children to see them reached and saved at as early an age as possible. None of us are perfect at this, but we do all we can to provide the best environment. But there are some people, some organizations, some systems, that do all they can to direct young children’s minds into tragically wrong areas. These include the vile creators and peddlers of child pornography. They also include religious organizations and cults who brainwash young children in false doctrines and practices that set them in opposition to the Gospel and the truth of the Word of God. In our text, the Lord Jesus condemns all such, and being cast into the sea with a millstone weight would be a better fate than the awful judgment that awaits them at the Great White Throne.

But the Lord Jesus is speaking specifically here of children who are saved. Who would offend them? School systems offend them when they attempt to pervert their minds into believing in evolution, for example. We need to be careful in our treatment of these children, that we do not stand in the way of their spiritual progress, and that we give them every opportunity to serve and worship their Lord.

Facing such terrible consequences, let us be careful in how we handle those children who the Lord Jesus loves so deeply. -Jim MacIntosh

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