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Home The Light Articles from 2011 Hope For Tomorrow

Hope For Tomorrow

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In a world where things look bleak and often trying, it is easy to be­come discouraged. But, I'm here to tell you the future of the church looks bright. I'm returning home from the annual Young People's Meeting at Marshfield, MO with a feeling of great hope for the church-both pres­ently and for tomorrow. You had to be there to fully get the impact of the experience. Many have observed that words simply cannot describe it. There were 61 confes­sions of fault and 4 baptisms. This was an occurrence unequaled in my life time. Granted, success is not measured in numbers, but the pierc­ing power of God's Word was so evident. It did indeed prick the hearts of young and old alike. It still amazes us as to what God's Word can do if spoken in humility and without pre­tense or frivolity.
We heard 14 of our young broth­ers teach us of things that were on their hearts. Frequently, as the confessions were taken, references were made to things our young brothers had taught us. This proves that our brothers were right on target with their messages. Brother Mackie used with skill his special ability to com­municate with our young to tie ev­erything together. He preached the things we all needed to hear. Just as there was not a dry eye in the house, neither was there anyone who could honestly say that the sermons were of no personal benefit.
Our young brothers & sisters readily confessed their neglect of Bible study, their unbridled tongues of gossip, their wrong choices of music and entertainment, their failure to love as we're commanded and their carelessness in guarding their influence. My heart thrilled to think, that if they were successful in cor­recting only half these wrongs, how much stronger would the church be! But, with the sincerity and earnest dedication that I saw, I think they will accomplish much more than that.
It was pleasant to observe the total lack of pretense in our young men and women. I've never heard so many "I love you's." I've never seen such a large gathering of
teenagers so determined to be one. Truly, they could weep with those that wept and rejoice with those that rejoiced. There was also much attention paid to modest dress. How refreshing to see young men appropriately attired and sisters unwilling to show their nakedness. Purity seemed to be a concern with them. It was also evi­dent that they appreciated God's covering and left their hair long and uncut.
As we reflect on the power of God's Word, it was inspiring to hear a young sister-to-be say that she'd never been so moved by anything in all her life. Friends, this young lady didn't have the good fortune that most of us take for granted. She was not raised in a Christian home and yet God's Word touched her tender heart.
I saw great potential for Christian husbands and wives....the formula for solid Christian homes and stead­fast congregations. Young parents were concerned about raising their little ones right. There was fear that the church was lacking because of "me". There was concern that pride was their downfall and that it would ultimately harm the church.
So can't you see why the future of the church looks bright? If we who are older could weed out these very things in our own lives, God only knows how strong the Lord's church could be. Brothers, it gives us some­thing to work for. As tears coursed our cheeks, we agreed that there were some things these young people were going to
need from us older ones if they were to be successful. Brethren, they need some role models...older men & women with some concern and dedi­cation, they need some shepherds interested in their souls. They need to see in us a love for the church. They long to see Christ in us. As a rule, young people are followers. If we don't set for them worthy examples, who will they follow? Who will be­come their heroes?
Speaking of following-one young brother shared his own experience in following false doctrine (i.e. wor­shipping with congregations in error) due to his being deceived by his own brethren. I will confess that my righ­teous indignation was stirred by his story. Deceit is an act despicable in the eyes of men and hated by God. To think that a supposed "servant" of the Lord would deceive any one, especially a young person ... UN­THINKABLE! Surely, Jesus had the likes of this in mind in Matthew 18:6. Brother, deceit is a horrible sin!! Malachi spoke for the Lord when he said "Cursed be the de­ceiver." Don't mislead and misrepre­sent (lie) about what we believe. In so doing, we become the Devil's tool. Why will men take 50 emails or letters, or weeks worth of conversa­tion to try to tell you what they be­lieve? All of this so often is in
an­swer to a simple yes or no question. Sounds like modern politicians-what a blight and what a shame! If it is Truth that saves we best make certain that it is Truth we preach. There is no latitude for my opinion or yours.
As brother Mackie so plainly put it, it is watered down to the point of no value or even to support false doc­trine. They are often devoid of truth. Our prayer is that we've not let the Old Ship of Zion drift past the point of no return. Hearing and observing our young men and women this weekend makes me know that all is not lost. There is indeed a bright future ahead if we will heed the cries of our youth. May God help us seize the moment. -Mullin, Texas


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