The “Regaining Control” series will be back next month. I’m still working on regaining control of a tough area of chaos for us. The series is neither regurgitation nor about things that I conquered long ago. No. I’m writing from my current experience so, while I work on regaining control of bedtime, I’m going to share my thoughts on talking to your children about expected ends and the hope we have. Yup, that’s right, talking to our children about the book of Revelation and why it’s important that we do.
I’m a politically motivated activist. Why? Because, I was raised in a home where my parents yelled at columnists that couldn’t hear them through the newspaper. That might have something to do with it. Maybe, because I was raised in a time when schools in America still taught their students that we’re the best country on earth. That our political system, and it’s privilege of a people’s vote, is often something denied to people groups outside our boarders. That the people’s right to have and express an opinion, even one contrary to the country’s leadership, was a unique protection that made us great. These days, I yell at columnist who can’t hear me through my computer screen. They can’t hear me, but my children do. More than once, I’ve had to explain the ways of the world because of ranting conversations that my children have overheard. As Christians we know things like:
“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.” ~Luke 6:21-22
I rejoice that the days approaching show, once more, that God’s Word is true, and we know that if the world hates us, because we love Jesus, we’re doing something right, but I don’t rejoice in the loss of the things that made this country great or in the persecution of Christianity that is becoming more and more a reality. Things for Christians are getting tougher, not easier. We see it unfolding, our children and grandchildren are going to have to live with the consequences should the Lord terry. We grew up in a christian friendly (-ish) world, our children are growing up in real, mounting tensions, and our grandchildren might live in a world that has completed it’s shift into oppression. It’s biblical so, we shouldn’t be surprised by it, and it’s likely to happen, baring a revival. I think that, because of the world we grew up in, we sometimes look at Jesus’ disciples through those glasses, glossing over their recorded trials because it’s so far from our experience. I’ve never personally known someone physically persecuted, jailed, or even killed for their faith, have you? So, I think we take it for granted that this country, and it’s freedoms, will always protect us when, in reality, laws are being made all the time that undermine our constitutional right to freedom of religion.
I fight things when I can, but the reality is, things were foretold that it’d get worse before getting glorious. Much worse. Our children and grandchildren could be faced with having to choose to identify with Jesus is the face of real trials that we’d rather not fathom, but ignoring the reality of where the world is heading does our children a disservice. Approaching the end times, as related in Revelation, seems heavy, scary, and maybe a bit much for children to handle (we’d almost rather have “The Talk” then discuss end times), but as I found out, in a recent after-dinner family devotion time, children can handle the truth just fine.
We’ve been using Our Daily Bread for the family devotion time. On February 13 the devotion was on Revelation 3:1-6 (You can find that devotion HERE). Just reading from the book of Revelation sparked an entire conversation on Eschatology (the study of end times). The kids understood it, and better still, they weren’t freaked out- bonus! We walked them through the crown reward ceremony of Christians (you know, that whole “reward in heaven” part) while people on earth go through the tribulation, the thousand year reign of Christ on earth, the final rebellion of Satan and his end in the lake of fire, and the new heaven and new earth.
I’d recently been feeling down about the direction of our world. The reminder of our expected end brought me back up. How blessed are we that God has told us how it’s all going to end! How he’ll make all that’s wrong right again, and that we’ll be privileged to live in real peace when it’s all said and done. When my kids grow up and have to live in a world that will hate them for loving Jesus, they can lean on the truth that they’ve known since they were little:
We have an expected end, and that good end gives us the hope we need to endure the trials we face here and now.