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An Open Letter

This letter is written to all of you who have the responsibility of guiding and directing the lives of the generation which will come of age within the next five years, whether you be parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles, pastors or guidance counselors. I also hope to reach those who are in the aforementioned generation. So if you qualify, or just have an interest, please take a few minutes and read the following:

As my father has often said, "we are not looking for the last days, we are looking at the last days." Bearing this in mind, think about what our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said as He was entering Jerusalem on His way to fulfill His ultimate purpose. As the multitudes came out to meet Him, praising Him and giving Him glory, He knew these very same people would, within just a few days, be shouting for Him to be crucified. Being fully aware of the horrendous death He was soon to face; agony to the point even His Father would turn away from Him and be unable to look upon Him, Jesus rebuked the people, not because they would be instrumental in His death, not because they would spit in His face, mock Him or humiliate Him; He rebuked them for not discerning the time. Let's not make the same mistake by not discerning the time we are now in.

Scripture tells us when Jesus returns, He will want to know if we have been feeding the people "the proper food at the proper time." The Word of God also says there is a time and a purpose for everything, and God has revealed to us in scripture what our actions should be in each time and in every season. There are two major points which God speaks clearly on in these last days:

#1) When He comes, will He find faith? And,

#2) The youth will rebel against their parents. A man's worst enemies will be the members of his own household.

Over the years, as I have gone out and ministered with my parents, I have been able to talk to a lot of kids, both male and female, from different cultures all around the world. The greatest majority of the time, the very first thing these kids will tell me is: "I hate my parents," or, "I hate my dad or my mom."

When I ask why, the answer is almost always the same-"Because they are hypocrites, liars and phony. Putting on a show for the church and the neighbors, but at home they are totally different people." Most of these people force their children to go to church 3 or 4 times a week with them, unfortunately giving them a first-hand look at just how hypocritical they really are. But as soon as the service is over with, even before they get home, the arguments erupt, the cursing and yelling starts, and the kids are asking themselves if this is what the love of Jesus is all about. Of course if anyone from the church shows up at the house, they have to hide the beer and liquor bottles so no one will know the folks drink. Everywhere these kids look they see contradictions to the Word of God. 

Some of them come from broken homes, some of them have parents who beat them or each other, some have homes where one parent or the other, or maybe both, are involved in adulterous affairs, some of them live in the midst of unbelievable greed and idolatry and, worst of all, some even have to live with the terrible specter of incest. Imagine a kid not even being able to go to bed at night without the very real possibility that, sometime during the night they will be sexually abused by their father, uncle, older brother, even mother or aunt or sister. Some even are abused by that last bastion of security, their grandparents. Truly the days of Sodom and Gomorrah are upon us.

There are lies and hypocrisy in even the smallest areas: cheating on the tax forms, lies to friends and family, gossiping and judging others. They see their mothers who have time for every program and committee the church can come up with, but have no time for taking care of their own families. They see their fathers, so busy at the office, or hunting, fishing, golfing, etc., but have no time to spend with their own children. They see how their parents don't have the guts to mention the name of Jesus when the relatives show up, but will stand there in church and tell everyone how much they support all of the evangelism and missionary work that's being done.

Worst of all is the divorce rate. A recent survey found that the divorce rate within the church is actually beginning to surpass the divorce rate in the secular world. The kids I have talked to have a real problem struggling with hatred for one parent or the other, or in some cases, both, for breaking up their home and destroying their security. In their homes there is little or no joy, happiness or family togetherness any longer, particularly during the holidays. But the problem is, divorce is never the end for the kids, it's just the beginning. After the actual divorce comes the game of tug-of-war with the kids caught in the middle, being pulled back and forth as one parent tries to get them to turn against the other parent. 

These kids are young, not stupid. They know there is little or no love or concern for them at all. No one seems to care what time they go out or come home, or where they have been, or what they were doing. Most of them are deeply longing for someone to care enough to tell them they have to be home at a certain time, or that they can go here, but not there, or even someone to check and see what kind of friends they have. In reality, all that matters to the parents of these kids is; make sure you show up for church on time and don't embarrass me in front of the neighbors. Between the apathy and total unconcern for these kid's lives, and the beatings and abuse, is it any wonder these kids have a warped perception of God. For the most part, kids will see the Lord as they see their father. If their father is loving, compassionate and caring (even though he disciplines them), the kids will see the Lord this way. If their father is lazy, abusive and unconcerned, this is the way they will look at God. And if their father is never there, that, too is how they will perceive God.

My brothers and I were raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in a home that always was and still is, filled with love and concern for one another. We never had to wonder if our parents loved us or each other for that matter. They do everything together, and, as much as possible with our work schedules, we do things together as a family. Because family was so important to us when we were growing up, we looked at the Lord as One who truly wanted us, who loved us and cared about us. It was no problem for us to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, because the example we had while we were young, left us eager to receive Him. Today, all three of us work in the ministry with our parents, preaching and proclaiming the gospel on a worldwide basis. 

It is true that my parents were extremely busy with the work of the ministry when were growing up, but they always had time for us. I can't ever remember a time when either my dad or my mom told us, "I don't have time for you now." Even today at our ages (I am 20 and my brothers are 18 and 16), our parents are interested in where we are and what we are doing. No matter what time we get home, they are always waiting up to talk to us, because they are happy to see us and are genuinely interested in our lives and well-being. They are also concerned about our walk with God, and who our friends are. There are some kids that may think this is interfering with our lives, but I can tell you that it feels very good to know that there are two Godly people waiting there for me, who love me and whom I can go to with any problem I am having. I know they are always in prayer for me and will seek the wisdom of God for me if the going gets rough. It feels good to be able to look them in the eyes and know I have nothing to hide. You should be able to do this, because if you can't, how are you ever going to look into the eyes of Christ when we stand before Him.

Parents, guardians, grandparents, you are always telling your kids they need to 'grow up,' but I will be so bold as to tell you now: it's time for you to grow up! It's time for you to get your eyes off of yourself and back onto the Lord and to your kids. We need strong family units if we, as a species are ever going to survive until the Lord comes. If you think there are serious problems with today's generation, take a look at your mirror and ask yourself why they turned out rebellious, angry, violent, abusive, unloving and selfish. Hopefully, you will see the answer within. The Word of the Lord is fulfilled...


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