Christian education must never lose sight of Christ.
The unbeliever loses sight of Christ even though every day he deals with Christ, and therefore is also without an excuse. But let that not be said of the training and instruction that is given to covenant youth.
Whether the unbeliever likes it or not, he is always in his speech acknowledging Christ. O, we do not mean simply that he uses Christ’s name in vain. That he certainly does do. And what folly always to be using the name of a person who does not exist! What folly to emphasize one’s words and speak all day long of one whom you despise! Why call on God to witness your words and call upon Him to damn your neighbor, and the creatures He has made that are in your way, if actually there is no God? Man’s profanity itself condemns him in his unbelief.
But that to which we referred above is the fact that all men, whether they like it or not, are forced to reckon time by the birth of this Christ Whom they hate and want to deny as The Christ. It is not of the works of the world that we speak of B.C. and A.D. when we refer to time. And try though he may, no man is ever going to change that! Until Christ returns men are going to reckon time by His birth and speak of that which transpired before Christ was born or in the year of, our Lord. Even the atheist and the foolish evolutionist, who want to speak of millions and billions of years ago and has man as the product of an evolutionistic process rather than as the work of a wise God Who formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the bread of life, still must speak of millions and billions of years before Christ was born. Christ is there! He is a “factor” wherewith to reckon in all history. And the world will never get rid of that “‘factor.” They killed Him once; but even then they did not have the victory. Now He is in heaven where they cannot touch Him and where He governs every move that they make. He now is King of kings and Lord of lords. Christ now has dominion over land and sea. Earth’s remotest regions now His empire be. The world can deny that, if they like. And they do like to forget and deny it. But that does not change the fact. He HAS the book with the seven seals and no man is going to take it out of His hand. All that which transpires in history will take place at His bidding. Did He not say to His disciples just before He ascended up to heaven that all power, that is, all authority is given Him on earth and in heaven? That is what He said. Who shall take any of it away from Him? You cannot reach Him. God gave it to Him. He is the One who was found “worthy to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory and blessing.” Revelation 5:12.
And because God’s is this world, He will use every bit of it, including the men that are therein and their kingdoms to realize the day of Christ’s return. Although that world is not to be identified with the Church and does not have a history that parallels that of the Church, it does, as we pointed out last time go in the same direction and has its culmination in the same event wherein the history of the Church here below culminates: the glorious return of Christ at the end of time. The end of time means that. It means that the end of world history has been reached. Church and world in their histories upon this earth rush towards that end from different angles and from different points of view; but they end at the same place and time.
Bearing that in mind we will not be tempted to teach our children to have a Christless view of all that which has transpired in the history of this world, nor of that which shall yet take place in the few years that may remain. The antichristian forces are growing. World, history seems to be the far more important thing today. The Church and its worship, its truth and doctrine are being relegated more and more to the background and even forbidden. Instruction of the youth of our land may not contain Bible reading anymore. The Lord’s Prayer may not be uttered. In the institutions of “learning” (But God says that the fear of the Lord is the principle of wisdom) Christ must be ruled out, and that this is our Father’s world must be denied! And because we are, as far as our flesh is concerned, also part of that world, we are prone to be more concerned with world history than to trace the finger of God as He gathers His Church and realizes the day of Christ.
That the spirit of the age in which we live is Christless and that history is taught very emphatically today from a Christless point of view hardly needs proof. Past history is cited as reason for Christless endeavors today. The course of recent history has only strengthened the world in the conviction that it must produce an antichrist, a false Christ. Where today is there instruction that points the whole world to the kingdom of Christ and the true peace to be found therein? Christian schools themselves must ever be on their guard in interpreting historical events so as not to advocate this pseudochrist.
Never may the teacher of God’s children leave the slightest impression upon the minds of his pupils that man is going to attain to peace in his Christless way. The signs of the end are wars and rumors of wars, nation rising up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Matthew 24:6, 7. Alliances of nations, treaties and agreements to ban atomic weapons, unions of nations and world councils will not achieve peace. And the attempts of men to realize peace by these methods may not be lauded a noble and Christian before the eyes of Christ’s little lambs. How can we laud that which ignores and denies Christ? How can we approve of any peace effort that snubs and insults the Prince of Peace? Men who gather together in the interest of “peace” and then agree not to call upon the Prince of Peace for His Spirit and guidance are not to be credited with Christian activity. That is Christless and antichristian. And although the children may be taught that at the end, or toward the end of history man will achieve a little false peace that is attained because of fear and for convenience’ sake, world history will end in the most terrifying war that man has ever been able to wage in the great battle of Armageddon. The blood of men never brings peace, it simply sows the seeds of a war to follow. That also is plainly the teaching of all world history. Let the child see from his history books how man has progressed from his fighting with bow and arrow and spear and sword to gun and cannon and dive bomber and guided missile with atomic warhead. Let the history of warfare be traced from tribal battles in limited areas to global campaigns and ocean wide naval battles, to say nothing of battles raging in the stratosphere and vast reaches of the heavens. And then do not delude that trusting child by telling him that man is going to reverse this havoc that through the six thousand years of man’s existence upon this earth has gained such terrific momentum! If he could not stop it when it moved at a far more moderate speed, comparatively speaking, what are his hopes of stopping it now?
There is only one hope of peace; and that is not the blood of men or the treaties of men. It is the blood of Christ and His Spirit. There will be no peace as long as one sinner still lives on this earth. James tells us that wars and fightings come because of our lusts that war in our members. No League of Nations, no U.N., no antichristian world power and unification of all nations under the terror of a war that destroys all human life can remove that lust from man’s hearts and minds. The nations of the world always approach the matter from the wrong, the antichristian, Christless point of view. You do not improve the faulty mechanism of your watch by shining up the case. You do not cure the tainted water in the well by painting the pump handle white. You cannot make the salt water of the ocean taste sweet by serving it in a golden vessel. And surely man can never attain to peace as long as the heart of man is not changed in its enmity and hatred of God. Hating God man cannot love his neighbor. And therefore that whole deceptive peace of the days of the Antichrist will be shattered by the lust that wars in the members of Cog and Magog; and we will see a world war that is in every sense a world war. It will be a war that embraces all of Father’s world because the natural man will not recognize it as Father’s world and despises Father’s Son Who came into that world to save His Church.
Christ is the Prince of Peace because He justified us before the face of God. Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And having peace with God, we shall be at peace with all men. For Christ, the Prince of Peace, also sheds forth His Spirit in our hearts and gives us a life that does not have lust to war in our members. And not until there is on this earth only those who have the life of Christ in them through a rebirth by His Spirit and have received glori6ed bodies which have through death and the resurrection been freed from the old man of sin will there be peace on earth again.
There has been no peace since man fell and joined the army of Satan to live a life of opposition to the living God. Soon enough Cain kills Abel. Lamech boasted of his murder. Five kings fight with four kings in the land of Canaan and Lot is captured. And the history of this world has been a history of warfare and conquest, of battle and bloodshed. How many of the dates a child must learn in his formal training in school are there not that are dates of battles or “peace” treaties? And there will be no peace on earth till Christ comes back to rid the world of all the unbelievers and bring upon the earth a purified people that loves God.
How then can we interpret history, if we deny this Christ and look at world history as though He never had a part in the history of this world? At Christmas time the world makes much of the angels’ song of “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward man.” He likes to separate these and speak of a peace that is not to the glory of God. He likes to work for a “peace” that ignores the very Child at whose birth and because of whose birth the angels sang of this God-glorifying peace. Let that not be done when the children of God’s covenant receive their instruction in the history class. Christless history is distorted history.
We are rapidly approaching the day of the antichrist. And if ever there was a time that our youth ought to understand history correctly and be warned against the philosophies that seek to condition man for this antichrist it is NOW! That antichrist has always been in the world; and John tells us in I John 2:18 that “there are already many antichrists and that this is a sign whereby we may know that it is the last time. Let that antichristian spirit be seen in all the history of the world from Paradise onward, so that the child knows it and can recognize the antichrist when he comes. And, to do that let him see, Christ in the Christian approach to the history of this world. Let him not simply count time by, Christ’s birth; but let him see that all the world serves His Church as the chaff serves the wheat. Then when presently the scaffolding is torn down or begins to be torn down and earthquakes in diverse places, famines and pestilence, the devastation of nuclear warfare in the battle of Armageddon appear imminent, he will see the glorified Church behind all that scaffolding and have courage and hope rather than doubt and fear. He will not think it strange but instead the faithfulness of our Covenant God that the kingdoms of this world rush to their ruin. And he will have no doubt as to God’s purpose with all history.