May children be saved? Yes. Spurgeon said that as soon as a child is capable of being lost, it is capable of being saved. Cotton Mather called the parent an ostrich who pretended their lost child was a Christian. Parents must call them to faith, for children can be converted.
So if a child is capable of being saved, is he capable of aspiring to be a missionary? Yes. Parents should not deter such dreams. In fact, they should pray for it.
“Lift up thy hands toward him for the life of thy young children” (Lam. 2:19).
When John Paton volunteered for missionary service to the cannibals of the South Seas, his whole church discouraged him from doing so. He was in his early 30’s at the time, but he returned home disheartened. It was then his parents broke the secret they had long kept from him. They had prayed since his birth that he would become a missionary but they hadn’t wanted to unnecessarily sway his opinion. From his youth they had consecrated him to worldwide missions.
Paton wrote in his Biography the words of his mother that fateful evening:
“We feared to bias you, but now we must tell you why we praise God for the decision to which you have been led. Your father’s heart was set upon being a Minister, but other claims forced him to give it up. When you were given to them, your father and mother laid you upon the altar, their first-born, to be consecrated, if God saw fit, as a Missionary of the Cross; and it has been their constant prayer that you might be prepared, qualified, and led to this very decision; and we pray with all our heart that the Lord may accept your offering, long spare you, and give you many souls from the Heathen World for your hire.”
Anthony Norris Groves aspired to missions as a boy. He became one of the greatest missionaries in church history. He ministered for a time in Bagdad, the headquarters of Islam. He eventually established the first Protestant mission to Arabic-speaking Muslims. Continue reading