In his new book, How to Guarantee Your Children Will Go to Heaven, youth pastor and Christian comedian the Rev. Jamar Haynes Lee says he was given a message by God to show Christians how they can guarantee their children make it to heaven.
"First, we need to understand that we can ensure our children will get saved and live saved lives. I know this goes against mainstream theology, but that is what makes this message revolutionary. Test it by the Spirit and by the Word of God, as well as by your mind. God would not tell us to 'bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord' if we were not able," Lee says in the opening of the book.
He launches into multiple verses from the Bible that promises salvation to those who embrace their guidance.
Proverbs 22: 6, which says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" is among them.
"Proverbs 22:6 has had a lot of controversy over whether it is a promise or a probability. God called me to preach that it is a promise, and everyone who follows the steps in this book will receive that promise," Lee says.
He argues in the book that many Christians raised in the church as children have been abandoning their faith because they were not properly trained.
"The Lord told me that one major problem in the church is that we are not giving our children daily bread. Even though this is one of the most well-known passages quoted in the Bible, the majority of the body of Christ is not doing it," Lee says. "God is requiring us to speak His Word to our children every day and give them daily bread. This means that if you are not training your children to read God's Word daily, then you are actually training them not to read God's Word daily!"
Regardless of the various responsibilities parents may have such as providing food and shelter, a good education and proper security for their children, "the number-one responsibility of a parent is to prepare his or her children for eternity," he explains. "This means training them to have a relationship with God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ."
And sometimes in carrying out that responsibility, Lee argues, parents will have to use creative force in training their children to love the things of God the same way they get them to do things like eating vegetables or drink water.
"Do you force your children to stop bad behavior? Every good parent would answer yes to these questions. Whatever we force our children to do is what we are training them to do. Therefore, we should train them to read the Word daily, spend time with God daily, and give to others," the pastor says.
Lee further outlines eight principles, including, not allowing children to stay under ungodly influence, practicing a holy life before them, loving them and your spouse properly, and declaring their future as integral tools to pointing them toward a life in heaven.
"If your child is in a two-parent household, both parents need to be a saved example. Otherwise, every day, even without intention, one parent will be sowing a seed into the child that says, 'It is not that important to make Jesus your Lord,'" he explains.
Stressing the need to feed children God's Word daily, the author says they will die spiritually without it just as they would die physically without food.
"If children do not receive good food regularly, they will die. According to the World Food Program, 3.1 million children in the world under age five die each year from poor nutrition (WFP, 2015). That is over five children every minute. Jesus said in the same way, our children will die spiritually if they do not receive God's Word regularly. 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God' (Matthew 4: 4, Deuteronomy 8: 3 NKJV)," Lee writes.
"If you did not know that God required you to give your children daily bread or you just were not doing it, now is the time to repent. Repent to God and to your children and begin today. Your children and your children's children will be changed for generations to come. By giving them their daily bread, you will automatically be getting your daily bread. If you want your children to live spiritually, you must apply the Word."
Highlighting alarming statistics such as high levels of suicide and STDs among our youth, Lee argues that the battle for the soul of America's children is happening in the home and parents must take a stand.
"Instead of allowing the enemy to come into our homes and take our children, we will bring God into our homes and train our children to defeat the enemy daily. We will not allow the media and electronic devices to destroy our youth, but we will use those resources to develop our youth for God. Then we will send them out into the world to help save and heal through the power of Jesus Christ. In order to make disciples of all nations, we must start by making disciples of all our children," he argues.
"True revival will not be on the weekend at church but during the weekdays in our homes. The fire may be lit at a church event, but parents need to add the wood at home for our children to stay on fire for God. When is the last time you had family prayer and family devotions? What time is family prayer at your home? What time is family Bible reading? If you don't have a time set, now is the time to set it."
Daniel Huerta, vice president of the Parenting and Youth department at Focus on the Family, however, says you can't "guarantee" your children's salvation.
"We really can't," said Huerta in an interview with The Christian Post Tuesday.
Huerta, who is a licensed clinical social worker and specializes as a counselor and spokesperson in the treatment of ADHD, conflict resolution, self-esteem issues, anxiety and depression in children, said whether or not your child makes it to heaven is all up to them. Regardless of what you teach them, there are no guarantees which path they take in the end.
"For our children, there is no guarantee because you have the reality which is decision-making. We each have our own decision-making that we have to do otherwise Adam and Eve wouldn't have sinned if there's guarantee of a certain formula," he said. "We wouldn't have kids falling away from the faith. There just aren't any guarantees."
For Christian parents raising kids, he said it's about faith and trust in God that their efforts will result in their children making the right decision.
"It's about prayer, it's about teaching, it's about being able to train. And even our own growth (as parents) and faith is vitally important in this case," he said. "The only guarantee is where you're at in your faith in Christ and your relationship. That's what you have control over. The rest is really up to your child and their decision and their faith and how real it is to them. And where they go with that faith, that's what they get to do as human beings."