Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

The Blind Lady Managed to Cross the Street.

 My wife was recently talking with her high school girl friend in Pittsburgh, Pa. who shared the following poignant, but humorous story about her aged mother. At the time of this story her mother was in her eighties and almost blind  with glaucoma.  She lived in Coraopolis, a town about a ninety minute drive by city bus west of  Pittsburgh. 

One day she took the bus to a funeral home in Kenmawr, a suburb half way between Coraopolis and  Pittsburgh.  After paying her respects to a departed friend, she attempted to stop by and pray in a church directly across the street.    For a moment she considered crossing the busy street, but then decided it was too dangerous.  So what did she do?    

She caught the next bus into  Pittsburgh and drove to the end of the line.  When the driver asked her where she wanted to go, she replied she would just stay on the bus and return to Kenmawr where an hour later she arrived at the church to pray.  As she was slowly leaving the bus, the driver probed for an explanation of this round about trip. She explained how she had been too fearful to cross the busy street and so decided to make the round trip. 

The kind driver assured her,   “If this ever happens again, I will stop my bus and personally help you cross the street.

May 26, 2006 Posted by | A Merry Heart | Comments Off on The Blind Lady Managed to Cross the Street.

Christmas is for Children

As meaningful as Christmas is to all of us,  it’s not quite the same without little children to help us share it.  The heart of the Christmas message is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.  That’s a message that can only be appreciated by child-like people.  That’s what Jesus declared in Matthew 18:1-4  He said, “Except ye be converted and be come as little children, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

When Jesus talks about child-likeness, He is not talking about childishness.  Child-likeness is beautiful.  Childishness in an adult is disgusting. Childishness is  characterized by selfishness, peevishness, as when one acts as a spoiled child and a “cry baby”. One who is  child-like is humble, forgiving, innocent, teachable and unsophisticated.

 

SOPHISTICATION- It’s Cause

 

One who is sophisticated is proud and has a know-it-all attitude.  A sophisticated person is deprived of naturalness and simplicity.  A small child is cute because of these qualities.  But the moment a child tries to be cute by putting on an act, he ceases to be cute.  That’s the first step to sophistication; trying to be what he isn’t.

 

A new Christian has a freshness and simplicity about him that blesses others.  It’s God’s purpose that a new Christian begins growing and maturing as he  feed on the Word. But even in the process of coming to maturity, Satan tempts us to pride and sophistication.  A common temptation of every Christian is to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think.  See the warning in Romans 12:3.

 

Though we are not to revert to childishness,  we must not lose our child-likeness in the cloak of sophistication.  Why do we lose that child-likeness and  tend to be sophisticated?  Satan corrupts our minds, Paul reminds us in II Corinthians 11:3.  He plays on our pride as he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden. He slanders God by telling us that God is withholding from us and that we can only  be wise if we disobey Him and go our own way. 

 

As we listen to Satan, we find ourselves becoming sophisticated, trying to cover up our real selves.  A sophisticated person covers up what he really is.  It often begins in the teen years when we try to “act cool”.  We tend to take on a role of superiority, but come across as obnoxious, know-it-all Christians.

 

SOPHISTICATION- It’s curse

 

Sophistication is a manifestation of pride, one of the most obvious and most ugly  of sins.   Sophistication blinds sinners from coming to Christ. II Corinthians 4:4 tells us of how Satan blinds us.  He makes us feel too intellectual to need a Saviour from sin. He makes us feel too intelligent to simply believe the Bible;  God’s inspired, infallible Word.

He sneers at us as he did at Eve, “Hath God said?” 

 

Not only does Satan try to  keep us from Christ, but he works in the minds of deceived Christians to worship at the shrine of intellectualism.  Theological liberals sneer at the Bible and at the simplicity of salvation through faith in Christ’s shed blood.

 

Satan keeps us from understanding the Word and thus hinders our growth. Paul warned about this danger in II Corinthians 11:1-3.   Satan also hinders our service to God. Knowledge, training, skills, talents, abilities are only useful as we keep a child-like humble spirit.

 

SOPHISTICATION- It’s Cure

 

One of the first things a Christian must learn is meekness and humility. They are primary traits in a growing Christian, as we learn in the Beatitudes (Beautiful attitudes) Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7.  We learn these attitudes of humility as we go to Christ and learn from Him. 

 

In Matthew 11:28-30.  Jesus invites us to come and learn of Him. He invites us to be yoked up with Him as we serve Him.  He is meek and lowly of heart and we find our rest in Him even as we serve in His strength. 

 

In Philippians 2:5-11  we are reminded of our humble Saviour who came down from Heaven to live with us as a human and then die for our sins on the cross. We are challenged to have this same humble attitude.  That’s the cure for sophistication.

 

We need the mind of Christ and Paul tells us in I Corinthians 2:16 that we have the mind of Christ.  One who has the mind of Christ keeps a child-like simple dependence on God for everything.  He is our life, our sunshine, our all in all. The effectiveness of a Christian’s service is found in this child-like dependence on God.

 

Moses had it. Read through Exodus 3 and 4.  Moses wasn’t perfect,  but he had this child-like dependence on God.  For that, God called him “the meekest man on the earth.”

 

Gideon also had this child-like spirit and God used him to defeat the huge Midianite army.

 

Solomon started out with a child-like spirit, we read in I Kings 3:5-10  It’s so sad that he lost it.  At one time the wisest man on the earth, he later became one of the greatest fools who ever lived.  He was ruined when he lost his child-like dependence on God.

 

Jeremiah was a faithful prophet who had a child-like faith in God.  The problem was that when God called him to be a prophet, he used his child like qualities as an argument that God could not use him.  God chided him about this and finally Jeremiah was willing to obey God in this matter and became a great prophet to Judah.  

 

Let us keep a child-like, simple unsophisticated attitude towards God.  As we read and study His Word, we will grow in the grace and knowledge of Him. Let us beware of letting spiritual growth go to our heads making us feel self-important and giving us a know-it-all attitude.  Pride and sophistication are of Satan.  Humility comes from God. 

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Christmas Series | Comments Off on Christmas is for Children

Rail Road Track or Ladder

Jesus is speaking to His disciples about stewardship in the first 13 verses of Luke 16. You’ll find those messages under that category on this web site.  In verse 14 we learn that covetous Pharisees who heard Him speak derided Him because they wanted to justify themselves. Jesus responded to them in verse 15.  “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

  

In this message I want to confront a common misconception that claims Israel, under the Old Covenant, was saved by keeping God’s Law; whereas we today in the church age are saved by the grace of God alone.  The truth is that mankind from the very beginning has always been saved only one way and that is by the grace of God alone.

  

Noah was saved by God’s grace through faith alone. See Genesis 6:8 and Hebrews 11:7.  Noah showed his faith by building an ark to protect himself from a worldwide flood he had never seen before, but it was God’s grace that saved him.

  

Abraham was justified by God’s grace through  faith in God by obeying Him and leaving his home in Ur of the Chaldees and moving to a new land that God would give to him and his posterity, the land of Palestine.  See Romans 4:1-4,  Hebrews 11:8-19. 

  

Keep in mind that Noah and Abraham were not saved by keeping God’s Law nor observing ceremonies, such as circumcision.  In the first place, God’s law came 1000 years after Noah  and 430 years after Abraham.

  

If you’ll take time to read Genesis 12:1-4 you’ll see that Abraham moved in obedience to God when he was 75 years old.  In Genesis 17 you’ll learn that he was circumcised twenty-four years later at the age of 99.  Paul in Romans 4:1-16  and in Galatians 3:6-18 goes to great pains to make it clear that Abraham was saved by grace alone, and not by keeping the law or being circumcised.

  

True, Abraham and his blood descendants have followed God’s law in being circumcised, as a mark of their national identity.   The Bible teaches that God is far more concerned about the circumcision of our hearts, whether we be male or female, then He is concerned about circumcision of foreskins in males. Deuteronomy 30:1-6 Romans 2:23-29, Colossians 2:8-13 all show God’s concern for circumcision of hearts.

  

David who lived under the Law of Moses understood that his feeble, failed  attempts to keep God’s Law could never justify him before God. He understood, even back in Old Testament times, that he was justified by God’s grace through faith in Him as he writes about it in Psalm 32.  Paul refers to David’s justification before God in Romans 4:6-8. Of course, Old Testament saints looked forward to the promised Lamb, the Lord Jesus,  who would take away the sins of the world.  In anticipation of that Lamb, they offered the animal sacrifices as taught in the Law of Moses.

  

Don’t be misled to think that David or any of the godly saints in the Old Testament were legalists.  They were not saved by law keeping.  They were saved by grace alone, just as we are in the church age.  Because of their relationship with God, they loved God’s Law and they obeyed from the heart, just as we today who know Christ, love His Law and are able to live the righteousness of the Law by the power of the Holy Spirit, as shown in Romans 8:1-4. 

   

Read the Psalms as David repeatedly delights in the Law of God.  Those Psalms are just as precious to us in the church age.  We delight in God’s Law just as much as David did; but we, as David, understand that we are justified by God’s grace.

  

Some have well described God’s Law as a railroad track upon which God meant the trains, Israel in Old Testament times and the Church in our present age to travel down, led by the engine of God’s grace and coupled to that engine by faith.

  

The legalists: the false teachers of Old Testament times, the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, the Judaizers of Paul’s day, and the religionists of our present day, are all guilty of the folly and the futility of attempting to lift up one end of those railroad tracks and lean them against the gate of Heaven and attempt to climb those tracks as a ladder and gain entrance into Heaven by their own efforts to keep the Law of God.

  

That’s the basic difference between true Christianity and false religion, regardless of its name.  The true Christian is one who has seen himself as a guilty, lost sinner and who by the grace of God has placed his faith in God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to pay the full penalty for our sins. As a Christian, he accepts the Bible as God’s holy inspired, infallible Word and delights in reading it, hearing it preached and obeying it. He is traveling down the railroad track of God’s Word,  bound for Heaven by the grace of God.

  The religionist sees the Law of God as a ladder to Heaven.  He rejects the fact that he is a sinner and in need of a Saviour. Full of pride and self-righteousness, he attempts to climb that ladder and attain Heaven by his own hopelessly inadequate efforts trusting that through his works and through what his church can do for him, he will somehow attain Heaven.  He is bound for Hell. As the Pharisees in Luke 16:15 he rejects and despises Christ and  attempts to justify himself. He is an abomination in the sight of God.

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Salvation | Comments Off on Rail Road Track or Ladder

Deception series # 4: Perverted Gospel

Biblical  Christianity has never been popular with the world. Jesus warned His followers in John 15:19-23 that they would never have the love and the approval of the world.  If the world hated Jesus, they would hate and persecute His followers also.    He warned in Luke 6:26  "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you."  Such popularity is a red flag of warning.  Watch out!

You can always recognize truth from error when listening to a preacher or evangelist, or when reading a book dealing with the Christian life, or when viewing a Christian film dealing with Christ and salvation.

If it is of Satan, it will always gloss over or totally omit the truth of the Doctrine of Christ.

What is that doctrine? 

We are all sinners, alienated from God, helpless and hopeless to save ourselves through our own self-efforts.

Jesus, God in human flesh,  came down from Heaven to reconcile us to God by paying the penalty for our sins  through His blood sacrifice on the cross.

Those who trust Jesus and receive this gift of God's grace, are declared righteous and made fit for Heaven through this wonderful gift of God's grace. They are, as Jesus put it in John 3, "born again". Paul declares in II Corinthians 5:17   "Therefore  if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold all things are become new." 

Beware of those who compromise God's Word.

If a preacher or evangelist is of God;  if a Christian book dealing with the Christian life is of God; if a Christian film dealing with salvation is of God,  the doctrine of Christ will always be made plain.

Beware of the  preacher who attempts to preach the Gospel and leaves out the heart of the Gospel.  Beware of  a Christian author who attempts to write a book on Christianity and does not make clear the only way of salvation through Christ.  Beware of  a film maker who attempts to tell the story of salvation and ignores the heart of it.

Paul warned his converts in Galatians 1:6-9  "I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.  But though we or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."  Recognize he is under God's curse.

Again Paul warned in Romans 16:17-18  " Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." 

John warns in II John 7-11  "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.  This is a deceiver and an antichrist.  Look to yourselves that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.  Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God's speed. For he that biddeth him God's speed is a partaker of his evil deeds."  

In Revelation 17 and 18  John prophesies of the final ecumenical world church in the last days.  In Rev. 18:4-5  we are warned to "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." May God give you discernment to recognize truth from error and may He give you courage to take a stand for truth and reject error.

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Deception Series | Comments Off on Deception series # 4: Perverted Gospel

Separation series #5: Reasons for Separation

Holiness is all about being separated from sin and sinful influences so that we can be wholly separated unto God and to His will and plan for our lives. In II Corinthians 6:14-18 and 7:1. we are given several reasons for separation. Let’s look at them.

First, to be yoked with unbelievers in attempting to do God’s work is irrational.

It doesn’t make sense. Note the four rhetorical questions that can only be answered by NONE.

1. For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? The answer is, of course, NONE! There is no fellowship with righteousness and unrighteousness. They are at opposite poles.

2. What fellowship hath light with darkness? Light is associated with God. Darkness is associated with Satan. The Christian’s purpose in life is to turn sinners from a life of darkness to the light of the knowledge of Christ. Acts 26:16-18. That’s the purpose of this web site. When God saves a sinner, He calls him out of darkness into His marvelous light. I Peter 2:9

3. What concord (harmony) hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? If Christ cannot work in harmony with Satan, why on earth do we think that God’s servants and Satan’s dupes can work together in harmony? To do so is like someone who knows nothing about music, who hates good music and who has no ability to play an instrument and yet wants to play in a symphony orchestra. He doesn’t belong there! Nor does a heretical minister belong on the platform or on the planning or follow up committee in an evangelistic crusade of a Christian evangelist.

4. Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? Amos 3:3 asks, “Can two walk together except they be agreed? They may play ball together or work together in secular employment or socialize together, but they do not worship the same God nor serve the same Lord Jesus Christ.

These four questions show that it is totally irrational to attempt to yoke together in Christian service with an unbeliever.

Not only is it irrational, but it is sacrilegious.

What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? II Corinthians 6:16. Paul taught in I Corinthians 6:19-20 that the Christian’s body is God’s holy temple. In I Corinthians 10:14-21 he continues this thought by showing there can be no communion or fellowship between Christians and the unsaved. Such union is an abomination to God. This unholy union is illustrated in II Kings 21 in the life of Israel’s wicked King Manasseh when he built shrines to false gods in God’s holy temple in Jerusalem.

Pagans and heretics don’t mind being associated with Christians in doing the work of God. They want Christians to accept them as Christians. II Corinthians 11:13-15 teaches us how they work by infiltration. But Christians are commanded to have no fellowship with them. Ephesians 5:11.

Furthermore, joining with unsaved to do God’s work is disobedience to Christ.

We are commanded in II Corinthians 6:17 to come out from among them and be separate. That is God’s command all the way from the Ten Commandments and on through the Bible. When we disobey, it is always to our hurt. In Revelation 18:2-4 God’s people are commanded to flee from Babylon, the false ecumenical church of the end time. See Revelation 17 for a description of this church which works hand in hand with the depraved political system of the end time under the Anti-christ.

II Corinthians 6:17-18 tells us that God wants to welcome us into the intimacy of His family and bless us, but He can only do that when we obey Him in the matter of separation from evil. In God’s covenant with David, found in II Samuel 7:12-16, God promises to bless David’s posterity as long as they obey Him. Solomon, David’s son, was the wisest man who ever lived, but sad to say, he became the most stupid man who ever lived when he married 700 wives and took 300 concubines, women from heathen religions. As a result of this horrible yoke I Kings 11:1-11 tells of how these evil women turned Solomon’s heart away from God and eventually his Kingdom was divided and destroyed.

ARE YOU GRATEFUL TO GOD FOR SAVING YOU?
God has been good to us in bringing us into His family through faith in Jesus. It is the depth of ingratitude to refuse to obey God in this matter of separation.

In II Corinthians 7:1 Paul appeals to us in the light of God’s promises. He goes beyond commands. We ought to live a holy separated life from sin; not just because God has commanded it, but because we are so appreciative for all He has done for us.

In Romans 12:1-2 we have the same motivation for surrendering ourselves to Christ; not just because we are commanded, but because of gratitude for all His mercies to us.

That’s why I surrendered my life to Christ when I became a Christian at the age of nine. I was not simply attempting to obey a command. I was thankful to God for all He had done for me. When we consider all His promises to us, how can we do less, than give Him our best? Are you a Christian? If so, have you taken this step of surrender? II Peter 1:3-4

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Separation Series | Comments Off on Separation series #5: Reasons for Separation

What Will You Do With Jesus?

Who Jesus is and what you do with Him is the most important issue you will ever face on this earth.   Your eternal destiny in Heaven or in Hell rests on your response to Jesus.  

What do others say?

Some think Jesus was simply a good person like Ghandi or Mother Theresa who went about doing good, teaching His values and then dying as a martyr for His cause. If that is all He is,  whether you choose to follow him or some other ancient or modern teacher, doesn’t really matter one way or the other.  Have it your way? 

Others think Jesus was once a man as we are and that eventually He became a god,  one of many gods and that we too can attain to deity some day and be gods over our own universes- if we join the right religion.  That’s a lie of the devil.  In fact, it was the first lie that Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3:5 

What men think about Jesus does not determine who He is.  The Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God and it ALONE tells us the truth of who Jesus is.  If the Bible cannot be trusted, then what it says about Jesus or anything else is meaningless and life after death is simply anybody’s guess.   Religion is a farce.  Going to church is a waste of time and I am a fool for devoting my life to serve Him and you are wasting your time reading this web site. 

What does the Bible say about Jesus?

Jesus is the chief issue of your life.  Receive Him and be saved.  Reject Him and be lost.   Your eternity in Heaven or Hell is all based on your relationship with Jesus.  

I challenge you to read carefully and prayerfully through the Gospel of John asking God to reveal to you the Lord Jesus Christ.  In this Gospel account of Jesus  you will discover He is the eternal, almighty God, creator of Heaven and earth;  and He came as a human being to dwell among us and  show us God in human flesh.   He is just as eternal and as powerful as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, yet his human body was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary and the eternal God was born as a helpless baby boy.  

He came as the Lamb of God to shed His blood on the cross for our sins.  He paid the death penalty that He required for sin.  Those who give up trying to impress God with their righteousness and who come as guilty sinners, trusting in Christ’s shed blood as the sacrifice for their sins,  are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are born again into the Family of God.    

What will you do about Jesus?

Will you trust Him right now as your Saviour? He stands ready to work a miracle in your life by making you a new creation.  II Corinthians 5:17  Your heart  will be radically changed and this will result in a changed life.  Trust Him now and you will know you belong to Christ.   Read I John 5:11-13. That’s just before Revelation.   

When you are born again, you will have eternal life and be assured of it; not because of your righteousness, for you will recognize you have nothing to offer God.   Rather,  Jesus will be your only  righteousness, your only glory.  He will become your life,  your whole purpose for existence. You will gladly submit to Him as your Lord.  His Word the Bible, will become precious to you.  Attending a Bible preaching church will become the highlight of your week as the Bible opens up to you for the first time.  

Dear Reader,  I beg you to receive Christ and experience an instant, supernatural change this very moment.  No, you and I will never be perfect until we arrive glorified  in Heaven.  But the heart change will be instant and spiritual growth will begin and continue for the rest of your life. 

To reject Jesus now is to have no hope of another chance.  You are but a heart beat from eternity.  One moment after you breathe your last breath, you will be in hell with no chance of escape throughout eternity. 

Note, I am not begging you to join my church or give money to me.  I am not begging you to get religion.  I am not begging you to turn over a new leaf and start trying to live a better life.  I am begging you to admit your desperate, lost condition and believe the good news about Jesus,  THAT HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS!  Receive Him now and KNOW that you are saved and bound for Heaven.  

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Jesus | Comments Off on What Will You Do With Jesus?

Family series #5: Christian Training

A fourth wall we need to build to protect our children from evil and prepare them to know, love and serve God is the wall of Christian training.  Proverbs 22:6 gives instruction and a promise to parents,  “Train up a child in the way he should go and  when he is old he will not depart from it.”  This verse is not saying that a child will have his fling and live in sin and rebellion in his youth and then when he is old he will return to God; although, as in the case of the Prodigal Son, that sometimes happens and we rejoice when a prodigal son or daughter returns to God. It is teaching that if we look to God for wisdom and faithfully carry out our God-given responsibilities as parents,  our children will grow up to please Christ from childhood. Rebellion during the teens years is not something we need to expect and suffer through. 

 

Don’t be a know-it-all parent

 

In this age when there is a proliferation of books on child rearing the greatest danger for young parents is to be self-confident and certain that they know all the answers and that raising children will be a breeze.  It was a blessing to us that as young parents we felt so inadequate. We literally cried to God for His wisdom, and as He promised in James 1,  He gave it to us as we searched His Word to learn how to raise our family.

 

My wife and I can verify the truth of the Proverbs 22:6 promise from our own experience as parents. Although we were certainly not the perfect parents, we did the best we could to train our children.  None of them ever went through the “terrible  twos”  nor became rebellious teenagers. Our children were a constant delight to us. No one ever enjoyed parenting any more than we did.  Today each of them are married to godly spouses  and each of them are raising children who love God and are living for the Lord.  God is faithful to His promises.

 

 

Christian training begins in infancy.

 

 Isaiah 28:9-10 asks and answers the question as to how early we should begin that training. “Whom shall he teach knowledge? Whom shall he make to understand doctrine?”  Then he gives the answer.  “Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little and there a little.”  Mothers and fathers should begin introducing their children to Christ through reading the Bible to them, praying with them,  telling Bible stories and singing songs about Jesus  from their earliest years.  When a child is old enough to enjoy hearing and learning nursery rhymes,  he is old enough to learn about Jesus and  the  need for Him as Saviour.  Basically Christian training in early childhood  involves simplicity, repetition and  application day in and day out.  That training should  continue at the dinner table, when taking walks, when being tucked into bed at night.  It’s an ongoing life style and should be a part of normal daily conversation.  There is no better time to teach the doctrine of sin and the need for Jesus as our Saviour than when dealing with our children over misbehavior. As parents we must be alert to every opportunity to teach our children Biblical truth.

 

Bring your children to church.

 

I encourage parents to bring their infants into the sanctuary and sit with them in church. Our children were with my wife in church each Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening as babies, sleeping in the pew beside her or quietly eating Cheerios one at a time. Later on as toddlers they were permitted to sit quietly, playing  with toys or drawing pictures, absorbing the atmosphere of church. As they grew up, there never was a question of whether they would attend nor  did they complain that they had to go to church.  It was just a normal part of life.   Our oldest son came to his mother at the age of four and expressed a desire to receive Christ as His Saviour.  Together they prayed and she had the joy of leading him to Christ.  Later our oldest boy led his younger brother to Christ and later the two boys led their sister to Christ.

 

True, there is nothing an infant is going to learn from the pastor’s sermon, but little by little they begin absorbing truth, here a little, there a little,  line upon line, precept upon precept.  Often a toddler will ask his parents questions about things he has heard in church.  Sometimes a small child will repeat back to his parents things he has heard the preacher or Sunday School teacher say. A little one will absorb the atmosphere of  the church service.  It will become a part of his life and as he grows older he will not depart from the training if he sees consistency in his parents, in his Sunday School teacher and in his pastor.  The Church family all has a part in helping and encouraging  parents to carry out this awesome responsibility.

 

In II Timothy 1:5  and 3:15 we learn that by the grace of God Timothy became a faithful Christian and pastor because of  the godly influence of his mother Eunice and this grandmother Lois. In the normal Christian family, that responsibility falls on the shoulders of the father, but is equally shared by the mother.

 

Who do you trust to teach your children?

 

I recommend that if you have the opportunity; place your children in a Christian school that best reflects your standards or home school them if you are prepared to take on that responsibility.  Either option is better than the secular and anti-christian influence of public schools.  Understand that placing your children in a Christian school is not going to accomplish your goals of raising Christian young people, if there is a lack of dedication to Christ on your part  or if you are failing as the examples you ought to be as parents or if you are failing in the matter of discipline. Christian training is best carried out as children are receiving the same Biblical training in the home, in the school and in the church.

 

What good is all the Christian training  if the parents themselves are not dedicated to the Lord, not disciplined themselves and if they are not the right example to their children?   It’s not Christian training that drives children in Christian families to rebellion.  For the most part, it is inconsistency and hypocrisy on the part of their parents.  It is failing to control the influences:  the wrong friends,  the wrong TV programs and the wrong music, that parents allow their children to absorb.  Christian parents simply cannot abdicate that responsibility without doing great harm to their children.

 

Instant, cheerful obedience

 

As we teach our small children instant, cheerful obedience  and as we train them properly, instilling Biblical values into their minds and hearts; there will be less commanding  and less external control by the time they reach their teens..  Gradually we will increase their  freedom as they prove to us that they can  assume  responsibility and self-control. After all, the purpose of Christian training is to prepare our young people to become responsible adults,  able  to make wise decisions and  face the consequences of those decisions.

 

If children are disciplined and taught respect and obedience from infancy, if they see and sense love and consistency in their parents, if they are protected from wrong influences from outside the home;  they will not turn from the Christian training of their parents, but will grow up to love and serve the Lord.  This is God’s promise to faithful, obedient Christian parents.

 

May 26, 2006 Posted by | Family Series | Comments Off on Family series #5: Christian Training