Proverbs 23:10-14 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.
During his 2000 presidential campaign George W. Bush repeated a theme about American education, “We’re not going to leave anyone behind.” Spiritually, that’s what delivering souls from hell is all about at Fossil Creek. We don’t want to leave anyone behind. We want every family to understand the proper establishment of God’s authority in the home.
As the Church, we care about those who are lost out in the world. But, our first priority must be to concentrate on the families of Fossil Creek. Brethren, if every person here (boy and girl, young and old) would become a faithful member of the Lord’s Church then Fossil Creek would be a wonderful success.
Think of those who used to be here as kids, but for whatever reasons – they’ve left the faith. Think of those adults who used to be here, but for whatever reasons – they quit the Church. Our building wouldn’t be large enough if they were all still faithful.
Every congregation faces the challenge. Somewhere along the way souls slip through the cracks. They get discouraged. They grow rebellious. They leave God and decide they don’t need Him. Whatever the cause or motivation – they face an eternity with no hope. That ought to give us all sufficient motivation to learn from the past and to do everything in our power not to repeat it.
The elders of the congregation are seriously concerned with the salvation of EVERY person at Fossil Creek – young or old. We’re concerned with the commitment of every member. We want to do everything in our power to help deliver souls from hell.
The Christian home may be the most prized possession of a man. God saw fit to establish the home as a means of teaching each generation the value of obedience. Listen to what Solomon said about a godly house.
Proverbs 15:6 In the house of the righteous is much treasure
Proverbs 24:3, 4 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
Delivering Souls From Hell is the goal of every Christian home. Much of the work we do for God is done in the context of the Christian home. We have to fulfill our responsibility to have homes where God and the Church come first.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Make a mental note of the GOALS you have for your life in Christ? What work do you intend to accomplish for Christ through the Church, the congregation here at Fossil Creek? Success has often been described as the purposeful accomplishment of a goal. Spiritually, what goals do you have for yourself and your family? If you don’t have any – you’re in spiritual trouble and your soul is already at risk.
Now, mentally list the actions you’re taking toward that improvement? What will your spiritual habits look like a year from now? Will your worship habits be exactly what they are today? Will you continue to give to the Lord the exact same amount you’re giving today? Will you pray and read the Bible just like you are now? How will you commit yourself to IMPROVE?
Next, be honest with yourself. Work hard to see yourself as you really are. Don’t kid yourself. Perhaps for the 1st time in a long time, be brutally honest with who you really are SPIRITUALLY. Deep down you probably know what changes you should make. Perhaps you’ve just been too much of a coward to repent and make the changes necessary. As you read this you know what’s wrong with your life. You know the things that need to be fixed. Look hard at these things and consider making today the greatest day of your life – the day you decide to fix the things lacking in your life.
We’re all people with weaknesses and problems. We’re all people who occasionally get distracted from being everything that God wants. We’re not perfect. We’re not always strong.
You aren’t alone in your problems. You’re not alone if you don’t always pray or read your Bible like you should. That doesn’t justify any of us for failing to be everything God wants, but this isn’t about some of us feeling stronger at the expense of those who might be weaker. It’s about DELIVERING SOULS FROM HELL. It’s about working hard together so NONE OF US ARE LEFT BEHIND! It’s about us having faith and confidence in God and in each other that we can accomplish the goal if reaching Heaven.
Let the Church become more important in your life. Christ died for the Church. Surely today you consider the Church worthy of more than you give her! The ONLY vehicle capable of delivering souls from hell is the Lord’s Church. Please consider these things.
Over in Ezekiel we read of God’s judgment regarding the warnings that are given to wicked men. God doesn’t hold us responsible if we take the time and effort to warn people of the consequences not serving God. However, if we fail to warn men – God will hold us responsible. Their blood will be required at our hands! The obligation and responsibility of every Christian is to first save himself, then to help save others also.
Households and families today don’t resemble the past in very many ways. Families are busier than ever. The kids have activities. The parents are chasing careers and retirement options. Today’s family is rarely a united team of people who support each other. More often they are disconnected people going in all different directions. When everyone’s schedule can fit together the family might have time together. Otherwise, it’s pretty much every man for himself.
As the world has changed, the family has changed – even families in the Church. Each generation is beckoned to become more like the world. Grandparents and great grandparents don’t often have the same impact they had in decades past. Too often, the fight to maintain a Christian heritage that would continue for generations – is lost! Too often, the world wins in the fight for the souls of our family. Too often, we fail to deliver souls from hell – perhaps including our own! We’re too busy with other pursuits.
The scriptures give us a great illustration of how kids can come along who know nothing of God. Perhaps one of the greatest of these stories is found in the day of Joshua.
Joshua himself had a long and illustrious life of faithful service to God. He saw the plagues that God inflicted on Pharaoh firsthand. He was part of the great exodus from Egypt. He walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. Joshua was one of the two spies who urged Israel to go up and take the land. He watched as Israel self-destructed in the wilderness. Finally, he led Israel’s conquest of the Promised Land.
When Joshua died, there were younger men who had participated in that conquest. They remembered how God had fought for Israel.
Joshua 10:14 “And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.”
Eventually all of these witnesses of God’s power and help died. Judges 2:10-12 “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.”
What went wrong? Just prior to Israel’s entrance to the Promised Land Moses had repeated for the new generation God’s law, including a fundamental charge to parents.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.”
Even with this advice a generation had been allowed to slip. A generation had come up that “knew not God.” We know what happened. We can read how MATERIALISM corrupted the people. That contributed to their leaving God. BOREDOM existed among the people. They grew tired of serving God. It wasn’t new and exciting like other things around them. Thirdly, these people grew REBELLIOUS. Whenever people don’t want to submit to God’s authority, there is trouble. The 4th problem was their ASSUMPTION that values and faith were being communicated and passed on. The grandparents and parents just assumed the kids would follow them in obedience to Jehovah. And lastly, they had INEFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP. These 5 things contributed to their failure to deliver souls from hell. We need to protect ourselves from these same problems.
The elders of the congregation do not want to be ineffective. The only thing worse than no leadership is ineffective leadership. We need your prayers and help so that we aren’t ineffective.
I encourage every member to review the story of the people in Joshua’s day. Seriously read and study what went wrong with them so we can learn from it.
When we talk about delivering souls from hell, we’re talking about souls within the confines of YOUR FAMILY. You may have kids still living at home (at any age), OR you may simply have influence on family members or loved ones.
The foundation of any Christian home must be the love between a man and woman and their joint love for God exhibited by their devotion to the Church. There can be no other basis for the establishment of a Christian home. Having said that, we continue to encourage the young people of the congregation to be very careful about who you date because the fact is, you will marry who you date.
Find a mate who can help you achieve heaven, someone who will be devoted to the Church, and someone who understands that God matters most. That’s not always easy for young people to spot. It’s easy to fall in love and see only the positive attributes of a young man or woman. It’s another thing to be able to project out into the future and honestly ask, “Will this person be what I need and want in a mate for life? Will they share my goal of reaching heaven? Will they want to raise children in keeping with the Christian values and doctrines that I hold?” You owe it to yourself to examine the families of those you date. Carefully and prayerfully consider how your life might be affected for good or bad if you were to make a lifelong commitment to this person and their family. Your decision about a mate for life is 2nd only to your decision to obey the Gospel. Your future home will be determined by the choices you make. Make a wise choice!
Remember, God’s plan for marriage is one man and one woman together for life! When times get hard, there’s no walking away. Through thick and thin the two of you must see it through. Your love for each other and your joint love for the Truth must be strong enough to see you through any problem! The world exercises the option of just walking away. You won’t have that option as a Christian. Yes, the Bible does speak of a circumstance that can occur where the innocent spouse if freed, but brethren, it’s high time to focus on fidelity, monogamy and faithfulness in marriage so we don’t need to focus on an exception! God’s RULE for marriage is one man and one woman faithful to Him and to each other for LIFE! May adultery never be named among us at Fossil Creek.
Upon establishing a Christian home the roles of the man and woman come into play. No godly home can be what it should be unless the man is the head of the home. When you find a home where that isn’t the case, you’ll find a home that will never be as God intended. Listen to God’s decree in…
Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Throughout the Patriarchal age of time God set forth the leadership of the man in the home. Patriarch means, “father.” God communicated with mankind through the fathers or the heads of the houses.
Over in Genesis 6 God spoke to Noah and expected Noah to convey the will of heaven to his family and to the entire world. In several chapters of Genesis we find God speaking to Abraham. We find record where Sarah highly esteemed her husband. Peter mentions her in glowing terms in the New Testament as a woman worthy of praise because she rendered proper obedience and reverence to Abraham, her husband. Abraham was the head of his home and Sarah rendered godly submission to him.
Women of the Church today should take note of her example and follow it. In the New Testament, 1 Corinthians 11:3 lays it out very plainly, But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Ladies, go on to study the rest of that chapter. The issue of a woman cutting her hair is a direct sign of rebellion against her place in God’s order. Women, it’s a sin to cut your hair. Study the 11th chapter of 1 Corinthians. But, the headship of man isn’t confined to the home though.
1 Timothy 2:12-15 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Speaking of the qualifications of the eldership Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
If you want your home to be a place where you can deliver souls from hell, the husband must be at the head. It all begins there, with the establishment of the authority in the home under the direction of God’s Word.
Men, you owe it to your wife and family to assume the leadership role. Some men don’t want that role. Well, men – you don’t have a choice if you’re going to please God. Your family needs it and God demands it.
Does this mean that a man must be dominating in every aspect of life? NO! It does mean that the man must be prepared to set the tone for the family. He must be a leader! He must stand up for what is right in the sight of God. He must establish the spiritual habits of the home. He can’t surrender that leadership to his wife, the kids or the Church. HE must take the leadership role. God gave it to him and God expects him to handle it wisely and in accordance with the Gospel.
We’ve shown you the love that the man is to have for his wife. The comparison is that the man is to love his wife as himself and he’s to love her as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for the Church.
Men, do you love your wife that much? Will you give yourself totally to her? Will you do whatever it takes to protect and care for her and your family? Will you devote yourself to delivering souls from hell within your own home?
The home requires a head. Husbands, you’re it! Be what God wants you to be and take your role very seriously. If your home isn’t what it ought to be – CHANGE it. Don’t wait for your wife or kids to alter things. YOU need to take charge and lead the way. If you don’t, the souls of your family are at risk.
The home and the local congregation are in trouble when wives start ruling the home. When wives refuse to submit to the authority of the husband and the men in the Church, there’s big trouble. Souls can be lost because of it. It defies God’s plan for delivering souls from hell.
Today the Church needs fathers like Enoch. We don’t know very much about him because there just aren’t many scriptures about him. But what we do know if POWERFUL.
Genesis 5:21-24 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Enoch was the 7th from Adam. To walk with God is constantly to care, in all things to please God, and in nothing to offend him. This was Enoch’s constant care and work; while others lived to themselves and the world, he lived to God. It was the joy of his life. Enoch was removed to a better world. As he did not live like the rest of mankind, so he did not leave the world by death as they did. He was not found, because God had translated him according to Heb 11:5.
Enoch’s son, Methuselah, knew what it was to have a righteous father. He understood the devotion his father had to God. Fathers, what are your sons and daughters seeing? What recall of your Church life are they going to have during their years?
Noble Noah is another example of how fathers should be. Hebrews 11:7 tells us how by faith Noah pleased God. According to the language of Genesis 6 there were NO fathers on earth like Noah. No father shared his faith or devotion. The other fathers were devoted to worldly things. Noah was building the ark because God told him to. He was preaching so the world could have a chance to repent. And dads, he did it when NO OTHER FATHER would. He was alone. What about you? What are you showing your family? What kind of leadership are you exhibiting?
Abraham proved himself to be an ideal father to Isaac. Truly a remarkable man, Abraham served God loyally. Listen to the confidence God had in Abraham. Genesis 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
God knew Abraham would direct his kids in the right way. Abraham was training his kids in the way they should go some 9 centuries before Solomon penned the word of Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Abraham was bringing up his children in the nurture and admonition of Jehovah 19 centuries before Paul would be inspired to write Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Abraham was considered the “father of the faithful.” That would have never happened if he’d been a failure as a dad.
Dads, are you seeing a trend here?
The Old Testament is full of lessons about the influence of fathers who taught their kids. The New Testament also shows us fathers who taught their kids the law and raised them to see righteous living as a way of life.
Dads, TEACH your kids what matters most. Teach them that attending Church is important. Teach them that learning the Bible is critical for their eternal welfare. Teach them that they must never short change God or the Church. Show them the importance of living a Christian life, no matter what. Don’t put education or career before God in their eyes. Don’t put athletics or entertainment before God in their eyes. Make God their priority.
Control your anger, but don’t be afraid to exercise discipline at home. Dads, the scriptures don’t teach us about “time outs” where we simply put a kid off in some corner somewhere. Sometimes kids need the rod of correction. Of course, they don’t need or deserve abuse of any type. But parents, if you refuse to correct your child – you’ll never deliver their soul from hell. If your child can’t respect your authority, don’t expect him to respect God’s authority.
Discipline is foremost a matter of instruction, but it’s also punishment for doing wrong. The scriptures teach us that a child left to himself will go astray. They’ll follow a path of destruction if you can’t learn to exercise discipline. Yes parents, you have to learn when to exercise corrective discipline. Solomon spent a great deal of time discussing instruction and correction of a son or a child. Parents, you’ll never deliver the souls of your kids from a devil’s hell if you don’t learn to use the rod of correction. Your kids will bring you shame and embarrassment if you don’t correct them. Worse yet, they’ll be eternally lost!
Moms, what about your role in all this? 1 Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
This divine order is significant. God’s order is marriage, bearing children and guiding the house in a way that will avoid having the world sneer.
Titus 2:4, 5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Today, many women don’t object to marrying or bearing children, but guiding the house? Well, it stops there for too many. There are careers to mold, money to earn and other worldly pursuits to take up their time.
God’s formula for success at home is pretty easy to understand. When younger women learn to obey these verses, they find success at home. When they refuse to submit to these commands, they will most assuredly fail.
Mom, what do your kids see in you? Do they see someone who is guiding the home? Do they see an industrious woman willing to concern herself with operating a smooth, well- kept home?
If they don’t, then don’t be surprised if you don’t have children that can’t learn their place in God’s plan either. How can they if you don’t know yours?
We need mothers like the mother of Moses. Listen to Exodus 2:1-10…
And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
Moses was born at a very critical time in history. Thanks to a faithful mother who refused to obey the commands of Pharaoh, Moses grew up to be a man devoted to God rather than Pharaoh or Egypt. Are we to believe that the mother of Moses had no hand in bringing up this baby to one day become a great servant to God’s people? It was no accident that God directed that basket to the house of Pharaoh’s daughter where the mother of Moses could impact his life!
Hannah was the mother of Samuel. She’s another worthy example. We first see her as a woman who can’t have children. Her husband is devoted to her and very kind, but she wants a child. While the family is gathered at Shiloh, the center of worship for Israel at the time, we find her praying.
1 Samuel 1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
God granted her that prayer. She named her son Samuel because she had asked him of the Lord. Okay, she’s got her desire. She’ll forget that vow won’t she? That’s what most people do. They make promises to God and never keep them. That’s probably what she’ll do, right? WRONG!
No, Hannah possessed some prime ingredients for being a godly mother. She wanted to be a mother. She wanted to raise a son that God could be proud of. Is it any wonder that Samuel wouldn’t stray from that path that she set him on as a young boy?
Hannah knew the truth. The only way to gain a child is to give that child back to God. We can only deliver the souls of our kids from hell by giving them to the Lord. But too often we’re giving our kids to the world and every possible worldly pursuit.
Listen to the greatest words probably ever written about a worthy woman.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
We need mothers who will bring up their children in an atmosphere of love and devotion to things eternal. We need mothers who will teach their children at home, who will work to make the home everything God intended, who will devote themselves to the little souls entrusted to marriage and who will dedicate themselves to rendering all the service to God that is possible.
We need mothers who will aspire to devote their kids to God. We need mothers who will take the time and effort to help raise those kids to be truly devoted to God and the goal of gaining heaven.
Parents, whether you are a mom or dad, you owe your kids some things. First of all, you owe them the idea that they are special and wonderful in God’s sight. Psalms 127:3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.
Every child deserves to be wanted. Abraham and Sarah wanted Isaac long before they had him. Hannah prayed fervently that she might have Samuel. Zacharius and Elizabeth wanted John, who would be called John the Baptist or Baptizer.
Every child deserves love and respect. The love of a child isn’t the love of a spouse or the love of a best friend. It’s the love of a child.
Every child deserves discipline and correction so they can reach heaven. Heaven smiled on Abraham because he disciplined his family. Joshua was determined to obey the Lord with his entire house, implying some pretty strong convictions no doubt coupled with the discipline to make it happen. No child will grow up well adjusted unless they have strong discipline in the home. Learn to say NO to your kids, parents. Your kids deserve it. No, the rod won’t kill them. Neither will a belt. But it can help save their soul. Teach them that YOU are the boss of their life. If you don’t, you’ll never convince them that God is the ultimate authority. If you can’t get them to obey YOU, how do you plan to teach them to obey God?
Every child deserves time. Parents, the world tries to convince us that it’s all about quality time, not the amount of time. That’s a lie! Kids don’t measure quality, but they do measure quantity. Kids care if mom is home when they get off the school bus. They care if dad takes time to wrestle. You don’t believe me? Then look real closely into that small face the next time you utter the words, “Not right now!” after you’ve been asked to play some game or read some story. Look closely into those eyes, parents. Those opportunities never last long enough. You’d better be showing your kids that you’ll make time for them NOW. If you don’t – don’t be surprised that they don’t have time for you when they’re older. And don’t be surprised that they have no time for God or the Church either.
Every child deserves a safe, happy home. Make your home a place where friends are always welcome. Make it a place where your kids feel safe, physically and emotionally. Make it comfortable for them in a supportive way, and quit worrying about making it more comfortable physically with all the fancy stuff you might want. Kids don’t care. Parents are the one who care about that stuff. Kids learn to care about that type of comfort from their parents.
Children, you’re not off the hook here today. There are some things you owe your folks. You’ve got some obligations in the home that are very important.
First, you owe your folks respect and obedience. How can you imitate Christ any other way?
Luke 2:51, 52 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
If the Son of God couldn’t dispense with being respectful and obedient to his earthly parents, then what makes you think you can? Do you suppose he could have gained favor with God and man if he’d been rebellious?
Children, it’s a command of God for you to obey your parents. Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Parents, our kids are the focal point of our families. That’s as it should be, but they don’t RUN our homes. The command isn’t for parents to obey their children. Don’t reverse these roles. Don’t be confused and lose your kids. They don’t boss you around. You boss them around. You’d better show them the leadership they deserve or they’ll walk all over you and you’ll lose them to Satan.
Parents, fear can be a great motivator. Fear, as in respect and fear as in “I know mom or dad will tan my hide if I disobey.” Use it. Teach your kids respect and obedience. Kids, learn it.
Grown kids owe their parents love, respect, honor, care and financial help if necessary. The extension of our commitment to our parents doesn’t end when we move out of the house. The scriptures teach us a lifelong commitment to our parents.
It’s dreadful to see older parents suffer because the kids have moved off and simply forgotten the parents. Kids, your parents deserve more than that according to the wishes of God.
The Pharisees of Jesus day really looked down on grown kids having to support their parents. They had concocted a scheme to avoid obeying what God wanted. A man might have elderly parents who were in need. The son might have enough property that was worth enough to care for the parents. But, he might not want to fulfill that obligation to take care of his folks. Under the old law he was allowed to pronounce “Corban” over that property. Here’s how sinful their minds worked. That meant the property was devoted to God so they rationalized that none of it could be used to support their parents. Of course, the Pharisees didn’t feel obligated to use it for God either!
Jesus addressed this in Mark 7:9-13 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:4-8 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Kids, you owe your parents friendliness, politeness and cooperation. You owe your parents responsibility. You owe them clean living. Paul told the young Timothy to “keep thyself pure.” Kids, you owe that to your parents – you owe it to yourself.
Brethren, we’ve lost our way and we’re losing our families to the world. Fathers and mothers aren’t what they’re supposed to be and as a result, the kids aren’t either. Fathers aren’t setting the proper tone for what’s important in life. They’re not being the spiritual guides that God commands. They’re not establishing good solid habits of family Bible reading and family prayer like they should. They’re not taking the time to devote their family to God like they should.
Instead, they’re hunting, fishing, playing, working and doing everything imaginable EXCEPT being the leader in their own home.
Mothers are off working to help build bigger bank accounts while the family goes bankrupt spiritually. The kids are left to themselves. There’s no time for eternal lessons during the course of a day because mom’s not home to teach or guide, like the Bible commands.
Brethren, it’s time for us get up off our lazy backsides and start working harder to save ourselves and our families. It’s the number one priority of THIS CHURCH. It’s the number one thing on our mind as elders. We must save our own.
We can look at Noah and think what a pitiful little preacher he must have been. To preach decade after decade and have no one other than his family listen and obey…how pitiful! Brethren, he was superior to many of us because he saved his household…and in doing so – he saved and changed the world. It started with HIS HOUSE.
Today, it starts with YOUR house and MY house. God expects you to deliver souls from hell starting at HOME because those are the souls most valuable to YOU and because those are the souls most influenced by YOU.
At Fossil Creek we want God’s house to be as strong as possible. That can only happen if every home of the congregation is what it ought to be. We pray that God will bless us with strong Christian homes.