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The raw numbers describing the plight of American children are alarming. Here is what is happening in a day in the life of the children of the United States:
One drops out of school every eight seconds of the school day.
One is abused every 47 seconds.
One is arrested for a narcotics violation every seven minutes.
One is killed or wounded by a gunshot every 36 minutes.
Jesus said, "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!" Matthew 18:5-7
I. Three verses later Jesus gives a statement relating to angels.
A. Angels are mentioned in the context of children who are despised, and who are made to "stumble."
B. What does it mean to cause a child to stumble? If you are walking down the street and stumble, what may it be that caused you to stumble?
II. Stumbling blocks are low lying objects which may be unnoticed, and which cause children to fall as they are walking.
III. Mark 10:13-16 informs us that a childís inheritance, the Kingdom of Heaven, is not primarily his or her responsibility. It is the responsibility of the parents, the church, and the angels, who are all stewards of it. In other words, we are to be managers of the kingdom in their life.
A. If the kingdom is afterwards stolen away because of stumbling blocks, Woe to such a person! it would be better for that person to have never been bom.
B. Stumbling blocks are Satanís devices. He does attack children, and his demons seek to destroy them (Mark 7:26-30, Luke 9:38-43). Demons will pressure moms and dads from being the blessers of children to becoming their accusers. Tearing them down with unkind words, invasive actions.
IV. Is your child being robbed of their inheritance? The sins of the fathers are visited to the third and fourth generations. The way children have been treated is so tragic that many children have a hard time receiving the Kingdom at all. There is a tremdous need for healing among children who are caused to stumble and smashed long before the age of accountability. Many of them are the product of hypocritical parents.
V. Parents who cause their children to stumble:
A. Hezekiah "in my generation!" No investment in their future. Only concerned about this day.
B. Lotís wife - Her own disobedience to God is played out in her children, poorest kind of example to her daughters.
C. The High Price of Success - Workaholic, accomplishment, stuff, buying them the best stuff but never being there for them.
D. Provoke Not Your Children to Wrath - Look at some other translations.
E. Teach them to your children
VI. What now?
A. Submit your life and your family life to God!
B. Repent and become righteous - for the childrenís sake!
- All Sermons on Children
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