Sermons

Summary: Part 1 of the series Passing On The Faith

Building Faith In Our Children

Passing on the Faith (2 Timothy)

Have you ever thought about how

the Christian faith is passed along

from person to person,

from generation to generation,

like links in a chain?

Whether you realize it or not,

your faith is the result of the faithfulness

of hundreds of thousands of Christians

over the past 2,000 years?

We are all standing on the shoulders

of generations of prior Christians.

Think about, if you’re a follower of Christ today,

how did you come to your faith in Christ?

Well, probably

someone shared their faith with you –

maybe a parent,

a spouse,

a grandparent,

a friend

or a pastor.

But how did that person came to believe?

Well, likely through

their parents,

or spouse,

or friend

or pastor.

And that person was led by someone else,

And so on down

through generation, after generation, after generation.

Now, some of you might say,

Well, not me, I found Christ on my own,

Nobody else was really even involved.

There’s no other believers in my family,

I found God completely on my own.

Well, say that’s true.

Say that you never even heard of Jesus Christ,

until one time you were staying in a motel room,

Maybe it was a time when you were depressed.

your life was falling apart.

or your marriage was on its last legs.

or you hated your job,

and you became so desperate,

that you opened up the end table

by your bed in the motel

and you found a Gideon’s Bible.

and started reading in the front,

where there’s a series of Bible verses

about how to start a relationship with God.

So you read John 3:16.

For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

You said, Whoh, I didn’t know that,

God sent his only Son,

just so I could live forever with him?

Then you read Romans 6:23:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You said, I didn’t know that,

eternal life is a free gift from God.

Then You read Romans 10:9–10:

If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

You said, I didn’t know that.

All you have to do is

tell God you believe and you want to accept his gift.

So, in desperation,

you kneel down beside the bed

and pray the prayer

you find in the Gideon’s Bible.

You confess their sin;

tell God you want him to be the boss from now on;

Ask Jesus Christ to put his Holy Spirit in your heart.

And suddenly you feel the presence of God

for the first time in your life.

You feel a sense of peace.

and you feel the weight of guilt rolling off of you.

and you know, for the first time,

you are now part of God’s family,

and you’re going to be with him forever.

Now, even though you’ve

apparently come to faith in Christ

all by yourself,

with no one else’s involvement,

Do you realize how many people

actually were involved,

in your conversion?

Someone had to place that Gideon’s Bible in the room.

Someone raised funds for the Bible’s printing.

Others gave money so that the Bibles could be distributed.

Whatever version of Bible you were reading,

was produced after thousands of believers

studied manuscripts of the Bible,

which had been preserved, copied, and passed down

by thousands of other people,

and then translated and produced into Bibles

by thousands more people,

all so that you could read a Bible

when you got to that motel room.

Every conversion is simply

one more link in a chain that stretches

across twenty centuries

and thousands of miles

and millions of martyrs,

monks,

and priests,

and pastors,

and parents,

teachers,

and theologians,

a chain that goes back all the way

to Christ and the apostles

and a chain that reaches forward all the way

to you and me.

And now, there’s only question,

if you are a follower of Christ,

Here’s the question:

Are you going to break the chain?

Have you gotten those internet email chains,

like I have?

They’re always sort of the same,

a heart-wrenching story of faith,

with some lesson at the end,

sometimes it’s a great lesson,

sometimes its sort of dumb or obvious,

but there’s one thing

you can always count on.

At the bottom of the email

it always tells you,

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