Summary: a sermon to help make people aware of the dangers that are threatening our families
Introduction: (Read from newspaper): “Stalker Endangers 4-State Family - Authorities are nervously watching a 4-state home where a stalker has been recently cited. The stalker has been spotted, using a variety of disguises to hide his identity. A known criminal, he is wanted in several states, but so far has managed to elude arrest. The sightings have occurred around the 4-state home many times now, though the family has never seen him. While authorities believe the family to be in serious danger, they and their neighbors are showing little alarm. The identity of the family is being withheld until church services at [church name] today where the preacher will announce that the family is YOU!
-Your family's being stalked! It's true! Someone is out to ruin your family, and he's waiting for the opportunity to make it fall. "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (I Pt 5:8) He knows that every blow he inflicts against your home is a blow that makes the Church suffer. It's a fact: whatever hurts your home hurts the Church, and the devil is out to make both fall.
-I want this message to be like a warning sign. Just like those “s-curve” signs on the way to Branson that warn you to slow down because the turns are sharp and the hills are steep, I want to set up a warning sign - a reminder that these dangers are out there, and you need to be alert! Because I see several dangers that are threatening the families of our country and our congregation today. And by the end of the message, I want to have suggested several courses of action to take that will help us make sure we’re not another car in the ditch along the highway of family living.
The first danger is the…
I. Loss of Truth
-I read an ad for contact lenses, "Ask your doctor. See if they're right for you." Every other prescription add that comes on TV says the same thing: “See if it’s right for you.”
That makes me cringe. Because in a somewhat hidden way it says that some things may be right for some people and not right for others. Watch for that phrase, "If it's right for you." It reflects a trend that began in Europe in the early 1800's and in the US in the 1920's. A movement toward relativism -- to say truth is no longer absolute. "What may be true for you may not be true for me." There is, more than ever in our county, a truth vacuum - a longing for something that's certain and reliable, but a confusion about whether such a thing even exists. No, it’s no longer a confusion – it’s a decision that truth doesn’t exist. The post-modern era is in part marked by this relativistic approach: “truth” varies with my feelings, my experience, my situation, my values, my genes.
(II Tim 4:3-4) "For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."
-Ill - a 1992 survey:
• 91% of Americans say they lie routinely
• 85% lie regularly to parents
• 75% to friends
• 73% to siblings
• 69% to spouses.
-Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t if you believe that truth doesn’t exist. If truth isn’t real and absolute, then non-truth is really of no consequence. Why be concerned about something that’s the opposite of nothing?
We've seen what that can do to politicians, to businesses, to countries - what do you suppose it does to families? When parents can't trust children, children can't trust parents, and husbands and wives can't trust each other?
-a man who had been unfaithful to his wife was forgiven and restored. Listen to what he had to say about honesty in a marriage:
"My wife and I have deliberately worked at the concept of truth. The thing that will destroy the marriage is the lie. Adultery alone does not necessarily destroy the marriage; it is the lie. We were able to handle the adultery when we brought it into the light. Every man has flaws and sins. It is only when you keep it in the darkness that sin grows and multiplies. If it is brought into the light, then there is help for it. Before, I would not bring it into the light because I didn't want help. Now I want help. So, if I'm tempted and sin, I want to get it exposed immediately and that means I must include my wife."