Summary: Parents are to teach their children truths from the Bible.
Title: “God’s Plan For the Family” series: The Bible
Text: Acts 16:1-5; 2 Tim. 1:5-6; 3:14-4:5
Truth: Parents are to teach their children truths from the Bible.
Aim: To encourage the use of the Bible in the home.
We have lived to see the demise of atheistic communism. Hopefully, we will see its last gasp in Asia. This demonic ideology sought to destroy Christianity. It burned and banned the Bible. It closed churches and turned the buildings into warehouses. If you were caught sharing your faith with others you were jailed. In Communism we saw the devil’s strategy to destroy society and Christianity.
That same demonic strategy to destroy society and Christianity is at work in America. Christians tend to blame materialism, hedonism, or our hectic lifestyle as the culprit eroding the health of our families. I’m sure they are guilty. But Christians must bear some of the blame. Ninety-eight percent of Americans have a Bible in the home but few families ever read it. This has the same outcome as banning the Bible. There are hundreds of thousands of churches in America. Southern Baptist alone have over 45,000 churches. But on any given Sunday only 17% of the U.S. population attends church (New Orleans Bapt. Theo. Sem. research). Southern Baptist defines a regular attending church member as someone who attends two Sundays a month! Think about this--if this were the last Sunday for Northeast to meet, a large percentage of our members would not know it for weeks or months!
Only 6% of the churches in America are growing by reaching the lost (NOBTS). Most church growth is transfer growth, Christians moving from one church to another. In other words, every year America is becoming less Christian.
God has a plan to protect your family from the powerful destructive forces of our day. The Bible is to be your family’s source of instruction, the church is your partner in the development of your family’s spiritual life, and your family has already been given a life message to share with this generation. Over the next three Sundays I want to talk to you about God’s plan for the family. We’re going to talk about the Bible, church, and life message. Today, let’s talk about the Bible being your family’s source of instruction.
Timothy is an example of being reared in a family that used the Bible. Timothy grew up in a home where his father was not the spiritual leader of the home. The scripture seems to imply his dad was not a believer, therefore not the spiritual leader of the home. Timothy turns out alright. How do you explain that? Notice the influence the Bible had on Timothy and his family.
My appeal to you is simple but earnest; find some way to teach the Bible to your family. Let me say it again, find some way to teach your family the Bible. The reason Satan is so discouraging of this practice in families is because it is so powerful for the salvation of souls and the development of Christian character.
First, a parent’s influence.
I. A PARENT’S INFLUENCE (ACTS 16:1-5)
This is the record of Paul’s second missionary journey. Five years earlier he traveled to these towns and preached the gospel. Many were saved. Apparently, Timothy, his mother, and grandmother became Christians because of Paul’s visit. Lystra is important because it was there where the people rose up against Paul and Barnabas and stoned Paul. They thought he was dead but he recovered and went back to preaching. Timothy would know about this incident. He would’ve known hardknocks are a part of the ministry and living the Christian life. His commitment to Christ was willing to endure hardship.
Timothy’s dad was a Greek. The language leaves room for the possibility of his dad being dead at this time. Timothy may have been 17-18 years of age at the time of Paul’s second visit. That’s to say; he has in large part chosen his direction and loyalties in life. 32% of all Christians embrace Christ before 12 years of age. 6% do when they become an adult.
The Greeks viewed the Jewish practice of circumcision as mutilation. That explains why Timothy had not been circumcised. Paul had already established that circumcision was not necessary in order to be accepted by God. The reason Paul was in Lystra was to pass on the decision of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. The Council agreed with Paul that circumcision was not required to become a Christian. But Paul has Timothy circumcised. Why? It was not for salvation but for Jewish sensibilities. Timothy could enter the worlds of both the Greeks and Jews because of his racial heritage. But to remove a barrier and be accepted by the Jews so they would hear his message, he submitted to circumcision. It was an act of love on Timothy’s part to submit to this Jewish rite.