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Summary: This is the sixth message in a series of sermons called, "How to Have a Happy and Healthy Home."

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Read Psalm 78:4-7 and Matt. 19:13-14

This is Father’s Day and I want to share some truths from the Word of God which ought to be extremely important to moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, and future parents and grandparents. This is something that’s extremely important to me. My #1 priority as a parent is to make sure Douglas gets saved and stays in love with Jesus. I would much rather my little boy live a short life and go to Heaven, than live a long life and wind up in Hell.

Many of you can relate to what I’m saying. You have children and grandchildren, and your #1 priority is to win them to Jesus.

Let’s talk about that. Somebody says, "Rick, why should I win my kids to Jesus?"

Because of their spiritual condition. Let’s consider . . .

I. The Spiritual Condition of Your Child.

A. The Bible teaches that your child has A SIN NATURE

(Ps. 58:3 & Rom. 7:18).

Children from birth go astray, are wayward, and speak lies because they have a sin nature: that is, a natural instinct to disobey and disbelief God. And remember, refusing to obey and believe God is the essence of sin. This natural instinct to disobey and disbelief God will cause them to sin every single day of their lives.

B. The Bible also implies that very young children are in "A PERIOD OF INNOCENCE" . . .

. . . that is, even though they are sinners, God doesn’t hold them accountable because their understanding hasn’t developed. They can’t grasp concepts such as sin and punishment, faith and forgiveness. And if a child dies during this Period of Innocence, then he (or she) is under the blood and they go straight to heaven (ILL: 2 Sam 12:23).

C. The Bible also implies that children will eventually reach "THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY" . . .

. . . that is, the age when there understanding develops to the point where they can grasp concepts of right and wrong, sin and punishment, faith and forgiveness. And parents, once your child reaches the Age of Accountability, they are accountable to God for their sins and God says to that child, "Your sins must be paid for, one way or the other." Our task is to make sure our children are ready to accept Christ once they reach "the Age of Accountability."

Somebody says, "Okay Rick. I see why we should win our children to Christ, but shouldn’t we be cautious whenever we try to lead our kids to Jesus?"

Absolutely. In fact there are . . . .

II. Three Dangers to Avoid.

A. DON’T PRESUME YOUR CHILD WILL COME TO CHRIST APART FROM YOUR INFLUENCE.

A lot of parents make this mistake. They think, "I’m not going to try to win my child to Jesus. I’ll leave that up to the church."

Now certainly you should utilize the church, but remember you have more influence on your child that the church does. Several years ago, George Barna did a survey of several thousand Christians and asked them, "Did your parents play a part in your coming to Christ, or did you come to Christ without any encouragement from them?" 76% responded that their parents had a part in their coming to Christ while only 24% said they came to Christ without any encouragement from their parents.

So try to influence your children to Christ and you will drastically multiply their chances of getting saved.

B. DON’T PRESSURE YOUR CHILD INTO MAKING A DECISION HE (OR SHE) ISN’T READY TO MAKE.

A lot of parents and youth workers make this mistake as well. They’ll lead a child into making a decision that they’re not ready to make - and that will hurt them in the long run.

So be careful and make sure your child understands the basic facts of the gospel. Make sure they understand WHY they need to be saved, WHO makes salvation possible, and HOW to saved. And remember, only they can decide for themselves. So, don’t make that decision for them. Encourage them. Help them. Instruct them. But let them make their own decision.

C. DON’T PUSH YOUR CHILD AWAY BY BEING A HYPOCRITE.

Unfortunately, a lot of parents make this mistake too. It’s like this. One of my wife’s favorite movies is " Major League" (the edited version of course). And one of the main characters in the movie is a starting pitcher who claimed to be a Chritian, but he cussed and drank just like everyone else. Everyone made fun of him and no one looked up to him. They laughed at him because his walk didn’t match his talk. Don’t make that same mistake with your kids. You’ll push them away if you don’t back up what you say with what you do.

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