Summary: The sermon breaks down societies misconceptions on children. This sermon gives us a biblical understanding and view point of the power and depth of understanding children have even in their innocence and naivety. It challenges us to consider carefully how
Today we are going to start into a new series. This series will be difficult and will challenge us to be honest and aware of the things going on around us. They will cause us to face a hardship that is present even now among us. We are going to confront the 3 great lies Satan has told the church of today. We are going to confront the lies told to us about the children among us. We are going to confront the lies told to us about our young men and women. We are going to confront the lies told to us about our fathers, mothers and teachers. We are going to confront these lies because these lies mean life or death for our churches.(PAUSE)
THESE LIES MEAN LIFE OR DEATH FOR OUR CHURCHES.
We are going to start with the children. The children of our churches are so special to us. They are our life and our hope. They are our innocence and our future. Christ himself tells us of their importance in Luke 18:15-17:
15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. 16 But Jesus called for them, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
Whoever doesn't receive the kingdom of God like a child WILL NOT ENTER IT AT AL. (P)
Did you catch that just now? These children among us are THE example of how we should appear in our salvation. Their innocence, acceptance, and desire for coming to God is a flawless example to us.
So, what's the lie? Satan would have us believe that these little children are better served if they are kept separate from the body. We are so convinced as a church that we need to create something for the children. Church programs, VBS, Veggie Tales, the list goes on and on and on. We have accepted and created a culture where we remove children from our sanctuaries and send them off elsewhere to learn.
Already I am sure there are plenty of you who are hearing the little bells go off in your mind. "They can't understand the sermon" "You can't expect children to sit through a WHOLE service" "The should have something simpler to learn, they are only children"
LIES(P) ALL LIES
Go back to the verse in Luke. These complaints I am sure are in much the same tone as the disciples who were rebuking the children being brought to Christ. This Jesus stuff is serious business and is no place for children. Listen to Christ's response. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
These children are not a lower class of Christian merely because of their youth. In Acts 2:38,39 Peter says: 38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins ; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." The promise of the Gospel is for you and your children, together. Without their bright light as a constant reminder of the character of salvation is it a wonder that we become lost? Without them receiving the same teaching of the Gospel is it a wonder so many of our children become lost and confused in their young adulthood?
So if the children being vacated from the sanctuary is not the answer. If their presence among us is a necessity than what does that mean for us as a congregation? It means families. It means getting back to being Christian families and living those roles that God would have us fulfill.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise ), 3 SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH. 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but 4bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
The children among us need to be encouraged to obey their parents. If their parents say sit and listen to the the sermon the children should be encouraged by the congregation to strive and do so. Further more when we face the issue of understanding the sermon where is the accountability? FATHERS! Father's stand up and teach your children. There are many things that a child may not grasp from a sermon. But what they do understand is how to ask questions. Have your children listen and have them ask you questions about what is happening in the sermon. This might be scary at first fathers as you will need to be prepared to admit to your own lack of understanding. In time this model will strengthen you both.