Summary: Sometimes I think we fail to realize how important the children and youth are in the church, the body of Christ. We grossly underestimate their importance. They are the hope for the future growth and vitality of any local church.
Reaching Children With The Gospel Of Christ
1. We have something in this church that is absolutely priceless. It is of more value than those padded pews, chandeliers, or the woodwork of this beautiful building. In fact, it is so valuable you cannot put a price on it. No matter how bad a shape we were in financially, weíd never give this up.
2. What am I talking about? I am talking about the children of this church. What a precious commodity they indeed are.
3. If you asked me, ìWhat is the future of this church? What are its future plans, dreams, and aspirations?î I wouldnít take you to our bank statements or blueprints somewhere. I would walk you to our childrenís classes, point inside and say, ìThereís our future.î
4. Sometimes I think we fail to realize how important the children and youth are in this church. We grossly underestimate their importance. They are the hope for the future growth and vitality of this church.
5. A person may say, ìBut theyíre just a bunch of kids.î That is what they said about David. ìThou art but a youth.î But before the chapter was over, that youth had done what no man could do. Here in our text is another example.
6. Samuel was one of the greatest men of God in the Bible. When did it all start? It was when he was a child that God began working in his life (2:18). He was assisting Eli, the high priest, in the tabernacle.
7. If CrossRoads is to continue for years to come, continue to impact this world, and continue to be spiritually healthy, we must reach children with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
8. Letís look in our text and see three powerful reasons why.
First, because children can be greatly used by God ñ 2:18, 3:15
1. As a child, Samuel began serving the Lord in the tabernacle. He was Eli the priestís right-hand man, though he was only a child.
2. Did you know children and teens make wonderful workers for God? Have you ever noticed how children love to help?
3. God has put it into children to love to help and serve. Children make great workers because nothing is beneath them (when theyíre young). cf. 3:15
ï Samuelís job was to open the doors. He didnít care; he was happy to do it.
4. Dealing with adults can be a little more difficult. ìWhatís in it for me? How much recognition will I get? Will I enjoy it?î But kids just want to help!
5. Children also make great workers for God because they tend to be much more honest than adults. 3:16-18
6. Children are very transparent, open, and honest. There are no phony facades; you donít have to wonder what they are thinking. Donít say or do anything around kids that you donít want repeated. Children are just sincere, honest, love to help, and will do anything you ask them to do.
7. But kids have to be raised up and taught how to serve God. Samuel was raised up around Godís house and grew up serving God. This is one of the greatest things you can do for your kids ñ teach them to serve God.
8. On the other hand, Eliís own sons obviously were not taught how to serve God (2:12). They lied, stole from people, exploited women, and worshiped false gods. They ended up losing their lives at an early age because of this.
9. This thing of reaching children with the gospel is a matter of life and death.
Second, because children are very special to God ñ 2:26
1. Samuel was in favor both with the Lord and also with men. Obviously, God didnít overlook this child or deem him unimportant. He was dear to the heart of God.
2. Turn to Mark 10:13-16. Do you see how close children are to the heart of Jesus? Jesus is right in the middle of a deep, doctrinal dissertation on marriage and divorce, and Heís interrupted by these young children.
3. The disciples rebuked them. ìGet out of here. Canít you see Jesus is busy? He doesnít have time for a bunch of kids.î Verse 14 says that Jesus was ìmuch displeased.î This means He was moved with indignation. He was flat out angry, and Matthew says He ìrebuked the disciples.î Then He picked the children up and blessed them.
4. Youíve heard the expression, ìAny friend of yours is a friend of mine.î Two different times Jesus basically says, ìIf you are a friend of little children, you are a friend of mine.î
5. We must reach children with the gospel of Christ. Why? Because children are very special to God.