Summary: Today is Father’s Day, a day to reaffirm that God has given us, as fathers, great responsibility in our homes.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. Well, today is Father’s Day. The ladies of the church honored us this past week in a special "Father & Son" banquet, with good food, program, & special recognitions. It was great, & on behalf of the men, ladies, let me thank you all again.
ILL. A few years ago, Bill Cosby began his book, "Fatherhood," with these words: "So you’ve decided to have a child. You’ve decided to give up quiet evenings with good books & lazy weekends with good music, intimate meals during which you finish whole sentences, sweet private times when you’ve savored the thought that just the two of you & your love are all you will ever need.
"You’ve decided to turn your sofas into trampolines, & to abandon the joys of leisurely contemplating reproductions of great art for the joys of frantically coping with reproductions of yourselves. Why?"
He goes on, "Poets have said the reason to have children is to give yourself immortality; & I must admit I did ask God to give me a son because I wanted someone to carry on the family name. Well, God did just that & I now confess that there have been times I’ve told my son not to reveal who he is. `You make up a name,’ I’ve said. `Just don’t tell anybody whose son you are.’"
SUM. Well, today is Father’s Day, a day to honor fathers, & a day to reaffirm that God has given us, as fathers, great responsibility in our homes.
B. Now in times past we have talked about some of God’s wonderful promises.
And today, I want to call your atttention to a promise found in Deuteronomy 5:16. I’m sure you have heard it before. But please listen again.
It says, "Honor your father & your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long & that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you."
That promise is repeated in the N.T, in Ephesians 6:1-3. Listen to it. "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. `Honor your father & mother’ - which is the first commandment with a promise - ’that it may go well with you & that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’"
C. Now I should also point out that the Bible does speak plainly about those who don’t honor their father & mother. And at first glance, these words will be a shock to most of you who hear them.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 says, "If a man has a stubborn & rebellious son who does not obey his father & mother & will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father & mother shall take hold of him & bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, `This son of ours is stubborn & rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate & a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it & be afraid."
Didn’t I say that this would shock you? But I must hasten to point out that during the time the people of Israel tried faithfully to obey God’s laws, there is no record of any parents ever having to do what we just read.
I imagine there were some sons back then who were stubborn & rebellious at times, but they knew the law, & the certainty of the consequences if they didn’t change their ways. As a result, there is no record of that sentence ever having to be carried out.
ILL. Back in 1939, when our family was on the way home from our mission in the mountains of China & Tibet, we were on a British ship in the Port of Haiphong in French Indo China. The Japanese/Chinese war had been going on for some time, but WW2 as we know it had not yet begun.
I can remember standing on the deck of that British ship when, suddenly, Japanese warplanes appeared & began attacking the port & the city around it. I can remember seeing wave after wave of high-flying bombers dropping bombs on the city & seeing buildings collapse in clouds of dust & smoke.
And forever etched in my mind will be the terrible scene of Japanese planes diving over & over again, strafing, bombing, & sinking helpless little Chinese junks, boats that were frantically trying to get close to the safety of our ship. And most of them did not make it.
You see, the British government had told the Japanese that the moment a Japanese bomb hit a British ship, Britain & Japan would be at war. The Japanese believed the British meant what they said, so at that time they carefully avoided bombing or strafing anywhere near a British ship.