Friday Sermon | “The Hope That Overcomes the World” by John MacArthur

spriteToday’s sermon comes from John MacArthur via Grace To You. The sermon was given on November 29, 2015. John MacArthur takes a look at Jesus promise to send the Holy Spirit so that He would remind His Apostles of all that Jesus had taught them, and indeed to guide them (and us by means of the Written Word) into all Truth. There is some good stuff in this sermon, I pray you find it a blessing.

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text

 

John 16 (ESV)

16 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine;therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

I Have Overcome the World

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Grace To You Website

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Friday Sermon | Laws for Proper Worship by Dr. James White

AOMToday’s “Friday Sermon” comes from Dr. James White.

Dr. James White is the director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the author of more than twenty books, a professor, an accomplished debater, and an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.

Today’s sermon isn’t from Alpha & Omega Ministry; rather, it comes from the sermon he preached at Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church on Sunday, August 30, 2015.

Morning Sermon Audio

Morning Sermon Text

Deuteronomy 12 (ESV) | The Lord‘s Chosen Place of Worship

12 “These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place.You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way. But you shall seek the place that the Lord your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there. There you shall go, and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

“You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the Lord your God is giving you. 10 But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, 11 then to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. 13 Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, 14 but at the place that the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you.

15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your towns, as much as you desire, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. 17 You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, or any of your vow offerings that you vow, or your freewill offerings or the contribution that you present, 18 but you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place that the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your towns. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you undertake.19 Take care that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.

20 “When the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire. 21 If the place that the Lord your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your towns whenever you desire. 22 Just as the gazelle or the deer is eaten, so you may eat of it. The unclean and the clean alike may eat of it.23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it, that all may go well with you and with your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the Lord.26 But the holy things that are due from you, and your vow offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to the place that the Lord will choose, 27 and offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God. The blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, but the flesh you may eat. 28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

Warning Against Idolatry

29 “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ 31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.

32  “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.

Have a Blessed Weekend

I pray each of you attends church this week that faithfully preaches the Word of God, both Law and Gospel. Pray for your elders.  Pray for our leaders. Pray for repentance and forgiveness daily.

Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)  24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

DiM | “Feel It (ft. MrTalkbox)” by TobyMac

Today is “Discernment in Music” (DiM) day here at Faithful Stewardship (2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (ESV)).

September 10, 2015. Today we’ll be taking a look at “Feel It (ft. MrTalkbox)” by TobyMac which currently sits at #18 on the 20theCountdownMagazine.

TobyMac is the Tony Hawk of Christian Pop Music. He doesn’t seem to age, and everything he touches seems to turn into Pop gold. We’ve had our run-ins with Team Toby in social media, so seeing this song pop up on the chart didn’t give me a great deal of hope for this DiM. As is my usual approach, the first thing I did was look up a lyric video to see how the song goes…

TobyMacVEVO Lyric Video

This was me… watching the music video before reading the lyrics…

About the Video

Truthfully, there isn’t much to discuss. This video has N.O.T.H.I.N.G. to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ… or Christianity… or the Bible. This is a puppy-love video. So, the title of the song is “Feel It”… and the video is about puppy love… clearly, this song is going to be one of those “Jesus is my girlfriend/boyfriend” songs… /sigh.

Lyrics (via KLove)

Feel It (feat. Mr. TalkBox)

When I sit back and imagine
Life without You, I can’t fathom
How I ever thought I’d make it on my own
And there’s at least a million reasons
I’m still standing here believin’
You’re my comfort, You’re my healin’
This I know (this I know)

Well, you can’t see the wind, but it moves the leaves
From the bottom to the top of the tallest trees
You are everything I will ever need
And they can’t take that from me

Oh, I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That’s how I know
You take our brokenness and make us beautiful
Yeah, that’s how I know

Everybody talkin’ like they need some proof
But what more do I need than to feel You

When I sit back and imagine
Life without You, I can’t fathom
How I ever thought I’d make it on my own
And there’s at least a million reasons
I’m still standing here believin’
You’re my comfort, You’re my healin’
This I know (this I know)

Well, you can’t see the wind, but it moves the leaves
From the bottom to the top of the tallest trees
You are everything I will ever need
And they can’t take that from me

Oh, I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That’s how I know
You take our brokenness and make us beautiful
Yeah, that’s how I know

(Can’t take that from me)

Love came crashin’ in
Never gonna be the same again
Yeah, You came crashing in
You wrecked me, You wrecked me

Love came crashin’ in
Never gonna be the same again
Yeah, You came crashing in
You wrecked me
That’s how I know

Oh, I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That’s how I know
You take our brokenness and make us beautiful
Yeah, that’s how I know

Oh, I feel it in my heart
I feel it in my soul
That’s how I know
You take our brokenness and make us beautiful
Yeah, that’s how I know
That’s how I know

Everybody talkin’ like they need some proof
But what more do I need than to feel You

Everybody talkin’ like they need some proof
But what more do I need than to feel You

Publishing: © 2015 Achtober Songs (BMI) / Universal Music – Brentwood Benson Publishing / D Soul Music (ASCAP) (Admin. at CapitolCMGPublishing.com) / Castle Bound Music, Inc. / We Be Pawtying (SESAC)
Writer(s): Toby McKeehan, David Arthur Garcia and Cary Barlowe

Discussion

The point of the song is clearly made in the outro of the song: Everybody talkin’ like they need some proof, but what more do I need than to feel You

So, feelings is “how we know” what, Jesus? Is that the message of the Gospel? You shall feel Jesus and that feeling will set you free? Feelings is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? Is our assurance of salvation based on feelings? Hold that thought.

So, if a teenager (like the ones in the Music Video) told you he/she was getting married, and you asked them “why?”… would you accept the answer, “because I feel it in my heart, I feel it in my soul, and he/she makes me feel beautiful!” If such feelings offer poor assurance in the selection of a spouse, a much less reliable should they be considered in matters of eternal significance? That was rhetorical.

The closest this song comes to anything even remotely pointing to the Gospel… is heavily coded in “youth-pastor-speak”. The phrase “you wrecked me” is supposedly a cool way of saying that God humbled the individual unto repentance… but it can also mean God broke down all of my defenses and just loved me despite my resistance. Youth-speak jargon holds to a rather fluid lexicon. But that’s the best we can find in this song… and it is woefully deficient. This song has nothing to offer the world or the Church that is in keeping with sound doctrine.

Let’s turn to the Word of God before closing out this DiM post.

Hebrews 11 (ESV) | By Faith

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith…[Read the Whole Chapter]

Okay, but are we born with faith? No. How do we get faith? I’m glad you asked.

Romans 10:11-17 (ESV)

11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

There is no mention of feelings here. Sure, the heart is mentioned, but the heart of a believer believes, while the heart of an unbeliever doubts the Savior and remains condemned. But more than that, we are not to trust our hearts; rather, we are to treasure the Word of God in our hearts, by faith, so that His Word will renew our hearts by the Grace of the Holy Spirit. We don’t really understand our own sinful hearts… let’s look at how Peter rebuked Simon in Acts 8.

Acts 8:9-24 (ESV) | Simon the Magician Believes

But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.

14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. 24 And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Please don’t play around with the false-convert flip… the text says Simon believed and was baptized… and then it says that his heart was not right before God in this matter. He was in sin… and it was dangerous for him. Simon was rebuked for the intention of his heart. The point I’m making here is simply this: even after believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, repenting of sin and transgression and receiving by faith the forgiveness of sin and the righteousness of Christ… we still cannot defer to our hearts, our feelings, our impressions, or our ideas as the assurance of our salvation. Assurance of God’s Grace must be by Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, as found in Scripture Alone, to the Glory of God Alone.

Conclusion

It’s a very catching song, with a lot of style. This song does not edify the saints. This song doesn’t preach the Gospel to the lost. It is a feel-good, tickle the ears, pop-song marketed under a “Christian” label. I can’t say this is a harmless song, because the lyrics and the video encourage our youth to rely on their feelings for the assurance of their faith… such horrible, horrible advice for today’s youth. This song is only slightly better than a Bruno Mars song, because Bruno Mars can be overtly sexual in his videos and lyric… but that’s where this song rates… Bruno Mars.

Jude 24-25 (ESV) | Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Amen.
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Family | One of these little ones who believes in me…

daughterAs my wife and I went over Matthew 18 yesterday, the topic of discussion focused on the first portion for quite a while. Today, I thought it might be helpful to share some of our parenting perspectives. Our children are still young, so what I will be discussing today is what we have settled in our hearts based on what we read in Scriptures regarding our children. With the summer drawing to a close and the upcoming holiday season, I think this is a good time to discuss these matters in the open. Let us begin by reviewing the first portion from yesterday’s Gospel Wednesday post.

Matthew 18:1-6 (ESV) | Who Is the Greatest?

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

At the risk of giving away a portion of what we will read through next week, let us look at how the subject of children comes up again in chapter 19.

Matthew 19:13-15 (ESV) | Let the Children Come to Me

13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went away.

Luke also captures this moment with some slightly more specific language:

Luke 18:15-17 (ESV) | Let the Children Come to Me

15 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these children… even infants. Possibly one of the worst consequences of the man-made doctrine of an “age of accountability” is that we have in many cases checked-out in our responsibility to train up our children in the things of God until they are old enough to be held accountable for their teaching. My wife and I come from very different church backgrounds… and together we have committed ourselves to training up our children in the things of God from infancy through maturity. We will fail, we will sin, and we will repent and turn to a loving, gracious, and merciful God who is faithful and just and who will complete the good work He started in us and in our children.

 

We Will Not Teach Our Children to Doubt Our Witness

This rule began before I had asked my wife to marry me. We were on our second date in December of 2007, and the radio must have played something related to Santa, because I very plainly told my date, “I will not lie to my kids… my kids will not put their faith in Santa”. In fairness, my words were probably more rough… no doubt referring to him as an obese demi-god or giant elf in a clown costume who spies on the kids throughout the year… yeah. It wound up being quite the argument… and a major cause for concern for her sister who took offense to my anti-santa stance well into our first year of marriage. Why the anti-santa stance? Initially, I hated the notion that I had been lied to about Santa, and every adult who contributed to the lie knew they were lying when they lied.

But society doesn’t just lie about Santa… it bears false witness to our children. Adults take children to a drunk in a clown suit, have them write letters, claim to deliver them to Santa, and default to Santa as the judge of the worthiness of child’s behavior throughout the year. Adults secretly shop for gifts, hide them, wrap them up, sometimes even signing them in Santa’s name… place them under the tree, eat the cookies they helped their children make for the Santa they know does not exist. Bearing false witness. At some time, the child either catches the adults in their lie or is so crushed in disappointment because of their unanswered prayer to the false god (Santa), that their parents then have to scramble to rebuild their child’s trust in them. At this point, whatever case the parent wants to build for their motive and intention is null and void. You do not have the ability to see or measure the damage you’ve inflicted on your child’s heart, on her trust, even on her faith. Only God can see that, and He is definitely watching. If only Santa were the only problem… some parents also do this with the tooth fairy… and some churches do it with the Easter bunny.

Why do we do it? Honestly, I struggle to find nice words for why we do this to children. The best I can come up with is that we’ve bought into the worldly notion that we can cultivate “belief” in children so that they don’t lose it like we did. We live in a fallen world with Peter Pan dreams of never growing up. Completely unbiblical. Yet, in our hubris, we think we can give our children magic to believe in to somehow enhance their child-like faith. Rubbish. We cause them to sin.

Exodus 20:3 (ESV) You shall have no other gods before me.

Sure, you think you’ve defined with laser-like precision the distinction between the fat elf who brings gifts and the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that what your house truly celebrates during Christmas is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. But ask yourself this question honestly… in whom does your little 3yr old place her hope during the Christmas season? What does she most look forward to on Resurrection Sunday, a celebration of our risen Savior or the abominable egg-laying rabbit?

Exodus 20:16 (ESV) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Not every child figures out the lie at the same stage in life. Do we repent of our misleading and false teaching? No. Sadly we often co-opt the child to continue the lie with their friends and siblings. We warn them not to hurt the feelings of their friends, not to “ruin it” for them. We encourage them to bear false witness concerning santa, the bunny, and the fairy. God forgive us.

You what is really destructive in all of this… we give these little ones far more evidence to believe in the false gods than we can hope to give of the One True God. As parents, we’ve been blessed of God who gives us children… and these little ones are in our charge. How dare we play around with their hearts and urge them to believe in what we know to be false, squandering our testimony by giving a false witness in their formative years… and later urge them to believe in the truth of God’s Word? Should we be so surprised when the public school system so easily causes our children to doubt in the Risen Savior? May God forgive us.

We Speak truth, Repentance, Forgiveness, and Truth

It is not easy to speak truth to our children. Our little ones are naturally curious and ask seemingly never-ending chains of questions. My wife and I have committed ourselves to telling the truth. Not always answering fully… there are many times when we simply have to tell them “we’ll discuss it more when you are older”. But we endeavor to make every answer we give to be one that will not later have to be changed or refuted. We are sinful beings… so when we get it wrong, we model repentance and ask forgiveness. It is a humbling experience to kneel in front of my 5 yr old son to confess that I had been mistaken about the time/date of a party and due to my error, he missed a party. I have to apologize, repent, and ask my boy to forgive me through his fat lower lip and tear-filled eyes. I praise God when my little boy forgives me.

Speaking Truth on a regular basis is surprisingly difficult. The Truths of God’s Word seem far tougher than the precious-moment-Jesus that gets heavily marketed to our children in Christian bookstores and Sunday School. It is surprisingly difficult to resist the urge to affirm a child’s desire to take comfort in the notion of a dead pet going to heaven, or to think that a dead loved-one “looking down on them from heaven”. Even the notion of good and evil is skewed in cartoons and kids-shows… the idea that most people are inherently good is shoved in our children’s faces… but the Truth is that we are sinful and unrighteous and condemned in our unbelief. These are tough topics to discuss with adults who are immature in the Faith, much less little children… but it must be done.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

As a father of two, I’ve been given a high calling and responsibility from God to serve as the priest of my household. The only way I can do this is to rely fully on God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit to bring the Word to life in the hearts and spirits of my children. I will set the best example I can, but that example must include confession, repentance, and humility… wretch that I am… and I must extend to them the grace, mercy, and compassion I’ve received from my Heavenly Father. I don’t always get feedback or indication of the effectiveness of my teaching efforts… I have to rely on the Holy Spirit to add the increase. I draw great comfort from the Apostle Paul’s writing to Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:10-17 (ESV) | All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

From childhood. I don’t like to dive into the Greek much since I am not a Greek scholar; however, this word used here for childhood covers life from unborn to infant or young child (brephos).

Conclusion

As parents, we take the warning of Matthew 18:6 very seriously. Our children watch kid shows, and play with toys, use their imaginations, and even make up stories for entertainment. They play make-believe with their sitter and with us and we have a blast. However, what we don’t do is encourage them to place trust or faith in anything we know to be false. We take every effort to strip away anything that might cause their little hearts to faint or their faith to be led astray. There isn’t a day that passes by without us confirming what is real and what is not, whether it be a commercial on TV or something they heard one of their friends or cousins say about ghosts, heaven, the Bible, good, evil, or God. As my kids grow and mature, it becomes more and more clear the significance of assessing the household of a man being considered for deacon or elder in the Church. A man who has demonstrated himself faithful to serve as priest of his home is definitely the kind of man you want in leadership of your local church.

This charge to guard the faith of the children isn’t limited to your own children. Jesus wasn’t talking only about the disciple’s children… we have a responsibility to all of God’s children… even infants.

A word of caution: Don’t attempt to co-opt my children in your false witness. My wife and I do our best to encourage our little ones to extend grace to others who enjoy playing the make-believe game of santa, fairies, and the abominable rabbit… but that’s about it. If it happens in front of me, I will instruct my children clearly… as graciously as I can for your sake, but it will be unambiguous and clear… and it will not likely be politically correct.

Jude 24-25 (ESV) | Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Friday Sermon | Jesus Continues to Reign by Dr. James White

AOMToday’s sermon comes from Dr. James White of Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.

What is your picture of Jesus Christ? Have you taken notice of how our Reigning King is being represented in film and TV lately? Dr. James White looks at the Revelation of our Risen Savior as Sovereign Ruler, as Our Lord.

Sermon Audio

Jesus Continues to Reign by Dr. James White

Sermon Text

Revelation 1:12-18 (ESV)

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Revelation 6:15-17 (ESV)

15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Revelation 19:11-16 (ESV) | The Rider on a White Horse

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Have a Wonderful Weekend

I pray each of you attends church this week that faithfully preaches the Word of God, both Law and Gospel. Pray for your elders.  Pray for our leaders. Pray for repentance and forgiveness daily.

Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)  24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge