Calvary Road Baptist Church

ďEVANGELIZING A CHILD WHO WILL NOT MEDITATE ON GODíS WORDĒ

 

 

Wednesday night at camp, when we were sitting around the campfire and the smoke was blowing in my face no matter where I stood on the platform, I brought a message to the campers titled ďDirection To Those Unresponsive.Ē My text was Luke 13.22-24, please turn there at this time, and I explained my Lordís direction to the unresponsive to the campers. If you have found that text, stand and read along with me:

 

22     And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.

23     Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,

24     Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

 

Jesus was speaking to a group of people in an area east of the Jordan River where John the Baptist had faithfully preached for six months, where the Lord Jesus Christ had previously been to preach, where His teams of preachers had declared the gospel, and where the Lord Jesus Christ preached a second time.

In other words, the passage I have just read to you pertains to people who have been particularly unresponsive to the gospel message and the ministries of the Son of God, John the Baptist, and the apostles. Thus, there is yet some hope to be held out for those frequently exposed to the truth, but who have not obeyed the gospel. What they must do, Jesus clearly informed them, is strive to enter in at the strait gate.

Does this passage not particularly apply to your youngsters, and to others attending our church who have heard many gospel presentations without apparent effect?

Listen very carefully, because all of your hopes to ever see your loved one converted to Jesus Christ hinges on what I am about to say.

 

First, ALLOW ME TO REMIND YOU OF THE ROLE GODíS WORD PLAYS IN CONVERSION

 

We should all be familiar with James 1.18: ďOf his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.Ē Thus, be assured that the conversion of the sinner to Jesus Christ always and in every case involves the Word of God. No one is saved from his sins apart from Godís use of His Word.

Turning now to Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, devoted entirely to Godís Word as its subject, there are some verses I want you to read to see the logical progression toward conversion:

 

9      Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

11     Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

15     I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

28     My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

92     Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

 

We begin, obviously, with Davidís declaration that cleansing away sins is associated with taking heed, with obeying, Godís Word. That is in verse 9.

Verses 11 and 15 show the place of hiding (or storing) Godís Word, so it can later be meditated upon (or pondered). This is analogous to using a bandage to keep disinfecting ointment in place over a deadly outbreak of infection.

Verse 28 shows what the result of meditating is (melting for heaviness), and the desire for strength and remedy.

Verse 92 is a look back, a reflection upon the past. Had there been no delight in Godís law, had there been no meditation upon His Word, the psalmist would have perished in his affliction.

 

However, YOUR CHILD DOES NOT HIDE GODíS WORD IN HIS HEART. NEITHER DOES HE MEDITATE ON GODíS WORD. THAT IS WHY HE REMAINS LOST.

 

Paul gives insight into the condition of the lost, in Ephesians 4.17-18:

 

17     This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

18     Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

 

The keys to this spiritual state, of course, are the ideas of darkened understanding, ignorance, and the blindness of their heart. Folks, admit it or not, you just do not see yourselves, and cannot admit to yourselves, that your youngsterís understanding is darkened, that he is as ignorant as Godís Word suggests he is, and that this is all because of the blindness of his heart.

The remedy is to be found in Godís Word. Psalm 119.130 reads, ďThe entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.Ē However, has your youngster not discovered a way in his sinfulness to prevent the entrance of light, to block the acquisition of understanding that would make his conversion to Christ so reasonable, so desirable, so necessary to him? Of course, he has. That is what explains his reluctance, his refusal, his stubbornness when it comes to something as simple and liberating as the gospel. Your youngsterís profound ignorance and lack of understanding of the gospel has left him a spiritual Luddite, a flat earth ignoramus on a planet that is obviously round.

Paul alludes to how this kind of thinking is possible when he explains his approach to evangelism as warfare conducted on the battlefield of the human mind. Second Corinthians 10.3-6:

 

3      For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4      (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5      Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

6      And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

 

Imagine your childís mind a fortress, with the only hope of his conversion being a siege against the strong holds of his mind. What is our goal? To pull down those strong holds. That is found in verse 4. Verse 5 goes even farther, using the imagery of casting down imaginations as big hewn rocks at the top of the fortress walls are cast down. The goal is to remove anything and everything that stands in the way of your son or daughter knowing God. What is not directly stated in this passage, but what is nevertheless obvious, is the incredibly hard work that is required to accomplish this. To bring a lost sinner to Christ is a terribly difficult thing to bring about. Make up your mind, then, that your kid will not be saved from his sins unless you are willing to put in a great deal of very hard work to wage spiritual warfare on the battleground of his mind.

 

NOW CONSIDER YOUR PARENTAL JOB DESCRIPTION

 

Proverbs 1.8 shows the general duties of both fathers and mothers: ďMy son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.Ē Please pay attention to the undeniable fact that Godís plan is for the father to actually speak to his children, instructing them. Moms, of course, are also supposed to speak to their children. The word instruction, dads, means a great deal more than telling your youngster what to do. It includes chastening him, correcting him, etc. In other words, you are supposed to live inside your kidís head, probing and digging around, talking things over and discussing issues with him.

Now, turn to First Thessalonians 2.10-12, where Paul likens his pastoral ministry to the ministry you are supposed to already be performing, dad:

 

10     Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

11     As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,

12     That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

 

Verse 10, of course, addresses the issue of a clean Christian testimony, without which no father can achieve his goal of raising children to walk worthy of God, verse 12. It is verse 11, however, that cries out for our attention. Notice that a father is supposed to exhort, and comfort, and charge every one of his kids. Thus, you are supposed to interact with your children, talking and discussing with them about issues pertaining to their present, their past, and their future. Obviously included in these discussions should be the kinds of conversations every mom and dad should have with a child, but included in such discussions should be back and forth dialogs related to past sins, present temptations, and future destiny. Should you not take it upon yourself, mom and dad, to address your childís values, your childís beliefs, reasons why your child rejects the gospel, as well as considerations why he does not think having sins forgiven is advantageous to having sins punished? I am convinced that the next best thing to your child meditating upon Godís Word is you engaging in discussions with your child, to bring him to a consideration of the things he ought to be meditating on. Do this enough, I am convinced, and your childís mind will turn to such issues as sin and salvation as the Holy Spirit of God deals with him.

 

It used to be that a father felt he was dutifully discharging his responsibilities as a husband and a father if he brought home the bacon, led his family in devotions, and set a good example. Christian women, likewise, used to think that being a consecrated woman fulfilled her duties toward husband and family. Sadly, that is just not the case.

You see, parents, we are dealing with spiritually malevolent and depraved children who seize upon every act of kindness and the multitude of blessings God has showered upon your family for the purpose of selfish exploitation and stubborn resistance against God. The explanation of how they can live with themselves for being this way are the barriers Paul refers to in Second Corinthians 10.4-5, and in Ephesians 4.17-18. You see, children, particularly church kids, are adept at so blocking out the truth of Godís Word that they remain ignorant, blind, and vain in their minds. They actually erect mental obstacles that interfere with logical thinking and make it virtually impossible for them to draw correct conclusions from what they hear. If it were not so, they would have already fled to Christ and would be serving God instead of continually resisting Him.

Thus, if you ever want to see your children converted to Christ, and knowing that no sinner can be (or should be) forced to come to Christ, you must engage your child in reasonable and rational discussions of important things, including the sermons they are exposed to at church.

Let me give you an example of the kind of insanity you will find when you begin exploring your childís thoughts. This is from a discussion I had with a lost woman. She did not want to come to Christ for fear she would have to submit to her husband as a Christian in ways she refused to do in her lost condition. Think about it. She was more afraid of how she thought her unsaved husband might take advantage of her should she become a Christian than how she would certainly be punished by God for rejecting Christ.

My friends, people do not, not even your children, readily volunteer that kind of information. Such only comes from patiently discussing things with your children, asking them why they do this and donít do that, and why they believe this way and donít believe that way.

I am not suggesting that you tell your children how to think. I do not believe mind control is desirable in any case. However, you have a moral obligation to expose folly in your childís thinking, and to train him to be wise when he reaches adulthood. Along the way, I am convinced that the children of parents who engage their childrenís minds and set before them an example of godliness will likely see their children come to Christ. Why am I so confident? Because you are in a church that is serious about reaching your kids for Christ, and because not coming to Christ for the forgiveness of sins simply does not make sense to a thinking individual. Prayerfully seeking Godís wisdom and the Spiritís convicting work for your child, discharging your duties and obligations as a parent to train your child to think properly, and making the full use of my ministry, I am confident we will see more of our children come to Christ.

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org