"FROM THE HEAD TO
1. Tonight's message may be one of the most important I have ever
preached here at Calvary Road, because it deals with something I don't
think I have ever addressed as pointedly as I am tonight.
2. And the reason the message is so important is because it deals with
matters vitally important to getting your kids saved, and vitally
important to getting visitors to our Church saved, as well.
3. The reason I am bringing this message to you tonight is because I am
so convinced of the urgency of the message that I am afraid to postpone
it until Sunday, for fear the truth may not grip my heart then as it
4. Turn in your Bible to Romans 10.10 and stand with me for the reading
of God's Word: "For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto
5. It is clear from this verse that a sinner gets saved when he embraces
the Gospel with his heart. And what explains so many in the Bible and in
your experience and mine, who seem to get saved but whose lives do not
hold up over time to give convincing evidence of the new birth, is
believing in one's head without the necessary embracing with one's heart
the Lord Jesus.
6. So, let me give you this evening a very brief introduction to winning
someone's heart to Christ, which is a much tougher task than winning
someone's mind to Christ. And it's a task that cannot hardly be done by
one person acting along, but must usually be accomplished by an entire
congregation acting in concert to fulfill the Great Commission of our
Lord Jesus Christ.
7. And with this very brief introduction will be given to you two very
important assignments. Do you want your children to come to Christ? Then
you must diligently apply yourself to the implementation of the tasks I
8. And I must warn you. If you will not diligently apply yourself to the
fulfillment of the two tasks I assign to you it is likely that your
children will not ever come to Christ, and it is not likely that this
Church will survive over the long term in this rapidly changing culture
we live it.
9. Four main topics for us to consider and for me to comment on. Four
main topics for you to take notes on, or purpose to consider again when
you obtain your copy of the sermon tape.
1A. Topic #1, THE CONFLICT BETWEEN THE MIND AND HEART
1B. This Conflict Is Obvious And Observable
1C. Shakespeare wrote about it in Romeo and Juliet. Two teenagers in
love who committed suicide and damned their souls to Hell because of the
affections of their hearts, ignoring the cries to the contrary of their
2C. Your own child, fully knowing that when he lies he will both be
caught in the lie and spanked for the lie, goes right ahead and lies. He
does what his intellect knows is wrong and will be harshly punished so
that he can momentarily gratify the desire of his heart.
3C. A kid in our school gets a detention slip. Rather than take the
detention slip home so his dad can sign it, he throws it away, knowing
perfectly well that he won't get away with it and that he will get in
even more trouble the next day.
4C. Folks, these are examples of the conflict that rages between the
heart and the head, between the affections and logical functioning of
the human mind. But in even more subtle ways than these illustrations
show, the affections of the heart hold more sway over one's life and
decisions than cold logic.
2B. This Conflict Is Shown In Scripture
1C. You have met both men and women who are scrupulously honest in their
dealings with others, meticulously fair in the application of their
integrity. But that's their head. What does the Bible say about that
same person's heart? "The heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked," Jeremiah 17.9
2C. Matthew 15.19: "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,
murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness,
blasphemies." Do you think this Russian in northern California who
murdered his wife and son and other family members doesn't know what he
did was wrong? Does he not realize in his mind that he will be caught
and punished for what he's done?
3C. My friends, the heart is not often subdued by the head, and even
then not for very long. Little chance is there that a person will not
eventually do what his heart wants to do, no matter what his head says.
And when the mind and heart are in agreement to do wrong there is no
hope for the fellow to do right.
2A. Topic #2, THE CONQUEST OF THE MIND AND THEN THE HEART
This is what must occur or there will be no conversion. First the mind
and then the heart must be conquered by God, but this is accomplished by
the use of means. That is, God doesn't just move in and crush the human
will and then smash the human heart in a powerful display of omnipotent
power. At this stage of our Church's maturity, let's consider the
conquest of the unsaved mind and heart as follows:
1B. First, Truth Is Used To Conquer The Mind
1C. God's Word is true. There is no error anywhere in the Bible. So, God
uses the truth of His Word to light the darkness of the unsaved man's
2C. Jesus said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall
make you free," John 8.32. And in John 17.17 Jesus uttered these
words: "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
3C. So, the Word of God is of vital importance in bringing the lost to
Christ. James 1.18 attests to this reality: "Of his own will begat
he us with the word of truth."
4C. So, it's as the Word of God speaks to the mind of a man that the man
becomes persuaded that the Bible is true, that he is a sinner, that he
is condemned by his sin. But this truth has no affect on the man's
heart, and thus he goes on his way after a few tears and does not come
to Christ. Why doesn't he? Because it's with the heart that man believes
unto righteousness, and it's in his heart where his want to is located.
He doesn't get saved because he doesn't want to.
5C. His mind and his heart can be in complete disagreement with no
resolution to the conflict in sight. Ask him if he is lost and he will
say "Yes." Ask him if he is going to Hell and he will say,
"Yes." But will he come to Christ? No, for that is a matter of
the heart, not the mind.
2B. Next, Love Is Used To Conquer The Heart
1C. In most cases, it takes more than the naked truth to woo a man to
Christ. As we will begin to discover in First Corinthians 13 on Sunday
nights, what is required to conquer the heart is not logic, but love.
2C. Turn to First Corinthians 13.1-8, where we will read what Paul says
about the vital role of love, which is in this passage translated
charity, in the Christian's life [Read].
3C. My friends, love doesn't save anyone. Love doesn't win anyone to
Christ. But love does soften a man's heart to the point that he is
willing to be wooed, he is open to your overtures, he is interested in
4C. A man may listen to the Gospel if he is not loved, but he will not
listen the way he listens if he is loved. And I am convinced that some
of you fail to win your adult sons to Christ, and are not successful in
bringing your adolescent kids to Christ, because you are not
demonstrating to them the kind of love we saw in First Corinthians 13.
5C. But love doesn't save a sinner. Love may have moved God to send His
Son Jesus to die for sinners, but that doesn't usually mean much to
sinners until they have experienced some of that love come from God
first hand. And even then such love is not an end, but the means to an
6C. You see, once you have won a man's heart with love, you are still
confronted with the fact that his head and his heart are in conflict.
How, then, do you persuade that man's heart to fully consider the truth
you've deposited in his brain with the preaching of God's Word?
3B. Third, Meditation Is What Applies The Truth In Your Mind To The
Affections Of Your Heart
1C. Turn to Psalm 19.14: "Let the words of my mouth, and the
meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength,
and my redeemer."
2C. We learn from Jeremiah 17.9 that the heart is deceitful above all
things and desperately wicked. But David discovered that meditation was
key to his heart being acceptable to the LORD.
3C. No doubt he learned it from Joshua 1.8: "This book of the law
shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day
and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is
written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then
thou shalt have good success."
4C. You see, friends, when someone actively meditates upon the truths of
God's Word, specifically those things which directly apply to your
heart's condition and need, then the truths of God's Word make their
way, by God's grace and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, from your head
to your heart.
5C. And it's when your heart sees its wickedness against the backdrop of
God's holiness, and when it learns the wisdom of fear, that is most
likely to embrace the Savior. "For with the heart man believeth
unto righteousness," our text declares.
3A. Topic #3, THE EVANGELIZING OF OUR VISITORS
Let us now apply what we know to determine what things must be done to
reach the lost we succeed in bringing to our auditorium.
1B. First, I Must Preach To Them
1C. First Corinthians 1.21 establishes my priorities: "it pleased
God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
2C. No one gets saved if the Gospel is not preached, therefore I must
2B. But You Must Love Them
1C. My job is to get the truth into their heads. It is your job to love
them so their hearts will be willing to be wooed.
2C. That's why you must be here every service. That's why you must push
yourself to meet every new visitor and to great them, love them, invite
3C. You don't need to get theological with anyone, you just need to meet
them, shake their hand every service, and love them.
3B. I Must Love Them
1C. This is obvious, but it's harder for me to do than it is for you to
do. I must pastor a Church and love the lost.
2C. You need only to come here and love the lost. You have nothing else
to do until I preach and nothing else to do after I preach. Loving the
lost is your ministry.
3C. And if you will but love the lost you are serving God. And as
quickly as I am able to do so I will do the same. But it's harder for me
because there is only one of me.
4B. Then, You Must "Meditate" Them
1C. What is it to "meditate" them? It is unlikely that a lost
person will come to Christ until he meditates, seriously ponders and
considers what he has heard me preach. Help the lost to do that.
2C. Make sure they get a bulletin. Sit next to them and make sure they
stay awake. Ask them if they are planning on getting the tape of the
sermon. Ask them questions about the sermon.
3C. Don't teach them, but ask questions that will get them to thinking
about what I have preached. Getting them to think about the sermon will
be of tremendous help in seeing them come to Christ.
4C. Call the visitor you've met at Church up during the week. Chat with
him. Bring up the sermon again and ask if he's been thinking about it,
assuring him that it would be good for him to think about it. And
suggest that if he has any questions to call the pastor.
5C. And then, of course, pray for that person. Pray that he will
meditate on the truths he has heard preached, and that his heart will
come to willingly receive the truth. After all, no man gets saved
against his will. The heart must be won or else the soul will not be
4A. Topic #4, THE EVANGELIZING OF YOUR CHILDREN
1B. You Must Bring Them
1C. The preaching of God's Word is the most important means of grace.
You should never allow your child to miss a Church service for any
reason other than serious illness or family vacation.
2C. It is never appropriate to allow your children to spend the night
with someone else if it means they miss Church, or to participate in any
activity if it means they will miss Church.
3C. Whatever they miss Church for will come to be felt by them to be as
important as or more important than Church. And nothing is more
important than Church. And never send your kids to Church. Bring them.
2B. I Must Preach To Them
1C. That is my calling. That is my ministry. That is what God wants me
to do. So, just as soon as your children are old enough to begin their
training to sit in the auditorium you should begin training them to sit
still in the auditorium.
2C. And from the time they start sitting in the auditorium you need to
begin to hold them accountable for what is being preached. The ushers
will give you a handout at the end of the service that will guide you in
how you can prepare your child to be a good hearer in Church, thereby
preparing your child to hear the saving Gospel.
3B. You Must Love Them
1C. This may seem obvious to you, but it really needs to be stated. Do
you love your child if you do not pray for your child to get saved? Do
you love your child if you do not attend every service with your child?
Do you love your child if you do not require your child to attend Church
or find someplace else to live? I don't think so.
2C. So, love your child enough to have some personal standards about
attending and paying attention in Church. Love your child enough to
require him to be able to feed back to you the content of the messages
he has heard, and to apply them as his maturity warrants.
4B. I Must Love Them
1C. I love your child by treating them as adults, by dealing with them
personally, and by being a good listener to them at all times.
2C. I can't imagine a child getting converted in a Church where the
pastor doesn't love him. But that doesn't mean the pastor's love cannot
be negated by the inattention or slothfulness of the parents, because it
3C. It is highly unlikely that any child whose so-called Christian
parents are not faithful to Church will get converted. It is highly
unlikely that any child whose so-called Christian parents do not make
faithful Church attendance mandatory in order to continue living at home
will get converted.
4C. But on top of that, I think it is profoundly important that I love
your child. And I do. Please do not say or do anything that will
diminish the impact of my love for them because, as an old Puritan once
said, "That man that will not regard the preacher in his bosome
will never regard the preacher in the pulpit." And he was right.
5B. You Must Catechize Them
That is, you must drive the simple truths into them as forcefully as you
can. How? Use Spurgeon's Catechism with your children faithfully,
reviewing it and memorizing it yourself with them. No kid who memorized
and discussed Spurgeon's Catechism with his parents will go far wrong.
6B. You Must "Meditate" Them
Remember, we are working to get truth from the head to the heart. I
preach to them. You catechize them. We both love them. And then you
review again and again my sermons and instructions, almost meditating
for them, and perhaps God's truth will begin to grip their hearts.
1. This has been a most basic and preliminary sermon on this subject,
but I think it's a good start. I hope it lays the foundation for your
deep personal involvement in the spiritual lives of your children.
2. And to help you prepare your kids for Church I have a handout that I
prepared about two years ago, when I preached "How To Listen To A
Sermon," from Acts 10.33.
3. Let us remember that more is required than an appeal to a visitor's
mind or a child's head. Having convinced the head of the need for Christ
we must be about the business of persuading the heart to lay hold of our
wonderful Savior. And this we will strive to do.
4. Ushers, if you will the handout to everyone I will quickly
review it with them. And let's make sure that one of these is placed in
every visitor's packet we hand out, from now on.