INTRO: There was once a television program called The Trouble With Father. (Those were the days of small screens and black and white.) I suppose, in a way, that title is very much the direction of my thinking in recent years and months. Fatherhood is in trouble. Fortunately, though, fatherhood is very much an individual, family by family thing. Fatherhood in my family does not have to be in trouble. And the teaching, training, exemplifying role of father must befulfilled by fathers. No one can take his place. We must teach our children:
I. TO BE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS
A. Flaunting the law is a sin!
1. narcotics and alcohol laws; traffic laws; laws protecting property ... are routinely broken
2. shoplifting has become epidemic among adolescents (even among the affluent)
3. where is the limit? is it murder?
4. are juveniles exempt from law?
B. 1 Pet 2:13,14Submit ... for the Lords sake
1. fathers, what do our children see and hear in us here?
2. do we teach our children that the law is what permits civilizationto be civilized?
3. do we teach them that (in the main) that the law protects us?
4. yes, it is hard, at times, to honor the law and its agents when so many of them seem to use or abuse law to their own ends
5. but I see those words for the Lords sake - we are Christian dads attempting to rear children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4)
6. recall Jesus words: Mt 22:21
II. TO BE ACCOUNTABLE
A. So much behavior today seems to be without thought of any consequence or accountability
1. so, senseless things are done, said
2. and there is no regret, remorse ... and accountability is laid at societys door
3. further, punishment, consequences seem to evokeno concern, no fear
B. Fathers must teach their children of accountability
1. so, Heb 12:9-11 why? for the afterward
2. Hos 8:7 is still truth - and is seen around us
3. Gal 6:7 this is not theory - it is fact
4. so, fathers, unless we want to endure heartbreak and to see our children in terrible situations, we must teach our children to be responsible in view of accountability
5. Rom 14:12 we must not overlook this!
III. TO BE HONEST; PEOPLE OF INTEGRITY
A. Lying, cheating, dishonest are found everywhere
1. a commentator said recently that lying is almost expected
2. lying in all its forms damages so much
3.there is little which damages trust more than will lying - dishonesty
B. Dads must be men of integrity
1. we must be truthful, upright - children are watching
2. Prov 12:22 - Eph 4:25
3. teach your children that a lie virtually always comes to light ... and there is no explaining the lie when it becomes known as a lie
CLOSE: Dads, how involved are you in your childrens lives. Are you only involved in their sports activities? Or do you have involvement in all spheres of their lives? They need you!
Cecil A. Hutson
12 September 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)