INTRO: Parents are usually concerned about the inheritance they will leave their children. So they set up trusts, write wills, make notes of special bequests and such. All of these provisions are concerned with material things, however. The text I have read makes me wonder if there is a much more important inheritance we should be leaving our children. Notice v.7 - a generation concerned about following and serving God. Then, look at vv.10-12. What happened? Had the parents not left their children a spiritual inheritance? What should we leave our children?
I. A FOUNDATION OF BIBLE KNOWLEDGE
A. The apostate generation was lacking knowledge
1. Deut 6:4-9 note esp. v.7
2. it is exactly at this point there was failure
3. now, note Deut 6:10-15 what would prevent this? knowledge of God and His word and His way
4. Hos 4:6 this will always be the case
B. So, Eph 6:4 A parental responsibility!
1. fathers/mothers can be so caught up in providing for physical and material inheritance, that the vastly more important heritage depending on knowledge is neglected
2. and we want our children to have university education so they can be successful in this life
3. but what are we really doing about spiritual success?
4. are we even coming close to Deut 6:7?
II. A LOVE FOR WORSHIPING GOD
A. The apostate generation quickly bowed before idols
1. note, again, Judg 2:11-13 ... apostasy!
2. no knowledge of, appreciation of God ... leads folks to seek what appeals to them
3. had parents failed to explain sacrifices? - to explain atonement? to explain Gods demands?
4. did the children see worship as empty ritual?
B. Does Ps 122:1 speak of our attitude?
1. certainly, we must explain Jno 4:23,24 ... God expects our right hearts to issue in right observance
2. do we let things keep us away from assemblies? what is that saying to our children?
3. do our children see and hear us participating in worship assemblies ... whole heartedly?
4. Heb 13:15 praise to God continually - is this what our children see in us?
III. AN EXAMPLE OF CHRISTIAN LIVING
A. Ex 12:25-27 and Ex 13:11-15 Live it; teach it
1. it was critical that children see the example
2. but it was also critical that parents teach it, explain it to their children
3. was this where the generation of Judg 2 failed?
4. was there no continuation of strong spiritual living and leadership?
B. 1 Thes 2:10-12 Example, instruction, motivation!
1. at v.10 the apostle refers to example - nothing he could say would be beneficial in absence of his own good example
2. notice reference to father in v.11 - so, fathers example
3. and v.10 sets a high standard for parental example
4. so, what is your example to your children in speech, in behavior to others, in spiritual affairs; in your marriage, etc. is your life lived in keeping with Eph 5:10
CLOSE: Will your children be faithful to the Lord after you are gone? While they enjoy the material inheritance you leave them, will there be enough spiritual inheritance to help them maintain their course to heaven? 1 Cor 15:59
Cecil A. Hutson
12 August 2001
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)