OceanSide church of Christ
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HOW WILL OUR CHILDREN LEARN THE TRUTH
TEXT: “Hear this, yea old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” (Joel 1:2-3)
THESIS: To learn principles of child-rearing and evangelism.
1. Little is known of the family line of Joel, except that his father is mentioned.
2. He even leaves out of the writing the time in which he wrote.
3. He would be known only, as the instrument of God
4. From even the introductory statements of Joel, we find a principle that we should learn and apply today, concerning the rearing up of children.
A. Joel, whose name means “Jehovah is LORD.”
B. His father, Pethuel whose name means “sincerity of Jehovah.”
5. The older men of the children of Israel were given instruction as to help rear the children of Israel.
6. Notice, God tells them to Hear it, Tell it, and Repeat it.
A. These principles can be used in rearing children.
B. As a side note: these principles can also been seen in evangelism.
I. WE HEAR IT.
A. Hear it and give ear (v. 2).
1. What were they hearing?
2. The Word of the Lord (v. 1) that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel.
3. Literally this meant to give their earnest attention to the things spoken.
B. The word of God is that which has the power to save, to preserve, to heal, to help, to guide, etc., and yet…
C. So many parents today in the church are well versed in the scriptures, well-know the plan of salvation, and how to be well-pleasing to God; yet, their children know very little of the Gospel, nor why we worship the way we do, and nor how to live the life of a Christian.
1. It is sad to see children who are eager to learn be neglected.
2. This is as worse as any neglect that we hear about in real life.
a. Child neglect is defined as a type of maltreatment related to the failure to provide needed, age-appropriate care. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, neglect is usually typified by an ongoing pattern of inadequate care and is readily observed by individuals in close contact with the child. Once children are in school, personnel often notice indicators of child neglect such as poor hygiene, poor weight gain, inadequate medical care, or frequent absences from school. Professionals have defined four types of neglect: physical, emotional, educational, and medical. http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/childneglect.html
b. Didn’t they leave out one of the most important—Spiritual Neglect!
3. Here is little Johnny whose parents have yet to teach him about God, not knowing the way of salvation, nor why his friends have chosen to be in denominations and why worship and Christian living is so important.
4. Where will “little Jimmy” be in just a few years?
5. Most of the time when we hear of “little Jimmy,” we think of an upcoming joke, but this is no joke.
6. It is sad, because they have been neglected as children of Christian parents.
7. That’s right, this is happening in the church brethren!
D. When we hear the word of God, we have a responsibility to it – heed it and warn others.
E. So, we must hear the word of God ourselves and then…
II. WE TELL IT.
A. Tell ye your children of it (v. 3a).
1. No more will these children of the Israelites be neglected.
2. They had been commanded to teach their children.
3. The Law of Moses had said, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates (Deut. 6:6-9).
B. No more shall our children be neglected, but rather they will begin to understand now why mommy and daddy are members of the church of Christ, why they worship this way, etc.
1. In our daily activities, we will take opportunity to show Christ living in us, we will teach them about God, we will teach them about the Lord’s church, and we will take opportunity show them how a true child of God will act in this world.
2. Is it possible that when we see members of the church today act in such a worldly manner that they learned it on their own, or maybe they saw it in their homes while growing up.
C. The modernist will scoff and say, “let your children experiment to learn,” but they fail to look at the end result of such liberal parenting: rebellious, laziness, rudeness, etc.
1. We must teach them, train them, tell them of the Gospel of Christ, teach them right principles, warn, plead, and show them in love the way to go.
2. We as parents are responsible for teaching our children (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:1-4).
D. Planned Bible study times for the family are a must if our children are to see just how important the word of God truly is.
1. While teaching those great Old Testament stories of Noah or Abraham, show how they can be applied to the “one church” or the “seed-line promise of the Christ.”
2. Our children must be taught the things that are truly profitable to them and the whole counsel of God as well (Acts 20:20, 27).
3. Our children will know more than like one little boy named Johnny who stood up in class to answer the teacher’s question: “Why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem?” Little Johnny said, “They couldn’t get a baby sitter.”
E. So, we tell it and then…
III. THEY REPEAT IT.
A. Let your children tell their children, and their children another generation (v. 3b).
B. A generation gap in the teaching of one’s family would be awful neglect.
C. Continued teaching is a must.
1. If our children are taught properly the importance and authority of the Scriptures, then they too will teach it to their children.
2. Joel understood the importance and need for the Israelites to teach their children for generations to come, so that they would remain faithful and pleasing unto Jehovah.
D. Think of the generation of Eunice, Lois, and Timothy (2 Tim. 1:5).
1. The faith of the parents should be seen in their children.
a. In fact, it will be seen…possibly more evident that the parent may want it to be seen.
b. Great principles can be seen even in the introductory words of the prophet Joel’s inspired work on how to rear our children.
2. In much the same way, evangelism can be productive when these principles are applied:
a. We must Hear the Word ourselves.
b. We must Tell it to others.
c. They must tell it again.
3. Salvation has been brought down…Go and Shout and tell it the world around.