A couple of years ago I preached this message in our church. It is perhaps more relevant today than the day I preached it in our church. We have seen over the past 90 years or so, our country go from welcoming to the gospel to being indifferent to the gospel, to now becoming hostile towards the gospel. I pray by God’s grace that this changes
How to raise gospel-centered kids in a gospel hating world.
Avoid fear – As we talk through the issues as we have over the past few weeks the reaction I find in me is fear. I don’t want my kids to put any of these bumper stickers on their cars. I don’t want any of the things that have been said to be true of my kids. There are times when I feel like a captive in my home afraid to let my kids leave the sanctuary of the home because the reality of the very real devil is much greater to me than the understanding that we have a magnificent Savior.
Jeremiah 29:4-7 4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
Love the scripture in Jeremiah that says to the captives do not hide but live out your lives in such a way that people are drawn to you because your fulfillment is in a promise not in a program. Exemplify the gospel to your kids – For us to parent our kids in an offensive way and not a defensive way requires us having a firm grasp of the gospel. How do we do that?
1. Understand that the gospel is offensive
– Paul – talking about Jews and Greeks – Takes away our sense of control – We want to control the outcome of our lives and our kid’s lives – CS Lewis “He is not a tame lion but he is good” Grace means God has free will.
26 “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.
beware when all men speak well of you – our goal is not popularity but in knowing and conveying a beautifully offensive truth lived out by a God who loves you and me in a stunning unending fashion.
– offends the part of us that feels we have to do something to be loved
– offends the part of us that says living how we want is worshiping yourself
– we all worship something very often the idols in our lives are good things we make ultimate things – that’s offensive to Christians and non-Christians alike.
2. Teach your kids doctrine in a practical and intentional way
But the first-“Yahweh our God is one Yahweh”-exactly meets the circumstances of that time, and moreover emphasizes that in Israel’s God which the writer of Deuteronomy was most anxious to establish. As against the prevailing tendency of the time, he not only denies polytheism, or, as Dillmann puts it, asserts the concrete fact that the true God cannot be resolved in a polytheistic manner into various kinds and shades of deity
Deut 6:4-13 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[b] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full,12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.
The reason why we teach our kids is so they have a proper view of God as their father. Everything we have is because of him.
By age 10 kids would have the Torah (the first 5 books of the bible memorized)
Our time is limited. We have a limited amount of time that we will be able to influence our kids we must leverage that time to teach our kids to honor to fear and to love God because he first loved us.
God Talks –
3. Model to your kids what loving Jesus looks like in a consistent way.
Consistency is not publicly doing the right thing. Consistency is forged in a whole life that is saturated in the gospel of Jesus.
Attend church – worship at home
Give regularly – give spontaneously
Have a devotional Life – a Spirit-filled life – be filled continually
Modeling is more than demonstration it’s living it.
4. God is the author of our story.
Romans 14:7-9 –
7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
Understand that our grace for today is based on what Jesus did and in our hope for what he will do.
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.―C.S.
21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
To live is Christ but die is gain – when our hope is in the resurrection and we walk out the implications of that our kids will see in us something they will see nowhere else.
Parents teach your kids the gospel is not just something that begins the Christian life but empowers it, shapes it and sustains it. Pray, love, correct and demonstrate the love of God to your kids until he draws them they respond and He becomes their treasure and their great reward. John Piper