This sermon challenges the tradition of “age appropriateness” where people have been taught for generations the idea that there are things that are appropriate for adults but not for children. This concept is not biblical. While there may be a need to explain things in simpler terms to help children understand, this is not the same as avoiding topics or lying to your children because you believe they are “too young” to be told the truth. If something is not suitable for children, it’s not suitable for adults and likewise, if something is suitable for adults, it’s suitable for children. Let’s stop keeping our children naive and watering down the truths in the word of God because we’ve been taught it’s not appropriate for children to be told the truth.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 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.
- “shall be in thine heart”
- It starts with you. The word of God has to be in you in order for you to teach it to your children.
- “thou shalt teach”
- You are responsible for teaching your children, not the church.
- The church supports you, but it is not the primary teacher for your children.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 4:9 – Be part of teaching the third generation
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
- “sittest, walkest, liest, risest”
- Family devotions are good, but they are not sufficient, you need to be talking to your children about the things of God, daily at every opportunity.
- Teach your children when the moment happens.
- This is one of the main advantages of homeschooling vs public schooling
- The more time you have with them the more you will influence your children.
- Be proactive, purposeful, consistent, be thorough, be open, be honest
- This is what relationship building is all about and this is key to raising your children.
- If you have a good relationship then you can have open communication.
- That means you can deal with the issues and they’re less likely to be hidden from you.
- Explain things in light of the truth of the word of God at every opportunity.
- There is an idea in our culture today that there are things that are suitable for adults but not suitable for children.
- We see it in film ratings G, PG, M, MA, MA+, R, X, etc.
- It’s the reason why there’s the stereotypical situation of kids asking parents about marriage and children and the inevitable awkward conversation because a child has discovered something that supposedly they are too young to know about.
- It’s the reason why Sunday Schools and children’s bible classes are so watered down that children of christians these day grow up with a warped view of God and the bible.
- Parents avoid teaching it, and preachers avoid preaching it.
- Children and naturally curious and if you answer their questions, it satisfies their curiosity.
- If you avoid it, you will only reinforce in their minds that you are not a source of information for them and they will seek it elsewhere.
- The point I want to drive home today is that this concept is found nowhere in the bible.
1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
- If it’s wrong for adults, it’s wrong for children.
- If it’s right for adults, it’s right for children.
- For children, you may just need to explain it in simpler ways for them to understand, but no topic should be avoided
- I believe it should be proactively exposed to them, that way you can control their first impression of it.
- This is why when we have the preaching in church, everyone is gathered together, old and young. Because the bible is appropriate for all ages.
- Nothing wrong with games for children that teach a spiritual lesson, but it’s not a substitute for bible-preaching.
33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,
37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
- Children had to be there for Jesus to set one in the midst.
- The child was young enough to be carried in his arms.
- Then he preaches on the horrors of hell – why? because children need to know about hell too.
13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
- The church that forces parents and their children out of the congregation into another room who seek to be under the preaching – Jesus is much displeased with them.
- Children are not adults and they make noise, suffer it.
- If it’s distracting then sit at the front or move seats.
- You can’t complain if you come late to church, and are too ashamed to walk down to the front, then complain that children sitting at the back are distracting you.
- One reason I want to use the amplification is so that there can be a higher noise floor and people can still hear the preaching.
- Now if they’re being naughty or throwing a tantrum, then the wrong is on the parent for
- not training them at home,
- not dealing with it right there and then.
- This is why I put spanking sticks in the bathroom and storeroom next door so you don’t have to wait til you get home.
- Again, he took them up in his arms, so they were very young children.
Teaching Children the Bible
If you are truly seeking to obey the commands of God in his word, you won’t be able to help but cover a lot of the topics that the world would deem inappropriate.
Why? because the bible contains some pretty “adult-themed” stories. Let’s look at a few examples.
Topics that would normally be taboo:
- Marriage and Children
1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
- At the very beginning of the bible we have the concepts of sex, conception, birth, life, death, nakedness, clothing, suffering, family structure.
- Sexual Perversion
30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal,
31 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.
32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.
33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.
34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.
35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
- Nothing censored, no one excluded.
8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.
9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
- capital punishment
- Animals are food
Genesis 9:3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
- Teach them from a young age that one reason God made the animals is not to be our friends but to be food.
- They won’t get so freaked out when they see animals being slaughtered because they’ll know that they were used symbolically for sacrifices.
- They won’t believe we’re just a part of the animal kingdom and vote for the Greens to give animals rights.
- Judgement (What the world would deem as “violence”)
- Noah’s Ark and the Flood – rainbow a beauty of God’s creation?
12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
- David and Goliath – example of God’s enemies
1 Samuel 17:48-58
48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
52 And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron.
53 And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.
54 And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.
55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
56 And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.
57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.
58 And Saul said to him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? And David answered, I am the son of thy servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.
- Elijah on Mt Carmel – example of false prophets
1 Kings 18:38-40
38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
- “I can’t believe the bible is so horrible”
- It is nothing compared to what awaits unbelievers in hell
- Compare Leviathan
1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
2 Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
3 Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?
4 Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?
5 Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?
6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?
8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.
9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?
10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?
Tomorrow Can Become the Tragedy of Too Late
Exodus 2:10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
- How long did Moses mum have with him before she had to hand him over?
- What do you think she would have tried to teach him whilst she had the chance?
- How long do you have with your children?
- What if they are taken away from you?
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
Proverbs 19:18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
- The haters of God are not scared to teach our children
- They don’t reproduce so they recruit
- They create movies, cartoons, video games, school programs, all designed to brainwash your children.
- You better make sure you get to your children, before they do.