Periodically, the producers of those semi-educational networks will take an opportunity to discount something from the Scriptures. In one of the more recent ones they seek to soften the sin of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by saying that their sin was simply being inhospitable. My oldest son Carson (who has taken after his father in his passion for the historical accuracy of the Scriptures) was sitting down with his bowl of popcorn intensely watching in hopes of seeing some real “pictures” of what happened according to the Biblical account. When the discussion took place about the nature of their sin, he quickly shouted “Dad, that is wrong!” Intrigued on how much he actually knew about the sins of Sodom (seeing as how he is only 7 years old), I asked him what he meant. He replied “They are saying that the sin of Sodom was that they just weren’t very nice, but the Bible says that their sin was very great.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by being “very great”, but he was eager to show me. He grabbed his Bible and began to look and so did I. When I looked at Genesis 18 in God’s description to Abraham concerning Sodom guess what it said? God and Abraham both referred to this as being “wicked”. He knew that being “wicked” had to involve more than just “not being nice”. I will have to admit that I was very impressed with his understanding and his desire for them to present the truth. I began to wonder where he had picked that up. Had I preached on it recently? Was it recently in their Sunday school program? Had he learned it at school in Bible class? The truth is, I really don’t know where he picked it up and I really don’t care. What I did learn was that he did pick it up somewhere.
Sometimes we discount the learning capacity of our children. We sell them short because we don’t think they have the capacity to fully comprehend what actually occurs in the Scriptures, that it is over their head. But the truth is that they are capable of learning and their number one source of instruction should come from us, their parents. It got me thinking how much did he know, or did my other children comprehend these things as well. It was then it hit me; if they can understand that, just think what they will be able to understand if I had done a better job in teaching them. Had I wasted precious moments that I could have spent in teaching them the soul saving lessons of Scriptures, when I spent more time on teaching them the difference between man to man and a zone defense? Church, I believe we all could do a better job in the Biblical education of children. I was so proud to know that my child knew what was Biblical and what was not, but I was also disappointed that he hadn’t heard that lesson from me.
Parents, it is our job, it is our duty, and it is our God ordained responsibility to make sure we take the lead on teaching our children Biblical principles. In Deuteronomy 6, God provides for us as parents (more specifically the fathers) a model for us to have a happy and successful family in the eyes of God. But the instructions that are given in that passage are so much more than that. These instructions should serve as a warning to us so that we do not allow ourselves to forget what God has done for us. The moment we allow ourselves to forget or get to the point that our children do not know, is the moment when we will be doomed to repeat our previous mistakes. Take special not of the urgency that is mentioned in Deuteronomy 3.4-13. The purpose of the urgency is that God knows that when things are going well for us we tend to forget the blessings that God has provided for us. When we forget these blessings they are not as important to us, and when they are not as important to us, we don’t teach them to our children, and when we do not teach them to our children we are allowing an open door for Satan to come into our homes to educate them for us.
If you recall the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4, you have Cain bringing an offering that is not acceptable to God. God had in some way specified what He had wanted out of Cain, yet Cain had either forgotten or decided to disregard God’s commandment. Notice what happens when God points out the fault of Cain and gives him an opportunity to have a second chance.
“The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:6-7
Take special note of that phrase “if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door”. What does that mean? It means that when we do not do what is expected of us, when we do not do well with the task that God has provided for us that sin is waiting and watch to jump on us an seize us. We know from the rest of the story that Cain did not do well and sin did get the best of him. It is my fear that we have allowed sin to seize us within our own homes. Church our home should be the base of operations; it should be a safe house, a fortress of protection against the sin and the Devil, yet somewhere we have allowed ourselves to get lazy and let our guard down. Now instead of instructing our children in the ways of the Lord, we have allowed sin to come into our homes and snuggle up on our couches and become a part of our family more than God. Many times we assume that our children are taught all of these principles and stories at church, by their Sunday school teachers. Maybe they are, maybe our Sunday school teachers are doing a fabulous job in educating our kids, but is that enough. Would you be comfortable if the schools only taught math and science for 1-2 hours a week or their coach only practiced with them 1-2 hours a week before the big game, chances are you wouldn’t? So why are we that way with the Scriptures? Shouldn’t that be our main focus? It is the Scripture that will show us how to have eternal life, not ballgames or math class. Parents don’t sell your kids short, they are capable of learning much more than you think they are. You are constantly teaching them, in what? Well time will only tell. But if you want to make sure your children are prepared for the battle over their soul, then you will not settle for their instruction at church. Because it isn’t the church that will have to answer for my children’s knowledge of the Scriptures and their preparedness for battle against Satan, it will be ME! I sure would hate to know that when all of life is over and judgment takes place that my children were lost because I failed them by not preparing them in the fortress of our home. I Love this church! Matt