WHY GODLY PARENTS SOMETIMES
HAVE UNGODLY CHILDREN
Sunday Morning Lesson
October 18, 1998
Fair Avenue Baptist Church
34th Anniversary Services
How many of you are married?
How many of you have children?
How many of you are single?
How many of you aren't sure?
This morning's subject in one of the most difficult to teach about.
THIS IS SOMETHING WE DON'T TALK ABOUT IN BAPTIST CHURCHES TODAY.
It's the subject we sweep under the rug -let's not talk about it.
My topic this morning is WHY GODLY PARENTS SOMETIMES HAVE UNGODLY CHILDREN.
And I repeat, this is the subject we don't want to talk about.
Yet, in every church across America we have some godly parents, or at least they appear godly, who have totally rebellious children.
WHY DO SOME GODLY PARENTS HAVE REBELLIOUS CHILDREN?
This morning I want to trace this slide in the family using these three chairs.
THE FIRST CHAIR represents the godly Christians,
THE SECOND CHAIR represents the average Christian today, Christianity per se,
and THE THIRD CHAIR represents the unsaved who grew up in a Christian home.
This morning I want to briefly discuss what kind of person sits in each chair,
and when they have children, unless something drastic takes place - what will their children be like,
and then what will their children be like.
And if CHAIR ONE represents Godliness - then the last chair, CHAIR THREE represents godlessness.
And the purpose of the lesson will be that before you leave here this morning you will know where your grandparents sit, and where you sit, and most probably where your children will sit in the future.
And if we study the characteristics of each chair, how does each chair relate to the other, what does this one think about God, and what does that one think about the Bible, and what does this one think about his parents?
And one thing I've discovered is that it is totally scriptural.
What I will share with you this morning is not new - it is as old as the Bible.
And as we study this morning we are going to look at some sweeping pictures of the family.
Turn to JOSHUA 24:14-17
Here we want to look at a slide outside the family to get out minds thinking. Where would you sit Joshua? That's right, CHAIR ONE.
And then there is a word that I would write on that chair and that word is commitment.
Joshua had made a commitment to keep the Lord number one in his life. He is sold out to God.
NOW - let's look at the people in Israel who outlived Joshua and his generation.
Look over a few verses in your Bible to VERSE 31.
This group know ABOUT the works the Lord had done - NOTICE THE PAST TENSE - had done.
1. this generation knows God and KNOWS his works
2. saved - YES - miraculous things happening - YES
1. this generation knows God and ABOUT His works
2. saved - YES - miraculous things happening - WELL, they know ABOUT
Now what happens to the children born to the generation of CHAIR #2?
Let's look over to JUDGES 2:7-10
DID YOU SEE A PATTERN?
know the Lord
know His works
know the Lord
know ABOUT His works
know not the Lord
know NOTHING about His works
the next generation
CAN EVERYONE FOLLOW THE PATTERN?
When you know God and you know His works personally - you are living a life of commitment and God is #1 in your life.
When this generation (CHAIR #2) has children, those children grow up in a Christian home and most of them get saved.
They know God - BUT UNLESS GOD GETS A HOLD OF THEM OR UNLESS THAT PERSON SEEKS GOD'S WILL - they won't see the miracles, they won't see the answers to prayer, they won't see or be a part of the dramatic things that happen to people in CHAIR #1.
They know ABOUT the great things that might have happened in the lives of their parents and other people in the church -but they have never had it happen to them.
They believe the Bible - they can even quote the Bible, and they go to church.
And the word we find written on CHAIR #2 is compromise.
And if you grow up in a Christian family whose values and lifestyles are compromised - it will be a life of conflict.
God is Number One
I am Number One
God is a close second
I am Number One
God doesn’t even exist in my life
There is another word you can put on CHAIR #1 and that word is people.
CHAIR #1, this generation lives to bring people to God.
Only two things in life go on forever - God's Word and people.
To the person committed to God's will, that person will be sold out for the same things that Jesus was sold out for and that was people.
The people sitting in CHAIR #1 will place their jobs and money second in their lives behind people.
When you go the 2nd generation here in CHAIR #2, you'll find people who are saved - but they aren't near as concerned about people as they are about things. If we write the people on CHAIR #1, then we must write on CHAIR #2 the word things.
Most people who sit in CHAIR #2 more concerned about their job, a new home, new cars, boats, investments, the price of gold, getting ahead in their job, and they are too busy for people, because they are filling their lives with things.
Let's look in our Bible and find some good family examples of this principle of sliding that we are discussing today.
What about David? Which chair would you put David in? That's right - CHAIR #1
Who was David son? Solomon. What was Solomon concerned with? things - money, power, women, horses, more money - and what chair would you put Solomon in? That's right - CHAIR #2
Who followed Solomon? Rehoboam. You can read about Rehoboam in I Kings 12. Rehoboam didn't know that people were more important than things - WHY? because he grew up in COMPROMISE -CHAIR #2
Let's look another example - Abraham.
Where would you put Abraham, that's right, CHAIR #1, of course. Who was his son? Isaac.
In almost every case mentioned in the Bible, everywhere Abraham went, he first built an altar and praised the Lord, and then he dug a well for his needs.
What did Isaac do? In almost every case, what did Isaac do first? you guessed it - he built a well and every now and then he would build an altar - A VERY SUBTLE BUT DANGEROUS CHANGE.
God first, then me
me first, then God
Who is next in line on the slide -- Jacob, right here in CHAIR #3.
And if there ever was a man who lived in CHAIR #3 for most of his life - it was Jacob. Jacob's philosophy was if I can con you out of something I want and get away with it - then that's good.
Look at Noah - look at Samuel - look at Adam and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who breaks the pattern.
And that should leave you frustrated - and if it doesn't leave you frustrated - then God help you.
Now I realize that there are many questions to be answered. Such as, "If I'm in CHAIR #1, then CHAIR #3 is what I have to look forward to for my grandchildren?”
“If I'm in CHAIR #2, then CHAIR #3 is where my children will probably end up in a few years?”
“You mean, everyone in the Bible is like this?”
Now let's back away from all these questions for a few minutes and take a breather.
When you sit in CHAIR #1, your lifestyles will be different from most other folks.
Why you live will be different and many of your habits will be different - NOT BECAUSE SOMEONE SAID SO - but
because you realize that suddenly.....you are marching to a different drummer.
When you are in CHAIR #1 - your practices change and your friends change -in fact - you are a different person.
And everytime the church doors are open - people in CHAIR #1 are there - every service.......Sunday School, Sunday night,
Visitation, ladies meetings, clean-up days, choir practice, everything! And because people in CHAIR #1 are there - they
usually bring their kids.
Why do they go? Because there has been a dramatic change in their life. And people in CHAIR #1 worship Jesus instead of themselves.
They go to church because they want to go.
And here's what happens - the children begin to grow up and notice that a lot of kids and people on their block don't go to church and then they begin to ask questions.
“Hey dad! Why do I have to go to church?”
“WHY DO YOU ASK?”
“SOMETIMES IT IS.”
“Really? Then why do we have to go?”
“WELL, SON, WE DON'T ALWAYS TO CHURCH TO BE ENTERTAINED.”
“Then why do we go?”
“WELL, SON, I GO THERE FOR A LOT OF REASONS -LET'S SIT DOWN AND TALK ABOUT IT.”
The person in CHAIR #1 can sit down and talk to their children about how God has worked in their lives. They can share with
their children the answers to prayer and share with their children what God means to them.
Then the son grows older and he asks the question.
“Hey dad! Why can't I drink?”
“WELL, SON, I DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD.”
“WELL, SON, LET'S SIT DOWN AND TALK ABOUT IT. PEOPLE WHO DRINK, THEY LIVE FOR THEMSELVES AND CARE LESS ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE and talk, and talk.”
And everytime you sit down and talk - you understand one another and your children will come to appreciate your values -YOUR VALUES WILL NOT BE YOUR SON'S BECAUSE HE DID NOT GO THROUGH WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH TO GET THOSE VALUES.
Another child (from CHAIR #2) grows up going to church on Sunday morning, sometimes Sunday night......Wednesday night - COME ON, LET'S NOT GET CARRIED AWAY - ONCE OR TWICE A WEEK IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.
And this child from CHAIR #2 grows into an adult - and he looks like the person in CHAIR #1. He goes to church and looks the part - he carries a Bible - and looks like everything is going just like the person in CHAIR #1.
And when the person from CHAIR #2 is asked to pray - he can pray a real good prayer - a good sounding prayer - I MEAN, WHEN YOU'VE HEARD A PRAYER 1000 TIMES, IT'S EASY TO PRAY AND SOUND GOOD.
And the person in CHAIR #2 can give a testimony - "It was way back when I was 13 and a rotten sinner that the Lord saved me and I really love to read my Bible and I live for Christ every day."
And then the next Sunday night at a testimony service - testimony? Sure,
"It was way back when I was 13 and a rotten sinner that the Lord saved me and I really love to read my Bible and I live for Christ every day."
CHAIR #1 - knows God and his miracles
CHAIR #2 - knows God and knows ABOUT his miracles
And that's why this person in CHAIR #2 when asked to tell what God has done for them - they don't know what to say - because all they can talk about is when God saved them - because God is not doing anything in their life right now.
And then when the person in CHAIR #2 has children - the children grow up and say,
“I don't want to go to church this morning!”
“They why do I have to go?”
“BECAUSE I SAID SO!”
“Okay, dad, catch ya later.”
BECAUSE I SAID SO - what about, come here so, and let's talk about this.
A little later on...
“Do I have to go to church Sunday night?”
“Well, son, I guess not, don't worry about it, once or twice is all right.”
The son gets a little older:
“I have to work this Sunday night and the boss wants me to work Wednesday, is that
“SURE, SON, GO AHEAD. IF YOU GOTTA WORK, YOU GOTTA WORK. I
MEAN, WHAT'S LIFE ALL ABOUT? YOU GOTTA GET AHEAD, RIGHT?”
Then a few years later:
“Why can't I drink?”
“GIVE IT UP SON, YOU CAN'T DRINK!”
“Dad, why can't I drink, I mean, everyone else is doing it?”
“BECAUSE I SAID SO!”
“Come on, dad, why can't I drink?”