The society we live in is changing at a rapid rate. We hear concepts that are foreign to us and we no longer know what our children are being taught at school, by their friends, or on the internet. In this age of changing values and a changing "worldview" Christians and our children are at risk. What must we do to safeguard our hearts and our children so they grow up as the "Godly offspring" God desires? Why is understanding and instilling a biblical worldview so crucial for us today?
[Rick Shabi] Well, good afternoon, everyone. Very good to see all of you today. Hope you're having a wonderful Sabbath day. It's a beautiful day here in Cincinnati. I hope for those who are listening in on the web, it's a beautiful day wherever you are as well. I want to thank the choir. I know we have a, I often say it, we have an awfully lot of talent in this, in this church and to see it all come together the way it did in the choir, it's beautiful when it's individual, but to see it all come together the way it did in that piece, it was just very well done. So thank you, everyone, who puts the time and effort into the practices that I know result in something that we can all enjoy that God is glorified by. I appreciate it, Mr. Bocher, Mr. Bocher's sermonette.
You know, there's always something that we should be thankful for and never forget that thankfulness is the thing that should mark every single day of our life. And as we watch a country that, you know, things are changing quickly, this is still a wonderful place to live from a physical standpoint and we should never cease to be thankful for the blessings that God gives us individually and the opportunity we have had to live in this country, in this world at this time. Our lives have been comfortable and filled with things that the rest of the humanity who's left could never even imagine the opportunities that we've had and the benefits that we've had. But we do look at a world and at the same time as we have the additional blessing of the being thankful for the spirit that God gives us and the ability to look at what's going on in the world, and to have the comfort of knowing of where it's going and how it ends, that is a tremendous thing to be thankful for as well that we should never discount.
It seems as we've for the last three or four years seems like there's just something new that always comes up in the world. And as we watch that event occur, we learn a lot of things, not just about that event, but it seems to reveal more things about the country we live in, the attitudes of people in the world we live in, the differences between some of the age groups and the philosophies that people have, and even the way people are against the war around the world. You know, recently, the most recent thing, of course, that's on everyone's mind and in the news every day is the Hamas attack in Israel. And as that unfolded, I think we were all reminded and horrified by the brutality that people can have toward one another. We're reminded of terrorist attacks from the past that seem to just have faded away. But to see the brutality and just the unfeeling nature of people who would be able to just go in and do the things that were done in Israel was an eye-opener to the world. They reacted in surprise, horror. We were reminded of how terrible things can be.
And we were reminded maybe of things in the Bible as well, as we look back to where terror began and remember as we heard the prime or the president or prime minister, whatever his title is, of Israel say they must be eradicated. We must eradicate Hamas from the earth. Remember everything that God said that about a group of people as well where terrorism began because it is a terrible thing and it's an awful thing to have in the earth. And what we saw on October 7th and the six weeks since has been a terrible thing to see. It's only going to get worse between now and the return of Jesus Christ. But the other things that we've seen on bail as a result of that attack have probably been eye-opening as well. I think it has been a surprise to many people in this country to see how some of the college-age students have reacted to it, to see the protests that were pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas as opposed to pro-Israel, to see the anger and to see people demonstrating against Israel and actually championing the regime that was over there at Hamas.
It brought a lot of attention to a lot of people. In fact, cries went out to begin maybe we should be defunding colleges. What is being taught to our young people? What is being taught around the world, or not around the world, around the United States, in our universities that they could have a reaction that is so different than what the norm and what the national reaction would be assumed to be, the natural reaction that anyone would have to that kind of brutality that was put there. And so that question arises, that question is out there, and it made us aware there is something different. There's something that's been happening in the world, and something happening in our country that is alarming in one way. It's not the first alarming thing we've seen as we've watched the world descend into a sense of depravity that we never could have imagined 10 years ago, that we would see people parading around in transgender outfits and all these other things that they parade in, that we would see abortion become actually a thing to be championed and a thing to be proud about and flaunt it. And you hear stories about how abortions in the last year have gone up because people just want to have one. It's a right we have.
What is going on? Where's the mindset? There's a different worldview among many people in America today and everyone who lives in this country sees it. There's been more division. We've seen things go on with violence that has just not been the type of violence we've seen before. We've seen group looting go on in ways that was never before seen in America, and there's nothing that seems to be able to be done about it. Around the world, European nations are experiencing the same thing. Years of migration and allowing, immigration and allowing people to come in and seeing hundreds of thousands of people parading on their streets against Israel and for terrorism, in effect, has rattled governments, has rattled people and they find themselves saying, "What have we done?" but it can't be undone. Here in this country governments and people are wondering what have we done. We have an open border where all sorts of people have paraded in over the last two three years. And as we see the stark reality of what can happen. What is going on?
And so we live in a world that has a different set of views than we have today. It's different than it's ever been before. And the gulf between one view of the world and another view of the world widens and just keeps growing. That's the world we live in. If we bring it down, just not at the college level, because it's adults who buy into some of this stuff as well and champion these brand-new depraved morals and ideologies that people have, we see at the same time we read stories that are kind of hard to understand that even at the elementary school level, things are being taught to children that would make people, would make us blush if those things were read to us or if we picked up a book from the library and read the things that are now being touted to children in some areas, not in all areas. But we have a group of people and teachers who feel that it's no longer enough to just teach reading or writing and arithmetic. But, "Here's what I think. Here's how my lifestyle is. You should be accepting that lifestyle as well. You should be experimenting in this. You should try all things. You should not be limited to any sorts of morality. You should just do whatever you want to do and explain or experiment with anything."
It will destroy children's minds. It will destroy. And as we send our children off to school, it is incumbent on parents to know the teachers that they have, because not every teacher is doing this, but you don't know which ones are. And once it's done, and once it's planted in a mind, in a young mind, it can't be undone. But we can guard against it because as we go into a world that is so different, it becomes very important that we guard our hearts and that we guard our children's hearts as well.
Let's turn over to Isaiah 3. You know, we live in a world where people are just... It's they just flaunt, they just flaunt whatever it is that they have to do and the rest of us sit by and watch it on TV, watch it on entertainment if there's even any TV shows that you watch anymore or that our children watch. It's just a different world where it is just being pushed on us all the time and Isaiah, let's begin with verse, I'm sorry, Chapter 1. I might have said Chapter 3, we'll go there in a minute.
Isaiah 1:4 Says, "Alas, sinful nation," as God talks to his physical people, "Alas, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity." It's always been true. But today, boy, laden with iniquity for sure, "a people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, children who are corruptors. They have forsaken the eternal. They've provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel. They have turned away backward."
In Isaiah 3, God lays it out in pretty, pretty bold language, pretty direct language. When he talks about even the looks on the faces, the people that they do, they're not ashamed, for a while it was hidden, now it's all out in the open for us all to see, and they don't care.
Isaiah 3:9 "The look on their countenance witnesses against them. They declare their sin as Sodom." They don't hide it. It's there in living color. "Woe to their soul, for they have brought evil upon themselves."
And indeed, we live in that time. Not every single state, not every single school system, not every single university, but enough that are rattling the cages of where this is going. We turn over to Hosea, a few books forward. You know, God, as he blessed Israel as Israel, physical Israel, as we've talked about before, a nation that God created, Abraham and his faithfulness in God created Israel through the miraculous births of Isaac and then his work with Jacob and the birth that he gave to Rachel after she was barren of Joseph and as he blessed those nations and God saw the faithfulness of those men in teaching their children, guarding their children, and obeying strictly the law of God. He expected Israel to be a model nation. It was the responsibility for the blessings he gave them.
Hosea 5:9 It says, “They've dealt treacherously with the Lord.” He gave them everything, every blessing that could possibly, we could possibly want, as you and I have experienced in our lifetimes, but they've dealt treacherously with the Lord. “They've begotten pagan children.”
They didn't keep up their end of the bargain. God said, "I'll bless you from one man, Abraham, nations, millions and millions, as many as the sands of the sea but train them. Teach them. Teach them my way and be a witness and example to the world around of the goodness of God's way of life." Teach them by your example that when they look at you and they say, "Here's a nation that is so blessed," kind of like Queen Shiva when she went to visit Solomon and said, "Your God is great. Look what He has given to you." The wisdom that you have, Solomon, the riches He's provided for you, that's what God wanted Israel to be. They didn't do it. They allow themselves to be drawn in by foreign gods, foreign ideologies. They allowed themselves to be taken astray and away from God who has blessed. But then the more he blessed, it seems the more they just started looking the other way.
And so Israel lost everything. And today, a nation that has been so richly blessed stands to lose everything because they didn't pay attention, they didn't stay loyal to the founding principles and to recognize the God that gave them all these things. We live in an age of lawlessness. They don't even try to hide that. Lawlessness is a word you hear most always. It's what's championed. There is no one set of laws for any people. Do whatever you want. And so we live and we see that abounding in the world around us. Do whatever you want. No one's going to stop you. And God said, because lawlessness abounds, or Christ said in Matthew 24, because lawlessness abounds, because it's all around us. We see it, we hear about it, we witness it. If we go to work, we might see that lawlessness being flaunted before us as we watch TV. We see it happening. Because lawlessness abounds, the love of many will wax cold. He's talking about the love you and I should have for God's way of life.
That love, if we just get enamored by the world, if we're not watching what's going on, if we just stay just a little bit above what the world is doing, if we're not championing same sex marriages, if we're not putting on drag shows and we're talking about those and not allowing our children to go to them and just not just staying above what the world is but we need to be people who are living by God's law and the difference between us and the world and even the world's religions will be growing more and more pronounced and distinct for everyone to see. We live in a time where we hear about the worldview or the word worldview often. The worldview in the world today, far different than it was five years ago. Now we use that word and it seems to be one of the words that is touted about in, well, newscasts. Some churches talk about worldview. We talk about worldview and having a biblical worldview and what that means.
Some might not know what a worldview is, but let's just define it here so we know what it is. Merriam-Webster dictionary says it's a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world from a specific standpoint. A lot of nice words. Let's boil it down to what it is. I've adapted this from a definition that I saw on the internet. It says everyone has a worldview. It's the decision-making filter you use to guide every choice you make. It represents your understanding of life, beliefs, values, and opportunities. There are many different worldviews in the world. Secular humanism, modern mysticism, Marxism, Maoism, both of which are growing in popularity, syncretism, and the biblical worldview among many others. Now, if any of those terms are new to you, you can go on and go to ucg.org. You can type in humanism, mysticism, and find some articles and information on that, or just go to the internet and look those up, and you will begin to see as you read through some of those worldviews some of the reasons that we have what we have in America today.
As they've taken polls among people, a recent one by the University of Arizona, talked about that of the Biblical worldview, even as the world defines it, which is different than the way we, you and I, would define a biblical worldview, only 3% of America live by more than just believing that Jesus Christ died for our sins. Only 3% of that will do more than just believe the Bible is true, Jesus Christ died for our sins. It's a very small number. Even the churches of the world that talk about Biblical worldview, they more have a synchronistic worldview. They're more than willing to adapt the ideologies of the world around into their practices. So we see churches that accept same-sex marriages. Must be okay. That's not a Biblical worldview. We see them, we see them accept other things that the world has done. We see political parties, political figures that we might think are very conservative, but they're more than willing to accept abortion, even though the Bible is completely against abortion.
Now from time to time the Church, we get letters saying that, "You have a so-and-so political party worldview." The answer is no, we do not. We do, we live, we teach a Biblical worldview by every word of God, and that is different than every other church and every other ideology out there. And it's something that we do, something we practice, something we live in, and something we need to be teaching and making sure our young people understand what the promises of God are, that they are called, that there are things that we need to do, and if we don't do them, like the churches of the world cave, we would cave too. The pressure will become more and more pronounced as time goes on. We need to be people. who understand and practice and our worldview needs to be exactly what God's worldview is. As we look at society, as we watch what we do, as we watch what we are willing to do and accept and allow into our minds, look at it through the lens the way God looks at it.
You know, we look at the college, the college age, and I'll just pick on the college age children since universities are a topic, among even some people who call themselves liberal have realized something has gone on in our universities, that things are different. They see things totally different, and they actually hate, I'll use the word hate the country they live in. Even though they've enjoyed blessings that they can't, that no other country really has in the same manner, they hate the country and somewhere along the line they've been taught and their worldview has been changed. Lawlessness abounds, things get put into heads, and they haven't been perhaps raised to understand exactly what is good and what is right and what is wrong and what is evil. Their worldview should have been set by their parents. And had it been, maybe we wouldn't be seeing some of the demonstrations that we see today and some of the things that may cause some concern.
There's a book recently written by George Barna. You've probably heard his name. He takes a lot of polls among the Christian churches of the world, and the name of the book is "Raising Spiritual Champions." And he was talking about developing a worldview, a Biblical worldview in children because of the dangerous world that we live in. He made, you know, I haven't gotten through the entire book, but early on he made quite an interesting statement. He said that our children's world views begin as early as 15 to 18 months of age and extend until they're 13 years of age. And by the time they reach 13, their worldview is established. And so parents have this precious 12 or 13-year period to instill in their children the truth that will see them through the disaster that this world is. We have an opportunity with our young people to instill that worldview.
Barna makes the comment that once you get past 13, it's difficult to change a child's worldview. Shows you the value, the intense value of who is teaching your children. What are they hearing? Are they learning about God at the same time they're learning about whatever else they learn? Do they understand? And will at the age of 13, will they be grounded with the armor of God? Will their words, will their waist be girded with the belt of truth? Will they have the sword of the truth of God and could they say, "This is truth? I'm not buying anything that you say." Will they be able to hate evil? Will they know to hate evil? Will they be able to discern right from wrong? There's a time that we have to do that as children. And we have a responsibility to do that as well.
Let's go to the last book in the Old Testament, Book of Malachi. Malachi Chapter 3. And, nope, it's not Chapter 2, or not Chapter 3, it's Chapter 2, Malachi 2:15. You know, the verses leading up to this guy is talking about marriage, husband and wife supposed to be one, united. husband, father doing what he's supposed to do, mother, wife doing what she's supposed to do, united in purpose, united in mission. They've been given children by God. It's a responsibility that is there when He blesses us with children.
Malachi 2:15 God says, "But did he not make them," husband and wife, "one, having a remnant to the Spirit?" And why one? He seeks godly offspring. "Therefore take heed to your spirit and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth."
You be one is what He said, husband and wife. You be one just like Jesus Christ and God the Father are one. You be one just like we're supposed to be one with God the Father and with the and Jesus Christ and with each other. You have the same purpose, you have the same mission, you have the same ideas and goals for your children that God has given you and there's a responsibility when we're baptized and we have children, you raise them the way God said.
Equip them, arm them, let them know they are called by God, let them know they are children of promise, let them know they do have a future and let them know and teach them daily what it is they need to do because if we don't do it, someone else will do the teaching. And if we fail in doing that, we will fail God and we will fail them and they will be people who cave in to the world and go through some tough, tough times. It's incumbent on us to do that. Life won't be easy going forward. The gulf, as I say, between what we believe and what the world believes, what Christians in the world believe and what we believe will be completely completely just growing wider and wider. Our children and you and me need to know that. We need to be practicing it. We need to be rehearsing it every day, and we need to be instilling it in our minds and in the minds of our children. You don't need to turn to Proverbs 22:6. You know what it says.
Proverbs 22:6 It says, "Raise up a child in the way he should go. And when he is old, He will not depart from it."
You remember when Jesus Christ, one of the few accounts we have of Jesus Christ as He was growing up, when they were leaving Jerusalem at Passover, remember Christ was 12 years old, 12 years old and... Where was He? His mother and father didn't know where He was, but there He was, speaking with the elders, talking about the things of God. He was the Son of God, He was filled with God's Spirit, but by the age of 13 His world view and what He was and who He was was well established in His mind as it was from the beginning. By 13, we need to be working with our children.
Again, we'll turn to Ephesians 6 in a little bit, but Ephesians 6:4 says, "Bring your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord."
And the word training there in Ephesians 6:4 is that Greek word, piedia. I've talked, spoken about piedia before, the intense training program that the Greeks put through their children through to teach them and educate them so they would grow up to be effective and very valuable leaders in their society. Bring them up in the training and admonition. of the Lord. If we do it, if we love our children, I hope we love each other, we will do that. Let me give you an example of a very powerful example of instilling a worldview in your children. October 7th, a group of Hamas terrorists entered Israel and they sabotaged a community. They brutally killed. They raped, they beheaded, they left everything, everything, nothing that could be imagined did they not do and they felt completely justified in doing that. You haven't heard any remorse come out of the Hamas or even the Palestinian groups over there. Because why? Because from the very early age in some Islamic homes, they are taught to hate the Jews. It is instilled in them from the beginning. You hate them. Our mission is to eradicate Jews from the face of the earth.
Now, Iran will say that extends to America and Britain. You've seen the things death to Israel, death to America. Our mission is eradicate them. They are not worth life. And when we kill them, we honor our God, their God, Allah. That's what they're taught. And so when they go in and they do whatever it is they do in such a brutal fashion, they're thinking they're totally justified. That's how they worship their God. It's an evil worldview that's been instilled in them, but it is one that they carry with them, and they're willing to die if necessary in the process, because even when they grow old, that doesn't depart from them. As I was watching, you know, was watching, oh, some news programs and some things on YouTube as many people weigh in on what's happening, and it's the ideology that we can't seem to really grasp in America because none of us have been raised that way. I don't know anyone who was raised with just learn to hate them. And it is okay if you kill them, it is okay if you torture them, it's okay what you do with them. We don't know anyone like that. So it's a hard concept for us in America to understand.
But I was watching a video of a Palestinian woman and she wasn't a young woman, she was past middle age. And she was quite demonstrative in what she was saying in justifying what went on October 7th. She was talking about the Islam position, if you will, and she said, "What our young men did is exactly what Allah would have us do. You don't understand that when we go in and when we conquer people, they become our slaves and we can do whatever we want to them." I watched the video two or three times. Her face was quite clear as she was justifying, "We can do whatever we want to them. That's our mission." A powerful worldview. It's there. It's something the world will deal with and something we will deal with. We look at the prophecies and not too long ago I showed the prophecies that God said, "When a nation departs from me, there will be terror within." And Christ was pretty clear that He said the Great Tribulation will see things in it that has never been seen in the world before.
It's hard to imagine what more could happen when you read of the accounts of the Assyrians and what they did to people they conquer, or when you see the brutality of mankind to mankind, how it could be any worse, but God says it will be because the spirit that drives it is far different than the spirit that drives you and me. Let's turn to John 16 for just a minute to emphasize the point of offering a false god service when they kill people. Christ said that in John 16:2.
John 16:2 As He was talking to His disciples, He said, "They'll put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service."
We see that in a different part of the world. Now, there are positive worldviews that have been established as well, Biblical worldviews. We could speak of people like Abraham. He taught Isaac an awesome Biblical worldview. He taught Isaac who God is. You do whatever God says. He is good. He is right. Everything that God asks you to do is for your own benefit. Throughout life, he did that. Even Genesis 26:5, God said, "I know Abraham. He will direct his children to follow me." And he did. So when Isaac was a young man and he was brought out by Abraham, and God had said, "Sacrifice Isaac." Isaac didn't rebel. Isaac didn't fight. He had an established worldview. Whatever God says, I do. Whatever God says and whatever my father Abraham, who has shown me through his life and through his example, whatever God says, I will do. God said, "Now I know. Here's a man who taught his child well."
We can look at Jacob, Jacob who had a not so great beginning in his young age. And then he had to run off to his Uncle Laban's house. But while he was there, he learned and remembered what he had been taught while he was a child. He was taught the way of God, and he lived that way. And as he grew old, God worked with him. Now we see what God did to actually change his name to Israel. One who overcomes, he became a different person because even if your worldview isn't established by 13 or a different worldview is, with God's spirit, worldviews can be changed. Barna is wrong in what he says because he discounts the power of God's Spirit, the real God's Spirit, that you and I know what God's Holy Spirit is and not just what the world says it is and what you must do to receive the Holy Spirit. We understand. It's understanding and acknowledging our past way of life is absolutely wrong and contrary to everything that God would have us do.
We learn repentance is not just a little short prayer we say, but it is a heartfelt, deep commitment to turning toward God and away from self and allowing self and asking God to bury self and then being immersed, picturing that death and having hands laid on so God's Spirit, which has been with us, can be in us and direct us. But Jacob had children and he had Joseph. And Joseph also was a child when you look at what he was doing when he was younger, you might say, "Well, you know, he was his dad's favorite and he might have been a little, you know, spoiled, if you will, by the things that he said and, and how he reacted to his brothers and how they reacted to him." But Jacob instilled a Biblical worldview in Joseph. So when he was sold into Egypt, where he could do whatever he wanted, what did he do when he was faced with Potiphar's wife temptation? No. I won't do it. I won't sin against God. What was instilled in him in youth, he didn't depart from it. Jacob did a very good job with Joseph. We need to do very good jobs with ourselves and with our children. And we need to be very cognizant of how that will, well, just how we need to do that to arm them with the armor of God so that they can stand. against the wiles of the devil, against the evil of this age.
I'm going to read a couple of things here. I mentioned some of the worldviews that are out there. One of them is Marxism. You know, that seems to be making its way through some of the population. Maoism is one of them as well. And then we remember Mao Zedong in China, you know, what went on there with their cultural revolution. And there was an interview that was done with a lady who lived during the Chinese cultural revolution. Her name is Xi Van Fleet. She wrote a book called "Mao's America: A Survivor's Warning." And recently she was interviewed, and the video is online if you say "Mao's America." And it's about the dark parallels of China's cultural revolution and today's America.
Let me just read a couple things that she says. It's a pretty long interview, I haven't read the book, but she is drawing parallels about what went on back then and what goes on today so that parents can be aware of what is happening when they see these changes in the world around us. Here's one of the things she says about, because she says she was very young when it was happening, but she looks back and she sees what had happened to her. She goes, in Mao's China, it was very simple. From a very early age and in kindergarten, we were taught that our parents are just biological parents. Our real parents are the party and Chairman Mao. If there's a conflict between choosing between your own parents or the party, you should always, always choose the party. So as we see some of the things going on in the world today, and in some states, we see, well, if your son wants to be a woman and you say no, you know what? We want the right to take him away from you and do what he wants to do. We see some teachers in some areas doing that thing and imposing on them what it is that they want your children to believe. And the state sometimes, in times past, in other histories, including in Nazi Germany, take over the children because if you control the children, you control the future.
And so as we look around us and we talk about instilling a Biblical worldview. not knowing exactly what our children are hearing at school or even if we do homeschooling which is great, not knowing exactly what they're watching on TV or hearing on the internet or their other friends even friends in the Church may be saying, it is so, so important today be instilling that Biblical world view, be instilling in them the truth of God so that they know the difference between right and wrong. She went on to say, she goes, always choose the party. She goes, "That's basically what the Red Guards did. Many of them denounced their parents. Many of them reported their parents, and that ended up with their parents being executed." Here in school, especially today, you're supposed to go to trusted adults, not your parents. They didn't say that in the party, but it is very similar. They want to cut the ties between parents and children. Why? That's how you control them and the future. Very true. Very true.
As the Red Guards turned in their parents, as they saw that beginning to happen, we might think of what Christ said. Those who turned you in, your children, your friends, those who betray you, a time that's coming. Another thing she said is in the news back before, we don't hear it so much today, still going on I guess. She goes, "Another thing that's striking is the hostility towards accurate accounts of history." Yes, that is something that is done. In order to control children, you have to rewrite history. In China, history was totally rewritten. The history that I learned was absolute fiction. Even today, I still have to detox from the oldest junk they put in my mind. Those who control the present control the past. When you control the past, you control the future.
So, within the last year or so, we've heard of... American figures in history tear down that statue, rename that school, they were evil people, that's not good. We heard about the 1619 project, which I have no idea exactly what the 1619 project was going to teach children. I know it's been battled in many states and everything, and critical race theory, and the whole nine yards of what was going on. That is there, it's not dead, but that's kind of the world around us, and we need to be aware so when we think of our children, just by them coming to church, just by them living in your house, there is something as the world moves on and seems to be fascinated by China in recent years and what goes on over there. But we have to realize and keep in our minds the world we live in is evil. Paul said that in Ephesians 5:15-16, "The days are evil." God doesn't mince words. And as we look at the world around us, we can't either.
The days are evil. The world around us will seek to destroy family, will seek to destroy values. They will try to instill their own values in us and in our children. Our lives, our spiritual lives are in danger. Because lawlessness abounds, the love of many wax cold. They, those whose love waxes cold, weren't living and have instilled in their minds and hearts the Biblical worldview. You and I need to have that true Biblical worldview in our minds. Let's go back to Proverbs 4 and written on our hearts. Proverbs 4. Early on the book of Proverb, God inspires Solomon to write some pretty inspiring and telling in direct words. In verse 20 of Proverbs 4, he gives some instructions that in light of everything that's going on in the world today, in light of what we need to be doing, because if we love our children, we will arm them with the truth. We will work with them daily so that they know God, so they know God is the most important thing in our lives, that they choose God, that they know the truth.
Proverbs 4:20-22 "My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Don't let them depart from your eyes, keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh."
They are life. Feed your children and feed each other as the Church feeds us as God feeds us the words of life, put them in our hearts. Verse 23 New King James says keep, better translation.
Proverbs 4:23-27 "Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away a deceitful mouth. Put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder, think about what you're doing, think about what you're not doing, ponder the path of your feet and let your ways be established. Don't turn to the right or to the left, remove your feet from evil.”
Let's go back and look at some very basic words. Sometimes let's go back to look at some basic words that God says as we live in a time different than the times that have been in the past. Today better than what they'll be in the future, but as we see things going on, a renewed effort in teaching, understanding, applying into our lives, applying into our children's lives, working with each other, exhorting one another, what God says to do because the words He gives us, they're life. We need to do them. We want every single person. God is not willing that anyone should perish. Jesus Christ didn't die just for a few to be saved. He died that everyone might be saved. We are called now and we do what God says.
Let's look at Deuteronomy 6. Foundational words, but let's look at them because they form the basis of a Biblical worldview that you and I have. Different than what you'll read on the internet about the Biblical worldview from other churches. This is God's Biblical worldview. This is what gets taught exactly the way that God said.
Deuteronomy 6:1 “This is the commandment. And these are the statutes and judgments which the eternal your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess.”
We are at the doorsteps of crossing over to whatever that is. However many years that God has between now and the return of Jesus Christ, only He knows. But we see the time approaching. We see the day approaching as it says in Hebrews 10:25.
Deuteronomy 6:2 "That you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess. That you may fear the Lord your God. Keep all his statutes and his commandment which I command you. You and your son and your grandson all the days of your life and that your days may be prolonged."
Oh. Godly offspring, that you observe them and your son and your grandson, you teach them to your family. They are well known. They know who you are. They know who you obey. They know who God is. And they know what the standard for them is, is the Bible, because they have been taught that from an early age, continually, on an ongoing basis.
Deuteronomy 6:3-4 "Therefore, hear, O Israel, and be careful." Do it well, be careful, don't just play words with it and don't just check off a box. "Be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you a land flowing with milk and honey. Here O Israel, the Lord our God, He is one."
The Lord is God alone, they are unified, one purpose, one mind, one mission, completely united in what they're doing. The same thing, that's our goal, completely at one with God. Husband and wife completely at one with each other. Common purpose, common goal. This is the way we raise our children. Get to that in a minute. Father, being the spiritual head of the house and saying, "This is what happens," wife in perfect unity, she sees that it happens during the time as well.
Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today will be in your heart."
Not just words to memorize, not just words to read, but things we live by. The world, the filter, the worldview we have, the filter through which we choose what we do each day. When choices come our way, what's the filter? It's the word of God. What's the way I choose? I follow the words of life.
Deuteronomy 6:7 "You shall teach them," tremendous adverb, "You shall teach them diligently to your children."
Not just a word here and a word there and a mention of things, but you will teach them diligently to your children. "You will talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." God will be a part of your life and their lives, and they will know He is the one who is directing the home. They will know that their parents love God, follow God, and that He is a real being, very present in their lives. And the children will see that. And the children will grow up with that. And they will learn to trust God, obey God, and know that whenever we have anything to look at, we can look to him. He is the savior, He is the deliverer, and He is the healer. He is the one who provides everything and will see us through everything that comes our way.
Deuteronomy 6:8-9 "Bind them as a sign on your hand." Do things the way God said. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, do it with integrity, do it honestly. "Bind them as a sign on your hand and as frontlets and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes." What you think about, it's the filter that God gives. "Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates," live it.
When people come into your home and your relatives come into your home, they know the way of life you live. It's no secret. There's no one ashamed of it. This is what happens in this house. This is who we obey. Joshua said, "Oh well, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Make sure your children know that, and that's what goes on in their lives. God repeats things, right? In Deuteronomy 11, He says some of the same things. Let's go on to Deuteronomy 11 and we'll pick it up in verse 1. I'm going to repeat some things, but it's okay to repeat it. God repeats it because he wants it in our minds. It's important to him and should be important to us.
Deuteronomy 11:1-2 "Therefore you shall love the Lord your God and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments and His commandments always. Know today," God says, "I don't speak with your children who haven't known and haven't seen the chastening of the Lord your God, His greatness and His mighty hand and His outstretched arm."
You've seen it. You know what God has brought you to see. You know how God opened your minds. You see what God has worked in your life. They haven't seen it, but you do and they will learn it from you. His signs and His acts, which He did in the midst of Egypt, to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, and to all His land. And He recounts these things, but we recount them with the story of how we know God and how we have faith in Him and the things that He's done in our lives where we absolutely knows or we absolutely know that he's with us.
Deuteronomy 11:7-8 "But your eyes have seen every great act of the eternal which He did. Therefore you shall keep every commandment which I command you today, that you may be strong and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess."
Do you want to be in God's Kingdom? Do you want to be in the resurrection? Do you want to be part of the first fruits? God says what we need to do here. This is the worldview that needs to direct us and be in our minds, hearts. The decisions, the choices we make filtered through what He says.
Deuteronomy 11:8-9 "That you may be strong and go in and possess the land which you cross over to possess and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord swore to give your fathers to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey."
Deuteronomy 11:13-16 "It shall be that if you earnestly," so we have earnestly obey the commandments, diligently teach them to your children, carefully observe everything that God says, "It shall be that if you earnestly obey my commandments, which I command you to love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, I'll give you all the blessings of the land, the rain, the early rain, the latter rain. Take heed," verse 16, "to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them."
That you don't get deceived, that you don't let go of God, that you continue to carefully, diligently, and earnestly follow God and allow him to mold us into who he wants us to be, weeding out all of the attitude problems, sins, faults, other weaknesses that he helps us to see. Don't turn aside and serve other gods and worship them.
Deuteronomy 11:18-22 "Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and your soul and bind them as a sign on your hand. They shall be as frontlets between your eyes." And in verse 19, "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up, write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which he swore to you, like the days of the heavens above the earth. For if," verse 22, "if you carefully keep all these commandments, which I command you to do, to walk in all His ways and to hold fast to Him, God will conquer your enemies ahead of you."
He will help you. He will with his Holy Spirit give you the power to overcome all those things that do so easily beset. And that could be our enemies. Biblical worldview, teach God's truth, teach God's commandments. Write them in your heart and mind because it isn't until you model them and they become part of your life that your children will see that as well. They'll see the choices you make. They'll watch as you decide what to do and they hear God as part of the mix in the conversation. Teach them. Teach them to obey God, teach them that He is love, teach him that He wants them to be, teach them who they are. They are godly offspring. Remind yourself these are the responsibilities I have. God gave me these blessings and I need to fulfill what He has given me. Part of how we glorify Him is to do the things that He wants us to do and that our children, even when they are old, they may stray for a while, but when they are old, they won't depart from it. They won't depart from it.
As we're teaching them to obey God, let's go to Isaiah 7. Teach them about evil. Teach them that the world around them may appear to be friendly, may appear to be good and we don't hate people, but we do hate evil. Isaiah 7:14, as God is the days of the king here who just kind of rejected and resisted God up and down, King Ahaz. He wouldn't let God give him any signs.
Isaiah 7:14 Isaiah tells him, "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call his name Immanuel. Curds and honey He will eat."
So, the fancier way of saying He will be reared from birth that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. That word, refuse, is kind of a mild word when you look it up in the Hebrew, it really means that He will choose the good and despise the evil, reject the evil. Our children can be taught to reject the evil, choose life as God says in Deuteronomy 30:19, to choose life and to have that worldview of where we are going beyond this physical life. Just a few scriptures on hating evil and that we need to hate evil, not the people that practice it, but to hate the sin and to not allow ourselves to get to the point where we tolerate it, accept it, think it's okay, allow us to compromise a little with God's clear commands and thinking, well, it's okay.
If we turn over to Proverbs 8:13, the fear of the Lord. We've talked about the fear of the Lord, something that should be at the base of all of our minds and the foundation of our being.
Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth, God says, He hates.”
So should we. Not the person. Hate the sin. Don't tolerate the sin. Psalm, going back, book before, Psalm 87. Psalm 87:10. Well, it's not Psalm 87:10. Let's bypass that one in the interest of time and go over to the New Testament, Romans 12. I have something about the Psalms. I don't... I read them and I guess I do it from memory and write the wrong thing down. Romans 12. Psalm 97:10. You can read that later. I will make that change here, 97:10.
Romans 12:9 "Let love," Paul writes, "be without hypocrisy. Abhor," strong word, abhor, "what is evil, cling to what is good."
Hebrews 1:9 "You have," God speaking of Jesus Christ, "You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. Therefore, God, your God has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions."
Hate evil. Do what is good. Teach the commands of God, but hate evil. So many things to teach our children that they follow the way of God. Let's go back here to Ephesians 6. I mentioned Ephesians 6 earlier. Ephesians 5 is quite a treatise on marriage and the relationship between husband and wife. God pictures it as a re-picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church, the oneness that should be there, walking in unity, embracing the way of God. In Ephesians 6:4, he talks about children.
Ephesians 6:4 He says, "Fathers, don't provoke your children to wrath." He doesn't say mothers there, but fathers. "Fathers, don't provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."
Why doesn't he mention mothers there? Well, if you read through Ephesians, and one day we'll have to do a sermon on the role of men and the role of women, now what it is that God has, with the roles they placed him in, it goes all the way back to the time of Adam and Eve. The man is the spiritual head of the house. He is to be setting the standard, and the wife is there to help him. She is there with the children every day. She follows his commands. They work together as they raise their children with unity of purpose, with unity of mission, with unity of how they will teach them and what they will teach them, hopefully even more so on a daily basis, every single day about God going forward. Fathers, it's your responsibility. Men, it's our responsibility. God gave it to us. We have to be following Him, knowing Him, understanding it, and setting the example in our lives. No compromise. Clear, right down the path, what God says, what you say, I will do. Needs to be our mission. If we go back to the very last book of the Old Testament again in Malachi, The very last three verses. God makes quite a statement as the last prophecy here and why Malachi is written.
Malachi 4:4-5 He says, "Remember, remember the law of Moses my servant which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel with all the statutes and judgments. Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
Elijah was a prophet at the time when Israel had turned from God. King Ahab was in power. He had married the wicked queen Jezebel. And God sent Elijah and his message was, "Turn back to God." Now in Luke... Keep your finger there in Malachi, but in Luke, opening verses in the New Testament, we see God repeating this. In Luke 1:17 we see that Jesus, or not Jesus Christ, but John the Baptist, as he is being miraculously conceived and born.
Luke 1:17 It says, "He will go before Christ, in the spirit and power of Elijah, turned the people back to God, to the Jewish nation that had departed from what God wanted them to do. He will go in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
We live in a time where your and my job, our calling is we need to complete the commission that Jesus Christ gave us. We need to be preparing the way for Jesus Christ's return, which is whenever God intends it to be, a time that we can see more clearly as we go through events in the world and have revealed to us even attitudes and things that come out as a result of those things that we can see where the world is headed. We need to be remembering the law of God. We need to be even more diligently than before, applying it into our lives, and knowing that God is using us to prepare the way for His coming. We must not only tell the world the truth of God and send the warning message, we need to be giving it to ourselves and reminding ourselves there's a warning message that we need to be giving ourselves. The time is growing short. The time is now to be shoring up and doing the things that God wants us to do and intends for us to do with ourselves, with each other, with the Church, with the message that he gives to the world and in what we do and how we raise and rear our children as we give them the gift of life through the things that we teach them.
Malachi 4:5 John the Baptist was there, but notice verse 5 says, "Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord," that's the times you and I live in. We all have a part in this. In verse 6, "and he will turn."
This kind of dramatic verse, and in light of everything that's going on in the world today and how we see youth and people who have not been reared in anything of God, they've been allowed to do their own things. "He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children." Why do the hearts of the fathers have to be turned to the children? To give them the gift of life, to give them the gift of knowing God, to give them and make sure that in their homes and in their areas, God's way is being done. Not the Biblical worldview of the churches in the world, the Biblical worldview of God from the Bible, every word. Directly and clearly as God says, “it's the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers,” who will love them and thank them for the commitment that they give in teaching them the right way and showing them that the way of the world only leads to death. And even though there may be difficult times and choices that have to be made, you always choose God. It leads to life.
Malachi 4:6 "The hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come," God says, "and strike the earth with a curse." Can you look at the Hebrew word, "unless I come and strike the earth with utter destruction."
Huge responsibility God has called us to. He's given us the Spirit, He's given us every tool, He's given us His Word, we know what it is, we just need to do it. Are we up to the challenge? I know we are. We just have to pay attention. We just have to do what God has to say. And we have to have our focus and our commitment in doing it the way God says and not allowing time and the world to put us to sleep, to cause us to be lax, but to be living by every word of God and adopting the Biblical, true, Biblical worldview.