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April 16, 2021 8:00 am
God has an encouraging word for you and me today. The Bible-based breaching of Dr. Don Wilton and a message of the blessing of children.
This is The Encouraging Word Friedrich Dr. Don Wilton own author, evangelist, seminary professor, pastor, and today, leading us in this particular message experiencing God through the preciousness of our children will head to Matthew chapter 18 in just a moment Dr. Don Wilton remind you were here to connect with you. Would love to pray with you and for you as we go to the broadcast numbers 866-899-WORD 866-899-9673 or connect online as well. A tewonline.org that's where everyone's raving about this fresh new book from Dr. Wilson, Dr. Billy Graham call Saturdays with Billy again details at tewonline.org. Now today's teaching with Dr. Don Stern with me in your Bibles this morning to Matthew's gospel chapter 18 Matthew's gospel chapter 18 experiencing God through the preciousness about children whenever one begins to think about our children. One immediately begins to think about a lot of questions going. There is a very real sense in which when dealing with children, particularly related to their spiritual well-being and their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, that we must understand very clearly where we stand in relation to what God's word teaches us about children this morning as we study God's word and I hope that you have a copy of God's word with you. I want us to look at two passages of Scripture in which Jesus specifically speaks to us about the preciousness about children from a spiritual perspective. Matthew chapter 18 in verses one through six. At that time the disciples came to Jesus and lost who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, not by May just pulls there for a second. I think that it is very important as adults to understand the question that was lost in order to understand the on so that was given here. These people gathering around Jesus and they were they were apparently Christian people. The Bible says they were his disciples. This was not a question that was lost by the non-Christian world.
This was a question that was lost by moms and dads and grandparents and single adults and college students who have a spiritual interest in the spiritual well-being of children.
This is going beyond bank balance. This is going beyond our own personal interests.
Yeah, they said, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I don't believe that they were expecting Jesus to say something about children, you know, it seems like the disciples were always jostling for a place of priority at the right hand side of the Lord Jesus Christ by Morris trying to find out someone who was going to be able to be seated closest to the king and Jesus gave a very interesting reply.
He said in verse two he called a little child and had him stand among them and he said I tell you the truth 90 times Jesus uses that word in the authorized version, he says, verily, verily I say unto you, whenever Jesus said that he was plunking and anchoring what he was saying in the mind of God. I tell you the truth, that unless you change grown-up disciples and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in mind, name welcomes me, but if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea not turn of the page to Matthew chapter 19 and verses 13 through 15 Matthew chapter 19 in verses 13 through 15.
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.
What a beautiful picture that is what a wonderful description.
What an excellent portrait of God's instruction to you and to me, but the disciples rebuked those who bought them login very interesting here that those who were the disciples of the Lord had great difficulty because Jesus was placing such an emphasis on little children, I mean all children should be seen but not heard. You know what you children know anyway we got we got important business here we we understand the theology we been to seminary.
We get up in business meetings and we all ask a lot of questions and we put the focus on all kinds of things in Jesus Messiah Inc. problem is that you constantly putting the focus on the wrong things you're out of black with my intent and my purpose. You need to keep the main thing the main thing.
That's what Jesus was saying to these people is disciples rebuked those who brought them is not amazing that there's always going to be somebody who's not going to understand this brutal things of God and the Bible says that even his disciples had a problem with someone as precious as children and the priority that he was giving to the so Jesus said in here is the key with the little children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these, when he had placed his hands on them.
He went on from there. I the Lord righties word upon our hearts.
When does a child qualify for salvation how old Mr. child be what happens to my child if he or she dies before he or she has given his or her heart to Jesus. I think this passage ever addresses many of these issues and I'm going to just touch on them briefly what awful overriding principles that I believe Jesus said with these disciples about experiencing God through the preciousness of children number one they have been clearly identified. They have been clearly identified but I mean this passage in chapter 8, 19 in both verses verse 13 and in verse 14, but again in chapter 18 verses one through six. You can go to one John and read about the apostle John writing to the church, the Christian people and literally begging them to become as little children. In fact, if you go throughout one jar, which we preached on last week you going to find out that he uses this word little children constantly and there is a tremendous linkage between what Jesus was identified in terms of what we know and what Jesus was identified in terms of what he knew about the kingdom of heaven about the character of heaven and about those who are qualified to enter into God's presence. They were clearly identified. Jesus didn't mince these words he spoke about the little children and it seems to me, as I'm sure that it seems to you that Jesus took these precious little ones that we could just gobble up and eat most of the time and we just took them any place them upon his knee and he loved him and he turned to those around about them and he said to them, please are the ones who characterize and epitomize all of the grace of God and every mark of distinctiveness about that place called heaven and God's kingdom. Just look to a child.
He put them in the absolute place of prominence. He didn't say make them secondary or third. He said you bring them into the front of the line. He's going to say in just a moment I'm not only going to tell you that these little children are precious, but I'm going to take it to the absolute eternal limits of my outpouring grace and I'm going to tell you that the kingdom of heaven belongs to them while was he stretching the point. Principle number two, number one, they been clearly identified number two, they have been divinely authorized. They have been divinely authorized UCLA in verse 14 Jesus used the word let down the authorized version that where there is software, he says, suffer the little children to come onto me and walked and filled them not. You see when Jesus began to explain to his disciples that we experience God through the preciousness about children. He handed down a divine authorization folks. I want you to know something as a congregation that none of us would ever defile parental authority. I would never tell a child to dissipate his parents never but I'm going to say to you, my friends, that when it comes to little children and their spiritual well-being. God mandates his divine authorization and he says I don't care what or when or how I have open. Let these little children come to me and do not vent them from doing so. You say how can you prevent children from coming to him while in the life of a believer.
It's possible it's possible for me to prevent my children from coming to Christ and the reason is not because I am deliberately doing that, but because as a parent I have a wonderful concern for the well-being of my child and I'm petrified that my child is going to make a decision that's going to amount to nothing but a hill of beans so that when my child is a teenager while they thought they died they look Christ.
They never had a personal relationship with theirs. Not apparent in your fears that happening, and it does. But you see, my friend. Salvation.
Salvation is the work of God. It begins in God, and it ends in God I would draw the on the part of my child making a decision for Christ and on the path of preventing them from coming to know Christ, statisticians and youth workers like Blankenship tell us that the older person becomes the mole less likely it is that they will give their lives to Christ.
And Jesus was saying at the earliest possible date at that age of accountability when that child is ready to respond to the gospel and to the moving of the spirit of God you guys believe is needed and back and rejoice and teach and nourish and undergird and do everything that we possibly can I try and meet with parents when they children make professions of faith. I know that I cannot do that with everybody in the congregation but I do it with a lot it's an absolute priority to me. But then in the life of the unbeliever and unbeliever can prevent children from coming to know Christ. Probably my most sad experience was years ago when my father-in-law was posturing in a place called Kentwood, Louisiana. There was a story regarding to the newspapers about a vacation Bible school and the little girl he gave her life to Christ. When she got home. In her childlike place she worked in the door and said mommy and daddy I gave my heart to Jesus and that he said you did, did you got into his car and drove to the Parsons home and when the pasta opened the door. The father beat the posture up very severely when he had finished beating him up and getting all the anger out of him.
He said I hate to even say this, but it was in the newspaper. He said I want you to know you so much as ever talk to my daughter about Jesus or God or any other kind of stuff. I'll come back and kill are you not secure in Spartanburg and we say that's unbelievable but that's a radical example. But I'm going to tell you that there are people all over the world today who will solve all the see their children go and see an X-rated movie then to give their lives to Jesus Christ. Jesus said, suffer the little children to come onto me, and forbid them not, but there's 1/3 principle number one they have they been clearly identified number two, they have been divinely authorized. Number three. They have been specifically direct.
You see, Jesus said in verse 14. Let the little children come to me in another passage, Jesus said this, he said, come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy like Jesus wasn't saying his parents that our goal ought to be come to church, which ought to be one of our goals are goal ought not to be look at us at what we are doing our goal ought not to be sing in the choir will become a part of key change or the youth group goal to be that in everything that we do. We need to direct the child to the Lord Jesus Christ.
It's a specific direction it's pointing that child to the cross.
It's majoring on the Lord Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Perhaps it's exactly what the apostle Paul was trying to say when he said I saved to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. But I have been clearly identified. You don't have to guess about whom Jesus was speaking by been divinely authorized. Jesus said this is what I've decided do it number three they been specifically direct.
But not before they being eternally secure. They had being eternally secure. This is a wonderful four Jesus said, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these folks. I want to say something without any apology in my heart.
People lost from time to time and justifiably so.
If my child on my baby dies where it is that baby or child goes if they have not had the opportunity yet because of their maturity in the age to give their life to Christ.
Dante there is no doubt in my mind they ghostwrite to him. They ghostwrite to have a new site. How can these things be.
If a child is a sinner site center condemned to die. Absolutely folks, I cannot explain the sovereignty of God, but I do know that if a child or baby has never had an opportunity because of its his older age to make a decision in response to the spirit of God. I am convinced that Jesus Christ was telling us that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as the please forgive the interruption will be back in just a moment the doctor will to insist I interrupt to let you know we're here for you were connecting both on our website GW online.org and his phone number and would love to talk with you. Pray with you connect with great resources at 86689 the number down start yourself. 866899673 will connect with one of us talk the center pray for connect with wonderful resources like the new book from Dr. Wilson call Saturdays with Billy.
You haven't heard about it. It's an exciting new project here's Dr. Don Wilton more hello everybody you know my friends know me as Don Wilton, pasta, friend, neighbor, dad, husband, grandpa that I'm going to tell you people all around the world just like you know and identified Dr. Billy Graham is that man brought you reach so many people around the I had knowing Mr. Wright very intimate both as he's friend and as he supposed. In fact, for many, I drove up to his Montreat, North Carolina and visited with him every sector just like friends do everywhere we sat together and ate together, walked we discussed politics frames cases people we loft kids will we did everything one could possibly imagine.
That's why I wrote this Saturdays with it's all about a personal relationship, and I hope and pray that Saturdays with Billy will be a blessing to you will inspire and will encourage your heart, just as Mr. Graham encouraged my heart and changed my life. God bless you my friend number to call for more information on how you can get your copy of that great book is 866899 word that's 866-899-9673 or take a look right now on tewonline.org your website you'll find out how you can get a copy that's TE W online.org back to today's great teaching experiencing God to the preciousness of our children with Dr. Don Wilton is no doubt consistently ride throughout Scripture. But then I believe Jesus was taking us further into the mind of Christ. At this juncture. He was telling us that they are being eternally secure.
What is that mean he was talking about the character of heaven. He was talking about the qualification entrance into heaven.
How does eternal security and membership in God's eternal bliss and glory applied to the life of a child. Well, there are many characteristics of the child, but I want to share just for them with you. Consider a child's tenderness. What Jesus was saying is that if you want to understand what it means to belong to the kingdom of heaven look at a child become like a child tenderness.
You see I child's tenderness is something that you and I cannot even begin to describe. I mean these children down here and it is just it is so spontaneous and it is so pure and it is so deep and it is so heartbreaking.
It just dips down into your very heart and your soul.
What a wonderful blessing. What a wonderful blessing look around our boys and girls and we just love them so much and you consider a child's tenderness and you gain a little glimpse of what Jesus was trying to teach us about eternal security and have a number to consider a child's faith.
I challenge any of you to go to a child and say would you give me a theological discourse on your understanding of all the potential possibilities about the sovereign grace of God it's guaranteed that child was gonna site you wait a minute, Dr. Wilson, your mental verbosity is far beyond the comprehension of mine, very intelligent, at which point you cite jolly good you qualified to become a Christian. Consider a child's faith. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so little ones to him belong.
They are weak but he is strong yes Jesus loves me yes Jesus loves me yes and guess what Jesus loves you too. How do I know that for the Bible tells me so.
The day in this church folks that we ever become a church makes God forbid, a decision that all we gonna do is preach up here, we're in trouble.
The day we stop preaching, so the children can understand is the day we missing the mark of what God has called us to do.
That's why we have discipleship training groups and everything else and Sunday nights and on and on.
The list goes a child's tenderness of child's face number three of child's dependency.
I'll guarantee you can tell a child to do almost anything if they love you they got a good that's what makes the things that some people do to children so horrendous, so say in society but then there's a full thing about children. Consider a child's joy, just the joy of a child is an amazing, you know this just nothing like it.
You know when I came out on the parking lot more sunlight here comes this little one, and I mean she's just over the joy of life on the net pricing just out of the parking lot. I mean just just going him and seek, you know, she could just get into what if you wanted to get mad. I mean it's just everything. This one I mean she's alive and she runs and she saw the little brother of the employee to start running down the hill and on her face. It just breaks my why she didn't deserve the wish I could get down. Then just scrape the pain of her and Edith and have it myself. Just think of a child's joy over 35 years ago, my wife's sister Priscilla both found herself in the Sunday school follows my father-in-law and mother-in-law, Rev. involved in during that Sunday school based upon a lot of love my sister-in-law that I did note that time gave her life, my wife's sister pursue her life to Jesus on next Sunday and was, she said, Lord Jesus, the model the next day they went on holiday in a few days off the deck. Priscilla filling her swimming you know that was over 35 years ago and my parents not seen the agony in the face that I can never forget the joy that they express every time because Priscilla given a heart value kids with me. There are many doing what Dr. Don just asked us all to do to bow our heads to open our hearts and ready close her eyes to close out some distractions. Whether it's the distractions in our worship center.
That is the sanctuary or the hangar work wherever you might be right now where every heart ask you to do the same thing you're driving. But if you have the opportunity block out some of the distractions and ask yourself not have you heard something unique from Dr. Don Wilton's, but perhaps have you heard through God's messenger Dr. Don Wilton a loving message from God about how you are his child, that is if you said yes to.
If you have not said yes and asked the Lord to come into your life to be your savior, then you are not his child and he is using this broadcast to let you know he loves you he is a plan for you in this life.
A place for you in heaven. Reason for you to live every single day to the fullest in his power, but you have to say yes to him for Dr. Don preach, but I pray you open your heart to a doctor that was to share from your rating to give your life to Christ, so that I pray this prayer on. I know that the Lord Jesus died on the cross, they direct pain to face/bike Jesus if you prayed that pray for first one welcome to the family. This one I hope that you know how much I'm praying very weak in life, you can begin this wonderful June and in just a moment. I'm in a come back with the final if you just gave your life to Jesus Christ, praying along with Dr. Wilton. Maybe rededicate your life all we have wonderful resources Dr. Don Wilton to have if you call us and let us know at 866898668999673 would love to connect with you or connect with you on the keyboard keyboard firstname.lastname@example.org and again we mentioned earlier, Swisher one more time with Dr. Don Wilton share about this great new resource.
The book Saturdays with Billy my book Saturdays with is about an extraordinary relationship with a precious man impacted lives across the you don't want to miss this opportunity to be inspired by his life to if you like to discover how you can get your copy of that great book with Dr. Don Wilton sharing his heart about Saturdays with calls that 866-899-WORD 866-899-9673 email us at email@example.com TE W online