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Countering The Culture – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
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June 12, 2024 1:00 am

Countering The Culture – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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June 12, 2024 1:00 am

Too often, parents will settle for good children, not godly children. They’re not ready for their kids to stand against the worldly culture. In this message from Deuteronomy 6, Pastor Lutzer gives us the first three of fourteen “commandments” all parents must follow to raise not just good kids, but godly kids. How are Christian families counter-cultural?

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Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

Hi, this is Pastor Lutzer. Let me ask you a question.

Have you been blessed by running to win? Recently, we received a very interesting proposal. One of our listeners has pledged up to $25,000 for those who contribute to this ministry for the first time. Now, this only lasts until the end of June.

Would you take advantage of this opportunity of doubling your gift? Here's what you do. forward slash matching.

That's forward slash matching, or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. A rising tide of media filth, immorality, and political correctness threatens the foundations of our society. Today, get set for some alarming news.

Stay tuned. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, we can't help but live in the culture we're born into. I hope you have a defense plan we can use.

Well, you know, Dave, any defense plan that you can possibly come up with has to be scripturally based, and I believe that this message does that. But I also want to emphasize a point that you are making that we cannot avoid the culture. We've not asked for what we sometimes call the culture war. The culture war has come to us. And of course, what we have to do is to respond to it, and families are being destroyed today because of the culture. The family is being redefined.

Very recently, I read how that there are those who say that the married couple are privileged, and therefore everyone has to be privileged because they have certain tax breaks. We're living at a very confused time, and yet God has put us into this time. And that's why I believe so deeply that this message is going to be a blessing. I believe that it will be a message of instruction. For a gift of any amount, we're making available a book I've written entitled A Practical Guide for Praying Parents. I wrote this book to give encouragement, to give hope, and to emphasize this. There are many people out there who want good kids. They don't necessarily pray that they will have godly children.

And there's a difference. That's why we should be praying that God would capture the hearts of our children. For a gift of any amount, we're making this book available, and at the end of this broadcast, I'm going to be giving you that contact info. But for now, let us listen. A little girl who was sitting next to her mother in the church noticed that the pastor was taking his wristwatch off and putting it on the podium, just like I'm doing today. And she said, what does that mean, Mommy? And the mother said, shh, it doesn't mean a thing. I may not get through today's sermon.

I may have to put it in next week's sermon. I believe that there are thieves that are stealing our children today. If the thieves were to break through windows and steal their bodies, we'd call the police. But because the thieves don't do that, because the thieves steal the soul, parents often do not care.

And if they care, they don't know what to do. I believe that this may be one of the most anti-family times in the history of the world. Now, of course, the family has always been under attack.

You've always had the church in the midst of paganism. That is not new. What is new is the entertainment industry. No generation of parents in the past has ever had to raise children with MTV. No generation in the past has ever had to raise children with violent movies filled with sexuality. And then, of course, the Internet.

Now with a click of the mouse, you can have a porn shop in the privacy of your own home. Our challenges are unique. Never before in history have parents tried to rear children under those conditions. In fact, I would liken it onto a tsunami, a tidal wave that is engulfing the whole United States of America. Children purchasing cell phones that can download pornography from the satellite.

And that tsunami is not only engulfing children, it is also engulfing adults and sometimes whole families. So I have to ask you today, what are you doing as a parent? What are you doing if faithfully, intentionally and unitedly to stand against a culture that wants your child and is willing to do anything possible to get the soul of those whom you love?

What are you doing? A youth pastor in another church, a very fine evangelical church, told me that he finally concluded that most Christian parents do not want godly children. What they want is good children.

Children who won't give them a hard time, children who won't do drugs and sex and children who will fit in very well with all of their peers, but not necessarily godly children who will stand against the culture, because in the minds of many parents, one of the worst possible things you can do is to expect your child to stand against what his other peers happen to be doing. And if a child can't do it, we think that is really awful because he's going to feel bad. What is it that we are after when we raise our children? Someone has said that we want independent, spirit-filled children who know the difference between right and wrong and the courage and the power to do what is right. The Bible might put it a little differently. We are to rear children who love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, with all of our minds and with all of ourselves and our neighbor as we love ourselves. That's what God wants.

Not just good kids, but godly kids. Today when I speak on this, I am entering into Satan's territory. This is where he rules.

This is where he is king. What he is saying is, oh, get your children. If it's not through the internet, it'll be through movies.

If it's not through movies, it's the friends that your children choose at school. It'll be through drugs. One way or another, I will get your children. And I'm here today to tell you that by God's grace, we have to say, no, you won't get our children. Our text is the sixth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy chapter six.

God says in verse one. Now this is the commandment, the statutes and rules that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all of his statutes and his commandments, which I command you all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Here therefore, oh Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord the God of your fathers has promised you in the land flowing with milk and honey.

Here, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise, you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Wow, God says fathers, fathers, you have the responsibility of passing the torch to your sons. Mothers, you are included in the process and God says the goal is to love me with all of your heart and to teach your children to love me and to fear me. That's the agenda.

So how are we going to be counter-cultural? Never before that I can remember have I ever preached a message at Moody Church that has 11 points. Eleven points. You say, well, all right. I'm reminded of a man who left a meeting because the sermon was long and the pastor pointed him out just like I would if you were to get up and leave right now. And he said to him, where are you going? And the man said, I'm going to get a haircut. The pastor said, well, why didn't you get a haircut before you came in here?

He said, when I came in here, I didn't need one. Here's what I've decided to do. I'm going to quit at a certain time today, whether I'm finished or not, and I'm going to pick it up next week. In fact, I didn't even make a conclusion to this message because I knew that there was no way that I could possibly get to the conclusion today.

The conclusion will come next time. I know that the outline that you have says probably 11 principles. This morning I thought, no, these aren't principles. I should rename them commandments. Commandments. Now, Moses had his 10 commandments. I have 11 commandments.

So naturally, you might ask the question, where did you get yours from? Well, I had a discussion with the pastoral staff and then I sat at my computer and I was aiming for 10, but ended up with 11. Are you ready for the first commandment? The first commandment in fulfilling this scripture and from time to time, we shall directly refer to the scripture. Some of these commandments are based on some common sense and wisdom that any one of us, if we thought about it, would come up with.

The first commandment is this. Be informed regarding the culture and your children's activities. Parents, do you know what movies your children are watching? Do you know who their friends are when they come home? Do you say, tell me what happened in school and you listen non-judgmentally, you listen so that they can tell you and you're absorbing it into your soul and you're not reacting, trying to correct, trying to say this or that. But but you're learning and you are listening, listening.

Are you doing that? Do you know where your child is? Have you entered into your child's life and the sphere in which your child goes to school or the friends that he has? Every once in a while, we wake up and we discover that there was another terrible shooting in one of our high schools. When the parents are interviewed, they usually say, oh, we didn't know we thought everything was fine.

Oh, really? Then investigation shows what the kids were watching on the Web site. If the parents had talked to the teenager, if the parents had seen some of the warning signs, the notes that they wrote, if the parents had just gone into the child's room, they'd have seen the posters. And they'd have known that this child is on a very, very dangerous path. But parents say today, well, I can't go into my child's room. Oh, really?

You can't? Of course, if you're a snoop, your child is going to reject that. But there ought to be some kind of a semblance of relationship by which you can say, it is important for me to know what you are watching on the Internet.

It is important for me to know who you hang out with in school. And if the child does not want that to be your business, you lovingly and sweetly make it your business because God says it's your business. So first of all, know the culture and your children's activities. So many parents think if I don't deal with it, then either A, maybe it won't be there or else B, it'll just go away by itself. What I don't investigate somehow is going to turn out OK.

It won't. Number one, commandment number one, be informed about the culture in your children's activities. Commandment number two, combine a meaningful relationship with rules.

A meaningful relationship. The scripture says in Ephesians, children obey your parents, but then it says fathers do not provoke your children to anger. I have in my family file a list of twenty seven different ways that fathers provoke their children to anger. And one is to have rules and to say we're going to keep these rules. And the important thing is the rules without the heart, without the relationship. And so children begin to rebel against the rules and they begin to say, I hate my dad, so I hate his God. And they and they begin to so despise the rules that because they don't like their father, they will deliberately do what he does not want done. So the girl will marry the guy that her father despises just to get even with him, just to teach him, just to irritate him.

From my heart to yours, rules have no power in themselves to keep your child from going in the wrong way. Only a relationship can do that. Rules are important, but it's relationships that are the strength. It's that it's that loving relationship where the child wants to please you because the relationship has been destroyed.

I shouldn't say that. I meant restored where the relationship has been restored. Later on, we talk about relationships that have been destroyed. Commandment number two, combine meaningful relationships with rules. Number three, discipline.

Discipline is essential. You say, does that mean we should spank our children? Of course, that means that you should spank your children. It's probably the ones who weren't spanked that didn't clap. There are two reasons why spanking children has fallen out of favor today.

One is because of abuse. If you're abusive and angry and you just flail away at a child, then do not touch your child. Whatever you do, spankings are not an opportunity for an adult to get his anger resolved or to get something off of his own chest. That is not what spanking is for. So if you do it that way, then don't. The purpose of spanking is to make sure that the will of the child is broken, but not the spirit of the child.

You must do it with care. Don't ever spank a child without later on putting your arms around him, taking him, assuring him that you do love him. Because if you want a healthy, emotional child who can function well as somebody who loves God, he or she needs to be spanked. Some more than others, as Rebecca and I discovered with our own children. My children will ask at this point, please move on.

The other reason is because of humanistic ideas. Oh, your little child is so good. Negotiate with him. Have you ever tried to negotiate with a three year old who has justified you?

Have you ever tried that negotiation? But I fear there are more Christians getting their advice as to how to rear a child from Dr. Phil than they are from the scriptures. And he may have some wisdom, but he will never teach you how to raise children who love the Lord, their God with all of their heart, with all of their mind and with all of their souls. Ray Comfort, in one of his messages that I heard, said that he disciplined one of his children. He gave the boy a spanking because of defiance. And then he hugged his boy and said, now you stay here until you're finished crying and then you come to me. And the little boy, still sniffling, found a sheet of paper. And Ray wondered, what in the world is he writing on it?

And he wrote on it. I love you, Daddy. The very same day, neighbor child who's never been spanked, never disciplined, said to his mother, I hate you.

And that's the difference. Do you want your child to love you? Do you want your child to hate you?

Needless to say, these are very complicated issues. I just want to emphasize that what we need as parents is great wisdom in dealing with our children. And of course, if you have children, you know that some of them may be different than others.

They all have their own personalities, their own traits, and we have to take that into account. But one thing we can do for all of our children and also, of course, for the greater culture, is to pray. That's why I've written a book entitled A Practical Guide for Praying Parents. And one of the things that I emphasize in this book is we need to pray that God will have their hearts. It isn't just a matter of behavior. It's a matter of the heart.

And what is it that God wants for our children? Well, in this book, I go through and give an example of praying for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, all the days of the week. For a gift of any amount, we're making it available for you. Here's what you can do. Go to

That's or pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-218-9337. And I want to thank you in advance for helping us. Because of people just like you, running to win continues to go around the world. We are passionate about preaching the gospel.

We are passionate in helping people make it successfully all the way to the finish line. It's time now for you to ask Pastor Lutzer a question about the Bible or the Christian life. There are differing views on the nature of the life after death and many wonder what to believe. Janice has written to us to say, I have a few questions about purgatory. According to scripture, does it exist? Why do Catholics insist that you must go through purgatory before you reach heaven?

Janice, two excellent questions. First of all, I see no evidence in the New Testament for the existence of purgatory. But the reason that purgatory came about is, in my opinion, because of a wrong view of justification. In Roman Catholic theology, justification is a cooperative effort between you and God. And therefore, it is never completed.

It's not as if you can say, now I am fully justified. And so the idea was that nobody dies righteous enough to go directly into heaven. They need to go to purgatory where they are purged from their sins. And after some time, and nobody knows how long purgatory is, after some period of time, they will be purged and then perfected and then they'll be able to go into heaven. When Martin Luther discovered the doctrine of justification by faith in the book of Romans, one of the doctrines that he dropped almost immediately was purgatory.

Because he saw something. Namely, that when we believe in Jesus Christ, his righteousness is immediately credited to us, despite our continuing sinfulness. And therefore, because we are received on the basis of Jesus Christ's merit, 100% his merit and not ours, we can go directly from this life into the next. God is able to receive us. Jesus proclaims us as perfect as he himself is. We're welcomed into heaven all because of Jesus.

That's what justification by faith alone really means. Thank you Janice and thank you Dr. Lutzer for those helpful words. If you'd like to hear your question answered, go to our website at and click on Ask Pastor Lutzer or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

That's 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Next time, more commandments for parents who care about their kids. Thanks for listening. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-12 03:09:14 / 2024-06-12 03:17:33 / 8

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