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April 9, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Run the Race,” with a message titled “The Chastening of God’s Children” from the book of Hebrews 12:5-8.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where the focus would be on Christ.
So he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform.
Dr. Steve Pettit, long time evangelist and now president of Bob Jones University is continuing a study series entitled run the race, which is a study of the book of Hebrews chapter 12 let's now listen to today's message where Steve will show us the loving discipline that God sometimes miscues on his children and ask if you'll take your Bibles and turn with me please to the book of Hebrews chapter 12 this morning, ask a favor. The is a look at the messages that I want to preach as I'm preaching through Hebrews 12. It's hard for me to say this is the most important over this particular sermon because it's God's word and it's always important, but sometimes a sermon is more practical and application all at a particular time than other messages.
We know walking through this whole idea of running the race. The Christian life of faith, of perseverance. What I want to give you this morning I believe might be the most important and practically applicable message. I think they all will be, but I think this might be the one dominant ask you to do your very very best to listen and pay careful attention to what I want to talk about this morning and let me begin with an illustration between my freshman and sophomore years of college I worked in Columbia South Carolina for a moving company called beacon Van line so we would go and pack up homes in and pack up trailers and for 18 wheeler truck you truck and trailer and then a ship and move furniture from one location to another location so I would work all day long and at the end of the day I would drive over to the University of South Carolina in about 6 o'clock every single day we would spend about two hours playing soccer. One day I had Stella come to me said hey were going to go down to the College of Charleston this weekend working to play in the scrimmage mast match against the College of Charleston, would you go with us as a church.
So we drove down on Friday Friday afternoon. What I didn't realize was that we were actually playing indoor soccer. I thought we playing out so we were playing on a hard-core wooden floor at the College of Charleston, Jim, I've never played indoor soccer before, always outside and so we were playing a match in it was in I was a fun game and I went they had the ball and I miss the ball and across what I came down I came down in I sort of slammed into a body of a guy. Then I fell over to my left and my left ankle was turned in like this and I landed on my left ankle in those days I weighed about 195 pounds.
You say how much you weigh this morning, then your business, but I would hundred 95 and as soon as my foot hit the floor. I heard a pop and an incredible pain shot up my leg and I fell on the floor and I grabbed my ankle and I went down my ankle in the bone went out and came back in I said that's not very good. Well, eventually I ended up in the Baptist Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. I had ankle surgery. I had my left side of my ankle had to put pins in because at a spiral fracture of the right side of my leg of my ankle had the ligaments torn and ended up in a cast for nine weeks and I was out of the whole season of my sophomore year of college and playing soccer when I woke up at the Baptist hospital after surgery. Back in those days left the Bible for every patient and I pick up the Bible and almost immediately I knew I had broken my leg. I I've been a Christian for about four or five months I was saved my freshman year. This is between my freshman, sophomore years and immediately I realized at that time that I was going through what is called a chastening experience that I was definitely a Christian, but I can say this way. In simple terms, I had 1 foot in the church and 1 foot in the world and I really was not fully committed and surrendered the passage of Scripture were getting ready to read is a passage that deals with the way God chastens his people and I want to talk to you this morning about the chastening of God's children, because I think we all have a misunderstanding of what it means. Thus far, we've been talking about running the race and now the writer of Hebrews shifts any.
Now he goes into using family terms. As we read Hebrews 12 verses five through eight this morning.
I want you to notice the word signs is mentioned five times in the word chastening is mentioned five times so let's read it and then try to unpack it and understand what it is that were going through in our own personal lives.
We read beginning in verse five when he says these words and you have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as under children, my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him for whom the Lord loveth he chastening and scourge of every son whom we receive it. If you endure chastening, God deal with with you as with sons for what son is he whom the father chastening is not but if you be without chastisement where of all are partakers, then your bad stewards and not sons so shrilly clear that the writer here is talking about the subject of chastening.
So here we are wearing this theme of Hebrews about running the race. The race that is set before us persevering in during sticking it out and then he shifts into this concept of chastening. But when you see it you'll understand that in Durrant's is really basically foundational to what God is doing in our lives. So let me ask three questions this morning and try to answer them. First of all, what do we mean by chastening. Now when you think of chastening. What do you think of a positive or negative idea what you think. Well let me ask you question when you get a spanking when you're got a spanking grub.
How many of you were spanked when you were growing up. Okay, everybody here was that a positive or negative experience of the time.
I like with a low voice that was about.
Yes it does your mama spank you yes or does your daddy spanking yes or which one hurts the most. I deserve so we all understand that it's only think of chastening we actually think of it, naturally, naturally in the idea of some form of punishment or some form of judgment on God's people, and we think that way because it's a natural way for us to think about God, but actually that's not what chastening is all about. When you study the Bible carefully and you understand the cross would you come to understand is that when Jesus died on the cross, he suffered the full punishment for our sins. God's judgment.
God's wrath against sin. The wages of sin is death was paid for. When Jesus died on the cross so Jesus took the full weight of God's penalty so we could say this way, the death of Jesus was a penal's a penal sacrifice he suffered the penalty so that when he said on the cross. It is finished. That means the penalty will never be paid for.
Again, by the believer. So whatever happens in your life. It is not a punishment because God is not punishing his children in the sense of a retribution or a rejection. God is not going to reject you. What shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
So what then is chastening is not a form of punishment that leads to rejection it's actually approved of God's love.
It's a proof of his acceptance because the word chastening.
I'd like to use some other words, because you understand it better. The word chastening means training or it means learning or it means instruction in some cases with instructions.
There is correction right now. Let me give you some verses in the Bible that uses the with the same word that is used in Hebrews for chastening, but it's translated differently in English in various parts of the region five versus glyceryl carefully acts 722. Speaking of Moses, and Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds word learned is the word chastening do you think of chastening is that way maybe of yourself sitting in calculus class. Yes, but the fact is that when you are learning your being instructed you're actually been chastened.
That's the idea of the word right, here's another when asked, 22, three, and Paul says I am fairly a man which I'm a Jew born in Tarsus, a city and Scylla see yet I'm brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and Paul according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, the word tall. There is the word chastening of Paul's describing how we set in the feet of the rabbi Gamaliel and that's where he learned to learn from it and said literally, his teaching was chastening are here's another when he fees, and six more and you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath will bring them up in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.
The word nurture is more chastening so the raising of children.
The caring for children that nurturing process is actually the word chastening. Second Timothy 316 all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. The word instruction is the word chastening. So if you're learning if you're being taught.
If you're being nurtured.
If you are being instructed in the biblical idea is the idea of chastening. One of the word.
One of the time.
Titus 211 for the grace of God that bring us salvation hath appeared to all men teaching us chastening us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
So here Paul says that the grace of God teaches us a positive and a negative were the lives righteously, soberly, and godly in this world and were to deny ungodly lust and would to die worldliness okay. That whole idea that teaching he uses the word chastening. So what is involved in chastening education instruction protection correction it's like going to school Bob Jones University. The whole process of education is a process of chastening is primarily a positive idea because through it through chastening.
What you do, you mature, you grow you become a different person.
So whether it's protection or whether it's instruction or whether it's correction it's all a form of chastening. So let's put it all together. The writer of Hebrews is showing us that the heavenly father has an educational program or a training program. For example, some of you are going to graduate, go for your master and let's say your masters degree is in engineering or your masters degree is in PT school physical therapy or your masters degree is in and is in speech therapy or perhaps your masters degree is a master of divinity as you prepare for the ministry. That whole process of training and going to that school.
That's the idea chastening and what Hebrews is teaching us is that God has us in a training program and what is he take us through to train us go back and look at Hebrews 12 or seven, it says these words, if you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons that phrase if you endure tray chastening is translated in the ESV. I think it makes clearer sense there that it is for the purpose of chastening that you are having to endure.
In other words, as you go through this perseverance. The sticking it out.
This endurance is staying with it.
Okay, that's the way God trains his children. So here you are here in week like six or seven. Here, Bob Jones University's totally different than the first week you're in an endurance danger you're having to stick it out your having to continue on even when you don't feel like it. And this endurance which is which is your will, making choices, your mind, making your choices overcoming your emotion sticking with it. Staying with it all of that is a part of God's process of training you so when you endure trials and hardships.
It is for the purpose of discipline and this is exactly what Hebrews says Jesus. Listen to what it says Jesus learned obedience by the things which he suffered. He was made perfect or mature through his sufferings not think with me. If that's the way that Jesus matured the what about you and I you and I are going to go to the same experience. So we should resolve to be faithful to finish what we start no matter how difficult it is to stay with it to indoor because endurance is the process by which God is training his own children.
So if you want to be an engineer you gotta go through this if you want to be a doctor, you gotta go through this if you want to be an architect, you have to go through this if you want to be a spiritually mature Christian you have to go through this.
That's what he say I don't know where you are but I remember learning this at your age. I remember how helpful that was that I expected the process that I was going through and that I was being I was I was going through this struggle. And yet, I knew this was the way of the Lord that leads me to the second question and that is when does chastening then become a problem for believers because the fact is not a lot of quick not all Christians are enduring. Not all of them are sticking it out and I think there's no question that chastening is a struggle and is not a light or shallow struggle to give you a quote. I find this very interesting as read by CS Lewis in his book called the problem of pain.
He said mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear the frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden it's easier to say my tooth is aching then to say my heart is broken.
However, in light of our struggle with chastening. The writer here does something I want to go back and look at the text if you will, verse, verse five it says is actually a rebuke he says in, you are forgotten the exhortation which speaks of the US and the children, my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint, without rebuke to them.
What is the writer of Hebrews doing here. He's actually quoting Proverbs chapter 3 verses 1112 what he saying is you guys going through chastening your enduring and your being tempted to quit and then he lovingly and kindly rebukes him and he says hey guys you have forgotten something you forgot what Proverbs says what his problem say it says don't despise the chastening of the Lord, don't faint when you are rebuked of him.
What he is saying is that chastening becomes a problem for Christians when they fail to consider the truth that chastening is a clear sign of God's love. When you are going through this hard process.
It's not a form of rejection is actually a form of except that God actually loves you and why is this so important because God's love is to be the governing response of our heart. God's love is the lens through which I see these events in my life I see it to the love of God, like with the little boy said one day was that he said son I'm spanking you because I love you little boy said that I wish I was old enough to return my love it's really hard when you're in a difficult spot to see that God loves you because at the moment. You may not feel the emotion. My wife said to me one day sweetheart. Do you love me. I said of course I love you. She said why do you love me. I said because the Bible tells me to know that's not overly romantic but it actually helps because love is not an emotion that goes up and down when you get married you you you say you love each other but is more like you really like each other a whole bunch you like each other like you like hot dogs and hamburgers and shopping. But how long are you married before you discover things about each other.
You don't like and that's where love kicks in when you and I are going through difficult times. It's not a testimony that God doesn't love us. It's a testimony that he done but there are often in on our behalf. Their wrong responses and what are the wrong responses go back and look at what he says in verse five he says my son don't despise the chastening of the Lord and don't faint when you're rebuked of them. There are two negative responses to chastening and please listen to me very carefully place the snow, I'm about to say the first negative response that we all are guilty of is that we despise his chastening. What is it mean to despise it means to treat something in a light way a small matter and generally we do this through negative reactions. For example, when things are hard. What is the most natural thing to do.
The most natural thing to do is to complain and when you complain. Listen to me, look at me with your eyeballs look at me I'm talking to you this morning. If you complain that you are shutting down God's love in your life because what you're really saying God is that you made a mistake. You really messed up because I should not be experiencing this but I am therefore uncomplaining against your providences when in reality what that is is God's way of showing you is love because through this. You are enduring and through this you are maturing and some of you bless your heart. Have never learned that what comes out of your mouth is a revelation of your heart.
Some of you are the biggest gripe is on planet Earth, and you should be ashamed of yourself because it's it's you're despising God's providences. Some of you get irritated some of you get Eric some of you are so irritable. Every little thing bothers you complaining you cried. But this about this. Why don't you just be quiet shot.
Close your mouth and use your brain and remember what God says, for whom the Lord lives. He chastens God is using this in your life but you cannot despise it. How do we despise it when we live with constant confusion because we cannot see God's purposes and design. You know what you may not always see his purpose and design what you can trust him that he is a good good father and then thanking or thanking. I don't understand the Lord. I don't want my negative emotion of unbelief to overrule and control me. The second thing that we do is not only do we's despise. But secondly we shut down emotionally, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. The idea fainting is losing your heart is getting discouraged with the number one problem with college students today. The number one problem is mental illness went on about mental illness. Not to say there's there's something wrong with your brain on talking about the five primary things are often mentioned a mental illness like depression, anxiety, going through eating disorders, substance abuses, ADD, OCD, all those things and if you look at the core of almost all of those problems that people face mentally it's actually rooted in fear. That's what depression is all about. That's what anxiety is primarily about and what is it, the Bible says deals with love, deals with fear. Perfect love casts out all fear. When you and I go through things will we struggle with being depressed.
What is the answer of God, for whom the Lord love. He's taking you through this training process. God intends for us to constantly reflect on his love and when you and I shut down emotionally is that we have failed to remember that God loves us so let me finish quickly this morning. That is what is the proper attitude towards chastening. My time is very limited. But here the writer tells us basically that there's a positive attitude and that is if you endure chastening if you stick it out if you understand this, and God is dealing with you as with sons for what son is he whom the father chastening thought Gary saying that God treats you as a father that he loves you when you go through these hard times so hard times are testimony of God's love is not a testimony of God's rejection. It means a God loves you. But secondly, there's a negative point here, and that is if you never undergo discipline that means you're not God son but if you are without chastisement were of all are partakers that you pastors cannot send you an illegitimate child.
What son is not disciplined by his own father. I have two boys that I discipline them as they were growing up. Yes. Did I love you I love them again this did I discipline somebody else's voice. No, they're not mine, but God disciplines his own and so what are we to do. We go through the struggles we are to learn how to counsel ourselves.
Do you know that you have the ability to counsel yourself is called talking to yourself. Everybody in this room talk to yourself you're watching my talk to themselves organized in you do it all the time you wake up your mind starts talking to yourself that you can do what one or two things. Either you can listen to your own heart, which is a recipe for disaster because what comes out of your heart, is sinful or you can listen to God's word by telling yourself got and their three things that you need to tell yourself number one the first thing you need to tell yourself, since God is chasing me his number one on God's child. That's the first thing you tell yourself you say that this morning set with me I am God's child, say like you really already I am God's child, child of God, I'm a child of God. Number two God loves me. Would you say that this morning set God you love me now if you listen to your heart. You can say I don't feel like God loves me what will your hearts, lying, the heart is deceitful. You lie to yourself. The number three God is changing me for good. Can you say that God is changing me for good.
I am God's child said God loves me say it, God is changing me for good.
Say it than what you do, you're giving yourself counsel.
Don't believe your heart believe God's truth that will never lie to you and how we are going through this endurance process. Why, because God is training us is what chastening is God is training us because he's maturing us and growing us how if you could just get this if you could just say okay I get it and I believe it will change your life.
Father, thank you for your thank you that you love us. Thank you God that you we are your children and thank you God that you changing us for good. In Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon from Hebrews 12 by Dr. Steve Pettit president Bob Jones University.
For more information on Dr. Pettit series visitor website.
The Daily Platform.com where you can get a copy of Steve study booklet entitled run the race. The Kindle version is also available. Thanks again for listening.
Join us again next week as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform