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Prodigal Children...of All Ages

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September 1, 2022 12:16 am

Prodigal Children...of All Ages

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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September 1, 2022 12:16 am

Prodigal Children...of All Ages

Steve talks to Dr. Stuart Scott from BJU seminary to talk about the prodigal son and how this story relates to us.

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Welcome back, everybody. It is Theology Thursday with our friends at BGU Seminary and Bob Jones University, and we're trying to get connected with Dr. Stuart Scott, who's one of the just greatest proponents of Christian counseling in America. He joined BGU Seminary this summer. Scott, one of the nation's foremost proponents of biblical counseling, has joined its world-class biblical counseling faculty. Scott earned a B.A. at Columbia International University. He later completed a Master's of Divinity at Grace Theological Seminary, a Master's of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry at Covenant Theological Seminary. Wow.

Most recently, he taught graduate courses at the Master's University in Santa Clarita. If that sounds familiar to you, that's because that's where John MacArthur's out that way. I actually think we might have a connection. Stuart, can you hear me? I can hear you. Touchdown. Welcome to the world of live radio and live Facebook and live YouTube.

And we do everything on a tightrope without a net. But anyway, it's great to see you. How are you? I'm doing well. Thank you.

Awesome. And then I guess I should say welcome to Greenville, South Carolina, as well. When did you move there? So did you leave the San Diego area, Stuart? No, we used to live in Columbia. South Carolina. And we moved out to California. And we moved back to Kentucky, back to California. But it was in the Los Angeles area, just north of, well, Santa Clarita, just north of Grace Community Church. So now, Greenville, South Carolina is a nice, quaint little town compared to all of that. It is. We talk about traffic here, but traffic moves here. Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I have the same perspective. I spent years in Chicago. So when we moved here to Raleigh and people like, wow, traffic's terrible.

I'm like, it's moving. So what are you guys talking about? Anyway, it's great to have you here. And I've been listening for a couple of months now.

Everybody at the seminary there at Bob Jones University in the seminary. So excited that you're there. And I'm looking forward to having you on the show as often as possible.

But let me let me just back up a little bit. And then we're going to get into probably one of the most challenging. Certainly one of the most emotional topics for a lot of us that we can get into. I have little experience in this myself with our four kids. And if you've ever had a prodigal son or daughter, really of any age, sometimes that's teenage years, high school years, college years.

And then what about once they leave the house? The one thing about being a parent is you never stop being a parent. And so when you have children that have wandered from the faith, if you take that into the church environment and you look at some of the qualifications, when we look at the qualifications from scripture and Titus and say, well, you got a prodigal child, maybe you shouldn't be in ministry.

And so there's that whole angle. I don't know how much we're going to get to Dr. Scott as we work through this very, very important and difficult and emotional subject, but we'll unpack it, see what the Lord does today. And if not, then we'll we'll get you back as soon as possible and continue the conversation. But how did you end up in the world of Christian counseling in the first place? Well. I'll just talk about how I got involved in counseling. I can give my testimony another time.

OK. But I was pastoring a small Bible church down in Columbia, South Carolina. And I was taught in seminary.

There's only one class on pastoral care. And we had a psychologist. Teaching that class. And told all the seminary students refer, so any difficult problem, refer them out. Which sounded good to me. Yeah. Get it off your plate.

Yeah. And it wasn't long that I'm teaching, preaching, seeking to care for the people. That individual started calling or coming by the office and said, I've got a serious issue, and they had labels, the disorder labels. And I OK, and I called around all the different pastors and said, who do you refer people to therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists? And I just started to do it.

They all had fish logos on their business card. I figured they're going to be a Christian and do a good job and care for the people and help them. And I'm preaching, teaching, and I'm beginning to wonder as I look into the faces of these people, I'm referring out every Sunday. What good is this? What good is the Bible?

Yeah. For Christians. Is it only good to help people get saved?

But when people have real problems, the real answers apparently are out there with man's wisdom. And I my faith was just weak at that time in the area of caring for people. I began to really struggle. And I thought, well, maybe I need to go back to school and get a doctorate in psychology, then I'd have two books in my hand, the DSM and the Bible. And I thought, that's a cult.

You shall show up at my door with two books in their hand. And I cried out to help, you know, I mean, for the Lord, just help me. I didn't know what to do. I started asking questions to the people I was referring out in the church.

Which branch of psychology is helping you the most? Yeah. And then I was appalled.

And I don't know, Steve, if you've ever listened to people, what happens behind closed doors with Christian counselors and therapists and psychologists and psychiatrists. But it was really bad. My assumption is my assumption, Stuart, is it's always been like going to the grocery store and you say, OK, everything in the grocery store is food. OK, I'll give you that.

But there's going to be a massive variety, some really good for you and and some other stuff is just going to put you in the ground. Yeah. Well, what I heard was everything from regression therapy, talk therapy, obviously meds were the psychiatrist.

Sure. Hypnosis. All these were all this was done by, quote, Christian Christian counselors, but to our people and our church. And now I'm I'm really appalled at what's happening. And that's when I was introduced to biblical counseling.

When the pastor that I asked to help me, he said, you really need to get some training and you don't need something more than the Bible. You just need more of the Bible. Yeah. And right there. And I'm just going to jump in there. We're up against commercial break and right. And therein lies the rub, as they like to say. And the question is, is the Bible actually sufficient to help us through these things or is it not?

And then we need to dip into the grab bag of the world. And then what about prodigals? We'll be right back.

Welcome back, it's Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show. It is Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University and Bob Jones Seminary down in beautiful Greenville, South Carolina, today, talking to Dr. Stuart Scott, who just came on board to help them with an assist and partner with them on biblical counseling. And the question for us, and then we're going to dive into this topic of prodigal sons and daughters of all ages, is the Bible sufficient? This is a topic that we'll probably, Stuart, we'll revisit this time and time again.

Sure. And is the Bible enough? Just love Jesus more.

That's an oversimplification of Christian counseling. But we're not going to look at the secular textbooks. We're not going to go there. There's all that kind of conversation. But I want to set that aside.

Hit the pause button on that. We'll definitely come back to it on a future Theology Thursday. But today, I want to spend the rest of our time, Stuart, in an area where I know a lot of us have personal experience. Just because you love Jesus and you know his word when you become a parent doesn't mean that everything is going to flow easily for you. And we've been down this road to one degree or another with our own family.

Most families I know, I would say, Stuart, have dealt with this in one way or another. So when we talk about prodigal sons and daughters, what are we referring to? Because I think it's to say that your child hasn't become a Christian yet. Is that a prodigal son and daughter, or is it somebody that grew up in church and now they've walked away from the faith? Because we know statistics are pretty scary on that one, that a bunch of kids growing up in our houses go off to college.

Next thing you know, you come back and they've renounced pretty much all that stuff. So help us understand what is a prodigal, first of all, and then we'll unpack that. Yeah, when we have children, obviously, the Bible teaches us that all have sinned and come short.

So all of our children are lost. They come packaged that way. They come that way, right.

Now, what happens, especially in Christian homes with parents that are believers, is that children often make decisions for Jesus early on. And make them often. It camps, right?

Friday night camps. That was my testimony. I mean, I don't know.

I probably asked Jesus to save me 50 times or so, maybe more. It's just a feeling, emotion. More emotional, but not always conversion. So you've got children growing up in homes who have a heart of stone. The Bible calls it dead and sin. Hostile towards God.

I mean, that's just the heart that the Bible portrays. Wicked and foolish, disobedient. You only have two options with unsaved children as a parent.

Two options if they're unsaved. They're either the prodigal who's a rebel. I mean, a rebel wants to get away from the light. Yeah. And John three just hates the light, wants to get away from the light. That was me.

Well, I, I turned, acted like a Christian, but my heart had not changed. And when I was around 14, 15, I did not want to be around my parents who reflected the light. Yeah.

I wanted to get away as far as I could. So that's the prodigal. That's a rebel that wants to get away from the light. The other thinks they are part of the light and do not have a new heart. That's the prodigal's brother. Wow.

Yeah. So you only have two options if they're unsaved. They're either self-righteous or they're a rebel that wants to run. So usually we refer to the prodigal as the one who runs and God graces them with saving faith and then they come back.

So not all children who rebel are prodigals in the sense that they come back. So God's not obligated to save any of our children. When we look at the scripture in Romans nine, he has mercy on him. He has mercy as compassion on him. He has compassion.

I think most Christian parents think all their children like God's obligated to save all of them or we as parents can produce them. Right. We can actually make it happen. Yeah.

Yeah, we can't. And I don't know how often we would express that in explicit terms, but I think it's kind of under the surface and when and when your children aren't walking with the Lord, it's highly disappointing. Yeah. And there is something I think inside our spirit that's like I did all the right things.

Yeah. When we were dealing with some of that in our own family. And then there was a book that I read, Reaching Today's Prodigals by Carol Barnier. And in that she's like there was a phrase that she used early on in the book, Stuart, which really helped my wife and I take ourselves off the gallows. And the phrase was really good, well-meaning, mature Christian parents can have children that make really bad decisions. And and that when we heard that, we're like, OK, because she also said, hey, listen, if everything they do wrong is your fault, are you going to take credit for all the things they do right?

That's right. And where's the Lord in any of that? Yeah, but there's a whole lot of guilt usually that's associated with a child that's going on this road a ton, a ton, because there's no perfect parent. There's no no perfect picture of a family in the Bible. You think about the families in the Bible that are portrayed. Yeah.

Wow. And there's problems. There's problems with the marriages. There's problem with the kids. But here's a verse I take parents to an Isaiah one, verse two.

It says, Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken. Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. That's pretty good parenting. Yeah. God's the parent.

Yes. But the children have rebelled. That's right. So that's one verse that should encourage parents that God understands any cares.

The other one is Ezekiel 18. Where there was a proverb in the day that the parents have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge. It's like blame the parents for how the children turn out.

Right. And that proverb God says, oh, no, no, no. Everyone's responsible for their own sin. You can't blame the parents. Parents can't blame the children. And that's a that's a comforting passage that, you know what? We've all blown it as parents.

Oh, man. But every child is responsible before God for their own choices. Yeah.

What they're going to do with the light God has given them. Yeah. And there's and there's real challenges growing up. We can make real mistakes as parents. Oh, yeah. And we can put stumbling blocks in the way of our children as they try to come out of it and as they mature.

But ultimately, sooner or later, you can't as a young person, you can't keep pointing the finger at your parents because you become fully responsible and held accountable. Right. For your decisions.

Now, that's not the American way anymore. We're trying to get out of accountability. But to your point, a minute ago, we're going to hit the break here, Stuart.

Just sec. Again, looking back at when we first started to find some wisdom on this subject. We're like, OK, you mentioned the perfect parent is God, the perfect situation, the garden.

And then how did that go? Yeah. Like not one, but both. Like like you're batting a thousand in the garden with rebellion, with your daughter and your son, husband and wife, Adam and Eve. Yeah. Yeah.

Because there's more than one player involved here. We have individuals with what appears to be a free will. At least a limited one. Yeah.

A limited. And that's kind of a that's kind of what's a good setup for a movie. You know, there's going to be conflict. Yeah.

And so we're going to keep talking about that. I think, you know, the hardcore rebel, they're running right. They choose a totally different lifestyle. It's very offensive to you as a mom and a dad might like it's hardcore.

They're like, I have I don't want anything to do with you versus the one that thinks they're OK. Or they're just playing along in church, but maybe they're not saved at all. That's a big part of it. What do you expect from a lemon tree is lemons. So we're going to start there.

And what do you do in the future with these kids? We'll be right back. Welcome back at Steve Noble, the Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday with our friends at Bob Jones University Seminary, BJU Seminary down in Greenville, South Carolina today. The pleasure of talking to Dr. Stuart Scott, who's one of the leading voices of biblical counseling in the nation. We say biblical counseling in this case.

We actually mean it. I mean, the Bible is sufficient. The Bible is going to have everything you need. You can find some other things out there, but you don't need them. They can be complementary. Like if you have a really good meal, then you have a really good dessert. The dessert was nice, but you didn't need it.

It was already a good meal. So that's that's the perspective we're coming in here talking about prodigal sons and daughters and really the two different types again. And thanks again for your time, Stuart. Oh, absolutely. The two different types. You have the real hardcore prodigal rebellious. They reject everything.

They're like, I'm going to paint my hair pink. I'm a I'm a pansexual. I'm transsexual. I'm homosexual. I'm an atheist. I'm not I don't believe any of this stuff.

I can't get out here as soon as quick enough. Right. That's that's the hardcore rebel prodigal. And then what was the other prodigal? Yeah, well, the other is his brother. Right.

The self righteous brother who thinks he's righteous. Yeah, it's not. So he's a Christianized pagan. Got it. He's he knows the language, but he's right.

His heart's dead as well. So we're talking about in this case. And I want to make sure I understand the distinguish that the distinction we're talking about in this case, these two brothers, two virgins, whatever's going on with one of our kids. But I'm going to broaden that out here for a second. Either they think they're Christian or not.

They know all the language, but they've actually not been converted. And the other one who's just hardcore, forget it. Can we introduce the third category that they're actually saved? But oh, right. They're carnal and they're they're taking their time out in the wilderness. Yeah. Yeah. They can't walk in darkness or they're they're in darkness. Yeah.

They can step into darkness. And so they're not enslaved to sin, but they're entangled in sin. God would be the language.

Yeah. And that that sometimes is a so-called brother. We use the language of First Corinthians five. I'm not quite sure if they're a believer or not a believer. They're not they're not a follower of sorts. So we get intensively, intensively counseling them, discipling them, and then they begin to to follow the Lord if they're truly converted.

Yeah, because if they are, listen, the arc of sanctification is not the same for all of us. You know, your timetable, my timetable, my kids timetable. God is sovereign. And so sometimes, I mean, as a as a parent with a prodigal, all you can really do is hit your knees sometimes. So what? So what do we do? I mean, that's I know we're all Americans.

Everybody wants an answer. Yeah. So with prodigal in your life, what do we do as parents?

Yeah. When you have an adult child, actually, the parents have to remember the goal is not to save their children. The goal is to be a faithful parent, to teach, to train, to love them.

But they can plant, they can water. But it's only God who brings the increase. So it can't be your goal as a parent to get your children saved. But it is your greatest desire for them.

Sure. And so I think of Romans nine. And this is it's the most painful experience you can imagine to have it. You pour your your life into your children to point them to Jesus.

And here's the best way, the wise way to go. And they say, no, I don't want it. And the apostle Paul in Romans Chapter nine says, I'm speaking the truth in Christ.

I'm not lying. My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen, according to the flesh. So here's Paul, who's joyful, always rejoicing, but he's also sorrowful, always with his unsaved family, his unsaved kinsmen. And that's that's the experience of a Christian parent, that your joy is in Christ, but there is an unceasing sorrow.

It cannot take over your life, but it's always there. Yeah, it's always an unsaved child. So we pray, we ask God to have mercy on them. That's Romans 10, where Paul says, I pray.

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. OK. Yep. So we pray. Never give that up. Yeah.

We pray for God to have mercy on them as he has had on each one of us. That's right. That's that's first.

And you're right. It humbles you. We have to extend mercy to our unsaved children.

That's in Luke Chapter six. We're to have mercy as God has mercy and he's merciful to the ungrateful, it says. Yeah, that's what they are. They are ungrateful. They're in your face. They want they don't want to give. They just want to take.

And that's who we once were. That's right. So it's it's showing love and mercy towards them. How important is it, Stuart, to maintain a relationship that comes up a lot? Oh, yeah. OK.

I think that is like premier. It is much as possible. To maintain that relationship, that doesn't mean you accept what they may be offering or pushing your way. Sure.

But. If anything, they know the gospel, if they they've grown up in the home and they've heard the gospel. So it's how to how to love them, show mercy towards them, return good for evil, as Romans 12 says to do.

So you can love them and reach out to them without accepting and compromising your beliefs and doctrine. But I think one of the books I read that was very helpful is Come Back, Barbara. Very helpful of a pastor. Jack Miller, whose daughter just took off and he was a pastor. Yeah. And God. I mean, she was living with a drug dealer.

I mean, it was. But it's one chapter after the other because God graced her with saving faith years later. And so they wrote the book together as what the parents were going through each chapter of her life kind of thing. And then where she was at and what God did is an excellent, encouraging book called Come Back, Barbara.

Come Back, Barbara. So let me let me throw a specific incidence at you, because I actually did this with this. I have a class.

One of the classes I teach is Christian Ethics. In this class that I was in earlier today, there was about, I think, 20, 21 students, all high school age. And I asked them, how many of you or your families know somebody that or a family or an individual dealing with transgenderism?

And I was at a 20 or 21. It was like two or three. And I said, how many of you know of a family or an individual that's dealing with homosexuality in one way or another?

It was 68 percent of them. So it's all over the place. That's become kind of a social contagion as the as the as the culture says, hey, that's OK. It's beautiful.

It's what you want to do. Relativism, whatever. It's fine. Then, of course, it spreads more. But let's say your prodigal son or daughter, your daughter is a lesbian and she's living with her partner.

How do you maintain a relationship with that daughter of yours? Because I think for a lot of people, like I can't. You're not coming to my house. I'm not going to your house.

I'm not going to be around that. And I understand where they're coming from. But I'm just curious about your perspective on that. Well, you know, the fact that Jesus would eat with with the sinners. Oh, yeah. Him again.

Yeah. Prostitutes with tax gatherers. He would eat them.

He didn't compromise in one way. So if my let's say an unsaved child is adult child is living with another, you know, same sex. I'm going to love them like I love to homosexuals across the street. I'm going to love them and reach out to them. They're welcome to come to our home. We can eat together.

Sure. But they can't be showing affection. In other words, in the house, there are going to be certain guidelines.

And hopefully the child would respect that and not push. Yeah. But if they I want to reach out to them and give the gospel, I don't know.

God might save their partner. Right. Who knows? Yeah. Yeah. I'm going to reach out to them. They're not going to stay in the same room. They're going to stay in our home to stay in separate rooms. That's the boundary.

He's going to some better. That's right. That's right.

So we're not going to compromise the scriptures of our home because we're accountable to God for that. Yeah. But I'm going to reach out to them and love them every which way I can.

I wouldn't go to their wedding. Yeah. But to love them and reach out to them.

I'm not compromising to do that. Yeah. Because I think. Do you think there's a fair amount of Christian parents are going to hit a break again?

So we're definitely do a part two in this. There's so much here and we're just having a conversation. I'm not using a script. I never do. But some parents are like, well, I just have to cut them off. And that's the right thing to do. Yeah, that looks like a no.

No, I just don't see that. I see the Lord just goes after, you know, that that lost sheep. I'm I'm going to do all I can do. In other words, and I think it's in Luke six where the Lord says, blessed are you when people ostracize you for the sake of the son of man. That means they push you away. You don't push them away. You don't push them away.

That's right. Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden. But unless you're a Democrat, then you can't come unless you're a lesbian. You can't come unless you're a Darwinian evolutionist.

No, no, no, no, no. And that's why it's the kindness of God that leads people to repentance, not shaming them. This is Steve Noble with Dr. Stuart Scott. We'll be right back. Welcome back at Steve Noble, the Steve Noble Show Theology Thursday, just opening up the can of worms when we talk about, well, our children, our sons and our daughters really of any age. And if you have a prodigal, if you're in that world right now, it's painful, it's disappointing. Sometimes it's humiliating. It can be it can bring shame with it because you're taking all the blame for that.

And it can be a very, very difficult situation. I think more of us. I mean, when when we're all really honest with one another, as opposed to Sunday morning. Hey, Steve, how are you? Hey, too blessed to be depressed. God bless you.

How are you? Well, I'm too anointed to be disappointed. We play all those games. Truth truth be told, Jesus did say few there are that go that way. So you drive around this evening after the show is over, wherever you're going and you look around here in the United States of America.

I'm going to encourage you with a broken heart as you look around to just deal with the reality that most of the people you're seeing are that you're seeing are lost. And that that is a sad reality. That's why we're called to share the gospel and be a good example and point people to Christ. And then that can happen in our own families as well, which is why the prodigal thing is so difficult because you do all the right things. You're a good Christian parent for a lot of people. I mentioned this the other day. We're talking to Dr. Stuart Scott from BGU Seminary about my own regrets looking back as a Christian father and raising our four children. And then other people are like, man, I wish I had been a Christian when we were raising our kids because I didn't get saved till I was older. And there's just all kinds of guilt and shame out there, which is why it's so important, Stuart, that we talk about this.

I wanted to I wanted to move on to kind of the third the first two we're talking about. And now now listen, everybody, I know it's really hard to hear a phrase like Christianized pagan. It's strong language, but it's accurate language. So you have a lot of people that Jesus is like it basically said the same thing. There's somebody going to be so many people say, Lord, Lord, and he's going to say, get away from me.

I never knew you. That's a really heartbreaking passage of scripture, but it's true. Right, Stuart? That's just the reality. Yeah, that's right. And, you know, the solution to any time we've said as a parent, we've all said, that's right. My goodness. How many times my kids heard us confess our sin a lot.

It was not it's not rare. It was a lot because we would say, yeah. And when we get in front of them or to them, yeah, there's a remedy for that. It's confess, ask for forgiveness and then work at changing. And that you can do that whether your child's 35 or 40.

If you can remember why I really blew it. Yeah. Go to them and ask for forgiveness. And they may or may not respond, but that's what God calls us to do, and that's how we take care of our guilt. No, he opposes the proud that gives grace to the humble.

That's right. So I think that's super important because, again, on their side of the table, I mentioned that earlier that that. It's the kindness of God that leads people to repentance. So there's all these terrible things I've done. Yet you did that for me. And so I think that humility before our children is super, super important.

I mean, one of our four is like that. You keep confessing the same thing over and over again. So you're not actually fixing it. So just confessing and ask me to forgive you doesn't really solve it. And I'm like.

You're grounded. That's too much wisdom for me. Get out of here.

You're not allowed to do that. But what about our children that grow up and actually did make. Let's let's assume for the sake of the conversation. Dr. Scott, they're actually converted. They've actually they've actually been born again. That happened in their teens. They go off to college and then they start basically kind of going down the world's way. And how do we handle that?

Yeah. Or a Christian. I mean, truly converted. Their heart is after Jesus.

The spirits within votes are willing to do his good pleasure. So there's a heartbeat after the Lord. They want to follow the Lord, but now they're getting distracted. Would be probably a phrase I would use in Second Corinthians 11 that Satan would distract us. Paul said, I'm fearful that he's going to do that away from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Well, that's that's the enemy's number one agenda. Get our eyes off of Jesus. Right. And when that happens, that's why the disciplines of grace, you know, prayer and time in the word, which is at an all time low, it's on social media hours and hours, maybe minutes, if at all, in the word. So the spiritual disciplines is what God's going to help in our life to use us to really drink.

It's the phrase in scripture, drink from the fountain of Christ rather than go after all the broken sister out there. Right. And if they're not involved with a local assembly, a church and I mean, serving and practicing the one another.

And they're not in the word of God, reading and meditating and seeking to follow it and prayer the disciplines. They will drift. We'll all drift. That's right.

It's going to happen to us. Yeah. And so it's trying to find out where what's going on in a person's life of a believer that's entangled with sin. And if it's sin that they're they're they're dealing with there and how to get them back in their focus on Christ, confess their sin, get back in the spiritual disciplines, which will renew their mind, warm their affections and strengthen their resolve.

Yeah. And so from and again, as a father, man, I want to fix everything. But once your son or daughter is twenty three, twenty five, twenty eight and they're out of the house and they're not you know, they're not walking with the Lord, they don't deny Christ. They can explain the gospel. They thank the Lord for things. But there's a lot of other things in their lives that are perfectly inconsistent.

Do we just pray and wait and be a good witness or is there anything we can do on that? Well, and I know it's it's it's tough as a parent to your adult child. They're an adult. I heard my kids tell me more on one one occasion.

Stop treating me like a child. Yes. Yes.

I think I've heard that once or twice. But at the same time, in Hebrews three, we have a. We need to admonish one another and I mean, exhort one another is the word of Hebrews three, verse 13.

Exhort one another every day as long as it's called today, that none of you may be heartened by the deceitfulness of sin. So, you know, I want to help you grow and not if you see something in me. And that's what I would tell my my adult child if they were a believer is if you see something in me, man, tell me. But we can talk as friends. Yeah. Yeah.

And I'm not going to talk down to you. I just want to if I see something glaring. And it's I see it often or it's becoming a. It's not one time snapshot.

It looks like a film strip. Yeah. Yeah. I'm going to say something because I love you. Proverbs twenty seven, verse five says open admonishment is better than love carefully concealed.

That's right. Faith for the wounds of a friend. I've got a friend who kisses of an enemy. So open admonishment.

Gentle is better than why I love him too much to say something. That's not love. Yeah, that's right. And then we get I think a lot of parents, we get fearful that if we do admonish, even if we do it gently, they're going to shut down.

Then there's a barrier. But I think that's why we have to be really careful and wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove. Yeah. Yeah.

Because I'm pretty sure God didn't send Steve Noble into the world convicted of its sin. And that's and that's a role of the Holy Spirit. Yeah. You've got to know your place.

It's like like what we tell our kids. Right. You need to know your place.

Right. I think we're the same way. We have about three minutes left, Stuart.

So I would just ask you to kind of close these next couple of minutes just with encouragement. I know there's a lot of parents that are dealing with this. It's it's it's hurtful. It's sad. It's disappointing. I think we can almost be give up hope on it.

Yeah. So how do you encourage the parents that are struggling with this? Well, I as you mentioned, it's one of the most painful things for a child to deal with. Very heavy burden and have to keep casting it to the Lord because he cares for us. I would say keep reaching out to your children.

Encouragement wherever you can encourage them, encourage them. It seems as if when you look at the letters that Jesus, when he spoke to the churches and Revelation two and three. Eighty percent of what he said to those churches was encouragement. And 20 percent was here's something wrong or here's something that needs to be fixed. And I think as parents, we can we always see things wrong.

Oh, man, I see that wrong, that wrong. But we often aren't the best barnabas. You know, we're not the best encouragers. So even with your unsaved children, anything that they're doing that's right, that's a good citizen.

And point it out so that when you do have to say something as an admonition, they're not saying, well, you do this all the time. That's all I hear from you. Yeah. So I just want to encourage the parents that if your child's still alive, there's hope. That's right. That's the story is not over yet. And God is a merciful, gracious, saving God. And we pray for one another.

Yeah. Which reminds me and when these stories come up, I'm not sure they're coming up more often than they were 30 years ago. But because of social media and the digital realm, we hear a lot more than we did 30 years ago. But whether it's somebody like Joshua Harris or Rhett and Link and these well-known Christian people who who can preach, who can explain the Bible, and then they deconstruct and they walk away and people like, Steve, how do you explain that?

Like, well, either they're carnal and struggling or they were never actually Christians. But I will say this. One thing I do know is until they die, that story's not over. So don't go from chapter two to chapter 20 at the end of the book. There's things that are going to go on.

Go ahead. One one verse. And Isaiah, I think it's fifty nine one where he says the Lord's ear is not too heavy. It cannot hear. And his arm is not too short.

They cannot say. Yep. And we all need to remember that. We need to remember God is still a saving God.

And nothing's too hard for him. Amen. Such great words of wisdom, because they come from the word itself.

Dr. Stuart Scott, God bless you, brother. So nice to meet you. Thank you for your time today. We'll do it again. Hang on right there, because we'll pray together after the radio's over. But it's great having you on. We'll do it again. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, ever forward.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-02 19:21:03 / 2023-03-02 19:36:38 / 16

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