Men, Matthew chapter 11, the part I want to focus on, is beginning there in verse 16 where the Bible reads, "But where unto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling to their fellows, and saying, we have piped to you, and you have not danced; we have mourned to you, and you have not lamented. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children."
Tonight I want to preach a sermon entitled a generation of children. A generation of children. He says, "Where unto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children." When he describes those children, the contrast is made at the end of verse 19, of the children of wisdom, and he says, "Wisdom justified of her children."
You see, one of the main characteristics of children is foolishness. The Bible says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from it." Unseriousness. You see, the picture that Jesus paints here is of people who are playing games and are not wise people.
If you would, go over the 1st Corinthians chapter 13. One of the most famous chapters in the whole Bible is 1st Corinthians chapter 13. Look at verse number 11 of 1st Corinthians 13, the Bible reads: When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
There's nothing wrong with a child being childish and all of us were children and we all did and said silly things when we were children and there's nothing in the world wrong with kids being kids, but there is something wrong when adults are acting like children. Jesus is talking to adults, people that are supposed to be mature, intelligent people and He's saying, "Where unto shall I liken this generation?" It's like unto children.
Let me just go through with you tonight some of the characteristics of children according to the Bible that we need to grow out of as adults and as we become men and women. Go the Titus chapter 2, first of all. Titus chapter 2. One of the characteristics of children, which is okay in a small child but we need to grow out off as adults, is the characteristic of being unserious. Not grave, not sober, but everything is a game, everything is a joke under them.
Look, if you went to Titus 2:4, this is an admonition under the young. He speaks to the young women and He speaks to the young men and He says in verse 4, "That they may teach the young women to be sober," to be serious, to take things seriously, that it's not a game, that we're not playing around. He says, "That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home." This is maturity in a woman.
He says, "Good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Young men, likewise, exhort to be sober-minded." That's the one piece of advice for young men. Be sober-minded, get serious, realize that life's not a game and everything's not a joke. He says, "In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing uncorruptness," and then here's another word that's synonymous with being sober, gravity. Sincerity. Sound speech that cannot be condemned that [inaudible 00:03:57] of the contrary part may be ashamed having no evil thing to say unto you.
You see, children are unserious but adults are supposed to be grave and sober and taking life seriously. Life is not a game. Today in our generation where many adults act like children, there are even adults who spend huge amount of time playing video games like a child, like a teenager would do. Staying up real late with pizza and soda and a video game. Staying up 'til all hours of the night. Being addicted to video games night after night.
You know what, I'm sorry but your wife doesn't want you to be addicted to video games. She's not impressed by that. Honestly, that's not what life's about. Look, it can be addictive but we got to grow up and put away childish things and get serious about doing work for the Lord. He said, look, "Be sober-minded and show a pattern of good works." Go into work instead of playing games and fooling around all the time.
There is a time for recreation, but recreation is just the icing on the cake of our lives. The meat and potatoes of our lives as men is work that we do and we're to approach it with seriousness and as if it matters and that we're doing something important.
Secondly, go to Proverbs chapter 6. Another characteristic of children is that they're irresponsible and therefore they must be supervised. When it comes to giving work for children to do and obviously, the smaller the children, the more supervision they need and then the older they get you can give them less supervision because they're starting to grow up and be mature.
One saying that I often say is you don't get what you expect, you get what you inspect. Meaning that you can't just trust young children to be sent off to go do a job and then just assume that it's done. You must inspect their work because otherwise, you have no idea what's happening and often in 5 minutes in, 10 minutes in all work goes aside and it just becomes a play time. That is something that children lack in and they need to be discipline and taught and raise to be a good worker.
Look what the Bible says in Proverbs 6:6. It says, "Go to the ant, thou sluggard!" A sluggard is a name for a lazy person. "Go to the ant, though sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no guide," notice that, "No guide, no overseer, no ruler, provideth her meat in the summer and gathereth her food in the harvest. How will thou sleep O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep - so shall thy poverty come as one that one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."
We as adults, we as men, if we're going to be grown ups, need to be a self-motivated, self-starting person that doesn't need a guide or an overseer to always make us work and make us get something done and be confidently cracking the whip, but that rather we would take initiative and work hard.
This is what separates the men from the boys. Children need to be supervised and they're irresponsible. Men and women, as they become adult, become responsible, take initiative, get things done on their own. They don't have to be told every single day, "Hey, do this chore." They just do it because they understand that it's a responsibility that they have.
Kids, I hope you're listening to this sermon. I hope that you're not offended by the sermon, children, because I'm not trying to offend you because it's okay to start out as a child. Everybody starts out as a child, but you know what, you need to be listening to this sermon and understanding the virtue of growing up.
You see, the Bible does not teach that it is a virtue to stay a child as long as you can. You know, the Bible teaches that children should strive to grow up and be mature and take responsibility. Impress your parents and show your parents that you're going to prove past your [innocence 00:08:15] wrong and you're going to be serious and you're going to get things done on your own.
Look, the journey to adulthood is a gradual journey. It's not like you're just going to be a child and playing and fooling around and goofing off and then all of a sudden, some switch is going to switch when you're 18 and all of a sudden you're just going to be responsible and you're going to be able to provide for yourself and your family.
It's funny to listen to kids talk and I was the same way when I was a kid. We all were. When you listen to kids talk and it's like, "Oh yeah, I'm going to have this huge house and I'm going to have this car." They just talk about all the wealth that they're going to have and all the things that they're going to do and the traveling. Then I'll realize that those things are hard to achieve and they're not going to be doing any of those things unless they get serious about being a mature person and a good worker.
It doesn't happen overnight. You've got to start developing the habits now, young children. The Bible says, "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure and whether it be right." An attribute of a very young child is that they're irresponsible and need to be supervised. As they get older, as they get more mature, they can be given a little bit more leeway and given more responsibility because you can trust them with it.
Obviously, it's a lot more enjoyable to do work when you don't have somebody standing over you. None of us as adult men like to work with somebody standing over us and watching us. You earn the right to go out and work on your own and do you own thing by producing results without having a guide or an overseer breathing down your neck. Children, you don't want mom and dad breathing down your neck? Be responsible. Get thing things done. Make things happen. Show them how mature you are by doing the things that the Bible teaches here.
Thirdly this, children are ignorant. They lack knowledge. Not to say that they're stupid in the sense that they can't learn, but rather just because they're young they haven't learned things yet so they're very ignorant and they lack in knowledge. The Bible says in 1st Corinthians 14:20, "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."
He says, "In understanding be men. Don't be a child in understanding." He says, "In malice be children." We don't need to be experts and have all the knowledge of all the wicket things of this world, but we do want to understand the wisdom of God and we don't want to be a child. See, it's okay for children to be ignorant because they're young, they haven't learned yet, but when adults are ignorant, that's a problem. That's why God is commanding you, "Be not children in understanding." Grow up. Gain knowledge.
Number four, children are gullible and foolish. Are you in Proverbs? Go to Proverbs 19:23 and while you're turning there I'll quote again the verse that I quoted earlier, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." Children are foolish. They do silly things that don't make sense and sometimes you're just shocked and looking at them like, "What have you done? Why did you do this? Where did this crazy idea come into your head to do something so foolish?"
Another aspect of foolishness is just that they're so easily deceived and easily misled. This is part of the danger of just leaving small children unsupervised or just sending them off to school or sending them off wherever because who knows who is going to take them aside and deceive them and mislead them. Children are gullible and they fall for things. That's why parents have to tell their children.
First of all, in today's time, the perilous times in which we live, you just need to watch your kids and not just send them off anywhere when they're little kids because there's so much wickedness out there and there's so many predators out there.
I remember my parents having all these talks with me when I was a little kid saying to me, "Look, if a stranger pulls up and says, 'Get in the car,'" and they said, "A stranger might come to you when you're walking out of school and say, 'Hey, your parents have been in accident and I've been sent here to pick you up. I'm going to take you to the hospital where your parents are,' don't get in that car."
They told me that these were the kind of tricks and schemes that people will use to deceive you and they would warn you because children are gullible. They're very believing. "Oh, okay. Yeah. Let's go." They'll fall for it. They're not always scared of the danger that's real.
I remember when I was a little kid, I was a really small little toddler and I was at the department store with my parents. No, I don't remember this story because it was before I can remember but it was a story that was told to me about me when I was a toddler. I guess there was this lady that was saying, "You're so cute. You're such a cute little boy. I like to take you home with me." You know how the people will say things like that.
Basically, for some reason when we left I started crying and say, "No, I wanted to go with there. She's going to take me home and I want to go to her." This is the stupidity of a child that says, "Yeah, let's go, strangers. No problem." You don't know the dangers that lurk out there children are gullible, they're foolish. They don't make proper decisions.
Sometimes my wife will be really shaking her head and face-palming about a child-like behavior, one of our young children and I'll tell her, I'll say, "Look honey, there's not child that age that lives on their own. None. The reason why is because they all do stuff like this." I'm trying to tell her it's not just our kids.
Kids don't make decisions that are responsible because if so, you'd see all kinds of 10-year olds and 11-year olds and 12-year olds just living on their own, working, paying their bills, driving cars. There's a reason why that none of them are doing that and it's because of the fact that children are foolish and gullible and irresponsible.
That's okay for a really young child but that's something you need to strive to get over and get some smarts and get wisdom. Here's the thing, when an adult is foolish and gullible and ignorant, that's when it becomes a problem. You see, the Bible talks about, go to Ephesians 4 in the New Testament. Ephesians chapter 4 because the Bible talks about this kind of foolishness and gullibility issue.
Another thing about children is that very young children are not able to feed themselves, someone else has to feed them. When a baby is born, obviously it's completely reliant upon its mother to feed that child. That's why the Bible talks about those that are as children in the Lord that they are using milk as a babe, but that those who are of full age use strong meat.
The difference between milk and strong meat is that milk is something that's fed to you by your mother. It's brought right to you, whereas strong meat is something that you feed yourself as you get older and that's part of the difference between a child and an adult. An adult feeds himself and a child is spoon-fed all that it eats. Even after it's done being breastfed it's spoon-fed the meal.
It's okay for a toddler to be sitting in a highchair and being spoon-fed. That's what we would expect, right? Can you imagine a grown man sitting in a highchair? Just picture this in your mind: a grown man strapped into a highchair and being spoon-fed and there's apple sauce and sweet potatoes.
What is it with sweet potatoes? It seems like the most sweet potatoes we consume in our lives is in the first two years of life. You eat a lot of sweet potatoes and then you don't really eat them that much for the rest of your life. You know, just apple sauce and sweet potato all over and we're sitting there in a bib and your wife's feeding you. Your wife is spooning food into your mouth as a grown man. Can you imagine the shame and embarrassment and humiliation of that sight?
This is the sight that we'd be seen spiritually if we were to look with spiritual eyes at some people who don't read the Bible on their own as a Christian. They've been saved of 10 years. They're not reading the Bible on their own. They've never even read it cover to cover one time. There are even men who rely on their wife to feed them spiritually. Well, my wife is a lot more religious so she knows the Bible a lot. Shame on you being spoon-fed by your wife. You need to man up and lead and pass her up in knowledge and be a leader in that home and grow.
What does the Bible say in Ephesians 4:11? "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."
What's the Bible saying here? Don't be a child. Don't be a baby. He's saying, "Grow up." Why? Because there are plenty of people out there to deceive you and trick you and fool you. Especially today with the internet, there's so many hoaxes and so much fraud and so much false information. You got to grow up.
Part of the reason why you have a pastor and a teacher is so that you can grow up. That's what the Bible says is He gave them pastors and teachers to perfect the saints 'til we all come in the unity of the faith that we be henceforth no more children.
The pastor and the teachers of the church are there to guide you and say, "Look, here is some good knowledge, here is some good information, here is biblical teaching that you can sink your teeth into and understand." So that when that stupidity on the internet comes up, you'll be smart enough to realize, "Hey, this doesn't jive with scripture. This doesn't jive with reality." Because you've been taught to be smarter than that and to not be foolish and gullible.
There is a false weirdo doctrine on the internet every week. Some new things that's being bandied about, some new vain, jangling, foolishness, nonsense and some of it just is mind-boggling that people could for, but they do. Some of it just so blatantly contrary to scripture. Does these people know any scripture? The answer is they don't.
We need to grow up. How do we grow up? Reading the Bible is an important place to go to grow up because the Bible says, "As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow there by." The milk of the Word is going to help you grow as a baby getting in the Word, study the Word, but also you have pastors and teachers too. Going to church is going to help you grow also.
You see, you take a baby Christian and turn them loose on the internet without guidance and being taught the Word of God and without reading the Bible cover to cover on their own like an adult feeding themselves through the Word themselves, you get caught up in every wind of doctrine.
Sadly, a lot of pastors are misleading their flocks today. A lot of teachers today are misleading the flock. People become disillusioned and they say, "The churches all bad. All the pastors." No, not all pastors are misleading you. There are bad pastors out there, there are false prophet, but that doesn't mean that we should just throw out the institution of the local church, throw out the preaching of God's Word by pastors that are qualified according to the Bible and just reject it outright because there's just so many bad pastors out there.
You know what, if there's so many bad pastors out there, then maybe we need you that are in the pew, some of you, to grow up and to take the responsibility of becoming a pastor. That's going to take a lot of spiritual maturity, isn't it? Because one of the qualifications for being a pastor is not a novice. Being a novice means being a beginner.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with being a beginner. We've all been a beginner at one point in everything that we've ever done, but in order to be a pastor you have to get past that beginner stage and get in the advanced level of things. That's going to take a lot of maturity and a lot of growth.
Instead of just complaining that, "Oh, the pastors are bad," no, get into a church where the pastor is right and teaching right, be trained and taught, grow up, become established in the faith and then go out and start a church and establish God's institution in some other city, a local church, as He commands.
We don't want to be gullible and foolish. We want to be skeptical of that which is bandied about on the lips of anyone or on the internet and not to just be easily persuaded to divers and strange doctrines. What are strange? It means foreign. It's some new doctrine.
Sometimes, something is new to us but it's not a new doctrine, it's new to us and we do need to embrace that new teaching to us because maybe we've been wrong, we've been in error. Okay, but it needs to be tested with the word of God and not to just be flippantly and casually embraced and accepted as truth.
Here's another thing. Let's say you watch a documentary. You should fact check everything that is presented in that documentary before believing it as Gospel truth. Before you're going to repeat it to other people and say, "Oh yeah, this is the way it is," fact check.
If you read a book and a book is making claims about what this person said or what this person did, you should fact check because often, I've watched a documentary and hit pause and fact check and found it all to be adding up. They're saying, "Hey, the Bible says this." Hit pause, look it up in the Bible, there it is.
Then other times I've read a book or seen a film and then when I went to fact check it, it turns out that some of the things being presented were outright lies. They would even quote a book and say, "Hey, it's on page so and so," and then you go to that page and there's nothing there like that. Nowhere in the book is anything found like that. The gullible person believes every word the Bible says. The simple believeth every word, but a wise person is going to check things out and make sure that things are the way that they seem instead of just blindly believing everything.
TV is there to spoon-feed us all what the devil wants us to believe, but when we fact check many of the things that are on TV, many of the things that are bandied about, we find them not to be true. Sometimes statistics are given that are misleading statistics, but when we fact check them and do the math and look at the real statistics, they can tell a completely different story. We need to grow up and not be just easily swayed and easily tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.
Fifthly, and go to 1 Corinthians 3, another attribute of children that God tells us we want to stay away from as adults is strife and envying. Strife and envying. When the Bible talks about envying and strife, I'll explain to you what that means and I'll give you some examples of that, but we don't want to fall into the trap that some people teach that just all strife is wrong. All contention is wrong.
It's funny, whenever you talk to the Mormons and you try to show them the false doctrine of Mormonism this is what they'll often say to you, and raise your hand if you've heard this statement before talking to Mormons, "Contention is of the devil." Right? Have you heard that? I see all the hands around the building.
It's somewhere in one of their fraudulent books that was written by that pedophile that they follow, Joseph Smith, that false prophet, that pervert, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, one of those two guys' writings. It says that contention is of the devil.
The Bible says we're to earnestly contend for the faith. No, contention itself is not of the devil. What they do is, "Oh, we just don't want to argue. We just want to talk about Jesus." Here's the problem: you have another Jesus, but they don't want to face that. They want to show up at your doors on their little tricycles and they want to tell you that, "Oh, we believe the same things you guys believe," and, "We don't want to talk about God's living on other planets and the star-based Kolob. Don't bring that up. We want to just talk about Jesus."
It sounds so good because we're the church of Jesus Christ of [inaudible 00:26:17], but Bible warns us that one would come preaching another Jesus. The Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Bible is the One, True God that says, "I'm He. There's none else besides Me. There is not Savior. Before me there was no God formed neither shall there be any God after Me. I'm the Lord, there's none else," but yet they say that there are billions of Gods and it's so amazing how they just lie to your face every time you talk to them.
I'm not going to shy away from telling the truth tonight that if talk to the Mormons in Mesa, Arizona they will lie to your face and they know their lying and they'll just lie to you and say, "We only believe that there's one God," and it's a lie. You can catch them in that lie a hundred times and they'll just keep telling it. It's a lie.
They believe in people living on other planets with other gods and that is not Christianity. Christianity teaches that there's one God and that there are people living on this planet and though there are not aliens living on other planets, but that's what the Mormons teach.
If I had a nickel for every time I had a Mormon tell me, "I don't know where you're getting that from," and they act like they don't know what you're talking about. "I have no idea what you're talking about because we only believe that there's one God and I have no clue. You need to stop believing everything you read on the internet."
I remember I talked to this one guy and he just lied to my face for over five minutes solid just telling me how there's only one God. Then I pulled out of my pocket I just happened to have with me, because I knew I was going to a Mormon area, the quote from Brigham Young where he talks about there being a multitude of gods in all different planets.
I pulled this out and I read it to him and I say, "What about this quote from Brigham Young?" I read him the quote and just like that he said, "Well, what about all the Bible verses that talk about multiple gods?" I'm like, "You just spent five minutes telling me that you only believe that there's one and now all of a sudden you're defending the fact that there are all these other gods out there."
I'll often say to them, "Go in your house and bring me the Pearl of Great Price." I'll have them bring me the Pearl of Great Price and I'll flip it open and show them where it says, instead of as the Bible says, "In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth," where it says, "In the beginning, the gods created the heaven and the earth and the gods said, 'Let there be light', and there was light and the gods saw the light." It says like 20 times how the gods, multiple gods are creating the earth.
I also show them the part where it talks about there being a great council of the gods. Where the gods held this council and they decide about the plan of salvation all these different things. That cartoon, the one that's on YouTube, the banned Mormon cartoon, BA-N-N-E-D, you know, the Mormon cartoon that's been banned, that's how it's labeled on YouTube, I fact checked all of information in that cartoon and all of it is true.
I fact checked it with books that I bought at a Mormon bookstore. You can go to their own bookstore and get their own books and fact check everything in that cartoon and I'm telling you that that cartoon is accurate of what they believe. It's all there.
Now, there are a couple of things in the cartoon that they don't believe anymore, but you can go the Brigham Young's writings and see where he said that that's what it was and where he believed it and they say he is a prophet of God. A few of the things in the cartoon are throwbacks to the Brigham Young stage which was the weirdest phase of Mormonism where the really crazy doctrines where laid out. Then they relaxed some of the weirdest teachings but they've still kept most of the weird stuff.
A multitude of gods, multiple gods. They go around and they deceive people who don't know and they don't want to contend, they don't want to strive, they just want you to believe them and, "Hey, look at our family values. Look at the haircut. Look at the white shirt. Look at the tie. Look at the name tag. I'm 18 years old, I'm elder so and so." They just want you to believe.
So many times I've even said to them, "What about the song that you sing? If you could hide to Kolob." That cartoon talks about this other planet that they're from, Kolob, where they used to live. One of the times when I was going through one of these fruit inspections where they're like, "Where are you coming from?" "Kolob. I'm from the star-based Kolob." Give them the old Leonard Nimoy Shekinah symbol.
Anyway, they sit there and tell you, "I believe in one God," and then I'm like, "What about that song? Have you ever sung that song? If you could hide to Kolob," which is that other planet that they talk about. Almost every single Mormon I've ever talked to, all the English-speaking Mormons that I talked to when I brought up that song they'd say, "Yes, we've all sung it." One of the Latinos hadn't heard of it.
I don't know if it's been done into Spanish yet, but the English-speaking Mormons they do this song. If you could hide to Kolob. It talks about all these other gods living on Kolob and they sing it in their church, but they are, "Nope, contention is of the devil. We don't want to discuss it with you. We don't want to argue with you."
Here's the thing though: there is a place for contention where we need to stand up for things and stand up for the truth and stand our ground and contend for the faith and so forth. What the Bible is talking about here with strife, it's not talking about fighting the good fight. It's not talking about striving for the price and striving for great things or striving with someone over that which is right. What it's saying here, it's coupled with envying.
Let's look at the scripture. 1 Corinthians 3:1 says, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." We're talking about those who are children that are immature. "I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?"
Again, people will make the mistake of saying, "All division is bad." Jesus Christ said, "I come to bring division. I came to bring a sword. I came to bring division." There's a place of division, but this kind of division is wrong. This envying, strife and division. He likens it unto children. He says, "You are like carnal babes as opposed to being spiritual adults."
He's saying that basically, they have envying and strife. Think about children, don't they fuzz and fight with each other a lot? Isn't that the one thing that drives parents probably more nuts than anything is all the bickering and fuzzing and fighting like cats and dogs?
When the Bible is likening it unto children and it's talking about envying and strife, think about the statement that comes out of so many children's mouths. "That's not fair." That's what envy is. Envying is when you look at what somebody else has or you look at their position or they're privileges or what's been giving to them and you wish that you had those same treats or those same privileges or that same snack. "Why does she get to stay up and I don't get to stay up?" That's envying, right? Envying and strife.
Think about it, envying could also be of possessions. Children don't know how to get along with one another, with people that they should be getting along with. They just fight and envy and strife. For example, one of them has got a toy that the other one wants, it's just, "Umph." Then he comes and takes it back from me. Finally, I just let go, hits them in the face and then, "Wooh!"
How many times are kids fighting and calling each other names and just bickering and strifing and it's not fair and why don't I get to go first? Why is her piece bigger than my piece? It's childish, right? You expect adult people to put others first.
Think about it, if you said to children, "Hey everybody, we're going to line up and get cake and ice cream. Go line up over there." What are kids going to do? Just bolt over there and shove people of the way and get, "No, I was here first." "I get to ride shotgun."
I can't count how many times I got out of the car and see multiple kids jammed into the front seat on each other's lap and you're like, "What are you doing?" "I was here first. No I was here first?" They're all just jammed to the front. You got a giant 12-passenger van, the whole family is in front passenger seat because they all called shotgun.
Here's the thing, if you hang around with adults, it's the exact opposite. You hang around with adults and it's like, "Hey, why don't you ride up front?" "No, that's okay. I'll sit in the back." "Oh hey, cake and ice cream fellowship." Everybody's like, "Hey, go ahead. Here. Go first."
Isn't that the mature thing to do? Be patient, let other people go first. You're not going to sit there at a church activity as an adult say, "Why did he get two scoops on his ice cream cone and I only got one?" Everybody would look at you as a child. You're being juvenile. You're being silly, right?
He's saying, "Look, adults don't live their lives with all this envying and strife." Look at what the divisions were about. I got to turn there in my Bible. I was just looking at my notes. He goes into what kind of divisions they had. It wasn't like they were dividing on the lines of people who believe the Bible and people who don't. People who believe salvation is by faith and people who think it's by works. People who believe that there's one God and people who believe in a bunch of other gods on other planets.
They weren't dividing along lines that mattered, they're dividing in verse 4, "One saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" Honestly, when people divide along this kind of lines of worshiping a personality cult, that's carnal and childish.
I think one of the biggest examples of this is with sports where people just get real fired up and real divided over sports. I mean, either you're a fan of the Chicago Cubs or you're a fan of the Chicago White Sox. There's just two kinds of people in this world. You're either from the north side or the south side.
Stupid divisions of just dividing along the lines of things that don't matter: sports. Think about how kids segregate themselves in junior high in high school based on what? What kind of music they listen to. [It says 00:37:48] that's just the divisions over dumb things like what kind of music you listen to and stuff like that.
Whereas the Bible teaches that we should basically divide ourselves from the world, wickedness, ungodly people, separate ourselves from them and be joined together with God's people. That should be the division. Not a division based on our music. Not a division based on our race or nationality. We're more loyal to that than we are to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It doesn't make any sense.
We need to divide along proper lines and in the church the goal is unity because if everybody's got the Word of God, everybody's learning, everybody is doing what's right, then hopefully, the more we grow, the more we learn, the more unity there's going to be because if doctrine is being preached clearly, the majority of the church are going to believe the same things.
Obviously, it's never going to be just a bunch for clones where everybody has all the exact same doctrine and there are all minor issues that don't even frankly matter, so there's no point in dividing or worrying about it. I promise you that there are people in this church that disagree with me on a ton of things. You're not going to find people in this church necessarily with every single thing I preach.
You know what, if somebody here agrees with every single thing I preach, there's nothing wrong with that. It doesn't mean like, "You're not thinking for yourself. You need to find to something to disagree with." Find something just to prove to us that you're thinking on your own. You don't just want to disagree for the sake of disagreeing, but you'll find people in the church that don't all agree on this and that's okay. It doesn't really matter.
There's something wrong though when there's just all over the place on major doctrines. You go to a church and you got the King James, the NIV, the ESV, the HIV, the New American Standard and everybody's got a different version and you asked one person if salvation is eternal. Oh yeah. You asked somebody, "You can lose it." Major doctrines, major important issues and there's no unity. I mean, something's wrong.
That tells me it's a church where doctrine is not being preached. When you go to churches where no doctrine is being preached, everybody believes something different. Then you go to a church there's a lot of clear doctrinal teaching you'll find that more people are going to be on the same page about more things. That's the purpose of pastors and teachers, to bring us to unity where we look at the Word of God and we learn and we all get on the same page.
Think about it, when you talk to Catholics, some of the are telling you there's reincarnation. You're like, "I don't really think that's a Catholic doctrine. That's Hinduism. What are you talking about?" You'll run into Catholics that'll tell you it's reincarnation. Some Catholics believe in purgatory, some don't.
Just all different teachings and doctrines all over the board when you talk to some of these people just because they're not really learning that much in church so they just develop their own views, mix in a little Catholicism and them just tell you, "Hey, this is what I believe."
We want to be people who are mature, not having all this envying and strife. Think about this, what about in your marriage? Envying and strife. One big area is that men and women have different roles in marriage. God didn't design us to be coequal, 50/50 partners where we both make half the money, we both do half the housework, we both have a vote in everything and we keep having a tie and we don't know what to do because there's two of us and we keep voting.
How do you have two people vote on things? It doesn't make any sense, right? You got to have one leader or at least an odd number. I'm not condoning polygamy today. That's the Mormons, all right? Many gods, many wives, you name it with them.
The thing about it is that a lot of times envying in a marriage is what leads to the strife where basically the woman wants to usurp the man's role or the man wants to usurp the woman's role. You say, "Why would the man want to usurp the woman's role?" Staying home. Not going to work. There are men who want to stay home and not go to work. It's not right, is it, for a man to just say, "I don't want to go to work. I want to just stay home. It's too hard out there. I'd rather just stay home and just relax and let you go to work." There are husbands who stay home and demand that their wife go to work. It's out there, friend.
Envying is where the husband looks at the wife and says, "Must be nice staying home," and not understanding that staying home has its challenges. The husband's thinking, "It must be nice staying home," and then the wife's thinking like, "Nice to stay at home? I feel like the roof is coming down on me. I want to get out. It's easy for you to say because you're out driving around all day. I'm cooped up in this little house or this little apartment.
You're out driving. You're talking to all kinds of interesting people in your job all day. I'm talking to a two-year old all day. This is my only company. This is the only person I could keep company with is a two-year old. You're meeting people and you're doing all this exciting stuff and you're driving around and stuff, I need to get out more." You're like, "I need to stay home more. It must be nice just being able to take field trips with the kids and you get to do everything."
It's dumb on both sides because you just need to understand that we live different lives. The husband's got his life and his role, it has its own pros and cons. Yeah, we have to go to work and work our fingers to the bone and have the strength and the labor associated with that, but we get a break from the house and we get a break from maybe the kids being difficult and everything. We do get to get out and get some fresh air and stretch out a little bit.
The wife has benefits of staying at home. Less stress. Not having to go and deal with the job and the hassles with that and gets to spend more quality time with t children and do fun things. Look, there are pros and cons to both and envying is what leads to some of the strife where the husband wants the wife to be like him or want to live her lifestyle or vice versa instead of just everybody getting in their proper role and doing their job and being who they're supposed to be and not trying to compare themselves.
A comparison between husbands and wives just doesn't make any sense because you're comparing apples to oranges. This warp sense of fairness between the husband and wife, it doesn't always make sense because you're comparing apples to oranges. Different lifestyles. You don't want to have all these bitter envying and strife and just fuzzing and childishness.
How do you overcome this? By putting other people first. By thinking about other people and their needs. Envying is when you're looking at them and say, "That's not fair." Whereas a Godly attitude is saying, "You know what, I'd rather put them first. I hope that their piece is a little bigger than mine." See, that takes maturity, doesn't it?
Little toddlers aren't thinking like, "You know what, I wanted him to have that toy. I'm so glad he ripped that out of my hand because you know what, he probably needs it more than I do. I have so many toys at home. I wonder if he comes from a home of few toys. It's so good to see him having so much fun with that toy right now." Those thoughts are [inaudible 00:45:34] as mine. As an adult you might think to yourself, "Hey, I want other people to have the bigger share. I want them to sit in the front seat. I want to be humble." That's a mature, Godly, Christ-like attitude that comes with growing up.
What else? Go to Hebrews chapter 5. Hebrews chapter 5, another attribute of children. What's the sermon about tonight? Because Christ said that there is a generation that was like unto children: playing games, lacking wisdom, not serious. He talked about a generation that was like children. Then we saw where the Apostle Paul said, "Look, when I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things." We see all these admonitions to grow up, to be no more children. To be mature, to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
What does that mean to not be childish? What is it to be childish? To be childish is to be unserious. Everything's a game. It's just play, play, play, fun, fun, fun. That is childish. We as Christians are told, "Grow out of that." What else does it mean?
Number two, it means to be responsible. It's children that are irresponsible and have to be supervised and checked up on all the time adults can just be left with a task and maybe even three or four days later you check in with them and the machine has been going for three to four days without you even having had to check it one time. That's being mature.
What else does it mean to be mature? It means that you gain knowledge. Remember, knowledge is gained from reading the Bible, going to church, listening to preaching and knowledge is gained from reading books, not watching TV. It's gained predominantly from reading books. Serious study and knowledge comes from books, not from the learning channel or whatever.
What does it mean to be an adult versus a child? Not to be gullible, not to be stupid where people can just trick you into believing all kinds of crazy goof ball hair brain things and where you just believe every word when you're older and wiser you start fact checking things, you start seeing if things add up before you just blindly jump on the latest trendy doctrinal bandwagon.
What else does it mean to grow up? It means that you're not striving and fuzzing and envying about dumb things and dividing based on dumb things where you get this tribal mentality where it's just like it's all about the sports team that you listen to or sports team that you're idolizing, worshiping. What's the word? Following. That you're a fan of.
That it's just not all about the music that you listen to and dressing in your style. There's the hip-hop style then there's the cowboys, the skaters, the rockers, the punks. Now they have these emos. They didn't have them when I was coming out, friend. We called them queers. No, I'm just kidding. These emos or whatever.
Basically, dividing yourself along these childish lines. Instead of getting serious, how about wearing serious clothes? How about getting a serious haircut? How about living a serious life instead of just trying to make yourself look like a circus clown and dress up like the weirdest, trendiest new thing so that you could be cool and fit in with their group.
You know who my group is? Bible Believing Christians. That's the mature group to get in. A local church. People who believe the Bible. People who love soul winning and love God. Not dividing over dumb things and things that don't matter.
Lastly, let me just touch on this. Hebrews 5, I want to telly that children have a short attention span, don't they? Isn't that a difference between children and adults? A short attention span. They can't necessarily sit still and focus on one thing for as long as an adult can. Adult can just sit down with a good book and just spend hours and hours reading. Whereas children are going to fidget and get up and they don't have the attention span for it.
That's part of growing up is that they need to learn and church is a great place to learn to sit still. That's why we don't have children's church where we take them in some other building somewhere. Somewhere in outer space God has ... and wild service forum. Teach them to have the attention span to sit in a real church, listen to real preaching from a little Bible.
By the way, get your kids a real Bible that has white pages, black ink that's a King James version. People say, "The language is too hard." Little kids can learn any language. You can take your kid in China they'll speaking Chinese and it won't even be hard even if they're a dumb kid they'll speak Chinese if they grow up with it. "We'll just let them grow up with the dumb one."
By the way, the ESV and the NIV are for dumb people. Here's what so funny, it's all these scholars. "New King James is only for people who are so ignorant. We with the ESV are so much more intelligent." Then you tell them, "Hey King James." They're like, "That King James is too hard to understand."
You just finished talking about how dumb we are and how smart you are. If we're so dumb and you're so smart, then why do we read the hard Bible and you read the easy Bible? That doesn't make any sense. You're reading some dumb-down hop on pop version, Dr. Seuss version and then you're going to tell us how smart you are? "You can't read that King James. It's way too hard. It's way too complicated."
Yeah, it's too hard for you if you're ignorant, if you're uneducated, unsaved, yeah exactly because, "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." They say, "Oh man, that King James is too hard." That's why I read it directly from the Greek and Hebrew because that's so much easier, you know?
I remember I was told when I was a teenager, "You need to stop reading the King James." That's what my youth pastor told me in the Baptist church I went to. He said, "You need to get off that King James. It's too hard for you to understand." I'm like, "Are you calling me stupid here? What do you mean it's too hard for me to understand? I understand it." Why did I understand it? Because I grew up with it.
Here's the thing: even people who didn't grow up with it, it's not that complicated. You know what the big hard thing about the King James is? Let's just say it. It's the thees and the thous. Look, you can't learn two words? Thee and thou? Is it really that hard to learn thee and thou?
Listen, let me just help you. Though means you. Guess what thee means? The same thing. You. It's two words with one meaning: you. "Oh man, I just can't handle the thees and thous." Can I help you into your stray jacket? Maybe we should put you in a highchair and feed you. Look, anybody who can't understand the words thee and thou after it's been explained to them - I can understand if somebody just never heard the word thou and somebody said, "Hey, it's you," "Oh, okay." End of story. We could move on with our lives now that we all know what thou means.
Anybody who's just like, "I just can't get the thees and thous," it's like do you feed yourself? Do you use a toilet? Do you blow your nose? What other impairments do you have that you can't learn this really basic word? You say, "There's a lot of hard words in the King James." You know, there's a lot of hard words in every Bible. You know why? Because parts of the Bible are hard.
The Bible even said that in Paul's Epistles are some things hard to be understood. If the Bible tells us, "Look, in some things, in Paul's Epistles are hard to be understood," and then somebody once come along and make it easy, that would be changing God's word because part of it is supposed to be hard. Part of it is supposed to be easy.
See, this book last you for your whole life. What if it was just all easy stuff? You'd get bored with it. What if it was all hard stuff? Then when you're a kid you'd have nothing to read. God gave us a mixture of that which is easy, that which is hard.
One of the reasons why we tell people when they get saved, "Hey, start reading in the Book of John," is because John is written in very simple language so most people will point that out as a good place to start. Hey, read the Book of John. You know what's funny, if you go to learn Greek you know what the Greek teacher will always tell you? Start with John.
Why is the Greek teacher telling you to start with John and the person who get you saved with an English Bible is telling you start with John? Guess what, because John is easiest in Greek and it's easiest in English because the English is just translating the Greek so the easy one is the easy one in English.
They'll say, "Hebrews is really hard in the Greek New Testament." Yeah, it's hard in English too. Should we make it easy? No because it's designed to be hard. There's stuff that's easy and stuff that's hard. We don't want to just dumb it all down and then just have dumb Christians.
I heard somebody say, "What about foreigners though? How dare you demand that people use this difficult Bible, the King James. What about these poor foreigners?" Here's an idea: get them a Bible in their own language. If they're that much of a foreigner that they don't speak English, here's an idea: if they speak Spanish, give them a Spanish Bible instead of, "Okay everybody, we all have to use a dumb-down Bible because of foreigners." That doesn't make any sense. Those of us who were born and raised here are going to use this.
You know what, I think that it's great when people can read the Bible in their own tongue wherein they were born because even when we learn a second language, our native language is always the one that's dearest unto us. We're always going to understand it the best. Even people who are fluent in a foreign language, they'd still understand things a little better in their native tongue.
Those who are native in Spanish or native in whatever the language, whether it be Portuguese or whether it be Romanian, French, it's great if they can get a Bible in their own language and read it in their native tongue. Not saying, "Well, what about foreigners? You're going to make them read the King James too?" No. We're going to get them a Bible in their own language then.
Look, even if people go to an English-speaking church because they live America, you know a lot of them do is bring a Bible in their native tongue so that they can listen to the preaching and then check it out in a language that they understand a little better. Bring a Spanish Bible and follow along in that or whatever.
That's great, but to sit there and say, "We need to dumb-down the Bible," no. You need to get smarter. We don't need to make the Bible dumb, we need you to get smart. You need to learn some words. By the way, these new versions are filled with hard words. It's been proven. They're not even really easier, they're just different because they're changing scripture.
Short attention span, let's see it in scripture. This is the last thing. If you think the sermon is too long, you might be one of those people that has a real short attention span. You need to focus, all right? Don't be the example of my sermon.
Hebrews 5 says this, "Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec." Up to verse 10 he just finished explaining some complicated doctrine in the book of Hebrews, a complicated book. He explains a bunch of complicated doctrine and he finishes up in verse 10 saying, "Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing."
He's saying, "I have a lot more to teach you of this complicated stuff or we could talk more about Melchisedec but he says, "You're dull of hearing." When someone is dull of hearing it means basically that they're starting to tune it out now.
He says in verse 12, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe." He's a baby. "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."
He's saying the babes are dull of hearing when doctrine is laid out and taught. Why? Because they have the short attention span of a child. Hey, we have more to say about Melchisedec, but you're dull of hearing, you're a baby so I have to go back and break it down. Shame on us if that would ever be said unto us. There's a lot more great doctrine to teach you but you just can't pay attention. You're bored easily.
You know children, they have a short attention span. You can't preach as long unto them because they start to fade away. They can't read the Bible as long because they start to zone out and they can't sit still. That's okay for children. They're children, right? As they grow up that attention span should increase, whereas adults today having short attention span, that's a problem.
This is why your average today, the sermon is a 15-minute sermon. I think there are a couple of reasons for the 15-minute sermons. Reason number one, the pastor doesn't have a lot to say because he's not really that excited about the Word of God or the work of God. He doesn't have a big vision. He doesn't have a lot of doctrine to lay out. He's filling time checking off another sermon just, "How's the offering? How's the attendance? How can we grow?" Yadah, yadah, yadah. The pastor doesn't have a lot to say that's why he's done in 15 minutes.
Number two, he's gone in 15 minutes because people want him to be gone in 15 minutes. Because they have a short attention span. Because they're going to church out of duty and religious obligation not because they're coming with the fork and the knife in their hand and the napkin gone up their neck saying, "Feed me. I'm hungry. Give me some strong meat. I'm hungry. Yeah." They come and they're basically just filling time. Can we get to the boat lunch? Can we get to lunch? Can we get to the picnic?
They're not really there to get serious about sitting down and digging into the Word and buckling down for some serious doctrine because they're a babe in Christ. Whereas the serious adult Christian shows up at church and wants to learn, wants to be taught and can sit for a couple of hours and listen to preaching and teaching.
When you go to pastor's meetings where you'll go to a place where a whole bunch of pastors get together and preach to each other and things like that, I've gone to meetings like that where it was a day of preaching. You'd sit and listen to preaching for hours and hours and hours and you're enjoying it. You're learning. Here's the thing: when you get to be an adult and when you grow up, you can pick up the Bible and read it for a few hours. Sit down and read it for a few hours. Read entire books. Read entire sections. That's maturity to be able to do that.
Whereas a child, you have to give it to him in little digestible segments and that's okay for children, but we are not to be children. We're to grow up and all is wrapped up in this: to be childish is to be carnal and to be an adult is to be spiritual. It's that simple.
Because of the fact that children are just driven by the flesh. If you think about a newborn baby, he's not pondering the meaning of life. He's not thinking about spiritual things. It's just, "Waah, feed me." There are only a few things on that baby's mind. Get me to the breast, get this dirty diaper off me, pick me up and rock me and cradle me, make me feel good. Isn't that what a baby's like? Just meet my physical carnal needs and that's okay, that's normal.
For an adult, to not have a spiritual bone in his body and to just live from cheeseburger to ice cream cone to skin flick and just, "How can I gratify the flesh in one way or another," and just no spirituality. No meditating on the Word of God. No pondering the things of the Lord and the Word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. No reading God's Word and studying the Bible and caring about other people's souls and spending time in prayer like we talked about this morning, praying.
It's just laying on the couch, getting as comfortable as you can. You got the remote control, surround yourself with snacks. You got a nice place to put the chips on your chest. Just carnal flesh. Children. Grow up. By the way, children will eat any junk food. They don't say, "Oh no, I better not." When you're offering them candy, chocolate, they don't say, "You know, I think I've had too much. I better not. Pass the cauliflower. Pass the broccoli."
Adults will say, "Pass the broccoli. Pass the cauliflower." They will say, "Hey, give me the main course," not just, "Let's go straight into the dessert and just eat junk." Why? Because adults are less carnal. Less just physically motivated by the immediate itch and urge and hunger and thirst. They're more thinking about spiritual things and thinking about intellectual things. This is the difference between being childish and being an adult.
"A generation of children," is what Jesus said. "Where unto shall I liken this generation? They're like children." We need the escape this child-like mentality where people are in their 20s and 30s and they still act like teenagers. God forbid, even in their 40s and 50s, the midlife crisis, acting like a teenager. Just be proud of your age and don't try to relive.
It's only one childhood per customer. You don't go back and do it again. You do it once and you just need to learn to enjoy, embrace being in your 30s. Embrace the 40s. Embrace the 50s. Don't just try to relive the glory days. You'll look like a fool. You'll look like an idiot. Teenagers don't think you're cool. They never will.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank You so much Lord for all these teachings in the Bible where we can get some concrete ways to work on our maturity, Lord. Help us to work on it. Help us to gain knowledge. Help us to fact check things that are divers and strange doctrines. Help us to get serious and not play games and fool around so much. Help us to work hard and be self-motivated and not have someone just have to crack t whip on us to get things done. Help us to be responsible. Help us to be spiritual, Lord, and help us not to have strife and envying, Lord, but help us to put others first and esteem others better than ourselves. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.