Now in 1st Timothy chapter 3 we find the qualifications for the bishop and the deacon. I’m going to be continuing my little unofficial series tonight where I have been preaching about some of the qualifications for the pastor on Sunday nights. The reason I’m preaching this is because of course we have a lot of men in our church who one day would like to pastor. Brother Romero is planning on starting a church before the end of this calendar year.
Qualifications are important for those men in our church who would aspire to one day have the office of a bishop, to be a pastor of a church. But not only that. We know that if God expects the bishop to live to a certain standard obviously all believers should live up to the same type of standards because before the pastor becomes a pastor he’s in the pew living up to that standard. That’s why he’s even chosen for the job. These principles that God gives for the bishop and deacon to live by are principles that we should all be living by. There’s something for everyone in the sermon of course.
Tonight I want to focus on verses 4 and 5 where the bible reads, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” Last week I covered being a novice. The week before that I covered being vigilant. Tonight I want to preach about ruling your own house well. What does that mean? Let’s flip over quickly to Titus 1, keep your finger in 1st Timothy 3. We’ll be right back.
In Titus 1 we find the parallel passage where Paul again gives qualifications for the bishop in a little bit more of an abbreviated form. He says in Titus 1 beginning in verse 5, “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.” Notice that the word elder is used interchangeably with the word bishop later in this passage.
He says, “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate. Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
If we compare these 2 passages we see that first of all in 1st Timothy 4, it said, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” Then over here in Titus it said, “Having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” There are 2 aspects here that God is holding the man accountable for. Number 1 is for his children and number 2 is for his wife. Because later on, if you're in 1st Timothy 3 there, look at verse 11. We find the qualifications for the deacon. It says, “Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.” That’s the qualification for the deacon’s wife.
Then it says, “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” See, how it’s the same thing about ruling your house, having your children in subjection with all gravity. What does gravity mean? Seriousness, that means that they respect you. You are serious to them. You are someone that they look to as not being a joke, someone who, “Oh, the old man can say whatever he want.” No, they respect you. They take you seriously. They are in subjection to you. You are the ruler in that house. There are 2 aspects here, the children and the wife. Those are the 2 aspects of the family man.
Let’s start out by talking about the children. First of all, go to 1st Samuel chapter 2. Let’s look at an example of a biblical leader who failed in this area and see what the repercussions were upon those who followed him. Because if we have a man who is preaching that does not rule well his own house and he’s running the church, the bible says, “If a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” There are going to be negative repercussions. He’s going to fail as a pastor if he fails in his household, if he fails in the home life, if he fails to rule his children in his own house.
Here’s an example of a guy who failed as a parent, Eli in the Old Testament. Look at 1st Samuel 2:12. “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial.” These are not faithful children. You say, “What is the son of Belial?” Well, you might be familiar with terms like bale, bell, Beelzebub, Belial, these are all variations on the same thing. Basically when the bible calls somebody a son of Belial it’s saying that they’re a child of the devil is basically what that’s saying. When you look throughout the bible the sons of Belial, and whenever that term’s used, it’s people that are reprobate, I mean it’s people that are very wicked and ungodly. For example, the Sodomites that surrounded the house in Judges 19 were called men of Belial. On and on. I’m not going to go through all the mentions, but these guys are very wicked, reprobate young men.
Let’s keep reading the story. It says in verse 13, “And the priests',” and it says of course they knew not the Lord, that goes without saying if they’re sons of Belial. It says in verse 13, “And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of 3 teeth in his hand.” Basically like a fork almost.
“And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, ‘Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.’ And if any man said unto him, ‘Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth,’ then he would answer him, ‘Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.’ Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred,” abhorred means what?
They hated the offering of the Lord. It gave people a bad attitude about coming to God’s house, it gave them a bad attitude about making offering of the Lord when they saw the abuse that was taking place with the 2 sons of Eli.
Let me explain this to you. If you read Leviticus where the teachings are about the sacrifices, there are certain sacrifices that were supposed to be eaten, and they were boiled or seethed. They were supposed to be meat that was boiled. In this case they would boil the meat, they would burn off the fat and then they would stab a fork in it and grab off the part that was going to be for the priest, and that was what they would eat. But these guys were not satisfied with that, the sons of Eli. They wanted to just have the raw meat with all the fat on it so that they could cook it whatever way that they like and eat it in a way that’s going to tickle their taste buds. Not only that, but these men were gluttonous men. The bible is very clear about that.
First of all, we see in another part of the story that the bible tells us that Eli was a very heavy man. Obviously he didn’t get that way by breathing air. He was a gluttonous man. Look at verse 22 of the same chapter. It says, “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Not only were these men gluttonous men that were stealing from the Lord’s offering, because God said that the fat was to be burned unto the Lord in the sacrifices. They weren’t supposed to eat the fat or the blood. That stuff was supposed to be burned off. They were supposed to eat the lean meat. But yet these men, because they're gluttonous, they wanted to just gorge on all that fat flesh. Not only were they gluttonous, they also were fornicators. The bible says that they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Now I don’t think there’s any evidence that Eli was a fornicator. In fact, I don’t believe he was, because from what we see Eli was a man of God, he was a saved man, he was a righteous man, but he did have a problem with gluttony apparently because it talks about him being a very heavy man, it talks about how they had all made themselves fat by eating too much of the Lord’s offering and so forth. This shows how the sins of the parents can be repeated by the children, but sometimes the children will take something that the parents do to a certain level and then they’ll take it even further. They’ll take it to an extreme.
I’ve heard it said that what the parents do in moderation the children will do to excess. We see that throughout the bible. You see David take a few multiple wives, which was wrong. God commanded that the King of Israel should not multiply wives. But yet he took a few wives. Then what do you see his son do? Just taking it to an extreme of having just hundreds of wives. Why not? I mean, if you're going to have 10, what’s the difference between having 10 or 100? Neither one of those is God’s will. Neither one is right. It’s supposed to be one man and one woman. “They twain shall be one flesh.” What we see the parents compromising and sinning and doing wrong. Then we see the children take it to even more of an extreme.
Not only did Eli gratify his flesh through overeating of fatty foods and become a glutton. His children followed in those footsteps. But then they added another flesh satisfying indulgence of fornication. Gluttony plus fornication. The sin of these young men was very great. Verse 23, “And he said unto them,” this is Eli said unto them. “Why do ye such things?” “What are you doing guys?” He’s not solving the problem. He needed to take out a stick and beat these boys with a stick. Instead he just asked them, “Why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil doings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people to transgress.”
Now look, what was the result of these young men and their lascivious lifestyle? It wasn’t just that they committed sin. But rather they made the Lord’s people to transgress. It caused the followers, it caused the whole nation to go into sin, because of the example of these young men setting a wicked example of fornication and gluttony. Then people looked at that and said, “Well, if that’s what the pastor’s kids are doing, that’s what the high priest children are doing, we’re going to do the same. I mean, they’re religious people and look what they’re doing. We’re going to do the same thing.”
Then not only that. Even the ones who did not look at it that way, they just got sick in going to church, because they said, “You know, we go to the house of God and we’re trying to present an offering unto the Lord as it is written in the book of Leviticus, and then we get there and they don’t want to follow Leviticus. They want to take extra food and they want to do something that’s unbiblical.” It just caused them to abhor the offering to the Lord. Just made them not even want to show up anymore.
A lot of young people are turned away from the faith when they see a lot of hypocrisy in church, or they see a lot of wickedness in church and they just think, “Man, I don’t need this,” and it causes people to be turned away from the faith. When the leadership is wrong everything goes wrong is what we see from this. Look at verse 25, “If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.”
By the time Eli is trying to talk sense into these boys it’s already too late for these guys. God has already decided he’s going to slay them. God’s already decided that he’s done with them. More evidence of the fact that the sons of Belial in the bible are reprobates. I’ve heard some people say that every person who is unsaved is a child of the devil. That is false. We’re not saved. We’re the children of disobedience. We’re the children of wrath. We are the children of Adam. We are in the flesh we are sinners but we do not become children of the devil in our lives. We are children of God when we get saved. Let me ask you this. Can a child of God ever stop being a child of God?
No way. Once you're a child of God you're a child of God forever. Likewise, I believe that once someone’s a child of the devil they’re always a child of the devil. Because if you look at who the bible calls a child of the devil it’s reprobate people where God’s just like, “I’m through with you.” For example, Jesus told the Pharisees, “Ye are of your father the devil.” But then also in John 12 it says about those exact same people. I mean he tells them, “You're of your father the devil,” in John chapter 8. Then in John 12 it says, “Therefore they could not believe because God …” Let’s turn there. God to John 12. Let’s look at it.
John chapter 12. By the way, a lot of people don’t teach this doctrine anymore. A lot of Baptist churches, they’ve gone into the hallmark mentality of just, you know, it’s just never too late for anybody, I mean as long as somebody is breathing they’re saved. Amen. It sounds great, but you know what, the bible talks about people that God gives over to a reprobate mind. God hardens their heart like pharaoh and he’s done with them and he want to slay them, he’s through. That’s why we need to make sure that we get our doctrine right about this because you don’t hear it much. But it’s biblical.
Look what the bible says in John 12. It’s not in my notes so I have to find the verse. I believe it’s in John 12. Am I in the right place?
12:39. Thank you. It says in 12:39 … Let’s look at verse 37. “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him. That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore, they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, he hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.”
Now a lot of people will twist these type of verses and try to teach Calvinism and try to teach God just for ordained certain people to go to hell. I don’t believe that for 1 second. Pharaoh in the beginning of that story the bible pharaoh hardened his heart. It doesn’t say God hardened his heart. It says pharaoh hardened it. He chose to reject the word of God. He chose to reject the truth. These people saw all the miracles Jesus did, heard all the preaching that Jesus did, and they refused to believe on him and it got to a point where they could not believe. It was too late. They could not believe because God hardened their heart. God blinded their eyes. Romans 1 goes into this in great detail about how people get blinded and turned over to a reprobate mind and given over under vile affections and so forth.
That’s what the bible is talking about with these sons of Belial. That’s why he said that that he would slay them and that it was just too late, no matter what dad said, they just weren’t going to listen at that point. Let me ask this. Was Eli responsible for the wickedness of his sons? Look at 1st Samuel 2:27. Let’s see what the bible says. Was Eli held responsible for the fact that his children were out committing fornication, they were stealing from the offering plate, they're ungodly men?
Look what the bible says in 1st Samuel 2:27. “And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, ‘Thus saith the Lord. Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? And did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation,’” watch this, “And honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?”
He’s blaming Eli saying you're honoring your sons above me. Look at verse 35. He says, “I will raise me up a faithful priest.” Basically what’s he saying there Eli is not being faithful. He’s not being trustworthy. He is not keeping the charts that the Lord has given him because of the fact that he has let his children commit these kind of wicked acts. Watch what it says in chapter 3, flip over to chapter 3. He said, “I’ll raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind.”
Look at verse 12 of chapter 3. 1st Samuel 3:12, “In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile,” again the sons of Belial a word that’s associated with them as vileness in Judges 19 and in Romans 1, and it says, “They made themselves vile and he restrained them not.”
Eli’s being blamed for not doing what? Restraining them. He did not restrain them. First of all, he set a bad example. He taught them poorly by his example of just unfettered gratifying of the flesh. Then he also failed to lead, failed to discipline and to punish his sons. They should’ve been punished. You say, “Well, they’re adult children.”
Now I don’t really know how old these guys are. The bible doesn’t really tell us how old these sons are. They’re old enough to be committing fornication. We don’t know. They’re also saying to people give it to me or I’m going to take it by force. They’re old enough to have some force. Sometimes big fat guys can be pretty strong, if you think about it, because they’re carrying around all that weight all day. I mean, it can make you strong. That’s why in a lot of sports there will be like a weight class between different boxers and things. Obviously a lot of that weight is muscle, but a lot of guys that even if they have a lot of fat on, they still down there somewhere there’s a lot of muscle down there, buried beneath.
What I’m saying is that these guys I believe were adults. They were probably not even just 18, 19. They’re probably older than that to be strong enough and just to be big and burly enough to made those kind of threats and say, “You better give me what I want or I’m going to take it by force,” and for people to kind of be nervous about that. They were big boys, big strong guys.
You say, “Well, that’s not really Eli’s fault.” But hold on a second. Eli had 2 sons. They both turned out wrong. What’s that say about his parenting?
He’s failing. Not only that but when they’re older sometimes it is too late. Once Eli tried to correct them the bible makes it clear that it already was too late. But this shows Eli’s failure earlier on. Now I believe of course in corporal punishment for children. The bible’s real clear about that. We could turn to a whole bunch of verses on that, but if you would flip over to Proverbs 13. Proverbs 13.
While you're turning there let me read for you from later on in the book of 1st Samuel, because in 1st Samuel 7 we see when Samuel brings the nation back to God, finally. When he brings them back to God Samuel says that Israel needs to put away the strange gods and Ashtoreth and serve the Lord only. What does that tell you? That tells you that under Eli and his sons’ ministry they’re serving on this false god. They turned away from the true God. That’s why they went into captivity, the Philistines, that’s why the ark of the covenant gets taken captive. All of these horrible things happen because of Eli’s failure to lead properly on his own.
Now can you see why God in the New Testament doesn’t want a pastor that doesn’t rule his own house and that his children do these kind of things. Just as it destroyed the nation of Israel it could destroy a church, it could cause people in the church to go into sin, or people to quit the church and say, “Well I’m not going to go there. Look at the pastors’ children, are monsters. They’re evil. They're sons of Belial. They’re wicked, and so forth.”
Let me turn there myself, in Proverbs chapter 13 we find one of the many verses that talks about disciplining your children. This will solve a lot of the problems that we see with wicked, rebellious, ungodly children. The bible says in verse 24, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Betimes means early. Why early? Because the bible says, “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not they soul spare for his cry.” That tells me that there comes a point where there is no more hope and you chasten your son while there’s hope.
Go to Proverbs 23 verse 13. Proverbs 23:13 says this, “Withhold not correction from the child.” I’ve heard people tell me, “Well, when the bible says not to spare the rod it’s not talking about spanking, it’s not talking about, you know, beating your child with a rod. What it’s actually referring to is that rod with a hook on the end that the shepherd would have, and he would use it to, you know, lovingly guide the sheep and everything.” I mean who’s heard something like that? I’ve heard people say, “You know, when it says rod it’s just figurative.” Let’s see if that adds up.
It says here in verse 13, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” If you want to believe that that rod was that hook thing, that’s fine, as long as it’s being used to beat. If you want to put a little hook in the end of it, that’s up to you. But to sit there and say, “Well, the rod, that was just to put it around their neck.” I guess when a comedian is drowning on stage, they get that long rod with the hook on the end and kind of pull them off the stage. I guess that’s what they think God’s talking about. But that’s not what God’s talking about because he says in verse 14, “Thou shalt beat.”
I know this isn’t one of the 10 commandments but it almost sounds like it. This could be number 11. Thou shalt beat. I mean just let those 3 words sink down into you. This is not optional. He says, “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” You say, “Well, if you love your child, you wouldn’t spank your child.” Well if you love your child, you want him to go to hell?
You want him to go be a son of Belial? Because those men, the sons of Eli, went to hell. They’re in hell right now. Why did Eli sons go to hell? Because he did not beat them. He did not punish them. He did not teach them. He did not bring them up in the nurture and admonition. Look, it says, “They knew not the Lord.” He probably wasn’t teaching them the bible either.
Now why would Eli, a righteousness and godly man, not beat his children and not teach them the bible? Let’s see. I’m thinking of a word that could also be associated with somebody who’s very heavy.
Lazy. Exactly. He’s too lazy. He’s too lazy. Because look, spanking your children is hard work. Because it’s something that sometimes you're busy, you're doing something and they need to be spanked and it’s just so much easier just to tell them no or just to yell at them, or just to, “Whatever, do what you want,” and just let them run wild, stick them in front of a TV, stick them somewhere else, put them with a babysitter or day care that’s not going to spank of course. It’s just a lot of work to read the bible to your children every day, teach them the word of God, discipline them and do everything that a good parent should do. It’s hard work. Those who are lazy will not do that work, but they’re going to suffer for it later.
Go to chapter 29 of Proverbs. Again, I’m just barely touching on this because it’s not what the whole sermon is about. There are plenty of scriptures that teach disciplining your children with the rod. In the New Testament because a lot of people will say, “Well, that’s the Old Testament.” Well, first of all, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, so we need to be careful that we don’t just throw out the whole Old Testament. It’s profitable for doctrine today. Are there differences between the Old and New Testament? Yes. But Jesus dying on the cross had nothing to do with how you disciplined your children. That didn’t change.
When we get to Hebrews 12 which is a New Testament passage, it teaches the same thing, “Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” It says, “For they verily chastened us for a few days after their pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”
The bible compares the physical discipline that our parents give us on this earth to the discipline that God gives us figuratively speaking as we go through life. If we commit sin, he will chasten us, he will scourge us metaphorically speaking. Look at chapter 29 verse 17 where you are there. “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” This is a promise that Eli should have been able to claim. He should’ve been able to say, “Look, I corrected my son. Now he’s given me rest. Now he’s bringing delight into my soul.”
The bible has another promise. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he’ll not depart from it.” All that to say this, God holds parents accountable for what their children do and for controlling their children, restraining their children, disciplining their children, correcting their children, that is their responsibility. The bible says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother shame.” Why does it bring shame to the mother? Because she’s responsible, because she didn’t do the disciplining that she needed to do, she didn’t spend time teaching the word of God and bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
You say, “Well, what age is the age where you’ll stop physically disciplining your children as far as giving them a spanking, or disciplining them with corporal punishment? What would be the age that would stop?” Well, I would say this, most people that I’ve known stopped spanking their children when they got to be around 11, 12. I know my parents stopped spanking me when I was 11.
Honestly that’s not what I believe. I don’t believe that, because honestly when I stopped getting spanked at age 11 I think was my last spanking, it’s not like then my parents just let me do whatever I wanted after that. My parents still had rules when I was 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. They still had rules for me, but instead of getting spanked I would just get lectured more.
Honestly I don’t believe that that’s effective. I don’t think it’s effective. I believe in spanking your children if they … Hopefully as your children get older hopefully they need less and less as they get older or something is not sinking in. But when they’re little, they need a lot of discipline, because the bible says, “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far.”
See how many verses there are? I mean, I’m not quoting one verse tonight. It’s verse after verse after verse after verse about correcting your children, disciplining your children. Honestly, when I was a teenager I would’ve preferred getting a spanking to a long lecture anyway. Maybe everybody doesn’t feel that way, but those long lectures were painful. I mean, I’d much rather just have just gotten a spanking and then just been done with.
Our culture frowns upon that. I think it becomes culturally unacceptable at a certain point to spank your teenager. They look at that as you shouldn’t do. I don’t know where they’re getting that from, because the bible even talks about corporal- In fact, I’d say about half the verses on corporal punishment in the bible are about adults. If you want to dispute that, let’s look at the verses after this service. I mean, there are plenty of verses about corporal punishment of adults, because back in those days if people had an employee that’s refusing to work, a servant who’s refusing to work, they would corporally punish them. They would use a rod on them to get them back to work. Honestly, people who committed crimes in the bible would get corporal punishment.
By the way, there’s nothing inhumane about that. You know what’s inhumane? Locking somebody up in a cage. That’s inhumane. Nowhere in this book cover to cover will you ever find where God taught that people should be put in a cage and locked up in prison for their crimes. It’s not a biblical doctrine. Prison is not a biblical teaching. I don’t believe in prison.
In the bible when people committed crimes, if they committed a crime they either had to pay the victim a certain amount of money, or they’d be beaten with a rod, or scourged with a whip, or they would be killed if they did something huge like murder they’re going to be put to death. Lesser crimes were punished by beating or a fine. It’s not humane to lock people up in solitary confinement. It makes them go insane, makes people lose their mind. It’s not humane to put people in prison and lock them up, take them away from their family, ruin their life.
Think about it. If we went and asked the people in prison, “Would you like to take a physical scourging right now and be released from prison,” you don’t think that most of them would do it?
Yeah, all of them.
But yet they’ll say, “Oh, that’s so inhumane, oh the bible, oh it’s so mean, oh,” and they whine about the bible and how God is just so cruel. But you know what’s really cruel? Is locking people up and taking them away from their family instead of just punishing them and then forgiving them by the way. Our country doesn’t forgive people either, criminal record that they carry around with them for the rest of their life.
That is in violation of the teaching of scripture. The bible says that when someone has paid for their crimes their sins should not be mentioned to them again. It says, “Let him that stole steal no more, let him work with his hands the thing that’s good [inaudible 00:31:25].” People get out of prison and sometimes they can’t even get a job because they’ve got this felony. Then they go back to crime. It’s stupid.
But there’s a military industrial complex and there’s also a prison industrial complex. There are people who make money off the prison industry and there’s a lot of corruption there. 90-some percent of the people that are in prison right now don’t belong there by the way. The other 10% should be put to death. Because there are people in prison right now that are pedophiles, and murderous, and rapists, they should be put to death.
Then most of the other 90-some percent of the other people in there are in for things that are not criminal offenses according to God’s word, just dumb stuff. They shouldn’t be locked in that cage. If anything, if they have done things like stealing that are crimes but not punishable by death, then they should be scourged and released or made to pay 4-fold or 5-fold or whatever the judges determine. See, this is biblical justice. This is what’s right.
We are queasy today about corporal punishment of anyone over 12 or 13 or 14. We look at that like, “Oh man, that’s crazy, that’s psycho.” But you know what? I think it’s crazy to lock people up in a cage, and I think it’s crazy to spend millions and billions of tax dollars on these prisons. Then you're putting all the bad people “together” and then anyone who’s kind of good is going to get corrupted in there. All kinds of wicked people are in there.
Then a lot of times they go in there and they lift weights and then they come out and they’re just huge. Then they can really hurt people because that’s all they do all day, is just get stronger, trade tips with other criminals about how to perpetrate their crimes. Then they’re ready to come out and be criminal 2.0 ready to do even more wickedness.
Just because our society looks at something and frowns on something, we shouldn’t let that determine the way that we look at things. I hope as my children get older, and obviously my older children are learning and growing and needing less and less discipline as they get older, and that’s as it should be. But I’ll say this. There’s not some age where I’m just going to be done spanking my children. It’s not going to happen.
I know that’s controversial and that makes people upset. But you know what? If you're living in my house and you need it you're going to get it. It’s that simple. I mean, I’m not going to sit there and say, “Well, he’s too old to spank him. You know. She’s too old to spank her.” Okay, what do we do? Yell at her for an hour and a half? Lecture for an hour and a half? I mean, that’s not going to get the job done. You need to discipline your children.
Honestly Eli had these sons. They were doing some really bad stuff. I mean, really bad stuff. Fornicating, stealing from the Lord’s offerings. They were in major, major sin. I don’t care how old they are. Eli should’ve [inaudible 00:34:26]. I mean, I don’t even care how old. It’s not like they were married and living- I mean it seems like they were just … I mean, I don’t know, were they married? At this point we don’t know. I don’t think that they were necessarily married at that point. I believe later they were. These guys, they’re just committing fornication. It doesn’t really call it adultery so probably these guys are single. If they’re single and they’re living at home, discipline them. That’s the way I see it.
Either way, let’s not go too deep into that story. Let’s go back to 1st Timothy 3 with that in mind. Now we’ve got a nice concrete example in our minds, don’t we, of where this can go wrong, where you're not ruling your house, where you're not disciplining your children. We can see how it leads a whole nation into sin. It causes all kinds of people to turn away from God, to turn away from the truth.
It says in 1st Timothy 3:4 that if we’re going to have a pastor, he needs to be, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.” What does subjection mean? It means they’re not running the show. He’s running the show. They’re in subjection to him. They are subject unto his rules and unto his laws.
Then it says, “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” Then it says in Titus, turn in Titus, “Having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.” Now first of all let me say this. A man who is not married is not qualified to pastor a church. Nothing wrong with being single. God can use single people greatly. But they should not be the bishop or elder. The bible teaches that one of the qualification is that they’re the husband of one wife. Tell that to the Roman catholic church by the way, with all these unmarried bishops. The bible says that the bishop must be the husband of one wife.
By the way, if you have children you have a wife to have those children with. How can you have faithful children, how can you rule your children well, how can you know how to rule your own house if you don’t even have a house? I mean, if you're single you have no house, because it’s not talking about a building when it says house. It’s talking about your household, your wife and children. You don’t have the requisite experience to be a pastor unless you are married with children and you’ve proven that you are handling that responsibility. Now you're ready to move up to a bigger responsibility of handling a church because you’ve shown yourself faithful with your wife and children.
There are pastors out there who are not married. There are pastors out there who are married but have no children. I personally, and I’m not saying that these are bad guys or that I hate them or want to fight them or expose them. All I’m saying is this, I don’t believe that they’re qualified. I will never be a participant of a sending someone out to start a church or laying hands on someone to pastor a church unless they are married and have children, unless they live up to these qualifications.
Now some people will ask this question, “To what degree are parents responsible for their children’s behavior?” I will say this, just because we raise our children right, just because we bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, that does not mean that they’re not going to go into sin in their life, because of the fact that we all have our own free will. Let’s not lose sight of that.
You can’t just say that if anybody goes into sin at any point in their life it’s their parents fault, because even a godly righteous person can go into sin. Isn’t that the truth? I mean, David was a man after God’s own heart. Do you think that David was raised right by his parents?
I mean do you think that Jesse raised David? Jessie was David’s father. Did he do a good job raising David?
Of course, because he grew up, he’s a man after God’s own heart, he loves God, he serves God, he’s a prophet, he did a lot of great things. But when David was much older, because remember he became king when he was 30 and he didn’t start ruling in Jerusalem until he was about 37 and then sometimes thereafter, in fact, long thereafter he had to be … I don’t know if I can pin an exact number on it, but there is a way to get in the range of how old David was when he committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Because you can figure, “Okay, he’s reigning in Jerusalem, so we know it’s in the later 33 years of his reign.” Plus, it talks about his children and what geographic locations they were born in. Those are the children that grew up and did the things that Amnon, and Absalom, and these people did. We’re talking about a guy who was at least 50 years old. We don’t know the exact age. If you want to try to pinpoint it with greater accuracy, that’d be an interesting study. But we know he’s an older man.
Can you really say, “Well, because David committed adultery in his 50s, that means that Jesse failed to rear him properly?” Wouldn’t that be kind of a silly argument to make? Because even a great person who’s been raised right can still fall in … Look, I could fall into sin. You could fall into sin. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” None of us is above sinning. We all need to guard our hearts and guard ourselves and be careful. We can’t just blame everything on our parents.
We want to get a balanced view of this. We want to understand that, okay, first of all, wouldn’t it be safe to agree that while children are living in the home, they’re for sure, for sure that the parent should be held accountable for what they're doing and not doing?
I mean, if they’re living at home and you're allowing them to do all this stuff, that’s a failure on your part, for sure. Then also if your children all grow up and 2 out of 2 are sons of Belial, you’ve done wrong, you failed, you're not parenting properly.
Now let me give you some examples just in real life, just to try to help us understand this qualification. There was a guy who was an assistant pastor at a church that I went to. His children when they became teenagers just started committing all kinds of awful sin. One of them was making railing accusations against innocent people, committing fornication, doing all kinds of wicked things. Fornication is similar to what Eli sons were doing. It’s a major sin. It’s a sin that should get you kicked out of church when you're fornicating. These teenagers are wicked. One of them is committing fornication, a railer, a few other things that God brings up as being serious matters for the church in 1st Corinthians 5.
Basically I went to the pastor and I said, “Look, you know this is going on.” I said, “How is this guy,” I just said, “How is this guy qualified to be the assistant pastor when his children are ungodly and when they’re committing fornication doing all this stuff?” I said, “He’s not ruling well his own house. His children are accused of riot and unruly. What’s the deal?” Here’s what the pastor told me. He said, “Well, you know, the way around that,” because we’re always looking for a way around that, he said, “The way around that is that, you know, a way for them to handle that is to basically they’ll send the kid off to a brat camp. They’ll send him to these Lester Roloff homes,” or the … What’s it called?
Somebody help me out. Somebody know what I’m talking about in Stockton, Missouri there’s a place. Do you know what I’m talking about? One of them is called is Agape, Agape Boarding School. Then there’s another … I don’t remember what they’re called, but it’s these places where you send wayward kids when they’re a teenager and they straighten them out. They have one for the boys and they have one for the girls. You ship your kid off to this Agape Boarding School or this Roloff home and basically they’re going to straighten your kid out.
He said, “So that’s why he can continue being assistant pastor because he’s sending her off to this place so she is not in his house anymore.” Look, that is so ridiculous, that is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard. Because look, if you can’t rule your own house so that you have to outsource that to some other, then how in the world are you ruling in the house of God? Sit down, shut up, and let somebody else rule that is getting the job done. I mean, why don’t we bring them from Missouri to be the assistant pastor if they’re the ones that are so good at straightening your kid out? Why don’t you straighten your kid out? What are they going to do to your kid that you can’t do to your kid? Because you know what they’ll do at these places? Use corporal punishment.
By the way, I don’t believe in those places. By the way, they don’t work. I mean I knew somebody. I knew a friend of mine that said to me, “Hey, what’s the name of that place because, you know, my step daughter is just so bad and so wicked and so ungodly and she’s into all the … We got to send her off to that place.” I said, “Look,” I said, “I’ll tell you the name of the place,” but I said, “It’s not going to work. It’s a bad place. I don’t agree with that approach. You need to deal with it yourself. You and your wife need to deal with it yourself, and sending her off to that place is not the answer.” “Just give me the name of the place.” “Okay.”
I gave the name of the place in Missouri. This girl gets shipped off there. Boy was I wrong. I mean, my friend is telling me how wrong I was because, man, they have transformed her, she’s like a different person, she is just fixed, she is saved, she loves God now. I mean, I’ve known people from these places and it’s pretty impressive, because they’ll send groups around sometimes to churches from these schools to advertise the school and get support. These places, I mean these young people are sharp.
I remember I was in church one time and they showed up with a group of these young guys. I mean, these guys were sharp, young teenage boys. They’re up there singing hymns, they’re quoting scripture, my favorite bible verses, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” They’re talking about their testimonies of how they got saved and how they love God and how they want to be a pastor someday. I mean, it’s pretty impressive.
This girl that was the step daughter of a friend of mine that was sent off to this brat camp, it was pretty impressive the turn around. I mean she was just wearing beautiful skirts and dresses, she’s quoting scripture, she’s memorizing whole psalms, everything is, “Yes ma’am. Yes sir. Hallelujah. Praise God.” I mean everything. Then she was released a year later. They go to visit her and she’s just perfect, she’s like … Just this fundamental Baptist robot.
After about a year she’s released and it’s like she’s still like that, she stayed that way for like 2.5 days. Seriously. I mean, for like 2.5 days it was, “Yes sir. Yes, ma’am. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord,” and just everything was great. Literally like 2, 3, 4 days it just started wearing off. Next thing you know she’s on drugs, she’s in a motel room with some guy in his 40s. She’s like 18 or whatever. She’s on crack. She’s on drugs. She’s getting arrested.
I mean, look, it doesn’t work, this whole thing. Look, you can send somebody to an indoctrination camp and brain wash them and force them to do certain things and you can conform the outward appearance in that way, but unless there’s a change of heart it doesn’t work. That’s just one example. I’ve known other people.
Look, I’m not saying that there couldn’t be a success story out of those places. I mean, if you come up to me after the service and say, “I’ve got a success story from that place and I could show you somebody who’s life was changed and who’s pastoring today and who’s a great person,” I’ll say praise the Lord. I’m not upset at the success story. I’m glad that there are success stories. But the exception proves the rule. Are there exceptions? I’m sure there are. Even if it’s 50/50 I’m just saying that a person …
Look, if you're going to send orphans to a place where they raise them, great. But you know what? Raise your own kid. If orphans are sent to an orphanage, great. You ought not be sending your kids to an orphanage because you don’t want to raise them, because you don’t want to do it. A lot of times people get divorced and remarried and then the new spouse is like, “I don’t want the son of the bondwoman to inherit with my son,” like Sarai said about Hagar, so then they’ll ship him off too to the brat camp and they’ll ship him off to the …
There are other camps like that too. I heard about this same girl. She was sent off to this survival camp. Have you heard of this? They say like, “This will straighten your kids out. It teaches them to appreciate things.” They put them out in the desert for like 50 days and they have to live off the land, and they have to just eat and survive and sleep outside and build fires and cook. They live this really ascetic life and just learn about survival. It’s like a wilderness camp. Have you heard about this?
It’s expensive, it’s like $20,000 or something to send your teenager off for 50 days of just wilderness training on being good. Honestly, someone who has to send their kid off like that because they can’t get the job done, maybe they should send their whole church off to brat camp. Because if they don’t know how to rule their own house, how can they take care of the church of God?
Obviously if we have a guy like let’s say there’s Jesse and he’s got a bunch of kids. You know what? Jesse’s kids, they all grew up. From what we read in scripture it seems like all turned out pretty good. Obviously some of them were talking smack to David at the whole Goliath thing, but they were good guys. David later on in life, he had them in his kingdom. They’re soldiers and they’re generals and everything. He had these guys. From what you can tell it seems like they were at least guys who loved the Lord, David’s brothers and sisters.
If somebody has a bunch of kids and a bunch of their kids are good and then one of them goes off and does something really bad, that doesn’t mean that the dad is just a bad person, or that the mom is a bad person, or that they completely failed in parenting because they had 10 kids and 1 of them went into sin. That’s not what the bible is teaching. What the bible is teaching is that one has to be ruling their own house well, teaching and training their children properly, and that if we teach and train our children properly in general they will grow up and be righteous people. If the kids are growing up and being unrighteous, if the teenagers are unrestrained, if the young adult children living in the home are unrestrained, then that is a problem and the pastor is disqualified.
Now I’m almost out of time. I have like no time left for the other half of the sermon so I’m just going to briefly touch upon the other point of the fact that not only should the children be right, but also the relationship between husband and wife should be right for a man to be qualified to be the pastor. Now first of all, I mentioned it before, you got to be married. I have young men ask me all the time, “I want to be in the ministry one day. What do I do to prepare?” “Get married.” Because by the time you get married, you're still a ways off from being in the ministry because you need to get married and you need to have children, and that takes time.
Not only that but getting married, when you first get married you don’t know much about marriage. You got to learn and grow in that thing as you go, and then you learn and grow in your child rearing, and you get to a point where you're mature enough and you know what you're doing and you're ready to take on the additional responsibility of pastoring a church. When you are the man of the house, not only are you held responsible for what your children do, but I believe you're also held responsible for what your wife does.
Now again, this is controversial. The bible is telling us in 1st Timothy 3:11 that if the wife is not at a certain standard then the man is not qualified. The man is not ruling his house if the wife is … What are the things listed there? If she’s not grave, if she’s a slander, or if she’s not sober. Let me ask this, “What if my wife were not sober? Would I be held responsible for that?” Well, I mean, I can’t control if she goes to the bar and drinks.
By the way, I know a pastor whose wife goes to the bar every other Friday night, every 2 weeks and drinks at a bar. That’s not right and he’s not qualified. He’s a drunkard himself, but if he didn’t touch a drop of alcohol and he just said, “Well, you know, that’s her choice, that’s what she does.” No, you need to rule your house and not allow your wife to go to the bar and drink. Because we as men …
You say, “Well, you can’t rule your wife.” Go to Genesis 3:16. Go to Genesis 3:16. What does the bible say? “But you're not actually saying-” “Well, what did the bible say?” It says in Genesis 3:16, it says, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
The most unknown verse in the whole bible. It’s funny because John 3:16 is the most famous verse. Gen 3:16 is the most unknown verse. It’s interesting. That’s the spectrum of bible verses. Genesis 3:16 is somewhere between Adam, Seth, Enos and Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared as being some of the most unknown verses in the bible. Just unknown. Nobody knows it. Doesn’t exist. Because it’s not preached across the pulpit.
That’s why you’ve got to read the bible for yourself because pastors won’t preach everything in the bible many times. You’ve got to read it for yourself, because if you read it yourself it won’t take long to get to Genesis 3:16 because it’s only the 3rd chapter. It’s January 1st on the bible reading chart, January 1st. I mean, talk about a basic biblical truth. You should’ve got this down on January 1st.
It says here that the husband is to be a ruler in the home, ruling their children and their own house as well. That means that the husband is not just the boss of the children, he’s the boss of the whole family, including his wife, including the children. Look, with being the boss comes responsibility. We are held responsible for our children’s behavior. We are held responsible for our wife’s behavior. We should not think that a guy is qualified to pastor if his wife is out of control. His wife’s committing adultery, his wife’s a drunk, his wife is a railer, his wife is committing all this sin.
By the way, don’t let your wife dress however she wants
Ouch. If your wife is dressed inappropriately you make her go and get changed. You know what? That takes something that a lot of men don’t have.
Guts, courage, to stand up to your wife and tell her, “Hey, you know that skirt is too short,” or, “Let’s change out those pants for a skirt.” Is it, “Oh, how dare you?” But we need leadership that will set a standard and rule the house.
Look, there are a lot of benefits. This isn’t a pro man anti-woman sermon. Because there are a lot of benefits to being a woman. That in some ways being a wife is … I mean, I don’t think that every wife would prefer to be a man or something. Women have their own benefit to their job and to their function that God has given them. They don’t have to worry and stress about finances and working and doing all that stuff, so they have certain luxuries of staying home and taking care of things home. Then there are luxuries to being the husband.
I mean, look, aren’t there benefits to being the husband and benefits to being the wife? I think most wives are happy to be wives and most husbands are happy to be the husbands. I mean, how many men do you know that want to be a house husband? It’s out there. Especially in 2014 it’s increasingly common the house husband. She goes out and works the career and he stays home and breastfeeds the baby. I mean, it’s out there, it exists. Today there is a lot of this role reversal. But you know …
Look, a lot of times I help my wife out, especially with this pregnancy, it’s been a complicated pregnancy, I’ve helped her out. But guess what? I hated every minute of it sometimes. You know what I mean? I mean I like helping but I don’t like just completely taking over her job for a few days. Yeah, that is not something that I enjoy at all, at all.
Thank God for my mother. She flew out here and was with us for a month when we were going through all the complications with the twin pregnancy and everything like that. Thank God for my mother who stepped into that role, because I don’t mind helping out around the house, but you know what, just taking on that role, that would be a miserable life in my opinion. I’m just not wired that way because I’m a …
Right exactly. You know what? How many women do you see just miserable in the work force? How many grumpy women in the work force and they’re just like, “You know, give me my coffee.” “Hey, how you're doing?” “Well, it’s Monday. It’s Monday.” “Hey, how are you doing? Well, it’s Friday, it’s almost over.” You're just like, “Whoa, enjoy life a little bit.” A lot of times they’re just … That’s how I’d be if I were to happen to do my wife’s job. I respect my wife’s job because it’s a hard job, being a wife and a mother. I mean, it’s a hard job. It should be respected and honored. It shouldn’t be like, “Oh, you don’t work? Oh you're unemployed?” They probably count us on some unemployment statistic because my wife doesn’t work or something. She’s an unemployed American between the age of whatever.
What I’m saying is that men and women have different roles. What does that have to do with … ? Can somebody help me figure out where I was in my sermon? These notes aren’t … What is it?
You and your wife.
That’s just what you want me to talk more about. What I’m saying is there are benefits to being the wife, there are benefits to being the husband. There are advantages I guess would be the better word, advantages to being the wife, advantages to being the husband. We both have our role. Men are happier when they stick with their role, and women are happier when they stick with their role.
Here is the thing though. With privilege comes responsibility. Part of being a husband is not just being the boss, but also being responsible. We are responsible for the home. We should be responsible for what comes into the home, what goes out of the home. If we see things as the man of the house, DVDs that we believe are ungodly, audio CDs that we believe are ungodly, clothing that we believe is ungodly, I reserve the right to destroy it, throw it in the trash. Because I’m responsible before God.
If I’m going to be held responsible before God, then I need to be able to clean the house and get it nice and clean the way that God wants it. I’m not talking about on my hands and knees with the bucket and I’m off. I’m talking about cleaning it spiritually, because I don’t like that job. I already told you. I’m just kidding.
What I’m saying is that we as men, whether you're going to be a pastor or not, need to be the leaders, we need to take a stand, we need to make sure that our children are not living in an ungodly live. Obviously with our wife, she’s probably hopefully mature enough and godly enough to not need the care of a child. Obviously, I’m not trying to belittle women and put them in the same category as children.
Hopefully you’ve married a godly righteous virtuous woman that doesn’t need constant restraint. “No, you're not going to the bars Zsuzsa. You're not going to wear those tight pants Zsuzsa. No, I need you to stop asking me about that DVD.” That’s not what I’m saying because obviously my wife is godly and she can do a lot of things. But you know what? There are times when I’ll tell my wife no, but honestly ruling our house is part of being a man, but if you want to be a pastor someday it’s critical, it’s crucial.
Also, we could go into all the other aspects of the right relationship with your wife, a loving relationship, a caring relationship, all the good things that you should be doing. I have a lot more in my notes about the husband wife relationship but we’re out of time. I just wanted to drive in tonight the meaning of this qualification, “One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity.”
I heard about a pastor recently who his wife left him 4 months ago. Still pastoring, still preaching. Sorry, but you're not qualified. I mean, if my wife, if my wife were even on the verge of leaving me I would immediately step down as pastor and say, “Hey, I’m failing in this other area. This is more important and I need to deal with this. I’m sorry that I failed. You know, let me salvage this relationship because obviously my relationship with my wife is more important than pastoring this church.” Because I can always find another church to attend, but I can’t just go find another wife. You can find another church, you can find another job, but you can’t find another wife. If my wife were even on the verge of that I would be stepping down and saying, “I’m sorry. I’ve blown it,” and I would hand it off to somebody else.
I mean, when your wife already left and you're just still pastoring, still qualified. In what universe? We’ve got pastors today that are … I mean, look, actually now that I think about, I’ve heard of several pastors lately whose wife left them and he just kept pastoring. My friend went to a church and he showed up to visit. He was a first time visitor of the church and they were voting on whether the pastor should still pastor because his wife had just left him. They all voted to keep him around.
Today these are being ignored, these things. I understand obviously that there are situations of a more minor nature that happen or that for example a man’s wife could die. But if she died that doesn’t mean that he didn’t rule well his own house because she died. Obviously he’s still qualified. He should probably eventually get remarried I believe, but he’s still qualified in the meantime because he showed himself that he ruled well while his wife or children were alive.
But when you’ve got a guy whose wife is forsaking him and leaving him and his children are gone and his wife is gone, and, “Well, but he’s still a great pastor.” No, people need to step down if that happens. Like I said, I would step down even before that happened. If I even felt like my marriage were falling apart I would step down. But thank God I have a great marriage, I love my wife, my wife loves me and things are going great.
I’m just driving in today the importance of this guys, is if you want to pastor someday the greatest thing you can do to prepare yourself is to have a great marriage and do some great parenting. I mean, that’s one of the major qualifications. You single guys, learn how to talk to girls. Because if you can’t get a woman to follow you, how are you going to start that church and get a whole bunch of people to follow your preaching? I mean, if you can’t approach girls and talk to them, how are you going to do the soul winning and the pastoring and the preaching that you need to do?
Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for you word, Lord, and we thank you so much for all the qualifications you’ve given, not because you're just being mean to people and you just want to stop people from pastoring that would just be great pastors, but you just want to stop them. Lord, we know you’ve given us these qualifications for a reason. Help us to just respect that, help us to just take heed unto that and to realize that these qualifications are to protect us, and it’s also to give young men a checklist of things to work on their life so that they can become qualified to pastor someday.
I thank you so much that I’m allowed to be the pastor of a church where there are a lot of young men who want to pastor someday. That’s really a blessing. I pray that you would help me to train them to the best of my ability. I pray that you would give me wisdom and them wisdom and help these qualifications to be very serious to us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.