Not all is rosy in that little country church! A look at a problem within Christianity.
Raised in a wolf pack, mowgli from the Jungle Book, raised in a jungle Tarzan raised by mr Olympia and Miss Universe. Emile’s wayne friends, fact or fiction. We know that there is a place to be raised in that is far more dangerous than all of those combined and believe it or not. That is being raised in the church of jesus christ. You wouldn’t think that. But there are so many dangers that are connected with those that have grown up in the atmosphere of the things of God. With me today. On Way The Master as always, Mr Ray comfort Mr Mark Spence. Why did you guys snicker when I said raised by Mr Olympia and Miss Universe one day you’re gonna do interaction with jokes? Impossible. It’s a gift I have right? I’ve tried not to but it’s the gift is so strong. But look this is especially something that hits home for us because all of us have been pastors, all of us are in ministry and you often hear things thrown around like P. K. Or M. K. Which is pastor’s kids, missionary kid. I remember the first time I heard that and I’m like what do you mean? But I realized wow, there’s a label and connected with that label are a whole bunch of different connotations uh that are almost expectations. Now you guys have heard this right? Oftentimes people say the worst kids in the church are the pastor’s kids. We don’t know what you’re talking about. Yes, we do not kids. But really there is something to that, the whole element of being raised in the atmosphere of Christianity and being around the things of God so often, what is it with that and why do we see that there’s a danger involved with it that kids that should know better, that should be loving. The Lord are rebelling and going against the things of God. We have to remember that rebellion is in all of our hearts. And one thing that I’ve taught my kids ever since, they were real little is that I’m the biggest center of the house in need of a savior. So they hear me during devotions continually say, I blew it yesterday, I blew it this morning, but oh, what a great God we have, you know, so they’re not because this is often what happens. We go to church on Sundays, we see the pastor, we hear about all of these amazing things that he’s going through. Then this pastor goes home lives with their kids and the kids go. But you don’t know my dad, my dad struggles all the time. My dad had a harsh word, I never heard him apologize. You know, my dad watched a movie and he ended up watching through all of it or maybe he turned off part way, walked away, but he never said he shouldn’t have been doing that and the kids now have to try to rustle through what in the world is going on in my living with a hypocrite, what is happening, our kids should hear from us that we are the biggest blow it in the house so that when they blow it, they feel comfortable coming to us and we can always point back to jesus who is talking about authenticity with Absolutely, yes, absolutely. There is a lack of authenticity in the church Ray at the age of four when my wife Rachel became the head of the mafia, how did you deal with that as a father? I gotta say this recently, a brother posted something online. He’s a christian leader and he talked about how one of his kids was saying how excited they are about what he does in ministry. And he had thought to my kids hate that, you know, because one of the biggest things Mark we’ve heard from pastors is I wish I spent more time with my family, I wish I poured into them more. Anyway, he was delighted that his child responded this way. Well Rachel responded to that post online and she said, you know, the wonderful thing about my dad growing up is even though he traveled a lot and he was gone, he was in ministry. I never felt like he was gone because when he was at home he made it count. How important was that very important. And it wasn’t something that was a self denial thing of me, I just loved being with my kids would play rugby on the back lawn. We go frog hunting. I’d call into the supermarket, murder frogs. Yeah, we’d go and we’d solved the first trip to the US, we raised money from selling frogs back in new Zealand a for these little toys that actually hop up to my neck. It was three ft deep pond. And actually we, I just loved it and loved every moment of with the kids and we would call in the supermarket and buy a hot chicken and then as we walk through this forest would stop and eat it with their hands, caveman style. But it was an absolute joy and our devotions were fun and there was nothing self denial about all of it for me. And uh, and we see the fruit of that train up a child the way you should go and you know, he’s only not depart from it. Like I think you’re so true pastors and gets so busy. They don’t spend that quality time with their kids. And the other thing too is if you get a decision from a kid when he’s too, he’s gonna fall away. You really want to train up the child and not get a decision from him when he’s six or seven, let God work in his heart. What I used to do when I talked about bringing up kids is the old egg. Remember that illustration where I drop in and say to the kids, what happened? The kids, there’s an egg dropped on the floor, It’s smashed. They’ll never forget this if you do it and it’s the law, it’s the law of gravity. And if you break God’s law, you’ll end up like that egg. This, it’s a fearful thing to fall into God’s hands. So you teach the Children the way that you go and teach them the fear of the Lord, teach them the commandments and I think it’s an absolute key to bring them to christ wow, that’s that’s powerful. All of us desire our kids to come to know the Lord and maybe some of you are watching now and you’re saying it’s breaking my heart as a parent because I’ve tried to raise my kids in the ways of the Lord and they’re not walking with the Lord and and I want them to know christ, I want them to have everlasting life. It’s disheartening at times for sure. But there’s hope in the Gospel. There’s no greater mission field, believe it or not friends than your house because more than likely you have kids if they’re young still that aren’t born again and they need the Gospel. Watch this powerful story of this young man who was in a home with christian parents and then he came to christ mm hmm I grew up in the christian church for as long as I can remember I echoed a prayer when I was about seven years old. Uh, the sinner’s prayer and I thought that saved me and every time I would ever have doubts in the future and always look back like, yeah, I remember kneeling down and saying that prayer, so I’m good, you know, despite any doubts I have or sin in my life, it doesn’t matter. Oh, we always thought he was a good kid. He’s always, has been a good kid. He’s made good grades. He’s always been, You know, pretty easy for the most part in 2013. In October I was uh, I was really just starting to think for myself and questioning things. He started asking questions about evolution and he started asking questions about well dad, you know, how old is the Earth things, things like that. And I finally decided I’m like, well I’ve tried doing this religious thing, but it’s just too hard, doesn’t make sense to me. So at that point I renounced any faith in christ or religion for that matter. After that, just for months and months and months I uh, indulged in sin. I just sent us very progressive. So it just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. We didn’t know he really never felt truly saved. He never really felt that he had a relationship with christ. He said all the things did all the actions And unbeknownst to us this whole time, he’s struggling and it’s kind of every parent’s worst fear, I guess, you know, a kid can be a good kid and, you know, go through life and do all the motions at church and and not be saved. And that, that’s scary. Well in May of 2014 my, I’m almost visiting with my friends. She was just talking with them. They wanted some good wholesome movies that we could watch. And I said, you know, hey, do you have any um, really awesome christian movies? And she’s like, yeah, I have some really interesting movies and I go, what are they about? And she said, well one’s evolution versus God and there’s another one is kind of an abortion. She goes, I don’t know if you’re okay with your kids watching that. And, and then there she’s like, there’s some other ones like about the Beatles and stuff like that. Over the next few weeks we started watching these videos. I thought they were, I watched him several times. I, I really liked him. I thought that was really full of information, really good information. He ate it up. He wanted to watch them over and over and over after I finished those videos, we returned and I was really interested and I googled evolution versus God and such. I ended up listening to hell’s best kept secret in true and false conversion. And I finally, it, it really hit me that I was the false convert. I was following my own loss. He came to saving faith unbeknownst to us middle of the night and came to us and all that’s when we started seeing fruits, What Ray said is that you really have got to understand, like paul said by the loss and became exceedingly sinful. And it was bye bye Ray saying that, you know, modern Evangelism neglects that and when he went through the 10 Commandments and stuff, it really hit me the depth of my sin. Like I knew I was a sinner, but it never hit me as being that exceedingly sinful that I was once I was saved. I started listening to all these tapes. I was really, I was hungry for it. I was just like a sponge. We didn’t even know he had actually downloaded a lot of Ray comfort material and unbeknownst to me, he had literally listened to 40 to 50 hours of sermons all summer. So I was just learning how to evangelize. And then finally, once I had absorbed all that and school finally kicked off. I had shared my faith within a week. So he immediately started evangelizing school and I know he took flak from some of the kids at school for leaving tracks around in bathrooms when they go on meats out of town and stuff like that. Um but he just told me that’s what I’m gonna do. Eventually I started talking with my friend, he said he’d be fine with doing door to door and one thing led to another. We were doing surveys at the mall, did some visits around, shared the gospel, several people had some professions of faith. I share the gospel of people even though they might reject me because there’s nothing more important than the eternal salvation. And at least I can say I tried and I wasn’t negligent of my duty to do everything I can to reach out to these people and try to get them to come to christ by genuine faith and dependence. Where did he get this? Where did he, you know, start evangelizing and he’s shy. It’s not like something that’s natural for him and he just started doing it. And it’s just the most evidence I think I’ve ever physically seen of a miracle as far as the holy spirit moving in someone and biblically, he really is an inspiration. I mean he, he gives up so much of his time to study the word. He is very diligent. He goes out and is in the shop and He reads for 23 hours or he watches sermons. You’re looking at a 15 year old kid and you really start to analyze yourself. It that can be pretty hard cause that’s a pretty good lens. But I know I have a kid now that instead of worrying about what he’s looking on the internet, I worry that he’s gonna test me with what he’s found the internet great comfort and living waters ministries has been absolutely foundational to my life because they really show how simple it is to share the gospel. You don’t have to be a a doctor in apologetics or some crusader, like Billy Graham to know all this stuff. It’s so simple. They’re really foundational teachings that are not long and dry. They’re just packed full of good information that I would recommend to anyone. This is why we do what we do, right? I mean, I’m looking at this young man called, I’m thinking this, this is like the next pastor that we’re gonna hear about God using in mighty ways. You know, getting committed to the Lord at that young age. But you guys heard his parents talk about how they, I didn’t know that he didn’t know the Lord right? Grew up in a christian home, obviously in that whole christian environment like we’re talking about on the program today and then realized, whoa. Our son doesn’t know the Lord guys honestly. How important is it that parents don’t take it for granted that their kids know the Lord. I mean, that’s one of my that’s always been one of my biggest fears with my kids as they grow up deceived. So I’m always challenging them on that, you know, there’s no greater delight than to hear and to see your Children walk in truth. I shared that with my kids yesterday. I said, listen, I don’t care what profession that you have. I just want you to go after God. You know, he he had said something that the father had said something inside the video, that he’s gonna challenge me perhaps in something that he’s learning. Yeah, I’m not, I’m not worried about what he’s gonna be looking on the internet. I’m worried about how he’s going to challenge me. It’s funny because we have a mutual pastor friend and he had a conversation with my son Ethan and he said, Hey Ethan, have you ever studied out the communicable and the in communicable attributes of God? And then my son Ethan just started going off talking about the difference between the two and what’s a common misconception misunderstanding between the two and our pastor friend said you were disciple dwell and I thought to myself, I didn’t disciple him in that he’s doing that on his own. He is diving down in the word and that’s what a believer does, right? He gets inside the word on his own without having to be told, you need to get inside the word you need to pray and you need to share. Easy. Yes, that’s my intellectual look. Um you said you challenge your kids, How do you do that without making them feel like weird. Well my kids think I’m weird. Everybody, everybody’s kids think I’m weird, you know, challenging them in connection with what we talked about earlier, having a consistent life of love. One of the most important things marc you alluded to is humbling ourselves and apologizing our kids, our kids know we are worse sinners than we know we are right, They are not deceived. It’s when parents try to put up that front of I’ve got it all together. Honestly, I can’t count how many times over the years Rachel and I have had to come back to the kids and apologize and say we’re so sorry. You know, we we rushed to judgment on that or we got we got too intense with you, we raised our voice, we got frustrated. We we didn’t treat you fairly or whatever and that was just yesterday. No, that was this morning before I left for the office but really humbling yourselves and saying, we we are sinners like you paul trip and his books, one of the best authors on parenting, he he talks about how he often comes alongside his kids and reminds them I am a fellow sinner with you. We are traveling this road together just like I’m telling you, you need God’s grace, I need God’s grace. We’re in this together so that your kids don’t think you’re against them, but you’re on their side and you’re God’s agent in their life to help bring them back into that circle of safety and blessing right that we often talk about. So I think doing that and then when your kids see a consistent life, one that isn’t hypocritical, but when you do sin, you’re you confess that you’re not pretentious. You don’t try to put on the perfect christian pastor image family type thing and then you just engage them sincerely. You know you you mentioned family devotions right growing up raising your kids since they were little having those times. So you’re you’re providing the platform where you can engage them on those things and then living life with them, doing fun things like you did with your kids, you know, and all the stuff that that you talked about those opportunities, open up the door for receptiveness in our Children and I’ll often challenge, we can say guys, you know, so important to love the Lord, it’s so important to know you’re in the faith for sure. That to examine yourself is christ central in your life and it’s made for great discussions, you know, in our home. So Mark devotion, you should stream your household devotions, that that would be great how important our devotions, you know, they are because you’re not just getting inside the word, but you’re getting inside your child’s heart and you’re allowing your child to get inside your heart, right? Your your welcoming a place in an atmosphere and environment and not just for your own family, but you’re gonna find neighbors, kids coming over your house because there is an environment of safety when you have devotions. So we don’t send neighbor kids away when we’re about ready to have devotions, you’re at our house, guess what we’re having devotions, this is what we do. Do you have any prayer requests and you’re gonna see neighbors kids begin to open up and share things that they’ve never even said out loud. So it is very, very important. We have the scriptures up on the television and we have a prayer over an individual and we talk about what we’re doing that day and what we’re doing that week. So important. You know, we’re accustomed to that in our homes, but imagine a young child growing up in a home where they’ve seen anything but that and they come into your home and they see it, it’s gonna blow their mind and it’s going to impact them and you know, and they’ll be open to the Gospel through that Ray, I want you to speak to the father who’s watching now, the mother who’s watching now and they’re thinking, I’m not a theologian, You guys are pastors and christian leaders. How do I do devotions, simplicity? You’re a very, very simple man, simple and simple. You’re a very simple man right now. But you know, simplicity has always been key with you and everything in life. Just that you don’t have to complicate things. What advice would you give to that Father and mother who is saying, how do I do devotions with my family? Yeah, I’m just thinking we’re throwing around the word devotions and maybe someone’s watching, you don’t know what we mean, explain it. It’s it’s you devote time around God’s word, you devote time to family altar family altar and you maybe build it a heavy rock, so it’s a priority in your life. And we had family devotions and I don’t think I’m a great bible teacher, just open the bible read diverse and then discuss it say to your kids, what do you think that means? And they’ll say, I don’t know. And that’s it. They never know anything you want to alter the family, You need to bring them to the family altar. It must be a necessity if you value it, they will value it. And one way that I challenge my kids. You’re talking easy earlier about that is I just asked questions, asked questions so that they think through whatever decision they made or they’re thinking about making and play the Devil’s advocate. I said it yesterday with my kids. I always play Devil’s Advocate for all the decisions that you make. Have you guys noticed that I do that? So you have a proper understanding of what’s about ready to take place. And we also got to remember, are we talking about teenagers or we’re talking about toddlers with toddlers. We had, we just opened up a bible of kids bible, Children’s bible, read a bible story, read a few scriptures and then we played out what we did. We many times we’d throw down a blanket and Lazarus would be under a blanket and jesus said come forth and and the kid didn’t hear under the blankets, they come forth and it was just, we had David and Goliath would, you know, we threw a cushion instead of a stone at the kid and it was a lot of fun, So many different ideas and resources and things that are out there there wonderful. They’re engaging for the Children and then, you know, they grow, they get older ages and we do different things with them as we’ve done over the years. So that’s so encouraging to know that it doesn’t have to be complicated friends. Just trust in the Lord. Start simple and watch what the Lord is going to do now. Speaking of being in that christian atmosphere and not knowing the truth, Ray went out and shared the gospel with two people who had been in church, but didn’t even know the gospel? Andre do you think there’s an afterlife? I do think there’s enough now. Why is that? I was raised thinking it, my grandma, my mom going to church, do you think there’s an afterlife? Um I used to think there was, what happened to change your mind? Um, I feel like my parents pushed religion too hard on me um where it just kind of caused me to like, feel overwhelmed and kind of just reject it all and just push it away. Do you think your parents love you? Yeah, I think we do. So what sort of things didn’t they want you to do that you’re doing now secretly. Um, I mean nothing I’m doing now, but it’s just like, um, I feel like they made it seem that like life should never be enjoyable that you always have to be um in fear of God and that if you’re enjoying it, um you’re you’re doing what the devil wants, basically. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Do you know that? Do you fear God? Um I don’t really think about God anymore. Okay, let’s say I’m I’m not a christian. How do I get to heaven? What would you tell me? I’d say first you could start by going to church, learning where to where to start. I’d say we’re learning where to build your faith. That would be the best way. What’s that on the way to church? I get killed. Where would I go? If you’re not a christian? I guess you would go to hell. I think you’re in terrible danger and you don’t realize it. I think you’re like someone holding onto a hand grenade with the pin pulled out. Do you believe you’re in terrible danger? No? Okay, if I can convince you you’re in danger, I’m doing you a big favor, Is that right? Because you can get out of the danger right? Do you think you’re evil enough for God to give the death sentence? I think we all are you really do you agreeing with your parents? I guess I am, let’s say I’ve got two minutes to live, I’m dying andre what will I do? How can I how can I get to heaven, what would you say to me? Give your life over to God as quick as possible? I’ve already done that. I believe in God. But I don’t know if I’m going to heaven, what can I do? That’s a good question. I don’t know. I don’t know. So, what’s going to happen to you when you die? Hmm, I’d hope I’d go to heaven. Are you a good person? I think I’m a really good person. How many lies have you told in your whole life? Too many to count ever stolen something, definitely. So you have lied and stolen? Yes. You’re a lying thief. Yes. If you use God’s name in vain. Yes. Would you use your mother’s name as a cuss word? No. Why not? Because I respect and love her. But you don’t respect God and love him enough to respect his name. His holy name. You’ve used it in place of a filth word to express disgust. It’s called blasphemy, jesus said. If you look at a woman and lust for her, you commit adultery with her in your heart. Have you ever looked at a woman with lust? You had sex before marriage? Yes. Have you ever hated somebody bible says he who hates his brother is a murderer. So, Jackie, I’m not judging you, but you’ve just told me you’re relying for even fornicating blasphemous, murderous adulterer at heart, and you have to face God on judgment day If he judges you by the 10 commandments, we’ve looked at five of them, it’s going to be innocent or guilty guilty. Heaven or hell, hell can you see you’re in great danger. Yeah. On judgment day will be innocent or guilty from those. I’d be guilty. Now tell me you brought up in a christian home, what did God do for guilty sinners? So he wouldn’t have to go to hell. He died. Died on the cross. Do you understand the legal implications of that? No. Well, the 10 commandments are called the moral law. You and I broke the law, jesus paid the fine. That’s what happened on that cross. That’s why he said it is finished just before he died. In other words, the debt has been paid, Jackie. If you’re in court and someone pays your fine, a judge can let you go. You can say Jack is a stack of speeding fines here terribly serious, but someone’s paid him, you’re free to go. He can let you walk even though you’re guilty and he can do that, which is legal and right and just and God can legally dismiss your case, forgive your sins, commute your death sentence, actually take death off you and let you live forever. Even though you’re guilty because jesus paid the fine in his life’s blood. He suffered on the cross and Rose again on the third day, what you have to do is repent of your sins and trust in christ today, it’s fearful. The thought of you dying in your sins, man horrifies me. If death seized upon you tonight would break my heart beyond words. So I care about you and so do your parents. And so does God. He’s familiar with you as a person who knows how many hairs are on your head, knows your name, thoughts of your heart. And he is the lover of your soul and doesn’t want you to end up in hell. And maybe he’s brought me to you today and maybe you’re listening because of your parents prayers. Does that make sense? Yeah, it does. You’re going to think about what we talked about. I overthink anything. So I will. Well, this is worth over thinking. But don’t over think about it too much. If you’re going to stand on the edge of a plane 10,000 ft up. Don’t think too much about putting a parachute on. Put it on real quick. And you don’t know when you’re going to die. You could die tonight. I know that this is a lot for you to think about. But God forbid. But death could take you tonight. A 150,000 people die every 24 hours and there’s no second chance. Damnation just means that damned forever. And so let that thought fill your heart. Let fear come into your heart and let that fear be your friend and not your enemy and drive you to the foot of the cross. Does that make sense? Well it’s not hot in here but my eyes are sweating for some reason, Ray that really moved me. You know, she uh she was thinking body language is amazing, isn’t it? I mean I saw the second you really painted the picture for her of what she is in the sight of God. You could just see her her lips lips, she she it hit her, you know. But one of the things she alluded to was her parents pushing religion too hard in the home, is there an unhealthy way of pushing our kids too hard or in the wrong way with the gospel in the home? Absolutely. I mean it depends, you know, the motive is everything and it also depends on what you say, how you say, when you say what you say. All right. Uh so many people go to church on Sundays or maybe on a Wednesday night youth group and they can find their religion to those things. Then they go do and live anyway and every way they wanna live and do you know, what did we see missing from this guys? And this gals life, you know, there’s no talk of the cross, there’s no talk of grace, there’s no talk of the finished work of jesus christ on the cross. She started off talking about how um you know, there’s there’s a fear of God, you know? And I don’t want to fear God and you brought that up so eloquently ray, listen, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. We must get back to that centrality. Amen. Amen. Well, friends there, you have it. There is nothing more powerful then your kids being drawn to christ because they see him alive in you. We could teach them many things, we could lay out all kinds of christian virtues for them to follow. But there’s nothing more powerful than seeing you live out the gospel and the power of it in your own life as you love them. And as you raise them up in the truth of God, we hope you do that parents and as you do that, watch your kids become ambassadors for christ and for the glory of God. Thanks for joining us. See you next time on way of The Master We hope this episode of Wave the Master has inspired you to share the message of eternal life. You can watch our award winning movies such as the Atheist Delusion freely on our website where you’ll also find articles, videos, and audio messages, as well as books, dvds, gospel tracts and other resources to help you share your faith Biblically and effectively make sure to visit Living Waters dot com