Know Your Bible

VOL. 14                                                                                                      September 13, 2015                                                                                                               NO. 27



It is my hope and prayer that you have benefited from the previous two articles in this series. Now, let us continue to explore more solutions to the crisis of teenage pregnancy. Why do we have a crisis of teenage pregnancy? 

11. Because parents who are Christians do not set the right example in being proactive in teaching the Gospel to those who are lost. This ought and must be the goal for the Christian. The Christian should seek out ways for this to be done. The more this is the goal for the Christian, seeking out the good of his fellow man, the less the inclination will be to do wrong on any level. 

As this applies to the parent, so will it be true with the child. A parent should set regular intervals of time to talk to his children on how they will convert their peers who are lost. From day to day, such a parent should encourage his children to share with him how this is coming along. Then he can make suggestions. If this process is effective, then the child will bring a positive influence upon other teenagers rather than them bringing an influence upon him. 

12. Because parents allow their children to engage in dancing where often times sexual gestures and close body contact is made, which promotes an unhealthy atmosphere for sex. Often within this atmosphere (and at other times too), songs are sung with filthy words and messages encouraging sex outside of marriage. Parents allow their children to wear clothing that sets the tone for sex. Immodest clothes can be too tight or too little, not enough. 

13. Because we do not recognize that our true value is that we are made in the image of God and that God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have life everlasting. It should give a Christian great delight that he is a child of the King of kings. But when we loose sight of this, we often seek something else for our source of self-esteem. Thus young girls are trained by their peers and society to believe that their only worth is their bodies. A teenage boy is influenced to believe he hasn't done anything if he does not "score." In a similar manner, other good sources of self-esteem are discounted such as working hard to achieve good goals and being obedient to parents. Parents need to send a strong message early of what counts and warn the child of those who have different values. 

14. Because parents are not around enough to supervise their children. Thus they raise themselves. Parents are not around to see their child slowly drift in the wrong direction. Thus they are not able to do anything before they go too far. Parents do not show their love by being involved in the affairs of their children's lives. In addition to this, parents are too timid and hesitant to intervene in situations that the child finds difficult to handle. Such situations either will build confidence in the parent or will send a message to the child that "you can't count on me to be around when you need me most." 

15. Because teenage girls hear the words "I love you" more from a boy (whose ultimate goal is only sex) than they hear it from their fathers, mothers, or care givers. It may be that the reason why parents don't show their children love is because their parents may not have shown them love. Nevertheless, by seeking guidance from God's word, parents must learn to become more loving toward their children in an affectionate way. Every child has a desire to be loved no matter how old. Thus parents need to hug their children and express their love. Otherwise, the message to the child will be, "Do I love you and do I care?" Then the message of the child, particularly when they are older, will be, "Why should I listen to one who does not care about me or love me?" and "Is the only time you want to say something to me is when something is wrong?" 

16. Because we spend too much time making the excuse, "They will do what they want to do anyway." That is about the silliest thing a person could say. How do you know what your child would not do if you set the right example yourself, insist that your child be acquainted with God's word and made sure that the child demonstrates that faith in his every day life? Too many times we have parents proclaiming, "It won't work" when they haven't tried it. Sometimes parents claim that they have tried these principles when they haven't. An example would be the reading of the Scripture. If the adult or child read the Scriptures as much as some claim, then by the time the child reaches adulthood, the parent and child would have read the Bible from cover to cover several times. And there would not be one book of the Bible unfamiliar to them! The faith to resist sin comes through the hearing of the word of God (Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:16; 1 John 5:4). 

17. Because Christians have not learned that there is something called worldliness and we should not strive to be like the world. The song says, "This world is not my home, I'm just passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue." We need to consider the example set by Moses. "By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:24-27).) 

Children need to be taught and have the example set before them that they love not the world neither the things that are in the world. 1 John 2:17: “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” All Christians need to absorb the message that if you live right, the world will think your life is strange. "For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” 

It is my hope and prayer that you have benefited from the previous article. If you have been inspired, I invite you to 1 Peter 4:3-5). Children from an early age need to be told in accordance with the above passage, that people will speak evil of you if you do not do what they want.

(To be continued in one additional part.)

—Abraham Smith

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Many people, including Christians, believe that we are obligated to forgive someone whenever they commit a sin. For instance, if a man steals $500 from me, is arrested and put on trial, many believe I should go ahead and forgive him - even though he remains unrepentant. Some see this as the noble thing to do; something that will help me. However, there is no biblical basis for this type of thinking.

The Bible does teach we are to forgive others, but the forgiveness has conditions attached to it. The person who committed the sin must seek forgiveness. Jesus said, “Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:3,4).

What happens when that same person does not repent and seek forgiveness? Are we to forgive anyway? No. We have no authority from God to do so. Paul wrote, “…forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). God forgives us after we repent (Acts 8:22-24), and that is the pattern we should follow.

If we are authorized or even compelled to forgive someone before he or she repents, what does that do to church discipline? The person from whom a church withdraws is to be forgiven only after that person repents (1 Cor. 5:1-5; 2 Cor. 2:6-11; 7:8-11). Forgiveness before the point of repentance would make the entire process a futile exercise in chaos.

Further, consider the scenario Jesus gives us in Matthew 18:15-17. One brother sins against another. If a one-on-one conversation brings repentance from the sinner, then the issue is solved. However, if the one in the wrong does not make correction, then the offended brother does not forgive him; he takes the next step to bring repentance. The principle laid down is that forgiveness, and thus reconciliation, is extended when the sinner repents, not before.

People must be accountable for their actions. Sinners need to know they are sinners and lost until they repent. If they have personally sinned against us and/or the church, they need to feel the burden of their sin. Our desire for peace or to simply not deal with the problem will not solve the issue. God does not approve of us putting aside sin in the absence of repentance; something that may endanger our souls.

—Steven F. Deaton

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