May Dear friends May is a special month for this pastor. It was on May 4th, 53 years ago that I married my high-school sweetheart, Marion Proehl. Marion did not marry a preacher but a young Airman serving in the US Air Force in Bangor Maine. But May is also special for me because 50 […]
This is the month that summer officially begins, children get out of school and people start going on vacations. It is also the month that we have Vester Arnold, his wife Sheryl and daughter Jana come to Central Baptist for “Family Bible Time”, our VBS for the entire family. The Arnolds will be with us Sunday, June 26th through June 30th. Brother Arnold will be teaching and preaching in the morning services. The “Family Bible Time” theme “Come meet the King of kings” will start at 6:00 p.m., then Monday through Thursday at 7:00 p.m. each night. Brother Arnold is a talented Chalk Art Evangelist and Sheryl is an exceptional Bible story teller. For the last several years they have blessed our church’s summer ministry with their service for the Lord.
The Lord admonished the children of Israel “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget … but teach them thy sons, and thy son’s sons” Deuteronomy 4:9 (see also Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:19). Proverbs 22:6 states “Train up a child in the way he should go….” That’s one of the reasons we have a “Family Bible Time” each year.
Children are precious to our heavenly Father. Consider the words of Matthew 18:14 “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” The Lord is not just talking about children but any person (see 2 Peter 3:9). The Lord seeks people’s salvation and desires that not one should perish (have to spend eternity in hell [see Revelation 20:11-15]).
Matthew 18 has been called the discourse on greatness and forgiveness. It outlines principles of conduct that are suitable for those who claim to be subjects of Christ the King. In Mathew 18:1 the disciples in their self-seeking spirit wanted to know who would be “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Our Lord Jesus answered with a living object lesson in vv. 2 & 3. He took “a little child” and sat him “in the “midst of them”. Then Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Yes, like a little child – people must abandon thoughts of personal greatness and take the lowly position of a little child. This begins when a person acknowledges his sinfulness and unworthiness and receives Jesus Christ as his only hope.
Young children have this ability, as they have not been hardened yet in their growth to adulthood. Thus, we at Central try to reach them with the Gospel of Christ. In v. 4, Christ informs us that the person who “shall humble himself as a little child” will be the greatest person in the kingdom of heaven. This is opposite of the world’s standards and we need to note this carefully and live accordingly.
V. 5 states: “whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me.” Jesus is now talking about the “spiritual child”. Whoever receives one of the Lord’s humble followers “in My name” will be rewarded as if he had received the Lord Himself.
V. 6 states that whoever “offends” (Greek – scandalizes) causes a believer to stumble, to sin, incurs enormous condemnation. William MacDonald, (Believer’s Bible Commentary) says: “It is bad enough to sin against oneself, but to cause a believer to sin is to destroy his innocence, corrupt his mind, and stain his reputation. Better to die a violent death than to trifle with another’s purity.”
In Mark 10:13-16, we see little children being brought to Jesus for His blessing. The disciples thought He should be dealing with adults and they were upset. Jesus saw it and “was much displeased and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (vv. 14, 15). In order to enter the kingdom we must come to Christ in childlike faith. Have you personally done that?
We have “Family Bible Time” every year so the children and adults can come to know the Lord Jesus personally as their Savior (Eph. 2:8, 9; Titus 3:5), then grow in grace (I Peter 2:2; Eph. 4:15). Pray for the Arnolds as they minister; pray for the workers and van drivers that pick up the children. Pray that boys and girls and adults would be saved and become “true, believing Christians.”
Because Jesus cares for souls,
Dr. Frederick W. Carroll
Psalm 126:5, 6 “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”