AND A THREEFOLD CORD IS NOT QUICKLY BROKEN
Text: ECCLESIASTES 4:9-12
- One of the lessons we learn from the Bible is that companionship is better than isolation. Team work produces greater results than that done alone ("because they have a good reward for their labor").
- D.L. Moody used to say: "I’d rather put ten men to work than do the work of ten men." Unfortunately, in many of our churches it is hard to find ten good men.
- Our Lord practiced this principle (Mark 6:7; cf. Eccl.4:9-11).
- Then in Eccl.4:12, the Preacher goes even further and quotes a well-known proverb of his day: "A threefold cord is not quickly broken."
- I would like for us to think about that proverb today. It is quite evident that three strands woven together are more than three times as strong as a single one.
- Since this is the end of the school year program, the three strands I want to emphasize today are: the Christian family, the Christian church, and the Christian school.
- THE FAMILY – the family was ordained by God and is under attack today by the devil and his followers.
- THE CHURCH – the church was also ordained by God and it too is under attack. Unfortunately, the devil usually attacks the church from within.
- THE SCHOOL – I am a strong believer in the Christian school movement, but even the best Christian school will not do any good if the home isn’t right. Every Christian family needs to get their priorities right and be involved in a good church.
- Now, if the home is right, and the church is right, then the Christian school will be a real help and blessing to the parents as they try to bring up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph.6:4).
- The Christian school should be an extension of the Christian home and the Christian church. But too many parents are inconsistent at this point and expect the school to pick up the slack for them.
- It amazes me that some parents won’t even take their children to Sunday School. And they skip church all the time. And they seldom if ever come out on Sunday night or Wednesday night for prayer meeting. And they never pray with their children or have family altar. And then they wonder why their children are having problems?
- Or they take them to the Christian school and tell the school: "Here they. Turn them into good Christians for us." Beloved, it does not work that way.
I. THE FAMILY (GEN.2:20)
- We read in Genesis 2:20 that Adam gave names to all the animals, "but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him." The creation story teaches us that man living by himself is incomplete and unfulfilled.
- Therefore, God ordained marriage – way before all laws of human origin. The Bible says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Gen.2:24).
- And marital oneness is further enhanced through the birth of children. Strong families are essential for the peace and well-being of our society.
- It is through Christian families that truth and godliness are transmitted from one generation to another. This is why the devil is working so hard to destroy the family through adultery, divorce, drugs, rock music, television, people working on the Lord’s day, and so on.
- The most ferocious attack is coming from the sodomites. Some politicians are in cahoots with the perverts and have pushed through a law granting insurance coverage and health benefits to their companions.
- Today the liberals are trying to redefine the family: two homosexuals, people living together without being married, and so on. But the Bible condemns this sort of wickedness.
- We do not need them to redefine the family for us. God has already told us what constitutes a family: a mom and dad and their children (cf. Col.3:18-21).
- A study was done on teenagers in prison. They discovered that 60% had drunken fathers, and many had drunken mothers. 75% had no parental oversight – either a broken home or doped-up parents, or perhaps lazy and indifferent parents, etc. They were allowed to come and go as they pleased and so they got into trouble.
- I read in the paper years ago about a mother in Flushing who left her three young children unattended one night so she could go to a party. Her six-year-old climbed out his bedroom window, down the fire escape, and started wandering around the streets. The police found the little fellow alone on Main Street and brought him to the police station. The mother stumbled in drunk around 3:00 in the morning and went to sleep. She did not notice that her son was missing till around 10:00 a.m.! She finally called the police to report him missing and they said, "Come on down here and fill out a report." When she arrived they arrested her.
II. THE CHURCH (MATT.16:18)
- I cannot overemphasize the importance of being actively involved in a good, soul-winning, Bible-believing church (cf. I Tim.3:15).
- The only way to grow properly as a Christian is to attend church all the time. Lee Roberson always says: "It takes 3 to thrive – Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening."
- Yet many Christians feel they can get by with just showing up on Sunday morning.
- It is useless to enroll your children in a good school if they are not regularly attending a good Sunday School. But many parents are careless about Sunday School and church attendance.
- Please allow me to state my conviction about Christian education. I have a problem with schools that are not part of a local church. Schools that are run by boards are unscriptural and inevitably run into trouble.
- God’s program is the local church, and in my opinion schools that bypass the local church are out of God’s will. How can they expect the blessings of God if they are out of God’s will?
- BBA is an integral part of our local church just like our Sunday School, soul winning, radio ministry, faith promise missions program, and so on. I believe that is the most Scriptural position.
III. THE SCHOOL
- God commands us parents to teach our children (Deut.6:7; Ps.78:1-7; Pro.6:20-23; 22:6; Eph.6:4). Since not all parents have the wherewithal to teach their children at home, they must exercise great care in seeking out the right school for their children.
- Where our children attend school makes a big difference in how they develop morally, spiritually, and intellectually. If they attend a school with rock music and worldly teachers and worldly students, they will invariably turn out worldly.
- On the other hand, if they attend a school that is spiritual and has good Christian standards, they will have a much better chance of turning out spiritual and having good Christian standards.
- If the school uses worldly secular textbooks, this will affect the students adversely. But if they use a good, conservative Christian curriculum, it will have a positive influence on them.
- They need to be in a school with Scripture memorization (KJV), and old-fashioned Christ-exalting music. They need teachers that are right with God, not teachers that listen to rock music and watch Hollywood movies.
- I cannot understand how Christian parents can send their children to a public school where prayer and Bible reading is forbidden. What is happening is children are being programmed (brainwashed) into thinking that prayer and Bible reading is either bad or at least not very important.
- Children need to be in a school that is in agreement with their parents, not one that is undermining their parents.
- Obviously education is a prime factor in shaping a child’s destiny. After all, the average child spends less than 6 hours a week in church (unfortunately many so-called Christian parents spend about an hour a week in church, and some even less than that). But he is spending about 6 hours a day in school. Therefore, the school plays a big part in his development.
- I do not know about you, but I do not want my children taught by dope-heads, oddballs, homosexuals, liberal kooks, new-agers and other pagan weirdoes. Not to mention the kind of school-mates they would have to contend with – latch-key kids, kids on prozac and ritilin and other psychotic drugs, promiscuous kids who are getting free condoms from the school administrators, kids who are dealing drugs, using filthy language, who never attend Sunday school or church, etc.
- Some wishy-washy Christians say: "Oh Pastor, you shouldn’t be so critical of the public schools. We need to be there for a witness." Witness? You mean you want my children to witness a murder? Or maybe a rape? FORGET ABOUT IT!
- Too many schools and too many churches and too many parents have low expectations for their children. They look around and see boys with earrings and girls with tattoos and they all seem to be on dope and so they figure: "Well, my kids aren’t that bad." That is not a Biblical philosophy.
- We ought to expect our children to love God, and love His Word (only one teenager in our school read four chapters of the Bible a day). We ought to expect our children to like to go to church. We ought to expect some of them to go to Christian colleges and enter the ministry.
- But some Christian parents are satisfied as long as their kids don’t wind up in jail! They marry an unsaved person – no big deal! They skip church all the time – no big deal! They have no interest in soulwinning or missions – no big deal! May God deliver us from that type of Christianity!
- The right kind of education presents all truth from the viewpoint of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Children must see God’s hand at work in all aspects of life – not just on Sunday morning. This is impossible in a public school where evolution is taught and the Christian faith is not accepted.
- The first president of Princeton University was a Christian by the name of John Witherspoon. He said: "Cursed be all learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ."
- Let me close with a quote from another great American, Daniel Webster: "If we work upon marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumple into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellow men, we engage on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity."
Pastor James J. Barker
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