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LIVING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST

A STUDY IN COLOSSIANS

SERMON #14 A NEW AGENDA FOR SOCIETY

COLOSSIANS 3:18-4:1

PART 1

A NEW AGENDA FOR FAMILIES

Would you agree with me when I say the American family is in

serious trouble today? In fact, I am greatly alarmed that our

entire society

is on the very brink of self-destruction:

*Divorce

*Abortion

*Gay Rights

*Economic Hardship

*Humanism

*Children's Rights

*Sexual Deviancy And Promiscuity

Our social cancers that are rapidly eating away at our society,

and I

am telling you we are a society that is literally rotting from

the inside out.

There is a liberal social agenda being propagated by powerful,

elite,

well organized, well financed groups such as ACLU, Planned

Parenthood,

National Education Associates, and unfortunately our own

government

administration that are absolutely exploding on the scene of

history and

forcing upon America a godless, immoral, insane agenda which

is

rapidly

destroying us from the inside out!

*Folks, we are in serious, serious trouble today!

*We are sowing to the wind and reaping a whirlwind!

*Every man is "doing that which is right in his own eyes!"

page 1

We are already reaping total anarchy and chaos.

*And the only answer for our society is Jesus!

*He is our only hope.

*There are no other solutions.

And we need to realize government cannot fix the problem--it is

part

of the problem!

*The answer is not a guru because the problem is not religion.

*The answer is not a teacher because the problem is not

ignorance.

*The answer is not government because the problem is not

politics.

*The answer is not money because the problem is not poverty.

THE ANSWER IS JESUS BECAUSE THE PROBLEM IS SIN!

Let me tell you Jesus and Jesus alone is the answer for:

*Home problems

*Government problems

*Business problems

*Economic problems

I want us to return to the book of Colossians and discover that

Jesus

gives us a brand new agenda for society that brings:

*order out of chaos

*peace out of anarchy

*happiness out of hostility

Text Colossians 3:18 - 4:1

Col 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the

Lord.

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with

them.

Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this

pleases the Lord.

Col 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will

become discouraged.

Col 3:22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and

do

it, not only when

their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity

of heart and reverence for

the Lord.

Col 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as

working for the Lord, not

for men,

page 2

Col 3:24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance

from the Lord as a

reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Col 3:25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong,

and

there is no

favoritism.

Col 4:1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and

fair, because you know

that you also have a Master in heaven.

Let me begin by giving you Satan's 5-step plan for destroying

mankind and ruling over God's creation.

1.Dethrone God: God did not create man; man created God.

2.Degrade Man: Man is not created, but a cosmic accident

3.Defy Christian Morality:

*If there is no God

*If man is a cosmic accident

*Then there are no moral absolutes

4.Destroy The Family: Without Christian morality the home

crumbles

5.Dominate Human Society: Without stable homes all of

society crumbles into chaos

I want to take the Word of God today and show you 6 keys for:

*undoing what the devil has done to our homes

*building back what Satan has tried to tear down

*piecing together what Satan has unraveled

You see, the home, the family is the foundation of all other

social

structures. It is the cornerstone of society and when it

crumbles entire

societies fall in on themselves.

Let me quickly identify several major culprits in the

deterioration of

the American home. These are enemies of the family:

1.Gay Rights Movement: A recent news show "The Gay 90's"

reported thousands of gays and lesbians demanding the same

moral and legal recognition, rights, and benefits granted

married

couples, to same sex unions.

page 3

Thousands of children are being raised by 2 gays or 2 lesbians.

Ex: Article "Family Research Report" (Nov-Dec 1992, p. 7)

"On September 28, an Orange County, CA judge made the

same

ruling in regard

to another abandoned father. The judge told the father that

"your Achilles heel is your

reluctance to accept the life-style your ex-wife has chosen for

herself and threatened

his visitation rights with his child. The ex-wife is living

openly with another lesbian.

Both are employed by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept. The

husband and ex-wife were

ordered to undergo "counseling" to learn to accept each other

and get along better!

The father in this case had remarried and had 2 other

children

by his new wife.

They both wanted to fully incorporate his 5-year old son into

their marriage. The

judge reasoned that CA law forbade him to consider the

lesbianism of the ex-wife in

deciding custody.

Demands for equal treatment by homosexuals coupled with

the

modest

empirical showing in the scientific literature suggesting that

homosexuals make "just

as good parents" has almost won the day. Common sense is

being

overturned in favor

of making a statement for gay rights. And the long-term

interests of the child are being

submerged in favor of the interests of the deviant parent."

Just to let you know how effective the liberal media has been

in

promoting gay rights, my 9-year old daughter asked her mother

the

other day, "Mom, why are we against gays if they are born that

way?"

2.Economics forcing both spouses to work outside the home.

Ex: Article from "The Denver Post" (Jan 16, 1993)

"The stresses of work, child care and chores heavily increase

the odds of divorce

and separation in married couples who work full time, the

federal government reported.

And when married couples with children split up, more than

one-third of the

white mothers and about half of all black mothers wind up in

poverty, U.S. Census

Bureau researchers said.

The study was the first attempt by the government to look at

the

economic

conditions that affect family stability. It was based on

surveys that tracked the lives of

24,000 people between 1984 and 1988.

Researchers found that who works, how much they work and

what

they earn

play key roles in family stability.

The rate of divorce or separation in families in which both

parents work is one

in 12 couples, or about 8%.

In families where fathers work full time and mothers work

part

time, the

government found that divorce and separation rates were about

60% lower--

approximately one in 20, or 5%."

page 4

3. * Abortion: We are slaughtering 2 Million human beings in

abortion

mills every year.

*Besides the moral atrocity of this legalized, tax financed

genocide,

there is the coming economic disaster.

*These 2 Million people were the future work force of America

that

will be needed to finance a rapidly aging population.

4.Children's Rights Movement:

*At the core of Hillary Rodham Clinton's Children's Rights

Agenda is

the undermining of parental authority.

*Children's Rights Agenda is often a disguise of child sexual

abuse.

Ex: The book "Paedophilla: The Radical Case" by Tom O'Carroll

O'Carroll writes, "I am a paedophile."(p. 9) "In the

Netherlands ... even

major church organizations and political parties are coming to

the conclusion

that the laws designed to 'protect' children from sexual

experiences actually do

them more harm than good ... families which deny children their

sexual life,

including the possibility of sexual contact with adults, are

profoundly limited,

however good they may be in other respects." (From "Family

Research Report"

Nov-Dec 1992, p. 3)

It is a frightening thing to be trying to maintain a family and

raise

children in today's world. Just about every element of society

is working

against you.

However, the Lord Jesus can in fact secure your home and

stabilize

your marriage.

I believe the Bible is the best marriage manual in all the

world. And

right here in 4 very brief verses we discover the God-ordained

keys to

having a happy, secure, satisfying stable home life.

I want to draw your attention to 3 key ingredients to a

successful

family that comes into your home when it is under the Lordship

of Jesus

Christ.

page 5

I.JESUS CHRIST BRINGS A NEW PRESENCE INTO THE

HOME

II.JESUS CHRIST BRINGS A NEW PATTERN INTO THE HOME

III.JESUS CHRIST BRINGS A NEW PURPOSE INTO THE HOME

I.JESUS CHRIST BRINGS A NEW PRESENCE INTO THE

HOME

Note: Everything Paul says in these verses concerning the

agenda of home and

business is prefaced on the assumed presence of Christ.

(KJV)

Col 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as

it

is fit in the

Lord.

Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is

well pleasing unto

the Lord.

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord,

and not unto men;

Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of

the

inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

A. Christ's Presence In Your Life And Home Makes All The

Difference.

1.I watch homes struggle to survive against all the opposing

elements of this world system--and I'm telling you they

cannot survive without the presence of Christ.

2.When Jesus is in your life and home--He provides the

desire and discipline and devotion necessary for a happy

home.

page 6

3.Let me tell you all the best advice and principles in the

world cannot make your home what it should be--without

Jesus Christ!

4.You see, Christ gives you the power to appropriate the

principles and actions He designed that makes the family

strong and stable.

5.If you try and take home the principles He teaches and

apply them in your own strength, it won't work. You need

the presence and power of Jesus.

Ex: A young couple decides to get married, so they have a

wedding

shower.

At the shower they'll receive an:

1.electric can opener

2.radio

3.stereo

4.television

5.toaster

6.electric blanket

7.electric razor

8.microwave oven

9.electric alarm clock

The only problem is--when they move into their new home these

are useless because they live in a log cabin with no

electricity!

6.I tell young couples who are planning to get married, "Your

most urgent concern in this marriage is your personal

relationship with Jesus Christ."

WITHOUT CHRIST YOU WON'T MAKE IT!

7.Let me assure you--there is not a problem in your home that

Jesus can not resolve.

8.Whatever struggle you may be facing in your home ... Jesus

ultimately is the solution.

page 7

Ex: Most homes I know of do not need:

*more counseling

*more advice

*more therapy

THEY NEED MORE OF JESUS!

Conclusion of Point: "Jesus Brings A New Presence Into Your

Home"

Your home can never possibly be everything it should be without

Christ. " ...

Christ in you is the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)

Ex: The very day I was preparing this message a young

husband/father called

me and said, "Our home is so much different since my wife

accepted Christ in your

office."

II.JESUS CHRIST BRINGS A NEW PATTERN INTO YOUR

HOME

Col 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the

Lord.

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with

them.

Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this

pleases the Lord.

Col 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will

become discouraged.

A. Notice Every Member Of The Family Has A Specific Role To

Fulfill Under The Lordship Of Christ.

Note: Every human institution must have:

*an order of administration

*a chain of command

*a structure of responsibility

Without such administrative, orderly structure, everything

unravels into chaos.

Ex: This is true at every level of human society. It is true in:

*government

*business

*school

*military

*church

*home

page 8

1.The wife is to fulfill the role of Christ-like submission.

Col 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the

Lord.

Eph 5:22-24 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is

the head of

the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

Eph 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives

should

submit to their husbands in everything.

1 Peter 3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your

husbands so

that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won

over

without words by the behavior of their wives,

a. Be sure not to confuse:

*submission with inferiority

*submission with slavery

Ex: Jesus submitted to the Father--but Jesus was in no way

inferior to

the Father.

Note: Paul obliterated the notion of female inferiority and

male

supremacy in Col. 2:11.

Col 2:11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of

the sinful

nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but

with

the circumcision done by Christ,

b. To submit to your husband means to:

*respect him

*encourage him

*look to him for leadership

c. And this certainly does not give the husband the right

to be a tyrant, for ...

2.The husband is to fulfill the role of giving Christ-like love

and leadership to his wife.

page 9

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be

harsh with

them.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the

church and

gave himself up for her

Eph 5:28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives

as

their

own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

Eph 5:29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds

and

cares for it, just as Christ does the church--

a. Husbands--you are to love your wife in the very way

Christ loves His church.

b. You are to lead your wife in the same way Christ

leads the church.

c. How does Jesus love and lead His church? He loves

and leads His church:

* sacrificiously

*selflessly

*sanctifyingly

d. God never gives you the authority to be:

*harsh

*a tyrant

*mean

*brutal

*demanding

*dictatorial

Note: V. 19b " ... Do not be harsh with them."

This verse means do not have a bitter, angry, harsh, hostile

attitude at home.

Ex: Paul tells husbands not to call their wives "honey" and then

act like

"vinegar" at home.

page 10

Ex: One dejected wife told her counselor, "When I got married I

was looking

for an ideal,

Then it became an ordeal,

Now I want a new deal!!"

e. Our model for leadership and love in our marriage is

the Lord Jesus Christ.

f. If you treat your wife any differently than Christ treats

His beloved church, then you are failing desperately

as the head of your household!

g. We are to put our wife's needs above our own, and

love her tenderly, even as Christ does the church.

3.Children are to fulfill the role of Christ-like obedience.

Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this

pleases the

Lord.

Eph 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is

right.

Eph 6:2 "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first

commandment with a promise--

Eph 6:3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy

long life

on the earth."

a. Listen kids, God expects you to obey your parents in

"everything," even as Christ obeyed His parents in

everything.

b. God expects you to reverence your parents and respect

them.

Note: This includes "step-parents."

c. To fail to obey is to rebel. And God likens the sin of

rebellion to the sin of witchcraft.

page 11

1 Sam 15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of

divination, and

arrogance

like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of

the

LORD, he has rejected you as king."

4.Parents are to fulfill the role of encouragers.

Col 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will

become

discouraged.

Note: The word "father" (pateres) should be translated

"parents."

a. Parents are not to exasperate their children.

Note: That is what the word "embitter" (erethizo) means. It

means to

exasperate, discourage or to cause them to lose heart. The idea

is

to be without courage, confidence or spirit. It has the sense

of

being listless, sullen, discouraged or despairing.

JOHN MACARTHUR SUGGEST 10 WAYS PARENTS CAN

EXASPERATE OR DISHEARTEN THEIR CHILDREN:

1.Parents Exasperate Their Children By Over Protection:

Over protective parents never allow their children any liberty.

They have strict rules

about everything. No matter what their children do,

overprotective parents do not trust

them. Because nothing they do earns their parents' trust,

children begin to despair and

may believe that how they behave is irrelevant. That can lead

to rebellion. Parents are

to provide rules and guidelines for their children, but those

rules should not become a

noose that strangles them. Above all, parents must

communicate

to their children that

they trust them.

2.Parents Can Exasperate Children By Showing Favoritism:

This is often done unwittingly by comparing a child unfavorably

to siblings or

classmates. By making a child feel like the black sheep of the

family, parents can

create a terrible sense of frustration.

Ex: Joseph suffered because he was the favored son of his

father,

Jacob.

3.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children By Depreciating Their

Worth:

page 12

Many children have been convinced that what they do and feel

are

not

important. That is communicating to children that they are not

significant. Many

parents depreciate their children's worth by refusing to listen

to them. Children who

are not listened to may give up trying to communicate and

become

discouraged, shy

and withdrawn.

4.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children By Setting Unrealistic

Goals --- Perfectionists.

Parents can do that by never rewarding them, or never letting

them feel they have

succeeded. Nothing is enough, so the children never get full

approval. Such parents

are often trying to make their children into something they

themselves were not. The

results can be tragic. Some children become so frustrated that

they commit suicide.

5.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children By Failing To Show

Affection:

Parents need to communicate their love to their children both

verbally and visibly.

6.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children By Not Providing For

Their

Needs:

Children need things like privacy, a place to play, clean

clothes, a place to study, their

own possessions, and good meals. By providing those

necessities, parents show their

respect and concern for their children.

7.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children By A Lack Of

Standards:

This is the flip side of overprotection. When parents fail to

discipline, or discipline

inconsistently, children are left on their own. they cannot

handle that kind of freedom

and begin to feel insecure and unloved.

8.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children By Criticism:

Haim Ginott wrote, "A child learns what he lives. If he lives

with criticism he does not

learn responsibility. He learn to condemn himself and to find

fault with others. He

learns to doubt his own judgment, to disparage his own ability,

and to distrust the

intentions of others. And above all, he learns to live with

continual expectation of

impending doom" (Between Parent and Child [New York:

MacMillan,

1965], p. 72).

Parents should seek to create in the home a positive,

constructive environment.

9.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children By Neglect:

The classic example is Absalom, David was indifferent to him,

and the result was

rebellion, civil war, and Absalom's death. Parents need to be

involved in their

children's lives.

page 13

10.Parents Can Exasperate Their Children With Excessive

Discipline:

This is the parent who abuses his children, either verbally,

emotionally, or physically.

Parents often say things to their children that they would never

say to anyone else.

They should never discipline their children in anger. Rather,

parents should lovingly

correct their children, just as their heavenly Father does them.

The influence parents have in the lives of their children has

been summed up in

a perspective by Dorothy Law Nolte entitled, "Children Learn

What They Live":

If a child lives with criticism,

he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility,

he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule,

he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with tolerance,

he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement,

he learns to be confident.

If a child lives with fairness,

he learns justice.

If a child lives with security,

he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with approval,

he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship,

he learns to find love in the world.

(Copyright ©1982 by Dorothy Law Nolte. Used by

permission.)

Conclusion of Point: Christ Brings A New Pattern Into Your

Home

*Wives submit to husband's leadership and love

*Husbands love wives as Christ loved the church

*Children obey parents in everything

*Parents encourage your children--do not exasperate them

page 14

III.JESUS CHRIST BRINGS A NEW PURPOSE TO THE HOME

Col 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it

all

in the name of the

Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Col 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as

working for the Lord, not

for men,

Col 3:24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance

from the Lord as a

reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

A. Our New Purpose In Home And All Of Life Is To Bring Glory

And Honor To Christ.

1.Our primary concern and purpose in marriage and

parenting must be to bring honor to Jesus Christ.

2.Wives: You need to fulfill the relationship and role as a

wife in a way that honors Jesus Christ.

Husbands: You need to fulfill your role and relationship as

a husband in a way that brings honor to Christ.

Children/Teens: You need to always respond to your

parents in a way that honors Jesus Christ.

Parents: You need to treat your children in a way that

honors Jesus Christ.

3.Some of you: wives

husbands

children

parents

would act differently--if you sincerely wanted to please

Christ Jesus and this was your first priority in life.

page 15

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