Topical Sermons


April, 2002

1. Psa. 130:3-6 - Humans are inquisitive: We ask many questions of ourselves, others & of God. Those who rely on the Lord patiently endure, content with the Lord's answers and assured of the Lord's mercy, purposes & blessings - cf. Psa. 131.
2. So, as we ask Bible questions, we are content to let the Bible answer. And then, equally content to conform ourselves to God's eternal truth and abiding principles of righteousness.

#1: When does a child become accountable? Is there a specific age? How do we determine when our child is ready to be a Christian?
A. Being Accountable for One's Sins Necessarily Implies:
  1. Knowledge of good and evil - Deut. 1:39.
  2. Ability to make moral choices: Choose good & refuse evil - Isa. 7:16.
  3. Development of moral capacity & responsibility - Rom. 7:8-9 (Lk. 2:52).
  4. Innocence prior to choosing evil (sinning against God) - Matt. 18:3.
  5. When a child has moral capacity, knowing good & evil, they act on that knowledge. Thus, they become accountable before God for their moral & spiritual choices.
B. There is No Specific Age Stated in the Bible - Each Case Must Be Considered Individually. (cf. Lk. 2:52)
C. How Do We Determine When Our Child Is Ready To Become A Christian?
  1. We don't make that determination - the child does.
  2. Heb. 12:9-11 (cf. Prov. 2:1-5) - Parents: You can greatly help your child arrive at that decision by teaching him about good & evil, God's love for good & hatred of evil - So that your child becomes ready & responsive to the gospel when they know they are sinners.
  3. Some parents tell their children when they can be baptized - We cannot force faith & obedience.
  4. When a child:
    a. Is capable of understanding the moral difference between good & evil & knows he has sinned against God's will.
    b. Is capable of belief in Christ as the Son of God (belief requires certain intellectual & decision-making abilities (Jno. 8:24); can confess his faith in Him, repent of his sin & be baptized (Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9-10) - Held morally accountable by God.

#2: How should we treat the homeless, such as the ones who hold up signs for money at the corner of the Mall & Guide Meridian? Should we help them? If so, how (food, money, shelter…)? If not, why? How should a Christian react to one who is homeless & begs for money?
A. Principles to be Applied:
  1. Will always have the poor with us, & plenty of opportunities to help them - Mk. 14:5-7; Deut. 15:11.
  2. We are to help the poor according to our opportunity & ability - Gal. 6:10 (cf. Acts 3:1-6).
  3. Do your charitable deeds from right motives - Matt. 6:1-4 (cf. Lk. 10:29-37) - Mercy, compassion, love for neighbor.
  4. He who will not work is not a candidate for charity - 2 Ths. 3:10.
B. The Time, Occasion & Means of One's Charity toward the Poor is one of Personal Judgment Based on These Principles.
  1. Are they truly needy?
    a. Many such are mentally ill, addicts, etc. who cannot function independently & need society's help.
    b. Others willfully remain homeless. (Why are the same ones always on the corner begging if they will indeed work?? …Because that is their job!)
  2. Very different from one who is truly in need - cf. Jas. 1:27.

#3: Reading our Bible should be important to us. If we miss a day, what should we do?
-Well, read it tomorrow!
  1. If we forget God's word we are more likely to sin against God - Psa. 119:11-16.
  2. God's people perish without knowledge of God's word - Hos. 4:6; 2 Tim. 2:15.
  3. A commitment to personal growth & maturity of faith - Phil. 1:9-11.

1. Psa. 130:5 - We hope in (rely upon & are assured by) God's word.
2. So, we look for & accept God's answers to "all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Pet. 1:3).