“Parenting, A Pastoral Heart for Children”
Sermon preached by Sean Morris, Church of Wells

January 8, 2017

 

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“…the saved children become companions with the unsaved children and…thirty minutes of this ungodly companionship that is happening will undo 15 days of godly parenting! Don’t you doubt it! The wicked suggestions of their corrupt behavior and evil communications! The way they flatter their eyelids and slant their faces in mockery and pride! The way that they go about all their foolishness! Pouring out! Living in sin! Without the fear of God before their eyes!”  – Sean Morris

 

“I asked these children, ‘How was your day? What sins did you struggle with today Arlia [9] and Levi [5]?’  They couldn’t answer. I asked them, ‘What sins were you saved from when you got converted?’ They could hardly answer.  Then, one of them choked up with shyness, being embarrassed. I looked back at the parents and I said, ‘What’s going on? Why can’t they answer?’”  – Sean Morris

 

“We had to take Levi and Arlia all the way back to conversion. We had to break through all this shyness. One of them started weeping, and she’s getting confused, and she’s thinking like I’m upset with her – and I did no such thing. My demeanor was no such expression – I was just asking her questions. But she was just overwhelmed; afraid; confused. And she just became overwhelmed….is she shy? No, that’s not shyness! That’s shame and contempt for Christ, okay? Christ should be conquering that.”  – Sean Morris

 

 

“Children disguise shame and contempt for the person of Christ, and lack of reality with the person of Christ through childish ways, which can be, and are easily dismissed by unwitting parents! Namely – shyness​. Shyness is not an excuse. The Bible says that the Spirit of God is a spirit of boldness, temperance, power and love.” – Sean Morris

 

0:21“Many, if not most parents of converted children in this room, and all others that I have met since being regenerated, lack this most needful quality in their hearts – a pastoral heart towards their children.”

11:40“The danger and threat of growing and festering sin will inevitably destroy your loved ones and your dear children, if you can not so exemplify Christ as a husband, as a father, as a wife, as a mother, towards your children; that the banner of Christ’s reputation is completely displayed in your family; that everybody knows that mother and daddy walks with God.”

14:00“The pastoral heart of a mother, of a father; it involves fear – namely, ‘the fear of Job’.”

14:26“Parents lack fear. They lack a fear of sin. They lack a fear of the consequences of sin – the growing, festering, poisonous, leprosy of sin. And thus they don’t do what it takes that it would be purged from its growing influence! They don’t weep! They don’t cry! They don’t lift up their voice! They don’t fall upon their face! They don’t abide before the presence of God! They don’t seek help from heaven! They don’t have earnesty and fervency! They don’t remember the problems! They forget about them!”

17:50 “Job feared for his children, and he feared continually.”

23:30“[Noah] was moved with fear…when the average apostate Christian of his generation was eating and drinking a multitude of Christian charity feasts.”

25:14“A very piercing question that we should be made to ask ourselves is: ‘Looking upon the evidence, namely – your children. Do you fear God like Job? Do you fear God like Noah? Do you have a pastoral heart like Abraham?’”

26:20 “Or, fearfully, are you raising Ishmaelites? Are you raising Ishmaelites to God?”

28:20“Ishmael was mocking…you know that fearless, snickering, smirk-like, evil, treacherous behavior that all unconverted children have toward the things of God, toward the things of their parents, towards the conduct of righteousness and godliness?”

28:53“Sarah saw Ishmael mocking! What do you see? What’s the answer? Are you raising Ishmaelites to God? What do you see? Sarah saw Ishmael mocking…and cast out this bond-woman and her son.”

30:41“Are you listening unsaved children? This is what happened to Ishmael because he wasn’t saved. Don’t think it can’t happen to you!”

31:50 “Children that are not born-again are children of Hagar, metaphorically speaking. They are children in bondage. They are bound by nature’s chain. They are bound by depravity to mock the children of God. Take note that Ishmael was persecuting Isaac. The child that was not born-again was persecuting the other child that was born-again. He that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, back then…even so it is now! So the question is, are you raising Ishmaelites?”

41:38 “Now some of you think that you can just preach to your children! Some of you think that you can just have a breakfast table devotion, and evening time devotion, and sing and preach and pray to them, or in the midst of them; but you lack this deep conviction that you have to walk with them, and you have to be their companion.”

43:53“Are your children scorners? Listen! If they’re not “seeking sinners”, they are scorners. And that’s categorical for an unsaved child. And if they are not “seeking saints”, they are scorners. And that’s categorically to those that are saved.”

45:04 “Do your children, through the drawling work of pre-salvation grace respect you and honor you because you reprove them? Do they want to come to you, or are you raising an Ishmaelite – a scorner? And you think it’s a job well done…”

45:54 “You might as well strap them down in an electric chair and flip the switch, ‘cause they’re on the course of destruction.”

46:50 “…and then the saved children become companions with the unsaved children and the companion of foolishness is utterly gouging out the spiritual eyes of those who are saved. It is utterly detrimental! Thirty minutes of this ungodly companionship that is happening will undo 15 days of godly parenting! Don’t you doubt it! The wicked suggestions of their corrupt behavior and evil communications! The way they flatter their eyelids and slant their faces in mockery and pride! The way that they go about all their foolishness! Pouring out! Living in sin! Without the fear of God before their eyes! Such like things – evil suggestions of ungodliness! Suffer it not brethren.”

47:55 – “But some of you parents, after our assemblies are dismissed on Sunday; your eyes are not upon your children; your heart is not with them. Somehow you are just able to go on being selfish; just having fellowship. What about your son? What about your daughter? Why don’t you bring them with you? Why don’t you teach them to have fellowship, or show them what fellowship is? Why don’t you condescend to include them, and shield their eyes from any rebellious children. Shield their eyes and their conscience from learning the ways of corruption. Guard their conscience from these corrupt ways being suggested to them that everything’s ok, as their eyes wander across the congregation looking for the foolish. They know not what they do. Are you stopping them?”

49:47“Such ungodly simplicity, brethren, is going on…such ungodly simplicity.”

52:17 “ I don’t see these holy agonizing glances going on, as those watchful, prayerful, fervent in spirit parents are looking upon the state of their children!”

53:06 “Proverbs 14:6, “A scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it not. A scorner seeketh God and findeth Him not.” You hear that Weigan? You hear that, Warren? I know that you’ve been sad many times, but you haven’t found the Lord. God will let you find him, if you do not scorn him. God will let you find him, if with all of your heart you do not scorn him. A scorner seeketh God and does not find him. A scorner seeketh wisdom and findeth it not. But he says, you shall seek me and you shall find me, when you search for me with all of your heart. You need not be sad that God won’t let you find him. He will let you. But you’ve got to forsake your foolish ways and forsake your scorning.”

56:02 “Now brethren, there is a very wicked thing that is going on, and we have sought in many ways to address it among the Church of Wells, and we have known it’s a problem for months now – years. We have seen it only progress as more children get saved; that the converted children are not keeping the way of the Lord. We have endeavored through various efforts to help them keep the way of the Lord. We have at times rebuked them openly. We have at times preached to them and wept many tears in private meetings with them and their parents, pleading and preaching with all of our heart and might in the spirit of God, and yet by the next prayer meeting, or by the next solemn assembly, by the next visit to the home, or this or that, the report is utterly terrible. Ryan and Jake and I just gasp, just gasp, gasp at these reports. Oh help us God. Have mercy Lord. Help us. Help us to stop this. Show us what to do. Don’t let us lose these children. Don’t let these children sin against you. Help us God. Don’t let them defile Your house.”

59:20 “But [with] saved children, everything changes; because now they are sons of God and they are daughters of God; and if they backslide into sin, God will react to that sin or that fallenness – if they backslide into fallenness – God will relate to that like idols in the temple of God. He will not relate passively towards this situation. This is utterly unacceptable. Such like sins like these – idols in the temple of God – were of such aggravating, fearful, consequential, utterly destructive, and explosive situations that ever happened in church history! A defilement of the house of God! A defilement of the holy place, where God’s special and immediate presence is aggravated, and his fatherly loving-kindness towards us as sons and daughters is no doubt frustrated, and compromised significantly.”

1:00:55“And that makes this situation all the more fearful. We have not taken care of this situation. It has not been fixed. It has not been resolved.”

1:01:15“And when I went to Australia, I was very much confronted with this situation directly, because of the saved condition of Arlia and Levi, the daughter and son – I think nine and five – of Matthew Bagnall. They have both been converted – nine years old and five years old – and when I got there, they were both backslidden and unclean, and I was forced to invest in this family and engage myself in every element of their lives, especially the preachers and their families; to seek to establish them in the ways of the Lord, knowing that I may not see them for years. And so this matter was of the utmost importance. And it was absolutely urgent and immediate. There had to be a reformation.”

1:03:00“We [in the past in Wells] endeavored to correct this problem…certain meetings with the parents; certain meetings with the children; preaching to them after the meetings at times; having meetings with the parents repeatedly; expressing this problem, hoping to the Lord that they’re going to get it; having the preachers gather the saved children together and disciple them and invest in them; the elders fervently inquiring of how it went, and hearing the results of it; hoping in the Lord that through these meetings the problem will be fixed. But it hasn’t worked. And I have come to the conclusion, and Ryan and Jake are of the same mind, that the primary place where this problem must be fixed is the parents.”

1:04:20“If these parents and the home life is not utterly saturated with the ways of the Lord, then everything else that we are doing is going to fail. It’s not going to happen. It’s not going to work. I have discovered brethren, with great astonishment, that there is this selfishness of parents…utterly complaining and murmuring in their heart, which is soul-suicide.”

1:05:56“This shallow relationship that parents have towards their converted children! Where they think these optimistic, falsely positive ways, and it’s really just selfishness! They’re really just glad to have some weight off their back.”

1:07:52 “[The children] are not engaged in their personal devotions with all of their heart. They’re looking at the clock and jittering, and utterly without temperance, not panting after the presence of God. It was happening! It was happening!”

1:08:15“I asked these children, ‘How was your day? What sins did you struggle with today Arlia and Levi?’ They couldn’t answer. I asked them, ‘What sins were you saved from when you got converted?’ They could hardly answer. Then, one of them choked up with shyness, being embarrassed. I looked back at the parents and I said, ‘What’s going on? Why can’t they answer?’”

1:09:49“There are Anabaptist families all over this country that sing and pray, and read their bible every day with their families, and they’re all utterly lost and unconverted. They’re all utterly lost. Families! Whole families! By the hundreds, thousands!”

1:12:12 – “And then the children – raising their tones to their parents, or disrespecting tones, or begrudgingly disobeying their parents; when they don’t have any spirituality about it! They are not obeying their parents as to the Lord! Far from it!”

1:13:33 “And these children! These tones! This behavior which cries out in my ears, of the most fatal and damnable sins! Just going on eating and drinking and having family life…”

1:14:30 “Selfishness…parents that don’t want to bear the burden; parents that don’t have the heart. I can’t imagine it. I can’t imagine it! Now so many brethren have this sin of selfishness, presumption, utter rebellion, and heartlessness – murderous heartlessness! May God forbid it and banish it from this congregation.”

1:16:25 “What is my child capable of, and what should be my reasonable expectations considering his age? What fruit is God requiring? Well…if you had the heart of Job or Noah, you would get answers to these questions. You would! Either God would give them to you, or you would find help from wise men, and you would get answers to these questions. It’s not an excuse not to have answers to these questions. You’re not this guiltless person, who’s just ignorant, okay? If you have the heart, God would give you understanding. God would give you wisdom. God would make you a parent with a pastoral heart.”

1:17:57 “Levi – he can read a little bit. He can read a one sentence, but it will take him awhile with much concentration. But he’ll understand 10 words out of 30 in a sermon. 30 words will be spoken – he’ll understand 10 maybe, and he’ll put them together in some kind of Christian idea where he’s trying to follow along with what’s being said; 5 years old. So this no doubt complicates the situation does it not?”

1:19:37“The same divine nature that you have as a converted individual is in the children who are converted. That means that they need to love God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, just like you need to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.”

1:20:35 “But if they don’t have anything to say; if their eyes aren’t filled with holy passion, their heart relishing in the treasure of God’s word, their soul panting after the presence of God in secret communion with him; a holy disdain and hatred for sin; a consciousness of eternal realities; all these fruits should be manifest, though they are expressed in a significantly immature way socially and intellectually, but not in heart!”

1:21:51 “You don’t need to strangle it out of them, and strive with them, and wring their nose! If they’re experiencing it, they’re going to say something about it!”

1:22:12 “Children disguise shame and contempt for the person of Christ, and lack of reality with the person of Christ through childish ways, which can be, and are easily dismissed by unwitting parents! Namely – shyness​. Shyness is not an excuse. The Bible says that the Spirit of God is a spirit of boldness, temperance, power and love.”

1:24:10“What about your children – your saved children? Is it okay to you that they don’t have anything to say for God! You think their heart is right with God! And they don’t have anything to say? Do you think they’re communing with the living God and they don’t have anything to say? You think that they have childlike faith, childlike communion with the living God and they can’t pray and be burdened for lost children? And they become so irrelevant to the lost children, that the lost children don’t even believe that those of the saved children think that they’re going to hell!”

1:26:08“Rebellion disguises itself you see? To where the children say, ‘I don’t know’. They do know. Yes, condescension is necessary, but don’t be deceived, okay? They will deceive you by saying, ‘I don’t know, I don’t understand…’ They understand. If they have the Spirit of God, they understand. Now you’ve got to help them understand. You’ve got to help them understand what’s going on, okay? They are not innocent. But God won’t buy, ‘I don’t know, I don’t understand’, okay? They disguise rebellion with shyness, okay.”

1:27:25 “We had to take Levi and Arlia all the way back to conversion. We had to break through all this shyness. One of them started weeping, and she’s getting confused, and she’s thinking like I’m upset with her – and I did no such thing. My demeanor was no such expression – I was just asking her questions. But she was just overwhelmed; afraid; confused. And she just became overwhelmed. And so I stopped speaking to her, and started speaking to the parents. And, I’m telling you brother, you’ve got to be able to talk to your daughter! You’ve got to help her understand what’s going on. I mean, what does she know of Christ? She couldn’t tell me anything! She couldn’t tell me! What does she know about Christ? What have you ever heard her say about Christ? What have you heard her say about her commune with the living God? What fruits have you seen in her life? You’ve got to tell her and remind her of these things. You have to remind her of what happened at her conversion. She has to really know this and understand it! How can it be that she’s been saved this long and she can’t tell me any of these thing?

1:28:37 “Is she shy? No, that’s not shyness! That’s shame and contempt for Christ, okay? Christ should be conquering that.”

1:29:43 “This was happening with one of the children – both of them – one morning they were itching to go do something else. ‘How is your time in the word of God?’ They had no heartfelt thing to say about it, except maybe some fair speech of enthusiasm, which disguises much in deceptiveness and childishness. It’s not reality with the Spirit of Christ – because they really wanted to go do something else. They were tired of praying, and tired of reading. Does that sound like Christ to you? Does that sound like Christ to you?”

1:32:14“You think God is going to take them on to heaven? While their footsteps are keeping the pathway of hell going down! That’s mockery. That’s mockery. God is not mocked. Children should not have nothing to say about God. They should have a deep concept of sin, the hatefulness of sin, that sin should disturb them. Even sin that they don’t understand. It should disturb them! They should have a fear of God before their eyes. The wicked have no fear of God before their eyes, okay! They should have a fear of God before their eyes! They should have faith in God! Not disguised expressions of enthusiasm and Christian formalism, that pass off as spirituality!”

1:33:48“They shouldn’t be complaining! How can you complain if you are having vital reality with God? ‘Neither murmur as some of them murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer.’ ‘Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.’ ‘Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that you may be blameless as sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world, holding forth the words of life!’ Interpretation: If you murmur God will destroy you and He will rebuke you with eternal hatred standing before the judgement seat. 1 Corinthians 10, Philippians 2. Do you believe it? It’s in the book! So don’t take it lightly if your child is murmuring! If your child has no vital reality with Christ, to where they’re subject to Christ in you!”

1:35:40 “I’m just giving a few examples! What happens with the children who aren’t searched out, who aren’t questioned, who aren’t nourished, who aren’t inquired, who don’t have their parents walking with them?”

1:37:03“Levi [age 5]…did not know that he could be a spiritual prophet to the people of God – so we started teaching him – ‘Brother Levi’”

1:39:58“You see in the parents there is just so much shallowness; so much careless, lack of pastoring; much correction, little pastoring. It’s grievous.”

1:41:33“The saved children here [Wells] have a good number of unsaved children to minister to, to pray for, to preach to, to plead with. What are you parents doing? How could you be satisfied if your child is not burdened for these children? How could you be satisfied if Christ is not being formed in the heart of your children?”

1:43:36“Don’t let childishness disguise itself in Christian formalism to where you excuse apostasy, with the very diabolical teeth of the devil smiling at you in the face. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Be spiritual.”

1:44:09“The saved children, after assemblies are dismissed, they shouldn’t be running around in chaos with all of the unsaved children; and just growing chaos that happens. The saved children should be burdened for the unsaved children. They should be burdened to walk with Christ…so that the saved children are preaching to the lost children, and you’re helping that happen, and promoting it; helping them doing it, showing them that they can!”

1:47:38“So these children should be preaching to the unsaved children. There should be a holy conspiracy with all of the saved children, against the devil and deception and sin destroying the unsaved children. There should be a holy unity in the spirit! Do they have that? Parents, do you question them about that? Do they have fellowship with these other saved individuals? What do they talk about? How is it you even – do you even think about asking these questions? With what depth, with what intentionality? Have you spoken to the other parents? Are you building this relationship?”

1:48:35“This lost family came to stay with Matthew’s family. There was a young girl, about Arlia’s age, but older, named Jessica – who was unsaved. And children just tend to be with children, and tend to do foolish things with children. And so Arlia, without the proper guidance, protection, instruction, and pastoral oversight of her parents, just started spending time with Jessica; and the whole time the parents are hoping in their heart – presumptuously – that maybe Arlia would have a good effect on Jessica. Not so. The exact opposite. Jessica had an evil effect on Arlia. And from that point onward, she stopped walking with God.”

1:49:54“So they (the adults) gave this little daughter of God over to the Lions. And she’s destroyed for months. All traced back to that time. And you know what all the brethren are thinking? ‘She’s just a child – what am I supposed to expect.’ I don’t know! Well, you didn’t ask! Maybe you should have asked. Maybe you should have responded to the burden of God. You should have asked somebody who does know. You see this? It’s evil.”

1:51:00“What are there, six children born in a year? I’m not sure. Maybe more? Six times five? Thirty children? Five years? All the other children 5 years older? You think that this is a serious deal? If we don’t get this right, this whole work will descend into destruction. Let’s get it right. We’ve got plenty of time to get it right. Let’s get it right brethren. Let’s make our way about doing things right.”

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