"How strong is your foundation? How sure is your foundation? How deep is your foundation? Well, I’ll give you this testimony. I’m here tonight because of the weak foundations that I saw. When I was in the Baptist Church a few years back, I looked around. I started looking around, and I noticed that just about everybody in the congregation lost their children to the world. How deep was their foundation? What kind of foundation did they have, if in the first generation they lost their children to the world? They didn’t have very much foundation, did they? And way back then, I looked at that and said, "Wait a minute. I’m not going to lose my children to the world. There’s no way. I’m not sticking around here. I’m not losing my children to the world. I aim for my children to love God when they grow up." And that was one of the motivations that caused me to start looking and praying, "Lord are there people, are there people in this country, who keep their children? Who keep the next generation, and go on, and their children go on for God?" That was one of the cries on my heart. That’s the problem in America today. They are raising either a "no-generation foundation", or a "one-generation foundation", that’s about all they get.
Have we swallowed it, with them? Have we?
I read an article, oh; it’s a couple of years ago now, on America and what it was like 200 years ago. We’re going to examine the foundation now. This article had to do with what America was like 200 years ago. It was very revealing as I read it. And this article had to do with the intellectual pursuits of America now and 200 years ago, but it’s very revealing in many other areas besides that. You note, I’ll share with you some of the things that the article spoke about:
200 years ago, in America, this land where we live, children learned, they began to learn Greek and Hebrew at the age of 6, in this country. In this country, by the age of 10, children had put off all silly-mindedness, and were preparing themselves for the professions, for life, for real work, for college or whatever it is, by the age of 10, in America, 200 years ago. The children had shaken off the silly- mindedness, the play-mindedness, the fun life – they had shaken that off by the age of 10, and set themselves to pursue the serious things of a real life, by the age of 10. In America, 200 years ago, Yale and Harvard, those were the two strong Bible colleges in America 200 years ago, were receiving college students at the age of 12 and 13 years old. Let me give you some of the entrance exams. You could not get into Yale or Harvard University, which were solid Bible schools in those days, you could not get into those Universities, until you could break down into the parts of speech a paragraph in Greek and Hebrew and Latin. Now some of us probably couldn’t break one down in English! But those students had to be able to take a paragraph that was written in the Greek language, and break it down and diagram it – noun, verb, adverb, adjective, preposition – they had to be able to part that paragraph in Greek and Latin and Hebrew. And they got into college by the age of 12 or 13. Now let me say this. I’m not lifting up intellectualism tonight, I’m against it. But it does show me something. Those children must have been disciplined if they learned that by the age of 12 or 13. Master things like that without rigor, and discipline and many hours of work and memorization and all of that, you don’t do it, isn’t that right schoolteachers?
In America 200 years ago, there were multitudes of 12-year-old boys that could handle the business while father was away. Run it completely. Order the stock, meet the customers, make the change, handle the business deals, meet with the customers, hire and fire employees. There were multitudes of 12-year-old boys who could run the whole business while father was away, 12 years old. And by the way, multitudes of young ladies who could do the same, guiding the home.
Two hundred years ago, the children of America had 3 books. Pilgrim’s Progress, Foxes Book of Martyrs, and the Bible. That’s all they had. Now we have so many books, so many silly novels. I’m so, so weary, weary! Of these silly, so-called Christian novels! Oh they just grieve my heart every time I see one of them laying around. Parents don’t give that kind of garbage to your children to read. Fill their hearts with this! Fill their hearts with this (the Word of God). That’s what the children grew up on 200 years ago, and I’d say we’re a long shot off from where they turned out. I’m afraid we have given ourselves over to the philosophies of the world concerning our children, and we think that childhood is a time of fun and play and a care freeness for our children, and we want to extend it as long as we can for them. That’s not the way they looked at it 200 years ago. By the age of 10 and 11 years old, the children were preparing themselves for a real life, in a real world, by the age of 10 or 11 or 12. Serious minded children, filled with maturity. I’ve said this statement, and I’ll say it tonight, I don’t know about you, but I’m raising adults, I’m not raising children. I’m raising adults. Now you think about that statement for a minute. You get a complete different result at the end. If you’re raising children, you’ll have children when you’re done. But if I’m raising adults, I’ll have adults when I’m done, and I want adults! We’ve got enough children out there, that are 21 years old, that are still filled with nothing but play and frolic and jokes and silly-mindedness and everything is play to them. And I’m a good example of it. I never decided to grow up until I was 23 years old. When I got converted, all of a sudden it dawned on me, "There’s a real life to live." And I feel like I’m about 10 years behind. But I have set myself that my children aren’t going to be 10 years behind. I’m raising adults. What are you raising brother?....
you know, in the Old Testament day, when God wanted to build the Tabernacle, he put the Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of wisdom upon the craftsmen so that they were able to build that Tabernacle exactly the way He wanted it. (Exodus 31) And when it was time to build the Temple, in Solomon’s day the Spirit of God and of wisdom, lighted again upon those men who were craftsmen, so that they would have the special holy abilities that they needed, in order to make the things in such a way that that Temple would be magnificent and glorify God. And don’t you think, that if God was concerned about that earthly tabernacle and God is concerned about the earthly temple in Solomon’s day, how much more is God concerned about these little buildings that we have sitting in this room tonight! How much more is God concerned? And how much more will he pour the wisdom, the Spirit of Wisdom and grace and power out upon the hearts of every father and mother in this room, who will, and with all their hearts cry unto God daily, for the grace and the wisdom and the power to raise their children! I tell you tonight, I don’t think there’s a man or a woman in this room tonight, if they got earnest about raising their children, and they fell on their face everyday, every morning before God and pleaded that God would give them the grace to raise their children for God, I don’t think there’s anybody in this room that wouldn’t learn how to raise your children for God! I don’t believe it! I think we don’t have, because we ask not! We don’t have because we ask not! We don’t have because we don’t have a vision! We don’t have a vision of what God can do through us!......
I’m afraid that God’s people have swallowed the lies of the devil and they can hardly make a statement like, "My children are going to turn out for God!" They can hardly make a statement like that. Well the Bible is full of illustrations, full of promises to men and women who want to raise their children for God and those promises are to be stood upon, and believed and not to be shirked from. I’m afraid sometimes the devil, first he gets his foot in the door of our heart by making us afraid to make such a confession, and from there it’s a downhill road. No way. No way. If the Lord builds the house, we don’t labor in vain that build it. But shall we say then, that that’s more of the problem. That the Lord didn’t build the house. Shall we say that every now and then, we called on the Lord to build the house, but most of the time we built the house ourselves; and if we did build the house ourselves, then we did labor in vain who built it. But oh, listen…. If the Lord is called upon every single day, and throughout the day to help us to build the house, we don’t labor in vain when we build the house.…
We spoke this morning about the power of a testimony of a godly home. And what an influence it had in a community in Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. Some of you missed that testimony. But God wants to raise up families, who are a testimony to the whole community around them. That the whole community looks upon them with favor. That the community knows of them. That they have a testimony of godliness. That they have a testimony of zeal, and love for God. God wants to raise up testimonies like that, all over, all over this country. He wants to raise those up. But, 'except the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain that build it.'"
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon