Where Is My Child Mark 10:16 FAM-47

Introduction

At the heart of this message is the certainty that the Lord Jesus not only loved and cared for grown-ups as he walked the world of His day.  He love and lives children so very much,.   Recently, so many men, women and children have come to great tragedy and suffering in their lives.

I was just a few days ago, [mid-Sept. 2017] but to those still suffering right now, it must seem like an eternity.  Th monstrous hurricane roared ashore off the Atlantic Ocean and began to destroy everything in its path.  U. S.  territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are, for all practical purposes, ruined.

Shortly after, Mexico City was devastated by a terrible earthquake, killing hundreds.  Patents who survived, in some cases were separated from their children.  In one case a whole school wing collapsed on the children and their teacher still inside.  over twenty were killed and finally pulled from the rubble.

Imagine the cries of desperate mothers and grief-stricken fathers: “Where’s my little girl?” ” What happened to my baby?” Where is my child?

Thank God for our Christian ministry of Samaritan’s Purse that has many volunteers on the ground rendering aid as I speak.

I pray each one of you will do something practical; send a gift to Samaritan’s Purse right along with the RedCross and Salvation Army as rendering as rendering aid.

My part today is to ask you some questions and then to answer them from the  word of God on the consequences for those who did not survive this awful deluge of wind, water, quake and destruction. What has happened to them?

Sin and its consequence will work their deadly due just as Scripture says about man who has, in the main, abandoned Him and His truth, But , even in that, there is every reason to rely on Him and upon hope and upon truth He has left for us.  The Psalmist said: He is a merciful God: ” His mercy is everlasting  (Ps. 100:5). David said: “I will sing a mercy and judgment unto Thee, O Lord” (Ps. 101:1).

But, what of those voices we hear clamoring every time a tragedy strikes: “Where was God in all this?  Don’t tell me God would let anything like this happen!”

Oh, such righteous indignation!  But, the same critics couldn’t find the Psalms if someone handed them a Bible.  Without you Bible students to help them, they couldn’t even find the Ten Command-ments anywhere, the ones they claim to be keeping.  Remember, anyone who offend in one point is guilty of all (James 2:10).

Note: If someone asked you are the Ten Commandments, how may could you name as a  Christian? We aren’t saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, but these are still God’s holy standards.  They are a reflection of His sinless character. Believers should know them!

[By the way, where are they?  Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.]

What right does some sniveling little lost critic have to shake his puny fist at  God and judge God for “not doing something?”  What has he or she personally done with God’s truth? some day that soul will answer to God will answer to God for his personal sin!

I.  THINK OF THE TRAGEDY THAT HAS BEFALLEN SO MANY

Suppose, for a moment, you go home today, and pull in the drive and there is your home, your residence, your apartment– a stick pile!

Suppose, a torrent of rain has fallen on it and all your furniture and your keepsakes and your comfort items and your hobby things and your tools and your valuables and your medicine and you food stores and your appliances and your beds and your favorite chair and your notions and your clothing– they are lying in ruin soaked, torn blasted, crushed, hardly recognizable, tell me, would that mean anything to you?  Do we understand the heartbreak?  Do we care?

Ladies and gentlemen, that is where thousands are in Mexico City, in San Jaun, in the Virgin Islands and beyond.  Many of these places made their income from tourists who come every year to enjoy their paradise while on vacation! You talk about “paradise lost,” it sure is!

I will be years before the destroyed economy of those regions is restored, if ever.  Puerto Rico was already mired deep in debt before all this began.  Wow! How Asful!

II.  AND IN MAN CASES, THAT IS THE SECONDARY LOSS

Terrible pictures flood our television screens, sobbing mothers, distraught fathers, broken-hearted grandparents, terrified children.  Oh, they are helplessly caught in tragedy.  But the worst tragedy of all is their decease child under tons of debris.  In a moment;, they would think it nothing in comparison to forfeit all the things I just mentioned to have their little one back again, their baby, their school child.  Does that break you heart, dear one.  it surely should.

The cry of may a mother’s heart that grips us all in tragic times is this: “What happened to my baby?”  Where is my little one? I’m going to answer that question in a few minutes, but first this.

III.  HAPPINESS MAY BE LOST

It happened years ago. Peter was there on minute and gone the next.  He was helping his young uncle and his pastor grandfather who had adopted him. They were working at their property alongside the road.  Something they were working on, flipped away and into the road.

“I’ll get it,” yelled Peter and he darted onto the blacktop.  A passing car flashed into view and killed him.   Happiness was lost in a moment.

The tot was playing at a culvert a hundred feet ot so from his home. A factory worker was on his way down this county road about 45 miles an hour.  Up from the culvert sprang the little unsupervised lad.  His body was hurled through the air and lifelessly landed at the side of the road.  The factory worker stopped, leaped from his vehicle and wrapping the tiny boy in his arms, rushed to the door of his home.  When the mother opened the door the man and she were filled with grief.  Happiness was lost in that moment.

The diminutive tot would never live to kiss his mother, or go to school, or play football in the back yard or marry.  Happiness was lost in a moment.

Chris was full of fun. He could work too.  He would us te small tractor to help his grandmother pull an old stump that had always been in the way.  Saturday morning came and he latched onto the stump with a log chain and tied it to the tractor.  He was a big boy now, twelve years old.

He jumped on the tractor and “gave it the gun.”  Something was sur to happen.  It did.  All that torque had to go somewhere.  But the old stump was buried deep, roots still attached. In asecon the tractor reared up and fell backward onto Chris, crushing his body.  His grandparents took him up dead.  Happiness was lost in a moment.  What a terrible loss, to lose one’s child.

IV.  TAKE HEART, THOUGH, THIS MAY BE A SECONDARY LOSS

How can I say that the death of one so young may be tragic but still a secondary loss?  It is very simple, you see.  Because every human being who ever walked, or even crawled as a baby, on this planet,  an eternal soul.  Everyone will be somewhere forever!

Peter died, the toddler died, Chris died, but wait, there is more!

What happens to the body is important but in no way is that person eliminated from existence.  Jehovah’s false Witnesses teach that evil people will not go to Hell but will be annihilated. Charles Taze Russell, its founder, even joked about Hell.  Friend, hell is no joke!  it is very scary to ;me to hear someone joke about what the Lord Jesus clearly taught!

Allow that fact to sink in upon your conscience.  Millions live in the darkness that exists in many parts of the world.  the name of Christ has seldom, if ever, been heard.  What about those?  They too need to gospel of Christ to be saved. Millions today live in America in a darkness of their own making.  They know not Christ and have never bothered to inquire about Him; all this in a land where Christ is presented on television screens computer programs, in churches, in person by believers who car enough and are not afraid to give out a gospel tract.

Every man, woman and child needs the gospel and needs to be saved. And, we have it on God’s authority that everybody lives somewhere forever.  Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  Nobody is annihilated, blotted out of existence.  All are living souls!

Yes, Adam is from the word “adam”  “…made in the image of God, and is either male or female.” -Genesis 1:27.  The current idea that anyone fan “pick his or her gender” is based on an outrageous wickedness of  sinful conduct and absurd pretense.  That intelligent people could be persuaded to defend it peaks volumes about how far our world has come down from the standard of God’s truth.

At death the body immediately begins decay.  That is not a sign of cessation of life, only separation.  Paul refers to this in I Corinthians chapter 15.  Here he says:

44. It, [the human person] is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45. and so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

46. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

Here it is clear that we all possess a physical part and a spiritual part. God called this combination for man [mankind] “a living soul.”

At death, in other words, the body and soul part company; but not permanently. At the resurrection the glorified body joins the soul. This is the clear teaching of I Thessalonians 5:13-18 and I Corinthians15:52 and 53 where it is said we well be raised and changed! I am speaking here about believers, now, caution!

If you are still with me, remember we were speaking of the fact that these terrible circumstances and accidents that took many lives, often innocent lives, are a great loss but ony a secondary loss.  How can we say that? To be sure, all who die without saving faith in Christ are forever lost.  But there is more.

Well, to explain this we just think of the various categories or states in which people die.  I can think of just four.  If there are more than these, I do not know of such.

If we look over the broad general teaching of Scripture we are compelled to admit that when death comes, all people are not in the same situation.  Let me list the four basic circumstances at death in which all humans fall, based on the feneral teaching of Scripture.  Passages may be cited to defend each one but for time’s skae, we insist they are the general teaching or tenor of Scripture.  Here they are:

1. At death, thank God, Christians, having turned to Him from sin and have claimed Him as their own personal Saviour, go immediately into the presence of the Lord.  That is also true of the Old Testament saints.  All these are safely with the Lord.

2.  At death some people, the Bible says “many,” have come to maturity in life but have NOT opened their hearts to Christ. Some have rejected the gospel, others have never known it and die having not heard the plan of salvation.  The Bible labels these as “the dead.”  There is nothing safe about this, whatsoever!  The Bible often uses the word “lost” of these people.

3.  There is a third group of human beings of any physical age whose minds have ever developed to the place where there is the capability of grasping their need of salvation.  When I was in teachers’ college these were referred to as “retarded.”  If their minds were incapable of any education, many of these were labeled “TMR’S” Trainable Mentally Retarded.  This retardation was ascertained  then based on the lowest of I.Q. numbers.  Some with sub-average I.Q.s were classed as “Educable Mentally Retarded, EMR’s.

In recent years the term “challenged” has been substituted to take away the stigma of the word “retarded,”  sometimes used cruelly by so-called “normal” people.  In any event the point here is that of these there is no capability of being saved if their minds cannot grasp the need for of repentance and faith.  Some are severly handdicapped and will never be able to knowingly respond to Christ.

4.  The fourth category is that of little ones and children who have not reached an age at shich we refer to them as having reached the “age of accountability.”  By that we mean their minds have not yet developed to the point spiritual truth, at home and at church.  but, we must wait until body and mind develop so they can understand the need to receive Jesus.  don’t take a youngster out of a preaching service to play or “doodle” in a coloring book.  There will be important things in the service he and she will pick up on if you give them a chance.

What is that age of accountability, you ask?  Good question.  so good in fact that if you know the exact answer you are the first human being I have ever heard of who does know! Be ready to write your book and sell it!

Now, we circle back to my point earlier that tragic physical death is a loss, to be sure, but when eternity is considered, it may be but a secondary loss.  of course, to die in the tragic circumstance is awful.  Surely it is. On the other hand, one may die in bed and have a tragic future ahead.

Neither premature physical death nor elongated life on earth to the ripest of old age are any measure for life in eternity.  Everybody faces eternity, whether short or long life!

“Christ died for the ungodly.  Christ died for sinners.” That is all of us.  This is of eternal importance!  His death on the Cross is sufficient to forgive every sin of every man, woman and child who ever lived or who ever will.  No fact of life rises about this Bible truth.  “As in Adam all die, So in Christ shall all be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22).

Children raised on the gospel, taught its truths, have had the Christian life modeled before them by parents and siblings, may come to a consciousness of sin in their hearts earlier than others.  A few bible teachers think the age of accountability may be as late though, as high as age 20.  This position is given weight they think because the children of Israel under age 20, when God placed the penalty of 40 years of wandering in the desert upon the whole nation, were spared death in the desert, short of the promised land.  Godly Joshua and Caleb were the only exceptions to those over 20 at the Exodus who lived to enter the Holy Land.

Our job, of course, is not to be little spiritual doctors guessing about others.  Our job is to examine one heart– our own!

V.  ETERNAL LOSS OR ETERNAL SALVATION

We know from Scripture that every person, as we have just reminded ourselves this morning, will be somewhere for all eternity.  We also know from Scripture that there are just two places or destinations as to final destiny: the saved and the lost, those in heaven and those in perdition.  Those enjoying God and serving hIm forever and those banished from God because they are still in a sinful lost state, as shown throughout the Bible.

There is not time this morning to cite and quote Scripture for what I have just said, but all of us should agree that this is a Scripturally sound statement:  There is a heaven to be gained or a Hell to be shunned.” Just two choices for every human.

We finish up today this way:

  1.  Those who claim Christ or the Messiah to come, as with the Old Testament saints, and have cast themselves upon Him for salvation will spend eternity with Him.  That is a clear Bible fact.  We’ll call this Category #1.
  2. Those who die without Christ, having never turned to the living God, having never heard of His plan of salvation, having turned their backs upon every opportunity to be saved will spend eternity separated from God in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  and that is a clear Bible fact: Category #2.

Note: Right here, I have a bit of sad news. Recently a poll was taken among fundamental and evangelical Christians.  Here was the question: “Do you believe people can be saved and go to heaven who believe in other religions or forms of belief that the christian faith?” A third of these believers said, “Yes.”

Folks, if you are one of those, it’s past time for you to become a Bible student.  Our Saviour put it this way: “no man (oudeis – person) comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).  Do you take the opinion of the polls above the word of Christ?  If you do, you are in for a terrible shock when you come to the end.

3.  Category #3 is those who die as infants or others too young to grasp their sinful condition and its need to turn from sin to the Saviour. When David’s tiny illegitimate son was dying, shortly after birth, the distraught father pled with God to spare him.  He wept and grievee so much that the king’s attendants were afraid to tell him the baby had died.

But when David learned this, he rose, bathed, dressed and asked for food. The attendants were shocked.  Here was David’s explanation: But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me (II Samuel 12:23).

In short, David knew the baby was safely with the Lord.  Listen beloved, God does not hold anyone responsible for what he or she CANNOT do.  The baby couldn’t believe but the love of the risen Christ is enough in such a case.  Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to blot out the sins of anyone who does not have the faculty to believe.

Avraham knew this when he pled for Sodom..  “If fifty righteous can be found, wil you spare the city? If forty, if thirty, if even ten?”  Then godly Abraham reminded the Lord of God’s own character.  He asked a question: ‘…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis 18:25).

Oh beloved, He surely will.  God said “Yes.”  But, sadly, only Lot and his girls could be found who believed, so all were destroyed, including Mrs. Lot, who looked back to claim her pleasure and wealth she enjoyed in this wicked place.

Thank God, those little fellows and firls who were crushed to death in their school last week, are now in the arms of our Lord.  Our Lord’s disciples found out the hard way how much He loves. “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

4.  Category #4 is those people, of any age whose minds cannot understand the gospel or their need for Christ.  Some may have the brain of an infant: some a little more brain power, but they simple cannot grasp their sinful condition or their need to come to Jesus.  Christ’s love and understanding is enough to save them, just as with David’s infant son. “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”  Yes, He will, you can be sure of that.

Conclusion

So many in the recent tragedies have asked, “Where is my baby?  What happened to my son?  I haven’t heard a word of my family since the power went off.  What am I to  think?”

These are questions of anguish, of heartbreak, of fear.  does that move you? let’s do what we can.  Let’s at least hold them up in prayer during this terrible time.

It was a Saturday morning here in a certain hospital in Michigan.  Our son Nathan was our youth director.  We had agreed to meet a young family at the hospital that morning for the birth of their child, their first.

The mother had carried the baby to term and now labor was to be induced to hasten the arrival of the little one.  The father would go in with his wife.  We stationed ourselves nearbyh in the waiting room.  After a time, word came, the baby was here.  these were precious people we knew well.  We represented the leadership of the church. They wanted us to be there. We considered it a sacred privilege to stand with them that day.

Now we entered the room where mother and dad had invited us.  But today, was not the day we have all wanted as the young expectant mother-to-be worked and labored her way to the day of irth.  During the final stages of pre-natal care the doctor sat the hopeful parents down to tell them the awful news; “There is no heart beat any longer of your baby.”  We all wept that morning and committed their tiny stillborn to Jesus.

Does that touch your heart?  Those precious friends knew their baby would never be with them. But they knew where he had gone.  “Where is my baby?’ The answer, dear lady is simply this, “Dear Mother, he is with Jesus.”

I don’t remember what my son and I said as we wept with those precious young parents, but it hardly mattered. The love of Jesus for their infant, for them, for us who sought  to comfort them was enough.

Many have lost their loved ones in these recent tragedies but as you aopply what we have taught today, you an see, that for some, at least, not all was lost.  Jesus love these folk too, don’t forget that beautiful fact.  There is salvation for all who call upon Him.

He is enough for you too, dear one.  Trust Him.   Amen.

 

Pastor Kenneth F. Pierpont, October 1, 2017.  Preached at South Litchfield Baptist Church, Litchfield, MI 49252.

Blog: kenwalks.com

Email: kfpierpont@nullgmail.com

MAMA, ARE YOU SAVED?

Introduction: II Timothy 1:1-5 

Our text shows that Paul prayed for his young helper, Timothy, young Jewish boy whose mama was a good Christian believer, but his father was not (Ac. 16:1). Timothy became a real help to Paul, later he lived and served as a pastor or assistant to the Apostle in Ephesus. He had been brought up to know the Lord for he had a good Mama.

Today is Mother’s Day so I want to brag about mothers. Millions of ladies are good mothers, even before Christ comes into their lives. 

Mamas take mothering naturally. They start early. When a little girl gets a doll for a present she picks it up tenderly in her arms and immediately cuddles it very near her. She even coos and woos the pretend little baby. She is so gentle and kind to her new pride and joy– her doll baby.

Not boys. When boys pick up a doll baby it is usually to hide it from their sister. They grab the little thing by an arm or a leg and sling it into a corner. Then they unceremoniously pitch some big ol’ object over it to hide it. 

Have you noticed, boys and girls are different from each other?

I. MANY LADIES ARE GOOD MOTHERS EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT SAVED! 

I am sure this is so. My mother did not know the Lord when my brother, my sister and I were growing up. When, at age six I asked her what was going to happen to me when I died, she said she didn’t know. I was really scared by that!

She knew about cooking. We had good inexpensive meals. It was the Great Depression but my dad landed a good job at Owens Corning in Newark, Ohio, my birthplace. It was 1933 and he received .40 an hour. Mama said, they were able to save a little from his checks!

She knew about keeping clothes cleaned. She worked on the dirt floor of our basement with two wash tubs and a scrub-board and she scrubbed! We had an automatic dryer too. It was about 40 feet long and was strung along the middle of the back yard. Mama worked hard keeping our clothes clean.

Mama knew about fighting fires too. I set ’em and she put ’em out. I liked burning things — combs in our bathroom stove, papers in the kitchen wastebasket, leaves and wood in Dad’s trailer, finally stuff in the basement window wells– along side of the house — Talk about stupid! I liked setting fires. 

When Dad got home from work he set a fire too, every time– on the seat of my pants! I kept setting fires though, until Dad raised the price too high and then I quit! But, Mama was good at putting them out! I’m not sure I was a good example to my little brother and sister! Mama was good about doctoring too. When I was just six weeks old I was desperately sick in my throat and ears. The doctor said, “When he sleeps you stay awake and watch him.” Babies sleep a lot. But she stayed awake and saved my life. She didn’t know then that I would one day set many fires — good thing!

Mama could make a great mustard plaster too. When I got it in the chest she made up a mustard plaster. Just the thought of wearing the stinkin’ thing made me get  better.

If I had my way about it every 21st century spoiled brat would have to have at least one mustard plaster as a kid. That would make him or her appreciate everything else in life for at least a year. Only thing, Mama couldn’t take pills very well. So she always insisted we take our pills, for whatever, with a spoon of jelly. I could take them best with water but she couldn’t so we always used jelly. What a waste — I kind of gagged on the stuff!

Mama was good with Dad too. He loved her and showed it. One day he came home from work early and tippy-toed into the house. Our house was too rich to have doors between the various rooms. We had curtains instead. Dad sneaked into the house and stuck his head into the room Mama was in from the kitchen. He wanted to give her a kiss. But first he yelled “Boo”- It got Mama’s attention. She thought he was an intruder so she swung her small fist as hard as she could. It caught Dad on the end of the nose. He never sneaked in again that I can remember.

Mama was a wonderful cigarette maker too. She bought Dad “Buglar” tobacco and with our little rolling machine she made him many cigarettes. Often at night she’d press me into service and we rolled and twisted the ends closed and put them back into the pack so Dad sort of had plenty of packs of cigarettes. Mama didn’t smoke. I think she hated smoking but Dad smoked for 39 years regularly and started much earlier than that sneaking around as a child.

I never used any of Dad’s — afraid I might get caught. I got mine from the gutter in front of our house — there were plenty and they were shorter but more round than Dad’s. I don’t remember giving Bill or Ann any though!

Mama was really good as Santa’s helper too. When I was five I got up early in the night just before Christmas and there under our little leaning Christmas tree were presents and stuff. I pretended I was sick and started looking for mama. I went outside and looks down to the garage — decided she wasn’t there. I went out to the front porch and looked around — callings several times for her.

Finally, I ran through the trace of snow with my bare feet on and went up on the neighbor’s porch. I got something in my eye so Mama thought I was crying when the neighbor lady opened the door and brought me into their fine living  room.

Was I surprised. Mama had a little glass in her hand, really small. So did the neighbor man and lady. There was something brown in the glass and a funny smell about it. Mama seemed very embarrassed and I got the idea it was a brand new thing to her. Later, I  learned it was. She was taking a drink to fit in. I wonder if any good mothers still do things like that! 

Mama picked me up and made a bee-line for the door. Now that I think of it, I believe God woke me up that night and sent me to the neighbors’ house to speak to Mama! If so, it is a case of a pint-sized bare-foot boy in his pjs. witnessing   to  his Mama  before HE was saved! She never did that again — never in her whole life that I can remember. Like I was to become, she became a strong  enemy of  rot gut  alcohol when we realized the terrible things it does to everybody involved! 

Yes, Mama was a wonderful woman, even in her lost condition. After I got saved I wrote letters home from my Navy station imploring her to get saved too. She saw a new interest, in religious things in me, so she would write back and congratulate me on my new religion. She thought I had gotten religion. I knew I had gotten Jesus into my life and I tried hard to explain! 

About that time a couple of young men came to her door at home. They began to explain about their religion. They talked to her about one Joseph Smith. They gave her a Book of Mormon. complete with little hand-drawn diagrams of how great he was. Later she gave it to me and I have used it many times over the years to point out the silly things taught therein that formed the Mormon false religion. 

II. BUT MAMA GOT SAVED 

Mama kept reading the tracts about Christ and the plan of salvation as I sent them home in my letters. Finally she opened her heart to Christ, and signed the plan of salvation at the end of one of the tracts and sent it to Chicago for further help. 

 When she got saved she got a Bible. Oh, we always had a Bible at home while we kids were growing up. Grandma and Mama used it to press flowers into when anybody in the family died. Grandma had her own Bible and sometimes she read it but just the easy parts like Mark and John because she got only to the fourth grade when her mama died so she stayed home and ran the house for my great grandpa and her siblings. But Mama started bringing her Bible to church. She wrote to me more explaining that she felt funny taking her Bible as she was the only one in church with one, well, except the minister. She began to realize no-body in our church cared about the Bible or didn’t seem to know anything about it. That helped me convince her she was in the wrong church.

If you go to a church and the Bible is not evident in many hands of those coming to church, you are probably in the wrong church. Over the centuries the established church forbid folks to have a Bible, to bring it to church and discouraged them from reading it. “Only established scholars can understand the Bible,” they said. “So, don’t bother reading it.”

Now in our day, we’ve heard a lot of blabber about “Why can’t we read the Bible in school.” Parents suck up their chests and complain — “We need to get the Bible back into the schools.” Well, my answer to that is, “They haven’t taken the Bibles out of your house yet have they! Do you read your Bible in your home?” Maybe you ought to start there. When you had children at home, did you read the Bible with them? Do YOU even read your Bible at home now? I’m not talking about the “Daily Bread.” The few Scriptures in the Daily Bread are fine but if that is all the Bible you are getting, you’re going to starve spiritually! As fine as the Daily Bread is, I think even the publishers would tell you that is the kindergarten of the Christian faith. If that’s all the Bible you get, no wonder you don’t know much about the Lord! Do you think your body would thrive if all you ate every day was one small carrot?

III. WHEN MAMA GOT SAVED HER LIFE CHANGED 

When you got saved, did your life change? My mama’s did. Soon she was ready to listen to my suggestions to find a good Bible-preaching church. In the meantime my dad got his heart right with Christ after never admitting to any of us that he had gotten saved in his old-time Methodist church at age 12. 

Together Mama and Dad set off to get established in a good church. They started learning the Bible. Dad began substituting in teaching Sunday school Then he prayed for more Sundays off from his job. God heard him!

At work Dad played cards at lunch time with the gang in his shop. He smoked and heard the dirty stories others told, stories not unlike the ones he had been telling up to then.

One day, just as Dad was leaving for work, he said to Mama, “Pray for me, Honey, I left my cigarettes upstairs, I’m going to try to quit.” 

Mama went into action the moment he left. She buzzed up the stairs, gathered all Dad’s cartons of cigarettes, his lighters, his ash trays– the whole works and took them out to the burn barrel. Yep, Mama was changing.. So was Dad. He later said to me, years later, “Two weeks after I quit smoking the smell of cigarette smoke nauseated me.” He said, “I quit playing euchre because I couldn’t gamble any more. I quit smoking because I got tired of witnessing to guys and blowing cigarette smoke in their faces.” Yep, Mama changed, and Dad changed. Have you changed since you confessed Christ? 

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold all things are become new” (II Co. 5:17). If you are in Christ you are changing to be more like the Lord. If you are not changing to be more like the Lord, you’re still stuck in your old hell-bound self! Not good! God never intended His plan of salvation to be something to breeze into and be done with. Mama, Papa, Younger, God is not in the business of making temporary half-way changes in your life. He wants you all!! Once He has your soul, now He wants your body too: “What, know ye not that your body in the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which he have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” ( I Co 6:19-20).

The Apostle Paul said about this new life we have in Christ: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”(II Co. 3:18).

So, what is supposed to happen after we are saved? Grow man grow! Grow Ma’m grow! Grow “younger,” grow!

MAMA, ARE YOU SAVED? 

Nowadays, when someone confesses Christ and his or life doesn’t change, somebody else gets the blame for their failure. That is unbiblical. When you got saved, I mean really saved, no obstacle is too great to overcome with Christ. That is because “We are more than conquerors, through him that loved us” (Ro. 8:37). Christ didn’t die to be a pee-wee in your life. He died to be your Lord and Saviour. It’s about time we started playing the role of conqueror, just like He outlined for us! 

Friday night we had our Mother’s and Daughters celebration for Mother’s Day. I am glad we did. Our ladies deserve our planning, our attention, and a good time in the Lord. But more than that, we want each one to understand, “I need to be saved.” Every mama needs to be saved. Mama, are you saved today?

Today is Mother’s Day. Guys and gals, do something nice for Mama today. Mama started taking care of you when there were only three things in the world you could do and all three of them were a problem for her. If you are not saved or have a friend who is not saved, help them to come to Christ, and make all Mama’s work for you worthwhile. 

Mama did many wonderful things for me in my life right up to the last years she lived. I didn’t quite realize it at the time, but the two greatest things I ever did for Mama was, first, to stop being a drifting, average lost soul, and secondly to become the instrument by which she found the mighty Christ. God did that in my life! Wow!

I don’t have to ask the question any more, “Mama, are you saved?” Yep, Mama i you are saved and you’ve been in the presence of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ for eleven years, six months and eleven days! Hallelujah! 

Conclusion

Before Mama died, she said to me one day, “Ken, I just wish I had been saved while you kids were growing up. Things would have been a lot different!” Yes, Mama, you bet your Toosie Rolls they’d be different!

Yep, Mama, we wouldn’t have had to roll all those cigarettes, and you wouldn’t have been embarrassed with a glass of whiskey in your hand, and you wouldn’t have had to correct my cussin’ and fussin so much. We’d have been reading our Bibles and studying our Sunday school lessons and would have been working on our neighbors to be saved, wouldn’t we Mama?

In December of last year when I always put out Bible reading plans for you folks to get started in a Bible reading plan, one person called me over to the table during those weeks and asked about one booklet. To my knowledge, I picked up every one of those I had put out those weeks and put them back into my files except that one! So, what am I supposed to think as your pastor: “Everybody in my church is busy on their own daily Bible reading plan; they don’t need me?” Or, are there quite a few in our church who can get along okay without reading their Bibles?” I wonder! 

I can’t help but feel, I better ask my question again: “Mama, are you saved today?” And Papa, are you saved today. And “Younger,” are you saved today.

You may feel it won’t make any difference. Friend, if you are saved or you are not it will make all the difference in this world. And it sure will make all the difference in the next. Come and be saved today.

Mama, Are You Saved? DAY-80