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

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