Honor your father and your mother

Exodus 20:12;  “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.”

Ephesians 6:1 – 3;   “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.”

The word honor in the Bible is not only to show respect but also to give help monetarily.  Saint Paul wrote to Timothy and said,  “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”  (1st Timothy 5:17)

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders because they seemingly give money to God but neglect God’s command to honor their parents by giving them financial support. Giving money for a church project or for the ministry but neglecting to honor your parents is an act of hypocrisy.  (Matthew 15:3 – 9);  Jesus replied,  “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?  God says,  ‘Honor your father and mother,  ‘and ‘Anyone who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.  ‘But you may say,  ‘I don’t need to honor my parents by caring for their needs if I give money to God instead. ‘And so, by your own tradition, you nullify the direct commandment of God.  You hypocrites!  Isaiah was prophesying about you when he said,  “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.” (NLT)

In the Old Testaments, to curse your father or mother is a death sentence.  (Exodus 21:17); “Anyone who curse his father or mother must be put to death.”  How serious it is that the law of God demands severe punishment to children who disrespect their parents.  In the New Testaments time no killing of unruly children have been imposed but fatal consequences in life to disrespectful children will occur sooner or later.  God will not leave you unpunished if you dishonor your parents.

This subject has been neglected by most pastors so it contributed to churches dealing with numerous disobedient children.  (2nd Timothy 3:1 – 5);  “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.”

“Holding to a form of godliness?”  What does it mean?  It refers to church members. For a long time there is one verse in the Bible that makes me confused, it is in 2nd Corinthians 5:17 where it says;  “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”   I tried to reason out and justify by using a verse from the Bible that says,  “Look unto Jesus” don’t look at people.  So I tried to just close my eyes but even though how hard I tried I can’t deny that there is no newness of life to some people in the church,  leaders and members alike including myself!   But thank God I finally found the answer in the very verse I quoted.  It says,  “If any man is in Christ.”   It did not say, “If any man is in church.”  A so-called Christian may not skip Sunday service and may be an active in so many church activities and yet is not in Christ.  There is a great multitude of Godless people in churches in this generation.  Just open your eyes and you can see children’s rotten attitude towards their parents yet they don’t miss a single church service.

Ignorant of the law excuses no one.  In like manner, even those who haven’t heard God’s law to honor their parents but by their conscience observed and practiced it, God will reward them.  (Romans 2:13 – 14)  “For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified.  For when Gentiles who do not have the Law, do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves.”

I grew up in a religious family but we were ignorant about the Bible and we don’t have Christ at all.  We were idolaters.  But our parents have trained us to honor and respect them.  Our eldest sister whom we have just given a surprise birthday party, celebrated her 80th birthday last October 17/2008 still healthy and strong at her age and the reason why was because God had rewarded her.  She honored our parents by helping our family survive.  We never heard our eldest sister raise her voice in responding or talking to our Papa and Mama.  Even though our sister has not read this verse from the Bible but she obeyed and honor our parents.  Thus, the Lord still rewarded her with a long and healthy life.  Then how much more if you belong to a Bible believing church?  But it’s sad to say that a lot of churchgoers who are worst in their behavior than the non-Christians.  There are a lot of unconverted believers in churches today.

If we join a church but the Lord Jesus is not the focus and not the center of our lives, then we are just religious fanatics.  Frankly speaking we are not Christ’s followers at all. We are not in Christ that’s the reason why there is no newness in our lives.

There is a great difference between religiosity and Christianity.  True Christianity is that Jesus is the Lord, Master and King in our lives.  We should love Him more than anything else in this world, and if so, then, we should also love His Word, the Bible. God’s Word should be our diet because in it we will find God’s commands.  If you don’t love the Bible which is God’s Word then you don’t love God at all.  It is just as simple as that.  Either churchgoers are ignorant of the Bible or they are stiff neck Christians that’s the reason why unruly children are rampant in churches today.

The Chinese and Japanese in their culture who are not Christians but their children respect and honor their parents is a direct slap on the face to the supposedly Christian church.  What a shame!  To follow Jesus Christ is to obey His Word and His command for children to obey and honor their parents.  No parent is perfect but still God’s command is to obey your parents in the Lord.  That means as if you are doing it for the Lord. Just like servants are commanded to respect and obey their masters. (Ephesians 6:5);  “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”

Continue to read the topic:  “The sixth to the tenth commandments”

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