In the late summer of 1974, the Grace Baptist Temple launched a new ministry. It was the American Christian School. Having completed a recent addition to the church it was immediately put into use. Five years later the name of the school was changed to more closely identify it as a ministry of the church. It became known then as the Grace Baptist Academy. Due to increased growth in the enrollment of the school, plans were made to build again. In April of 1995, we were able to move into our present facilities with an enrollment of 97 students. This year we have enrolled 123 students. To God be the glory!
We welcome all parents and friends of Grace Baptist Academy. We decided to set aside a day simply to highlight this very vital ministry. The Grace Baptist Academy exists today because this church has a vision for reaching today’s young people who will be tomorrow’s leaders. Our vision for children can be evidenced in a solid Sunday school program to minister to every child at their level; an exciting and challenging youth department; and of course the Grace Baptist Academy where we minister the Word of God daily to the boys and girls enrolled.
Recognize all who have children enrolled, those who have had children enrolled in the past, and those involved now and previously in the ministry of Grace Baptist Academy.
A. To get the total picture you have to go to the book of Mark 9, and get the context which begins this particular account and this experience between Jesus and His disciples.
B. There we are told that the disciples were having a little fuss and were arguing among themselves about who was going to be the greatest in the kingdom.
C. You have to keep in mind that Peter, James and John had just come down off the mountain of Transfiguration.
D. Having come down from that experience they are having an argument about who is the greatest in the kingdom.
1. That's an amazing thing to me.
2. Jesus had just been talking about dying on the cross and they are arguing about who is going to have the front seats in the kingdom.
3. They are not interested at all in denying themselves or in dying, but rather they are interested in prestige and power and honor.
4. Seems like every time Jesus had something to say about dying on the cross it revealed another flaw in the life of the disciples.
E. So, in the very context where Jesus had been talking about the cross, they- are arguing about who is going to be the greatest.
F. In that situation Jesus said to them, "What are you talking about?"
1. When he said that they all grew very silent because they were embarrassed.
2. Probably, we would stop a lot of the things we would say and a lot of the things we do if we would realize that Jesus is listening and watching everything we say and do all the time.
3. Finally, one of the disciples said, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom?"
G. They were all getting ready just sure that Jesus was going to pick them as the greatest of all of the disciples in the kingdom.
1. So, in that setting the Lord Jesus called for a little child to come and I can almost imagine that Jesus took the little child in His arms, put him on His lap and uses that little child for an illustration.
2. It seems that children were always around the Lord Jesus.
3. There was something about Jesus that attracted children.
4. Jesus does love children; they were always coming to Jesus.
5. In fact, one time Jesus said to His disciples:
"...Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Mat 19:14)
H. So, Jesus had a little child on His knee, and with that as an illustration, he begins to talk about God’s little ones.
I. Everything that is said in this passage of Scripture can be applied to the importance of little children.
1. I think about the government school systems.
2. Some of them want to make guinea pigs out of the boys and girls for their atheistic theories.
3. Too often schools are influenced by godless, secular theories that will damage the lives of our little boys and girls.
4. God says it would be better for you to have a millstone hanging around your neck and cast into the very depths of the sea than to harm one of these little ones.
5. In this passage, God emphasizes the importance of proper treatment of little children.
II. Another Interpretation: Jesus uses the little child as an illustration of one of God's little ones in the family of God.
A. Note: v6
1. "...little ones which believe in me..."
2. He is talking about little children of God, about primarily babes in Christ.
3. He is talking about those who are beginners in faith.
B. There are three things in this verse about God's little ones.
1. God's little ones are saved ones. v3-5
a. He is talking here about what it means to be saved and how a person becomes a child of God.
b. How you get into the family of God.
c. A saved one is one who is in a new family.
d. The disciples had a wrong attitude.
1) It was an attitude filled with pride and arrogance.
2) They were talking about greatness.
3) Jesus takes them back to how a person enters the family of God in the first place.
4) Jesus said if you don't humble yourself like this little child you can't enter into the family of God.
5) He is talking about how a person is saved.
a) He is simply saying you have to be humble.
b) In other words you have to put yourself in a position of humble trust to be born into God's family--to be saved in the first place.
c) Conversion and the new birth begin with the right attitude of the sinner in relationship to God.
d) If you will do that today-- admit you are a sinner and ask Jesus to have mercy on you and save you, you will be in a new family when you walk out of this building today.
2. God's saved ones are separated ones. v6-9
a. God's little ones belong to the Lord.
b. They are separated ones.
c. You will notice here how the separated life is hindered.
d. He talks in verses 6 and 7 about those who would hinder a little one from living a separated life.
e. When God saves you, God wants you to be different.
1) The Bible says that God says to you and to me, "be ye holy as I am holy."
2) We are to be like Jesus.
3) We are to live like Jesus.
a) Jesus was separated.
b) He lived a different life.
c) That's what He wants us to do.
d) He wants us to be separated from sin.
4) He talks in these verses about how this separated life is hindered.
a) He is talking about those who cause believers to stumble.
b) "But whoso shall offend."
c) The word, offend, means to cause to fall or to cause to sin.
d) It's bad for a person to sin, but it's worse to cause somebody else to sin.
e) It's bad to influence others in a sinful direction.
f) There is a woe of God placed upon those who would cause others to sin--those who would provide enticing traps, those who would provide alluring opportunities for people to sin.
g) There is always somebody who gives that first nudge to sin.
3. God's little ones are special ones. v10
a. "...Take heed that ye despise not..."
b. The word, "despise not", means to look down on scornfully or consider unworthy.
c. Don't despise God's little ones.
1) Ted Turner announced a while back that he was going to rewrite the ten commandments.
2) He also said that Christians are losers.
3) One day if he doesn’t accept Christ as his Savior, he will find out what it is to be a loser.
4) Every person who goes out into eternity without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will be a loser for eternity in hell!
d. God’s ‘little ones’ are served by angels.
e. Hebrews 1:14 says that angels are ministering spirits to those who are the heirs of salvation.
f. The angels of heaven are giving God personal reports on how God's little ones are being treated in this world.
III. God Desires to See His Family Increase.
A. "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost." (Mat 18:11)
1. The purpose of Christ coming into the world was to save the lost.
2. God cares about the souls of men, women, boys, and girls.
3. He wants to see all come to Him for salvation.
B. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (2 Pet 3:9)
God's little ones are saved ones. Are you saved? God's little ones are separated ones. Are you set apart to the Lord? God's little ones are special to the angels, to Jesus, and to the heavenly father. Wouldn't you like to become one of God's children?
You can today! Simply by trusting, as a little child, in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. By asking, humbly as a little child, for Christ to forgive us and save us. It is not God’s will for you to die and go to hell. Be saved today!