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THANKSGIVING

(Thankful for His Word)

 

Bible definition: The aspect of praise that gives thanks to God for what he               does for us.

 

PSM 100:4  – “Enter into His gates with THANKSGIVING, And into His courts with praise, Be THANKFUL unto Him, and bless His name.”

 

PSM 68:19 – “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”

Commentary says, “This verse can also be translated, “who daily beareth our burdens.”  I’m thankful for a God who daily beareth my burdens!

 

I THESS 5:18 – “In everything give THANKS; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

 

EPH 5:20 – “Giving THANKS always for ALL things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Life App. Com. – When you feel down, you may find it difficult to give thanks. Take heart—in all things God works for our good if we love him and are called by him. (Rom 8:28). Thank God, not for your problems but for the strength he is building in you through the difficult experiences of your life. You can be sure that God’s perfect love will see you through.

 

COL 3:17 – And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving THANKS to God the Father through Him.”

 

PHIL 4:6 – “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and THANK him for all he has done.

 

MOST THANKFUL FOR:

 

Salvation – God loved me so much that He was willing to put on a robe of flesh and die on a cross and shed His blood to purchase me as His Bride!!!

 

The only thing I will take into eternity is my relationship with God and my relationship with my family, friends and fellow believers in God!

 

As we give thanks we need to keep our eyes on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our FAITH!

 

II COR 4:18 – NLT – “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”

 

HALLUEJAH!

 

© Carol Clemans – November 2005

 

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A CRY FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!

 

Carol Clemans

www.carolclemans.org

carol@carolclemans.org

 

It seems in my ministry of counseling, teaching and writing, I’ve written frequently about sexual purity. The reason is that I’m counseling people who are dealing with the pain of adultery, fornication, sexual abuse, sexual addictions including pornography. I receive calls from the hurting victims whose hearts are shredded from the pain of these sinful acts.

We, as the people of God, must start crying out to those around us in our world proclaiming the truth of God!  His truth about our personal conduct in every area of our lives has not changed. God gives us His commandments to follow for our provision and protection. Yet, we who have the Holy Ghost seem to want to shun the discussion/teaching on sexual purity, acting as if we are non-sexual beings because we are so spiritual! But sexual sins our invading every age level of the church of the living God.  IT SHOULD NOT BE SO!

Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg wrote an article in the Christian Counseling Today, Vol. 15 No.4, entitled false intimacy and sexual addiction a modern epidemic. He wrote, “Many are familiar with British anthropologist J.D. Unwin’s study of 86 cultures, spanning 5,000 years of human history, and his findings that without exception, cultures thrive when they restrict sex to marriage. He also found that no culture survived more than three generations after discarding that standard. Where does that leave our own society—?”

In the l960’s when I was in high school, the hippie movement started. Free love – just love anyone you want any time any place. I have witnessed sexual sins more invasive in every area of life and society being more ‘accepting’ of these sins while my children were being raised. My oldest grandchild is right years old. This is three generations of seeing our society now accepting fully all sexual sinful actions including homosexuality and not blinking an eye!!!!

This is only an introduction to what I want to write, but I must beg each of you reading this article to CRY OUTLOUD. If we humble ourselves before God and repent for our slothfulness in addressing this subject, we still have an opportunity to make an impact for righteousness in our world! Watch out America!

 

© Carol Clemans – 2009

 

 

Response to “Soteriological Status of Children”

UGST Symposium 2005

Presented by Carol P. Clemans

 

The question of what happens to children when they die has long puzzled theologians and lay ministers alike. Over the course of this author’s ministry, there have been numerous instances in which this issue was raised. In this paper I will offer Scriptures that relate to the question of what happens to children when they die. Beyond children in general, I will, in particular, also apply the question to aborted children, mentally and/or physically handicapped children, and children from dysfunctional homes.

In thirteen years as a pastoral counselor, I have counseled women who had abortions and then came to know God through a salvation experience. As these women faced grief and remorse over the past decision to abort, they invariably asked, “What will happen to my baby in eternity?”

Recently I viewed a picture of an aborted (almost full term) baby’s head that had been pulled away from its body and brutally mutilated. The head had been found in a garbage bag behind an abortion clinic. I felt a great aversion toward the abortionist, but the Bible indicates that God will show mercy to this tiny, innocent victim in eternity.

Many children who are born with mental/physical handicaps cannot cognitively comprehend, communicate or process any teaching of right or wrong. Parents who suffer anguish over what will happen to these children can be comforted through the Word of God.

Sadly, children from dysfunctional homes often repeat the cycle of abuse when they have children of their own. Although the Word of God refers to this generational misfortune, it also offers hope and help for those who want to be released from it.

In searching for answers to the question of what happens to children when they die, the most basic answer is that their spirits return to their Creator who is also their merciful judge. The Bible teaches that at the final judgment every living soul will appear before God. Since Adam and Eve’s wrong choices when sin entered the world, every living soul is born with a sinful nature that has need of salvation. The eternal soul will live in a resurrected body either in everlasting life with God in heaven or in everlasting suffering with the devil in hell.

The following scriptures talk about God being the judge of all mankind:

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14 (NLT): “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”

 

Matthew 10: 28 (NLT): “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill you.  They can only kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

 

Romans 2: 5b – 8 (NLT): “For there is going to come a day of judgment when God, the just judge of all the world, will judge all people according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and practice evil deeds.”

 

I Corinthians 4: 5 (NLT): “So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether or not someone is faithful.  When the Lord comes, he will bring our deepest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. And then God will give to everyone whatever praise is due.”

 

Without question, all will stand before God to account for their choices and deeds. However, the question remains: How do aborted babies, infants or young children who die, or mentally handicapped children fit with these Scriptures?

Before addressing this issue, this paper turns to Psalm 139: 13–17 (NLT):

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.  You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!

 

In view of the above Scriptures, my conclusion and counsel for parents of these children is that when the child dies, his or her spirit goes back to God who gave it. All will face God at either the Judgment Seat of Christ (for the Bride of Christ–Rom. 14: 10; 2 Cor. 5: 10) or the great White Throne Judgment (Matt. 25:31–34; Rev. 20:11–15). At the time of the final resurrection when all dead will be raised, these children will also be raised to face a loving God.

The question is often posed, “How could these children who, at the time of death, did not have the mental capacity, experience or knowledge to make right or wrong decisions, be put in hell for eternity?” I believe that God will give them eternal life. I tell grieving parents that this conclusion is my personal opinion derived from what I can see in the Word of God. God’s judgment of each child will be based on His complete knowledge and understanding of that child. And His judgments are loving and merciful as well as truthful and righteous.

Another question arises: “At what age can children be held accountable for their decisions and actions?” The theoretical age of accountability is dependent on the maturation level of each child. Some people consider twelve as the age of accountability because that is when Jesus went to the temple and amazed all the hearers with His understanding and His answers (Luke 2: 47). Luke 2: 40 (NLT) says, “There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom beyond his years, and God placed his special favor upon him.” From this Scripture we can see that Jesus’ “wisdom beyond his years” came from God. The average twelve-year-old does not confound the wise with his or her wisdom.

In order for a child to be deemed accountable, many factors must be considered. I will approach this issue of accountability by assuming the child has average mental capacity. The godly environment in the child’s home is a major factor in the child’s gaining the knowledge and desire to learn about God and become accountable. Through my years of counseling church families with major problems, I’ve come to understand that the home environment has a tremendous impact on the ability of a child to understand and apply God’s truth in his or her daily life. A spiritually healthy home life (where the fruit of the Spirit reigns in the hearts of the parents) usually produces children who are, at a young age, sensitive to the things of the Lord. They see their parents living godly lives at home that agree with what they have been taught at church. The home life and church life are congruent.

On the other hand, a child whose family attends church regularly but suffers physical, emotional and/or verbal abuse at home will develop a distorted God concept. Because one or both parents are abusive, the child cannot comprehend God’s love. At church the child will hear about the love of God but at home will suffer with fear under the abuse of the parents.

Even loving Christian parents may be so involved with the ‘busy-ness’ of life, that they do not take special time on a daily basis to nurture the child spiritually. If a child is spiritually nurtured on a daily basis, he/she could be responsive to God at a young age.

Parents need to understand that the amount of time they spend with their children modeling godly living and teaching godly principles is commensurate with the righteous impact on their children’s lives. Deuteronomy 6: 4–8 (NLT) instructs,

“The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to those commands I am giving you today.  Repeat them again and again to your children.  Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.  Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

 

The child that lives in a loving, God-centered home where truth is taught and modeled, will have the opportunity to be touched by God’s Spirit and possibly be accountable at a much younger age than the child who lacks such opportunity. With this accountability comes the choice of whether or not to respond to God’s truth.

Because children are born with sinful natures, once they gain the knowledge of God’s truth, they must take ownership of their choices and actions. It is considered by many in the field of child development that by the time a child reaches the age of eight years, eighty percent of his or her personality/character is formulated. The point is that the age of accountability is different for each child, depending on the child’s home environment, training, cognitive ability, maturation, and so forth. Only God knows the age of accountability for each child He creates.

To illustrate the righteous impact of godly homes on succeeding generations, I offer the example of my own family. At the age of six, I was emotionally and spiritually touched by the truth of God’s love for me and asked to be baptized in Jesus’ name. At nine I received the Holy Ghost. Likewise, my two children wanted to be baptized at a young age and received the Holy Ghost before they were twelve. My grandson, who is almost four, talks about God’s love at home, prays for his family and ‘reads’ Bible stories from the pictures in his children’s Bible on his own volition. When children are spiritually nurtured from birth, they can be touched by the presence of God at a very young age.

In contrast to the spiritual blessings that accrue to succeeding generations, Exodus 20:5 indicates that the parents’ sins (dysfunction) may be suffered by up to three or four subsequent generations. From a counseling perspective, this Scripture enlightens people who deal with major problems in their lives. They can usually trace the line of major dysfunction back to parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. The child raised in a severely dysfunctional home is usually reaping the harvest of the misconduct of previous generations.

This truth should not be used to lay blame. Instead, it is the basis for understanding that the child of dysfunction can, as an adult, assume responsibility for what is God’s truth about his or her dysfunction and take ownership in breaking the dysfunctional lineage. When they know God’s truth, the truth will make them free.

 

Conclusions

1. God loves and cares about every child. His judgment regarding eternity will be based on His complete knowledge and understanding of each child. He judges truthfully and righteously, but also lovingly and mercifully.

2. God knows the age of accountability for each child. He knows the intent and thoughts of each heart and each child’s mental ability for comprehension, understanding and decision-making.

3. There is hope for breaking the chain of dysfunction in a family. The adult child of generational dysfunction must take ownership of the problem and be willing to go through the stress and pain of change in applying God’s truth to his or her spiritual, emotional and relational healing.

 

 

 

 

 

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Our ministry exists to help others grow spiritually, emotionally and relationally by teaching, counseling and writing the truth from God’s Word. When we know His truth we can be set free!
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