Where Have All the Fathers Gone?
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Where Have All the Fathers Gone?

Hebrews 11:21  (ID: 1804)

At this very moment, a staggering number of children are growing up in homes without a father. Contrary to the sentiments of our culture, the presence of fathers within the home is vital to the moral integrity of a society. In this study, Alistair Begg points to Jacob as an example of fatherhood and encourages men to raise their children under the framework of God’s truth.

Series Containing This Sermon

Parental Priorities

Selected Scriptures Series ID: 21801

Sermon Transcript: Print

I invite you to take your Bibles and turn to Hebrews chapter 11, if you would. And we’re going to be moving between Hebrews 11 and the portion of Scripture that was read for us earlier by Pastor Stokke.

But before we look together at this material, let’s pause again for a moment of prayer:

Open our eyes, O Lord, that we may behold wonderful things in your Word.[1] For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Hebrews 11:21: “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” That is our verse for the morning. That is the framework of our study: “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.”

A few weeks ago, on Mother’s Day, we considered the high calling of motherhood. And this morning, appropriately, the turn is for the fathers. The Bible says that we’re supposed to honor our fathers and our mothers.[2] It’s therefore not inappropriate that we would break from our series here in 1 Corinthians in order to address what is a very, very important area. And we do so from three particular perspectives this morning: first of all, viewing it culturally, then viewing it biblically, and then applying it personally. So if you have those three words, you have the tags—the coat hangers—as it were, upon which everything else will hang.

Viewing Fatherhood Culturally

And we come directly to the matter of the cultural environment in which we address this issue of fatherhood. Mother’s Day was given to the world by America. So, too, was Father’s Day—a lady by the name of Mrs. Sonora Dodd (I’ve remembered her all week by referring to her as “Snoring Dodd”), who in 1910 was listening to her pastor give the Mother’s Day message. As she listened, she was the sister of five brothers who were being brought up by their father in the absence of her mother who had died. And at the end of the message, feeling very much that it would be appropriate for the sacrifice and responsibilities of fathers to be recognized, she went to her pastor, and she said to him, “Why don’t we have a Father’s Day?” And so, some seven weeks later, in Spokane, Washington, in 1910, this local pastor said, “Let’s have Father’s Day,” and preached a Father’s Day message. Well, it was picked up by the local newspapers and then went right across the country, and it became an institution. It was not until 1972 that it was officially recognized here in the United States as a particular day of remembrance. Whether that was ushered in by one of the card companies, I don’t know; my research didn’t span that far. But I have no doubt that the card companies looked at one another on the Monday morning and said, “This looks good for business.” And, of course, it is, because everybody who has any thought at all of what’s going on knows that today is Father’s Day, and there are all kinds of considerations that have been given to that by different people with cards and little notes and various things.

However, with the time running out on the twentieth century, the idea that fathers are actually important, vital, necessary, crucial—whatever you may choose to use as the adjective—is fast losing any kind of credibility at all. And we have this strange dichotomy that on the one hand the country, as it were, pauses for a moment and says, “How wonderful it is to have dads,” and yet at the same time, at a significant element within the culture, there is the erosion of the whole place and calling of fatherhood.

Now, if you doubt that, you need only to read contemporary literature with one eye open. You don’t have to need to go and ferret for this kind of stuff; it is right there on the magazines and publications of our day. U.S. News and World Report about a month ago, maybe five weeks, had an article in it which is another glaring example of the schizophrenia, in a moral sense, that is part of our contemporary culture. Why, it asked in this one-page article, is there no public debate on the issue of artificial insemination being made available to single women in America? Why do we hear nothing about it? Why is nobody complaining? Why is no one asking? And then it goes on to say the reason is that the cultural and social elite of our day don’t want this to be challenged. Do you realize that there are some three thousand fatherless babies born every year by means of artificial insemination? That doesn’t take into account the fatherless babies that are born every day this past week in every maternity hospital in the city of Cleveland and every city in the whole of the United States, ushering into the social milieu of our day this great crisis of fatherlessness.

Now, it would be one thing if everybody sat up and said, “Yes, that is dreadful. We do have a problem.” But in point of fact, they don’t. And the feminist agenda in particular has cast the debate in such a light that it is regarded as an insult to a woman to suggest or to imply that they actually need a man to raise a healthy child. Now, obviously, we know that single moms manage to do an admirable job, but every single mom who is honest would love to have the companionship, faithfulness, guiding, steadying hand of the biological father by her in that process. And we’re not talking about that. The feminist agenda says, “No, we don’t want you! We don’t need you! We can pull our cars up at the sperm bank and choose a sample. You guys are simply a nuisance. You are troublesome, marginal, and essentially irrelevant inseminators. We don’t need you! We don’t like you, and we don’t want you.”

Whereas in an earlier era, in the land of the brave and the home of the free (or the land of the free and the home of the brave), biological fatherhood was understood in this country to carry with it abiding moral obligations. There were abiding moral obligations that came along with the process of fathering. You were immediately obligated to the mother and to the child. That is gone! Our culture is so confused, it is so impregnated with sinful thought forms, with worldviews that are so unbiblical and so ungodly, that it has accepted this strange craziness—that in the one hand, a man may engage in the biological and physical expression of fathering without then bearing any moral, ethical, or social responsibility. Hence the great crisis of abortion. It is used as a form of birth control. It is used to allow an individual to do what he wants to do without ever having to live with the moral implications of that situation. So we have the fun of playing at dad without being a dad, and then on the other hand, we get the privilege of being a mom without having a dad and without ever wanting a dad. So we remove the biological element from every aspect of it, and we give the privilege of parenting to lesbians who drive their cars up to the local sperm bank and choose what they fancy.

And in the Plain Dealer of this week—Thursday, June 15—we have “Gay Columnist Establishes a Voice.” “Deb Price, the first openly homosexual syndicated columnist, right, with her partner, Joyce Murdoch, a Washington Post editor,” and her book, And Say Hi to Joyce, which is a feminist diatribe which is directly contrary to everything that Father’s Day stands for. But you see, as long as we live in the world of rights and no responsibilities, as long as we live in the world of privilege with no obligations, as long as we live in a world where I am the champion of my own destiny, make my own rules, do my own thing, and live by my own standards without any divine obligation, then we will continue to have newspapers where we turn from this on one page to fatherhood on the other page, and nobody takes a moment to say, “What in the wide world is going on?” Ah! It’s the way it is.

There will be little change in this culture until fathers are recognized as being unique and irreplaceable.

“Artificial insemination of single women is not just about ticking biological clocks,” says one author, “and the urgent desire to have a child; it is, in effect, an expression of a whole new social policy that turns away from the ideal of an intact family toward what we used to call a … broken [family].”[3] We got all these little phrases for it so that we cover it all up and make it all sound nice. We define deviancy down by taking a devasting social problem—namely, fatherlessness—and we redefine it as acceptable and even as an inevitable model for the future. And if you think that I’m crazy, just grab some social textbooks from the sociology departments of places like Harvard and Stanford and Georgetown and read the material that is coming from there. And it is designed to call in question the rule and reign of God over his creation and to reestablish a whole new moral, religious, ethical, theological, biological order for the society that is yet to come. And it has a weird kind of Orwellian smack to it.

If you doubt that fatherlessness has social implications, then you’re dishonest. Do you realize that although America is the richest industrialized nation in the face of God’s earth, that we have a poverty rate which is twice that of any other industrialized nation? Do you know that we are the world leader in child poverty and youth homicide? There are more kids killed by other kids in America than in any place in the whole of God’s creation. Sixty percent of America’s rapists, 72 percent of adolescent murderers, 70 percent of long-term prison inmates grew up in a home without a father. Tonight, four children in ten go to bed in a household where their biological father is absent, and one in every two children will spend at least some time before the age of eighteen living with only one of their biological parents. Those are the facts.

So what are we doing? Oh, well, we’re legislating. We’re calling committees. We’re throwing bad money after good money—and all the time missing the obvious. Isn’t it strange what a glaring absence of common sense there now is just in the marketplace of common ideas? You know, you say something that was once regarded as common sense and people go, “Man, there’s a novel idea! I mean, get that! I can’t believe that!” I mean, did you just see the report that came out on AIDS in the city of Cleveland? The twenty-one-point report that was done by well-meaning people and stopped short of any kind of sensible suggestion—namely, if you live in purity, this won’t happen! You say, “My, that’s very sensible.” In fact, that’s so sensible, don’t mention it. And in the same way, the issue of fathers. There will be little change, little improvement in this culture until fathers are recognized as being unique and irreplaceable.

And Say Hi to Joyce is the work of this lady whose father was a pastor. She likes this because she says it’s given her enough information to explain that the Bible doesn’t mean what it means. And she’s become a champion of explaining how the Bible is up the left in relationship to matters of human sexuality, not least of all the question of fatherhood. And this individual explains some of her brilliant exegetical skills as follows. She says, “Christians who believe that every word, every punctuation mark, in their English-language Bible was dictated by God don’t fret about getting their hair cut.” So you can imagine the audience just rapt with attention waiting for the punch line, and her punch line comes from Leviticus 19:27: “You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.”[4] And what she’s seeking to do is to cast the issue of homosexuality in the same light as this issue of the ceremonial law of the Old Testament. Any Christian knows that this is no longer applicable because Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial law by his death on the cross. Therefore, it’s nothing to do with anything about your temples and everything; this is for a time long gone. But the unsuspecting world says, “Oh my! You see, it’s in the Bible. Just listen to Joyce. ‘Say hi to Joyce’ for me. She understands it.” Sadly, she doesn’t. She chooses not to.

  So God created man in his own image,
  in the image of God he created him;
  male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number.”[5]

So Joyce must bow to Jesus. Without that there is only further chaos. It’s the paradigm of our culture.

Viewing Fatherhood Biblically

Let us go to the matter viewed biblically. Viewed biblically. Back here at our verse: “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and [he] worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.” If the subject of fatherhood viewed from the perspective of our culture is chaos, then viewed from the perspective of the Bible, it is clarity. Clarity. Because it provides us with a framework, and it is chock-full of examples.

And there’s perhaps no better example of fatherhood in the Old Testament than that which is provided for us in the person of Jacob. He wasn’t a perfect father. Indeed, he erred in displaying an undue amount of affection for one of his sons over the others. This made his boy a little bit uppity, little bit proud, cashed in on the fact of his father’s affection, and when he was given this fabulous new jacket, he wore it with pride and told his brothers about various dreams that he’d had whereby they would be bowing down to him. His brothers said, “We’ve had enough of you. Let’s kill him.” Somebody intervened, said, “No, killing’s a little radical. Why don’t we throw him in a hole?” They threw him in a hole. Someone said, “Why don’t we sell him? At least we can make a bob or two from this.” And so they pull him out and they sell him into Egypt. They take his coat, rub it in the blood of an animal, take it back to his father, Jacob, and say, “Hey Dad, is this Joseph’s coat?” The father takes it; realizes that it is; assumes, as they want him to, that his son is dead; pulls dust and ashes on his head and cries great cries of agony in the loss of his dearly beloved son.[6]

That’s about Genesis 37. You then need to read all through that story—and it is a fantastic story, and you should read it if you’ve never read it. And if you fast-forward to Genesis 46, you pick up the story when Jacob is reunited with the son whom he for all these years had assumed was dead. Imagine living all of your life, twenty and thirty years, assuming that one of your boys is dead and then receiving word that within a matter of hours you’re going to meet him. Genesis 46:29: “Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.” Do you get the impression there’s a vast amount of information encapsulated in that wee phrase? “And [he] wept for a long time. [And] Israel said to Joseph, ‘[I’m now] ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.’” It’s got a little picture there of Simeon in the temple with Jesus, doesn’t it? A foreshadowing of him: “Now let your servant depart in peace. For mine eyes have seen your salvation.”[7] And here in the Old Testament, all these years before, just this little touch with the artist’s brush, pointing us forward to the fulfillment of God’s great redemptive plan.

And so it was that Jacob arrives in Egypt. He’s 130 years old, he tells Pharaoh, and he’s pretty well shot.[8] He says, “I’m not going to live as long as some of the others, but I’m glad to be here, and I’m glad to see my son.”[9] The fact is, when you read the story, he lived for another seventeen years—buoyant, I think, just by the discovery that Joseph was still alive, and living under the protective care of his son; enjoying the fact, presumably, when he awakened in the morning and he looked out over Goshen—one of the most lovely spots in the whole Egyptian province—and he said to himself, “You know, my boy Joseph’s in charge of this.” When he went down the street, the people would say, “Hey, you know what? That’s Joseph’s dad.” When he introduced himself in the store, he’d say, “You know, my name is Jacob. You probably know my boy, Joseph.” “Oh, Joseph! Whoo! He’s the president, for goodness’ sake!” “Yeah, that’s my boy. I thought he was dead.” For seventeen years he lives, buoyant on this great, amazing fact, enjoying the great privileges of parenting that he thought had been taken from him.

And then one day, as will happen to all of us, Joseph gets a call at the office—I use the word “office” loosely—to say that his father has taken ill. And in Genesis 48, we read the account as it unfolds for us. The phone call that will come to all of us has come to some of us: “[And] some time later Joseph was told, ‘Your father is ill.’” So he gets his boys Manasseh and Ephraim, and he goes to see his dad. And we’re told, “Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.”[10] It’s a great picture. Reminds me of the story of the minister who went to visit the fellow who was dying. His wife called to say he was dying. He was in the final stages. So the pastor went to the house, and he took the man’s hand, and he opened his Bible, and he laid it on the bed and he began to read about heaven and how the trumpet would sound and the dead in Christ would rise and there would be a great reunion and how there’ll be no tears and no crying and no dying and no mourning and no day and no night,[11] and he just described this fantastic scene. And gradually the guy’s eyes opened, and then his mouth opened, and his ears opened, and he finally sat up in his bed, and he got so excited about all this stuff about heaven that he lived for another five years. It’s a true story. It’s a true story!

And somehow or another, Jacob’s out for the count, and Joseph has arrived, and he sits up. And then the events which unfold are summarized for us in Hebrews 11:21. With your Bible open there, let me point you to the verbs. Four verbs in Hebrew 11:21.

First of all, notice that he was “dying.” Jacob, the dad, was dying. How was he dying? He was dying in the same way that he had lived, and he had lived by faith. He was dying in the awareness of God’s sovereign purpose. He was dying in the awareness of the legacy that he was leaving to his children. He was dying in the awareness of his place in the unfolding of God’s plan. He was “dying.”

Secondly, he was blessing. He recognized that now, these seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, this was finally it. The call was coming, and he was going, and so he wants to bless his children and his children’s children before he goes. And so he blesses these boys. It’s a wonderful picture. In fact, earlier in the chapter, he says to his son Joseph, he says, “Listen, your boys are my boys.” That’s Genesis 48:5: “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine.” “These boys are mine.” And when he blesses them, in Genesis 48:16, he says,

 —may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
 and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
And may they increase greatly
 upon the earth.

In other words, he says, “I want them to know who they are. I want them to know their identity, and I want them to increase. I want their tribe to increase. I want these boys to grow up in the awareness that their fathers are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and may their tribe increase.”

Dying, blessing, worshipping. Notice as he worshipped, in verse 15, that he was worshipping the God of succeeding generations, and he was worshipping the God of differing personalities, and he was worshipping God for the fact of his pilgrimage. He had been led. He was worshipping God for the wonder of his provision, for God had been a shepherd to him all his life, and he was worshipping God for the angel who had protected him and brought him safely to this day. He was 147, and he was worshipping. Just hold that thought.

The fourth verb is leaning. He was dying; he was leaning. Leaning on what? Well, it says that he was leaning on a staff. Do you often wonder why it is that little details like this are in the Bible? I can imagine some English teacher taking a red pen to that. We’ll set that aside for now. But it was an important detail, because the staff was symbolic of his whole pilgrimage. The staff was important to him. With that staff he had crossed the Jordan. With that staff he had seen the hand of God at work upon his life. And as he leant upon his staff, he did so with a sense of history.

Viewing Fatherhood Personally

Now, you’re saying to yourself, “Where in the world is all of this going?” You know: “And now Jacob, when he was about to die, worshipped God as he leaned on his staff.” Well, let me tell you. Let’s go to “Personally,” okay? Culturally, it’s chaos. Biblically, it’s clear. Personally, it’s crucial.

Now, fathers, let me say two things (sounds a little Irish), and then say what I want to say. I want to give you 14:3 and 3:14. If you’re a numbers person—which, of course, you know I am—then this will strike you immediately.

Hosea 14:3 says, “In you the fatherless find compassion.” I recognize that today is a difficult day for some, because the recollections of earthly fatherhood do not fill you with joy. They fill you with regret. They fill you with anxiety. They fill you with disappointment. They may even fill you with fear. Remember this: God is our Father. And if we have lived orphaned, if we have lived impoverished, if we have lived neglected, do not let us limp through our lives because some psychologist wanted to explain us on the basis of that. Let us stand up and testify to the truth that in God our Father, our Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, we who are fatherless find compassion. That’s 14:3.

And 3:14 is Philippians 3:14: “I press on toward[s] the goal to win the prize.” Which father does not live with a measure of regret? None! Some of us more so than others—disappointments, fractured elements along the way, stupid mistakes. And the devil loves to come and take us back to these things all the time—back to that disappointment, back to that discouragement, back to that failure—and would like somehow or another to impoverish all of the rest of our earthly pilgrimage on the basis of that. Tell him to go back where he belongs, and tell him that you’re pressing on towards the goal. Yesterday is gone. Today’s here. Tomorrow’s coming. So we will forget what lies behind, as Paul says in 3:13—either our apparent successes or our dreadful failures—and it is today, the eighteenth of June ’95, and we are “press[ing] on toward[s] the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

You cannot come to faith until you see yourself as a needy sinner before Christ, repent of your sin, ask him to save you, cry out to him for his mercy, and ask him to come and invade your life by the power of his Spirit.

Well then, is there some way that I can approach this? Yes. Look at these four verbs.

“Dying.” “Dying.” You say, “Dying? I’m not dying.” Pardon? Did I hear you say you’re not dying? Yes, you are. Yes, I am. You are 365 days nearer death than you were Father’s Day last year, twenty-four hours nearer death than you were this time yesterday morning. We are dying. And we will never die as Jacob died unless we live as Jacob lived. You cannot die in faith unless you live in faith, and you cannot live in faith unless you come to faith. And you cannot come to faith until you see yourself as a needy sinner before Christ, repent of your sin, ask him to save you, cry out to him for his mercy, and ask him to come and invade your life by the power of his Spirit. That’s when the journey of faith begins—not because you decided to get religious, not because you wandered into a church, not because you’re trying to do a little better, but because you encountered God. Jacob had such an encounter; you remember? He wrestled with God, and he said, “I will not let you go [until] you bless me.”[12] Have you ever cried out to God in that way? Have you ever said, “I will not go another day in my life until I know your provision and your power and your saving interest in me”? Then we will be ready to die, but not until. And we may die before the day is over.

I lost my mother, as you know, like that. Put the kettle on—heaven. God continues to remind me of these things. I walked down the Continental corridor again this week. I paused. I said to Jeff Mills, “That’s the spot. That’s the spot, just beside the shoeshine.” “What spot?” he said. I said, “The spot where the man dropped dead and into eternity in front of me. Every time I walk past, it’s like a memorial. Look at the faces of these people. Are they ready to die? Is my congregation ready to die?” Till I prepare you how to die, you do not know how to live. And until you’ve addressed the issue of dying, there ain’t going to be no worthwhile blessing coming from you to your children.

Blessing. It’s the second verb. What am I blessing my children with? When they think of blessing, what comes next, “Oh, you’re a blessed nuisance”? “Oh yes, my father used to bless me a lot; I remember that. He used to say, ‘You’re blessed pain in the neck.’” Is that it? Are we blessing our children? We can’t bless them in a patriarchal blessing as per Jacob, but we can bless them in the way we love them; in the way we’re firm with them; in the way we establish parameters and say, “This is it”; in the way we pray for them; in the way we instruct them; in the way we guide them; in the way in which we take an interest in them.

Dying, blessing, worshipping—worshipping at 147! Do your children know you to be a worshipper? How would they know? Well, they would see you in worship. They would join you in worship. They would know whether worship for you was something that came out of the fullness of your heart or whether it was just something to get by one hour in the week to get on with the rest of life. When the pastor calls on your home and gathers your children around him and says, “Tell me some of your father’s favorite hymns,” will they be able to answer? “Tell me some of your dad’s favorite verses.” Will they have anything to say? “Show me your dad’s well-worn Bible.” Will there by anything to pick up?

I don’t know what day it was when I passed the Rubicon between sitting beside my dad and grinding through every moment of what was being said by this guy at the front and suddenly listening. I don’t know when I passed from winding my mother’s watch round on her wrist so as to take her into eternity with an indelible mark of the fact that I was always saying, “When will this be over?” I don’t know when it changed, but it changed. And every song I sing and nearly every verse I know and almost every conviction of my life today has been framed by the fact that I lived in the house of a worshipping dad. And I remember putting my hand into his hand on a Sunday evening service, wondering what in the world the guy was on about but happy just to hold his hand. I remember, as if he is beside me, the way the hymnbook always shook, even when I was tiny, and I remember thinking, “My dad must be old. The book shouldn’t shake like this.”

What will your kids remember? One hour on a Sunday morning and forget it for the rest of the week? If you die tonight, what kind of legacy have you left as a worshipper? You going to sit home and watch Bonanza tonight? Well, realize something: if you can find it on TNT and watch it, I hope you enjoy it. I happen to love Bonanza. But remember this: every Sunday night spent watching Bonanza instead of worshipping in the house of the Lord is adding to the legacy that you are leaving for your children on the day when you ain’t blessing them no more ’cause you died and you checked out.

Last verb is leaning. Leaning. Do you think Joseph kept this stick, this staff? I would’ve had it in an instant. You see the picture of him around chapter 50, when his dad dies: “Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him.”[13] And then, as would be normal in these sad and sorry circumstances, he would gather up the belongings. And you bet your life he gathered up the belongings and said, “Hey, hey! Give me that stick. I want that staff! Because my dad used to lean on that, and I’m going to keep it. And it’s going to remind me that he leant on that as a symbol of his dependence upon God, and every time I take it in my hands, at least I’ll remember that; I may not do it.” What are you and I leaving our children? Don’t let’s talk annuities. Don’t let’s talk houses. Let’s talk about the things that’ll matter! What will matter? Well, if you’ve lost a loved one—if you’ve lost a mom or a dad—you know what matters. What matters are the notes, the letters, the scribbles, the little things.

Tell you what, it’s tough this fatherhood stuff, isn’t it? I wrote myself seven points with which to conclude. So why don’t we conclude? I’ll just read them to you. I wrote them as a memo to myself, culled them, created them. They’re not brilliant, but they’re a help to me. This is what I wrote down.

Number one: I am a dad. You say, “This is going to be profound stuff.” Yeah. Oh yeah, this is deep. Yeah. I am a dad, even when I don’t feel like it, blew it, or fancy another job description.

Two… Maybe I should try three; I can’t read two: the home is the single most important influence on my family—not a Sunday school, not the Christian school, not the any school, not the anyone, not the anything. The home is the single most important influence on my family.

And back up to two now. Two: being a dad is the most important role I will ever play.

Four… This is a kind of Irish way of counting. Four: I have no question about the fact that I can and must improve.

Five: it is hard being a dad, and I need to pray more and work harder.

Six: the most important thing that I can do for my children is to live in passionate faithfulness with their mom.

Seven: I would rather be remembered for being funny and slightly crazy than the preacher who frowned too much, yelled too loud, talked too long, and died too young.

What does it say? “By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.”

[1] See Psalm 119:18.

[2] See Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:2.

[3] John Leo, Incorrect Thoughts: Notes on Our Wayward Culture (New Brunswick: Transaction, 2001), 113.

[4] Deb Price and Joyce Murdoch, And Say Hi to Joyce: America’s First Gay Column Comes Out (New York: Doubleday, 1995), 224.

[5] Genesis 1:27–28 (NIV 1984).

[6] See Genesis 37:2–36.

[7] Luke 2:29–30 (paraphrased).

[8] See Genesis 47:9.

[9] Genesis 47:9 (paraphrased).

[10] Genesis 48:1–2 (NIV 1984).

[11] See Revelation 21:1–4.

[12] Genesis 32:26 (NIV 1984).

[13] Genesis 50:1 (NIV 1984).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.