Sermon delivered June 16, 2001 by Pastor Donald J. Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Biblical quotations are from the New International Version NIV unless otherwise noted. Divine pronouns and titles are capitalized.

Manly Moral Men

Several of you have asked what the special occasion is. My wife remembered that tomorrow is Father's Day and she remembered that I am a father. So, that's why I'm wearing the special corsage. I would lie to speak with you about manly moral men.

You may realize that we have a crisis in America. Men are nearing extinction. Men are hurting. I realize that you have read that women are the ones suffering and I do not wish to diminish that, but there is a real crisis with men. Modern society is taking its toll on men. Manly Moral Men are missing in action. There is a wide deficiency of Godliness in men.

Survey expert George Barnia did a survey last year (2000) of Christians, and he concluded that America is now entering a period that historians will someday regard as the beginning of the era of moral anarchy. (Preaching Magazine, June 2001, p 51.) He found that born again adults (Christians) are more likely to experience a divorce than are non-born again adults. (27% vs. 24%) Something is wrong. Who is responsible for morals in this country? The Men are! The men are supposed to be the priest in the house, the spiritual leader of that house. Who is responsible for the morals in this country? It is the men! Where are the men? Who is setting the godly example they ought to set? America's greatest need is for men who are setting a Godly Example in their life.

What is a manly moral man? Lets go to the book. When you buy a watch you get a book. A book comes with a TV, a radio, a car, most anything. And it's printed in about fourteen different languages. So where is the book on how man can be moral? Where do we go to ask? Not To Bill or Hilary Clinton? Do we ask Oprah Winfrey. We're not going to ask Archie Bunker, Donald Trump, Mike Tyson. No, we ask the manufacturer. And we have a manufacturer's manual right here (Bible). Praise God. I hope you read the manual.

Let's open the Manufacturer's Manual to the last two verses of the Old Testament. Now, this is a promise. Fortunately we have a promise in the Bible that things are not going to stay the same. Malachi 4:5,6 (NIV) "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." What's He going to do? And I believe He will be successful in doing this because the Holy Spirit is zealous. The Holy Spirit is an efficient worker and He is going to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. Where does the last day revival begin? It begins with the men.

The great last day revival begins with the Fathers. When the men of America get connected with the Holy Spirit something is going to happen.

I believe today the men are not connected like they ought to be. In fact, I will tell you that if the heart of the father is evil, probably the child will be evil. Why is that? Because a crooked stick always has a crooked shadow. It's very hard to break out of that. So, the key is in the hands of the men. That revival starts with the men. It starts with you, here at McDonald Road. The key is in your hands.

A heavy burden rests on men. How does a man's heart get right? Malachi says when the men of this world expose themselves to the same Spirit and Power that Elijah had they will be right. And that's going to happen and then the children will be blessed.

Here's how this happens: Proverbs 20:7 The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him. The righteous man lives a blameless life, a "life of integrity" the King James says. The greatest need of the world is for men of integrity, honor and high moral standards.

But alas, America does not have enough of that type of leadership. Women claim that men try to run the world. If we men really do, then why can't men stop wearing neck ties? What man in his right mind would begin the day by tying a tight little tourniquet around his neck? We're not in charge. The goal of every man ought to be to have God in charge of his life.

Let me read a quotation, and I'm not ashamed to read this. This comes from the book, Education by Ellen G. White, page 57: "The greatest want of the world is the want of men,--men who will not be bought or sold; men who in their inmost souls are true and honest; men who do not fear to call sin by its right name; men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole; men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall."

An American Indian told about a brave who found an eagle's egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, that eagle, thinking he was a prairie chicken, did what the prairie chickens do. He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. He clucked and cackled. And he flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers no more than a few feet off the ground. After all, that's how prairie chickens were supposed to fly.

Years passed. And the eagle grew very old. One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. Hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents, it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. "What a beautiful bird!" said the eagle to his neighbor. "What is it?" "That's an eagle--the chief of the birds," the neighbor clucked. "But don't give it a second thought. You could never be like him." So the eagle never gave it another thought. And he died thinking he was a prairie chicken.

We have been created in the image of God. We are not prairie chickens. We are in the image of God, and men ought to reflect that image. Don't give up doing that. Keep you sights on that. Stretch your wings and fly. You were designed to soar, you were designed to go high up into the heavens. That's God's design for you. You are priceless. You are of great worth. Don't let your life go for junk.

Can you value a thing for what you pay for it? Pretty well. I tell you that Christ's death made our value sky-rocket because Jesus paid a big price for us. We don't need to say that we're worthless. God is not a foolish speculator. God does not invest in worthless property. But evil men have made us think that we are chickens, and so we think we are; but we are eagles. Stretch forth your wings and fly! Don't be content to walk on dirt for the rest of your life like the chickens! You were designed to soar up high into the heavens. You are priceless. You are of great worth.

"If the value of an article is dependent upon the price paid for it, Christ's death made our value skyrocket. Let no one say we are worthless. God is not a foolish speculator; he would never invest in worthless property." - (Erwin W. Lutzer)

We need to set a quality example to the people around you. Make your wife and children proud of you. Proverbs 17:6 (KJV): ...the glory of children are their fathers.

Children naturally want to be proud of their parents. May I ask you a serious question? If your children follow in your footsteps, what will their destination be? That is a serious question. The greatest want of the world is for manly moral men who will not yield to sin. Men who can strike down temptations as hard and true as they can hit a golf ball.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Where do temptations come from? Many come from the devil, they come from out there. But I'll tell you that some come from within. It's an inside job. How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. Not exactly. Scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside. How does he get in there? Simple. An insect lays an egg in the blossom of the apple. The apple grows around the worm and the worm is in the apple already. Weeks later, the worm hatches right there in the heart of the apple and then eats its way out.

Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart. Then sin comes out in the words and actions. No wonder that David prayed this prayer in Psalm 51:10 (KJV) Create in me a clean heart O God!. We need a clean heart. We need a brand new heart, a sinless heart. I want to be like Jesus. I want that type of a heart. Pray for a heart of Integrity. Pray that God will make you more and more in the image of Jesus Christ.

When that great American, Benjamin Franklin, was a seven year old boy he was given some money to spend. His first thought was that he would like to spend that money. He saw a boy playing with a whistle, a shiny whistle, and Benjamin wanted that whistle. So he negotiated a price and the little boy said, " all that money you have will be just right." So the deal was struck and he gave all his money and he got the whistle.

He was so proud of that whistle. He went around the neighborhood blowing that whistle, having a great time until he walked by the five and ten cent store. You don't know what that is today. That's equivalent to the "Dollar" store. And he saw there in the window a whistle just like his whistle for four times cheaper! He had paid four times more than it was worth. He put the whistle in his pocket. He stopped blowing the whistle. He had paid too much for his whistle. Instantly his whistle lost its charm. He learned from that, a sad experience, that you can pay too much for a whistle.

He never forgot paying too much for his whistle. Whenever he saw a man neglecting his family for other pursuits such as

Old Benjamin Franklin would say that man was paying too much for his whistle. The world needs men who think that an affair is too costly. You can't afford an affair. What is the true cost of that habit?

Too often we pay way too high a price for something that looks so good and promises so much. Fish do that when they are attracted to that shiny hook. The world needs men who are not fooled by the shiny exciting whistles of life. They aren't worth the price. Invest in things of true worth.

1 Peter 1:4 (NLT) For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

Once a lamb and its mother were walked past a pig pen on the way to the pasture. The lamb looked in there and saw all pigs wallowing in the mud. It seemed like so much fun to the lamb. It was a hot day and the little lamb wanted too cool off so the lamb said to his mother, "Can I go and wallow in the cool mud?" The mother said, "NO!" "Why not," said the little lamb. The mother said, "Sheep do not wallow."

The lamb was very angry and as soon as the mother was out of sight the lamb ran to the pig pen and jumped the fence. He joined the pigs. He was soon feeling the cool mud on his feet. He got in a little deeper and got that cool mud on his legs. He got in a little deeper and he started feeling that wonderful cool mud against his tummy. This was such fun! And pretty soon he was just like the hogs. He looked like a hog. Finally he got cooled down enough and he decided to return to his mother. But he couldn't. He was stuck! Mud and wool do not mix. Wool holds a lot of mud. His pleasure had become his prison. That's exactly what happens when you get into sin. If you have a affair with another woman or another an, your pleasure become you prison.

Gentlemen:

Sir, if you are attracted to the vile wickedness of this world, if that's what attracts you, I beg of you to change your course. I beg of you to stand on the high ground. Avoid the appearance of evil. Press closer for a relationship with Jesus Christ. What's on the other side of the fence may be ever so alluring, but it's forbidden. Don't languish around that fence. Stay away from that fence.

I read that more women attend church than men. Why should this be? Maybe all the men are out in jail. I don't know. According to these surveys that's what you wold think. Is the church just for women? NO! It is for everybody. I believe it takes a real man to follow Jesus. Could the problem be a lack of real men?

Do you remember the day when a man was a man, when a man did not look like a woman? Men did the wrestling. I don't like to see a woman in a boxing ring. Now, it's women, too. I don't like that. I went in the store to get a loaf of bread and saw two people holding hands in line. I looked hard to see which was the man and which was the woman. I think "he" was the one with the longer hair and earrings I thought it's hard to figure out who is who these days!

Some of you are old enough to remember the time when men were men. Men did the asking for a date. Men held the car door for their woman. Remember those days? The days of real men.

What Qualities do real Christian men possess? 1 Thessalonians 2 has an entire list of the qualities that God expects. Paul says that here's what we did. 1 Thessalonians 2:11. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children. Paul is saying, "Just like a man deals with his family, here's how we dealt with you. Just like a successful man." As we study these verses be fully alert and you will learn how a father... or if we could expand this... How Manly Moral Men should act.

Okay, what are these traits of a successful man? 1 Thessalonians 2:9 NIV- Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. Paul was a real man.

1- MANLY MORAL MEN WORK HARD

That's a trait of a real Christian man. I remember my own father when I was young. His day started long before I got up. He used to work in a laundry. In those hot Indiana summers he would be there. He would shovel the coal into the boiler to get up steam. It was a hot job. He worked in dirty clothes all day long in that steam, in that humidity, in that heat. He worked hard. When he came home, he was tired and cheerful. He would go out and work in the garden. He would go out and chop wood so we could keep warm in the winter that was coming. Then he would come in and he was exhausted. And yet, I remember after supper helped my mother wipe the dishes dry. He worked hard. He was not afraid of hard work.

A real man is not afraid to change the diapers (if I'm beginning to meddle, just let me know.) as long as they were just wet. He's not ashamed to get involved in the life of his family. He is not ashamed of his masculinity. If you want to leave your footprints on the sands of time you had better be wearing work shoes because Paul was a hard worker.

2- A REAL CHRISTIAN MAN IS MORAL.

1 Thessalonians 2:10 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. Paul had high moral values. A Christian man ought to have high moral values. A moral man does not look at vile magazines. He avoids the appearance of evil. He is striving to be pure like Jesus.

He ought to have control of the remote control on the television, not let it control him. Most women get exasperated by how their husbands switch channels all the time. I think the situation is that your husband doesn't care what's on TV, he just wants to know what else is on TV. Actually he is probably trying to avoid the commercials. Maybe he is trying to find a program that is pure.

Men, you are an example to the family, the church and the community. Your example in integrity and character is far more important than bossing your kids. Because they are going to watch and see what you do and then do as you do. Your example speaks louder than your words.

For example, please do just as I do. I will say "1, 2, 3, GO!" And then I want each of you to clap your hands once! Are you ready? "1, 2, 3, (Clap my Hands)... Go!"

How many of you did what I did and not what I said? You did what I did and not what I said. Can you see how important your example is?

3- MANLY MEN ARE GENTLEMEN

I Thessalonians 2:7 We were gentle among you. I will submit to you that a true Christian man is a gentleman. He's a gentleman! Any man who hits his wife, abuses his wife, is a sissy. Why don't you pick on somebody else? God gave you those muscles to be gentle with. Nothing is stronger than gentleness and nothing is so gentle as real strength. A man who has his muscles under control is a man of great strength. A true gentleman is God's servant, the world's master and his own man. Use you strength gently. Never lay hands on your family to hurt.

4- A REAL CHRISTIAN MAN IS LOVING

I Thessalonians 2:8. We loved God so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. He loves God. Don't be afraid to be a loving man. He loves his wife. He loves his children. Back in my time people thought that fathers ought not to love their children so much. In fact I remember when our first birth happened in our family. When my wife was about to deliver our son in the hospital I wanted so bad to see that event. I guess fathers considered to be dirty or unclean but I was not allowed in the hospital. I wanted so bad to be there with her. Men were kept as far away from the baby as possible. I suppose one touch from the father might infect the baby with something real bad. It was a subtle message that I was a man and men did not mix well with babies.

I believe father need to be more loving. They need to be involved with their children. I am so glad that all of that has changed. Men are allowed to participate now in that magic moment. So get involved in your family. Love your family. From day number one, you're allowed to do that now.

5- MANLY MORAL MEN COMMUNICATE

I Thessalonians 2:8 We were delighted to SHARE with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well... Talk with God. Talk with your wife. Talk with your children. Talk with your teenagers! Communication also includes listening. Listen to your wife. Give your kids time. Listen to them. Listen to your children. Listen to your teenagers. Teens don't start talking until about 11 PM. You are dead tired by then. But listen to them. Get some toothpicks to [prop your eyes open. But you listen to them. Communicate how much God loves them.

But above all communicate with God. Learn to know Jesus. Become a close friend with Jesus. Pray regularly and listen to Jesus. If you do all these things, you will be a manly moral man.

God bless each of you and have a happy Father's Day!

Hymn of Praise: #92, This Is My Father's World
Scripture: Proverbs 23:22-25
Hymn or Response: #330, Take My Life and Let It be

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