Why Do Children Kill?

By Pastor Richard Scudder
Bible Baptist Church, Vallejo, CA

Text: Genesis 4:1-16; Jude 5

Introduction: The mass murder at Colorado's Columbine High School on Tuesday brought a horrifying end to the relative calm that had prevailed this year on school campuses throughout the nation. "Murders are committed by children who internalize some sort of melodramatic image," says James Garbarino, co-director of the Family Development Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. "They are in a spiritual vacuum. Their images of righteousness are wrongly internalized." What does the Bible say about the problem.

I.  Relationship without Rules Result in Rebellion

    A. Our relationship to God is our most important relationship.

    (John 15:15). He has called you to be his friend.

    B. Our relationship to God is made possible through Jesus.

    Jesus is talking about a new relationship between the believer and God. (see Hebrews 10:19-23).

    C. Our relationships with others should not compromise our faith.

    (2 Cor 6:14 KJV) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

    Paul urges believers not to form binding relationships with nonbelievers because this might weaken their Christian commitment, integrity, or standards.

II.  Rebellion without conscience Results in Revenge
    A. Rebellion is a basic part of our nature.

    We are stubborn and rebellious by nature. Repentance once a month or once a week is not enough.

    B. Rebellion is a choice.

    But the time comes when you have to choose who or what will control you. The choice is yours. Will it be God, your own limited personality, or another imperfect substitute?

    C. Rebellion leads to judgment.

    Jude 5 three examples of rebellion: (1) the children of Israel—who, although they were delivered from Egypt, refused to trust God and enter the promised land (Numbers 14:26-39); (2) the angels—although they were once pure, holy, and living in God’s presence, some gave in to pride and joined Satan to rebel against God (2 Peter 2:4); and (3) the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah—the inhabitants were so full of sin that God wiped them off the face of the earth (Genesis 19:1-29).

III.  Revenge without Accountability Results in Ruin

(Gen 4:6 KJV) And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

          A. Uncontrolled anger will lead to sin.

The Bible does not say why God rejected Cain’s offering. Perhaps Cain’s attitude was improper, or perhaps his offering was not up to God’s standards. How do you react when someone suggests you have done something wrong? Do you move to correct the mistake or deny that you need to correct it? (Gen 27:41 KJV) And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

          B. Anger is often the result of bad decisions.

Esau was so angry at Jacob that he failed to see his own wrong in giving away his birthright in the first place. Jealous anger keeps us from seeing the benefits we have and makes us dwell on what we don’t have. (James 3:6 KJV) And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

          C. Anger’s choice tool is the tongue.

James compares the damage the tongue can do to a raging fire—the tongue’s wickedness has its source in hell itself. Satan uses the tongue to divide people and pit them against one another. We dare not be careless with our words, thinking we can apologize later, the scars remain - destroy a relationship that took years to build. (Mark 3:5 KJV) And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

          D. Anger can be a holy response to sin.

Too often we express our anger in selfish and harmful ways. By contrast, Jesus expressed his anger by correcting a problem. Use your anger to find constructive solutions rather than tear people down.           E. Anger does not have to lead to sin. Jesus became angry, but he did not sin. There is a place for righteous indignation. Unfortunately, believers are often passive about important sin issues & instead get angry over personal insults & petty irritations. (Mat 5:22 KJV) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

          F. Anger is a danger signal.

We miss the intent of God’s Word when we read his rules for living without trying to understand why he made them. (Rom 1:18 KJV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

          G. God’s anger is directed at sin.

Why is God angry at sinful people? Because they have substituted the truth about him with a fantasy of their own imagination (Romans 1:25). God cannot tolerate sin because his nature is morally perfect. He cannot ignore or condone such willful rebellion. He wants to remove the sin and restore the sinner. But his anger erupts against those who persist in sinning. ------------

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