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Dr. O. Talmadge Spence


Family Lamps

Founder of Foundations Bible College
Date: May 29, 1983
Service Type: Sunday Evening Sermon
Text: 2 Samuel 21:15–17; 1 Kings 11:36; 1 Kings 15:1–7; 2 Kings 8:16–19; 2 Chronicles 21:7
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Sermon Notes

Excerpts from the sermon:

“You can tell when your heart is going to stone. It’s when you break all ties with righteousness, and authority, and truth. You think you know everything, and arrogance is smart alecky, and disobedience begins to take over your heart. And, my friend, you can get to a state of stone-heartedness, you will never recover. You may ask, ‘Should a person in that state never be allowed to come back to this church. No, no, no, no, no, no! Come back! Come back! Keep coming back, and we’re going to keep preaching it. Don’t expect it to change.”

“I believe it is a sin for any family to run a church. There’s no family in this church indispensible. There’s no family here but that can fall. I’ve said that of me. I can fall. I can lose communion and fellowship with Jesus Christ tonight and be worthless to this church tomorrow. This is not the church of a family. It’s the church of the Word.”

“The antithesis of family bitterness is called family light—when every member in a family is getting light. And every one of those streams of light is different. The father gets a different light than the wife. The wife is a weaker vessel. She’ll never be the husband. Any time a wife siphons off the light from her husband, she’s a loser. And I want to make it very, very clear, again, again, and again, this church is not in sympathy with any Christian wife in a home where the husband is not a Christian, and she becomes the head because she’s a Christian. We’re not in sympathy with that concept. She ought to be more humble, She ought to be more loving. She ought to be more receptive to her husband. God knows he needs every bit of the light he can get, and if your candle is burning him up, you’ll never shine the light to him. I really believe that when it comes to the family light, nobody gets the light the same. The husband, if he is in touch with God, gets a husband light. It’s a headlight, if you please. I think the children are the tail lights. I think she is the dashboard light (tell him when he is going too fast, but she’s not the headlight). There’s some wives ought to be parking lights and park it, and don’t ramble around in the tribe of Gad all her life—needs to be a parking light. There’s some wives so passive that they need to be twinkling lights, and twinkle, and spark a little. If every person in a family is getting light, from God Almighty you got to have a good home. There is a story running all the way through the Bible of the tragedy of family bitternesses, but through that same Bible there’s a glorious story about families who had light....I humorously talked about the headlight and the tail light, but I want to tell you. I am the head of my home, and my wife knows it. In fact, I remind her of it now and then. But she often says things—whew—it’s like sweet lead, and I get loaded. I don’t tell that she is the head and thanks for the headship. I just thank her for the advice, and go on.”

“Some people think that an immoral girl, a girl that’s loose shouldn’t come to the church. She’s a good candidate if she will change. I know some people have never done anything that bad or worse than that, sitting in the pew self-righteous over family bitterness. It’s not if she is a street woman. It’s does she know Jesus. It’s not if you have been a goody, goody. It’s if you have been a believer in the grace of God. Don’t forget. The sin was the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There are good things that do us wrong. You can be a goody, goody and hurt us. You can think you are so perfect, perfect, you’ll hurt us. It’s not just the bad sins, it’s the good ones that hurt us, because when you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you pervert good for evil.”

“My father pastoring in Washington, D.C., there was a lady in the church that went to another lady in the church, and said, ‘Just a minute, don’t let your daughter go with that young man in that church. He is already reserved for my daughter, and you are not fit for it. Your daughter is not fit for it.’ That is a lot of baloney. When you begin to measure fitness of your family with the fitness of other families, it is not good judgment....People better watch it when they start dictating to different families of different bitternesses, and taking a position for that family. It isn’t worth a hoot. What we need to do is to lay down all our brag and pick up the Cross, and say the grace of God alone can do it. The grace of God in a quote holiness home and the grace of God in a sinner’s home.”

“We haven’t seen happen here what’s in our vision. Our vision is so much bigger than what we see, but if Jesus tarries, we will see it through our lamps, through our children. We make a joke out of our married students having so many children. They actually make fun of them, in some places at work, they have so many children. Well, this pill age doesn’t want any. They don’t want any children. I don’t want you to go crazy with this thought, but every one we got can be a lamp.”

“If you are here tonight and you have a good family, I want you to kneel at the Cross like the rest of the peasants. And if you are here tonight and you got a bad family, I want to cordially invite you to come to the Cross, because at the Cross, the only emphasis is on the Cross. It’s not on who is good, who is evil. You can get perverted either way. All the good people and all the bad people come to the Cross, because at the Cross is where the Light is.”