DISINHERITING REBELLIOUS CHILDREN

PMT 2017-066 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Postmillennialism is church-centered, family-oriented, culture-impacting, and future-directed. Training up children in the way they should go is a first-order obligation of the covenantal postmillennialist. But what is the Christian postmillennialist to do when his children go radically astray?

I believe the Bible and its covenantal theology direct believers to disinherit irretrievable, wayward children. And here are the reasons why.

First, the priority of God.

those who are God’s people are to tithe to the Lord their first fruits. This is to show that all that they have comes from God (Dt. 8:18; Jms 1:18) and ultimately belongs to him:

Deut. 8:18 “But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

James 1:17 “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”

We are stewards of God’s gracious resources which he has entrusted to our care.


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Second, the source of wealth.

The wealth God gives us is for the purpose of confirming (promoting, securing, honoring) his covenant: Deut. 8:18: But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
If our wealth were given to unbelievers we would be funding the kingdom of Satan rather than the kingdom of God. Even though God gave us our wealth. After all, we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, then all these things will be added unto us.”

Third, the Law of God.

God’s Law bligates the parent of a “stubborn and rebellious son” to turn him over to authorities for capital punishment (Dt 21:18-21). If the parents have a moral and legal obligation that goes so against the maternal/paternal grain, an obligation to act against their unholy son to the point of seeking his death, it appears to me that an obligation short of that dramatic action should preclude the parent from leaving God’s gifts to the unbelieving child (though he is not a criminal).

Fourth, the pattern of Scripture.

God leaves us a pattern of denying an inheritance to the unbeliever, when he denies it to even one of his own children who behaves in an unbelieving fashion:

Numbers 18:20 : Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel.

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Fifth, the example of the Canaanites.

God takes the land of the unbelieving (and criminal Canaanites) and gives it to Israel for an inheritance. That is, God disinherits the unbelieving and turns their inheritance over to his faithful people.

Deut. 4:38: driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.
Indeed, God intends the wealth of the sinner to be stored up for the righteous, not vice versa (Prov. 13:22b).

Sixth, the lot of the trouble-maker.

The inheritance of the troubler of one’s house receives no inheritance:

Proverbs 11:29: “He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, And the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted.”

Proverbs 17:2: “A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, And will share in the inheritance among brothers.”

Matthew 23:38: “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”

Matthew 7:6: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Matthew 8:11-12: “And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 10:37: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

Thus, as sad as it may be humanly-speaking, we must “seek first the king of God and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33).

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2 thoughts on “DISINHERITING REBELLIOUS CHILDREN

  1. Glenn Johnson August 12, 2017 at 8:42 am

    We are struggling with this very issue. However, like the prodigal son/father, our home is always welcome with open arms if/when they ever repent.

  2. Kenneth Gentry August 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

    As well you should be! And as would have been the case up until the capital punishment of the rebellious son in Deuteronomy. Continuing prayer and witness should continue. God bless!

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