Escape from Egypt

The time has come for us to save our children.  We live in a day and age where the world we live in is completely opposed to the raising of children according to the Christian value system that is taught in the Bible and that we hold dear.  If your children are grown, the fight still rages for the lives of your grandchildren.  If you are a young person, the enemy is coming after you.

The children and youth of today are being attacked on every side.  Would anyone say that the morality of our country is improving?  No.  We, as Christians, must be aware of the enemies that we are facing.  We must stand in the gap for those who are defenseless.

 The greatest enemy to our children is an Anti-Christian Culture.  Everything that is Christian is being stripped away.  Even changing the phrase “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holidays” is a clue to the ever greater assault on Christianity.  Public prayer has been removed from school.  God’s moral standards are being pushed out of our laws and government.  Our entertainment, television and movies are a constant barrage of the Lord’s name taken in vain, swearing, and sexually immorality.  Our society suffers from an overdose of materialism and commercialism and the mighty dollar put before the Mighty God.

 Divorce is another weapon in the assault on our children.  Divorce robs our children of the stability that they need to grow emotionally and to become healthy adults.  It becomes a fight for the children of divorce to have healthy marriages, instead of having a marriage that is supported by proper example and support.

  The time has come for us to rescue our children from the world that is set to destroy them.  The world was even set to destroy the baby Jesus and his parents came to his rescue and saved his life.

 Matt 2:13-18 (NIV) 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
     14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
     16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

The wise men had come to Herod, who was King of Palestine, the land of the Jews.  He was appointed to the position by Rome and fought hard to establish his power and control over the region.  And now, here comes a group of royalty from a distant land to give honor to a new and different King of the Jews.  This was competition to him and he had no intention of losing control over what he had attained.  There was only one answer on how to maintain his control and that was to kill this rival king.

 There is a ruler in our country that has been gaining power for many years now.  Our country has not fallen into this state of moral depravity overnight.  Some might say it began in the 90’s when money became easier to come by.  Some might say it began when prayer was taken out of school.  Some might blame it on the free love revolution of the 60’s.  Some might blame it on the women joining the work force as the men went off to war in World War II. 

 Whatever you blame for our present condition, a spiritual and moral battle is raging and we as Christians are losing the fight.  Let us look at the fights that are raging.

 

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 54% of high school students have smoked cigarettes.  You may say that smoking is no big deal.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States and produces substantial health-related economic costs to society.  Results show that smoking causes approximately 440,000 premature deaths in the United States annually and approximately $157 billion in annual health-related economic losses.

Cigarette companies admit to nicotine being addictive and will even try to help you quit smoking, but would they be willing to stop manufacturing and selling cigarettes? Never.

 

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 74% of high school students have drank.  You may think that drinking is no big deal.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2005, 16,885 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes – an average of one almost every half-hour.

The total cost of alcohol use by youth is $58 billion per year.  These costs come from traffic crashes, violent crime, drowning, suicide attempts, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and treatment of these problems.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 47% of high school students have sex.   The sex industry and entertainment industry are making a mockery of our country and our faith.  You cannot sit down in front of the television on any channel at any time of the day and not be confronted with some kind of sexual content.  Flipping through television channels hoping to find something good has become the equivalent of going through a garbage can hoping to find a ham sandwich.

It’s no surprise that today’s young men and women are bombarded in the battle for purity.  Consider that the Internet pornography industry generates $12 billion in annual revenue – larger than the combined annual revenues of the three major television networks.  And, the magazine Internet Filter Review reports that the largest group of viewers of Internet porn is youth, ages 12-17.  But temptation doesn’t just lurk online.  A report in the magazine Pediatrics claims that teens who listen to sexually charged lyrics start having sex earlier than those who listen to other types of music.

 Sex is everywhere and they are trying to get to our children and we are helping them.

About 70% of all television shows contain some sexual content, and the number of scenes containing such content has doubled since 1998.

 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American adult spends over 3,500 hours in front of the TV, Internet and a variety of radio devices. That’s about five months out of the year.

Kids who are spending a lot of time watching TV are being exposed to a lot of negative content and a lot of inappropriate messages. It’s important for parents to be aware of how much time their children are spending with television.”

 Bob Peters with Morality in Media says don’t be fooled; you are influenced by what you watch.  “Common sense says that if you spend half your life consuming something, it’s going to affect your life in a very real way.”

 Scripted shows, where Hollywood writers express their worldview, faith and religion, display an immorality far worse than the reality shows, shows that contain regular people in unscripted content.  This is an industry that is completely out of touch with reality.”

 Television is creating a culture where there is no sense of responsibility.  It is never my fault.  I can do whatever I want to do.  It is all about me.

 The adults of our culture, men and women, are much to blame for these negative influences in our society.  It is adults pushing industry, not the children.  Isn’t it amazing that adults would go so far as to manipulate and use children to accomplish their purposes! 

 

 A war is raging and the enemies are numerous, but there is another enemy on the attack and that is the devil.  This is what the Bible says about him and the workers of his ways.

 The devil:

John 10:10 (NIV) 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

 2 Tim 2:26 (NIV) 26  escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 

Satan’s people, the world, and enemies of Christianity:

John 8:43-44 (NIV) 42 Jesus said to them, “43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.

Acts 13:10 (NIV 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?

 Joseph was warned by an angel of what Herod would try to do to Jesus and Joseph took action.  He would not let his son be destroyed by this dangerous predator.  He packed up his son and his wife and he took them to safety in Egypt.

 Before we put all the blame on the television shows, and the movie industry and the drug dealers and everyone else, we must ask ourselves, is any of this my fault?  We must ask ourselves how proactive we are being in protecting our children?  If everyone who calls themselves Christian would act accordingly, and quit consuming all the junk, it would not be near the problem. 

It is our fault as well.  What are we watching with our children?  What are we doing in front of our children?  What are we buying our children?  The problem begins with us.

 1 John 3:7-10 (NIV) 7 do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

 We can rescue our children from the evil in this world.  They do not have to become victims to predators that are lying in wait, feasting on the innocent victims that are our children.

 

Here are some steps to protect your children.

Limit their intake of offensive material.  There is no reason for your children to spend half of their time consuming the ideologies of the world through television, internet, and music.  We need to monitor the content of the media that they are taking in, and at appropriate ages, we need to inform them of the Christian truth regarding all the worldly lies that media is telling them.  PG-13 content is no longer appropriate for the unaccompanied and uninformed teen-ager. 

 A computer in the private bedroom of your children is like putting a cobra under their bed.  Internet Filter Review reports the largest group of viewers of Internet pornography is youth, ages 12-17.  And it is not just guys, it is girls, too.  If you don’t believe me, go to facebook.com and look around a little bit, but don’t stay long.

 Replace all the negative media input with quality family time.  Four enemies of the family all deal with a lack of time together:  An absent father figure, Lack of Discipline, Lack of Communication and Being too busy.  Spending all that time being entertained is robbing other things: our marriage, our family, our friends and serving God.

 Don’t let your children roam the neighborhood.  Always know who your children are with.  Be cautious in every place, neighbor, school, and church.  Wolves go to the sheep pens.  We cannot assume things are okay just because they look safe.

 Know the difference between childlike and childish.  One who is childish is immature and ignorant.  They know nothing about the ways of the world and the dangers that are out there.  They ignorantly walk into a trap and fall victim to dangerous people and things.

 One who is childlike is mature and innocent.  They are appropriately informed for their age and they are aware of the dangers and are equipped with the tools to avoid them.  They know how to respond to a negative and dangerous situation.

 Give your kids a “reality check.”  Resist the easy answers.  Do a random check on the history on your child’s web browser.  See what they have been looking at the last week.  Listen to family and friends when they give their observations about your children.  Ask probing questions and analyze the responses.  Watch for sudden changes, and don’t explain them away.  Allow healthy disagreement, and encourage them to speak freely.

 Provide helpful solutions for your children.  Master parents acknowledge the dangers, bury the illusions, and create effective strategies for dealing with the bad kids and bad ideas in the neighborhood, school, church and family. 

 Move from discussing evil to attacking it.  Discussing and complaining about evil does not change the evil, but it does change us.  It makes us part of itself, but attacking evil puts distance between it and us, makes it an ugly “outsider” to our children, and creates a warrior response rather than a victim response.

 To protect our children, sheltering them is only part of the answer.  We have to inform them of what is right and wrong.  We have to, at the appropriate ages, show them the sin and evil that is out there and teach them how to deal with it.  If we protect our children without exposing them to reality, we’re preparing them to be slaughtered by big monsters because they never learned how to battle little ones.  And if we expose our children without protecting their innocence, we are sure to replace faith and hope and truth with twisted ideas and early-onset cynicism.

 We can raise kids who are innocent and savvy, harmless as doves and wise as serpants, little children and fearless warriors.  God showed us a long time ago that the largest evil person on the planet was no match for an unblemished shepherd boy who knew how to kill lions.

 And, we cannot protect our children from the devil and his evil ways, and the predators of this world if we are not equipped by our savior, Jesus Christ.

  

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