Families face an attack from many quarters – often stretched to the max. Marriage is re-defined and defiled. Timeless truths are eroded. Vile affections are applauded. The next generation are raised as godless heathen. Churches are falling for the lies. The very fabric of society is being torn and shredded – the marriage covenant. A call to fight for your family. To stand and say my family will serve the Lord. A plea to return to godly order, to God’s plan for the home, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Today we’re launching a SERIES of Sunday morning messages on THE FAMILY.
We’re looking, in this series, at THE SUBJECT of THE FAMILY and THE FAITH.
For a Christian, our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ impacts the whole of our lives. Our FAITH impacts our FAMILIES.
So, we’re talking a look at WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS about FAITH FOR FAMILIES.
I have FAITH in THE FAMILY.
I BELIEVE in THE FAMILY UNIT.
In a world filled with UN-FAITHFULNESS I believe we can HAVE FAITH for the FAMILIES of our city.
GOD BELIEVES IN FAMILIES.
- GOD IS FOR FAMILIES.
- He CARES for FAMILIES.
Today we’re looking at the subject of
FAMILIES being UNDER FIRE.
- Families are UNDER FIRE today
- Families are HURTING today.
In this session,
- FIRSTLY, we will look at HOW our families are under fire – and ask the question, where is the fire is coming from,
- SECONDLY, we will look at WHAT we are going to DO about it.
HOW are FAMILIES under fire?
HOW are families under fire?
The family, the very concept of family, the family unit, is UNDER ATTACK today, FROM MANY QUARTERS.
- Under ATTACK
- Under PRESSURE.
MARRIAGES are IN TROUBLE.
- FLAWED, and
We’re living in a fallen world, full of fallen people. Man fell into sin at the beginning, and we’re still paying for it. The wages of sin is death. SIN has done much damage.
And, on the family front, we see there is the pressure these days of trying to “KEEP UP WITH THE JONESES”. To try and keep up with buying all the latest fads and gadgets.
So families are STRETCHED to THE MAX, along with their CREDIT CARD, which is MAXED OUT.
They are stretched, in the vain effort to have a life, while most of the while slaving under the millstone of debt that they have shaped for themselves. And they wear themselves out on a treadmill trying to pay for it all. Meanwhile, what matters can get neglected.
It’s like how someone has put it, “Too many people are buying things they can’t afford, with money that they don’t have… to impress people that they don’t like!”
Families are under fire. And why? Sometimes WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMIES. Instead of settling for a lifestyle that is SIMPLE, that we can afford, and living within our means, we set too high expectations, and end up having both parents working forever, because we are forced to.
Families are under pressure. And sometimes it’s BECAUSE OF MISTAKES OF OUR OWN MAKING.
Thankfully, God can still work THROUGH FLAWED PEOPLE, and EVEN WHEN WE MAKE MISTAKES.
FAITH FOR FAMILIES…
- I believe in the concept of FAMILIES.
- Families MATTER.
And I believe there is HOPE for HURTING FAMILIES.
- I believe God can restore HOPE.
So, FAMILIES are UNDER FIRE.
MARRIAGES are under attack.
- The very CONCEPT of MARRIAGE is UNDER FIRE.
- The CONCEPT of HUSBANDS and WIVES. It’s almost like you daren’t speak the word, but rather have to use the politically correct term, of PARTNERS, now.
- PARENTS are under attack.
- CHILDREN are under attack.
HOW are we under fire?
WHAT is it THAT WE ARE UP AGAINST?
WHERE is THE ATTACK coming from?
The ATTACK against the family is launched against us, every day, ON MANY FRONTS, and through the means of MEDIA, and GOVERNORS and POLICY MAKERS, and EDUCATORS.
MARRIAGE ITSELF – one of the fundamental building blocks of decent society – is being UNDERMINED, and REDEFINED.
And, meanwhile, an INDOCTRINATION PROGRAM is being rolled out IN THE SCHOOLS, hidden in plain sight. And A HUGE CULTURE SHIFT is happening, with most people oblivious to it. Unaware of it.
We are in the NEW AGE.
- It is a NEW WORLD DISORDER.
- It’s a NEW PARADIGM.
- It is A NEW NARRATIVE.
As I heard one preacher put it, we are sending our children to the Philistines to educate them, in the secular school system, where there are educators who are often busy instilling values in children that are defiantly anti-Bible and anti-God, and contrary to what their parents would want… If only they knew what was going on.
FAMILIES are UNDER FIRE.
Nowadays there are such things being pushed on us from every which way, and our children are being conditioned to think it the new normal…
- And lots of other isms…
- The so-called ‘Gay’ movement and an all-encompassing inclusion and toleration – virtually anything goes
- Fornication and unfaithfulness prevails, and children know all the latest smut through cartoons and the mass marketing over the net and social media, and they latch onto the lifestyles and lyrics of their heroes, that constantly saturates their minds with what is crass and crude. We are losing a generation.
So, it’s no wonder that we are seeing an escalation of…
- Rebellious and unruly children
- Confusion about authority and roles in the home
- Immorality and lawlessness is just accepted as a lifestyle.
Even WITHIN the churches we are being overtaken by the Bible deniers of EMERGENT CHRISTIANITY. Churches are flying rainbow flags and falling in, lock-step, with THE GODLESS AGENDA of the pagan world around us.
And many gullible, undiscerning Christians are totally oblivious to it all. They just go with the flow, downstream, like dead fish.
A poll taken of Protestant ministers in 1969 found that 80% denied that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. No wonder we are in trouble.
When the Lord Jesus comes, He asks, will He find faith on the earth?
How we desperately need FAITH FOR FAMILIES in a day of unbelief and uncertainty.
I believe we can regain that faith.
We can restore that love that has waxed cold.
We must HEED THE WARNING SIGNS.
FAMILIES are UNDER FIRE.
What is obviously WEIRD and UNNATURAL, and AGAINST NATURE, is now ‘THE NEW NORMAL’.
THE WORLD calls it GAY.
GOD calls it VILE AFFECTIONS.
(26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
(27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
God calls it error, and He says He is against it.
It is A DELIBERATE DECONSTRUCTION PROCESS – a DISMANTLING and DISCARDING of all that is RIGHT and TRUE, of FAMILY VALUES and TIMELESS TRUTHS. All of that is being tossed out onto the trash pile.
We are witnessing THE DESTRUCTION OF THE FAMILY. And it is planned and intentional. Forces are assailed against us.
It is DELIBERATE and part of A MASTER PLAN set in motion by THE ENEMY OF OUR SOULS, and THE ENEMY OF FAMILIES.
How are FAMILIES UNDER FIRE?
Where does this attack come from?
It is from our avowed adversary, THE DEVIL.
He first made HIS UGLY MARK ON MANKIND back in the Garden of Eden. He defiled God’s glorious creation as he deceived Eve and Adam.
When God started His plan, the devil was also lurking in the shadows, bent on destruction.
It all started – at the beginning – when God created the first marriage and the first home.
God’s plan was marked out for man and woman. And He called it marriage.
(18) And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
(19) And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
(20) And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
(21) And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
(22) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
(23) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
(24) Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
WHEN FAMILIES FAIL…
Boiling it down – at the heart of it all – it is SIN.
- DISOBEDIENCE to GOD’S PLAN.
- LACK OF GRACE.
The enemy is bent on his ways – he is a thief. He robs men and women and families.
We should be on the alert. Be vigilant.
2 Corinthians 2:11
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
He sets out to STEAL, to KILL, and to DESTROY. To POLLUTE and to PERVERT GOD’S PLAN for us. You can COUNTERACT his attacks with the Word, as our Lord did, saying IT IS WRITTEN…
As the Lord Jesus says, John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The very heart of society, the concept of the family. THE VERY FABRIC OF DECENT SOCIETY is being TORN and SHREDDED.
Sadly, it seems like CHILDREN ARE LOSING THEIR INNOCENCE, as they are constantly barraged with IMMORAL MESSAGES. Their PURITY is LOST, CRUSHED, STOLEN from them.
SIN is ever more ACCEPTABLE. There is a definite CAMPAIGN for A ‘NORMALISATION’ of what is OBSCENE and OFFENSIVE.
It is very evident that there is a widening gap between plain biblical teachings and CONTEMPORARY so-called MORAL VALUES. There is a clash between godly conviction and the godless culture that prevails today.
Truly, FAMILIES ARE UNDER FIRE.
Today’s generation of youth are tuning in to the teachings of TV celebrities, rock stars, and their public school teachers.
All the while, a deliberate DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN is being rolled out to the masses.
What is WHOLESOME is routinely mocked by the mockers who run the mass media, and the corrupt Hollywood film makers, who are the ones who set the fashions and fads and WHO SET PUBLIC OPINION.
Everywhere there is moral decay and warped ideas run rampant.
Sometimes, SUCH CHANGES are IMPERCEPTIBLE. They JUST CREEP UP ON US.
It’s like we aren’t even conscious of it any more. Oh, there’s not too much swearing and nudity in that film, so that is OK for us to sit and watch. That film only has a few blasphemies in it, so we rate that is acceptable for our families, for our children to sit and watch. Watch and learn.
Little by little we are being changed.
The Bible warns of this. That it is like the LITTLE FOXES THAT SPOIL THE VINES. These little creatures can dig away at the roots, and destroy the fruit that the vine would bear. Little by little our values and godly principles are being eroded all around us. Torn out by the roots… and we will have nothing left.
If we are TO WIN THIS WAR, this FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES, this FIGHT FOR THE FAMILY, the FAMILIES UNDER FIRE, then WE MUST ARM THIS NEXT GENERATION with THE BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING it needs TO COMBAT the FORCES THAT ARE ARRAYED AGAINST IT.
I received a package in the mail this week. It said ‘HANDLE WITH CARE’. The contents were FRAGILE.
Families, likewise, are fragile. Sometimes, sadly, they can be damaged beyond repair.
Marriages and relationships can be like that package I received. Easily damaged. It’s important that we handle the people in our lives, and our relationships, with care.
So, we have seen, FIRSTLY,
- HOW our families are under fire – and we see that the fire is coming from sometimes man’s foolish choices, and from the enemy of our soul, in his various guises.
SECONDLY, we will look now at WHAT we are going to do about it.
WHAT are we going to do about it?
HOW DO WE RESPOND to such attacks?
What is THE ANSWER?
I put it to you, that we need to fight back.
I urge you, to…
Fight for your family.
Nehemiah 4:14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, which is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
Fight for your family.
The question for you, at this point, may be…
WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU’VE TRIED AND FAILED?
- Perhaps even the concept of ‘FAMILY’ is painful because of past hurts and disappointments.
- Families have been torn by conflict and crisis.
- I grieve with you when this happens.
You can BELIEVE again.
- There’s always hope.
- Hope to save what you still have, or hope to rebuild again, hope for a fresh start where what is lost is lost.
You can BEGIN again.
- You can make a fresh start.
There are some FOUNDATIONAL, FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES that help MAKE A HOME.
The Bible shows us who families are meant to work…
- God’s Order
- God’s Plan
GOD has MADE FAMILIES.
He has set in place SOME FUNDAMENTALS – so that we CAN have FAITH IN FAMILIES.
And FAITH, Biblical Faith, Saving Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, is where it all STANDS, or FALLS.
There is A STAND that we each can take, a CHOICE, as WE CAN DECLARE along with Joshua of old, as he faced a horde of people who rebelled and followed after idols,
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.
YOU can STAND UP and URGE YOUR FAMILY to SERVE THE LORD.
You can stand up and make that decision.
Make that choice.
It’s always a good stand to stand for the Lord.
It is always a good time to start to WORK ON YOUR MARRIAGE.
Families are under fire.
What are we going to do about it?
There’s a concept called “PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE”. When someone owns a property and wants to make it last, and keep up its condition, they will put into place a regular program of maintenance.
It may mean a regular outlay, but it’s better than having to knock the place down and rebuild, because something wasn’t treated when it first became a problem.
When we see the cracks emerge, we will want to fix it, before it’s too late.
It’s LIKE TERMITES. You don’t want to ignore those telltale signs. You will want to get that treated.
Do we SEE THE WARNING SIGNS OF A CRUMBLING MARRIAGE?
It’s LIKE THE DRIP ON MY CEILING, last month… I LEFT IT TOO LONG and now it means A MORE COSTLY REPAIR, because I have mould growing on my ceiling now.
It sounds a bit like this scripture…
By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
The Bible says that it’s because of NEGLECT and IDLENESS that the roof LEAKS and CAVES IN.
Likewise, with a marriage, we have to KEEP WORKING ON IT. Or else we suffer the consequences of NEGLECT – which is DECAY and DISINTEGRATION.
The opposite of MAINTENANCE is NEGLECT.
TO NEGLECT TO MAINTAIN YOUR MARRIAGE means that it will suffer.
God helps us in MENDING what is TORN.
Let us WORK ON IT, before it gets BEYOND REPAIR. Sadly, it may be too late. But we can learn the lesson, at least.
I urge you to GUARD your marriage.
- As you would a valued treasure.
It is A BATTLE. But OUR TRUST is not in HUMAN MEANS AND METHODS, but IN OUR GOD.
As David confessed,
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
One of the big problem areas is when a family GETS AWAY FROM GOD’S ORDER.
The Word says that A THREEFOLD CORD IS NOT EASILY BROKEN. When the Lord is THAT THIRD STRAND, together with A HUSBAND and WIFE THAT WANTS TO FOLLOW HIM, it will MAKE THE MARRIAGE STRONG.
A family will get into trouble when it REFUSES THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS.
When a family and a nation LACKS THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS it becomes lawlessness.
THE ANSWER for THE FAMILY UNDER FIRE is THAT CHRIST BE THE HEAD OF THIS HOME.
“Christ is the Head of this house;
The unseen Guest at every meal;
The silent Listener to every conversation.”
The REALITY is, our families are under fire.
What do we do WHEN FAMILIES FALL APART?
It is a hard question.
As I was walking around the neighbourhood passing out some leaflets to invite people to come to this series, I saw lots of different kinds of homes. And I got to thinking, WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES A HOME?
WHAT MAKES A HOME is MORE THAN THE FOUR WALLS. It’s something much more important. It does not matter about HOW OUTWARDLY FANCY THE HOUSE IS, OR NOT.
WHAT MAKES A HOME IS LOVE.
That is THE GLUE THAT BINDS.
Do you know THE LOVE OF GOD?
As YOUR FAMILY GROWS IN LOVE FOR GOD, He will do a work in you.
GRACE can PREVAIL.
HURT can be HEALED.
When you receive A NEW GADGET it helps if we can follow THE DESIGNER’S INSTRUCTIONS. It’s the same with marriage.
We need to FOLLOW THE MAKER’S INSTRUCTIONS.
There is MUCH MISUNDERSTANDING AND DAMAGE DONE, when people NEGLECT THE PRINCIPLES that God has GIVEN US TO LIVE BY.
FAMILIES are GOD’S IDEA.
MARRIAGE is something GOD DESIGNS.
He approves of MARRIAGE.
It’s important that we FIND OUT WHAT GOD’S PRINCIPLES ARE. And ‘DO MARRIAGE’ GOD’S WAY.
God has THE BEST PLAN FOR MARRIAGES.
STRONG, STABLE FAMILIES matter.
It’s what HELPS MAKES A STRONG NATION.
It’s important that we hear what the Word of God says to address our situation.
Whether it be for someone single, single again, or someone married, going through some hard times. Some rough waters.
Marriage is something God DEFINES. God DECIDES what a marriage is. And He BLESSES that DIVINE INSTITUTION that is called MARRIAGE.
Marriage is not a concept that the state should MAKE, or MEDDLE with, or MANGLE.
It’s NOT WHAT THE STATE DECIDES that MATTERS. MARRIAGE is what God says it is.
It’s NOT HUMAN REASON but DIVINE REVELATION that dictates what TRUTH is.
the first miracle recorded of our Lord was ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING FEAST AT CANA. He BLESSED marriage. He RECOGNISED it.
God defines marriage as something HONOURABLE.
It is something VALUED and IMPORTANT.
It is, truly, MORE THAN ‘JUST A PIECE OF PAPER’, or more than A MERE CEREMONY.
Marriage is HONOURABLE in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
Marriage is HONOURABLE.
Yet today marriage is routinely being DISHONOURED.
One of the streets I walked down while giving out flyers was Fortress Street. And I got to thinking, as I was walking down that street, WHEN YOU’RE IN A FIGHT YOU NEED A FORTRESS.
Families under fire need a FORTRESS. When you’re taking an attack you need a sure fortress you can take refuge in, and find protection. And be safe. Christ is that sure fortress for you. He will fortify and strengthen you – and your family. He is YOUR DEFENDER.
GOD CARES about MARRIAGE.
God cares about you and your FAMILY, and whatever you need right now.
Society by and large seems to have lost the concept of THE PURITY OF MARRIAGE.
That marriage is SACRED, SPECIAL, A COVENANT.
We have AN INFALLIBLE SOURCE OF WISDOM. THE BIBLE. And IT SPEAKS TO MARRIAGE AND FAMILIES. It is the BLUEPRINT we need.
It gives us A SURE FOUNDATION. It MATTERS WHAT YOUR FOUNDATION IS. What you BUILD UPON.
When you FACE THE FIGHT… When YOUR FAMILY IS UNDER FIRE, go to the Foundation – the source document. God’s guidebook for families… Your guidebook for faith…
Your AUTHORITY – your sure SOURCE OF GUIDANCE.
We read that marriage is BY GOD’S DESIGN. It is meant to be A LIFELONG COMMITMENT, a DEDICATED monogamy, a faithfulness – a bond between one man and one woman, for a lifetime. It is sad to see the bond can sometimes be broken beyond repair.
Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of a decent society.
Great ancient civilisations of the past have crumbled and fallen when the concept of marriage was attacked, eroded, and perverted.
Will we learn FROM THE LESSONS OF HISTORY?
When you’re IN A FIGHT…
When you’re UNDER FIRE…
It’s important to HOLD YOUR POSITION.
Hold your ground.
- Don’t GIVE GROUND TO THE ENEMY.
- KEEP SHORT ACCOUNTS with God and men.
- Learn to FORGIVE.
- Learn to RESOLVE CONFLICTS.
- Learn to HEAL HURTS.
(26) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
(27) Neither give place to the devil.
FAMILIES and MARRIAGE is GOD’S IDEA.
By His GRACE we can see LIVES SALVAGED and RELATIONSHIPS RESTORED.
This is why we need to explore the pages of the Bible for THE ANSWERS we seek.
As to husband and wife.
THE HUSBAND is called upon to be PROVIDER. He has delegated AUTHORITY from God. Yet this authority is valid, only insofar as he is FAITHFUL TO THE WORD OF GOD. He must RULE WITH LOVE.
The wife has her role in managing the home. To be A PROVERBS 31 WOMAN.
The ANSWERS we seek, are here, in these precious pages, as to PARENTING.
And these words we are meant to pass on to our children.
Deuteronomy 11:19-20 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20 And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:
The Word tells us that PARENTS are due RESPECT and have RESPONSIBILITY over their CHILDREN.
Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
“Children are likened to OLIVE PLANTS. Olive plants, if NOT PRUNED and CONTROLLED, become A WILD NUISANCE. On the other hand, small olive plants that are NURTURED and TRAINED in the way they should grow – do not grow wild…” (Joseph Stephen)
Parent’s rights these days it seems are more and more being usurped by the State.
Families are in conflict. It’s a battle. For our nearest and dearest.
When evil prevails – when the fight for the family rages the thickest – we are called to…
- Overcome evil with good.
- Put aside bitterness and find forgiveness. People can get totally consumed with bitterness. It’s eating them up on the inside.
Now is the time…
- To PUT THE COUNTER MEASURES IN PLACE in this battle of our lives.
- To MOUNT A COUNTER-ATTACK in this ferocious fight for our families.
Nehemiah’s call is to the fight…
Fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.
We need to take action now to defend the family.
So, we have seen, FIRSTLY,
HOW our families are under fire –sometimes from man’s foolish and sinful choices, and from the enemy of our soul, in his various guises.
And, SECONDLY, we have considered WHAT we are going to do about it.
We need to fight back.
At the heart of the answer is that what we truly need is a Christ-centred family. That the Lord Jesus Christ be the HEAD of the home.
Our series is called Faith for Families. We hope you will be able to continue with us through this series as we explore the Biblical themes in more detail over coming weeks.
Pastor Adam will take us through the next several weeks with a different topic each week along this theme of Faith for Families.
As far as this reality we face of our Families being under fire, we can be assured a sure victory today.
1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.