Salvation’s Walls: Parental Influence Over Children and the Violence of Sodom

Written by: Christopher Sernaque

Dear Readers,

Every person that has ever dwelt in a house understands that a sure foundation is a requirement for a sound structure. In the Bible, much is spoken about having a strong spiritual foundation, especially in times of upheaval, strife, and antagonization from those in the world and in the church. The question is naturally begged, what is the foundation that we should be building on? Those who answered Christ are correct. He is the only foundation that our spiritual houses can stand on because He alone can deliver us from sin. (1 Corinthians 3:11, 2 Timothy 2:19). To hearken to the title of this article, the household, comprised of parents and children, must have its foundation in Christ. Resist the temptation to stop reading the article, saying, “I was already well aware that Christ needed to be my family’s foundation.” Herein lies the reason why most families collapse. While many families lay a foundation in Christ, they never erect walls of salvation.

The concept of “Walls of Salvation” is a topic that must be mentioned in connection with laying a foundation in Christ. The Bible states that once the Walls of Salvation are erected, violence will no longer exist within the family circle. Meditate on the following verse:

Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”-Isaiah 60:18

The gates of praise are another study worthy topic, but the fact of the matter is that the walls of Salvation prevent violence within. In the pages of the Word of God, specifically the nineteenth chapter of Genesis, we find violence recorded in the scenes that occurred in Sodom. Notice how the Spirit of Prophecy describes the different experiences of Lot and Enoch, and specifically what Lot encountered while in Sodom:

When iniquity abounds in a nation, there is always to be heard some voice giving warning and instruction, as the voice of Lot was heard in Sodom. Yet Lot could have preserved his family from many evils had he not made his home in this wicked, polluted city. All that Lot and his family did in Sodom could have been done by them, even if they had lived in a place some distance away from the city. Enoch walked with God, and yet he did not live in the midst of any city polluted with every kind of violence and wickedness, as did Lot in Sodom.—Manuscript 94, 1903.

Not only is the above passage a clarion call for Country Living, it also expressly states that Sodom was a city, of not just homosexuality, but violence. Therefore, even though Sodom may have been a walled city, the Walls of Salvation had not been built up in Sodom. You may be asking, “Yes, but that was Sodom, how does this apply to myself or my family today?” The following quotation answers that question in a pointed fashion:

The Redeemer of the world, the compassionate Friend of man, discloses to our eyes the fact that there is a sin greater than the sin of Sodom. It is that of sinning against greater light. To those who have heard and have not heeded the gospel invitation to repent and have faith in Christ, the sin is greater than was the sin of Sodom. To those who have professed the name of Jesus, who have professed to know God, and to keep his commandments, and yet who have misrepresented Christ in their daily life and character, who have been warned and entreated, and still dishonor their Redeemer by their unconsecrated lives, the sin is greater than that of Sodom. {ST October 16, 1893, par. 7}

The Bible makes it very clear that we are to be cities set on hills, or that our characters are to manifest the fact that we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 5:14) When we refuse to advance with the light of truth that is presented before us, we are become a city like Sodom, lacking the Walls of Salvation (Proverbs 4:18). Thus, in order to prevent the violence of Sodom in your home, both parents must continue to advance with the truth, otherwise the family will be like “a city that is broken down, and without walls.” (Proverbs 25:28). The term salvation is repeatedly connected to the word truth all throughout the Scriptures, a few notable examples from the Psalms are: Psalm 25:5, Psalm 40:10, and Psalm 69:13. Read over those statements with your spouse, and make the prayer of Psalm 25:5 your own, ask God to lead both you and your spouse in His ways, as you surrender your own. If both husband and wife do not surrender their own will to Christ, the violence of Sodom will be manifested in their family. Ask Jesus for strength to surrender your will to Him, as Jesus surrendered His will to His Father’s in Gethsemane. (Matthew 26:39, 42) The Spirit of Prophecy makes it clear, parents need to strive for the salvation of their children:

The evil will increase faster than the good. It is possible that the evil may be eradicated after many years; but who will venture this? Time is short. It is easier and much safer to sow clean and good seed in the hearts of your children, than to pluck up the weeds afterward. Parents should redouble their efforts for the salvation of their children. {ST April 17, 1884, par. 7}

The call to reform does not just extend to parents, but to all who name the name of Christ. If the Walls of Salvation are not put in place in your life, the particles of Sodom will find a retreat in your dwelling, and this will be the result:

Church members need to fast and pray, striving earnestly to overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. Not one particle of Sodomitish impurity will escape the wrath of God at the execution of the judgment. Those who do not repent of and forsake all uncleanness will fall with the wicked. Those who become members of the royal family and form God’s kingdom in the earth made new, will be saints, not sinners. Isaiah 30:1-3, 8-16. { TSB 119.3}

You and your spouse may be asking, “How then are we to escape the wrath of God, especially now that we are conscious of the fact that we are not advancing with the truth?” The Spirit of Prophecy provides the answer to that pressing question:

All who would escape the doom of Sodom must shun the course that brought God’s judgments upon that wicked city. {AH 138.3}

The course of action that Sodom took was to tear down the Walls of Salvation, and thus the land was filled with violence. If you want to avoid Sodom’s fate, avoid Sodom’s folly! It is time to build the Walls of Salvation! Before this present author provides several lessons contained in Spirit of Prophecy quotes, prayerfully consider the following quotation. The very peace of your family depends on it:

Many parents will have to render an awful account at last for their neglect of their children.- {RH October 14, 1875, par. 2 }

Do you wish to be in the position of a neglectful parent facing God on judgment day when God asks of you, “where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” (Jeremiah 13:20) If not, then for the sake of thy family, take the following lessons in building up Salvation’s Walls seriously:

Spirit of Prophecy Quotation 1: But very few have an experimental knowledge of the sanctifying influence of the truths which they profess. Their obedience and devotion have not been in accordance with their light and privileges. They have no real sense of the obligation resting upon them to walk as children of the light, and not as children of darkness. If the light that has been given to these had been given Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes, and would have escaped the signal wrath of God. It will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for those who have been privileged with the clear light, and have had a vast amount of labor, but have not profited by it. They have neglected the great salvation which God in mercy was willing to bestow. They were so blinded by the devil that they verily thought themselves rich and in the favor of God, when the True Witness declares them to be wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. { 2T 488.2}

Lesson 1:It is time for self examination. (2 Corinthians 13:5). All throughout the scriptures we find that, even though every human being has the power of choice, there are those who influence others to do evil. Sadly, there are even parents who’s wicked characters do not coincide with the light that they have received, and thus a negative influence is wrought upon their children. Take for instance the fact that Isaac repeated the lies of his father Abraham (Genesis 20:12, Genesis 26:9), or the fact that Jesus had to first deal with the sin of unbelief in the Father of the demon possessed boy in Mark 9, prior to healing the boy (Mark 9:19-25). Is your child a prodigal, or are you a prodigal that taught your child how to play the part?

Spirit of Prophecy Quotation 2: Your children are unruly, passionate, quarrelsome, and vicious. Their influence upon others is corrupting. These children bear the stamp of the baser passions of the father. The stamp of his character is placed upon his children. His hasty, violent temper is reflected in his children. These parents should have long ago removed to the country, separating themselves and children from the society of those they could not benefit, but only harm. { PH085 18.1 }

Lesson 2: Take your child out from the wicked influences of the city and bring them to a place in the country where they can contemplate the works of God in nature. (Romans 1:20)

Spirit of Prophecy Quotation 3: Like Lot, many see their children ruined, and barely save their own souls. Their lifework is lost; their life is a sad failure. Had they exercised true wisdom, their children might have had less worldly prosperity, but they would have made sure of a title to the immortal inheritance. { EP 106.5 }

Lesson 3: Do not make your children’s career, social status, education, a higher priority than your child’s salvation. (Mark 8:36)

Spirit of Prophecy Quotation 4:

Their hesitation and his persistent urging caused them to be observed, and before they retired for the night, a lawless crowd gathered about the house, an immense company, youth and aged men alike inflamed by the vilest passions. The strangers had been making inquiry in regard to the character of the city, when the hooting and jeers of the mob were heard, demanding that the men be brought out to them. { EP 100.1 } But they laughed at what they called his superstitious fears. His daughters were influenced by their husbands. They could see no evidence of danger. They had great possessions and could not believe it possible that beautiful Sodom would be destroyed. { EP 100.3 }

Lesson 4: Be careful who you allow your children to associate with. (1 Corinthians 15:33)

With these four lessons in mind, you already have at least four walls on your spiritual house. Here are a few more practical lessons on making sure that the Walls are maintained around your family.

Practical Methods of Building the Walls of Salvation Around Your Family:

  1. Continue to communicate your love to your family members, and to God, in word and in deed. Even Christ continued to commune and work for His Father while here on earth. (Mark 1:35, Luke 2:49) Can we as frail human beings do any less?

  2. Just as we must spend quality and personal time with God in the morning, parents must make sure that they allot time to dedicate to their children. Rest assured, if you neglect your children, the Devil is more than happy to adopt them for you.

  3. Guard the avenues of your soul. In other words, take Philippians 4:8 seriously. As followers of Christ, every word you speak must be a word Jesus could speak, every tone you project must be in tune with Christ, and every deed that is done must also be a deed Christ could do. Prior to taking a course of action, consider what the Saviour would do, and if you cannot see Jesus on the path you are taking, you have either left Him behind, or lost Him completely. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and your children will follow you as you follow Christ. (2 Chronicles 20:12, 1 Corinthians 11:1)

There are many other councils that could be given on this one subject, please see the material provided on Prophesy Again, specifically the Marriage Reconciliation Series, and the book Adventist Home for more material on how to build the Walls of Salvation around your family.

In conclusion, the Bible states that walls are used to shoot arrows from. (2 Samuel 11:24) The Bible also tells us that arrows are symbolic of children, and of the mission of the Messiah. (Psalm 127:4, Psalm 45:5) Are your children ready to carry out the mission that Jesus has for them? Pray that your children can emphatically live out the words spoken by Nehemiah:

“I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?”-Nehemiah 6:3

God has a plan for you and your children. Keep praying over your family and don’t stop until Jesus comes to take you home.

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