(Joshua 24:15b), "… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

     Family is the most important unit of society.  God instituted the family before He instituted government.  God instituted the family before He did the church.  If the family fails, the church will fail.  If the family fails, the government will fail.  If the family fails, society as a whole will fail.  Everything rises and falls upon the family.

     Dr. Jimmy Draper wrote, "The traditional family…is the bedrock of our culture. As it erodes, our nation becomes unstable and eventually will crumble.”

      Family is to be the foundation for society and when we try and pervert God’s original design, and replace it with other entities and institutions and try to fill the vacuum the family was designed to occupy, it causes problems and will erode society.  The erosion of the family is the reason that many great civilizations before collapsed.

     We see this in the ancient civilization of Rome. In its rise, the foundation of Rome was centered on the family unit and the most important element in the family was the authority of the father who was considered the head leader and primary decision maker, and children were required to show a deep respect for their parents.

     However, as time passed there was a family decline in the ancient empire of Rome which eventually eroded the foundation upon which Rome was build and Rome fell from within.

     And America is on the same path as the ancient Roman Empire as the foundation of American family values declines and America moves farther and farther away from the unit of the family.

     In his book, "Our Dance Has Turned to Death", Carl Wilson identifies the common pattern of family decline in the ancient Roman Empire that led to its fall. I want us to look at the patterns that caused Rome to rise and fall, and see how much they have in common with America today.

     In the first stage of the decline of the Roman Empire, men ceased to lead their families in worship. Compare this to pattern in America. Statistics indicate that on any given Sunday, there are 13 million more adult women than men in America's churches and the 90-95 percent of the men who are in church on Sunday are not men who are spiritual leaders in their homes.

     In the second stage of the decline of the Roman Empire, men selfishly neglected the care of their wives and children to pursue material wealth, political and military power, and cultural development. America has followed the same pattern in many homes in America are fatherless and it has impacted the family and society.

     63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.

     71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.

     70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes.

     85% of all youths in prisons grew up in fatherless homes.

     72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers.

     60% of America's rapists grew up without fathers.

     70% of violent criminals were committed by those who grew up without fathers.

     The third stage of the decline of the Roman Empire was men changed their moral values. Men who were preoccupied with business or war either neglected their wives and became involved with lower-class women or with homosexuality. Ultimately, a double standard of morality developed. In America over fifty percent of divorces occur because of infidelity on the part of husbands and wives. And the homosexuality is growing at an alarming rate even to the point they want to redefine the tradition Biblical teaching of marriage between a man and woman.

     The fourth stage of the decline of the Roman Empire was the role of women at home and with children lost value and status. Women were neglected and their roles devalued.  Women began to feel underappreciated, unrecognized, and became unsatisfied, they revolted to gain access to material wealth and also to have more freedom. It was at this point that women's liberation was birthed and marriage laws were changed to make divorce easy. America has followed this pattern because divorces are as easy to come by as pizza.

     The fifth stage of the decline of the Romans Empire was the husbands and wives competed against each other for money and leadership in the home. Because the husbands and wives were competing for money and leadership in the home, many children were unwanted, aborted, abandoned, molested, and undisciplined. Then children cast off all authority and crime began to rise. And further, the more children became undisciplined the more social pressure there was not to have children. The high rate of crime in America today, the overcrowding of prisons, the juvenile delinquent problems, the aborting and abandoning of babies, in America is because husbands and wives are competing for money and leadership in many homes today.

     The sixth stage of the decline of the Roman Empire was the selfish individualism that grew and carried over into society, fragmenting it into smaller and smaller group loyalties. The nation was weakened by internal conflict. America has become a very individualistic and selfish nation that has fragmented into small group loyalties such as the Republicans, Democrats, Green Party, Tea Party, Libertarian Party, Justice Party, America's Party, and this is just to name a few of the parties that want to run someone for president. And then there are the civic organizations as League of Women's Voters, NAACP, NRA, NALEO, and many others. America is a fragmented nation.

     The seventh stage of the decline of the Roman Empire was their unbelief in God became more complete, parental authority diminished, ethical and moral principles disappeared, which in turn affected the economy and the government. Thus, by internal weakness and fragmentation the Rome fell apart. As the family unit went so did the Roman Empire. America is on the same course as Rome was because America is doing all she can do remove God from our country and the more we remove God from this country, the more moral principles will disappear which will result in more sin, wickedness, crime, and the collapse of this great country.

     And it all begins in the home because God  established  the  home  to  be  the  foundation  for  society. Rome fell because they abandoned God’s design for the home. The problems we face in our nation, government, schools, and churches are all because the majority of the families in America have abandoned God’s design for the family. 

     Adrian Rogers, “The problem with many homes in our day is drop-out dads, who are failing to honor their god given roles and responsibilities within their families.”

     Our nation; our government; or our churches will never be right until we get our families right.   Get the home right and the nation will be right.  Get the home right and the government will be right.  Get the home right and the church will be right.  EVERYTHING RISES AND FALLS UPON THE FAMILY.

     (C.H. Spurgeon), “The Christian family was the bulwark of godliness in the days of the Puritans; but in these evil times hundreds of families of so-called Christians have no family worship, no restraint upon growing sons, and no wholesome instruction or discipline.  See how the families of many professors are as dressy, as godless as the children of the non-religious!  How can we hope to see the Kingdom of our Lord advance when His own disciples do not teach His gospel to their own sons and daughters?”

     What we need in America is for some husbands and wives; dads and moms; to stand up and say as Joshua did, "as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."

                                                                                            Pastor Allen  Jackson

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