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Monday, April 7, 2014



During Bible times, most cities had walls built around them. These walls were huge, and their foun­dations went down to solid rock. They were wide; in fact, some walls were so wide that seven horses could prance side by side atop the walls.

In these walls were gates. Jerusalem’s walls had several gates: the Sheep Gate, the Fish Gate, the Old Gate, the Valley Gate, and the Gate of the Fountain. The court of justice was located at the gates. As you may recall, before Sodom and Gomorrah were de­stroyed, Lot had become a city official, and his office was located at the gate of Sodom.

The Gates and Walls Had Different Purposes

The purpose of the walls was to keep out the bad people, and the gates were built to allow the good people entrance to the city. The walls did not provide complete protection because sometimes the wrong person would be allowed to enter the gates. In other words, the walls could not keep out what the gates allowed in.

An analogy can be drawn between those cities and our fundamental Baptist churches. As the city had its walls, we also have walls at our churches to protect our people, especially our young people. As pastor of the Longview Baptist Temple for 3 decades I kept those walls strong to protect our people. 

The local church is the most important protection a family has. It is more important than the Christian school, and it is more important than the Christian college. The greatest walls of pro­tection that we Christians have are the local churches. The church allows walls to be built around our college and schools.

The old-fashioned preaching that comes across the pulpits of our churches is for our protection. The local church is the most important institution that we Christians have. Maybe you are saying “Amen” to this; yet you go out of town on the weekends—always making sure, however, that your children are back in time for school on Monday morning. The Longview Baptist Temple is more important than Longview Christian Academy, Longview Baptist Academy, or Texas Baptist College. We have built these walls to protect our families.

These walls are built to keep out liquor, illegal drugs, cursing, sexual immorality, improper and provocative clothing, worldliness, rock music, rap music, “reli­gious” rock music, country and western music, worldly quartet music, and anything else that has an appearance  of evil. We have walls of chaperoned dating in college, walls that allow no dating in high school, walls that allow no holding hands between members of the opposite sex, and other necessary walls.

These walls are built to keep out liberalism, false bi­bles, false doctrines, scantily clad cheerleaders, and NCAA college basketball teams. Some of you use these sports activities as a soul-winning tool. If that it your purpose, you might as well go ahead and put your cheerleaders in miniskirts.  After all, it seems that would make them a more effective witness!  Before you do this, ask Balaam what happened to God’s people when they allowed the world to come in.

The average church in America has let her walls de­cay, and those walls are beginning to crumble. The church has no convictions and no standards; now we even have Christian schools that have high school proms!  However, I thank God for the thousands of fundamental Baptists in America who still believe the old-time religion, old-time standards, old-time convic­tions, and the old-time rules that keep our people away from the Balaams of this world.

Many critics say, “What will these teenagers do when they go out into the real world?”  They will live for God just as they did in school. Any child who lives for God in school will live for God in the world.

Here is the problem: we can build the walls, but we cannot control the gates. In old times, the officials had their offices at the gates. Thus, the parents of today must be the officials who guard the gates. Moms and Dads, you must man the gates. Christian school­teachers, you must man the gates. Sunday school teachers, you must man the gates. Bus captains, you must man the gates. School principals, you must man the gates. Pastoral staff members, you must man the gates.

The walls are built to keep out the bad and let in the good. The walls cannot keep out what the gates allow in, and an unmanned gate is open to everything. The best walls in the world cannot take the place of the officials at the gates. These gates must be manned.

Two Gates That Demand an Official

Two gates demand the presence of an official who can decide who is allowed to enter and who must stay out. One gate is the “eye gate.”  We cannot allow the television to baby-sit our children. I am shocked and appalled at the programs and videos that the deacons of the average church allow their children to watch. I am shocked and appalled at the church members who rent movies and allow their children to watch filth within their living rooms. I am shocked at the filth of the sitcoms and the filthy way they talk about sex and mock people with morals. No television should ever be turned on without the presence and the watchful­ness of the city official of that house. The eye gate must have a city official, or authority, who decides what will come in and what to keep out.

The second gate is the “ear gate.”  We can keep rock music out of our Christian schools, but we cannot keep rock music out of the home. The moms and dads must be at their posts, deciding what to let in and what to keep out.

Every mom should raid the children’s bedrooms once a month. Dads, get a video camera and follow her; you can have your own COPS program. This could be your own personal reality television show.

It is so frustrating to see the pastor, youth pastor, Christian schoolteacher, coaches, and other authori­ties effectively man their posts throughout the child’s school years, while the parents abdicate their posts at the gates. The child then decides to live for the devil. What a waste!  The watchman stayed on the walls. The watchman warned the officials at the gates, but the gatekeeper failed to heed the warnings. Hey, Mom, listen to the watchman on the wall!  Hey, Dad, listen to the watchman on the wall!

The watchman determines what should not be al­lowed to enter, while the authority at the gate determines what will be allowed to enter. The author­ity can choose from the choices given by the watchman. The watchman can control the walls, but someone must control the gates. Pastors can control the walls, but the officials responsible for the gates must decide what to allow in and what to keep out.

The eyes were made so that the beauty of God’s handiwork could enter. The eyes were not made to go to the movies or to watch the movies brought into the home. The eyes were not made to watch dirty televi­sion shows. They were made to read godly, decent literature. They were made to allow God’s Word to enter the mind and spirit. The authority at the gate must decide what good things he will allow to enter. Moms and dads are the authorities at the gates who are responsible for what enters the eye gates of the children.

The Watchman Can Only Warn

The watchman can only warn the parents at the gates and tell them what they should not allow to en­ter through the gate. It is up to the parents to decide what to let in. If the watchman on the wall and the authority at the gates work together, the occupants are safer. However, if the authority at the gate thinks he knows more than the watchman on the wall does, inevitably death will enter.

The watchman cannot control the pictures the chil­dren see. He cannot control what enters their minds. He cannot control the indecency they are allowed to see. He can only warn about soap operas, rock mu­sic, rap music, nudity, immoral television programs, half-naked people on the beaches, and other wicked things.

We can build the walls and set the watchman on the walls. The watchman can warn, but it is still up to Mom and Dad to listen to him and decide to trust the watchman on the wall.  

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