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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, May 20, 2001

"When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt…And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel" (Matthew 2:14, 21).

Egypt is located at the northern end of Africa. Egypt was powerful and splendid in ancient times. But from the 6th century BC onwards, the splendor and might of Egypt dwindled to a shadow. In fact, there are few stronger contrasts in any nation between the ancient power and glory of Egypt and its later insignificance.

By the time Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt, that country had already lost most of its former might. Joseph was warned to flee into Egypt by God. It was common for Jews to go there. Every major city in Egypt had a large number of Jewish refugees. The great city of Alexandria had over a million Jewish emigrants. Tradition tells us that Joseph took Mary and Jesus to a Jewish part of the city of Cairo.

Throughout the Bible Egypt is a picture of the world, and it symbolizes enslavement and bondage to sin. There are several applications of Egypt given in the Bible.

I.    First, Egypt is a type of the world.

In Genesis 12:10, we read:

"And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there (to live there); for the famine was grievous in the land" (Genesis 12:10).

The Scofield note on this verse says,

The resort to Egypt (the world) is typical of the tendency to substitute for lost spiritual power the fleshly resources of the world…

Abram was not blessed in Egypt. He was ejected from it by the hand of God, and returned to Canaan.

Later in the book of Genesis Joseph was thrown into a pit and left for dead by his jealous brothers. Some Midianite nomads who were passing by pulled Joseph out of the pit and sold him as a slave in Egypt:

"And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard" (Genesis 37:36).

In both cases, with Abram and with Joseph, Egypt is a type, or picture, of the world of sin.

Joseph rose from slavery and became a great man in Egypt, and later his Hebrew relatives followed him into this land. The Hebrews grew in number until they became a powerful ethnic group there. But a new Pharaoh turned against the Jews and made them slaves. When God saw their pitiful condition He sent Moses to deliver them from slavery:

"And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt" (Exodus 12:41).

This is a type or picture of those who are converted, leaving behind the world, and coming out of sin to Jesus Christ.

In Revelation 11:8 Jerusalem is called, "the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." Jerusalem will be so sinful at this time, in the Tribulation period, that the Bible compares it to Sodom and Egypt.

Hosea 11:1 says,

"When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1).

This verse from Hosea is quoted in Matthew 2:15 as being fulfilled when Joseph took Jesus out of Egypt, back to the Holy Land. The Scofield note on Matthew 2:15 says,

The words quoted here are in Hosea 11:1, and the passage illustrates the truth that prophetic utterances often have a latent and deeper meaning than first appears. Israel, nationally, was a "son," but Christ was the greater "Son."

We read in our text that Joseph "arose, and took the young child (Jesus) and his mother, and came into the land of Israel" (Matthew 2:21). This is a picture of the believer in Christ leaving the world of sin.

II.   Second, Egypt must be forsaken.

You cannot become a Christian and still be part of the world. You must forsake it, and give it up, and be through with the world if you want to become a real Christian. Fanny Crosby, the great hymn writer, said:

Take the world, but give me Jesus, All its joys are but a name,
But His love abideth ever, Thro' eternal years the same.
Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption, Pledge of endless life above!

("Take the World, But Give Me Jesus" by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915).

You have to be willing to say, "Take the world, but give me Jesus" if you want to get saved!

The Bible says:

"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (I John 2:15-16).

For you to become a real Christian, you must have a turning away from Egypt, a turning away from this world and its sins. You must have an inward turning - away from "all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life" (I John 2:15-16).

That's why we read, in II Corinthians 6:17-18,

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty"

(II Corinthians 6:17-18).

What a picture of this is found in our text!

"When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt…And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel"

(Matthew 2:14, 21).

You must come out of the Egyptian sin of Los Angeles, into the local church - and then into Christ Himself!

III.  But, thirdly, Egypt must be evangelized.

As Jesus was called out of Egypt, so you are called out of the world. But, as Jesus was sent into Egypt, so you are sent into the world as a witness.

Jesus said,

"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world (physically), but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil"

(John 17:15).

In the second and third centuries some Christians made the mistake of going into monasteries out in the desert to escape the world physically. But Christ did not come to take us physically out of Los Angeles, but to keep us "from the evil" (John 17:15).

In fact, Jesus said:

"As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world" (John 17:18).

Jesus calls us out of the world of sin, to live separated lives in the local church for Him. But He then sends us back into the world to witness and win others to Him.

"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" (John 20:21).

Again, Jesus said:

"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).

As the old song puts it,

Bring them in, bring them in,
   Bring them in from the fields of sin;
Bring them in, bring them in,
   Bring the wandering ones to Jesus.

("Bring Them In" by Alexcenah Thomas, 19th century).

The Bible says:

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (II Corinthians 5:20).

That's why we brought you here tonight. We went out onto the street. We found you and asked you for your phone number. Then we telephoned you and invited you to church. We sent a car and picked you up, and you are here tonight! I am now saying to you, "be ye reconciled to God" (II Corinthians 5:20).

I am telling you tonight that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. But He did not stay dead in the grave. He arose, literally and physically from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, and is alive, seated at the right hand of God Almighty. If you turn fully to Jesus Christ, He will save you from sin, and its penalty.

Come out of Egypt! Come out of a world of sin into this local church. And then come to Jesus Christ, and He will save you - now!

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Matthew 2:12-21.
Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Take the World, But Give Me Jesus"

by Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915).

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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt…And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel" (Matthew 2:14, 21).

I.   Egypt is a type of the world, Genesis 12:10; Genesis 37:36;
Exodus 1:13-14; Exodus 12:41; Revelation 11:8;
Hosea 11:1.

II.  Egypt must be forsaken, I John 2:15-16; II Corinthians 6:17-18.

III. Egypt must be evangelized, John 17:15,18; John 20:21;
Luke 14:23; II Corinthians 5:20.