Evangelism, Faith, Forgiveness, Gospel, Heaven, Hell, Homosexuality, Legislation, Marriage, Salvation, Sin

From the ERLC: “Your Church and the Same Sex Marriage Decisions”

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The ERLC has come out with a helpful fact sheet on the recent Supreme Court decisions on same sex “marriage.” It can be distributed or even used as a bulletin insert at your church, (it’s a free PDF download available in both English and Spanish). Anyone is free to use it– it’s not just for Southern Baptists. It’s really a great resource, so I wanted to share it with you.

I think there’s one point of clarification that needs to be made, though. Under the heading “What Hasn’t Changed,” we find this statement:

“Jesus Christ is still alive, and ultimately will bend history toward His kingdom.”

I read that, then read it again, then turned it over in my mind several times, then tried to recall a verse of Scripture that says anything about Jesus ultimately “bending history towards” His kingdom. Nada. Bupkis. Zilch.

I’m still not exactly sure what the fact sheet writer meant by this phrase. All I can figure (and perhaps I’m misunderstanding his intent) is that he’s referencing Christ’s return and the coming judgment.  When I read Scriptures referencing Christ’s return, I see things like Revelation 19:15:

“From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”

and Matthew 21:44:

“And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

Not exactly a soft summer breeze gently bending a stalk of golden grain, is it? At least that’s the mental picture I get when I read a phrase like “bending history toward His kingdom.”

Judgment is coming for all of us, lost and saved, regardless of sexual preference. It’s going to be fast and furious and without any second chances to change your mind. The wheat is going to be gathered into the barn and the tares burned up. The sheep are going to be placed on the right, and the goats on the left. Period. End of story. That’s all she wrote.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it?

It should. And that’s a good thing.

As Christians, it should scare us enough for ourselves that we do what 2 Corinthians 13:5 says to do: examine ourselves– our hearts and the fruit of our lives –against Scripture and make certain we are, indeed, saved. (If you’re not sure where to start with that, here’s an excellent tool that I’ve found very helpful.)

It should also scare us for our lost friends and loved ones. It’s a hard, cold, frightening fact, but anyone who does not repent of his sin and place His faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice for his sin is going to spend eternity in hell when he dies. There’s no Purgatory. There’s no god who just forgives everybody and lets everybody into heaven.

Does that scare you for your children, your parents, your siblings, your spouse, your best friend?

Yeah, me too. And it makes me want to plead with them to repent and believe the gospel so they can escape that terrible fate and we can all spend eternity together with the Lord.

So use these fact sheets at church and share them with your friends. They’re good! They’re informative! But forget the “bending” and remember the sword, the fury, the wrath, and the crushing that are coming, and let them ignite a passion within you to love your lost neighbors enough to plead with them to flee to the cross for cleansing, forgiveness, and eternal life.

Homosexuality, Legislation, Prayer

SCOTUS to Rule on Same Sex “Marriage”: A Call to Prayer and Godly Response

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 26, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases related to same sex “marriage” (SSM): Hollingsworth v. Perry, which seeks to overturn Proposition 8, California’s current ban on same sex “marriage,” and United States v. Windsor, which challenges the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

I’d like to ask you, my readers, to pray for God’s mercy as the United States faces these decisions tomorrow. May He be merciful by allowing all bans on same sex “marriage” to stand:

For His people:
Ever since same sex “marriage” became a hot button issue, and despite the claims of the homosexual lobby that legalizing it won’t harm Bible-believing Christians, there have been numerous cases of Christian bakers, photographers, florists, and even churches who have been sued because they cannot, in good conscience, tacitly endorse same sex “marriage” by providing their services at such weddings.

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of SSM, these cases will increase and expand in scope and will affect far more individuals, churches, and Christian-owned businesses.  Please pray that God will show mercy to His people and protect their businesses and churches.

For homosexuals:
God established the concept and practice of government for our own good (Romans 13:1). Without law and order, anarchy would reign. Any current local, state, or federal law against same sex “marriage” is a gift from God to those caught in the sin of homosexuality. Just as a fence around a yard is designed to keep children from wandering away, the boundary of the laws against SSM is one of God’s ways of protecting people from their own sin. If they won’t listen to Him, perhaps they will bounce off the brick wall of the law and turn back to Him.

But if SSM is ruled in favor of  tomorrow, that boundary will be removed, and, as Christians, that should grieve us for our homosexual friends and loved ones. Although God has always done so on an individual basis, we will begin to see what it looks like for God to “give them up” to their sin on a corporate level.

Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 1:22-32

The legalization of SSM will be tragic for homosexuals because it will bolster their rebellion against God and separate them from Him even further by encouraging them to stay in, celebrate, and flaunt their sin. I can’t tell you how many times I have thanked God for protecting me from myself and my own sinful desires. I am praying that God will protect the homosexual community in the same way, and I ask you to join me.

What if God says “no”?
What if, in His wisdom and timing, God chooses to allow the Supreme Court to legalize SSM tomorrow? What is to be the Christian response?

Will we grieve for our homosexual friends and loved ones? Our country? Ourselves? Yes.

Should we act out and speak out in vitriolic anger and bitterness? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

Our battle is not against people whom God loves and desires to rescue. Our battle is against Satan, who is holding those precious people as his captives and slaves to sin.

And how do we battle him?

With the gospel.

The good news of Jesus Christ –that He took the punishment ALL of us deserve for ALL of our sin– still has the power to save anyone, homosexual, heterosexual, or otherwise, who will repent and trust in His death, burial, and resurrection to save him.

What if God says “yes”?
What if, in His wisdom and timing, God chooses to protect the bans on same sex “marriage”? How should Christians respond?

In humility and gratitude in our hearts to God, and with the gospel.

There could hardly be a less Christlike response on the part of those who claim to be His than to boast and gloat in a snotty “We won! We won!” sort of attitude. Are you kidding me? We didn’t “win” anything. A court decision doesn’t change anybody’s heart. The same people who were lost and on their way to hell today will still be lost and on their way to hell tomorrow unless we share the gospel with them and God saves them.

At the end of the day, it’s not about rights or legislation or which side won or lost. It’s about a King who hung on a cross so that His subjects, held as prisoners of war, could be set free.

Remember that with me, and let’s pray.