A Biblical Response to Same-Sex Marriage

Posted: June 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

"A Biblical Response to Same-Sex Marriage"

Joshua 24:14–24, "(14) “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! (15) And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (16) So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; (17) for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. (18) And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.” (19) But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. (20) If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.” (21) And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord!” (22) So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses!” (23) “Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.” (24) And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!”"

Introduction:
Some of you will hate this message. It will make you uncomfortable, and you’ll consider using terms like "bigoted" and "hateful" to describe it. I hope that’s not the case, but it’s likely. Others of you will be surprised by some of the things in this message. You might find some of your assumptions challenged, and it’ll be your turn to be uncomfortable. To everyone, I only ask that you hear it out. Listen all the way through, judge this message by the standard of the word of God, and then come to your conclusions.

Normally we would be studying the Gospel of John as we continue our verse-by-verse journey through the Bible.  But Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court affirming same-sex marriage as a constitutional right compels me to respond. This is not something I do lightly or off-the-cuff. In my prayer time as I considered the message I originally planned to share today, I was convicted that I would be disobedient to God if I did not respond, so that’s what we’re going to do.

Of course, what I feel & what I think is of little importance. What is needed in this day & age is not another human opinion. We can read the opinions of men all day long on Facebook or Twitter. It was the opinions of 9 unelected judges on the Supreme Court (5-4 split) that put us into this situation today. Opinions are common…what we need is truth. Where do we find truth? In the written word given to us by the One True God. The Bible is where we find real truth, and it’s the Bible upon which all of our doctrine & practice needs to be based.

Before we get too far, know this: I will be speaking as a Christian, to Christians. I do not expect atheists, members of other faiths, or any other non-Christian to agree. Why would they? But Christians need to base our ideas upon the Bible, and the Bible alone. When the people of the Book forsake the Book to simply go along with the whims of culture, what hope do we have to convince anyone that the word of God regarding salvation is true? If we start to pick & choose which parts of the Bible are accurate, than what authority does any part of the Bible have? Obviously we always want to interpret Scripture correctly, and there are some Scriptures that are very specific to a particular time & culture prior to the Cross, but all Scripture rightly interpreted is relevant. All Scripture rightly interpreted is authoritative. When we give up the authority of Scripture we give up the authority of the gospel, for it is in the Scripture that the gospel is contained. Thus it is the Scripture that will be preached today (and every other day from this pulpit).

The Call
In our text this morning we read the account of Joshua’s call to the nation of Israel. After 400 years as slaves in the land of Egypt, God had freed them with an incredible display of His miraculous power. The most powerful nation on the planet was brought to its knees by Almighty God, and Moses led his people out of slavery and to the base of Mt. Sinai where they made a covenant commitment to the Lord. From there, God personally led His people to the Promised Land, where they rebelled against Him (seeing the giants currently in the land, and reacting out of fear; not faith) & as a result, an entire generation died off in the wilderness. Finally now, under the leadership of Joshua, the people had ended their time of wilderness wanderings & had followed God by faith in the Land of Promise, conquering nations far more numerous and powerful than they were.

It was time once again to make a covenant commitment to God, to affirm that they would indeed follow the Lord as His people. Joshua called the people to make a choice: they could either choose to keep following the false gods of the nations around them, or they could make the choice to stand for the One True God. It was a valid question to be asked. After all, the people had failed to follow God in the past, and they would certainly fail to follow Him in the future. But what would they do in the present? They couldn’t just wait around and see what happened in the future; they needed to make an intentional choice now. Would they abandon God to be like all the other people and nations around them, or would they truly follow and worship the Lord? Joshua couldn’t speak for the Hebrews, but he could speak for himself. As for him, and his family, they would serve the Lord. In a rousing commitment, the Hebrew people joined Joshua. Of course they would ultimately fail, but they started off well. They knew the choice had to be made, and they made it.

A similar choice faces us today. We can either choose to follow the whims and desires of our culture & our neighbors around us, or we can choose to follow the Lord as God. We cannot do both, and there’s no guarantee that we will always do well. But a choice needs to be made. A line has already been drawn in the sand. On which side will we choose to stand?

So we need to know what a Biblical response to all of this is, but before we can lay it out, we need to ask ourselves a few questions: (1) What happened? (2) Why does it matter? (3) What’s our response?  That’s what we’re going to do with the rest of our time.

Question 1: What happened?
The first thing we need to ask ourselves is this: what happened? For many people, it seems that everything was going along all fine & dandy, and all of a sudden the rug got yanked out from underneath. In truth, this had been building for a long time & Friday’s news only confirmed the winds of culture which had long-since shifted. It wasn’t 10 years ago that state-wide bans on same-sex marriage were being passed all over our nation. 31 states had officially defined marriage as being between a man & a woman, usually through constitutional ballots and referendums. Even California had passed "Proposition 8" in 2004 affirming traditional marriage. In fact, in 2004 even Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton both publicly affirmed traditional marriage, President Obama even holding to that same position as recently as 2008 before his well-publicized "evolution" in 2012.

But the winds of culture shifted (as they so often do), and on Friday the Supreme Court majority invalidated all of the state-wide bans on same-sex marriage, legalizing it in all 50 states. To some, this is joyous – to others this is tragic – to some it’s a flagrant disregard for Constitutional law. Whatever your response happened to be, the one thing is should NOT have been was surprising. Whether you agree with the decision or not, it ought not have been surprising in the least. Especially from a Christian perspective. Pagans act like pagans, after all & we ought not expect someone who disregards God to disregard what God’s word has to say about marriage. When you were a non-believer, did it matter to you what a Christian said was moral or immoral? It was irrelevant to you then, just like it is irrelevant to non-believers today.

Beyond that, in what age are we living? Truly, we are living in the last days – the final years (hours) before Jesus calls His church home, and the Great Tribulation begins upon the earth leading up to Jesus’ 2nd Coming and the judgment of God. What does the Bible say about the last days? Among other things, it speaks of how lies would be taught and people would fall away from the truth of God. Jude 17-19, "(17) But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: (18) how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. (19) These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit." Contextually, Jude is writing of false teachers that creep into the church, with the idea that their true identity could be exposed by the things they proclaimed. If they walked according to their lusts (and the ways of the world), then they could be identified as unbelievers ("not having the Spirit."). Is that not what we see today? People claim to be spiritual & loving & only doing what Jesus would do in helping people love one another – all the while walking according to their own lusts mocking the written word of God.

Paul wrote much the same thing to Timothy: 2 Timothy 3:1-5, "(1) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: (2) For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, (4) traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, (5) having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" Is this not a commentary on our times? And interestingly enough, although homosexuality could easily be described in some of that terminology, the majority of what Paul writes is so much broader than homosexuality. It’s not just one aspect of our culture that is godless; it’s the whole thing!

In fact, that itself is why many people seemed to be surprised from Friday’s news. It was a clear indication that the USA is deep into a post-Christian phase. This has been evident for a while, but it was made crystal clear this week. Many people have proudly declared our country to be a Christian nation – but whatever the Christian roots may have been for our nation & culture, it has long since abandoned Christianity for secularism. The guiding principle for our culture is no longer what glorifies God, but what glorifies Man (and it’s got to be the "right" kind of person at that).

This ought to be a wake-up call to many Christians (especially Evangelicals) to stop placing their hope in the political system for change. Too many Christians look to political power and political parties to see righteousness done in America…and they will always be disappointed. The kind of change our country requires comes only through repentance and revival. It comes only by people turning to faith in Jesus Christ. Obviously we are not to become hermits & stop engaging in the political process, but we have to realize that our hope cannot be found there. It can be found in the Person and Gospel of Jesus Christ, and none other.

As a local church, you need to be aware that the board here at Calvary Chapel Tyler has prepared for this eventuality.  We realized that a decision like this would be likely, and (along with some other revisions) included a statement in our constitution and bylaws in 2013.  It reads:
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[Section 4. Recognition of Marriage and Biblical Sexuality]

            We believe that God created man and woman, and they each respectively and inherently have the genders of male and female.  When God made the genders, He specifically did so in order that they would complement and complete one another.  Thus God is the One who created the institution of marriage, and the Scripture records “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)  Marriage is by definition, the joining of a naturally born male to a naturally born female, and this definition does not change based on societal preferences, cultural shifts, or political mandates.  For this reason homosexuality, and all other “sexual preferences” or “orientations” apart from a genetic male and genetic female are unnatural, sinful, and unacceptable to God. Accordingly, this ministry will not perform any marriage ceremonies between two individuals of the same sex. It will not condone nor recognize such same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships even if the government passes laws that provide for recognition of such unions.

            We believe that marriage is intended by God as a covenant relationship that is to last for life.  Therefore, the Biblical standard for sexuality is intended by God to be one genetic man, with one genetic woman, for life within the protection of Biblical marriage.  Hence, there are many sexual activities that are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible, and incompatible with a Christian witness.  Some of these activities include (but are not limited to): fornication, adultery, homosexuality, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, and the like. (1 Corinthians 5:1, 6:9, Romans 1:26-27)  As such, this church will not condone relationships or activities that include such behaviors.
——

When called to make a choice between standing with the mandates of our surrounding culture and the mandates of the Bible, the leadership here has made the choice to stand with the Lord.  God’s word is unchanging, and along with many others in Christian history (including the apostles), we have determined that it is better to obey God than to obey men. (Acts 5:29)  You need to know that should pressure be brought to bear against this church, we will (by the grace of God) stand firm for the truth of the Scripture & faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Question 2: What does it matter?
One of the main objections brought up by supporters of government-mandated same-sex marriage is this: “Why do you care?  It doesn’t affect you in the slightest.”  Actually, recent headlines & court cases argue precisely the opposite.  Conscientious objection to same-sex marriage is no longer an acceptable position in the eyes of our culture & Christian florists, bakers, wedding chapels, and more are being fined to the point of bankruptcy.  A fire chief in Atlanta, GA was fired from his job for writing a self-published book disagreeing with homosexuality.  It didn’t matter that he did not act with any animus towards homosexuals; just his published thoughts were enough to fire him.  So yes, court-mandated same-sex marriage does affect us.  When reasonable people are labeled as “bigots” & ostracized & legally punished for maintaining a Biblical stance, there is a problem.

A second objection is this: “Why not leave it alone? Live & let live – if it feels good for someone, then why is it wrong?”  First of all, we cannot leave it alone when it is being forced upon us…and that is exactly what it happening.  The previously mentioned florists and bakers offered to provide other services for their homosexual clients, and in at least one case even recommended an alternate business who would provide for the same-sex marriage, but no concession was good enough.  Secondly, our feelings are not a legitimate basis for morality.  Feelings are (in fact) a terrible foundation for morality.  To take an extreme example, the Islamic terrorists in ISIS get a sick pleasure from killing their victims (mostly Christians) in the most horrific of ways.  It “feels good” to them, but it causes immense harm.  Objection: “Wait a second!  Homosexual marriages don’t hurt anyone else.  Why not let them follow their feelings?”  Again, a forced approval of homosexual marriage does cause harm in that it eliminates free speech & the freedom of religion.  But beyond that, it’s still not a valid foundation for morality.  A person addicted to meth could potentially not cause harm to anyone else, but the government still limits this activity, because the person is harming him/herself (even if he/she doesn’t realize it).  It might “feel good,” but it’s not right.  Name the sin.  Many activities feel good in the moment, but it doesn’t make them right: adultery, pride, boasting, etc., can all boost a person’s ego, but it is all still sin. 

Feelings are not a basis for morality.  If everyone did what felt good, that would only lead to chaos.  What is needed for morality is not a subjective feeling, but an objective standard.  That brings us straight to the word of God.  The Bible is THE objective standard that all Christians ought to follow.  Again, the whims of culture change (and they change often!), but the Bible stands firm. That’s not to say that people have always used the Bible correctly.  After all, some in pre-Civil War America used the Bible to justify slavery & promoted some terrible ideas.  However, it wasn’t the Bible that was wrong; it was the misuse of the Bible.  The Bible when rightly interpreted is always good & always true.

So what does the Bible say?  Instead of looking at the sin, perhaps it’s better to look at the standard.  There is no doubt that homosexuality is defined as sin in the Scripture, as is all kinds of heterosexual sin (fornication, pornography, adultery, serial marriages, etc.).  But if we’re going to talk about marriage, we need to start how the Bible starts: by looking at God’s intent for marriage. 

For that, we turn to Genesis.  Genesis 2:21–25, "(21) And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. (22) Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. (23) And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” (24) Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (25) And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."

  • God created marriage.  He saw a need (Gen 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone…”) and God did something about it.  Marriage exists in every culture & every religion throughout history, but the original marriage pre-dates it all.  God formed it & defined it, and it is not left up to any human (or group of humans) to redefine it.  We might as well try to claim that water is anything but 2 hydrogen atoms & 1 oxygen atom, or that gravity is optional.  It is simply a part of the created universe – something that can be discovered & studied, but never remade.  We didn’t make it; we cannot “remake” it.
  • God created marriage when God separated man and woman.  The very institution itself is intertwined with the two genders.  It’s interesting that in the overview of creation (given in Genesis 1) that the Bible says that “God created man in His own image…male and female He created them.” (Gen 1:27)  Male and Female each find their unique characteristics in the One Creator God, and He is the One that separated them from one another when He brought the Woman out of Man.  The whole idea is that they are complementary to each other, and specifically designed to be that way.
  • God created two in order that He might make one again.  The goal for the physical separation was spiritual unity.  Obviously there was a physical need for procreation, something which healthy marriages are uniquely equipped to handle.  But the reason they are equipped is because God makes two people ONE in marriage.  That was the whole point.  The spiritual unity between the complementary sexes gives glory to God. (And it truly is a work of God alone.)
  • In its original state, marriage was holy and innocent.  Adam & Eve were naked & unashamed.  Of course, from this point things went wrong.  Sin entered the world & it even affected marriage from the start as part of the curse (Gen 3:16).  But when God created it, He created it good & had a perfect intent for it. 

As good as it was, that wasn’t all God intended for it.  As much as God showed His goodness and grace by bringing man and woman into physical and spiritual union with one another, His ultimate intent for it was so much greater.  Paul picks up on this in the New Testament.  Ephesians 5:25–32, "(25) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, (26) that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, (27) that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. (28) So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. … (29) For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. (30) For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. (31) “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (32) This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church."

In the original context, Paul is writing of what the Spirit-filled life looks like in practical terms for the believer in Christ.  In regards to marriage relationship, God gave roles to husband and wife that help make for a unified, God-honoring marriage.  The man and woman are to each selflessly serve one another and to be unified in Christ.  But as Paul describes this, he writes of a greater marriage – the Marriage to which ALL marriages ultimately point: that between Jesus and the Church.

  • Jesus loves the Church & gave everything for us.
  • Jesus continues to love the Church & sanctifies us in the present day.
  • Jesus will always love the Church & glorify us in His presence for eternity.
  • The mystery of marriage is the revelation of what it means to be joined to Jesus for all time.

THAT is God’s ultimate intent for marriage!

And that is why any perversion of marriage (be it heterosexual or homosexual) is wrong.  The Church is not joined to the Church, as if a woman is married to a woman.  The Church does not join itself to multiple partners, as many people try to do in fornication.  The Church is not to defile itself, as many do through pornography.  ALL of that sin debases the ultimate intent of God for marriage.  And ultimately, that is why it is wrong.

Interestingly enough, although Jesus never dealt with the subject of homosexual marriage during His earthly ministry, there was a time that He was tested on the institution of marriage.  Different rabbis had taught different things regarding divorce, and the Pharisees tried to place Jesus in a situation where He would have to side with the whims of the culture (allowing any divorce for any reason), or potentially be labeled a legalist (for not allowing any divorce at all).  What did Jesus do?  He stuck to the Scripture, and showed how it was Man who was degrading marriage; not God.

Matthew 19:4–9, "(4) And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ (5) and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (6) So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”… (7) They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” (8) He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. (9) And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”"

There are certain things that might be permitted by the culture, but it doesn’t make them right.  God created marriage, but He didn’t create divorce.  That was something brought on by the hardness of men’s hearts.  The regulations God gave Moses in the Scripture only regulated divorce, primarily giving protection to women in a culture that normally afforded women little to no rights at all.  That said, Jesus stuck to the Scripture, and continued to point to the ideal.  What was it that God intended through marriage?  Man & Woman, spiritually unified, submitted to God & to one another for life.  God joined them, so man wasn’t to interfere & separate them.  (How similar to today!  God joins people in marriage, so we’re not to get in the way & start interfering with the plan and work of God.)

Question 3: What’s our response?
So if we understand what has taken place, and we can start to see why it all matters, with what God has to say about it all – it takes us to our third question: how to respond.  How should Christians respond to all that is going on around us?  Just in the past 24-48 hours, we’ve seen the gamut of responses.  Some get smug – some get defensive – some get angry, or fearful, or self-righteous.  Others (thankfully) remain humble and keep their trust in God.  But what do we do?

Primarily, I suggest the Bible overwhelmingly calls us to remember.  When God first brought the Hebrews into the Promised Land, He instructed them to pick up stones from the bottom of the Jordan riverbed in order that they would remember how God miraculously acted on their behalf by drying up the river (Joshua 4).  In our opening text, when Joshua called the people to make the choice to serve God, Joshua first reminded them of how God fought on their behalf and provided them their new home (Joshua 24:6-13).  After they made their covenant commitment to follow God, Joshua set up a large stone as a memorial witness, to remind the people of the commitment they made (Joshua 24:26-27).  Throughout the Psalms, David (and the other authors) continually remind people of the past work of God so that they would trust God for the present & the future.  Even in the New Testament, one of the primary ordinances given to the Church is the Lord’s Supper: an act of remembrance.  The Bible continually calls us to remember the work of God on our behalf, and to use that remembrance to walk in faith & trust in the present.

So what should we remember today?  5 things: our Ruler, our home, our enemy, our mission, and our promises.

First, we remember Who our Ruler is.  We do not serve the Supreme Court, nor the President, nor anyone else.  We serve the Lord Jesus Christ.  Our God is the Living God, He is the Creator God, and He has given all power and authority to Jesus when Jesus rose from the dead.  Not once in the past week has God stepped off of His throne.  Not once did God ever cease to be sovereign.  Not once did God ever change in His character, or did He change His decree.  Our God is still God.  He may be ignored by the culture for now, but one day He will not be ignored by anyone.  Philippians 2:10–11, "(10) that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, (11) and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  When the Bible says “every knee,” that’s exactly what it means.  Every person in all history will one day see Jesus in all of His glory as God, and they will not be able to help but to confess His Lordship.  (The glorious invitation of the gospel is that we are given the opportunity to confess Him NOW, and to live forever in His grace!)

Second, we remember where our home is. Hint: it’s not here.  We may be citizens of the United States of America, but our home cannot be found on this earth today.  We belong to the Kingdom of Heaven, and one day we will see it in all its fullness.  How important this is to remember!  We can get so caught up and attached to the things of this world – but remembering that we don’t belong here helps guard us from that trap.  When Peter wrote his 1st letter, he addressed it to the pilgrims/sojourners throughout modern-day western Asia (1 Peter 1:1).  They were “pilgrims” in the fact that they had likely left Rome to get there, but they were also pilgrims in the simple fact that they were believers in Christ.  Their home was somewhere else.  Jesus explicitly taught this to His disciples, just prior to His crucifixion.  John 15:18–19, "(18) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." Will we experience hatred & troubles in this world?  Yes, and we’re already seeing the first-fruits of it.  But Jesus told us to expect it, because we do not belong here.  We belong somewhere entirely better: heaven!

Third, we remember who our enemy is.  Hint: it’s not homosexuals.  It’s not the Supreme Court, nor the President, nor Congress, nor any other American or elected official with whom we disagree.  Our enemy is Satan, the devil.  Never forget we fight a spiritual war, and we fight it with spiritual means.  Ephesians 6:12–13, "(12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (13) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." We are to stand fast in our faith.  Make no mistake that we will be pressured to compromise, or to refrain from voicing certain truths of the Bible.  Ultimately that pressure will not come from men, but from the temptations of the devil.  And the way we wage war against him & his army is on our knees.  We seek the Lord in fervent prayer, we remain grounded in the gospel, we wield the Bible as the sword of the Spirit, fending off his futile attacks.  But remember we fight Satan, not our neighbors.  The moment we forget who our enemy is, is the moment we stop sharing the gospel with those who most need to hear it.

Fourth, we remember what our mission is: the gospel!  Jesus has sent us into all the world to share the message of salvation, and to help people become His disciples.  Matthew 28:19–20, "(19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  What does “all” mean in reference to “all nations”?  It means ALL…even our own.  It means every person from every corner of society, even (and perhaps especially) from the corners with which we disagree.  We share the gospel with heterosexuals because heterosexuals need to be saved.  We share the gospel with homosexuals because homosexuals need to be saved.  We share the gospel with racists because racists need to be saved.  We share the gospel with rich, poor, healthy, sick, African, Hispanic, Asian, Oceanic, Caucasian, whatever.  If a person is breathing, they need the gospel!

  • Keep in mind that it isn’t someone sexual preference that sends them to hell.  It isn’t someone’s political stance that sends them to hell.  What sends people to hell is rebellion against God & rejection of Jesus Christ as Lord.  The individual sins of a person are just symptoms of a greater disease: spiritual death brought on by a sinful nature.  And that disease is endemic to every single person on the planet.  The great news of the gospel is that Jesus heals this disease & gives life to ALL who trust Him.  Our lives are transformed as a result of the gospel; we don’t change our lives to try to earn the benefits of the gospel.  There’s a huge difference between the two!  Everyone CAN be saved; they just need someone to tell them HOW to be saved.  That’s our mission, and we dare not forget it.

Fifth (and finally), we remember what our promises are.  In this grand battle between God & the devil, there is no contest.  There is no question of the outcome.  Jesus wins & reigns forever, while Satan will eventually be cast into the lake of fire for eternity (Rev 20:10).  This is one reason he fights so hard today.  The victories he gains in this world will be the only victories he ever gains.  Ultimately, Jesus wins…and the devil knows it. 

Beyond that, the promise to us is that we will be with our Lord Jesus.  Remember that we are His Bride!  We will forever be with Him in a unique relationship that marriage can only approximate today.  He promised to come and take us home, and that is exactly what He will do.  John 14:1–3, "(1) “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. (2) In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."  For the disciples, they were not to be troubled that Jesus was headed to the cross.  After all, He would not stay there – He would rise again!  But even after the resurrection, Jesus promised to bring His disciples home.  That promise remains for every believer in Christ.  We do not need to let this world trouble us – our Savior is coming, and He will take us home.  We do not hang our heads in despair; we lift our eyes unto our Lord Jesus!

Conclusion:
So what does the Bible say about all of this?  DOES the Bible say anything about the Supreme Court’s institutionalization of same-sex marriage?  Yes.

  • The Bible tells us how we got to this point.  We are living in the last days, and we ought not be surprised.  There is no doubt that many will (and already have) abandon Christian foundations, but it only underscores the need for us to continue praying and sharing God’s love with the lost.
  • The Bible tells us why the issue matters.  Marriage was invented by God for His purposes.  He desired to make two complementary beings spiritually unified, and this ultimately illustrates what God will do in the relationship between Jesus and His Church.  Marriage (like many other things) is not about us; it’s about the glory of God.
  • The Bible tells us what we need to remember.  Our Ruler is our Jesus – our home is heaven – our enemy is the devil – our mission is the gospel – our promises are with Christ.  All of this remains unchanged.  Stay grounded in the truth, and keep looking to Jesus and His redemption.

The American Church now stands at a crossroads, with several options that can be taken.  (1) We can sit down in silence, submitting to the demands of our culture.  Surely that is the easiest path, and the one that most of our critics would prefer.  (2) We can react in-kind, using all of the vitriol that is thrown at us to throw back at them & use the Bible as a bully-pulpit, rather than as the balm of Gilead.  Or (3) we could stand fast in the word of God, looking unto Jesus as our only hope.  Too many Christians have hoped in false national saviors for too long; the Church’s only hope is Christ Jesus.

Choose this day who you will serve.  It be the critics, our flesh, or our God…but it cannot be all of them.  Choose Christ!  He is the Resurrected Lord God & He is true to His word.

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Comments
  1. April says:

    Exactly what I needed to read right now.

  2. timburns says:

    April – thanks for stopping by!

  3. John says:

    Thanks so much!

  4. timburns says:

    John – thanks for reading!

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