Our nation is undergoing a struggle concerning marriage. For whom is marriage appropriate? Who is it not? I have heard a number of questions about this debate. It seems everybody has their own ideas about what is right and what is wrong. I heard a national news figure say he had not heard a good defense of marriage as being strictly between one man and one woman. I really found that hard to believe. I know he will never see this, but just the same, I decided there may be others who feel that way, so I offer this explanation of marriage.
I think we have to stop and consider where marriage came from. It is obvious that marriage had its beginning with the first man and woman. Judaism and Christianity offer a very clear picture of its beginning in the Bible. Genesis says God made Adam from the dust of the ground and then, Eve from one of his ribs. These were the first people. After Adam received Eve he said in Genesis 2:23-24 ââThis is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called âwoman,â for she was taken out of man.â For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.â Marriage was instituted by God to be between one man and one woman. Christ confirms this concept in Matthew 19:4-6 ââHavenât you read,â he replied, âthat at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.ââ The disciples asked at this point why Moses allowed the Jews to divorce. Jesus answers in Matthew 19:8 âMoses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not that way from the beginning.â God created marriage to be between one man and one woman and it was to be for a life time.
What was the purpose of marriage? It was to bring the man and woman together into a close intimate relationship that showed the world a picture of the relationship people were to have with God (Ephesians 5:22-24). It was for the procreation of man. It gave the woman a place to fulfill her duty of bringing babies into the world without sin (Ephesians 5:25-28, I Timothy 2:15). Fornication, which is sex outside of marriage, is a sin (Ephesians 5:3). It was to develop the concept of family which is a heavenly concept. Unity with each other where mutual love and respect are nourished and grow (Ephesians 5:28-33).
Any attempt to make marriage broader than God designed will result in sinfulness. The debate today centers around homosexual marriage. What does the Scripture say about homosexuality? Leviticus 18:22 âYou shall not lie with a male as with a woman.â Romans 1:26-27 âFor this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men. Leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.â I Corinthians 6:9-10 âDo you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.â Can it be any clearer, homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, marriage cannot exist between two people involved in such sin. It does not properly picture the unity God established marriage to show. It cannot result in procreation, therefore cannot picture the concept of family God speaks of in the Bible.
If homosexual marriage is allowed, or legal unions that allow the same privileges, our nation will be judged and condemned by God. Marriage was instituted by God and given to mankind for the purpose of making life easier and showing men how to live with each other in harmony, as well as, pointing them to a closer relationship with him. If homosexual unions are allowed, that will open the door to polygamy, incest, pedophilia, and bestiality. There will be no stopping the perversions that destroy the human soul, and our children will be the ones who suffer the most. Christians must find their voice on this perversion and stop it before God brings the terrors of his wrath down on America.
The place of marriage in any society, as shown through the Scripture, is to be the foundation of that society. It is to give a moral foundation, as well as, a foundational unit upon which the society can rest and grow. If that unit is perverted and the moral nature of it weakened, then, the society will degrade and fall into a chaotic state in which every man will be drawn into doing what he sees as right in his own eyes. The design of this attack on marriage is to destroy the moral pillars of our society and bring us into another dark age that will bring back many of the terrors the world once endured, terrors God so graciously gave us relief from because we stood upon a moral foundation.
The gospel is a message about sin. Revelation 14:8 âA second angel followed and said, âFallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.ââ Babylon is the great city of men, built in rebellion against God and filled with every sin under heaven. The gospel speaks to this city of men. It gives a clear message, sin is unacceptable. Itâs a message about how men have fallen short of Godâs glory. It shows how they have rejected his standard for life. It says they have all become guilty, perverted and helplessly captive to sin. It declares their position as being under the wrath of God. It shows how men are continually caught in the trap of sin because it has become a part of their very nature. They are spiritually dead and have no ability or desire to overcome sin. It shows men what they look like in Godâs eyes and makes them think of themselves as God does. It leads men to a point of absolute despair and this is a very important step, because until you understand your need and inability before God, you will not appreciate what Jesus Christ has done to save your soul.
This brings up a point that requires careful study. There is not one person in this world that does not have things in their life that causes them shame. We all have problems with our conscience because of past bad acts. We have all fallen short of the standard given us by God. We have all disappointed ourselves and others by our behavior. Herein is the problem. There is a great danger in taking your evangelism and having it focus on a personâs past bad acts. In making them feel terrible, and then showing Christ as the one who can save them from these things in their past. While you ignore the essence of what salvation is about, their relationship with God. Why would this be a problem? Because the very idea the Bible raises about sin is its offensiveness to God. It is sin that disrupts a manâs relationship with God. If you donât understand your own sinfulness, as shown through the Law and Godâs holiness, then you canât understand the concept of sin. Please understand, sin is not a social concept, it is a theological concept. Yes, it is true that many sins can be against society, but sin is rebellion against God and not defined in terms of man or society. You canât know sin and its devastating results until you know sin in Godâs terms. You canât measure it until you know Godâs standard. You canât comprehend its devastation without knowing that God is your Creator and you owe to him your life.
You must recognize that a bad conscience in the natural man cannot be seen as conviction of sin. For a man to simply be distraught because his sins have caused him problems is not conviction. Even feeling miserable over your sins is not conviction. It wouldnât even be saving faith for a man so distressed to call out to Jesus to simply find relief from his torment. Christianity is never based on feelings. Itâs not preaching to present Jesus as a solution to your felt needs. Jesus is not here to make you happy or to satisfy you in your present lifestyle. He didnât come to simply bring you peace of mind or to console you in your failures. He didnât come to just be your friend. He didnât come to meet your every need. He is not your lucky rabbitâs foot. He is not your shaman with enchanted spells to save you from yourself. He is not some super-psychiatrist with a plan to keep you popular and make everything work for you. To be convicted of sin doesnât say you made a little mistake, it says you offended God. You flaunted his authority over your life. You defied him, rebelled against him and came under his wrath. To preach the gospel is to show Jesus as the only one who can, through his cross, set you right with God.
Now, please, donât misunderstand what I am saying. Jesus, the real Christ of the Scripture, does reveal himself to you as the Savior from sin. He is shown as your Advocate with God. He does bring with him peace, rest, and joy to his people. He gives moral strength and offers his friendship to all who follow him. Those who preach a Christ who offers only relief from the daily struggles of this life are preaching a false Christ. To offer people such a Christ gives no ground for a real salvation. You must be careful about those who preach that a bad conscience and a sense of despair over failure is equal to conviction of sin. True preaching shows all men as sinners, as those in rebellion against God, making it clear, the first and most important need of everyone is a restoration of their relationship with God. This is the message of the gospel: sin separates you from God and only the grace of Jesus Christ can bring you back to God. You have to come to him acknowledging your sin and your need of his work in your heart and life.
George Washington in his first address as President to the nation showed he understood it was virtue that would make our nation great. Political freedom cannot exist where there is no religious foundation. It is only Christianity that can give to a group of people the potent force needed to sustain that freedom.
Freedom is not the right to do whatever you want. That is anarchy. Freedom is the privilege to do whatever society allows within its rules. True freedom is doing what God created you to do, therefore, freedom in this world is following rules established from Godâs Word. The founders of our nation were men who saw the hope in this. They gave us a Constitution designed, not to limit the people but to limit the governmentâs power over the people. The founders understood that ultimately men are accountable to God not to government. Government is just a tool to maintain order, so the truth of the Gospel can be proclaimed. The idea of religious freedom in the Constitution is not freedom from religion but freedom to exercise religion.
That Constitution established capitalistic principles that declared every person was responsible for his own actions. Christianity readily accepted its role in this nation as the guardian of right and wrong. A person was free to make as much for himself as he could. However, he was expected to follow the rules in doing it. This became the engine that made our nation such a wonderful place to live. That has been proven, by the millions of people who have risked everything they had, including their lives, to reach our shores.
We have been a nation open to receiving people from across the world. Emma Lazarus in her poem on a plaque in the Statue of Liberty says it so well. âGive me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamb beside the golden door.â All we have asked of them in return is they accept the principles by which we have been allowed to offer them such hope. To stand fast on the principles of honor, trust and care for their neighbors. Leave the garbage that destroyed their hope of happiness in their former nations behind and embrace a new way of life.
What has made America great is her people and their commitment to following godly principles. Living righteous lives is a true American hallmark of greatness. The religious freedom our Constitution guards for us is a beacon shining across this world.
The great danger we face today is the failure that far to many donât understand this. Our world is being turned upside down by those who have completely abandoned the very thing that has made us a great nation.
What can we do to regain that greatness? The greatness Iâm talking about is the privilege of being the one who has the right to live your life as you see fit. Political correctness has destroyed that idea and continues to drag us into a dark abyss of confusion. Failure by churches to preach the truth of Godâs Word and confront sin without apology has left us without virtue. We must turn back and take the admonition of George Washington to heart and seek out the virtue that can come to us only through faithful study of Godâs Word. There, and there only, will we find the greatness we once showed to the world.
A Godly Wife and Mother is a Divine Gift Proverbs 31:28-31 I was not so blessed as to have known my mother, for she died when I was but a year old. I had many aunts, my mother was one of 12 and only one boy in the mix. My Father had one sister.
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The Bible declares God to be sovereign. That means he alone is responsible for the governing of this world. Everything you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell comes from the creative power of God. God made all things and all out of nothing. The...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Thomas Jefferson in laying out the reasons for the American Revolution said, âCan the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?â