Monthly Archives: July 2015

Today, you will be with me…

Almost two months ago, I received a call from Kirkland, Wash. from a sister in Christ whose stepson had left home many years back, almost 5 decades ago. “He lives in Bastrop” she told me and he is not doing well health-wise. He is open to studying from God’s Word finally, “Can you go see him?”

So I went. I called first and then went to visit. Derald was very nice and receptive. He told me about his health problems and we talked about his spiritual needs. He had left attending church services when he left home at 16 AND furthermore, he had never obeyed the Gospel. He told me that his step mother had been the only one who never gave up on him and continued to pray for him.

Derald’s life was not the best. I imagine I don’t know half of the choices in made in his 50 years away from church services. I know some of the things but they don’t matter now.  None of what he had done was so bad that the Blood of Jesus would not be able cleanse it from Derald’s soul.

The arm of the Lord is not so short that it cannot save!

Some of you saw the baptism of Derald on our Facebook page (Lost Pines church of Christ). Derald humbly obeyed the Gospel and was baptized into Christ for the remission of sins 28 days ago. Today, he went to his reward.

Even though he was not in the Kingdom of Christ for very long, the reward is not based on works but upon faith….faith which he had and demonstrated for the few weeks he was upon this earth after being baptized.

Lessons to be learned in this are easy to find. Never stop praying. Never worry about imposing on a brother in Christ if a loved one is able to be reached by them. Never delay to go when someone is brought to your attention. Never grow weary of doing good.

I thank God that Derald was receptive, I thank God that Dianne called me, I thank God that we had the opportunity to teach him although it should be noted that the teaching took place many years ago while he was still at home. I said very little, I did very little. Some people plant, some people water, God gives the increase.

I am filled with sorrow mixed with joy today!

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A Biblical response to the Supreme Court decision

So last Sunday, I spoke on the Supreme Court decision that, in so many words, says that it is ok for same sex couples to marry. Actually, it wasn’t so much that decision as it was a discourse on how Christians should react to such a decision from a Biblical perspective.

You can listen to the sermon (Listen here), but below is a brief synopsis of the lesson.

We are supposed to follow the laws of the land and honor the ruling powers. This is evident from passages like Romans 13:1-2 and 1 peter 2:17. So when a decision like the Supreme Court’s comes down, we might be tempted to ask “What do we do now?”

First, we should realize that “There is a God” and “we are not Him.” This is based on the fact that God created the world and so God gets to set the standards for right and wrong. -Gen 1:1.

Additionally, we need to realize the Bible is authoritative for us. According to 2 tim 3:16-17, the Scriptures are sufficient for us to be trained and instructed into every good work.  The Authority of the Bible rests in the Authority of Jesus. Mt 28:18

When many people “speak for God”, they often use their own opinion but we should be using the Bible. We should speak as God speaks, after all, if he sets the rules, we shouldn’t try to change or modify them…just repeat them. 1 Peter 4:11.

Christians will rely on the Scriptures and not add to their faith, creed books, council edicts, or traditions of men. Man’s tradition tends to get elevated to the point were it can actually break God’s law- Mark 7:6-9

The idea of being subject to God’s words is not just for the Christian. Even Jesus, prior to His death and resurrection, only taught what God told Him to teach. The Holy Spirit was sent to the Apostles and He, too, only taught what He was told to teach. (John 8:28; 12:49;16:13)

The difficulty with the Supreme Court’s decision is that while we are to honor the laws of the land, this particular law says something contrary to what God has said. How then are we to act?

Fortunately, we learn from Daniel, among others, how we are to respond. In Daniel 6, we learn of a time when Daniel was tested by a law made which said that it was unlawful to pray to anyone except the king. Daniel, even after he knew that the command had been made, went home and prayed to God as he had always done.

His conviction was like Peter’s conviction: We must serve God rather than man. Acts 4:19

So what does this show us?

We now have the Supreme Court saying that it is moral and right for same sex couples to marry. We have God’s word saying that Homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I cor 6:9-10

The answer to how Christians are to act is to simply proclaim the Word of God.  Look at the verses mentioned:

1Co 6:9-11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, (10) nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

There are a couple of very obvious points that need to be made. Yes, the Scripture does say that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the Kingdom. However, before you cast the stone at them (if you were inclined to cast a stone), do not forget about the sexually immoral or the adulterers!

Many Christians will be upset of the sin of homosexuality (and it is a sin) but turn a blind eye to the heterosexual sins of unmarried persons. This is not consistent. If you grimace when a TV show shows Homosexual lifestyle you should grimace when you see unmarried couples engaging in an immoral lifestyle. Sin is Sin.

Of course, we could talk about the thieves, murderers, and we should talk about them too!

We need to show love to the individual who is a sinner, and that includes us all, whether homosexual or heterosexual.

Love then is shown when you tell a sinner what God’s word says. It clearly does condemn sexual immorality. Those that practice it will not inherit God’s kingdom.

Love is also shown when you season your words not with hate but salt. (Col 4:5-6) There is a time for fire and brimstone but it is not all the time.

Homosexuality is a sin. Adultery is a sin. Fornication is a sin. As a preacher of God’s word, I do not show love if I do not say what God’s word says. God’s desire, and therefore, my desire is that all will be saved. How will they be saved if they do not hear and how will they hear if no one tells them?

Finally, one should never assume that Homosexuals or any other sinner will not change. Verse 11 is such a contrast to the list of sins and consequence of them. It says very clearly that the Corinthian Christians once WERE involved in the very sins that will prevent one from getting into the Kingdom of God. WERE! Past tense! They ceased which ever activity or activities that they were doing and repented.

The Biblical response to the Supreme Court’s decision is to simply preach what God says: With no hate, no animosity, no defensiveness but only love. Most will not listen, some will even persecute but we will show God’s love if we call people, all people to repent and to trust in Him.

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