Our legislators, our justices, our political leaders, our governmental officials have done just what Jesus said not to do. They separate men from women in the institution of marriage and redefine it according to their own desires. The changes in our culture have come at a dizzying pace. What was unthinkable not long ago has become normal today.
And that's been especially true when it comes to homosexuality. Starting today, Pastor Don Green begins a series titled, The Bible and Pride Month, here on The Truth Pulpit. Don will show you what the Bible has to say on the subject. Hi, I'm Bill Wright.
And Don, what prompted you to embark on this particular series? Well, Bill, I'm very concerned for the people of God, that they understand and have an opportunity to know what the Bible actually says about homosexuality. The voice of Scripture has been silenced in our culture. And I want to be able to bring this to bear for the people of God so that they can know what Scripture says. Why is homosexuality wrong? And I want to help people see that how it has been misportrayed in the media, and then give them hope about what the future of the church is in light of these changes in our culture. Well, let's get right to it as we join Don Green now, teaching God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit. The approval of homosexuality in our society and ever more inside the walls of the professing church is undeniable. It's tragic, but we can deal with that.
Open homosexuals are found in every level of government, in every level of entertainment, and are becoming increasingly noticed and honored even in the sports world. You cannot escape it. For a long period of time early in my ministry, I didn't want to really have to address this issue head on, because you realize that we're talking about a subject that is dark, and there was a reluctance that I had to introduce something that maybe otherwise wouldn't come to the minds of people. And you would prefer to talk about that which is good and pure and noble, and in conformity with God's Word.
You would prefer to focus on that which is pure and lovely as a teacher. But the unfolding of events makes it so the man of God cannot avoid this issue any longer. It must be addressed, we must speak about it, and we must bring the Word of God to bear on rebel thinking so that it is challenged, so that it is refuted, so that the people of God are strong to deal with it.
The thing that we need to say about it is this. The fact that the world openly embraces this and affirms it and is opposed to us, and you start to worry of the people who try to stop you from speaking about it in the name of not being judgmental, we have to understand this, and we have to get beyond that superficial tripe that sometimes animates people's thinking. We cannot adopt the thinking of the world.
We are not at liberty to think like the world thinks. 1 John 4 verse 1 tells us, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. That's 1 John 4.1. Scripture, which we accept as our authority, tells us, commands us, be discerning. Test the spirits.
And so we step back with that general principle in mind, and we say, okay, the spirit of the world is affirming homosexuality in great open ways. Our question is then, okay, let me test that spirit by God's word. Let me judge whether that is true or not.
Let me judge whether that is right or not. As Christians, we say, I want to think rightly about this issue because there's something greater at stake than just this issue. The thing that is greater that is at stake is that my mind must be conformed to the mind of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I must think like he does. God saved me in order to conform me to the image of Christ and the thinking of Christ, and therefore it is my responsibility as a Christian to be conformed to the way that Christ thinks and the way that Christ thinks is revealed in the Bible. And so we say, alright, if this is the spirit of our age, then we're going to engage it. We're not going to shrink back from it as if we're intimidated or that we're ashamed of the gospel or we're ashamed of what the Bible says.
No, no, no, no. We will never be ashamed of this word which reveals Christ to us. We will never be ashamed of the word which is the water of life to us. And so we will gladly see what God's word says. We'll gladly stand on God's word in face of the spirit of the age.
We'll gladly stand alone if we have to. As Luther says, our conscience is taken captive by the word of God. And we will not surrender our conscience to the thinking of the spirit of the age.
So, we say, what does the Bible say about it? Now, let me say something very important to you. Write this down, even if you're not taking notes. This is very, very important for you to understand. This is pivotal.
This is the crucible of the conflict of our age. We evaluate homosexuality in light of God's word. We do not judge scripture by public opinion on homosexuality.
Let me say that again. Everything hinges on that simple point. We evaluate homosexuality in light of God's word. We do not evaluate scripture by public opinion on homosexuality. If scripture declares homosexuality to be wrong, then it is wrong. The river does not flow the opposite direction where public opinion says homosexuality is right and therefore scripture is wrong. This is so fundamental, everything hinges on that one point. God's word, homosexuality.
One is the standard, the other is not. What the public thinks, what the spirit of the age is, is subject to the authority of God's word. And we realize, as we say that, we realize that we are declaring an all-out war on the mind of men who are unregenerate. We realize that.
We embrace that. We call them to bend their mind and submit their knee to the authority of scripture because God's word is authoritative and men do not have the prerogative to think contrary to God's word without incurring judgment on themselves. So our duty is discernment in light of the authority of the Bible.
Now let me help you and strengthen you just a bit more on this point. Turn over to 2 Peter chapter 2. 2 Peter chapter 2. I want to just call your attention to the first three verses of this letter, recognizing that the prominent voices in so-called evangelical Christianity are ever more going to be pushing the church in the direction of accepting homosexuality and silencing the voice of scripture on this issue.
Here's what we have to say about them. And here's that which strengthens us against that spirit even within the church. We recognize what the Bible says. 2 Peter chapter 2 verses 1 through 3. False prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. False teachers bringing destruction upon themselves. Beloved, watch what the passage goes on to say to people like you and me as a result. It says many will follow their sensuality, and because of them, the way of the truth will be maligned. Be on guard, in other words, that as these false teachers introduce that which is contrary to scripture, that there will be a swarm of people going after them, wanting to follow after them in the spirit of the age and in the spirit of the false teaching which they are hearing. Scripture makes it clear that men have itching ears and will gather teachers around themselves in accordance with their own desires.
And many will be like that. And what do the false teachers do in verse 3? In their greed, they will exploit you with false words. Their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. And so we realize, in light of the authority of the Bible, in light of our duty of discernment, we realize that there are going to be false teachers who make the matter of discernment difficult for us. They confuse matters.
They flatter us. They appeal to our senses of wanting popularity and those kinds of things in a way that is designed to entice us away from following after the truth. Our only protection against that is to know the Word of God. And so, to come back to our question, why is homosexuality wrong? Why is it sinful? Well, we can only understand homosexuality in one sense, in a limited sense for this session. We understand homosexuality in light of God's design for marriage. The reason that marriage was a battleground and the reason that it will always be the battleground, whether the issue is homosexuality or incest or polygamy or whatever the case may be, the issue is always going to come back to one simple theme in terms of what God designed and established marriage to be and where God appointed sexual expression to take place. And the exclusivity of what God has said is that which is the point at which this whole matter is settled. Once you abandon the biblical principle of marriage, you have utterly lost the argument. And historians, I am confident, will and church historians will look back on this age 50, 100 years from now and see that when the church and when the public arena silenced the Bible on this issue, it was inevitable that the whole argument would be completely lost. Because when you abandon Scripture as the authority, the only thing that you are left with is what a man's opinion is.
And when it's simply about men's opinion, then competing opinions can never come to a final resolution of truth. And so, for us, and while some of what I have to say in this session is going to seem very simple and basic, what I want you to see in a very profound way is that what we are seeing here in this session is that which defines the issue and it's because the church lost clarity, lost commitment to this point, and that this principle was sacrificed that ultimately the argument was lost. But God's word hasn't changed and what Scripture has to say about this hasn't changed, and therefore the whole situation in one sense is completely unchanged. Marriage is still between one man and one woman, homosexuality is still wrong as a result, and there's nothing left to be said. But, as Christians, we need to understand our own position before we evaluate the nature of homosexuality.
So let's look at our own position. Let's look at what the Bible says about marriage. And let me give you a definition that would no longer pass constitutional scrutiny, apparently, in the United States, but I don't care about that. Our authority is the Bible, remember? Not the Constitution, not what the Supreme Court says. Our authority and our loyalty belongs to God's word. What does God's word say? Marriage. Here's a definition for you. Marriage is that God-ordained institution in which a man and woman covenant with one another to live as husband and wife in an exclusive, monogamous relationship for the remainder of their earthly lives together. I'll say that again. Marriage is that God-ordained institution in which a man and woman covenant with one another to live as husband and wife in an exclusive, monogamous relationship for the remainder of their earthly lives together.
Now, let's back up for a moment. For a long time, even in my lifetime, for a long time it was sufficient to answer any thoughts about homosexuality by appealing to a couple of verses in Leviticus, maybe in Romans chapter 1. And because there was a more prevalent deference to Scripture at the time, that was enough to settle the argument. Now, however, now that those verses themselves are under attack and misinterpretation, we need to step back and realize that those individual verses of which you know occur in a greater context, a greater biblical and theological context, which informs why they condemn homosexuality.
There's a bigger context than simply a couple of random verses being thrown out. There's a whole worldview that is engaged in this, and marriage is part of that. And so what I want to do here in the rest of our time here in this session is to simply give you four major points about God's plan for marriage. And as we understand this perspective on marriage, and as this starts to become settled in our mind, then the problem with homosexuality becomes evident from the beginning.
And this is so crucial to the way that you should think. We start our thinking with God's Word rather than that which the world would have us to think. We start with what God's Word says, and then we look and examine at what the world says and what the world is doing, and then we say, aha, I see here, here, and here why this is wrong, and it has, that goes far beyond what any one or two individual Bible passages say. For us as Christians, those one or two Bible passages silence the issue. They settle the matter for us. But what we have to see is how do we engage the thinking, the philosophies that are informing the opposition to what we believe.
Those who don't accept the authority of those two passages, well, we start further back with a broader biblical picture, and that begins to shape the way that we respond. And so four major points about God's plan for marriage. I'm gonna have very little to say about homosexuality in the rest of this session. First of all, what do we say about marriage? First of all, marriage is a permanent union.
It is a permanent union. And God designed marriage to be a bond, a lifetime bond between a man and a woman, and He established that pattern at creation. The pattern for marriage, the institution of marriage, is established and woven into God's entire design for creation. Go back to Genesis chapter 2. Genesis chapter 2, and we gladly realize that we are repeating fundamentals as we engage this material here today. Genesis chapter 2 verse 18, God, and we're kind of picking up the creation story midstream here, God had created the world and He had placed a solitary man within it named Adam. And in verse 18, chapter 2 verse 18, look at what God said. The Lord God said, chapter 2 verse 18, He said, it is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make him a helper suitable for him. God saw man in his creation, in this perfect creation, and says it's not good for him to be alone here. Remembering that God of His own initiative and by His own power and prerogative, without consulting anyone established creation so that it would please Him. He established creation, He put man in it, and He is continually, in the first two chapters of Genesis, continually exercising His prerogative as deity to make creation what He wants it to be. It pleased God to put a man in creation. And in His generous kindness and consideration of man, He looked at that man alone and said, you know, that's not good. He said, I will remedy this situation in a way that pleases me.
I will make the helper for this man in a way that is suitable for him. And you know what He did. Look down at verse 21. The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man. So man had nothing to do with what transpired after that.
And he slept, the man slept. And then God took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which he had taken from the man and brought her to the man. Verse 23. The man 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. And look at this in verse 24. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.
And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. And so God in his prerogative as creator said, here is how we will deal with the isolation of man. I will create a human companion to him who is like him but different from him. Who comes from him and yet is distinct from him. That will complement him and supply that which is missing to him.
That pleases me. In a manner of speaking, God said. And that is what he established. And with a man and a woman, one gender and a different gender put together, God says, this is why men will leave their parents and join together and become one flesh. There was the establishment and the ordination of the institution of marriage by God's design, by God's authority according to his good pleasure. One man, one woman, God said, this is good. Turn over to Matthew chapter 19. Our Lord Jesus Christ affirmed the pattern of Genesis as being the abiding standard for men and women in marriage in the New Testament. Matthew chapter 19 is a critical passage on this. And when asked about the institution of divorce, Jesus appealed to the creation ordinance of marriage as being the grounds for his answer.
Look at what he said. In verse 3, the Pharisees came to Jesus, testing him and asking, is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all? Jesus answered and said, have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female? 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. So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.
Oh, the authority with which Christ spoke and how it applies directly to our situation today is frightening. Jesus, who is God incarnate himself, refers back to creation and says God established marriage in the context of a question about divorce. He said, let's go back to marriage. And so you see the pattern for what we're doing here. When a question about marriage comes up, we go back to Scripture. We go all the way back to Genesis and we review what God has done. Because there were ignorant, rebellious people in Jesus' day combating God's institution of marriage, Jesus took them in their ignorance and rebellion and went back to Scripture. That's all that we're doing here today. We're following the pattern of the Lord.
Notice what he did. As he speaks about marriage, he says there in verse 4, male and female, this is what God has joined together. The two shall become one flesh. This is what marriage is. And notice what he says.
This frightens me honestly to read it. Jesus, speaking as God, says, let no man separate this. Our legislators, our justices, our political leaders, our governmental officials have done just what Jesus said not to do. They separate men from women in the institution of marriage and redefine it according to their own desires. That is an illegitimate use of political power. It is an illegitimate use of authority because the highest authority, our Lord Jesus Christ, said, no one shall separate this. And now, here we are. You know what?
This can't come out good. Knowing what marriage is and how it was actually ordained by our Heavenly Father is prerequisite to knowing what it's not. Pastor Don Green has given you the first of four major points concerning true biblical marriage. He'll have the final three points for us next time on The Truth Pulpit, so do join us then.
But now, here's Don in studio with a closing word for today. Well, my friend, thank you for being with us today on The Truth Pulpit. You know, our biblical voice on these ethical matters is an increasingly minority opinion in culture today, but I'm encouraged nonetheless. It may surprise you to know that our ministry reaches nearly all 50 states and over 40 countries on a consistent monthly basis, and so God's Word is having an impact, and He will never allow it to return void. You know, friend, would you consider supporting our broadcast to enable these podcasts and airing over local radio stations to continue as we minister God's Word? You can find the ability to give on our website, thetruthpulpit.com. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Thank you so much, and God bless you. There you can also find a link to Don's Facebook page. That's thetruthpulpit.com. Now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright. See you again next time as we bring God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-01 05:04:25 / 2023-06-01 05:12:53 / 8