Monday, May 30, 2011

Same Sex Marriage - Part One

   I was reading a recent Gallup poll that reports for the first time a majority of Americans think same sex marriage is acceptable.  The report said, “For the first time in Gallup's tracking of the issue, a majority of Americans (53%) believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.  The increase since last year came exclusively among political independents and Democrats. Republicans' views did not change.”  If you want to read the article for yourself you can find it at,
   I will give more than one post to this issue for there are several things we need to consider concerning what is called same sex marriage.  This first post will deal with the institution of marriage and how true marriage relates to the idea of same sex marriage.  The first question we might want to consider is where did the social practice of marriage come from?  Did some long ago generation just decide one day that it would be a good idea to pair up for life?  Did some long ago civilization invent marriage and the following generations just thought it was a good idea so they followed along?  The answer is marriage is a God given, God ordained institution.  Marriage was not created by man, it was given to man by God for man’s benefit.  Let’s consider for a moment God’s revelation of where marriage came from.  When we go to the Bible, Genesis 2.18, we find one of the reasons God created us as male and female.  God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2.18b).  God stated clearly here that it was not good for Adam to be alone.  God created the woman, Eve, to be a “help meet” for him (King James version).  The literal rendering means a helper suitable for him.  God made a women who was the perfect complement of Adam, a man.  The two of them were made fully complete as man and women for the purposes for which God created them.  May we all agree that had there been two men or two women in the beginning, they would not have been the perfect compliment for one another and none of us would be here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Four Freedoms We Have In Christ

One – Freedom from the bondage of sin.  The apostle Paul said, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Romans 6.22).  Before we were saved we were the servants of sin.  The sinful desires of our fallen humanity dominated our lives in thought, word, and deed.  But when by faith we confessed our sin and asked God to forgive us, we were born again spiritually and set free from the dominion of sin.  In Jesus we no longer have to serve sin.  Sin is no longer the master of my life, Jesus is now my Lord.

Two – Freedom from the eternal penalty of sin.  Paul said in the same verse that we are set free from sin to serve Jesus which in the end brings everlasting life.  The service to Jesus does not bring everlasting life, it is the relationship with Him by faith that brings everlasting life.  At the moment I trusted Jesus by faith as my personal Lord and Savior, He forgave my sin and gave me His righteousness.  He removed my sin guilt and replaced it with His perfect holiness.  The reality of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is that we have passed from death unto life (see John 5.24).  The man or women who dies in their sin will have to pay for their sin eternally in a place of punishment called the eternal lake of fire.  But for those who respond to God’s loving offer of grace by confessing their sin, repenting of their sin, and asking Jesus to forgive their sin, they receive eternal life to be realized in a place called heaven.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Can We Really Name It And Claim It In Prayer?

            One of the things I like to do is listen to preaching.  I guess it’s kind of like a baseball player who likes to watch baseball.  I am a preacher who likes to listen to preaching.  Sometimes when I’m listening to the radio, T.V., or internet I hear something said by a preacher that grabs my attention.  It either grabs my attention because it is a tremendous blessing or it grabs my attention because it is wrong.  Such is the latter case concerning a recent message I heard from a preacher on T.V. 
            This particular preacher was talking about prayer and the power of prayer.  Then he began to make statements of a nature that insinuated God has promised to give us whatever we ask for.  Verses of support for this position include Matthew 21.22 where Jesus said, “And all things, whatsoever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  This is one of those favorite verses for the “name and claim it” preachers.  The reasoning goes something like this, if I have enough faith (believing), then God will do whatever I ask Him.  That interpretation usually fleshes out into things like God will always heal the sick if we have enough faith when we pray or God will always deliver me from difficulty if I have enough faith when I pray.  If a person prays and God does not give them what they asked for, they automatically assume they did not have enough faith.  Is that really what the Bible teaches?  The answer is no.  Let’s consider this verse with a little dose of reality based on the preponderance of scripture.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Do People Come To Your Church?

     Why do the people who attend your church come there?  What moves them to get up on Sunday morning and drive to and participate in the service at your particular church?  The truth is, the people who attend your place of worship probably drove past another to get to yours.  So what is so special to them about your church?  As the pastor of a church I planted some eleven years ago, that question was one I had to deal with early on.  If I start a church in a area that needs an evangelical church, what will make them want to come and worship here?  There are many reasons a person might select to attend one church over another, but let me give you five that I have observed over the years. 
     The first reason has to do with distance from their home.  Some people select a church because it is near where they live.  I pastor a church in the middle of a planned community.  Many of the visitors who come through our doors tell us they gave the church a try because they drove by and saw the sign.    The nearness factor is good for a percentage of growth and no doubt some will continue to attend because we are a church they associate with as part of their community.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Absolute Truth

There are two predominate world views in society today.  There is the world view of Christianity which holds to the biblical God-given view that there is absolute truth in life.  The other is Secular Humanism which holds that all of life is relative and situational which means there are no absolutes.  Let’s follow out these two world views in a very general sense and see there they lead us?
     Christianity is based on the overwhelming evidence of a God who created all that exists.  There are two kinds of revelation from God and both prove conclusively that He exists.  First there is what is called general revelation.  This is the revelation that comes primarily through creation.  The apostle Paul said, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1.19-20) KJV.  We understand by the things that are made, the creation around us, that there is a God.  The detail and intricate nature of life is scientifically beyond random chance, which is the unsubstantiated position of evolution.  Notice the apostle Paul said all men are without excuse before God by General revelation alone.