Saturday, March 16, 2013

What Did Jesus Say About Marriage?

Never in the history of mankind has marriage been outside the realm of one man and one woman. The issue of marriage was already settled in the Old Testament account of Creation. This issue never ensued as a topic in Gospels and therefore Jesus never address the marriage issue as being challenged today. However, Jesus did verified in the New Testament what God stated in the Old Testament. The following passage contains all the information necessary to clarify and verify how God stands on this issue.

Genesis 1:27-28 reveals how God created man in His own image, male and female He created them and told them to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.

Genesis 2:24 expounds how God made the woman from Adam's rib and records how God joined them in the marriage ceremony,  "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Jesus reinforces the Genesis 2:24 account with clarification in Matthew 19:4 and Mark 10:6 by stating that "from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female, and for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh." Without this structure for marriage they could not obey God's command to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth.

There can be no misinterpretation of the design God proposed for marriage from the beginning seeing that particular stance was never changed in any other place in the Bible. However, as with many laws of God, man chooses to change them to fit his own agenda even if it means denying God Word.

Within all this we can find that the Christian is manifested in contrast to the world. Jesus made the remark that if they hated Me, they will hate you also and He further declared  that the elect shall not be deceived by those things of which man attempts by twisting the Word of God around to fit his own purpose and lusts. 1 John 3:9-10 expounds: "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin (transgression of the law - verse 4); and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

One side note to all this is that the Bible (1 Timothy 4:3) also predicts in the latter times they will forbid to marry. As things stand today, we see hints of doing away with marriage altogether. Along with that possiblity also comes the probability of those views spilling over into polygamy, child marriage and other deviant practices. Jesus told us of a time that would exceed the wickedness of Noah's day. Could those days be rapidly approaching?

In conclusion, Ephesians 6:12 reminds us that: "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Once we realize who is behind the wickedness of this world, we can understand that God knows we are but flesh. We all have sinned and have all fallen short of the glory of God. And while you have heard it said that God hates the sin, but loves the sinner, the Bible verifies that statement with a Scripture in Romans, "that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" and through Him is eternal life obtained. Jesus does not condemn us, but as He said when on the cross, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." God loves us and forgives us, but we must be willing to accept that forgiveness and the salvation provided through His Son Jesus. Invite Him into you life to become your Lord and Savior today. Only when we do our part, will God do His part. He will not override your free-will.

*************************************************************************************

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Should it Profit a Man?

 A virtue so central to Christianity's core values is enclosed within (1 Corinthians 13).
  • 1 Cor. 13:1) "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become  as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."
  • 1 Cor. 13:2) "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."
  • 1 Cor. 13:3) "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
Before the Lord ascended into heaven, He left us with the Great Commission to go forth and teach all nations about the mighty salvation, which He has provided for the world. An important truth emerges within verses 1-3 above regarding how to approach evangelizing.

(Verse 1) signifies that no matter how faithful our witness appears or how gracious our words may sound, if we have self-gratifying purposes without a motive out of pure love - the words we speak are merely as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.

(Verse 2) - If we have the gift of prophecy so we know the beginning to the end and understand every mystery God has kept from us these many years, and understand everything in the Bible from cover to cover, and faith to move every mountain we encounter, everything is meaningless if we do not have love.

(Verse 3) - If we give to charity or to the poor $50, $1000, $10,000, or every ounce of our possessions; it profits us nothing if not given out of love.

The Bible declares that men will become more wicked and vile in these last days, and the love of many will wax cold. However, a Christian is not of the world and Jesus is the lesson we learn in these three verses. He set the example for us to follow. Everything He did was out of love and fully forgiving what we have done in our lives, by dying in our place and paying our penalty. If we are to bear any fruit by carrying out the Great Commission as He commanded, love must be our foremost concern. Without love, even for our enemies, we are become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. As noted in the very last verse in 1 Corinthians 13 - "Now abideth these: faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love." 1 Peter 4:8 reports that "Love covers a multitude of sins." Make it first and foremost in your witness endeavors and, may God bless your efforts.