A man can truly know more about tomorrow by reading the scriptures than anyone can know about today reading the papers. All things warned about, are coming about, and while the fulfilling of scriptures is sweet to the eyes, it is bitter to the heart. The homosexual revolution described in the first chapter of Romans is happening before our eyes in the latest chapter of Americans. What was once recognized as sin, is now celebrated, and being paraded around like a grand triumph of the human spirit. Like a social teeter-totter as one “movement” goes up, the opposing “movement” appears to be going down.
It seems to be a great day for the Social Engineers and the lame stream media right now. One professional athlete receives high praise for being gay, and a professional Christian athlete provides great joy for being fired. As Jason Collins was glorified for being a homosexual, Tim Tebow an outspoken Christian, provided almost as much joy to the social sports nation because he was fired. Right now it is hard to determine what the social sports world is more happy about.
Jason Collins an NBA Basketball player has announced to the world that he is gay, and by the response of the media one would think he has single handedly paid off the national debt, saved the whales, cured cancer, and vanquished conservatives henceforth and forever more. I do not know Jason Collins, and have no ill will towards him. Nor do I think he should be “discriminated against” in his profession. Whether he plays basketball or not is up to the talent evaluation of the coaches. His homosexuality has nothing whatsoever to do with his profession, and he should not be rejected because of it, in the same sense that we do not discriminate against adulterers, idolators, and heretics. However the whole affair has nothing to do with sports, and has everything to do with marginalizing and nullifying the influence of the Word of God in a culture that is ripe with hatred for truth and righteousness.
Chris Broussard, on the other hand, is an ESPN NBA analyst who is a Christian with Biblical convictions, and the courage to say so on the air. With much dignity, courtesy, class, and respect he clarified the Biblical position not only on homosexuality, but on heterosexuality and all forms of sin. Of course, his comments were immediately labeled as “controversial” and no doubt by some mean, ignorant, and ill-informed. To add to the day of media frenzy, outspoken Christian Tim Tebow was released by his football team, and there seemed to be a giddiness among the media about him finally being out of the league. (at least for now.)
I have no doubt that this is the first flame of a firestorm that will come. Not because of the sense of movement in the culture, but because of the revelation of the scriptures. I readily admit that there are some people who see Christian persecution behind every blade of grass. While sensationalizing, aggrandizing, and the exaggerating of Christian harassment does happen, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the truth is this culture is formally embracing their nature, and increasingly do not want us here. The culture does in fact seem to have a sign on the front door, “job opening – Christians need not apply.”
The battle for the dictionary is raging. The demand to define us, marginalize us, and silence us, is rising. As Adrian Rogers used to say, “The only sin in this country is to call sin, sin.” It is ironic that one of the accusations some have made toward Chris Broussard is that he is “ill-informed” or not “enlightened.” The reality is that it is those people who are truly ill-informed about Christianity and about the Word of God, because it is the polar opposite of the world’s message. The world has been deceived into believing the message, “embrace yourself” and “be who you are.” The Biblical message is “be born again, who and what you are is the problem.” What the world says embrace, the Bible calls us to flee. Where society says to rejoice, the Bible says to repent! What the world Praises, God judges. Man as he is born, is completely unacceptable to the God of Creation, because of his sin nature, or even more easily understood his human nature. This is what means to “fall short of the glory of God.” Man is not naturally what he was created to be, as a race of creatures he became corrupted by sin, and the Lord has been calling Him out of that ever since.
If I could speak openly to the nation and have a voice that would be heard. As gently as I could, but as firmly as I could, I would say with both feet planted firm, “Homosexuality is a sin, – and it is not “hatred or bigotry” to say so. We are not wrong for believing such, and we who name the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, will not now, nor will we ever “accept it” as praiseworthy and normal. As long as we have breath in our lungs, and blood in our veins, we will ever be preaching the Word of God, and calling all sin, sin, whether it be a sexual sin, a social sin, or a doctrinal sin. Under the authority of the Word of God, we will always be calling all men to repent of their sin, and come to Jesus Christ in faith. I’ve never met a man yet who Jesus wouldn’t save, change, and guide that truly trusted Him. Preaching, and teaching anything else is not a change worth making.
Occasionally, the Lord brings people into your life that he intends to be a lasting presence. They are the ones who He uses to help conform you to the image of His Son. I cannot count, or name all of the men and women that the Lord has used to chisel me thus far, into whatever it is He is making of me. The fact is that I do not know them all, because I could never discern them all. However there are some I know, and some I name, and one of those men is worthy of remembrance and say so. I had the high honor of getting to work side by side with Alan Wayne Harper for a very short 4 and a half years. I knew him before we worked together, grew to love him more when we worked together, and have grown to understand and cherish him more since we worked together. Above all things, Wayne Harper was a man of God who loved the Lord Jesus Christ. He would be the first to say he was flawed, but the longer I go and the more I remember, I would be the first to say he was faithful.
“I feel like I could whip a wildcat in a phone booth”
I learned from Wayne what it meant to get a bulldog grip on the will of God and let no man turn you to the right or the left. I wish and pray often for the discernment that he seemed to have. When Wayne was convinced from the Lord, the best 20 men in the world couldn’t convince him otherwise. He was not a man that shunned counsel, he sought it, heard it, and prayed for it, but once he and the Lord were settled, Congress couldn’t move him. One of his most desirable gifts was his ability to find certainty in the will of the Lord. I will never forget the spiritual wrestling matches that he let me be privy to. I got to see how a spiritual minded man handled the anxieties, and victories, of being a pastor and preacher. I watched him in high times and low times, and learned (and still learning) how to keep your focus on the Lord in the valley of the shadow, and on the mountain of sunshine. I saw how he loved his family second to Christ, and most of all. Lorinda was not just his wife, she was his girlfriend, his girls and grandkids were the best on earth. He even praised his son-in-laws.
I learned how to love missionaries, and to disciple the newly saved. I had never met a man before, or since that could personally disciple people like Wayne Harper. There are countless people walking this planet right now that were “brought along” on their spiritual walk through the personal ministry of Wayne.
He certainly knew how to handle a young preacher wetter behind the ears than he cared to admit. He was better than good to me, he was gracious to me. I gave him plenty of opportunities and reasons to rebuke me, or correct me, and in grace he never did or did it in such a way that I was better for it. I often wish I had taken better notes from him. One of the most difficult times of my life internally and emotionally found Wayne sitting there with a hug, wisdom, grace and place, that without any doubt or debate, was one sure tool the Lord used to strengthen a weak hearted shell of a man. (The other was another man of God named Ron Simpson.)
Of course I had never met a man before or since, that could fall asleep in mid-sentence, only to wake up an hour later, and finish his thought, then argue with you about the fact. I’ve not yet seen a preacher rip his pants in the pulpit, wipe his nose on a baptismal hanky, or dry ground a borrowed boat in the middle of a river, like Wayne Harper. No food was safe, no song unsung, and no boat was without incident. It is a joy just knowing that I know Wayne Harper.
“Never let a full stomach get in the way of your appetite”
Friday afternoon, April 17th 2009 I had just finished lunch, when I picked up the phone and called my friend and brother to confirm the details of his coming speaking engagement at our church. Wayne was scheduled to spend the weekend with us in a couple of weeks for our Spring Bible Conference. We spoke about the arrangements, details of the conference, and then spent a few moments just catching up on the happenings in Mountain View. After a few minutes of fellowship, he said to me “Lord willing I’ll see you in a couple of weeks, tell Paula and the kids hi, I love ya brother, and I’ll see you later.” I said, “I love you too bro, and we’ll see you then.” Just a few short hours later, walking across his yard with his mower in hand, the Lord whispered his name, and “Harper Went Up and Glory thrilled his soul.”
I won’t forget what another friend named Ed Brown told me at Waynes Celebration. He said, “It must be getting close to the end of the game . . . the coach is taking out His best players.” Wayne Harper is not just a man worth remembering, he is a man worth looking forward to seeing again.
When I read Romans chapter 1, on one side of my desk, and the news reports on the other side, I almost can’t tell which one was written first. The similarities between the first chapter of Romans and the current chapter of Americans, are so uncanny that it makes Romans 1 look like a blog article from theology professor Paul. I used to read that chapter as an explanation of man’s descent into the darkness of depravity, but as each day goes by I am becoming inclined to think that it was secret prophecy for the 21st century – (tongue in cheek)
The Supreme Court of the United States is taking up the issue of whether or not is should be legal in this country for men to marry men, and women to marry women. The court did not ask for this question, our society and culture has merely given it to them. As I write this, I do not have any idea what their verdict will be, but I will say this, it is categorically irrelevant. The fact is, there will never, no never, under any possible legitimate circumstance be same-sex marriage. It does not now exist, and it will never exist, and there is no institution on planet earth that can cause it to exist; because the settled truth is that same-sex marriage . . . is not marriage.
Men may hijack God’s words, but they have no power to amend His dictionary. The Psalmist so eloquently stated once and for all of time, “For ever O LORD, thy Word is settled in Heaven.” – Psalm 119:89 Ultimately truth is as fixed as yesterdays sunset and men’s terminology changes nothing.
Now the Supreme Court may decide to call, “Same-Sex Marriage” Marriage, but that doesn’t make it so. Marriage made on earth does not rise to the level of Marriage made in heaven, and ultimately the Lord has no regard for man’s opinion or definition of terms. That being said, while watching the demise and disintegration of society is soul-wrenching, blood boiling, and heart breaking, those who know the Lord Jesus have to see the greater tragedy than just the sin of homosexuality, we must see the madness of sin, and the sadness of tomorrow.
The Foolishness of Iniquity – “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools” – There is nothing more foolish for man than to think that “truth” can be tamed and controlled to fit his own (little k) kingdom. When you read Romans 1, you see Paul’s description of men trying to “change the glory of God” and then trying “change the truth of God” each time growing more and more insane. The Lord’s response to such foolishness is to give them what they desire. He let fools become more foolish, He let the blind become “more blind”, and He unleashed the reprobate mind to go ahead and work its wickedness. It is almost maddening to watch the self-destruction and social suicide of a nation of people strutting to hell, thumbing their noses and wagging their tongues at the God who loves them and wants to save them. I have no idea where I read it, but the single greatest absurdity I have ever heard in my life came from someone who had the insanity to say with grit in his teeth and both feet planted firm, “I would rather rule in hell with the devil, than serve in Heaven with Jesus.” While that betrays lunacy at the highest degree, the true sadness of it all, is that the Lord will give him his desire, (except the part about ‘ruling.’)
The Facade of Victory – I do not yet know what the outcome will be from the Supreme Court. However for the moment it appears that sin is winning, and that the homosexual agenda will appear to prevail. If that be so, we must remember that sin will never win. In other words, regardless of their momentary victory, nothing has changed with the Lord. One of the ironies of those involved in todays “debates” is that those in favor of same-sex marriage call themselves “Progressives”; I can’t think of a name any less fitting for a people are who are so bent on the Regression of society and culture. The only thing “Progressing” is the march into darkness and the pace in which we’re moving.
The Fact of Eternity – “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” – Psalm 119:89. God’s dictionary is secure. It is firm, and it is final, and man can hijack words and rearrange letters all he wants to, and he is no better than a mad man painting walls on a burning house. God’s Word on the matter is settled, and there is no unsettling it. This is the heart of why we preach the gospel. – Man is born incapable of being what God requires. Because of a man’s human nature, (sin nature) it is impossible for him to be what God’s settled Word in heaven demands; and it is the upside down nature of this world to “change the standard to conform to man” rather than “change the man to conform to the standard.” – God will never change the truth to fit a man, but He always changes a man to fit the truth. Specifically speaking to the issue of homosexuality, men believe they are born this way and it must be accepted, celebrated and nurtured. As one television news anchor said recently, “It’s crazy to think that man can change his sexuality.” – It’s not crazy, it is the call of the Lord. It is true, men cannot change themselves, that’s why we preach the gospel – the good news is that Jesus Christ, forgives sin and changes the man.
The homosexual should change because the Lord has called it sin – the homosexual can change because through the New Birth with new life, new heart, and the new mind Christ gives a new man. The homosexual should change, not because preachers think so, or because a large portion of society thinks so, but because God has called us all to change from the way we were born by being born again through faith in Christ. If the Bible said something different we would too.
Changing man’s definition of marriage is no change at all, because man can’t change the definition of marriage, it is set, settled, and secure in the eternal vaults of heaven’s book. The courts can change all the words they want to, but they are not changes worth making. Coming to Jesus is the only place where eternal change happens, and therefore the only change ever worth making.
Francis said the role of the pope is to open his arms and protect all of humanity, but “especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison.”
“Today amid so much darkness we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others,” he said. “To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope, it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds,” he said.
I cannot help but wonder what the Apostle Peter would have to say, if he were given the same opportunity that Francis of Rome enjoyed at his inauguration. Were the Apostle Peter to be given a global audience, 1.6 billion listeners, and the full benefit of having most of those followers believe that he was infallible in his role as chief Apostle . . . what would he have to say?
Would he have warned his followers of the dangers of hatred, war, poverty, and abuse of their fellow man? Would he encourage everyone to be more gentle, more tolerant, and more peaceful toward each other? Would he proclaim that the world needed to be protected as Pope Francis did saying, “I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be protectors of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.” – (from Fox news article)
Or would the “First Pope” use such an occasion to preach the gospel?
In the book of Acts, on every occasion we have in which Peter was given the opportunity to preach to a crowd, he always preached the gospel. Whether the crowd was hostile, or friendly, Jewish or Gentile, spiritually minded or earthly minded, Peter preached repentance of sins, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. If there was anything that the salty fisherman understood with PhD authority it was the fact that man’s greatest need was not to be protected from harm and evil, it was to be saved from sin, self, Satan, and judgment to come.
Without doubt, debate, or hesitation, with both feet planted firm, Peter proclaimed the guilt of man, repentance of sin, and gospel of Christ. He proclaimed the iniquity of men, the specificity of the gospel, and the exclusivity of Christ.
The ultimate failure in every effort to coax man into being nicer, better and “gooder”, is the same failure in every effort made to coax dogs not to bark or rattlesnakes not to bite. Man’s only problem is the fact that he is human, and there is no human way to over come that. Man cannot, not be man . . . that is until he becomes a new man. The social gospel will always fail because the social gospel is not the gospel. It always begins in the wrong place, with the wrong premise, a wrong problem and a useless promise. The social gospel starts in the wrong place, believing that the highest good is to make the world a better place, and every man a better person. It has the wrong premise, believing that faith is a reforming force in which morally challenged people become better. It tries to solve a wrong problem. Man’s greatest problem is not how he behaves, it is what he is. The social gospel never recognizes that man, being man, is what is wrong with man. What man is constitutes the source, and course for all of society’s evils. Human nature is the fountainhead of evil. The social gospel provides a useless promise. Just for an imaginary moment, lets pretend that everything the social gospel promises comes true. Lets pretend that everyone does become nicer, better, and “gooder.” Lets pretend that all poverty is vanquished, all war is ended, all crime ceases, and the world becomes one global sing-a-long and everyone loves everyone. So what. Nothing has really changed. Death is still coming, judgment is still approaching, and hell is still burning hot. Men do not go to hell for what they do, they go to hell for what they are, and until they are born again, all other changes are useless and hopeless.
With such a privilege and opportunity to preach to billions willing to hear what you have to say, Francis of Rome would do well to learn from Peter of Galilee. All societal fixes, are nothing more than new paint on decaying barns. Jesus Christ is the only One who can change a man from being a sinner to being a saint, and as the Bible says, “the whole world lieth in wickedness.” Changes are coming, and they aren’t going to be the kind of changes that society wishes for. There is only one change worth making, and coming to Jesus in repentance of sin, and faith in Christ is it; or as Peter would put it, “Neither is there (capital s) Salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Aside from the fact that the Catholic Church is not a church, and the gospel it preaches is not the gospel, and part of the Bible it uses is not the Bible, other problems among the catholic ideology are glaring their teeth for all the world to see.
In a recent ABC News Washington Post Poll, statistics demonstrate a “tail wagging the dog” ideology. In a report by WFAA news in Dallas, there are around 70 million Catholics in America. Citing the ABCnews Washington Post Poll, the survey showed that in the mindset of the majority of American Catholics, change was the flavor of the day.
54% of American Catholics believe the new pope should “change church policies to reflect the attitudes and lifestyles of Catholics today.” Specifically mentioned were issues surrounding the “priesthood.” The report showed that Catholics wanted the pope to allow for married men and women to enter the priesthood. The general attitude and spirit of those surveyed want their church to catch up to the world. In other words their ideology is that it is the times and the culture that dictates to the church what their policies should be. The “church” should conform to the world, rather than the other way around.
Now aside from all that is wrong with Catholicism doctrinally, this is yet one more testimony to the upside down view man has of himself ideologically. For the majority of those questioned in the survey, their answers are a confession of who they look to as their moral and spiritual authority. When they recognize that Catholic policy and common culture are at odds with each other, and then side with the culture, that shows who they’re really following, and who their faith is really in.
The truth be told, is that truth can’t be changed. There is far more than “theology” that needs to change in the Catholic church. The idea that men can define truth; spiritual, moral, or doctrinal, is the fruit of Satan’s promise to Eve that men shall be as gods. That being said, men cannot make decisions, all they can do is practice discernment. The facts of the faith are fixed and cannot be changed, regardless of who is wearing what ring, robe, or rosary. Jesus is the truth, and He does not change for us, He changes us in Him, and that is the only change worth making.
I make no bones about the fact that I am a fan of Tim Tebow, and I pray often for him, and for his family. While I always wish the best for my son who loves playing football, I earnestly hope that he never undergoes the public scrutiny that the son of Bob and Pam has had to endure, these last few years.
Tim’s recent decision to cancel his appearance at First Baptist Church of Dallas, at the very least left me wandering, and at the very most it left me disappointed. Like everyone else, I have no idea what is going on in Tim’s life, his heart, or his mind, and therefore would be foolish to jump to conclusions. In fact the Bible says, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame to him.” Proverbs 18:13 Based on the things that we do know about Tim and his family, it would be foolish to believe that he disagrees with the historic Biblical positions that have been preached for decades from the pulpit of such a respected church.
The most dangerous thing that is a result of his decision, is the fact that Christians have now taken their eyes off the ball, and become more focused on “Tim’s decision” than the bigger picture of an unrighteous victory. Whatever Tim’s reasons were, the fact remains that those who hate the Word of God, and the people of God, now have not only a bigger platform to speak from, but a renewed sense of morale and influence in their agenda to hijack the social conscience, and redefine Biblical Christianity. Far too many people are focusing on Tim’s decision, more than they are FBC Dallas denegration.
I am far more concerned about First Baptist Dallas being categorized as a hate group, than I am a young Christian man’s unfortunate decision that has many other Christians up in arms. Many young Christian men have disappointed me from time to time with decisions I believe they shouldn’t have made. There is no doubt that I disappointed many Christians in my life with decisions that I made. I am thankful I was never thrown under the buss for letting people down. Our Christian influence doesn’t hang, or rest upon a young man’s ability to always make the right decision all the time. Just because he is one of the most famous athletes in history doesn’t mean that he has Samson like spiritual strength or wisdom in every single situation the world puts him in.
But . . . When a historic, solid Bible believing, Bible preaching church that has been respected and revered for generations as a bulwark of the Christian faith, is successfully redefined as a hate group, and seared into the social concscience as a marginal portion of soceity, then we are truly facing some serious problems. When it comes to the moral issues of our day, First Baptist Dallas might as well be Pinecrest Baptist Church. When it comes to the message of the Bible, First Baptist Dallas could be one of a thousand churches. To succesfully label them, ultimately is to successfully label a lot of churches.
That being said, we must get back to diggin’ in. I would say it is “time to dig in”, but it is always time to dig in; not for a fight, but to the faith.
One News Now published a news article here, http://www.onenewsnow.com/latest-headlines-from-the-web/2013/03/07/its-tebow-sacking-time-again-for-pro-gay-groups Apparently Tim is scheduled to speak at Libety University at an upcoming conference, and the same groups that were pressuring him the first time, are trying to do the same again. I have no idea what decision Tim will make, that is between him and the Lord.
However, there are a couple of things that should be remembered by those who pay attention to this story.
#1 – We are not subject to the world’s terminology. – The world can do everything in their power to redefine us, and to label us, and to categorize us, but the fact is that God doesn’t use their dictionary, and He never will. 1 John 3:1 – “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therfore the world knowth us not, because it knew him not.” One of the single most frustrating things I have found in my life is when the world uses their own definitions, and demand that we do the same. Regardless of how loud and how often they refer to us hatemongers . . . it just aint so. We do not live by their book.
#2 – We cannot stand for the Son of God, without standing for the Word of God. Jesus is the Word made flesh, He is the Bible in body. You and I can no more separate Jesus and the Bible than we can separate the sun from sunlight. Not knowing all the things that are going on in young Tim’s life, I still think there is one thing that I could justly point him too. Mark 8:38 – “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Here is the point, standing for the Son of God, also means standing for the Word of God. If the Word of God said something different about homosexuality, every Bible believing preacher in America would say something different. Faithfulness to the Son, means faithfulness to the Word.
As a Christian in this society, I am still far away from serious persecution. However every form of persecution begins with marginalization. The Bible has promised us real persecution will come and there is no avoiding it. Enjoying victories and making mistakes are all part of our spiritual growth process, and a famous young athlete is no different. Our greatest danger here is taking our eyes off the ball. The dictionary is being rewritten, and it is saturated with changes that are not worth making.
In an article dated February 18th, 2013, writer Tim Keeney, featured columnist of “The Bleacher Report” a sports news site, along with a number of “commentarians” demonstrated the truth of 1st Corinthians 2:14 in High Definition, when they took up the subject of Tim Tebow speaking at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. The article can be found here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1534600-tim-tebow-to-speak-at-controversial-church?hpt=hp_c3
The brief article, while intended to focus on Tebow, ultimately serves as a reprimand of Pastor Jeffress and the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. As his information, Keeney cites a story from CBS Sports writer Ryan Wilson,
On Sunday, April 28, Tim Tebow will be speaking at a Dallas Baptist megachurch headed by evangelical reverend Robert Jeffress, who has spoken out in the past against Muslims, Jews, Mormons and homosexuals.
The 11,000-member church will host Tebow weeks after the congregation inaugurates a new $130 million campus. And while the Jets quarterback often talks about God’s role in his life, Jeffress’ controversial background doesn’t mesh with Tebow’s squeaky-clean public persona.
First let me say, I do not know Pastor Jeffress, nor am I fully acquainted with all of his beliefs and convictions. My familiarity with Dr. Jeffress is limited to portions of sermons on the radio/internet, and some television interviews that he has given. Ultimately, though, my greatest respect goes to the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas because of their rich history of solid Bible preachers, George W. Truett and W. A. Criswell.
That being said, after reading the article and many of the following comments, the writer and many commentarians could be a case study in 1st Corinthians 2:14.
Failing to realize that what they called “controversial” is actually common, the article writers betray the fact that they know very little about “rightly understood” Christianity. When it comes to the issues of Islam, homosexuality, Mormonism, and Catholicism, pastor Jeffress has said nothing different from what every Bible preacher I know has been saying, is saying, and will continue to say. These things have been faithfully addressed from the Bible in this country for some 237 years. It is not pastor Jeffress alone who has been preaching these things, it has been faithful Bible preachers down through the years. These messages are not new, nor uncommon; and to label them “controversial” is a confession of ignorance on the writers part. Biblical Christianity has had a presence in society, and a proclamation of its message for generations. That being said, ultimately it is not the pastor that is controversial to this crowd, rightly understood it is the Bible.
This article, and many commentarians demonstrate to us in crystal clear quality, that ultimately the Bible is at the heart of the polarization of this country. There are those in this country who have “tasted the Word of God” and it is good, and have fully received it as the final authority in all matters doctrinal, and moral. Then there are those who “receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God because they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” It should never surprise us when the world 1.) thinks that we are fools of the highest order; and 2.) does not possess the capacity to understand the truth. Eternal truth and the things of God are “spiritually discerned” and cannot be received by a lost heart. We have to remember that according to the Word of God, the unconverted do not possess the ability to understand. Biblically speaking, the lost are surely and truly blind. Reading the article and some of the comments I cannot help but think, “oh, how great is that blindness.” There is nothing more heartbreaking than a blind man that thinks he can see; and there is nothing more arrogant than a blind man who thinks no one else can see.
The more hostile of the unconverted generally believe two things; 1 – since they don’t possess absolute truth, no one does; 2 – if anyone did possess absolute truth, they would be the ones to possess it. There is a sense among them that it is not possible for a Christian to know anything by faith. Furthermore there is the sense among them that they fully understand the Bible that they “dismiss” and we “study” better than we do. They reject what they’ve never listened to, and dismiss what they’ve never heard, each time adding to their own foolishness, and piling up darkness in the process. They are often exhibit A when it comes to Proverbs 18:13 – “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.”
Ultimately, in this case, the fact that the lost of the world is missing out on, is the reality that if the Bible said something different . . . we would too. When all things are as they should be, our loyalty is to our Lord and His Word. We do not manufacture the message, we merely stick to it. If the Bible embraced Islam, we would too. If the Bible praised homosexuality and ’moral diversity’ we would too. If the Bible said there were multiple ways to God, we would too. The truth is that while the unconverted think they have a problem with us, their problem is really with the God of the Bible that we worship, love, and adore.
Many today want to rage against the God of the Bible as being evil, wicked and mean. While that’s not true, pretending it is, I’ve still never understood their defiance. Even if God were evil, wicked and mean, . . . He is still God! God is not God by His character, God is God by His nature. The next time someone says, “I wouldn’t worship a God like that!”, you can remind them that God is not an elected position. Whether God is good, or whether God is bad, never changes the fact that God is God, and all men are accountable to Him. Defiant rebellion is worse than foolish, it is tragic. The good news is, that God is good. He is not bad, and He will always show Himself good to those who are submissive to Him by repentance of sin, and faith in Jesus Christ.
For over 200 years in this nation, Christians and Bible preachers have been standing for these very things that Pastor Jeffress is being lambasted as “controversial” for. Whatever may be said of Pastor Jeffress, when it comes to the issues mentioned, the Biblical standard is not “new”, it is not “abnormal”, and it is not “fringe.” Faithful preachers have been preaching the same mainstream Biblical truths from our pulpits for generations, and preaching from any other book is not a change worth making.