God is Giving Us Over.
There has been a lot of talk about President Obama’s recent statement regarding same sex marriage, from people celebrating “equal rights” to those who are angered about the loss of a divine institution.
Many Christians claim that God is going to judge our society for this and for the selfish, hedonistic lifestyles we as western culture and society live. Let me be clear – there will be no war to wipe us out, there will be no comet hurtling to earth, there will be no plague, no tsunami, no earthquake or nuclear events to punish us for the sins of society. Yes, these things may still happen, and they are a result of the fall, but they are not the punishment for our temporal sins and shortcomings.
What we are witnessing in our world and in our society, with President Obama’s recent statement, with abortion being seen as a “medical procedure,” with the ease of access to pornography, with the tolerant views of the world, with the “everything is permissible” attitude of the world…all of this is God’s “judgement” on our societal sins. “Huh? What do you mean?” What I mean is this: God is giving us over to what we value – and what we value as a culture and as a society is simply this – ourselves. We, as a society, value our own individualism, our own feelings, our own comfort, and our own pleasure, our own selfish desires above God. The “punishment” for this is that God is giving us over and letting us live in our “values” as a society. God is giving us over to ourselves. You don’t believe me? Let’s read Romans:
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
When we live in sin, when we adopt a sinful worldview, when we turn our back on God, He will give us over to these things. This goes for both individuals and for communities of people.
As Christians we do not approve of sexual impurity, abortion, porn, addictions, abuse, and so on. In some instances we should push back against it, for example, in the case of abortion which we view as murder, but there will be no divine judgement on these people in this temporal life. Sure, there will be consequences for sin, but God is not going to smite the lot of us. No. Each of us will be held accountable when we stand before the Lord on the day of judgement. This goes for you and me, the heterosexual and the homosexual, the mother of 6 children and the mother of the aborted child. The issue in the end will be simply this…are your sins covered through faith alone in Christ alone? Where are your values? In Christ or in yourself?
One email asked me this question, “How should we proceed as Christian’s on this topic of homosexual marriage that is not only tolerated and accepted, but celebrated in our society?” That is a loaded question. One I am not really sure I am qualified to answer. So I am going to try to be as gentle and respectful as I can in my answer. As Christians we have to realize that this is not an isolated issue. Neither is abortion or the host of other societal issues we Christians see as wrong. Each is simply a symptom of a much larger problem. The real problem is that our society has abandoned God as it says in Romans 1:28
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
Attacking the symptoms will do nothing; we need to address the cause. Personal attacks on a homosexual person will do nothing to show them the love of Christ. Debating whether their lifestyle is right will get you nowhere. How are we to proceed? Well, it is actually very simple. We are to present the Gospel of truth out of compassion. We are to live as salt and light. We are to treat all people as they are – that is, as image bearers of the almighty God. We are all sinners. So love the homosexual; love the girl who had an abortion, the alcoholic, the guy who sleeps around, love everyone and show them the love of Christ – Why? Because God has commanded us to Love. What is the greatest commandment? Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind, and the second is like it… LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF. Be compassionate. It is not our place to judge those outside of the Church, but it is our place to present to them the cure. What is the cure for the current state of the world? It is not getting upset at same sex marriage. It is not picketing abortion clinics. The cure is simply, yet profoundly, the gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected. Let me clarify, there is nothing wrong with picketing or standing against certain issues – as long as it is done peacefully and out of love for God and the person/people you are trying to reach. Picketing an abortion clinic might change a young mother’s mind and save the life of a child, but only the gospel can save her soul. Let me tell you, it is much easier to judge someone from behind your computer, than it is to show them the love of Christ in person. So, present the cure, the gospel of truth, in love and to God’s Glory.
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished – he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.