“So Hannah, what do we do for the Israeli youth? How do we help them?”
I was a little taken aback when an Israeli friend, a Jewish believer, asked this question up out of the blue. It wasn’t that I thought the Israeli believing youth didn’t need help … on the contrary; my general observation of the young people in the Messianic congregations is that there is an exceptional amount of worldly influence in their lives – much like the youth in the States. But I wasn’t sure the best way to verbalize the solution in a few sentences simply because … it’s much more complicated than that! Where do you start? There is no quick and easy fix.
However as I collected my thoughts, I realized that the solution is in fact quite simple and my answer to my friend was, in a nutshell, “they need to learn the Scriptures.”
How many young people are advised to thoroughly study the Bible to learn what they should do (or not do) in their lives? I don’t mean reading a few verses for devotions every day, or listening to a sermon once a week. I’m talking about digging deep and studying the Bible as the manual for our lives.
Isn’t that what it is?
These thoughts came back to my mind in light of the Supreme Court decision a few days ago regarding homosexual marriages. You probably discovered, as I did, that if you don’t want to think about it, don’t look at your Facebook newsfeed! On the other hand, you probably discovered that the newsfeed on Friday revealed the opinions of other people – opinions that you may not have been aware of.
Everyone and their brother have expressed their opinions and not everyone has been very pleasant about it. You can rant and rave about what a tragic thing this is (and I agree, it is) … that our country is going downhill (of course it is, it has been heading that direction for awhile) … that the Supreme Court didn’t define marriage so therefore it has no authority to redefine it (which is also correct) … that this will pave the way for the legalization of other types of sexual immorality (very well may happen) … that this same act will provide the right for gun owners to conceal carry without a permit in all the States (I don’t mind that one!) … the arguments can go on and on.
On a personal note, my heart seemed to sink further each time I saw another profile photo covered with a rainbow filter. And then I saw the counterstatement … the cross filter. It was on the profile photo of a young couple that bought a puppy from me last year. I didn’t know where they stood on the issue but my heart leapt all the way back up when I saw that photo! By now I have seen it on a few more profiles but I will always recall the inner feeling of relief when I first saw it on their picture.
Which brings me to the main point of this post – over the past few days I have watched as people who call themselves Christians have celebrated this decision. I even read somewhere that a pastor told his congregation “we are supposed to rejoice with those who rejoice, so we need to rejoice with the gays”.
Let me make something very clear: I don’t hate people who live a homosexual lifestyle, or those who support them. They are lost people who need the Savior just like any other sinners. I have done business with them and received very positive reviews after the fact – they obviously didn’t feel that we hated them, or even condemned or discriminated against them.
The newsfeed revealed no surprises when it showed that homosexuals and/or unbelievers were celebrating. In my opinion, who can blame them? And on that note, who can be surprised at the Supreme Court? After all, they did legalize the murder of innocent children over forty years ago. If someone does not believe in the God of the Bible, then who can complain if he/she is excited about the legalization of sin. We may not agree, but at least it makes sense!
What does not make sense is when people who profess to be Christians express their support for this decision.
The Scriptures make it very clear that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Neither will murderers, for that matter. Can you imagine if the Supreme Court were to legalize wholesale murder … if you just couldn’t stand someone and you really felt like killing him/her, you had the right to do it. Because our rights are based on the way we feel, correct? If you love a person of the same sex, you should have the right to marry … who is going to advocate that if you hate a person, you should have the right to get rid of them? Could we get Christians to support and celebrate this?
The meaning of the word “Christian” is “follower of Christ”. Personally, I prefer not to use the term because it is not well defined and can mean a variety of different things to different people. But for those who call themselves Christians, I challenge you to consider if you are really following Christ. Do you really know what His Word says?
Honestly, this is pretty simple: if you call yourself a Christian, then you are claiming to follow Christ. In that case, you will learn what the Bible says and do it – that is how you follow Him. If you aren’t willing to follow the Bible, then don’t call yourself His follower. Be honest!
The purpose of this post is not to say: you’re in sin if you’re celebrating the Supreme Court decision.
The purpose of this post is to say: if you’re going to celebrate it, don’t call yourself a Christian or claim to be a follower of the God of the Bible.
Because the Bible says that this is an abomination and those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. That should concern us, especially those of us who have homosexual people in our lives whom we care for.
The phrase “we need to get back to the Bible” sounds a little corny but it is the absolute truth. If people are not grounded in the Word, they will be tossed to and fro. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
I challenge each and every one reading this to really consider the importance of studying the Scripture. And again, I’m not talking about skimming a few verses or even a few chapters. I’m talking about reading it like it’s our life manual, studying what it means, learning how to apply it to our daily situations and using it as a gauge to determine right and wrong. These are the days that are spoken of in Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness”. If we do not have Biblical discernment, we will be swept along with the flow and will not be that chosen generation, royal priesthood and holy nation that we are called to be.
There is a terrifying passage in Matthew 7 where the Messiah says, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
The word iniquity means “unrighteousness” and “transgressing the law”. This means that there were professing believers … who had even done signs and wonders … and yet they were guilty of working unrighteousness. This is very serious to realize how people can be deceived … and on such an important issue as entering the kingdom of heaven.
May we all be convicted of any areas in our lives from which we need to purge sin and unrighteousness and may we draw closer to the Heavenly Father and learn better every day how to follow in the steps of our Savior.