Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Biblical Truth About Homosexuality, Part 3
Providing Biblical Answers to the LGBT Claims

A few days ago, I began a brief series of blogs answering Wilson Cruz' statements on the CNN interview with Al Mohler last week following up the Duck Dynasty stir.

LINK to video/interview:
Interview on December 19, 2013

Wilson Cruz, national spokesman for GLAAD & Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The following are claims and statements that Wilson made during the interview with CNN. I endeavor to provide biblical answers and Christ-centered rebuttals to Wilson’s comments.

[The statements in bold are those that came from Wilson, the national spokesman for GLAAD & a proponent of LGBT. The answers below each statement are biblical responses to Wilson’s comments.]

In part 1, I answer Wilson's first 3 claims. Then in part 2, I answer Wilson's next 3 claims. In each, I followed his claims with a biblical response.

Here are the first 6 of Wilson's statements...
1. Not all Christians support views of Phil Robertson. More and more Christians support LGBT.
2. He invites all people to know us, our lives, our families and to meet young people & are accepting that they are LGBT.
3. People need to get to know us, see our lives, see our desires & understand that we accept who we are.
4. The Pope and Obama accept same sex marriage...
5. This country has changed & most americans support LGBT people & are supportive of them.
6. It is not a Christian thing to include homosexuality in a list of bestiality or slanderers.
I answered all of these statements HERE and HERE.

Now for the final 3 of Wilson's statements...

7. If you know us that's not who we are...
Wilson proposes that if the audience watching the CNN interview knew him, other homosexuals, and others committed to LGBT, they would have a different perspective about them since they are unlike those who fit into the various categories of sins (as listed in the Bible). Wilson believes that he — and others like him — are not like other groups that the Bible speaks of as sinful.

One important element that Wilson fails to realize is that his statement could not be any further from the truth. It is precisely who all people are as sinners — condemned, sinful, doomed, and sentenced to divine wrath apart from God’s intervening grace and mercy. This discussion ought not to single out homosexuals (or those enjoined to LGBT) as the only sinners. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death. There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good. There is none righteous; not even one. There is none who seek for God; all have turned aside. It’s not that Christians declare that homosexuals are the only sinners. Far from it! A true Christian fronts himself at the top of the list in affirming that he himself is the ‘chief of sinners’ and he finds himself amazed, awestruck, and ever-so-confounded that God would save such a vile wretch such as him! That is the true heart of a Christian.

So then, to answer Wilson’s statement that ‘it’s just not who we are’ to be categorized with other classes of sinners, one should affirm that all people — regardless of race, ethnicity, background, environment, or gender — stand condemned before God’s omniscient eye and all people live in an urgent state of desperately needing a Savior. That is to say, someone outside of self must save. And Jesus Christ alone is that Savior. All those in the LGBT movement, including homosexuals and advocates of same sex marriage are just like every other human being — a sinner doomed for eternal hell unless they repent and change their ways by trusting in Christ alone, confessing their wickedness, and following Jesus Christ alone as Savior and Lord.

8. Now more and more know who we are and will not put up with anyone speaking ill of us.
This statement by Wilson suggests that the LGBT movement and the LGBT agenda increases in strength as time goes on. And, sadly, this statement could not be more accurate. Nevertheless, a Bible-believing Christian is one who can say with the Apostle Paul that his foremost ambition is to be pleasing to God in all things. The Christian does not fear man nor does he live to please man. Regardless of who stands against him, the believer with God on His side is always on the winning side. Regardless of the tide of culture, the current of people, the agendas of various organizations, and the powerful draw of organizations, the genuine Christian is one who stands bold as a lion regardless of the foes that may come against him. The believer rests confidently in God’s unchanging Word, proclaims unashamedly the salvation found in Jesus Christ alone, and preaches that God commands all men everywhere to repent for God has fixed a day when He will judge the world in righteousness through the Sovereign and soon-coming Jesus Christ.

Many would not put up with Jesus Christ. Herein lies the reason why Jesus was crucified. The Jewish leaders would not put up with His claims to be God come in the flesh and to be their only Messiah, deliverer from sin. They condemned him for blasphemy and crucified Him on a criminal’s cross. He was despised and rejected; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was stricken, smitten, and afflicted. He knew what it was for people to rise up against him. And so it is for all His followers, they must ‘count the cost’ and pursue Christ and share in His sufferings since the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will follow. Now, in this day and in our times, every Christian must stand strong, live Christlike, proclaim boldly, and serve Christ regardless of who wants to hear. God commands His heralds to ‘preach the Word’ and to be ready in season and out of season. Of course, mockers come and scoffers reject. The Bible foretold that this would happen. Nevertheless, the believer proclaims the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to all — including homosexuals and all those in the LGBT movement and those affectionate to their worldviews and practices — in declaring that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners. And, the only hope offered to the LGBT movement, same sex marriage advocates, homosexuals, and all who condone their lifestyle is the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ who has come to save, transform, sanctify, and deliver them from hell. What a glorious gospel. No movement, hostility, or oppression can shut the mouths of God’s messengers!

9. We will rise up and speak out against those who do not accept homosexuality; that's not American, that's not Christian.
The final statement that Wilson made in the CNN interview affirms that he and others in the LGBT will in fact speak out against those who do not accept homosexuality. Whatever befalls the man of God, so be it if Christ is magnified and His Word is proclaimed. The most loving thing a Christian can do is to confront sin head on, show sinners they are heading for hell, and gloriously cry out that God has offered one — and only one — way to escape eternal damnation, namely, by turning to God and turning from sin. O may God gloriously save more in our land!

Wilson believes that it’s not American and it’s not Christian to speak out against homosexuality. What Wilson must understand is that the Christian is not one who is speaking out against homosexuality — God is. God has declared in no unclear terms that homosexuals, effeminate, and those who give hearty approval to these sins will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, let it be understood, the Christian, in and of himself, has no authority to speak out against or condemn anyone or anyone’s lifestyle. But God as the Sovereign Creator and Righteous Judge of heaven and earth has set the standard and created marriage and written His Law on all men’s hearts. Therefore, those who reject God’s Law and reject God’s standard are those who are condemned by God already. The wrath of God abides on all those who are suppressing God’s truth in unrighteousness. The man of God, then, takes God’s Word and proclaims it boldly. The Christian is merely the mouthpiece for God declaring God’s Word to lost people who need salvation!

In conclusion, Wilson and all those of the homosexual and LGBT movement must understand that the most Christian thing to do is to speak the gospel of God’s grace to lost sinners heading to hell because of their sin and unbelief. Confrontation is loving. Reproof is loving. Calling sin sin is biblical. Speaking out against wickedness, transgression and sin is loving. Why? Because then, and only then, when sin is known to be sin and when sin is seen to be vile and heinous in God’s eyes, is the gospel glorious. One does not desperately and urgently cling to a solution unless he is utterly convinced he has a mortal wound. And the wages of sin is eternal death.

Jesus Christ is not treasured when sinners think they are good and don’t need Him. But when sinners are confronted with their sin, shown from God’s Word that they live with the arrow of divine fury aimed at their heart, and urged to repent and believe upon Christ before the sword of divine wrath falls upon their neck and they fall into everlasting doom, then the only remedy for this condition becomes beautiful and cherished. And Jesus Christ Himself is this only solution — for homosexuals, for those battling with same sex attraction, and for those in the LGBT movement, for those who condone this behavior, and for all people — since He said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no one comes to the Father but through me.” He said: “Repent and believe in the gospel.” Jesus said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

And when dead sinners are given spiritual life by God’s matchless grace, the Bible declares that they have a new nature. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and, behold, new things have come!” The Scriptures wonderfully show how God’s power can take a rebellious, God-hating sinner and transform his heart. And, the gospel show him his sin so that the person clings to Christ and Him alone as his only hope of salvation. There is a full cleansing that comes by believing in Christ. One can be washed; one can be changed; one can be transformed. One can be saved out of this lifestyle. Better yet, a sinner can be snatched out of the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of God. Indeed, the gospel does just that. The gospel takes one from the kingdom of Satan and transfers him to the kingdom of Christ. Now this is a gospel worth proclaiming. This is a gospel for which one would suffer and die.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Yesterday, I began a series answering Wilson Cruz' statements on the CNN interview with Al Mohler last week following up the Duck Dynasty stir.

LINK to video/interview:
Interview on December 19, 2013

Wilson Cruz, national spokesman for GLAAD & Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The following are claims and statements that Wilson made during the interview with CNN. I endeavor to provide biblical answers and Christ-centered rebuttals to Wilson’s comments.

[The statements in bold are those that came from Wilson, the national spokesman for GLAAD & a proponent of LGBT. The answers below each statement are biblical responses to Wilson’s comments.]

In the previous post, I provided Wilson's first three claims and then I followed each with a biblical response.

1. Not all Christians support views of Phil Robertson. More and more Christians support LGBT.
2. He invites all people to know us, our lives, our families and to meet young people & are accepting that they are LGBT.
3. People need to get to know us, see our lives, see our desires & understand that we accept who we are.
The answers can be found HERE at the post.

Today, I will give the next three claims that Wilson made with biblical answers below.

4. The Pope and Obama accept same sex marriage...
In fronting this fact, I assume that Wilson endeavors to add some credibility to his proposals by affirming that the Pope and Obama both accept same sex marriage. Perhaps the Pope and Obama see same sex marriage as legitimate, valid, and an acceptable way of life for some. Inherent in Wilson’s statement, however, are a number of misunderstandings.

First, neither the Pope nor Obama are Bible-believing Christians. Regardless of what they claim, their theology, their conduct, and their convictions reveal that they do not love Christ, His Word, His standards, and His glory above all things. Thus, they are not Christians, they are not saved, and they are not valid references to point to for ‘Christians’ who accept same sex marriage.

Second, and infinitely more important, regardless of who accepts same sex marriage as a valid way of life for some people, God condemns this as a sinful lifestyle and repeatedly affirms that those who engage in homosexuality will not enter heaven. Homosexuality (and, the LGBT movement at large) confuses and distorts the clear design of God for marriage between one man and one woman. The covenant between one man and one woman alone is, to be sure, the only legitimate marriage union in God’s eyes.

Even if everyone in the world accepted homosexuality as a permitted way to live life, the standard does not come from man’s acceptance but from divine revelation. And divine revelation from God is perfectly and sufficiently contained in the 66 books of Scripture — the Bible. Thus, God sets the standard as to what is sinful and what is holy; what is right and wrong. And in the Bible, God the sovereign King over all creation affirms that homosexuality is sin and it is in no way acceptable as a God-honoring way to live life in God’s eyes. In fact, God promises that those who engage in this kind of lifestyle — and even societies that plunge into this kind of lifestyle [and even accepting this kind of homosexual lifestyle] — will meet the wrath of God since God has given them over to indulge in their sinful passions which will result in the eternal judgment of God unless they repent, turn, and embrace Christ as their only hope for change & reconciliation with God.

5. This country has changed & most americans support LGBT people & are supportive of them.
This statement follows on the heels of the immediately preceding one about the Pope and Obama both advocating same sex marriage as an acceptable way of life. But in this statement, Wilson opens the door even more to suggest that the majority of Americans are shifting in viewpoints (which is true), and that the majority of the American population finds the LGBT movement as valid and permissible.

But again, the same point as mentioned above needs to be restated. The authority for rejecting homosexuality, same sex marriage, and the entire LGBT movement as a permissible way of life comes not from the majority opinion of the American people but rather from the sovereign Authority, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as He has revealed Himself in the Word of God. The Bible is the only book from God and in it He reveals who He is, who mankind is, why men are the way they are, why the world is the way it is, and the desperate need all humans have for God’s salvation since man can in no way contribute in any way to his own salvation. Salvation is of the LORD. God reigns supreme. His Word alone is the authority. And all people everywhere, without exception, are held to God’s standard as revealed in Holy Scripture.

So even if the USA has changed — which it undeniably has — and even if the majority of the American people find themselves voting more and more to legitimize same-sex marriage and stand silent with the rushing wave of the LGBT movement, the Word of God stands supreme and authoritative.

The Bible reveals that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman alone. This is God’s design from the very first marriage, before sin ever entered the world. And, the Bible clearly shows that marriage has always been a walking, living, breathing picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ (the Bridegroom) and His Church (the Bride). To affirm homosexuality (and, by extension, LGBT) is to distort, mar, confuse, and corrupt the beautiful representation that marriage has always been intended to portray, that is, the saving gospel of Jesus Christ to His elect people, the Church.

Most people in the USA might see worry, anxiety, anger, complaining, slander, lying, manipulation, and divorce as allowable, permissible and even preferable given particular circumstances of life. But God uncovers these all in the Bible as sins that stem in man’s sinful, corrupt, and self-righteous heart that shows that he is in urgent need from God (someone outside of self must save self from God’s coming just wrath). The only solution to these sins is the gospel of Jesus Christ. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. All sit under the wrath of God. All live with the divine sword of judgment awaiting to be plunged into his soul (and deservedly so!) because of sin, rebellion, transgression, and idolatry. Yet the message is the same to the homosexuals, to those in the LGBT movement, to the drunkards, to the sexually immoral, to the gossips, to the liars, and to the murderers — and all people everywhere — that unless one repents he will likewise perish. Unless one repents and believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ, he will pay the penalty for his sin in hell.

To conclude, the standard Wilson suggests in that the American people are more accepting to the LGBT people is flawed. The majority opinion of America does not make something right. What God says is right is right. What God says is sin is sin. And God declares that homosexuality is sin.

6. It is not a Christian thing to include homosexuality in a list of bestiality or slanderers.
In the interview on CNN, Wilson stated that it is not a very “Christian” thing to include homosexuality in a list of bestiality or slanderers.

This statement probably echoes Phil Robertson’s statement in his interview with GQ magazine where he (sort of) quoted 1 Corinthians 6:9ff which does in fact, undeniably, place homosexuality in a list of sins affirming that all those who live that way will not inherit the kingdom of God.

To be clear, here is the biblical text that Phil Robertson alluded to in his interview (along with some other “lists” in the New Testament):

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 — Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,  10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:3-5 —  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;  4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Galatians 5:19-21 —  19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,  20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions,  21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 22:15  — 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.

Romans 1:26-32 — 26  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,  27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  28  And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,  29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,  30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,  31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;  32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

In these various Scriptures, the Word of God repeatedly, unambiguously, and undeniably affirms that those who live lives engaging in these practices will not enter heaven. The point is simple. Those who live this way show that they love the world, the lusts of the world, and the pride of life and thus the love of God is not in them. They have not received God’s salvation. This is evidence since those whom God saves, he sanctifies (he changes, he transforms, he grows). The believer is one who repents of his sin (and makes repentance an ongoing pattern in his life as he sees and finds more sin in his heart and life), turns from it, endeavors to kill his sin and slaughter it at its root, and diligently resolves to follow Christ passionately by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ and making no provision for the flesh.

Returning to Wilson’s point, it is not a Christian thing to do to put homosexuals in a category of sins such as bestiality or slanderers. What Wilson is mistaken on, however, is that it is not the Christians who put homosexuals in these categories; it is God who does it. God is the Sovereign one who puts the homosexual lifestyle in these categories of sins and affirms that those who persist in this lifestyle without repenting, turning, and following Christ and His Word are those who cannot enter heaven. So, the very statement that Wilson makes is misguided at the outset. It is not a Christian who “places” homosexuality in various categories of sin. One must be clear on this, no person (including Christians) have any right, authority, or prerogative to put someone in a category of hell-bound sinners. Christians are not judging. It is God who has already revealed in His sufficient and clear Word that those who live in such categories of sins as listed above will not enter heaven and it is not a Christian who judges them by calling them to repent, it is God who has done so in His Word and the faithful Christian demonstrates God-like love in passionately, lovingly and urgently calling homosexuals and all those in the LGBT lifestyle — and all those who are indifferent and accepting of this lifestyle — to see their sin, their need for Christ and His atoning death at the cross that bore the Father’s wrath in the place of believing sinners, so that those who turn to God and turn from sin (=repentance) will find eternal life, full forgiveness, and eternal blessedness in heaven.

One concluding note, in the list of sins that Phil Robertson alluded to in his GQ interview (1 Corinthians 6; also referenced above), one must read the full context of this statement. I must post it below.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 —  9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,  10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.  11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

This final statement in 1 Corinthians 6:11 cannot be overlooked. In this statement, God declares through the pen of the Apostle Paul that believers did once live lives of ongoing sin. But, they were washed. They were sanctified (that means, ‘set apart’). They were justified (that means legally declared righteous before God’s judgment bar because of Christ’s righteousness imputed to the sinner by faith). All this came about in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ which speaks of Jesus’ person which was wholly divine and wholly human. Furthermore, it speaks of Jesus’ work which was substitutionary, wrath-bearing, a sin-offering not for His own sins (since he was utterly perfect having never sinned in any way) but for the sins of His own people — His sheep, His Church, His elect. He bore the divine penalty on the cross that His people earned because of their sin yet He took the full weight of that punishment upon Himself and was crushed by God, forsaken by God, and drank the full cup of the Father’s wrath down to the dregs. And His righteousness is forensically imputed to the believing sinner who repents of sin and humbly and totally casts Himself upon Christ and His atoning death. To summarize in the words of Scripture: He [God] made Him [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him [Christ] (2 Corinthians 5:21). This full, lavish, saving gospel is powerful to save even those who have plunged headlong into whatever category of sin it may be. God’s grace and Christ’s sufficient death is powerful enough to save even the most sinful, despised, defiled, and blasphemous worm that ever existed. Glory to God for His salvation! Indeed, salvation is of the LORD. Christ died for His enemies. As an ancient hymn puts it: Thou must save, and Thou alone.

The final three claims that Wilson made will be noted and answered soon here on this blog.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Duck Dynasty Revisited
Providing Biblical Answers to the Homosexual Claims
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

LINK to video/interview:
Interview on December 19, 2013

Wilson Cruz, national spokesman for GLAAD & Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The following are claims and statements that Wilson Cruz made during the interview with CNN. I endeavor to provide biblical answers and Christ-centered rebuttals to Wilson’s comments.

[The statements in bold are those that came from Wilson, the national spokesman for GLAAD & a proponent of LGBT. The answers below each statement are biblical responses to Wilson’s comments.]

1. Not all Christians support views of Phil Robertson. More and more Christians support LGBT.
One must understand that not all who claim to be ‘Christians’ are in fact Christians. Many have intellectual knowledge about God, about Jesus, about Jesus dying on a cross, have been baptized, and perhaps even attend church, but none of these deeds make someone a Christian. A Christian is one who has repented of his sin, hates his sin, turns from it, follows Christ and clings to Him and Him alone as his only hope of being spared from the wrath of God and entering heaven. A believer is one who loves God’s Word, reads God’s Word, obeys God’s Word, and follows God’s Word. A Christian is one who loves what God loves and hates what God hates.

The Bible unequivocally affirms that homosexuality is an abomination to God. Furthermore, God burnt cities with fire and brimstone because of Sodomy — that is, homosexual relationships. God clearly declares that the wrath of God abides upon men because they suppress the truth in unrighteousness — even though they know God and the general truth about God revealed in creation and in their conscience. Those who reject God’s perfect design and order for heterosexual relationships are those whom God gives over to their own lusts. And, one must not forget that the effeminate and the homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. That is to say, those who live with these patterns of sin without repenting, turning, and trusting in Christ alone while forsaking these sinful habits will be judged forever outside the kingdom of God in the eternal Lake of Fire.

So then, all true Christians support the claim that Robertson made that homosexuality is a sin worthy of eternal death. And unless one repents and turns from this sin, they will all perish. No true Christians can support the LGBT movement. It has everything to do with what God Himself declares in His Word about sinners, the homosexual lifestyle which perverts God’s original intent and design for marriage, and the love for God’s supernatural, supreme, inerrant, and sufficient truth contained in the Word of God.

To conclude, then, Wilson’s claim here is false. There are no Christians who love God’s Word, who know God’s Word, and who cling to God’s sufficient, clear, and infallible truth revealed in the Scriptures who can affirm, support, and legitimize the LGBT movement. It must be called for what it is: sinful, contrary to God’s design and purpose, and an abomination in God’s eyes. And, unless one repents and turns from this sinful lifestyle, they will eternally perish for their sin.

2. He invites all people to know us, our lives, our families and to meet young people & are accepting that they are LGBT.
In answering the question from the CNN interviewer, Wilson openly invited all people to come into his life and, by implication, others who share the same lifestyle of LGBT. In proffering this, Wilson presumably promotes the idea that he and the others of the LGBT way of life are normal, accepting, family people, similar to many others (desiring and needing families, relationships, community, etc.).

In this answer, Wilson also declares that there are many other young people who accept the reality that they are LGBT. He suggests that there are those young people (who presumably will impact more young people in this generation) who accept “just who they are” and unashamedly live the LGBT lifestyle.

Wilson, without even knowing it, nails the problem exactly. This is precisely the problem. The problem is that those in the LGBT movement are in fact just like everyone else, namely, dead in sin, enemies of God, rebels of God’s Law, rejecting Christ, and destined for divine wrath. Every person born into this world enters with a radically depraved, wholly corrupt, and spiritually dead nature. None are born good. None are born acceptable before God. All enter the world dead in sin. So, in a sense, Wilson unconsciously states some degree of truth here that those of the LGBT movement are just like others — lost in their sin and totally in need of God’s intervening grace to save from future hell.

However, one can take no comfort from the reality that all humans lie dead in sin and doomed for divine fury together. There is no hope in the fact that LGBT movement folks will head to hell just as it is for those who live lives of ongoing adultery, drunkenness, idolatry, slander and sexual immorality.

A true Christian does not need to know the lifestyle of the LGBT people. They don’t need to learn about their relationships, their desires, their lives, their families. Why? Because the same fundamental heart (internal) need of the LGBT folks is the same need of every person on the planet. That is to say, every person lives desperately in need of God’s sovereign and electing grace to snatch them out of the eternal fire. Thus, a Christian can and must do the most loving thing possible to a LGBT person, proclaim to them the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ and plead with them to repent of their sinful lifestyle, to turn to Jesus Christ to find salvation, and follow singularly and solely after Jesus Christ alone as they pursue a new way of life as God directs in His Word.

3. People need to get to know us, see our lives, see our desires & understand that we accept who we are.
Wilson beckons the viewers to get to know them (the LGBT folks), to see their lives, their desires and understand one primary factor: they fully accept and appreciate who they are. This statement has two overwhelmingly severe inaccuracies about it.

First, the assumption in Wilson’s statement is that those in the LGBT movement genuinely believe that they cannot change who they are because this is in fact who they are, who they have been, and what they have been designed to be. But this cannot be the case because God has created all men and women to naturally desire the opposite gender. This has been this way since the creation of the world and even to the present. Homosexuality is a twisted, corrupt, sinful, confused, and abominable way of life. God never condones this, accepts this, turns a blind eye to this, approves of this, or promises to not punish this sin. The opposite is true. The Bible undeniably declares homosexuality to be “contrary” to God’s creative order. It is not natural, but unnatural. It is not what God designed, it flatly corrupts and flagrantly confuses God’s beautiful design for marriage and procreation. None are in the ongoing state of homosexuality because they have always been this way and have now come to accept it. All who live this kind of lifestyle do so as an outward expression of the inward sin residing in the heart that manifests itself in rebellion to God’s Law, transgression of God’s commands, and sin against God’s beautiful design.

Second, the proposition that Wilson and others related to LGBT accept who they are carries no weight since it does not matter what we think of ourselves or if we accept ourselves. This thinking inherently sees man (or more specifically, ‘self’) as the supreme being of authority (and, hence, self is ‘god’ and this is idolatry and self worship). The Word of God reveals that what matters most is what God thinks of man and whether or not God accepts a man to be His child or His enemy — an object of His eternal blessing or an object of His eternal wrath. In no ambiguous terms, the Bible reveals what God thinks of mankind (every person). Apart from God, every person’s thoughts are only evil continually. Apart from God, there is none righteous, not even one. There is none who does good, not even one. None seek for God. None fear God. Thus, all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. The wages of man’s sin is death. All have turned aside to their own way. All are guilty with iniquity and the stain of that sin lies open and exposed before God’s omniscient eye. God accepts no one in his own way of life. The only way that God can accept a person is if that person is in Christ. This can only happen when a sinner receives the ‘new birth’ from God (regeneration) and repents of sin, hates it, forsakes it, and follows Christ, and obeys His Word joyfully.

So ultimately, Wilson’s statement here about accepting who they are cannot fully harmonize with the biblical truths since the ultimate One who must accept us is God — not self. And God cannot accept and welcome to glory those who persist in sinful lifestyles. But full forgiveness, total cleansing, an entirely new nature, a new eternal destiny, and a shelter from the fully-deserved wrath of God is available to those who recognize their sin, their eternal predicament, the only salvation available in Jesus Christ and substitutionary death at Calvary, and the turning away from this lifestyle to pursue holiness, godliness, and righteousness.

The following parts that answer the rest of Wilson's claims and statements will come soon.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thomas Watson:

Prayer works for good. Prayer is the bellows of the affections; it blows up holy desires and ardours of soul. Prayer has power with God. 'Command ye me' (Isa 45.11). It is a key that unlocks the treasury of God's mercy. Prayer keeps the heart open to God, and shut to sin; it assuages the intemperate heart and the swellings of lust.

From Thomas Watson, All Things For Good, 19.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Good note on sovereign election/effectual calling by Tom Schreiner:

"[Election] is not merely an invitation that human beings can reject, but it is a summons that overcomes human resistance & effectually persuades them to say yes to God."

SOURCE: Tom Schreiner, Romans, BECNT, 451.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

What I endeavor to promote in this essay is God-glorifying and Christ-satisfying sexual purity. In writing this, I hope to show that adultery (=immorality) does not begin when the act occurs. That final act may be the last — and public — sin in a long, unattended to, unconfessed pattern of sins where repentance has not occurred.

Here are some "E's" so  you don't 'ease' your way into immorality...
[Much of this essay was stimulated by a recent message by Tommy Nelson and recent articles by Denny Burk and Tim Challies. This brief article has slightly altered and added to their original thoughts.]

I will attack it negatively. Here is what to not to do. In other words: these are the steps to fall into adultery. But to refrain from adultery and sexual promiscuity, one should desire the utmost holiness from the core, the root, the beginning, so that other occasions of sin will not build with a snowball-like effect.

So then, here are a number of “E’s” whereby one may ‘ease’ his way into immorality.

1. Estrangement -- grow distant and discontent with your wife. This naturally and necessarily includes estrangement from the Lord as well. You cannot grow distant with your wife while keeping close intimacy with the LORD. And when blessed nearness to the Lord fades, it necessarily follows that the marriage intimacy, joy, delight, and harmony will quickly fade as well. To grow distant from your spouse can provide the beginning step to easing your way into immorality.

2. Encounter -- you 'come across' someone else. Perhaps the connection comes about online, at work, texting, even at church, a grocery store, the gym, or any other place. There he is. Or, there she is. One with whom you strike up a brief encounter. It may be brief. It may be superficial. It may be momentary. But this encounter is the beginning of deadly poison that will destroy a life.

3. Enjoy -- you have a conversation -- which may lead to more conversations -- and you like it. The key thought here is that you like it. This conversation seems different than those you have at home — with your spouse. This is actually enjoyable. They are funny. He makes you laugh. She laughs at your jokes and your unique perks. You actually finding yourself enjoying the conversation, the chat, the dialogue, or the social communication with the person who is not your spouse.

4. Entertainment -- you begin to tickle the idea in your heart and entertain your mind with thoughts of this person: they are nice, they have what you've always wanted, they do what your spouse doesn't do, they have what your spouse doesn't have. You find enjoyment and entertainment in pondering this person and how they seem to have what your spouse doesn’t offer you. After all, this self-focused thinking causes you to focus more on yourself and what you think you deserve, what your spouse doesn’t give you, and you sprinkle your mind with happy thoughts of this person — and how they have what you want.

5. Expedite -- you then begin to create opportunities to be where they are. Yes, you make sure you meet them, you run into them, you communicate with them. You learn their schedule: where they go, when they arrive, when they depart, what time they meet their train, when they take their lunch break, etc. At this point, the lion has already dug his claws into your flesh and the wound is inflicted. The chain of sins has been going on for some time and true repentance is nowhere in sight. In fact, repentance has not even been considered. How could it, you have been too busy forming and fashioning ways and opportunities to meet up with this person. Oh, it’s not to do anything ‘sexual’ or ‘immoral’ with them; it’s simply to be with them.

6. Experience -- you then hang out together and experience each other; and you enjoy the experience. it's enjoyable, it's experiential, it's delighting, it's captivating, and it's trapping. When those opportunities come about where you go out together, meet together, talk together, sit together, eat together, you really enjoy the experience. Yet, it must be noted, your spouse does not know about this. It may be that the spouse is under the impression you are at work, out with friends, on a business trip, etc. But this experience — though not sexual and intimate — hammers yet more nails in your own coffin.

7. Exhilaration -- this last step surely follows close behind the experience that you continue to have with this person. It is sure to happen. It’s not a matter of if but when. When will the exhilarating intoxication of lust-indulgence happen? This step happens when you are captivated, enamored and bonded with one another's lust and have committed the act of adultery -- which is actually the last bead in the whole necklace of immorality leading up to this point. This is not the only act of sin. Every step up to this point has been sinful; this just may be the only public act (if even that!). Guard from the entrapping exhilaration and self-focused idolatry of this kind of sensuality.

And, yet, one should also note that
  • church attendance has minimized, and
  • your bible reading times are less frequent as days and weeks continue, and
  • you don't have time to pray; you're too busy, and
  • you have little desire to talk to your wife (and children), and
  • you have abandoned leading in family worship long ago, and 
  • you ignore phone calls from others in the church who love you, notice your absence, and sense that something is wrong --- but you ignore the calls, refrain from calling them back, and propagate excuses when they do confront you.

Yet there is, in a sense, one final step in this process. One final “e” remains.

8. Endangerment -- your soul is at stake; if you persist in rebellion and abide in an ongoing life of unrepentance you show you do not know the Lord & that the kingdom of heaven is not your future. Adulterers God will judge. The Lord says in no uncertain terms that the sexually immoral and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. In fact, the very next verse in one text warns against being deceived (into thinking that one could live this lifestyle and still enter God’s eternal kingdom). The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience for such sins. Those who persist in this sin — regardless of their background, knowledge, degree, job, position in the church, or family — shall not enter heaven. Thus, one who takes no steps to halt his immorality before it begins and follows the path leading to the slaughter will surely find God’s judgment awaiting him.

Yet for those who humbly confess, repent and cling to Christ, they will find God’s free and full forgiveness.

Download the full PDF here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Preacher’s Monday: Hard, Heavy & Heavenly
Geoffrey R. Kirkland
Christ Fellowship Bible Church

He woke up and found that he feels a bit tired — more tired than usual. Last night he had an ‘event’ take place. Truly it was more than an event — it was a supernatural experience. God spoke through him as he opened the Word, explained the context, explained the meaning of the text, applied the text, and poured out his life and soul into that sermon. Sundays are at the same time unspeakably beautiful and undeniably draining. But a man of God must expect nothing less in the service of the great King.

For every faithful, expository preacher of God’s Word, every Monday is hard, heavy and heavenly. Let me explain.

1. Monday is a Day of Recovery.
The preaching on Sundays can be compared to the birthing process. Early on in the week, the man of God began the work of building, creating, and forming a sermon akin to the conception of a baby in the womb. Just as a baby grows in the womb of the mother, so the sermon grew in the heart of the man of God all week long. It grew in his heart, it grew in his soul, it grew in his mind, it grew in his emotions, and it grew in his affections. When Saturday night rolls around, like a mother at full-term ready to just ‘give birth’ to that large creature, the biblical preacher can’t wait to deliver the message that God has worked in his soul, through His Word as it has shaped him in his heart all week long. Jeremiah could relate to this when he said that “in my heart [the Word of God] becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it” (Jer 20:9). Every faithful preacher can relate to Jeremiah at this point. Thus, just as mothers must recover from the birthing process, so the man of God on Mondays must recover from the process of delivering divine truth to God’s flock. Mondays can be quite heavy.

2. Monday is a Hard Day Since the Preacher Recalls Many Things He Didn’t Say that He Wished He Would Have Said (and Vice-Versa).
Every preacher knows it. Every preacher has been there. After the sermon — and even at points during the preaching event — the man of God recalls what he just said and wishes he would have said it differently, better, more clearly, more persuasively. That night he recalls the perfect verse that he should have used to drive home the point, but he didn’t. God shows him an application point that would have perfectly mended with the sermon and yet the preacher failed to proclaim it. Verses, application points, illustrations, and other theological doctrines all come to mind after the event. After all, speaking for God, through God’s Word, to God’s people, in the power of God’s strength, with joy as a minister of God’s gospel proves itself to be the greatest joy and privilege a human could ever undertake. So to reflect on what he should have said or could have said can be quite draining — and hard.

3. Monday is a Day Where the Man of God Must Totally and Triumphantly Rely on the Sovereignty of God.
He arises early on Monday mornings to meet with God. Even while it is still dark outside and many others in their trades are still sleeping, he arises to commune with God in prayer. Just as Jesus, after a very long day of ministry in Galilee, arose early in the morning to find a secluded place to meet with the Father in prayer, so the man of God joyfully arises early to seek the face of God and take hold of his Father in prayer. Yet there is a special tone of trust in his prayers. He  totally realizes that Sunday’s preaching event has ended. He knows that he has said what he has said and nothing can be changed from that sermon that was already heralded. He knows that God’s sheep took notes as he explained the text. He remembers how people tracked with him as traveled from text to text to drive home various points during the sermon. He affirms that God’s flock eagerly longs for the food of the Word and the ministry of the Spirit during the proclamation of Gospel. And yet the man of God clings to the total and triumphant sovereignty of God during this time. God takes the spoken Word, as upon the wings of a bird, and flies the spoken truth to the precise spot of every believer’s heart and soul just as He sovereignly decrees. Nothing can change God’s sovereign ways. The preacher clings ever so tightly to the text that God’s Word shall never return to Him void — empty. He confidently believes that God takes all that he said as a man of God appointed by God Himself and that God uses His Word, His truth, His gospel, His Son, His grace to comfort, convict, convert and conform the people who heard what he spoke. The preacher cannot change anything on Monday mornings; but God can. The preacher cannot indelibly write God’s truths upon the hearts of all who heard (if he could, he would); but God can. So Mondays prove to be a day of savoring, resting, and enjoying the sovereignty of God. No doctrine so gloriously comforts the preacher as does the total and triumphant sovereignty of God. So Mondays are heavenly days.

4. Monday is a Day of Great Anticipation for the Next Text That He Must Study, Internalize, Apply, Pray Over, and Love as He Prepares to Preach Next Sunday.
A minister of the gospel knows that Sunday is always comin’. How true it is. No preacher can cancel church if he feels bad. He can’t call in sick, he crawls in sick. And he preaches in the power of the Spirit and finds God’s strength and power come upon him to equip and enable him for the task at hand. And every preacher knows this — and he loves it! He would not change this in the slightest. But on Monday morning, when the preacher knows that he just delivered (or, birthed) a carefully-crafted divine message to God’s people on Sunday, he fully recognizes one dangling thought swinging in the forefront of his mind: next Sunday is coming (the clock is already ticking). So he opens his Bible and calls upon the Lord. He worships the Lord. He warms his own heart with love for the Savior from the truth of Scripture. He fellowships with the triune-God and prays over and through and in every verse of the text from which he will preach. He knows that the sermon has been conceived already within him. Now it has to grow, and build, and strengthen, and be fortified as God’s Word in God’s man through God’s Spirit forms and fashions this sermon in preparation for the next Lord’s Day when he will stand up in front of God’s flock and proclaim with all authority: “Thus says the LORD.” The anticipation, the expectation, the jubilation, and the exultation in the man of God drives him to this heavenly sense of longing to commune with God all week long as he prays over, reads through, applies diligently, and knows intently the Word that he must herald next Sunday. And so the process begins again. It is a cycle. The man prays, prepares, studies & applies to his own soul that which he must preach, herald, and apply to his hearers. When all is said and done, Mondays are gloriously heavenly and unspeakably joyful and triumphantly God-centered.

Download the PDF article here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The great benefit of open-air preaching...

The great benefit of open-air preaching is that we get so many newcomers to hear the gospel who otherwise would never hear it. The gospel command is, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature," but it is so little obeyed that one would imagine that it ran thus, "Go into your own place of worship and preach the gospel to the few creatures who will come inside."

--Charles Spurgeon
Excellent model of pleading, exhorting, compelling & persuading by the great Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon:

    I fear that some of you, seeing ye have never come and put your trust in Christ, will have to say, when your time comes to die, what Wolsey is said to have declared, with only one word of alteration:—

"O Cromwell, Cromwell!
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served the world, he would not, in mine age,
Have left me naked to mine enemies."

    Oh, before those days fully come, quit the service of the master who never can reward you except with death! Cast your arms around the cross of Christ, and give up your heart to God, and then, come what may, I am persuaded that "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." While you shall for awhile sigh for more of heaven, you shall soon come to the abodes of blessedness where sighing and sorrow shall flee away.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pursue Hospitality!
A Christian Virtue for All Believers.

Alexander Strauch, The Hospitality Commands: Building Loving Christian Community, Building Bridges to Friends and Neighbors. Littleton, CO: Lewis & Roth, 1993.

To understand Christian love, we must look to its divine source--Jesus Christ (12)

Christianity’s teaching on love is unparalleled in the history of religion. One of the key factors that helps explain the rapid expansion of early Christianity is the love displayed among the first Christians (14).

The pagans were forced to say, “See how they love one another ... And how ready they are to die for each other” (14).

I don’t think most Christians today understand how essential hospitality is to fanning the flames of love and strengthening the Christian family. Hospitality fleshes out love in a uniquely personal and sacrificial way (17).

Through the ministry of hospitality, we share our most prized possessions. We share our family, home, finances, food, privacy, and time. Indeed, we share our very lives. So, hospitality is always costly (17).

A cold, unfriendly church contradicts the gospel message (17)

The home is the ideal place in which to build relationships and closeness (18).

I often hear people say, “Oh, we just don’t know anyone; we can’t make any friends at church.” I have a suggestion that might solve the problem. It comes from a couple who had a hard time feeling as if they belonged in their congregation. Instead of leaving, as so many people do, they decided to invite every person in the church to their home for dinner during the next year. By the end of the year, they knew everyone in the church and had made a number of close friendships! (18)

Perhaps you, like many Christians, want to know what you can do for the Lord or how to use your spiritual gift(s). Your home is the ideal place in which to start serving. You can invite people into your home for prayer. You can reach out to new people at church or in your neighborhood. You can help believers get to know one another better. You can provide lodging for divided families. You can show appreciation to teachers and youth leaders by inviting them into your home. You can be the ‘home’ away from home for singles living on college campuses or serving in the military who may not have eaten a home-cooked meal in weeks or months (18-19).

New Christians especially need the loving care and instruction you can provide through your home (18).

If you and/or your local church are looking for ways to evangelize, opening your home is one of the best methods for reaching the lost. Most of us, however, are not using our homes as we should to reach our neighbors, friends, and relatives (22).

Sharing our homes is one of the most loving, memorable things we can do to help communicate the message of Christ’s love (24).

In practical terms today, Christian hospitality for traveling evangelists and teachers means providing food, washing and caring for their clothes, supplying financial help for future travel expenses, giving directions, and caring for their car if that is their means of transportation (29).

Children will especially profit when you invite God’s servants into your home. I believe our children are more mature and experienced because they have had to meet and relate to all kinds of people from all over the world. Having Godly men and women stay in your home will be a unique educational experience for your children. They will learn more than you realize from adult conversation, particularly when it is about the Lord’s work. They will log precious, indelible memories that will stay with them for a lifetime. They will also learn many valuable lessons about serving others as they watch you minister to God’s servants and minister Christ’s love to needy people (30).

Only the power of the Word and the SPirit can convince us that hospitality is to be an essential part of healthy Christian living and can move us to act (33).

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to be a close-knit family. We are to be together, love one another, and care for one another. We cannot do this when our doors are closed. Hospitality, then, is a beautiful expression of our transformed lives being offered wholly to God (34).

Hospitality, therefore, is a concrete, down-to-earth test of our fervent love for God and His people (38).

Love can be an abstract, indistinct idea; hospitality is specific and tangible. We seldom complain about loving others too much, but we do complain about the inconveniences of hospitality. Hospitality is love in action. Hospitality is the flesh and muscle on the bones of love. Through caring acts of hospitality, the reality of our love is tested (38).

If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, we will want to invite them into our homes. We will want them to fill our homes. The presence of Christian brothers and sisters in our homes is a foretaste of our glorious, heavenly dwelling place that will be filled with people, angels, and the perfect host -- our Lord Jesus Christ (40).

Entertaining angels? The writer of Hebrews is not suggesting that we should expect supernatural agents to visit us incognito if we practice hospitality. Rather, the writer means that hospitality often results in unexpected blessing and reward. In the guest-host relationship, the guest often blesses the host (41).

We must also remember that our Lord taught that hospitality shown to His people is hospitality offered to Himself (42).

You would find few Christians who would list hospitality as a requirement for church office. Yet that is precisely what the New Testament requires (43).

Many Christians are unaware that spiritual leaders are, according to Scripture, required to be hospitable (43).

The biblical shepherd is a shepherd of people -- God’s precious, blood-bought people. And like Christ, the Chief Shepherd, the church shepherd must give himself lovingly and sacrificially for the care of God’s people (1 Thess 2:8). This cannot be done from a distance, with a smile and a handshake on Sunday mornings or through a superficial visit. Giving oneself to the care of God’s people means sharing one’s life and home with others. An open home is a sign of an open heart and a loving, sacrificial, serving spirit (43).

If the local church’s shepherds are inhospitable, the local church will be inhospitable. So we must never underestimate the power of hospitality in ministering to people’s needs. Those who love hospitality love people and are concerned about them (44).

1. I realize that some people can easily invite guests over on the spur of the moment, but most people need to plan ahead and invite people to their table. Set a regular time each week or month to invite people to your home. Unless you plan this into your schedule, you may never get past the good-intention level to the implementation level. You’ll say: “This is important. The Bible instructs us to do this, and it will help our church; it will make our congregation a closer, more loving place.” But unless you plan ahead, you’ll be busy next week, and the next week, and the week after that (49).

2. Let me suggest that Sunday noon is an excellent time to invite the Lord’s people to your home (50). [CFBC meets in the evening, but if we invited folks over for a late lunch, then family worship, then prayer for the evening worship & then left early to arrive early at church, this could be a very profitable way of showing hospitality & preparing for worship.]

3. Make a list of people who would be encouraged by your offer of hospitality. For example, your hospitality could be a crucial step in helping new church members feel that they are a part of the body. Others in your congregation are lonely and need your love. Those who are going through deep trials may be greatly encouraged by your simple invitation. In effect, you can be a ministering angel to hurting people (50).

4. Remember to invite people to your home during the holiday seasons. These are especially good times for inviting needy saints of God, non-Christian friends, and neighbors. Try to include those who need the acceptance and comfort of your family’s love and closeness (51)

5. Collect and file simple, inexpensive recipes for meals. Many people don’t practice hospitality because of the expense. You don’t, however, have to impress people with sumptuous meals or be the best entertainer in your church. Hospitality is to be a service to others, not an ego inflater (51).

6. Volunteer to house missionaries or traveling servants of the Lord (51).

7. Be interested in people’s lives. Learn which key questions make our time with other people more meaningful. Ask your guests how they met the Lord. If they are married, ask about their courtship and marriage. You will be amazed to find out how little we all know about each other (52).

8. Be creative in your activities with your guests. Have a time of prayer together, read Scripture together, or sing together. After the meal, take a walk together. All of these activities will draw you and other people closer together (52).

9. Pray that God will give you joy in this service for Him. Confess your selfishness, pride, and disobedience that have hindered you from opening your home to others. Ask the Lord to show you in His Word why hospitality is important. Remember, the Lord knows what is best for us (53).

Download the pdf here.
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