He Is Risen – Luke 24:1-12

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'”

And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

Luke 24:1-12 NKJV

May you come to know the risen Lord.

EmptyTomb

Gay Marriage is a Symptom of a Deeper Issue

This week, the United States Supreme Court will be considering arguments on the constitutionality of two key laws dealing with so-called gay marriage rights: California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Gay Marriage BarsThose who support granting the legal right for homosexuals to marry frame the issue as a civil rights issue. As one of my Facebook friends put it, “What possible good does it do us as a people to arbitrarily deny others the opportunity to achieve their dreams? Equal rights: I’m for them.”

Those opposing the legalization of gay marriage usually frame the discussion in terms of an attack on the family. As one prominent evangelical put it, “Now, this institution that has preserved the context for intimacy, procreation, and the raising of children is threatened with a redefinition that would render the state’s conception of marriage at odds with millennia of human wisdom, putting human flourishing at risk.”

I contend that the debate over so-called gay marriage rights is really just a symptom of a much deeper issue. Who determines what is right and wrong? Who determines what is moral and immoral? Is truth determined by public consensus, or by Almighty God?

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things (Romans 1:18-23).

1Man1WomanThe gay marriage issue is a symptom of society’s rejection of the truth of God. It’s not that people don’t know the truth; God’s truth is seen in everything He created. Everything around us points to the truth of God’s Word, the Bible. The problem is that our culture suppresses the truth – we make up excuses, we devise clever arguments, and we make up our own “truth.” Human nature is to rebel against God. We think we’re smarter than God. We set ourselves up as the rulers of our own lives, rather than submitting to the true Ruler of all – God. This is complete and utter foolishness.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due (Romans 1:24-27).

Most homosexuals claim that the reason they are gay is because they were born that way. They claim that there is a biological basis for their homosexuality.

First, there is no scientific basis for such a claim. Despite objections to the contrary, a so-called “gay gene” has never been discovered. There isn’t a shred of observable scientific evidence supporting the notion that some people are born gay.

Second, suppose, for the sake of argument, that a “gay gene” is eventually identified and scientifically verified as existing. What then? Would this support the argument that God made some people homosexual, and that this therefore makes gay marriage morally acceptable?

gene_mutationGenetic mutation is a result of the Fall of mankind in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve were genetically perfect when God created them. Six thousand years of mutations have accumulated in the human genome since that time. Genetic abnormalities are responsible for numerous conditions, from Sickle-Cell Anemia to Down’s Syndrome. God didn’t create these conditions; they are the result of the sin of Adam, and subsequently, the sins of all humankind. So it would be if a “gay gene” were to be discovered. Such a gene would not exist because God created it; rather, it would exist because of the corruption of the genes God originally created.

Even if a so-called “gay gene” were to be identified – which it has not – this would not logically support the concept that homosexual actions are acceptable to God.

According to Romans 1:24-27, homosexual behavior is the consequence of rejecting God. Because people have suppressed the truth and exchanged the truth of God for lies, God has rejected them, and given them over to the consequences of their choices.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:28-31).

Here’s the part that many Evangelical Christians miss: homosexuality is just one of a plethora of sins, and we’re all guilty, not just homosexuals.

In this passage, God puts sins such as envy, whispering about others, unforgiveness, and lack of mercy on the same level as homosexuality, murder, and sexual immorality.

CrossAll sin, from “little” sins like boasting and gossip, to “big” sins like homosexuality and murder, are the result of rejecting God’s authority over us. All sins, whether we consider them big or small, are offensive to God, and worthy of His wrath. The gay marriage issue is a symptom of the deeper issue of rejecting God. Not only do those who practice sin deserve death, but also those approve of those who practice them. Acceptance of sin is the same as actually practicing sin in God’s eyes.

Should so-called gay marriage be accepted as normal, and made legal? Absolutely not! But, neither should other kinds of sin. When sin is recognized as normal and acceptable by a society, that society opens itself to God’s judgment and wrath. When people turn to God, repent of their sin, and receive forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ, they receive God’s grace, rather than His wrath.

We are reaping what we have sown. The evil we have increasingly seen in our world is the direct result of God’s judgment of our culture’s increasing acceptance of sin.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

~ Isaiah 5:20