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What’s Wrong With Same Sex Marriage, a new book from Crossway by D James Kennedy & Jerry Newcombe, is packed with revealing and insightful data that can help jolt many believers out of their complacency on this core cultural threat. Netherlands researchers (where homosexual marriage has been legal the longest) found “marriage” between 2 men lasts an average of 1.5 years and during that time the men had an average of 8 other sexual partners per year. In the U.S., 57% of heterosexual married couples report being faithful to their vows, not the other around as our media constantly implies. Why do homosexuals want all the legal entanglements of marriage? They don’t, what they really want is to make us like them and to open the door to all kinds of sexual chaos that may force acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle on everyone whether or not we agree with it. Michelangelo Signorile, a homosexual writer and activist states the real agenda; “It is also a chance to wholly transform the definition of family in American culture. It is the final tool with which to dismantle all sodomy statutes, get education about homosexuality and AIDS into public schools, and, in short, usher in a sea change in how society views and treats.” This vocal minority (3.2% of adults) is bent on forcing its views on the majority. In fact for about the last 10 years, this group has spent $200 million a year on litigation to destroy marriage as a man and a woman. (What’s Wrong With Same-Sex Marriage? Kennedy & Newcombe, Crossway, ‘04)
1 John 2:15-2:17
1 Kings 3:16-3:28
2 Corinthians 9:12-10:1
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ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when…
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising
situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).
Brian La Croix
We all know what sins are, but let me focus for a moment on those hindrances.
Hindrances are those things that may not be sins, but still keep you from living a life totally surrendered to God.
Imagine you are at a track meet, and they’re lining up for the 100 meter dash. Everything’s fine except for one contestant. Instead of the regular shorts and track shoes, he’s wearing a snowmobile suit and galoshes.
Now that’s probably not against the rules, but he’s not going to win, if he even survives the race.
The clothes are a hindrance to his success.
Take an inventory of your life to see if there are any hindrances to your walk with God.
“Healed But Not Cured!” Hebrews 12: 5-12: Key verse(s): 6 “...because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Sickness! There isn’t a life that hasn’t been touched by it. And, when we count our blessings at the end of the day, we aren’t likely to include sickness as one of them. Being sick, whether that be the flu or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is never fun. Anyone who can link fun and feeling bad together would certainly have to be a bit of an illusionist. But, I have always been struck by a story that in many ways sheds a different light on what we normally ascribe to be bad fortune as illness and disease creep into our lives.
Many years ago down in Alabama the locals were looking forward to their annual cotton harvest. Cotton had been king in the south for decades and this year as in countless years past all hopes for profit and the good life were banking on cotton. Unfortunately, a little bug called a boll weevil had different plans. Migrating into an Alabama port from Mexico, the little black bug took aim on the thousands and thousands of acres of fields of cotton just coming into bloom. In the space of just a few months it had eaten its way across one county and started into another. It wasn’t long before pretty much most of Alabama was feeling the pinch. In the space of just a few years, 60% of the cotton harvest in the state was ruined. The cotton industry was sick unto death in Alabama and because in those days there was little in the way of pesticides to control the pest, many farmers just gave up farming altogether. Until one innovative farmer down in the southwest corner of the state where the weevil first attacked came up with a bold idea. What about peanuts? And, sure enough, within a decade a good deal of the prime cotton land was planted with peanuts. It wasn’t long before Alabama, especially the southwestern corner of the state, became prosperous again. In fact farmers soon found out that it was less expensive to plant, grow, maintain and harvest peanuts than it was cotton. Many marginal farming efforts were suddenly becoming quite profitable. A sickness that threatened to wipe out prosperity in Alabama suddenly became the catalyst for agricultural growth and unprecedented prosperity. The people of Alabama who at first greeted the boll weevil with dread and great despair were so overjoyed that they put up a monument to the little bug thanking it; for it had as an instrument of suffering become the means of great blessings.
Can sickness, even sickness unto death, be such a blessing for a Christian? On the surface it would seem not. How can a Christian do God’s will if he is lying in bed, flat on his back? How can pain, discomfort, medical treatment and surgery as well as the compounding effects of medication be in any way a blessed state? Tony Campolo tells a story about being in a church in Oregon where he was asked to pray for a man who had cancer. Campolo prayed boldly for the man’s healing. That next week he got a telephone call from the man’s wife. She said, “You prayed for my husband. He had cancer.” Campolo thought when he heard her use the past tense verb that his cancer had been eradicated! But before he could think much about it she said, “He died.” Campolo felt terrible. But she continued, “Don’t feel bad. When he came into that church that Sunday he was filled with anger. He knew he was going to be dead in a short period of time, and he hated God. He was 58 years old, and he wanted to see his children and grandchildren grow up. He was angry that this all-powerful God didn’t take away his sickness and heal him. He would lie in bed and curse God. The more his anger grew towards God, the more miserable he was to everybody a...
Wade Hughes, Sr
Why do people wear masks?
Several years ago, I had a nightmare, it was terrible.
For many days my spirit was greatly troubled.
In a dream, I saw one of my most serious workers at
church dying a terrible death.
As my church worker was dying,
I saw a battle going against my member.
I was broken beyond belief, as I saw this dedicated
Christian worker die and the Devil was grabbing the
individual and taking the soul to hell.
The smell was terrible, I could smell the enemy and
hell. This was so real.
In the dream, I started screaming, this is a terrible
No way enemy, you can’t have this worker!
I have counted on them to do many things to build
They have touched many people and led many to the
I am a better pastor because of this individual, and
the church is a better church, after all the hours
and efforts this family has invested in the church.
The enemy was slowly dragging my church member toward
the lake of fire and great torment.
We could hear the horrible sounds coming out of hell.
The smell was so real and horrible, I shall never
I was thinking, maybe there was secret sin, and they
were playing Christian games.
This was not the problem. I tried to fight for my
dear friend and the enemy kept slowly pulling my
member towards hell.
The fight was very painful.
I said, this is a good person.
This family paid their tithes.
They were faithful to church.
I could count on them.
What is going on here?
Jesus help me? What is going on here?
With tears in His eyes, Jesus came to me,
and said, I have tried and I have tried to change the
events of this day.
I have personally sent messages through you to warn
I have sent radio messages to expose the sin?
I have given the words to television preachers, and
they watched with zeal, but My words were unheeded.
This person has cassette tapes that has warned them,
but they have not heard the message I have spoken to
This person has books on their shelf, they have read
the parts they like, but the message I warned them,
As a matter of record, when they heard the message,
they said the message was for someone else.
They even said, amen, let it be, but they thought the
message was for the other party.
I again questioned, Why Jesus, what is the wrong?
I knew them! They are good people.
With tears running down Jesus’ face,
Jesus said, "This individual was very angry,
and full of wrath.
Bitterness was rampant daily, and unforgiveness had
helped to bring an early death.
The home was full of coldness and painful rejection.
This person had allowed a critical spirit to tear
down the confidence in everyone.
They refused to pray.
Their hurt and disappointments had become the driving
force in their heart.
The anger they carried had brought physical
affliction, yet this never got their attention to
The person had rejected forgiveness, and justified
because of unforgiveness.
I was absolutely broken, as I saw one of my best
friends escorted into hell.
I could do nothing to change the hard heart, the
the bitterness, --- the bait had been accepted.
The trap had locked on the neck.
I understood blasphemy as never before.
By focusing on the bitterness and pain, the person
had shown contempt and the lack of reverence for God
or His people.
Jesus had warned, the anger was turning into wrath,
The Gospel is good news of mercy to the undeserving. The symbol of the religion of Jesus is the cross, not the scales.
-- John R. W. Stott
I used the famous Gene Kelly scene from Singing in the Rain as an illustration of Romans 5:17. The Sermon title was Singing in the Reign. Kelly’s dance was full of the child-like love we can feel and experience in knowing that God has freely given us His abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness. Kelly’s exhuberant joy is dampened by the appearance of the policeman - an apt illustration of moving from grace and the free gift back into legalism!
Imagine a group of people coming to your home and interrupting your Twinkie-eating, TV-watching routine with an urgent message: “Good News! We’re from the United States Olympic Committee. We have been looking for someone to run the marathon in the next Olympics. We have statistics on every person in the entire nation on computer. We have checked everybody’s records – their performance in the president’s fitness test in grade school, body type, bone structure, right down to their current percentage of body fat. We have determined that out of two hundred million people, you are the one person in America with a chance to bring home the gold medal in the marathon. So you are on the squad. You will run the race. This is the chance of a lifetime.”
You are surprised by this because the farthest you have ever run is from the couch to the refrigerator. But after the first shock passes, you are gripped by the realization of what’s happening in your life. You picture yourself mingling with the elite athletes of the world. You allow yourself to imagine that maybe you do have what it takes. At night you dream about standing on the podium after the race and hearing the national anthem, seeing the flag raised, and bending low to receive the gold medal.
You begin to feel a sense of urgency. It will be your body wearing those little racing togs, with a billion people watching on television. But greater than any external pressure is the internal drive that says, “This is the race I was created to run. This is my destiny. This is why I was born. Here’s my chance!”
This race becomes the great passion of your life. It dominates your mind. It occupies every waking moment. To run the race – to win if you can – become the central focus of your existence. It is what gets you out of bed in the mor...
Dr. Bruce Emmert
One of the most touching moment in the Sydney Olympics was when Eric "The Swimmer" Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea swam in the 100-meter free style qualifying heat. The 22-year-old African had only learned to swim last January, had only practiced in a 20-meter pool without lane markers, and had never raced more than 50 meters. By special invitation of the International Olympic Committee, under a special program that permits poorer countries to participate even though their athletes don’t meet customary standards, he had been entered in the 100-meter men’s freestyle.
When the other two swimmers in his heat were disqualified because of false starts, Moussambani was forced to swim alone. Eric Moussambani was, to use the words of an Associated Press story about his race, "charmingly inept." He never put his head under the water’s surface and flailed wildly to stay afloat. With ten meters left to the wall, he virtually came to a stop. Some spectators thought he might drown! Even though his time was over a minute slower than what qualified for the next level of competition, the capacity crowd at the Olympic Aquatic Center stood to their feet and cheered the swimmer on. After what seemed like an eternity, the African reached the wall and hung on for dear life. When he had caught his breath and regained his composure, the French-speaking Moussambani said through an interpreter, "I want to send hugs and kisses to the crowd. It was their cheering that kept me going."
As Christians, we have a cheering section encouraging us on when we are tired and calling out to us to do better when we are feeling at our best. The author of Hebrews says, “We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.” What in the world does he mean—great cloud of witnesses? The author of Hebrews is telling us that we are a part of something much richer and deeper than we know. As children of God and as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, we are a part of a family.
MICHAEL CARD tells the story of a man named Joseph who came to Christ out of a muslim background. One day walking a hot dirty African road met someone who shared Christ with him. Then and there he accepted Jesus as his Savior and the power of the Holy Spirit overwhelmed him with such joy that the first thing he wanted to do was go back and tell his own villiage. He went from door to door telling of the cross and the forgiveness for sin. He expected their faces to light up as his had when they discovered this wonderful truth. To his amazement they became violent: the men seized him and held him to the ground while the women beat him with strands of barbed wire. Dragged and left to die alone in the bush. He revived and made it to a water hole where he spent days recovering. He was confused and finally decided that he must have left something out or not told the story correctly. After rehearsing the message he returned. Stood in the circle of huts and began to proclaim Jesus. Again grabbed by men and beaten by women, reopening the wounds that had just begun to heal. Dragged unconscious again and left to die. TO have survived the first time was remarkable but to survive this beating was a miracle. Days later he awoke and determined to go back. This time he was attacked before he even opened his mouth. Before he passed out the last thing he saw was that the women who were beating him had begun to weep. This time he awoke in his own bed, the ones who had beaten him were now trying to save his life. The entire village came to know Jesus Christ..