No Matter What, They Can’t Put Jesus Back in the Grave

It’s not like we couldn’t see this coming. In previous opinions the Supreme Court had tipped its hand to what eventually took place yesterday. They re-defined marriage. Their previous decisions not to weigh in on the appeals from states where lower courts had found same-sex marriage to be a constitutional right was in effect, weighing in. At that time, in a response posted on his blog Moore to the Point, Russell Moore discussed the proper response to the court’s decision not to hear these appeals saying, “The Supreme Court can do many things, but they can’t get Jesus back in the grave.” He repeated that truth again after yesterday’s ruling.

When considering all that’s taking place in our society, as a Christian, it can be discouraging. The Supreme Court’s decision, the thought that a pro-life stance could be part of what is called a “war on woman”, an administration that promotes policies that stand contrary to not only the Constitution, but more importantly, biblical principles, and then we have members of both political parties who show neither leadership nor any core convictions as they shift their beliefs based on which way the political wind is blowing at the time. All the while, we ask God to bless our nation. Really!

Contrary to popular belief, man is not the measure of all things. God is. Even those who stand on the side of morality often fail to invoke the name of Jesus in their standing. Morality never saved a sole. It’s only a by-product of salvation that comes through Christ alone. Yes, there are many moral people who don’t name the name of Christ and we should be thankful for their moral stand. We should however pray that it would be motivated by what Christ has done on the cross. The belief that God graciously saved us so we could remain in our sin needs to be called what it is—a lie (see Romans 6:1-2). And I still can’t find the passage where Jesus said, “Go and sin more”. No, He took our sin for us. He put away our past by nailing it to the cross. That’s when love really won. Not yesterday. Our union with Christ has broken sin’s dominion in our lives. This doesn’t mean we all don’t sin; just that it is no longer the default position of our heart. A changed heart results in a changed life! It may be a progressive change but the progression is always more toward God’s will as opposed to our own. Thankfully, our God is a patient God. He is a good and kind God. His kindness and patience, however, are not to be mistaken for indifference toward sin, but instead meant to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4).

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Jesus wasn’t raised, that if we (Christ followers) have hope only in this life, then “we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). In the next verse he says, “But Christ has been raised…” This is the hope we cling to. This is why instead of wishing judgment on those who stand contrary to Christian values, we are to pray for them and patiently share the message of the gospel. We must remember, those who oppose Christian values are not really our enemy, Satan is. They have only been captured by the devil to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26), or at the very least, been deceived into thinking God hasn’t spoken clearly on these issues. Our God is a saving God. There is no one beyond His grace. Having received it, we are to show it and desire it for others. However, this doesn’t mean we are not to take a stand and speak for what is right, not what’s right in our eyes, but in God’s alone.

I’m thankful for the men and women who work through legal or legislative means to preserve our Constitutional rights. I’m thankful for men and women who stand for morality in our nation. I’m thankful for people like Dr. Russell Moore who challenge us to always think biblically, who in everything they say invoke the name of Jesus and the message of the gospel. Jesus isn’t going back in the grave. Let us cling to that reality even when situations and circumstances make it appear otherwise. Let us cling to His Word. “This God—His way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 18:30). God has spoken. No political solution will ever solve the issues our nation faces. Nor will a vote of the people or a Supreme Court ruling. In the end, it boils down to one issue, one person really. His name is Jesus. Now let us humble ourselves before Him.

“If my people who are called by name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Self-Determined Apart from God

“…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen” (Romans 1:25)

When I first heard the quote, my mind immediately went to Romans 1:18-32 and quite frankly the state of our nation. Ravi Zacharias was preaching a series on Saul, Israel’s first king when he said, “When you are determined in going in a certain direction, it’s quite possible that God would step aside and second your motion”. The series was entitled A Life That Lost Its Focus. It seems hard to believe the extent to which our nation is ignoring God’s will. More and more, politicians from both parties support policies contrary to what God desires for our nation. One of our nation’s most polarizing debates is on the issue of same-sex marriage. It’s an issue in which God has spoken clearly.

Romans 1:18-32 confronts the issue of unrighteousness and the consequences that result from it. This passage may be a difficult part of Scripture, but it is a necessary part. In it, Paul spoke of judgment on the unrighteous, judgment that came because the truth about God had been perverted, the people had exchanged the truth about God for a lie. Three times in this section of Romans, Paul wrote that “God gave them up”. In essence, God seconded their motion, removed His restraining hand and allowed the unrighteous to continue in their sin only to suffer the consequences of it. This was God’s judgment.

Scripture repeatedly demonstrates the biblical principle that obedience brings blessing while disobedience brings judgment. Though we try, we can’t divide God in His attributes? We can’t elevate His mercy and grace above His holiness and righteousness. To accept one attribute as true is to accept them all as true. He is perfect in each of them.

In the book of Romans, Paul laid out the gospel in its clearest terms. He began with sin (Romans 1:18-3:20). Scripture is clear about sin, not only sexual sin, but all sin. God can’t look upon it. However, sometimes in order to not offend or hurt people’s feelings, sin is either downplayed or all together left out of the gospel presentation. When such is the case, the gospel has not been presented, just a false imitation. This doesn’t mean we should be anything less than gracious as we share the need for forgiveness of sin. We all share equally in that need.

We are at a crisis point in our nation. Our national leaders seem to have lost focus on doing God’s will on matters of public policy. For the most part, they stand for nothing. Equally unfortunate is that much of the electorate is either uninformed of this fact or simply does not care. We should. Our rights are not endowed by a president or legislature intoxicated by power, but by our Creator, and as such, we are to submit to His will. If we persist in going a way that is contrary to the will of God, there comes a point in which He will step aside, allow us to go our own way, pursue our sin and suffer the consequences as a result of it. Are we now at that place in our country? Have we lost our focus? Have you lost yours? As Christians, we believe what we do because the Bible says it. For all the noble arguments that form the basis of support for marriage being between one man and one woman, because the Bible says so is where the argument ends. Though unbelievers couldn’t care less about biblical authority, Christians must hold to it.

Thankfully for us, Paul didn’t stop at Romans 3:20, but under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, continued to write, showing us the magnificence of God’s grace through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. The “giving over” to sin and its judgment Paul spoke of in this passage was not eternal. One day His judgment will be. But today, judgment for sin is meant to drive us to seek God’s grace. And God is ready to give that grace. It comes at the cross. And it comes because of Jesus. He is our only hope! So, if you need to regain your focus, try focusing on Him.