You Think You Have It Hard?
As we struggle with our daily walk, it is easy to start feeling sorry for ourselves. After all, we are trying to live pure lives in the midst of a very wicked world. There are temptations and trials on every hand. And, on top of that, if we take firm stands on moral or doctrinal principles some of our own brethren will likely brand us as ‘fanatical’ or ‘extreme.’ It’s often hard to do what is right under such circumstances.
But, wait! As we read our Bibles we see that God’s faithful people have always suffered for their convictions. The enemies of truth have consistently persecuted anyone who tired to do right. And, quite often, the strongest persecutions have come from people who claimed they were doing the will of God. Take a moment to recall how the prophets of the Old Testament were mistreated. Think about how the early Christians suffered for their faith. Recall the ultimate example — that of Jesus and how the Jewish leaders cried out to have Him brutally murdered.
Furthermore, we should take note of the fact that there are many places
in the world today where people are severely persecuted for trying to serve God.
Yes, it’s hard sometimes, but “ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin” (Hebrews 12:4). “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deut. 31:6).
No H8 Campaign
Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain, was recently featured in an ad
with the image of “NO H8” on her face with tape covering her mouth. The photo is
a project by the “No H8 Campaign” protesting the passage of Proposition 8 which
took away the “rights” of gay couples in
Hatred is a strong weapon to use against an enemy. It has been used since time began when man “changed the truth of God into a lie, and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:25). Hatred is the cause of many kinds of evil including murder, rape, envy, strife, deceit, covetousness, disobedient to parents and haters of God (Romans 1:28-32). However, hatred is not the reason that homosexuality is immoral. What the homosexual campaign amounts to is to convince the world that objection to homosexuality is hatred. Not so. Never has been nor should it be.
John reminds us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son” (John 3:16) and this love is based upon the desire by God “who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). The “knowledge of truth” is that homosexuality, adultery, fornication and sexuality outside the bonds of marriage is immoral because God determines what truth is. When the Lord condemns murder does he do so because of hate (1 John 4:8)? The Bible does not teach that we are to hate homosexuals because God does not (2 Peter 3:9). Suggesting that opposition to homosexuality is hatred is only creating an atmosphere of fear that suggests allowance of what has been condemned since man was formed in the Garden of Eden.
The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or know ye not that the
unrighteous shall not inherit the
The nature of homosexuality is the unrighteous act in rebellion to the love of God. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold down the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). Refusing to recognize homosexuality as immoral is hatred toward God. The laws of man may change to accept any perversion of the moral nature of God’s law but the law of God will never change. The nature of man will satisfy his needs as long as he lives; but when death brings that one before a loving and righteous judge – the needs of the Creator will be met. Jesus Christ loved the world to die for it because of his love. Eternal life can only be found in obedience to the Son of God.
Has This Ever Happened to You?
You went through an entire song service without even thinking about what you were singing?
You bowed your head and closed your eyes during the prayer, but you really didn’t become involved in the prayer?
You were more interested in when the preacher would finish the sermon than in what he was saying during the sermon?
You allowed some minor noise near you to completely upset you so that you could not really worship?
These and many other things often happen, don’t they? Here are some ways to avoid them:
1. Don’t come to services expecting to be entertained - this is not the purpose for our assemblies.
2. Be a participant rather than just a spectator.
3. Prepare yourself mentally when coming to worship.
4. Resolve that you are going to worship no matter what others do. There are many distractions, but we accept them. We do not condone noise in worship, but let us be determined that it will not keep us from worshiping.
5. Examine your motives for worshiping - and do so often. Doing things by habit can become a problem if we’re not careful.
6. Don’t think that services have to be conducted in new, innovative, or highly emotional ways to be meaningful.
7. Bring your Bible and follow references during the lesson.
8. Take notes during the sermon. The time will pass faster and you will retain more of the lesson.
9. Make a list of words in the songs which are unfamiliar to you and find their definition later.