In recent news the hostile subject of marriage has come before the Supreme Court of our country. There is no question that our country is divided over the issue of marriage, with the balance sliding more and more in the wrong direction. The Bible is clear on the definition of marriage (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:18-25; Mt. 19:1-12; Eph. 5:22-33) with all of its benefits. Of course there are many, whether on blogs or television or radio, who misquote and misunderstand Scripture. They, like the devil himself, seem skilled in twisting the words of God and are like the blind leading the blind. Nevertheless, with all that is going on in our country over the issue of marriage it can be quite maddening as well as disheartening to say the least. What can the righteous do when the foundation seems to be shaking? What can the people of God do when it seems that the wicked are prevailing, whether it is in the case of marriage or any other subject? How are we to live in this present evil age? Well, there are several things to consider. This is by no means an exhaustive list for Christians. But it is at least a start…
1. Let us remember where we live (Gen. 3; Gal. 1:4; Eph. 2:2; 1 Pt. 2:9; 1 Jn. 5:19). It is good to be honest. This world, including America, is fallen and sinful. We live in a place where evil is present and seemingly prevailing. We praise God that we have been delivered from such a place by grace through faith in Christ and that we are secure in Him with the Holy Spirit as our guarantee. But let us not forget where we temporarily live. This place is not paradise. This place is full of men and women, boys and girls, who are evil and who do evil things, even with a smile on their face. We would do the same but for the grace of God! But let’s be honest about where we live. We shouldn’t expect anything different from those who are evil.
2. Let us remember who is on the throne (Ps. 2; Rev. 4-5). Don’t loose heart. There is a righteous King ruling and reigning who knows all and sees all. No one is getting away with anything. The battle belongs to the Lord and He will win in the end. It is the Lord who laughs last. We must hold fast to our confession and be ready to give a defense. The Lord reigns and is sovereign. Let us remember that we have a Father who knows what He is doing and is working all things together for our good. Our sovereign Lord knows how to keep us and defend us and bring us safely home, even though it is through the valley of the shadow of death. We need not fear any evil because the Lord our Shepherd is with us to the very end.
2. Let us pray down heaven (Ps. 7, 10; Dan. 6, 9; Heb. 4:16; Rev. 5:8; 8:1-5). In so many of the psalms we have David or others who find themselves in distress. It seems their first recourse is prayer. They run to the throne of grace for help. In fact it seems that all throughout the Bible God’s people pray in regards to the injustice and wickedness and sin they see all around them and even within them.
3. Let us not forsake the assembling for worship (Ps. 73; Heb.10:23-25). The worse thing to do in times of difficulty or crisis is to abandon corporate worship. Forsaking the gathering together of the saints is detrimental to our spiritual vitality, especially when we realize that we are in spiritual warfare and are not playing a game. Worship gives us the right perspective and it is where the Lord teaches us and rebukes us and corrects and trains us and calms us. There our Lord grants us contentment and joy in Him so that the things of this world tend to fade into the background and we once again have the right perspective. Worship is meant to stir us up and encourage us to hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering because he who promised is faithful.
4. Let us keep our eyes on Jesus (Heb.12). The Christian life is one of struggle and weariness. The race of faith is difficult as we learn daily. How will we endure as we face the increasing hostility of the world in things such as marriage and all else? We must keep our eyes on the “founder and perfecter of our faith”. He despised the shame and joyfully accepted the abuse and is now at the right hand of the throne of God. Let us also remember where our heart is and our eternal home. Let us not trade in such a great salvation for such meagerness as this world. Let us be even willing to suffer and die as we struggle against sin, knowing that our Father has our holiness and good in mind.
5. Let us speak the truth and do good (Mark 1; Rom. 1; 1 Peter 4:12-19). Those to whom the apostle Peter wrote lived under ungodly civil government and were surrounded by an ungodly society. How were they to handle it? They were not to be surprised, to rejoice for being associated with Christ and sharing in his sufferings, to consider themselves blessed, and to “entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good”. If we must suffer, then let it be for doing what is good and righteous.
6. Let us remember that this is not our home (Heb. 11:13-16; 13:14). Here we have no lasting city and are therefore not tied to it. We are citizens of heaven more than we are citizens of this earth. And we await with eagerness and joy the great Day when Christ will return to get rid of evil once and for all and usher in the New Heavens and Earth where we will spend eternity with our Lord and Savior.
7. Let us trust God, His power, & His design (Acts; Rom. 1:16-17; 1 Thess. 1). We are told that the gospel is the power of God to salvation and that faith comes by hearing through preaching. And we know that the Holy Spirit is God and will prevail whenever and wherever He chooses. Let us not doubt the power of God but boldly proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There is no other hope for us or for our country. Let us leave it to God and faithfully believe, know, love, & proclaim the Word of God. We don’t have to do this with screaming however. Let us proclaim the gospel boldly and winsomely and calmly and patiently though uncompromisingly, knowing full well that God’s Word is sharper than any two-edged sword and is living active. His Word works whether we see it or not. Let us trust and obey.
Fight the good fight of the faith and run the race with endurance and know that the same grace that has brought us safe thus far will lead us safely all the way Home. Our God is a mighty fortress whose truth and Kingdom are forever.
We always have every reason to “give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and…sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” (Psalms 7:17).