Rule Number 2
Would Jesus attend a Gay Marriage Ceremony?
Isaiah 6:8-13; Matthew 22:36-40
Let’s ask a question today to help us understand why the church that holds to the Bible seems to be being reduced, slowly but surely, to a remnant. Would Jesus attend a gay marriage ceremony? Of course He would! Read Isaiah 6:8, and Matthew 22:36-40. Just like the passage in Isaiah 6:8, Jesus would say: “Send me!”—Send me to love the people! But, before we ask: “What would Jesus do?”…we must first consider exactly what Jesus actually did. In other words, when Jesus dealt with the lives of sinners, what exactly was His purpose, and how did He interact with us sinners? Again, Isaiah 6:8, and Matthew 22:36-40—Send me to love the people—I’ll go! Now, for those of us who want to be Christ-like, should we attend a gay ceremony if invited? In this message today, we will discuss “Rule number two.” Rule number one is to love God, and rule number two is to love each other (Matt. 22:36-40).
It must first be said, that God created each of us exactly as He intended to create us (Psalm 139:13-16; Eph. 1:4-5, 11). This means whether one feels heterosexual, or homosexual, that one is designed by God in a specific way (Of course, sometimes social conditions, or worldly conditions, influence our feelings after we are born—this does happen, and this is man’s doing, not God’s intent). Either way, the real issue is not being gay, or straight–God loves us all. The issue is what lifestyle we choose—either, adultery and fornication, or God’s way of marriage between one woman and one man, with no sex outside that marriage. God loves each person just the way He created them. The things that separate us from God are not the way we are created, but the way we act—our actions. The sin God cannot abide with is the gay lifestyle. God loves the gay person. And, for that matter, the straight lifestyle of having sex outside of marriage is also a sin. Both of these are defined as sin (adultery and fornication), and both are condemned by Jesus (Matt. 15:16-20). As to why God creates each of us in a particular way (we are all sinners), let me just say that Jesus tells us that we each are to bear our cross (our suffering in this world—Matt. 16:24-27—see the message “Freaks” at Target Truth Ministries.com). Pick any action in life—it is the same premise. Let’s say a person may be addicted to something like alcohol, or gambling. God loves each person just the way He created them—weakness and all. It is not our addictions which separate us from God. It is our action—do we submit to the addiction…or to God?
So, would Jesus attend a gay marriage ceremony? There are several examples of what Jesus actually did when He met with people…even what He did when He was invited to someone’s home—even a sinner’s home.
Matthew 9:9-13 – Verse ten tells us that many sinners joined with Jesus at the house of Matthew, a tax collector and sinner himself. Jesus did not go there to celebrate their jobs, or their lifestyle, or any of their sinful ways. He had a higher purpose. The tax collectors were seen as the lowest of people because they collected money from their own people to give to the Romans—the people’s enemies. Jesus said that He went there because they were sick (verse 12). Jesus is the “Great Physician”—meaning that Jesus can heal our physical ills, and Jesus can go even further and heal our sinful nature, and give us a new life. Jesus joined with these sinners in order to inform them that if they didn’t change their ways (sins), that they would remain separated from the kingdom of God. Jesus knew that if a person truly loves other people, and these other people are engaging in sin, that they need to be warned and encouraged to change (repent). Did they all repent? Probably not! But, Jesus went anyway. Matthew, a despised sinner, became a primary follower of Jesus.
Jesus did not come to this world to bring peace to the world, but to bring division (Matt. 10:34-36). Jesus did come to bring peace to each individual—peace of mind to those who trust in God (Micah 5:2-5). So, as individuals, we can enjoy peace…but, to the world He brought a sword—the Word of God is a two edged sword (Heb. 4:12). The Word of God divides those who follow God from those who choose to remain separated from God.
In Matthew 19:16-30, Jesus tells of a rich man he knew who asked what it takes to get into heaven. Jesus told him that he had to give up his way of life—the very thing important to him—his lifestyle. Even the disciples, when they heard this, responded: “Then who can be saved?” Jesus is telling us that if anything in our life is more important than following God and His ways, then we are essentially worshiping at that throne (the world), rather than at the throne of God. Jesus had to tell his friend that he had to give up his ways. Everywhere Jesus went, He admonished those He knew, as well as those who were strangers, that to have eternal life in God’s kingdom, one must love God with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matt. 22:37-38—rule number one). In Matthew 10:35-39, Jesus told the people that they had to love God more than family. We must love God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind—being willing to give up our very life (our lifestyle), if necessary, in this flesh world, in order to enjoy eternal life with God—Rule number one.
In Luke 7:36-50, Jesus was in another home, this time of a Pharisee named Simon, and a woman also had joined the group visiting with Jesus. Simon recognized the woman as a known sinner in the town. And, Simon reasoned that if Jesus knew that she was a sinner, that Jesus would not associate with her. But, Jesus said to Simon that the sins of the woman are forgiven because she showed faith in worshiping at the feet of Jesus. She washed Jesus’ feet (a lowly job of submission). She gave Jesus perfume—gave of her assets—her wealth. She kissed Jesus (a custom showing submission to the person being kissed in the eastern cultures even to this day). Simon, on the other hand, showed no such respect for Jesus, and was more interested in elevating his own position by being with Jesus, who was recognized as a great man—a popular figure around town. Jesus is not just a great celebrity for us to be around, or a great story for us to read about. Jesus is fully (truly), God, as well as fully (truly), man (the Trinity—see the book God’s Plan / Satan’s Plan—Target Truth Ministires.com). Unless we can humble ourselves before our Savior, and follow His ways (which are laid out for us in His Word—the Bible), we will remain condemned to hell (which is eternal separation from God for all eternity). Each of us needs to submit to God’s ways, and loose our own life (lifestyle), if necessary—Rule number one.
In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus told a parable about people who feel they are good, and look at others as sinners. Jesus said that the one who thought highly of himself would be humbled (either receive a lessor reward, or be separated from God). The one who understood that he was a sinner, and came to God to repent, would receive the greater blessing, and eternal life with God for all eternity. All of us need to recognize that we are sinners, and in need of Jesus to save us from eternal separation from Him for all eternity. This requires us to repent (change), from our worldly ways, and accept His ways—Rule number one.
In John 4:7-26, Jesus encounters the woman at the well, who had lived in sin all her life—having five husbands, and currently living with another man, not in marriage—all sins. In verse 39, we learn that the people of the village of this woman became believers in Jesus as the Messiah (the promised Savior). Did the woman become a believer? This passage does not tell us, although it would seem she was pretty impressed with Him as a great Prophet, and she recognized that Jesus could be the promised Messiah. But, we don’t know if she trusted in Jesus, and changed her living habits (her lifestyle). Again…rule number one.
So, what about rule number two? Matthew 22:36-40 tells us that we are to love God first—rule number one. Rule number two follows, which is to love others as you would love yourself. Some start with rule number two, and say that Jesus would have us love everyone, and accept them for who they are, and accept their choices in life, and if a friend is gay and getting married, that if we love others, that we should celebrate their love with them, and join in the celebration of their marriage. After all, Jesus visited with sinners all the time. Sounds simple—just love them. But, is that what Jesus is actually saying? Not hardly. Jesus is telling us to love our God first…then, like we love God… we are to love each other. If we truly love someone, we will want them to enjoy eternity with Jesus in heaven, and not perish in this world. If we truly love someone, we will not want to see them separated from Jesus. Therefore, if we truly love someone, we need to share the truth with them…even if it hurts…even if they reject us. Their eternal life, whether in heaven or hell, is at stake.
John 21:15-17, tells us that if we love God, we must feed his creation. The bread of life is the Word of God (John 6:48-50), and the Word of God is not what itching ears want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3-5). For us to feed God’s creation, requires that we feed everyone the Word of God, so that they will not perish. It is easy to be friendly to people, and not share with them the truth of God’s Word. But, if we truly love them, and if we are to feed God’s creation, we must give them the Word of God, and warn them about sinning against God. We must share with others that we ourselves have also fallen short, and we, as well, also need the Word of God, and His mercy, forgiveness, and saving grace. We are not God…we are sinners ourselves—humble messengers of His truth. We are saved by Jesus’ love and grace, and we are called to feed His creation (His sheep).
In Mark 9:42-50, Jesus goes even one step further. Not only are we to feed His sheep, but we also are called to be salt…and not cause anyone to stumble. Therefore, if we do not admonish people, and if we attend a gay wedding without saying anything about the gay lifestyle being a sin, then we ourselves are condemned. Yes, Jesus would attend a gay marriage ceremony, but Jesus would admonish all those in attendance that to continue in sin is to face hell. Are we prepared to attend a gay wedding and admonish those in attendance? For most, probably not…and that is why many should not attend. To attend a gay wedding is either to celebrate with those in attendance (condone the sin), or to feed the sheep with God’s Word to save them. We are all sinners. Everyone in attendance at any wedding, gay or straight, is a sinner, and we all need Jesus—or perish. We need to love people as Jesus loved people, which means wanting the best for them—eternal life in Paradise. We need to share the gospel with this dying world.
In Luke 19:1-10, Jesus went to the home of another sinner—Zaccheus. Zaccheus was a lost person (verse 10). Zacchues was a rich man—a tax collector (verse 2). Zaccheus was a sinner (verse 7). Because Zaccheus changed (repented), he was saved (verse 9). Without change from our ways of living (our lifestyle), we remain lost, and condemned. If a Christian who knows the truth of God’s Word does not help a lost person, they will themselves experience a loss of reward in God’s kingdom.
Now, there is a danger in how we share our love for others—how we let them know we are truly concerned with their eternal life. The thing we as Christians must avoid while trying to love someone, is that we shouldn’t chase people away from God by our own actions–we need to truly love them. Picture if you will, the cross of Jesus’ sacrifice. A picture of love and sacrifice. Compare this to a picture of a cross with a scarecrow mounted on it. A picture of scaring away those who approach it. The church is often seen by people as a scarecrow–chasing away people–when the church should be the loving sacrificial cross of Jesus. While the church cannot condone sin (actions), and in fact must point out sin (actions), the church also must love the sinner (the person God created).
Now, it is a given that a Christian will be rejected and ridiculed if they make some remark about following God’s ways, instead of the world’s ways. In Matthew 10:11-15, Jesus tells us to make acquaintances with people wherever we go—this would include sinners who do not know God’s Word. And, if they receive the truth of God’s Word, bless them. But, if people reject God, then leave them alone—don’t encourage them—don’t engage in their lifestyles. In fact, a Christian is told to take back their blessing if people reject God’s Word. Jesus wants to make it crystal clear, that to reject the truth will result in condemnation. In verse 15, Jesus warns that for people who hear the Word of God, and reject it, and continue in their worldly ways, that their punishment will be extreme.
On the flip side, there are out there in the world, people who don’t know Jesus…and, many of them will recognize truth when they see, or hear it, and they will change when they are given the truth. In Luke 7:1-10 (a story of an alien—a non-Jew), a Roman Centurion had a slave who was sick. He came to Jesus to ask for help, because he had heard great things about his healing ability. According to Jesus, this man had more faith than even His own people—Israel. This should be of encouragement for us to feed the sheep. There are aliens out there who will receive the truth gladly, despite the fact that many people will reject the truth, and reject the carrier of the truth.
We must always remember that we ourselves (Christians), are sinners who are saved by the forgiveness and grace of God (Eph. 2:8-9). We have no authority ourselves, and there are no works I can perform to obtain salvation on my own. All our authority comes from our Creator, who gave us His Word—the Bible. If we love others like God tells us to, then we must be concerned for their eternal destiny, and feed them the Word of God—the truth that saves. God is primarily concerned with our eternal destiny—and secondarily concerned with our comfort in this world.
In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus is confronted with a paralytic man. Jesus said that because of His faith in Jesus’ ability to heal, that He proclaimed the man to be saved: “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Notice that Jesus did not (at that point), cure the paralyzed man. Jesus was concerned with the man’s eternal destiny. Later, when Jesus saw the people’s need for a physical miracle, then Jesus cured the man…but the purpose was so that people would believe in His power to save us from our sins, and reconcile us to God, and His kingdom—not that the paralytic man needed to walk.
If we, as Christians, are to do to others as we want done to us (rule number two), then, we must feed God’s creation with His Word. I would not want to go through life not knowing the truth. So, if you attend a friend’s gay wedding, be sure to feed the sheep. But, be prepared to be asked to leave. And when you leave, be sure to remove your blessing as commanded by Jesus (Matt. 10:13). Still, even if rejected, we will know that we have planted a seed, and we can pray that God will eventually convict those people who won’t listen to us, to get their “ears to hear” Jesus (Matt. 13:14-17—see message “The Day I Got My Ears to Hear”—Target Truth Ministries.com. We are all sinners (Rom. 3:10-12, 23). We all need to be fed. Jesus implored us who have His Word to feed His sheep. I pray we will all devour His Word. It is never too soon to enjoy a good meal. This world is rejecting those who God sends more and more. Right after Isaiah said “Here I am, send me.”—God said… Isaiah 6:9-13. We are that remnant—the world is in denial—let’s feed the sheep!