Imagine with me for a moment that one fine Sunday morning you’re at a Spirit-filled worship service. The worship team has taken the music to a whole new level! The place is packed! There are smiles on everyone’s faces!
Truly it seems that a little bit of heaven has come down to earth! And to top it all off, the pastor preaches one of his best sermons ever! People are filled with joy and other’s hearts are filled with repentance! And just as the pastor prepares to give the invitation, the sanctuary doors burst open and a dozen police officers rush down the aisle shouting to the pastor that they have a warrant for his arrest…
Now wait a minute! Before your mind wanders off into the wrong direction about the pastor’s private life or something like that, understand that he is being arrested because he has been preaching a series on Romans chapter one! He had been teaching weekly through the chapter, a few verses at a time. And in today’s sermon, he has just completed the chapter.
By the reaction of the congregation, he had preached a powerful, loving, and yet convicting message which expressed that homosexuality (along with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, evil-mindedness, gossip, hatefulness toward God, violence, pride, boasting, evil inventions, disobedience to parents, covenant-breaking, unnatural affection, un-forgiveness, and un-mercifulness) are things which God despises. Yet it was because of the topic of homosexuality that he was charged with civil rights violations. Someone who attended some of the services had reported him to the police and after corroborating the claimant’s story that he was in fact preaching Romans 1:26-31, they were able to obtain a warrant for his arrest.
Sounds a bit ridiculous at the moment doesn’t it? But just think about this: With all of the states that have legalized gay marriage, how long do you think it will be before our churches and our Christian schools are forced to avoid the sections of the Bible that speak to the immorality of the homosexual lifestyle?
Believe it or not, this is as far as I got in writing this post before I had to head out to work yesterday morning. Little did I know that by the time I went to lunch, I would come across the following Foxnews.com headline:
“Pastors to mayor:
Don’t mess with Texas pulpits”
The article was about Houston Mayor Annise Parker who happens to be openly lesbian. She pushed to get a subpoena from the city to require that five local churches turn over all documented sermons that speak of homosexuality, including any that mention her. Needless to say, the pastors refused to surrender any such information. I don’t know about you, but I would have done the exact same thing. Such an order is a blatant infraction of the first amendment and it is almost comical. Yet, it is no laughing matter. Whether we’d care to admit it or not, a subliminal line has been drawn in the proverbial sand and an unlawful precedent has been set. (you can read the rest of the article HERE)
Have you ever watched Law & Order or some other TV court drama where some hotshot lawyer risks being charged with contempt of court to do something such as openly calling the accused guilty? Knowing that the judge will have that statement stricken from the record, the lawyer offers such conjecture anyway. But why take such risks? Well, they understand that even if it is erased from record, it is not likely to be forgotten by the jury. If the attorney can inject that thought into the minds of all present, there is a chance that jury will be swayed. Remember the infamous “If it don’t fit, then you must acquit!” statement that helped win the O.J. Simpson murder trial for him? I can imagine the rhyme must have echoed in the minds of many of the jurors.
Simply put, these are the last days… and this country is being set up for terrible times. Look at all of the things we are facing today in our country, and it becomes evident that America the beautiful is on a rapid cultural and moral decline. So, with this in mind I ask a question: Christian, will you be ready when what we believe becomes outlawed? Will you dare to be like Daniel? I assure you that without practice, you will not. You will go along just to get along.
ARE YOU READY?
A friend reminded me of the story of NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning as told in the book, “The Good and Beautiful God.” Manning led his then Indianapolis Colts to victory in Superbowl 41. That particular game was a rainy mess. In fact it was the first Superbowl ever to be played in the rain. Throughout the game, Manning never once fumbled a snap. When asked afterward how he managed to keep such great control of the soaking wet football, he said that during practices, he’d often have his center snap him wet footballs so that he could improve his ability to handle it. The Superbowl winning QB had no idea he would be playing one of his most important games of his life in such slippery conditions, but by practice, he was ready for it!
Here is a passage from the Old Testament where God challenged Jeremiah to prepare himself for the difficult time that the nation Israel had brought upon themselves. Let us meditate prayerfully upon it:
“If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you are so trusting, what will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? ~Jeremiah 12:5
Saints, rain is coming! And we can either pretend that the storm clouds are not on the horizon, or we can prepare ourselves through prayer, fasting and by faithfully refreshing our memories of the timeless, inerrant word of God. There are people everywhere who mock and ridicule the Bible just as Scripture said they would (please read 2 Peter 3 for example). But do not be deceived; it is only because they have not been given discernment by the Holy Spirit of God like you have. Therefore, do not let them make you feel the least bit ashamed of taking a stance on biblical truth. It is time to rekindle the faithful fire of the word of God in our hearts!
Let’s get ready to run for the Lord like never before, or soon we may find ourselves running for our very lives!