In light of the recent decision of the Supreme Court to expand the definition of marriage to include that which is perverted, we must ask why the definition of marriage is so important.
Ephesians 5:21-33 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
In this passage, we see a definition of the order of the home. Most preaching seems to stop there, however, there is a great gem in our understanding of the home to be found here.
First, we should look at the order of the home. In the order of the home, within the home, we see the husband as the head of the home – the leader. Notice, in this order, there is only one husband, as there really can only be one leader. As one of my favorite preachers says, “Anything with two heads is a monster.” Though the husband is the head of the home, we see a style of leadership defined for the husband. The husband is the leader of the home as Christ is the leader of the church. This is an extraordinarily high standard. To equate the role of the husband with the role of Christ is no small undertaking. There are many aspects to Christ’s leadership.
The most prominent aspect of Christ’s leadership of the church is Christ’s love for the church. How much did Christ love His church? Jesus loved the church so much that He temporarily set aside His deity and lowered Himself to the level of a man. Jesus endured all the aspects, the infirmities, the frailties, and even the temptations of man. In addition to enduring all that any man endures, Jesus loved His church so much that He also willingly laid down His life for the church. Jesus endured ridicule at the hands of His very creation. Jesus endured beatings without cause for the sake of His church and though wholly without sin, Jesus endured the cross. While on the cross, Jesus endured unimaginable physical pain. What was worse than any physical pain, was the pain of the sin of all mankind. What we cannot begin to fathom is the guilt that Jesus endured. During His time on the cross, the guilt of every sin committed by every person who has ever lived and who will ever live in the future was upon His shoulders. My guilt for one sin is enough. I cannot imagine even the pain of all of my sin at one time. Jesus endured the guilt of every sin ever committed or every sin which will ever be endured. Then, if that was not enough, for a time, Jesus had to endure the rejection of God the Father. All of this, because Jesus loved the church. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. What a high standard we husbands have.Continue reading →
Does God hate the lifestyle of a sodomite more than the actions of a gossip?
Pr 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren
Let’s look at seven things the Lord calls an abomination, and how this passage describes the gossip, shall we?
Many of my preacher friends are quick to thump their pulpit and waive their Bibles as they preach against the sin of homosexuality. Often, their preaching is to a resounding chorus of “Amens,” or others crying out, “Preach, preacher preach!” Yet when seven other abominations are mentioned, the church house often falls deathly silent. When we mention gossip, is the plow getting too close to home for YOUR comfort? This passage mentions seven different sins and names them all as an abomination. Often, we will pick each one out and preach on the individual sin, not realizing this passage is speaking directly to the gossip. James speaks of the tongue as a fire. He compares it to a rudder – small member which can drive a very large ship. As a fire, the tongue can certainly do great damage. Every year, we see what a little spark can destroy as it grows and rages out of control in a forest fire. The tongue of a gossip is no different. Oh, the gossip is a well camouflaged critter. She will come to you with lips dripping of honey, she will lure you in with her kind and flattering words. Ultimately, she will ferret out your deepest secrets. She will seem to be your best friend.
A proud look
Indeed, the gossip is a proud one. After all, she does no wrong. When a family is wrecked, a heart broken or a testimony shattered, she had nothing to do with it. She was only doing what any Godly person would do. She just shared a prayer request.
“You need to pray for so-and-so, they are in …”
I’m sad to say there have been times when I have encouraged this by listening. My friend, LISTENING TO THE MANURE IS AS MUCH A SIN AS SPREADING THE MANURE.
A lying tongue
This should be quite obvious, but the gossip will lie. Yes, even the dear, sweet one who is sharing that prayer request. You can’t think for a minute that she is anywhere near God, can you? Her first lie is her claim to be a Christian! She is a devil! Oh, she is a good actor, but so is Lucifer.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Like her father, the truth is not in her. Like her father did in the Garden of Eden, she will mix a little truth in with a little deception to contrive a stunning tale. You can be certain her tale will suit her needs and promote her agenda. When she has no use for you or when you are just too juicy to pass up, her tale will tear you down.
Hands that shed innocent blood
When we, as preachers, lift this verse out, we speak of the fool who is quick to do harm. Perhaps, if we are preaching to the youth, we might speak of the bully who torments his classmate. We must remember that the act of hating a brother is murder!
1Jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
As you watch the gossip, you will see bitterness and hatred slip through her deceitful lips. Yes, when she is talking about you, behind your back, she is showing her hatred for you. She is tearing your down. She is trying to destroy you.
A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations
The gossip is, indeed, a creative one. She studies you, analyzes you. She finds out things about you and molds them into her craft, weaving her story into something she can use. Her fiction is based in the truth of your life, wrapped in lies to feed her perverse pleasure. If she were seen as the liar she is, there wouldn’t be a problem. The problem is in her inevitability. When she is in her character (that of a sweet, caring Christian who’s only goals are the cause of Christ and edifying believers) she seems so believable. Combine her act of believably with the smallest nugget of truth, and he lie has credibility. All the time, it is not the truth at work. It is not the leading of the Holy Spirit of God moving in compassion in her heart. It is her imagination at work.
Feet that be swift in running to mischief
If it can be left unsaid, leave it unsaid. There are many times when it is sufficient to simply ask someone to pray for a brother. Do we believe God is so small that He does not know our needs? In fact, God knows our needs better than we do. If we simply pray, “God, you know John’s need right now. Please work in his heart and in his life.” God knows our heart and God knows John’s need (John is a hypothetical person). We don’t need to give God the nitty-gritty details of John’s need. If we don’t need to share the details, why does the gossip need to share John’s details with us. Oh, life would be so boring, but there would be so much less drama.
Can you help John? No? Then why do you need to know all about his need? The Gossip wants to share his need so you will know what problems he has. The gossip wants you to know John’s weakness because the gossip also wants you to know how she would never do that.
He that soweth discord among brethren
This goes directly to the gossip’s goal. As long as their is discord, as long as their is trouble in the camp, she is happy. She is happiest when she is in the middle, manipulating the strife and contention to her own advantage. Given half a chance, she would tear a church down to its foundation. She must be marked and avoided.
A false witness that speaketh lies
Half-truths, innuendo, imaginations, outright lies – these are all the tools of the gossip.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
If someone truly feared God, they would be edifying their brothers and sisters in Christ. Moreover, they would be seeking the lost to bring them into the fold. They would be reproducing – bearing fruit. The gossip is not a believer. I believe that if we could examine their heart, they are not fully persuaded that God is real. Oh yes, they will tell yo they are saved, that they know Christ, but they are, after all, liars. Their deeds are listed among the seven things the Lord considers to be abominations! They murder in their heart. Though we did not discuss it here, the gossip has made herself a whore by selling her own righteousness for a few moments of pleasure in her heart. Her rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. In her pride, she is her own idol and she is certainly a liar. She is condemned.
Just as we should not hate the sodomite, we should not hate the gossip. That would make us a murderer, just as she is. There are some things we must do, however. First, we must pray for her. We must pray for her salvation and we must pray for her exposure. Apart from salvation, the gossip has a bleak future ahead of her. Our words will never sway her, only the Holy Spirit of God can draw her. But, we must also pray for her exposure. Everyone around her must understand that she is a devil.
Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Yes, God does want us to mark them and separate from them. This is actually a part of Biblical church discipline. This separation, or breaking of fellowship, was designed by God to give God a chance to move in their lives. It is painful, but it is for their own good.
So, which does God hate more, the sodomite or the gossip? If we look at history, we see where God destroyed the cities on a plain because of sodomy. But that was a different time. Today, we live in a time of grace. The judgement of God has been tempered, for a season. Do not misunderstand – sin will be judged. But which sin is worse? I cannot say. Sodomy creates a confusion among the genders which God clearly hates, and hates on many levels. Gossip breaks fellowship among believers and destroys churches. Where sodomy is a sin which attacks the church from without, gossip is a cancer which destroys the church from within.
If pressed, I would dare not say one sin is worse than the other. I would have to conclude that the gossip and the sodomite are very much in the same boat.
Are you a gossip? As you read this, if you were honest with yourself, would you say you are guilty? Confession and salvation are your only option. Repent and turn to Jesus today.