Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 7 July 2014
Page 8

Are You Married?

Raymond Elliott

Raymond ElliottMy wife and I were eating lunch recently at a local restaurant. The server was a petite, pretty young lady, exceptionally nice, and she attended to our every need. I said to Virginia that I hoped she was as good and pleasant in every way as she was in her demeanor toward us. As we were finishing our lunch and as she approached our table, I noticed some kind of ring on her left hand. So, I asked, “Are you married?” There was a slight pause before she answered, and then she replied, “No, I suppose you could say I am engaged. My boyfriend and I have been living together for five years, and we have one child.” While I was disappointed, I was not surprised. I offered to marry them for just a free lunch, but she refused my offer.

The complete disregard toward the teaching of the Word of God concerning marriage is not a gray matter. It is either black or white. Living together without the marriage vows is a violation of God’s law, or it really doesn’t matter at all because there are no rules governing such cohabitation of unmarried couples. Sad to say, married couples are now in the minority in this country. People who are living in what the Bible calls fornication should straighten out their own lives before condemning couples of the same sex who are marrying one another. Now, having said that, it is to be understood in no uncertain terms that practicing homosexuality is not a gray matter. Either it is condemned in the Holy Scriptures or it is allowed. That is to say, it is either a black or white issue. There is no neutral position.

When it comes to politics and the leaders in our national government, it is not a black or white issue where race or ethnicity is concerned. The reason being, I heard a white leader say that he saw nothing wrong with men marrying men and women marrying women. Soon after that, I heard another national leader who was black say that he condoned ‘gay marriages.’ The real issue, therefore, is whether or not the Word of God commends or condemns such lifestyles. Then, it becomes a black or a white issue morally speaking and not a gray one. Bible believers understand God’s design for marriage, that is, one man for one woman.

You perhaps have noticed that I have not given all the biblical passages that speak out against homosexuality. That can be done in another article. It is rather useless to quote or read Scriptures to someone who does not respect the inspired Word of God. The unbelieving world cares very little, if any, for the teachings of the Bible. How would you react to someone quoting verses to you from the Quran (Koran)? The belief of an individual determines his manner of life. Carnality produces a perverted way of living in the individuals who choose not to believe in God, His Son and in His Holy Word.

How sad it is that people who know what the Scriptures teach on the sanctity of marriage but choose instead to live in all manner of sexual immorality. The same principle applies today in this important matter regarding the individuals who do not “receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” A great man of God wrote, “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11). “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).


Unpardonable Sin

George Jensen

George JensenOccasionally, people will ask me, “What is the unpardonable sin?” Often this question comes after the person has read, “Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come” (Matthew 12:31, 32). What is the meaning of this perplexing section?

First some clarification of terms. “Son of man” is one expression Jesus used of Himself, highlighting His humanity (John 1:1-3, 14; 8:28). “Blasphemy” is essentially to speak against or a rejection and disdain for what is holy.

Second, the time sequence must be considered. When Jesus made the statement, He had yet to be crucified. Some had been accepting Him, but many were rejecting His Messiahship.

However, following His resurrection, Jesus would return to the Father (John 16:10) and send the Holy Spirit upon the apostles (John 14:26). Those who rejected Jesus during His personal ministry, even those who called out for His crucifixion, would have another opportunity to be forgiven. Thus speaking against the “Son of man” (Jesus) could be forgiven (Acts 2:22, 23, 36-38).

Third, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to speaking against His message. Consider a parallel. Some unscrupulous men lied against Stephen and said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses…” (Acts 6:11). Moses had been dead for centuries, but his writings remained – the Pentateuch (the first five Old Testament books).

These liars were accusing Stephen of blasphemy against the teachings or writings of Moses. Therefore, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is equal to speaking against the message or writings from the Holy Spirit.

Following the Lord’s Ascension, the apostles received the Spirit (Acts 2:4 “all,” 14 “Peter” and “the eleven” equals 12 apostles). They preached the message that the Holy Spirit gave them – the Gospel (Acts 2:4). Those who had spoken against Jesus had opportunity to be forgiven.

Today, the written New Testament is the inspired Word of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:1-4; 1 Peter 1:21). The New Testament Gospel is God’s power to save (Romans 1:16). However, any who choose to reject that message from the Spirit are rejecting the only means of salvation.

[Editor’s Note: The practical application for today is that persistent rejection of the only power of God to save from sins puts one beyond the salvation that God through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and the Holy Spirit’s revelation of the conditions of salvation made available to humankind. There is but one Savior, and upon rejecting the divine terms of redemption through Jesus Christ, eternal condemnation is inevitable (Hebrews 6:4-6). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]


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