Today, June 26th, 2015, America and the world witnessed what many would call “A historic day” and a “Victory for America.” Today marked the full legalization of gays and lesbians to freely marry within all states. The Supreme Court of the United States deliberated for months, only to come to a 5-4 ruling which now makes “gay marriage” the law of the land. This isn’t exactly a new phenomenon – 20 other countries worldwide have also given their gay and lesbian populations the ability to marry under their law. The truth of the matter is, change within our societal structure is transpiring rapidly.
It seems that now, if you so much as disagree or speak out against homosexuality, you are labeled a bigot and you are reviled by society. Most Americans and even many around the world, are now siding with the introduction and existence of gays marrying. Most have seemingly embraced “change” as it has become, which means that anyone who does not capitulate to the latest trends will be a pariah in the social climate. However, despite how much the world has and continues to change, God still has a standard that has not and will never change.
In 1 Peter Chapter 4, the Apostle Peter gives instruction and even encouragement as it relates to living for God. He is addressing Christians in the context of arming themselves to withstand the same suffering that Christ took for all of humanity. In verses 1-2 he says,
(NIV) “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.“
What Peter is suggesting is that anyone who is in Christ must live their life as Jesus did which was with the mindset of sacrifice and dying to oneself. Jesus’ death on the cross symbolizes the active participation that every Christian ought to resemble in their daily walk. Romans 6: 6-8 refers to being crucified with Christ which means, we are to deny ourselves and the desires of our flesh. Going back to 1 Peter 4, the 2nd verse says that if we have the same attitude as Christ did in His suffering, then we will not fulfill the desires or deeds of the flesh, but rather the will of God.
Essentially, the first point to be made in the time that we are living in is that we should intensify the crucifixion of our flesh daily. This means, that regardless of what we are being tempted with, or what society has approved of, we must choose to participate in the suffering of Christ. By doing so, we are able to escape from the pain and damage that sin causes to our very lives. What many within the world do not understand, is that there are consequences for sinfulness.
For example, now that homosexuality has become acceptable and marrying someone of the same-sex is the law in America, there will be consequences that come as a result of humanity’s disobedience and sinful living. The fact is, we are already seeing consequences of the sin that has become acceptable. Violence, confusion about one’s identity, weather patterns that continue to grow worse, among other examples that point to the harsh realities of a sin-filled world. Satan has craftily blinded the masses into believing that you should “live and let live” but what he doesn’t show you is the long and short-term damage that comes as a result of living in sin.
Peter goes on to say in verses 3-4:
(NIV) “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.”
In these verses, Peter points to lifestyles that were perhaps what many during his time participated in before they were followers of Christ. During Peter’s time, he was speaking to the converted, suggesting that they were once in their sin. However, notice what he says in verse 4. He says, “They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.” This is an important verse because it is proof that where we are in our time now, is not a social climate that is accepting of anyone who goes against the grain of society.
Basically, those of us who truly stand for God and for His righteousness will be ridiculed because we do not join in or approve of the sin that is on display. As a result, we can expect to be abused verbally, and not surprisingly it may come down to physical abuse at some point. However, regardless of what the majority believe and accept, God holds each Christian to a higher standard which is His standard. Jesus Christ did not die for sinfulness to be acceptable or the norm. He died so that all men would come to the knowledge and experience of God’s love, and escape the wrath of Hell that we all deserve.
Peter goes on to say in verses 5-6:
(NIV) “But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.“
Despite what the majority have decided to endorse both in America and worldwide, every person will be held accountable for what they do. God will judge every person for the sin they commit, and for the life that they live. However, the beauty is that because of Christ’s sacrifice, we have an opportunity to accept it, and turn away from our sin. That is what the gospel of Jesus Christ is – it is about the redemptive power that only God can give to us through Jesus Christ. We can be redeemed from the destruction that a life of sin brings and be reconciled back to God through Christ.
Finally, it is important to note of what the Apostle Peter says in verse 7:
(NIV) “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.”
The fact is that we are living in the last days or the end times. Jesus Christ is soon to return, which means that the days that we are living in are more perilous than in years past. There is so much confusion over the various reasons for violence and tragedies that occur daily. Many are wondering, why such acts of violence take place domestically and abroad. The reason has to do with the end of the age as scripture tells us. Peter gives us the instruction to be alert and sober, which means not to be distracted but aware of what is happening.
We should also be prayerful and watchful as these events unfold in our world today. The important thing to note is that the generations that are coming after us, will have to contend with the evils and various laws that have been instituted worldwide. They must be shown the way to live for Christ, which means that we who are currently living, must show them what being a Christian is. To be in Christ is to deny yourself, and to reject the sinfulness that our world has said is “good” and “acceptable”.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your savior, you have an opportunity to accept His sacrifice. The world continues to show examples of disobedience and sinfulness, which results in negative consequences. Jesus Christ came and died for you, so that you wouldn’t have to reap the pain and suffering which comes from sin. Our world will constantly change, but God’s standard for humanity does not change. Live for God, and experience the reward of a life that is found in the safety of Jesus Christ.