I'm not going to take the time here to lay out a case as to why that is an abhorrent ruling in the eyes of God (Lev. 18:22, 20:13) and why gloating over it as Obama did will only incur further wrath on himself and his nation (Ps. 2:10-12).
What I also will not be doing is claiming myself to be sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on America because of this ruling and, in my mind, even far more gruesome sins (like the 3 million babies we kill each year in terrifying ways). No, I'm not sitting on a mountaintop, waiting for God's judgment on a sinful nation.
What I'm saying is that the church has already been doing that very thing for far too long; and we need to repent from that method of Christian living.
What I mean by "the church" is that a large part of the church (from my unscientific, personal gatherings I would venture to say the majority of the church) has been so caught up in the idea of an imminent rapture that culturally speaking they've retreated to a mountaintop, from where they await Jesus to remove the church from the world and execute His just wrath on the unbelievers.
I'm not going to argue eschatology here. I don't need to. Even if the premillennial, pretribulational rapture position is right, that does not change the Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20) and the Cultural Mandate (Gen. 1:28) given to us elsewhere in Scripture. And that's the problem with a large part of our church's understanding of Christian living that has gotten us into this mess.
Let me explain.
A large number of Christians are going to look at this ruling and think to themselves that this is just further evidence of the world turning away from God, that Jesus is returning at any moment, and that He will soon rescue His church out of this pig-pen and judge the world. Maranatha! (popularly understood as, "Come, Lord").
In other words they see this ruling as an evidence that judgment is soon coming upon unbelievers.
But what I'm saying is that regardless of when Jesus comes, this ruling should at least be seen as judgment in itself upon believers (obviously upon unbelievers too as it enables them to go deeper into their depravity - Rom. 1:18ff). But I think the ruling is certainly a judgment upon believers as well. Should we not at least see that as a possibility? That since a large part of the church has not been doing its job, God is purifying us through judgment so that we sober up and go back to the Scriptures? (see 1 Peter 4:17-19)
Let us ask, what is the Great Commission? Is it to evangelize the nations? Because that seems to be our understanding for the most part.
The Great Commission is to disciple the nations, teaching them to observe all that Christ (as Lord of heaven and earth) has commanded (Mt. 28:18-20). This means not only proclaiming God's grace in Christ's atoning work but His grace in enabling us to live a sanctified life (Ti. 2:11-14).
This means having a message that turns the world upside down (Acts 17:6) to the point that cultural change comes upon communities in such great numbers (Acts 19:18-20) that the world actually starts to get jealous of how many people are turning to Christ and having their lives transformed (even transforming how they spend their money) because of it (Acts 19:23, 24-27).
But is this what the church by-and-large is doing today? Are we discipling nations, teaching them to observe all that Christ has commanded? Or are we simply telling individuals how to avoid a future judgment, to not concern themselves with this world at all, and to just wait for Jesus to rapture us out of it?
Let me make analogy here. The church has become a modern day Jonah. Instead of wanting to proclaim repentance that leads to entire empires transforming their culture because of God's forgiveness, we'd rather sit and wait for His judgment on entire empires. This needs to change!
You see, Jonah did not want to see God forgive and transform an entire city - least of all one so despicable as Nineveh. He wanted to see God judge Nineveh for its terrible sins (though himself being able to escape God's wrath). I'm sure you remember he was rebuked for this attitude.
Yet a large majority of the church today is acting the same way. We want God to forgive us because we are in Christ (and so He will because of our great Savior and Lord). Yet we simultaneously want Him to spare us and wipe out the unbelieving world.
God's judgment will surely come in His time (Dan. 12:2; Acts 17:31). But our commission is not to evangelize and wait for that judgment. We are commissioned to disciple nations to obey all that Christ the Lord has commanded - to the point of entire cultures and civilizations bowing down to the Lord (Isa. 11:9; Ps. 22:27).
You see, there is a mountaintop with which we are to be concerned (Heb. 12:22ff). But its purpose is not for us to sit there and await God's judgment upon the unbelieving world. Rather from that mountain we are to go out into the world as a light to the nations (Isa. 52:7; Mt. 5:14, 15-16), a beacon in whose light all nations should come to repentance in order to learn the Word of the Lord and His righteous laws (Isa. 2:2-4).
Church, regardless of your eschatological views, this is our commission. I pray that we start believing in it, that we get down from the mountaintop from which we await judgment on the unbelieving world, and that we ascend the mountaintop of the Lord, from where we might then descend into the remote parts of the earth, proclaiming God's Word, His salvation by grace through faith and repentance, and teach the nations His commandments in every area of life - that by His work through the Holy Spirit repentance will be granted to our current Ninevehs (even the U.S. itself) and that we will see "His blessings flow far as the curse is found" ("Joy to the World," Isaac Watts - 1674-1748).
Let us remember our commission. Let us not see this supreme court ruling as a victory of the world and evidence of their future judgment. Let us see it rather as a judgment upon believers in order to purify and sober us to do what we have been commanded to do all along. Let us no longer retreat to a mountaintop so as to wait for God's judgment on an unbelieving world; but let us ascend the mountain from which we, by His power, may then go forth proclaiming repentance, forgiveness by grace through faith, and transformation in all areas of life by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
When we do this, church, we will not see the world trample the Word of God underfoot. Rather we will see entire nations bow down to the Lord in worship. This is our commission; and it is attainable through His power that He works within us (Col. 1:28-29; Eph. 3:20-21).
All the ends of the earth shall remember
See our Contributors
For timely updates, Like us on Facebook: