(From the sermon entitled, “Ang Katotohanang Nakapaloob ukol sa Pagaasawa sa Pamamagitan ng Kasal” for September 17 and 20, 2015)
ABOUT THE TRUTH
The Bible tells us, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 NKJV)
Truth can be very hard to accept. It can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, no matter how difficult it can be, like a medicine, the aim is to free and liberate us from lies and deceptions. The aim of the truth is to let us know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Once we get to know the truth, we shall know what lies are, because there are no lies in truth (1 John 2:21).
People have tried to seek the truth on their own. They tried to find truth through experimentations and observations, from there, they draw conclusions. However, most of the conclusions were based only from their own perceptions. Hence, assumptions were made and cannot be categorized as the truth.
For example, the missing link that many experts tried to seek is still missing until now. How can they find something that does not really exist? From generation to generation, mankind has already embraced lies more than the truth coming from the words of God. In schools, theories of evolutions were accepted and believed more than the Divine Creation.
Indeed, the world has been living in deceptions. What’s bad is that people are confused because lies are accepted as the truth, and the words of truth are placed on the sidelines. They made it even worse because people have defended lies over the truth, making them impossible to accept the truth.
The truth about marriage has been a controversial topic over the years. In various countries around the world, people have different opinions about marriage. But, what is really the truth about marriage, according to the words of God? Is marriage really important?
A verse in the Bible tells us, “Marriage should be honored by all…” (Hebrews 13:4) This means that marriage is an honorable thing and should be respected by all concerned parties.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines marriage as, the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. However, recent addition to the definition state that there was a change in the traditional form of marriage. Nowadays, it is also defined as the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage <same-sex marriage>.
In the United States and in other parts of the world, the second definition was already accepted and practiced.
MARRIAGE IN THE BIBLE
What does the Bible say about marriage? Christ tells us that it is God who has the will to make a man and a woman become one flesh through marriage. A man has to leave his parents and be united with his wife and become one flesh. They will. No longer be two, but one flesh because God has joined them together (Matthew 19:3-6)
The union between a man and a woman started in the Garden of Eden during the days of creation. Before Adam and Eve are instructed to multiply, God blessed them first. That blessing before becoming one flesh is the first institution of marriage. (Genesis 2:20-23) That blessing signifies the sanctity of marriage. It will not be an ordinary union between a man and a woman, but a union through the will and commands of God.
To show how marriage is important, Christ attended a wedding in Cana and performed the first miracle there when He turned water into wine (John 2:1-2). Christ also used marriage as the background in the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-10).
At first, the institution of marriage aims to populate the earth. However, digging deep to the sanctity of marriage, let us realize that the aim of God is to tie every relationship with His laws and commands. Thus, a man and a woman are bound to the law of marriage and that law is sanctified by God (Romans 7:2).
The laws of God made sure that marriage will be an institution of righteousness. For example, a woman is bound to perform her duties as a faithful wife and mother to her children. The book of Proverbs says “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:25-27 NIV)
However, what is one of the most important things we should know about marriage?
MARRIAGE SHOULD BE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN
Marriage is a union between a man and a woman, according to the Bible. From the beginning, it has always been between a man and a woman. The Bible says, ““Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? “ (Matthew 19:4-5 NIV)
That truth doesn’t change over the course of time. No one has the right to change the will of God, and even if mankind tries to change it, the will of God will remain. It will not change or conform to the desires of men no matter how much they try to defend their beliefs and assumptions.
Apostle Paul explained the importance of marriage. He advised everyone to marry if they cannot resist the temptations of the flesh. We can read in his letter, “But because of immoralities, each man should have relations with his own wife and each woman with her own husband. A husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, and likewise a wife to her husband. It is not the wife who has the rights to her own body, but the husband. In the same way, it is not the husband who has the rights to his own body, but the wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:2-4)
Sexual need is one of the needs of mankind. Finding the right partner can satisfy it. However, it should only be done through the union in marriage. Doing it outside the sanctity of marriage is a sin against the will of God. Therefore, God does not allow relationships outside marriage. We can see from here that every relationship is solemn and holy in the sight of God. It should be founded not only with love to one another, but as well as it should conform to the holy will of the Lord.
Over the course of time, mankind has perverted their ways and followed their own will instead of doing the will of God. They sought to invent many things that conform to their actions and decisions and resulted to create justifications.
Does God allow union or marriage between two people who has the same gender?
SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS NOT ALLOWED
The answer to this question may hurt many people, especially in the so-called members of the third sex. Transgender and the likes believe that it is “love” that binds them together and there is nothing that can separate them because there is nothing wrong with what they do especially if the foundation is love.
However, the Bible’s answer is very clear. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman (Matthew 19:2-4), not between a man and a man or a woman and a woman. It has always been a man and a woman in the beginning of time. Of course, love should be the glue that sticks them together. However, it is not about love, it is about following what the words of God, or what the truth is telling us.
Apostle Paul tells us, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:24-26)
We should notice from these verses, that because of men’s shameful and lustful ways, He gave them over to shameful lusts. Natural relations were perverted in exchange of the unnatural ones. This is a big mistake in the eyes of God.
God wants us to love one another. God wants us to have a perfect and loving relationship. But there are rules to be followed. The rules were already written and should be maintained. But, humanity has chosen to follow the desires of their hearts. Instead of following the natural order set by God, they invented and seek out perversions.
In the Old Testament, Moses set rules that became a standard to the people of God. In Leviticus 18:22, we can read, ““‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.”
The punishment for this sin is death. In Leviticus 20:13, we can read, “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul wrote about this, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers, nor men who have sex with men nor thieves, nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9)
We can see that death is the penalty of this sin. Only that in ancient Israel, physical death is done. However, in the New Testament time, the Bible tells us that this sin can lead us to eternal punishment and will not allow us to inherit the kingdom of God.
Let us be clear once and for all on this topic. Sexual perversions can be done by anyone. Even married people can do it. However, we should know that God does not tolerate any kind of sexual perversions, even if it came from married or unmarried couples.
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
Another thing that we need to understand about marriage is that both man and woman will be husband and wife; they will become one flesh. As such, they must see to it that their relationship will be founded on love. That love should be inspired by faith to God so that they will remain intact while having the relationship.
Most people nowadays take marriage as a joke. They do not respect the sanctity of it. They don’t even know that it is God’s will to make two people be joined through His blessings. Some will get married today and later decide to divorce their partners because of unusual reasons.
Christ tells us that it should not be the case for marriage. It is God who put them together; therefore, no man should be the cause of separations. The Bible at first is against divorce, but due to the hardheadedness of the ancient Israel and because of adultery, Moses allowed them to divorce their husbands or wives.
However, as the Bible says, “what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6) It is against the will of God that married couples be separated. For Christians, we are advised to do everything we can, with the help of God to protect the sanctity of marriage.
AGAINST THE WILL OF GOD
Doing exactly the opposite of God’s will is not a good thing. It displeases God and does not make Him happy. No matter how beautiful our motives in expressing love, if they are not done according to His will, it surely does not please Him.
Apostle Paul tells us of this, “It is like kicking against the goads.” (Acts 26:14) Doing something against the will of God is terrible. This happened to the ancient people of Israel. They became rebellious against the laws and commandments of God. Apostle Paul’s prayer for them is to save them from their actions.
We can read, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” (Romans 10:1-4)
When we go against the natural laws, the tendency is to suffer from its wrath. Take for example what people did to our natural resources. People have destroyed them instead of protecting them. When calamities strike, the sufferings are more devastating. We cannot go against the laws of God as well.
Zealousness and the desire to serve God in the wrong ways are always unacceptable to God. This is the same with what people are trying to use in defense of their actions. Marrying is always a good thing. But if that someone is in the same sexual preference, do you think that is conferred to the will of God? This kind of relationship is not according to the design of God. It is what people invented on their own. Just to make it happen, they justified it using the most powerful weapon of all, which is “love.”
If the ancient Israel became rebellious because of not following the will of God, then this can be a sign of rebellion as well. And what happened to them (ancient Israel)? Apostle Paul tells us that because of their regressions, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make them envious (Roma 11:11).
Apostle Paul also tells us that God was not pleased with the most of them (1 Corinthians 10:4-6). He writes, ‘Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”
When mankind tries to go opposite the will of God, disaster happens. Most of the time, God punishes them. This happened in several stories in the Old Testament. It was because of not following the commandments of God, which led the destruction of the world by flood during the time of Noah. (2 Peter 2:5)
God wants us to follow His will and not ours. We are entitled to our opinions and desires. However, there are always limitations, especially in the eyes of the Lord. We should always seek to please Him in everything that we do.
The Bible may not actually say word for word that God does not allow same sex marriage, however, in many instances, we may find that the sanctity of marriage is very important in the eyes of God. If the sacredness of marriage is very important to Him, then we should therefore conclude that there must be a holy reason for it.
Aside from the earlier Bible stories about marriage, what else does the Bible tell us about the direct disobedience of many regarding its sanctity?
DISOBEDIENCE LED TO DESTRUCTIONS
Considering what happened to the angels who were sent to save Lot and his family in Sodom, we can find how the Sodomites deliberately sin against them and to God. They even desired to have sex with them. (Genesis 19:5)
If God allowed sex outside marriage, then what they did would have been allowed. From there, we can find that what they did was known today as Sodomy. Sodomy was defined in the dictionary as “anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex; also: copulation with an animal”. The origin of that word started on what has been the practice of many people of Sodom.
The Bible tells us that indeed many people of Sodom are wicked in the eyes of God. We can read, “Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.” (Genesis 13:13) Aside from totally disobeying God’s laws and commands, these people created many inventions, most of which are abominations in the eyes of God. They may think that God understands them, but doing things that are wicked and against His laws are not permissible.
The sins of Sodom are great that made God decided to unleash His wrath by destroying it as well as its nearby city, Gomorrah. Even if Abraham tried to approach God to spare the city because of Lot, God has already planned for its destructions. God, then sent His angels to save Lot and his family. They were spared, but not the sinful people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah —from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. He made this happened because of their great sins, that is doing things which are wicked and against His holy will and commands.
What are the grave sins that they committed against God?
Among the great sins they committed is the sin of adultery. Avoidance of adultery, as we all know is part of the ten commandments of God, which was given to ancient Israel. The Bible says, “And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness.” (Jeremiah 23:14)
In the New Testament, Apostle Jude tells us of their great sins. We can read, “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 7)
As we have said earlier, they even wanted to perform sexual interactions to the angels sent by God. (Genesis 9:4-5) We can read, “Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”
Apostle Paul explained that in cases such as these, where immorality and idolatry are prevalent, the wrath of God would surely come after. God does not tolerate these things. We can read, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:5-6)
The prophecy of the end times signals the change in the attributes of many people. Among these attributes are the intolerable wickedness of many, which will turn the world more dangerous to live on. We can read, ”But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self- control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
What will be the result of all the deliberate sinful ways of many people?
Because of the wickedness of many, especially those who seek to invent things that are against the will of God, the wrath of God will surely come. The decision actually is already given. Apostle Peter tells us, “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” (2 Peter 3:5-7)
As Christians, we were advised not to touch anything that is an abomination to the Lord. We need to seek God and His will. The will of God tells us not to love the present world (1 John 2:15), its beliefs, inventions, which are all wicked in the sight of the Almighty one. And to be able to do the will of God, the Bible tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2)
Everything as we have known by now is reserved into eternal fire. Therefore, there is no valuable reason to love this world. Wealth and money are all temporary. Most of all, the world is corrupted and falling into destructions. Do we see any other reasons to love the world?
If we are really sons and daughters of God, we cannot afford to be part of this world’s dilemma. The Bible wants us to be free from the sins that we have turned away from before we were called. Remember that no abominations shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, if we really seek to enter God’s kingdom, no matter how aesthetic the world may behave, we shall strive to do only what is good, righteous and holy in the sight of God.