Whoever Disowns Me Before Men, I Will Disown Before My Father In Heaven

Title: Whoever Disowns Me Before Men, I Will Disown Before My Father In Heaven

Text: Matthew 10:32-39

Time: May 2nd, 2013

We are presently engaged in one of the fiercest moral and spiritual struggles all of us have seen in our lifetime. It’s the battle for morality and decency and Christian spiritual truth against the immoral, secular force of homosexuality. I’m tired of talking about this subject. I wish I could move on and talk about all the other important things God teaches us from his Word, but this is where the battle is at this specific time and place. Whether we like it or not we are in the midst of a moral and spiritual war for the hearts and souls of Americans. We’re also in a battle over whether Christianity and the  Christian Church will stand for its own truth, or whether it will compromise so badly that it doesn’t deserve to even be called Christian. It’s not just that more and more people in society are sympathetic to homosexuality and gay marriage, it’s that Christians of all strips are beginning to question Christian moral teachings on the subject. And from the looks of it, many or even most are starting to become sympathetic to the homosexual agenda! So in other words, it’s simply not the case that Christians and the church are merely battling against a secular and anti-Christian secular society for the truth of the Bible in respect to moral values; it’s more the case that Christians are trying to convince fellow Christians to stand on the courage of their own convictions in respect to morality in general, and against homosexuality in particular. The problem is that large segments of Christianity are caving in on the moral values of the Bible, and compromising on basic rights and wrongs. While society in general is overturning the basic Judeo-Christian prohibition against homosexuality, Christians are largely silent on the whole topic. Worse still, many Christians are actually beginning to support the right of gays to marry on the grounds that it’s only fair that we grant them the same rights as others. Hardly any Christians are speaking up very strongly in opposition to this immoral revolution taking place in society. When I think of this situation, I think of the biblical passage in the New Testament, the words of Jesus spoken in Matthew 10:32-33, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” What does it mean to confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Does it merely mean affirming a narrow gospel definition that Jesus died on the cross for sinners? Or a specific and wholly personal experience of asking Jesus to come in to my heart? Doesn’t it also mean not only confessing Christ in words, but also in deeds, morally and ethically? If so, how can a Christian confess Christ while at the same time defending or even promoting immorality, like homosexuality? If Christ isn’t Lord of all, he’s not Lord at all – as the saying goes. We need to realize that confessing Christ means standing for the truth of God even in a hostile environment. That’s what made the martyrs of the past so special – they stood for Christ even when it cost them their life. Let me explain what I believe it means to confess Christ in the midst of our present day moral meltdown in the United States.

First, it means not joining in with the present day moral meltdown. Matthew 10:32-33, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” What’s so confusing about today is that people are speaking in Jesus’ name in favor of homosexuality and gay marriage! Entire denominations of Christians, for example, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to name a few, actually promote homosexuality and gay marriage. These groups actually ordain openly homosexual leaders and pastors! These denominations issue statements supporting homosexual relationships. Some of the pastors perform gay marriages and civil unions. Many church members are actively in favor of gay marriage as well – and vote for political leaders who favor the homosexual agenda in society. In addition, even many evangelical churches and church members actually favor gay marriage as well. But how can this be? Isn’t the Bible crystal clear on the immorality of homosexual relationships? Hasn’t it been the universal teaching of the church in all its branches and locations that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian morality? Yes, certainly, these are all true. Then how can there be Christians and Christian churches that actively promote homosexuality? Because it’s done in direct disobedience of God, and because there is no hierarchy, no final decision-making body, and because there’s no Protestant pope they get away with it, and nobody can hold them accountable. It’s wrong, it’s totally out of bounds, it’s absolutely an affront to all biblical moral and spiritual truth; yet in the absence of any higher accountability, nothing can be done to stop it. The Episcopal Church carries on in corrupting itself and also others it influences by betraying God and God’s Word by supporting immorality in general, and homosexuality in particular. In the whole debate being carried on in society today, not a few mainline denominational churches, like the Episcopal Church, are actually doing the work of the devil. There is no such thing today as a united and universal Christian voice against, for example, gay marriage. Some Christians are for it, others against it. It’s the same with churches – some churches are for it, others against it. The witness of God on earth through Christianity today is muddled, self-canceling. You’d think there would be unity among Christians around the Bible, since it’s so clearly against homosexuality, and therefore, against gay marriage. But no, there is no unity, because many Christians don’t even believe the Bible anymore. And even some that believe the Bible, read it in such a personal and subjective way, they can find their way around clear moral commands by suggesting each person is free to read the Bible in whatever way they feel. But there’s another way to see it – it’s called failing to confess the Lordship of Christ. “Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my Father in heaven,” says Jesus. Confessing Christ today means standing with him against an anti-Christian culture that seeks to pervert spiritual and moral truths. Homosexuality today is a direct attack on God and God’s Word. Anyone who stands against God and God’s Word cannot possibly be confessing Christ, no matter what they call themselves. God is calling all Christians today to choose whom they will serve (Joshua 24:14-15).

Second, it means not remaining silent in the midst of today’s moral meltdown. Matthew 10:32-33, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” While some Christians actually support the work of the devil in promoting homosexuality in society today, most don’t go that far – but they remain silent or passive concerning the whole topic. This is most disturbing when it’s seen among Christian leaders, pastors, evangelists, denominational leaders and others with influence in Christianity. It’s frustrating to see and hear the battle over holy matrimony being waged in society, only to look around for Christian leaders and not see or hear any in the fight. It’s shameful to see the only visible, vocal, and public advocates for biblical marriage are politicians, like Rick Santorum, for example, making the strongest case for marriage and opposing gay marriage. Where are the high profile pastors? Where are the mega-church leaders that seemingly like to talk about anything and everything, appearing on this TV interview or that radio talk show, and so forth, yet nowhere to be seen or heard when addressing opposition to gay marriage and the moral meltdown of contemporary society? It’s pathetic that the only public leaders defending Christian marriage are a handful of conservative politicians whose primary job isn’t explaining spiritual or moral truths, but the more mundane issues of politics. They are doing a courageous and admirable job defending traditional marriage against the assault of gay activists, but we must ask the question again – where are the Christian leaders in this battle? It is their job to articulate and defend Christian truth. It is their job to refute spiritual and moral error. Why aren’t they doing it? Now some Christian leaders do defend marriage and do oppose gay marriage, but mostly from behind the pulpit in the private confines of the church, and hardly ever in public. There is hardly any public voice of opposition to gay marriage coming from America’s pastors. And this sets a bad example for church members because it serves as a bad role model for Christians to remain silent in public on these issues. Most Christians are silent about their opposition to gay marriage; they simply won’t talk about it. This is an example of denying Christ in a more subtle form. “Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my Father in heaven,” says Christ. What does it mean to disown Christ in public? Doesn’t it mean to remain silent when it is our responsibility to bear witness to Christ and his truth? It’s really bad for Christian leaders to remain silent in public when it is their specific calling to speak, but it’s also bad for regular Christians to refuse to bear witness for Christ in public because they are also called to spread the truth. It’s nothing less than denying Christ, disowning the Lord, to fail to oppose immorality, including gay marriage. It’s wrong. It’s wrong to embrace evil, but it’s also wrong to passively tolerate evil when it is in our power to oppose it. There’s no excuse for Christian silence in opposing gay marriage.

Third, it means speaking out publicly in the midst of the present moral meltdown. Matthew 10:32-33, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” Christians have a moral obligation to speak out against so-called gay marriage, because in doing so we are confessing Christ, standing with God and God’s Word, against the forces of spiritual and moral evil. Yes, gay marriage is evil. It’s an attack on holy matrimony. It has nothing to do with gay rights. For example, in California, gay couples have nearly all the same rights as married couples, as far as legal and social arrangements. But that wasn’t enough. Gays had to have the name “marriage” in order to be happy. They couldn’t settle for so-called civil partnerships or civil unions, granting them almost identical rights as heterosexual married couples. No. They had to attack holy matrimony by demanding the right to marry. And they are willing to destroy Christian morality to get it. So now, today, we see a full-scale assault by the secular mass media in the form of TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet in order to literally change people’s moral values away from biblical Christianity. Some Christians are beginning to wake up and realize exactly what is happening. There is a full-scale advertising campaign to change the moral values of Americans, away from Bible-based Christian marriage to a new, secular view of marriage that includes homosexuality. Gay activists know that the biggest source of opposition to their agenda for total homosexual acceptance in society is the conservative Christian church. So they are making every effort, aided by the liberal political establishment, the liberal media, the education system, corporate America, and so forth, to overthrow two thousand years of Judeo-Christian morality. And the immoral campaign is working, because many churches and church leaders are coming on board to the homosexual agenda, as well as many church members and Christians in general. That’s why Christians who know the truth and who are committed to the Lord Jesus must speak up publicly against gay marriage and in favor of biblical marriage. The problem is this – it will be difficult, it will cause problems, it will be painful, it will cost a lot. Today, the population of America has tipped in favor of almost all of the gay agenda activists have been pushing for years. The tipping point was probably when the president came out and endorsed gay marriage last year. Since then there has been an immoral flood of gay propaganda in society from every direction that, frankly, is overwhelming at times. It seems, this is the perception at least, that nearly everyone is jumping on board the gay agenda, even some conservatives.

But, of course, it isn’t true that everyone is in agreement with the gay agenda for America. There are still plenty of people who oppose it, but they are mostly silent. They are intimidated from speaking by threats and retaliations by gay activists. That’s why so many Christians are silent, and why so many pastors are even reluctant to speak out. But this situation must change. We must speak out. If we don’t speak out against moral insanity, against the dirty, filthy, immoral gay marriage, then nobody else will. I believe that many Christians would speak out boldly against gay marriage and the normalization of homosexuality in society if they would only see Christian leaders doing so. So the first thing we need to see is Christian leaders taking a visible and public stand against gay marriage, and stop hiding behind polite and evasive comments. We need to see Christian leaders speaking lovingly, yet with force, explaining why they oppose gay marriage. I believe other Christians would be bold enough to start speaking out against gay marriage if they had role models for doing so. It’s hard to speak out when you are the only one doing so. Where are the moral and spiritual leaders of today’s church? We need them to live up to their callings from God to the ministry by teaching and preaching God’s Word. Confessing Christ in the context of today’s moral and spiritual breakdown in society means professing God’s truth in the midst of a hailstorm of immorality. To fail to stand with God and God’s Word in the midst of today’s immorality is to fail to confess Christ. “If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.” This quote is attributed to Martin Luther the Reformer, although it’s original source may be elsewhere. But the point is powerful – it isn’t enough to confess Christ generally, we must confess him specifically, especially in areas that are under attack. Today, Christian spirituality and morality are under attack by a hostile, secular, anti-Christian culture. How will we as Christians respond? Will we lay down our precious Christian truths, surrender to the enemy, and even fight on his side, doing the devil’s own work? Will we show cowardice, remain silent, and play it safe, keeping to ourselves or not rocking the boat? Or will we speak out boldly, confessing Christ and his truth in the midst of a hostile world? There is only one response. We must speak boldly for Jesus Christ even though it will probably cost us dearly. Do we really confess Christ? If so, we must be willing to do so publicly and bear the consequences. Let’s pray.

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