The Distinctiveness of Gender and Marriage

Pastor Paul ChappellSunday, September 20, 2020 - 8:30 AMAvoiding Confusion

Genesis 1:26-28 Read...

Right now I want you to take your Bibles, if you would, and stand with me for the reading of God's Word. And I want you to turn, please, in God's Word to the book of Genesis. And as you're standing, Genesis chapter 1, and we're going to turn to chapter 1, verses 26 through 28. And as you know, we're preaching a series of messages called "Avoid the Confusion." And we see confusion abounding at every level these days, and the only way to get clarity is to get into God's Word. And this particular series of messages is on somewhat of an apologetic level so that we might know how to answer with respect to certain questions that abound in our society.

Last week we looked at "Is the Bible the Word of God, how do we know that?"  We'll be looking in upcoming weeks at topics ranging from "Who is Jesus Christ?" to "How did the world begin?" "And what about social justice: What does the Bible say? And what sides of that are Marxist and what sides of that does God really call for justice? And how do you find the balance in the midst of all of these discussions? What does the Bible say?"

And so I want you to pray that we will have a Christian worldview, not a secular worldview, but a Christian worldview, as we go through these days in which we're living. And I want to encourage you to be evangelistic in your spirit, take some gospel tracts, invite some friends to come. Next week I'll be preaching on this subject: "Who is Jesus Christ?" And I want to encourage you, how many of you will prayerfully consider one person this week that you could invite to hear this message next Sunday morning? How many of you would pray about that? Would you at least pray about it? What I find, if you'll pray about it, the Lord will lead you to somebody. Just say, "Hey, I'd like you to come and here a message on, 'Who is Jesus Christ?'" And I pray that God will use this in many, many lives.

Today we're going to look at the subject "A Biblical View of Gender and Marriage. A Biblical View of Gender and Marriage," as we want to have God's viewpoint on this very important subject. Genesis 1:26, I'll read, Brother Williams will sing, and then I'll preach the Word of God.

"And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." Let's pray together.

Father, as we approach these sacred subjects I ask that you would fill me with your Spirit. Give a church a willingness to learn, to grow. And help us to take a stand in this day and age based upon a biblical worldview. Father, even here in California may the light shine brightly through the Lancaster Baptist Church, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen. You may be seated.

If you have not downloaded notes you can do that at Every Friday we're sending out a bulletin, and a Saturday we're sending a reminder. And I hope that you'll do that, and especially if you didn't get them already, if you either grab them now or get them later if you'd like to have all of the quotes and scripture verses that we're using. This morning's message will be a little bit different. We're going to look at some heavier material, and then at the end I'm going to give you five positive challenges with respect to how to navigate and how to live for Christ in light of some of the changes in our culture.

Several weeks ago we learned that there are secular worldviews and that there is a biblical worldview, and we learned that people's lifestyle is informed by that worldview or by that paradigm. And we stated that as Christians we want to have a biblical worldview so that our decisions are not swayed or made by the culture in which we live. These views are paradigms, inform our opinions on subjects ranging from Israel to the right to life of the preborn child, and even the creation of the world. And this morning we come to the subject of "God's Original Design in Creating Male and Female," something that 40 years ago would have seemed so kind of basic, but in today's culture needs a full-length message, I believe.

Now some of what I will say this morning may sound foreign to some of you, especially if you were indoctrinated in feminism, or if you have been under the indoctrination of the tolerance doctrines of the corporate and secular world of the last few decades. I speak of the kinds of tolerance doctrines that tolerate everything except the name of Jesus Christ. How many of you know what I mean? There's a good use of the word "tolerance," and then there's an intolerant side to the tolerance doctrines. And so if you've been around a lot of this desensitization training, some of what I say may seem new to you, but I would ask you to just test what I'm saying by the Scriptures.

Now the church of Jesus Christ faces an unprecedented challenge today. The collision between the church and the new sexual ethic is a collision between revelation and revolution. And what we're seeing in America today is a revolution against God's revelation. That's why I'm so passionate that you maintain a joy and a confidence in Christ, because too many Christians are abdicating their place in God's army today, when we need men and women to stand and stand for the revelation of God's Word. The revolution is a sexual revolution partly, and it is indeed a revolution demanding a complete reordering of society and civilization. There are many today demanding a complete reordering of society as we have known it in the United States of America, and much of their demand comes around the sexual revolution.

Now let me say as I begin this morning that we believe that God loves everyone. We believe that he died for the sins of this world, and we welcome people to Lancaster Baptist Church with any kind of question and any kind of struggle. That's the purpose of the church. We're here to do our best to help from a biblical perspective.

I'm speaking today from the Bible, which, as we said earlier, informs the worldview of not all churches, but of many churches, and definitely of this church. We're not here this morning promoting hate or hurt, but we are promoting the healing that comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And as I begin this message I know that there are people right here in this auditorium, and you've been hurt by the plague of immorality or pornography or divorce, or you have children that have gone into a sinful lifestyle of some form. And sometimes there's a tendency to kind of go with that flow; and while we want to love those that have, perhaps, gone a different direction, we want to be solid and firm in our biblical convictions. And so that's why I'm bringing this message this morning.

You see, God's design, which I read a moment ago from Genesis, this idea, this design of man and a woman being created by God is despised by many who would corrupt and exchange the God-given plan for their life. And often this corruption begins very early in life. It may be the abuse of a child. It may be the presence of pornography. It may be some form of a bad experience or a confusing experience in their life. But we see through various different situations, young people today being exposed early on in their lives to lifestyles that God's Word defines as sinful lifestyles.

Just in recent days Netflix released a film entitled "Cuties." This film focuses on an 11-year-old Senegalese immigrant living in Paris who joins a clique of other girls calling themselves cuties as a way of rebelling against their parents. The girls' performances and provocative and erotic-type dancing is so wicked and ungodly that many in Congress have called for the censorship of this particular movie. And I'm thankful to say that many of our families, I'm thankful to say that some of the millennials of our church brought this to my attention and have canceled Netflix, because as parents they realize that that type of entertainment, just the fact that children could see it, is poison to their family.

But this type of poison has been going on for three or four decades. And often children become confused, and they see these things and they begin to mimic the most dominate influences in their life. And sometimes that's a television show or a friend online or even a teacher in school, and before you know it their thought process is becoming very indifferent to the Word of God.

So God has a unique creation, and he says that we are created in his image, and that we are created male and female. And he strictly forbids in the Bible the blurring of these roles, much less the exchanging of these roles. Ironically, many so-called social justice movements have statements on their website calling for the end of the nuclear family and the promotion of the queer nation. And I would say to you that promoting the queer nation is not a social justice issue, it is a sin issue. And so there's a tremendous misunderstanding in our society today with respect to God's view at least and the Word of God's teaching on these subjects.

Just last year in France, as I mentioned some weeks ago, the term "mother" and "father" was outlawed by the National Assembly. Because of their desire to not offend a transgender parent, the entire nation at the DMV in the public school registrations is not allowed to use the term "mother" and "father" anymore. They will use the term "Parent One" and "Parent Two." And the indoctrination and the companies we work for that support this indoctrination with their money, and the banks that support it are changing the very fiber of society and subtly undermining the very plan of God.

So how in the world have we gotten to this place? And most of you know it's been going on for 30 or 40 years. But I want to review with you briefly how we've come to this place. I want you then to see a few thoughts from me and from the Word of God on how we can stand in this particular day.

I believe we, first of all, got to this place because of the constant attacks on morality and on the family structure that God ordained. And I'd like you to turn with me to Romans chapter 1 to see exactly how these attacks have come about. Romans 1:21, Romans 1:21, and I want you to see the progression that God describes here of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds and how we see it in our own country today.

Romans 1:20 says, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; and they are without excuse." We saw that a few weeks ago. "Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, to birds, to four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves the recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient."

Now I believe all of us have seen the removal of God from society and from the conscience of men in America; it's very obvious. And when you read Romans chapter 1 you notice in verse 21 the beginning of the problem is that man forsakes God, and the Bible says he turns to vain imaginations or idolatry. So at the root of the problem we're going to study today is a turning away from God. And then, secondly, we see that when a man turns from God, he begins to deny the existence of God, and because of that he will worship the creation more than the Creator. His science, his philosophy, his way of thinking becomes more dominant than the truth of God's Word and the teaching of God's Word. And then, finally, because he doesn't believe in God and because he replaces God with nature and idols, the third step we see in Romans chapter 1 is immoral behavior – verse 24 speaks of it: the uncleanness through the lust of their own hearts.

And so there's a connection in the sexual revolution to one's attitude toward God. If there's no fear of God, if there's no belief in God, if there's no presence of God in someone's life, then there is absolutely no moral restraint, there's no conviction within their heart. And we've seen this happen in our society and even in the lives of loved ones as well. So as we consider this progression, how does it happen? How have these attacks come?

Well, Letter A, let me share with you that there have been enticements to lusts on the increase in our country for years. The pornography industry, the movie industry just bombards our society with this revolution called the sexual revolution. And as God describes it in Romans chapter 1, we see, first of all, that people surrender over to their lusts, even to the point that the Bible tells us in verse 24 that they dishonor their bodies between themselves; and finally, it says in verse 26, that God gives them up to their vile affections.

God calls, and I believe he convicts, and I believe he warns; but people that reject the warning of God's Holy Spirit and call it the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, call it quenching, call it what you want, there comes a point where a people group can so quench God that he said, "All right, you can have your way with this," and he gave them up to it. Interesting word here, "gave them up": to give into the hands of another. He says, "Go ahead and experience bondage." So this enticement begins with a surrendering over to their lusts because they have been swayed by this life of fornication. Look at verse 26: "For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change," and so forth.

Now the word that we find concerning these vile affections in the Bible is the word "fornication," and the word "fornication" is from the Greek word porneia. It speaks of pornography. It speaks of adultery. It speaks of homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, and the worship of idols. And let me just pause to say because we as Christians sometimes are quick to jump on the sin of, say, homosexuality; but let's be very clear that all sex outside of marriage is sin in the Word of God. So, you know, sometimes Christians can jump on the sin that they're not committing. But we just need to be honest biblically this morning about the fact that sin is sin.

And so this swaying of temptation. And in verse 26, speaking about these vile affections and speaking about this enticement that was prevalent in the ancient Greek world and Roman world, and which led to their destruction and which is leading to the destruction of ours today, there's a surrender to these lusts, and so there's these enticements. Those enticement then biblically, if you followed the progression of which I read, they then go to the enticement of homosexuality.

A man that says no to God will oftentimes be on a journey, and it is a journey in which they are held captive to lustful thoughts, and those thoughts many times continue and continue. It says in verse 27, "The men leave the natural use of the woman and burn in their lust one toward another." Verse 28, "They did not retain their knowledge toward God."

It's very clear then from the New Testament, not just the Old – Leviticus speaks of this as an abomination – but in the New Testament that this is not God's design, and that this is actually a rejection of God and an idolatry of one's self. First Corinthians 6:9 says it this way: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind." In that verse, 1 Corinthians 6:9, the word "effeminate" speaks of one that is a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man, or a male prostitute.

Now as we think of some of these terms we begin to see the degradation and the process that takes place in lives that many times reject God. There's an author by the name of Nathaniel Frank who wrote a book entitled Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America. And the Washington Post wrote, "In it, Frank stated, 'These activists didn't just want to create alternative community for queer people. They aimed to remake society around the novel social arrangements they cherished, addressing human need and desire through broad community structures rather than monogamous nucleus families.' According to Frank, the vision of the LGBTQ movement centered on a comprehensive reorientation of societal norms that had governed humanity since Adam and Eve. So the stated goal of the LGBTQ movement is to overthrow what started with Adam and Eve." And who created Adam and Eve?

Congregation: God.

So their stated goal is exactly what Romans chapter 1 teaches, that they are rejecting the model of Adam and Eve, which was given to us by God, and that their goal is to restructure and reorientate the entire society in which we live. Sadly, only 32 percent of Gen X today view homosexuality as being wrong, which is indicative of the fact that the goal of this movement is being achieved in the hearts of the youth of America.

Now the Bible's very clear about this in Isaiah 5:20, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" Nevertheless, the Internet, television, public education continually are promoting these lifestyles. For more than 20 years LA Unified School District, which has shut down the schools in our county, they have promoted their Gay Pride months; and it's prevalent in much of the corporate world as well. Harvey Milk Day in our public schools, just an amazingly difficult concept, was not only gay, but had many other problems, and yet celebrated like some founder of the country or something. And so this indoctrination continues.

Now many would say that they're born this way – and we've all heard that argument. Recently Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in an article in the Baltimore Sun written by Dr. Lawrence Mayer stated that, "Homosexuality is the result of environmental factors and personal choice. And the fact of the matter is, it is a choice; and every decision in life is a choice." And so we come down to this choice that men made. They chose not to retain God in their knowledge. Some of them choose to have a perverted form of God in their knowledge – as something that I'll share with you in weeks to come.

But one church that had an advertisement just yesterday of Jesus Christ in a dress looking figuratively as a woman to somehow project their idea of a welcoming type of church. And so there are churches that are acquiescing to the doctrines of the world. That's why I'm preaching this series. We want to come to the Word of God for our worldview.

And so these attacks on morality are pervasive. But it's gone beyond that now because the sexual revolution is something that you can go back to the '60s and find. It's developed, secondly, into the attacks on the Maker, attacks on the Maker. The first attack was on marriage. But go back briefly to Genesis 1, and let's see our Maker and his plan in verse 27: "God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Now in recent years there has been a push past the promotion of homosexuality toward the rejection of one's God-given identity, a rejection of the Maker, and this is found in the form of transgenderism. Now when we were teenagers, some of us, to be cool you wore bell-bottom pants and wire-rimmed glasses, and maybe had some dice on your mirror of your car, or whatever else you did that was crazy. The culture today is telling young people, "If you want to be in, be queer." That's the message that's being given to young people today. And to the extent that there are full television shows, not only about being involved in the gay lifestyle, but then, secondly, even now, changing themselves to become transgender; and entire TV shows about that. So let's look at this attack on the Maker.

First of all, remember it is God that determines gender identity. So God is not the author of confusion, so I would say that any child struggling with gender identity confusion is under a satanic attack or some type of an influence that is anti-bible and anti-God. God is not the author of confusion, and so when someone's confused about this very basic thing, we don't need to throw guilt on them, but we also need to recognize God doesn't bring that confusion into their mind. In fact, the Bible says there in 27, that, "The image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

When God created man, he designed man to be male, woman as female; he did not leave other options. And so we see that God created man and woman, and we both, men and women, have the same human nature. He created us in his likeness. God's likeness gave mankind a peculiar worth and dignity. Both men and women have worth and intrinsic value, and God loves us, and he gives to us his Son for salvation. And the Bible says in James 3:9 that, "We are made after the similitude of God."

And so Adam and Eve were like God in that they could reason with moral intellect. They had will and emotion in the moral sense like God, because in the original design they were sinless. God created them without sin. Adam and Eve chose to sin, and the human race fell. But in the original design we see the same likeness of God in Adam and Eve from the standpoint of their ability to reason and to fellowship with God.

Now while we have the same human nature in the likeness of God, he created us with diverse physical design. He created us with distinction. And I may preach later on raising children and help them to understand, "What is masculinity? What is femininity?" And these are God-ordained opportunities and uniquenesses.

But he created us with distinction: male. He gives us this word "male." The word "male" comes from the Hebrew that means to remember. And the word "female" meaning distinct from the male. And so God created distinction, Mark 10:6, "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female."

Now let me just pause to say to every person here, and especially the young people. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by a wonderful God. And Psalm 139:14, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works." God makes no junk, and you don't ever apologize for being male or female, or Black or White or brown, or whatever, however God made you.

Listen, it doesn't matter if someone's born with some deformity or someone's born with Down's syndrome. God creates and loves his creation, and he has a purpose, and all of this divisive rhetoric in our society is not intended to bring resolution, it's only intended to bring more division. That's the game that's going on, and that's why many of us as pastors are just simply saying, "We're not playing that game. We are going to find our emotions, our convictions coming forth from the Word of God, not from the media."

And when it comes to this issue, don't let Satan cause a question or confusion. Don't feel that you're less of value because you're a woman or a man, or because you're of some cultural background. You, all of you, are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. And for one to want to change their gender identity is to defy God's design and to rebel against what God ordained.

And so God determines gender identity. And then, secondly, Satan causes gender confusion. That's what Satan does, he causes confusion. John 8:44, Jesus said of the devil, he said, "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there was no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

Evangelist Billy Sunday used to say, "I hate the devil. I hate the devil," he said. "I'm going to hit him till my fist is gone, kick him till my foot is gone. I'm going to bite him till my teeth are gone, and then I'm going to gum him to death." He said, "I hate the devil." And you should hate the devil, he's a liar.

Now it is abundantly clear that the most radical and revolutionary letter in the LGBTQ anacronym is the letter T for "transgender." More than any other component of the LGBTQ revolution, the transgender movement represents an attempt to redefine humanity itself, not just human sexuality, but to redefine humanity.

And it's interesting. I was reading a book called The Coming Storm by Albert Mohler this past summer, and in the book he gave the story of an athlete by the name of Martina Navratilova – and some of you have heard of her as a tennis player. And she's been a spokesperson for the lesbian movement. She's won the Wimbledon tournament nine times. Her name appears on headlines for her athleticism and also for her stand for lesbianism.

But recently she had a head-on collision with the transgender movement. Navratilova who, as I said, was gay, in 2018 tweeted, "You can't just proclaim yourself a female and be able to compete against women." There was a transgender person, a man that came in to play in the tennis tournament, and she said, "Time out; that's not right." Now to tell you how radical the LGBTQ movement has become, when Navratilova would not endorse transgenderism, she was booted from her spokesperson role for the homosexual lesbian community. In other words, if she didn't grab onto the T in the LGBQ, then she was not going to be welcome in the movement anymore.

And so it's moved past a sexual revolution to a changing of the identity of the very creation of God. They reject gender titles. You'll notice many politicians – and I'll not take the time to go down that road. If you haven't figured some of this out by now ask me afterwards. But many politicians are using the terms "they" and "we" instead of "he" or "she."

One candidate recently at a forum said, "I use 'they' and 'we.'" In other words, "Hey, I'm cool with you; keep sending me your money. Vote for me because that's where I stand." So they don't want to use the terms "he" and "she" because that might identify them with Adam and Eve, and that might identify them with God. And even while many of these will say they believe in God, and the appreciate the pope, or whatever they want to say, the fact is that they're chiming in with this powerful, powerful movement.

Last year the world seemed asleep as the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered – Canada ordered that a 14-year-old girl receive testosterone injections without parental consent. The court declared that if either of her parents referred to her using female pronouns or addressed her by her birthname, the parents could be charged with family violence. Evidentially the girl's school counselor encouraged her to identify as a boy as early as the seventh grade. And don't tell me it doesn't matter where they go to school. So here you have a situation in Canada – and I believe it's coming to our country as well – where this girl wants to become a boy, probably saw it on Netflix or whatever else she watched, and the court, with these distraught parents not knowing what to do, said, "If you refer to your daughter as a daughter instead of as a boy, then we're going to slap fines on you for the damage that you do to your child."

Folks, I think the church has been sleeping right through a lot of these things. I mean, we shouldn't have to beg someone to vote. There are attacks today on our faith everywhere, and sometimes all Californians can think of is how to get out of California. Can anybody think about standing up for Jesus Christ?

Churches like ours are the only light a state like this has. This is a mission field. There's an attack going on, and when that is going on there needs to be people who will stand in the gap. And we see the attack on morality; and we see the attack on our Maker, on our God, who created male and female. And then, thirdly, attacks on marriage, the attack on marriage itself.

Now as we consider marriage, we see the progression. First, it was the sexual revolution, now it's the changing of one's gender. Now we're going to change what God ordained when he brought man and woman together. We're not just going to reject that he made man and woman, we're going to reject that God said put man and woman together. That's where this has come to; and the Supreme Court gave credence to it a few years ago.

Genesis chapter 2 – if you want to turn there – we see God established marriage, Letter A. Genesis 2:21, "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.' Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."

Boom, there you have it: God ordained marriage. That's the first wedding ceremony in the world's history. And he created woman and brought Adam and Eve together, and Adam said, "Whoa, this is awesome! She's now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." And they become one flesh, they are one under God.

Now it's imperative, Christians, that we are reminded today that marriage was not invented by man, it's God's institution. No court, no country has the right to alter what God has ordained. God ordained marriage. Marriage is not a product of evolution, God instituted it when he first created man. And God ordained it with a purpose; and the purpose of marriage is that we might bring glory to God, that we might be a picture in our marriages of Christ and his love for the church. And that's why Satan loves it when married couples fight, bicker, become unfaithful, get into divorce, because it hurts the testimony of Jesus Christ and his love for the church. And that's why we want to stay in church and stay in the Word and keep our marriages strong, because God has a purpose, and he says, "What God hath joined together," Matthew 19, "let no man put asunder."

And thank God for many faithful marriages in our church. Terrie and I in a few months celebrate 40 years of marriage. And what a joy and privilege to journey together. And no, not every day's the best day or the easiest day. But God's grace is always sufficient, and it's a joy to go through life together.

I heard about a couple that had their 50th anniversary, and they were laying there in bed, and the wife said to her husband, said, "Do you remember when you used to stroke my hair and just put your fingers through my hair?" The husband, you know, he'd been married 50 years, he could take a hint. He said, "Yes." And so he started stroking her hair. She said, "Do you remember when we used to just cuddle up," and so he kind of got over and snuggled a little bit with her. And then she said, "Do you remember how you used to just nibble on my ear?" and her husband got up out of bed, and she said, "Where are you going?" He said, "To get my teeth." So I mean, some things change, I get that, the longer we're married. But it's a blessing to see people in our society still honoring the vows they made before God.

God established marriage, but Satan attacks marriage. And so he's not only attacked the concept of morality – and we've seen saved and unsaved alike. The world's crowd is the first to celebrate when a Christian leader falls into sin or whatever. So we see that God not only has established marriage, but that Satan attacks marriage. And we've seen this morning, he does that through the sexual revolution. Romans 6:12 says to Christian, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it to the lusts thereof." Mohler says in his book The Coming Storm, "Thanks to modern technologies we can have sex without babies, babies without sex, and both without marriage. For many, marriage has become an irrelevancy."

Just yesterday I saw on the news the news anchor for CNN Anderson Cooper, a homosexual man with his four-month-old baby. And we've seen our culture completely accept and now promote the concept of a family that, as Mohler describes here, can have babies without the natural command of God, and can be celebrated and promoted in the media. And so we see the sexual revolution and what it's done. But that's led to same-sex marriage.

Now God has ordained male and female, complementarianism where a husband and wife come together to honor God. But once society remade marriage into a morally irrelevant, nonbinding commitment, it was a short jump to same-sex marriage. And we've seen our society go from wholesale immorality and divorce and homosexuality and name it all, to now same-sex marriage now condoning something that is against the very plan of God. And so how have we gotten to this point? There have been attacks on morality, there have been attacks on the Maker, and there have been attacks on marriage in our society. And the enemy is well-organized and very active, and every one of you hear about it almost every single day.

And so, as I close this morning, what can we do? Well, let me just give you five principles – and you can jot these down if you'd like – five steps to strengthen your family in our society that I'd like to share with you as we close. Five ways to strengthen your family.

Moms and dads, my son Larry's our youth pastor. He says these questions of which I'm preaching this morning are the Number One questions he gets from teenagers today. We as parents need to have some biblical answers, and that's why I've given a whole message to this topic so that I'm not just a Baptist preacher just popping off against one sin quickly, but to give as several scriptures and to take a few moments with this.

Five ways to help our families. Number One: "We as Christians must walk under God's control." The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul says, "I keep under my body, I keep my body disciplined, lest I myself should become a castaway."

One of the worst things that happens in the life of a young person is when a leader in the church or a parent falls into moral sin. When that happens it creates a great conflict in the mind of a young person. I could give a whole message on this; but moms and dads, we need to walk in the Spirit, and we need to give a testimony to our children. And this is so vitally important that you and I stay faithful to God and walk faithfully in this culture today.

Number Two: "We need to model and encourage our God-given roles." We need to give our children godly models. For example, in Proverbs 31 we have the description of a virtuous woman, and we see that she is a woman that is smart and capable, and who loves her husband. She's not a gossip. You can read the chapter; and don't read it and say, "I can't do that." With God's grace, we can. And our daughters need to see a modeling of femininity and godliness.

And men, the Bible says in Ephesians 6 that a father is not to provoke his children to wrath, that he is to be an example of steadiness, and that he is to be someone that is providing love and nurture and admonition and correction in the home, and he's to be the authority in the home. And so we must come back to the basics of being the role model in the home that children so desperately need.

Number Three: "Love your spouse with a Christlike love." Love your spouse with a Christlike love. When there's difficult times, try to take those discussions away from the children. And may I encourage you: if you're having a difficulty, take some time and pray, and then come back and deal with it. Get some counseling if you need to get some counseling. But grow in your love one for another.

Number Four: "Beware of the social engineering – media, corporate dogma which tolerate every lifestyle but the biblical lifestyle." First John 2:16, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world." Every one of you are going to have training at work. I've seen mandates from Edwards, from Plant 42, from the AV College. I've seen the stuff that comes out in these all-employee emails, and I recognize that many times you're trying to thread the needle in the way you approach all of this. But let me just say something: do not adapt the worldview that is coming out of these institutions; stay true to your biblical convictions.

But what if persecution comes? I don't know. It could come to me for what I'm doing right now. Do you understand that? I don't wish that upon you; but by the same token, we must, we must hold to our convictions. And we need some dads who know how to get their rear end up off of the couch and turn that television off when it's putting this stuff into your children's minds. And we need some moms and dads who discuss where they're going to go for enjoyment; and if they're at a theme park and something suddenly is just promoting something perverse, I don't care if there's 5,000 people in the grandstands, get yourself up and walk out. There has to be a mindset that you're going to protect your family; and when this stuff is coming in, that you will look at it from the biblical viewpoint.

And then, Number Five: "Make sure that you personally have turned to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation." I want to be very clear as I tried to be at the beginning. The Bible says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." All of us are created in the image of God, but when Adam and Eve fell, the Bible says in Romans 5:12, that, "When one man sinned, that death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."

So all of us are born with sin nature. None of us are better than the other. And we're not here today saying we're better than a whoremonger or someone who's in the gay lifestyle, whatever; that's not the point of this message. But I must say today that while we are all fallen, Jesus makes the difference; and the difference is that when you come to Jesus Christ and you repent before him or you confess before him that you are a sinner – which we all are – that when we come to that place, that even though the wages of our sin is separation from God, spiritual death, "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

And if you're here this morning and you're struggling and you don't know why you can't have spiritual power to stand and to make right decisions, I would strongly exhort you to make sure that there's been a time in your life when you did acknowledge your sin to Jesus and you did cry out to him to be your personal Savior. And it doesn't matter who you are or where you're at in your life right now, whether you think you're a pretty good person or whether you're struggling right now to get through this service because you need another drink, or whether you're struggling with pornography; it doesn't matter where you are: if you will turn to Jesus Christ, he will in no wise cast you out; he will receive you. And that's the hope of the gospel. And you don't clean up your life and then come to God, you receive Christ as Savior. He'll help you clean up your life. His Spirit begins to work within you. His Word begins to make a difference. And so, above all else, make sure that you have personally trusted Jesus Christ as Savior.

And if there's someone in this room or someone watching at, whether you understand everything I've said about these cultural issues and these moral issues, understand this: there is a God in heaven who loved you so much, he sent his Son to die for your sin, so that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And that's why we stand in this city and in this state. And that's why we want to be faithful, because people need that message. And that's why Satan loves it when Christians are on Facebook arguing about stuff, and when marriages are not what they should be, because then we're not staying on message.

Our primary message should be, "Jesus saves. Jesus saves." And if you've never accepted Christ, our invitation to you today is to come to Jesus. Let him touch and change your life for all of eternity. And there you have a biblical view on gender and marriage from the Bible. And let me challenge you: avoid the confusion, follow God's Word, and he'll never lead you wrong. Let's stand together.

[End of Audio]

Avoiding Confusion

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