The War against Marriage, Part 3 of 4

An overview of Part 1, Adam and Eve 

  • God instituted marriage with Adam and Eve, the first couple.  They lived in unity with God in the Garden of Eden.  It was God’s plan to test their love and loyalty.  He allowed the serpent to test their obedience.  They fell into the trap, disobeyed God and Adam lost his position as ruler over God’s creation.  The devil, Satan, became ruler of the world.   
  • Genesis 3 explains how the world was divided into two opposing kingdoms.  One is the Kingdom of Light with God as its Ruler.  The opposing kingdom of darkness has Satan as its ruler. 

An overview of Part 2, The two kingdoms 

Jesus confirmed the existence of the two kingdoms.  They are irreconcilable and at war with each other.  Their goals and standards of living are strange to each other.  There is no peace, no harmony and no common ground between them.  

We will always struggle to interpret what happens in the world if we do not understand the two kingdom world we live in.  This is especially important when it comes to God’s design of marriage.  

Part 3, God’s marriage pattern is a shadow

God created people with a very specific purpose to become part of His eternal Kingdom.

  • Marriage on earth is a shadow of the future marriage in heaven of Jesus and His eternal Bride. 1  The Bride will consist of billions of the saved individuals (it is like a body with billions of cells). 
  • When God pierced Adam’s side and formed his bride, it was a shadow of Jesus’ pierced side on the Cross where His Bride (the church) was ‘born.’  
  • Rejection of God’s marriage pattern is an insult to God and His Son, the Bridegroom and the Bride. 2    

God created marriage for a reason

  • The whole progress of God’s Kingdom is built on reproduction.  Only 25% of people who hear the Gospel respond and remain faithful (according to the Parable of the Sower,  Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23). 
  • That is why the All-knowing God allowed death into the earth.  It paves the way for new generations that can make decisions for Jesus.  So man and woman joined in marriage is important to produce children who can choose to become part of God’s Kingdom.
  • Noah and his generation of godless people illustrate how only a remnant usually choose God’s ways.  Only Noah, his wife and his three sons with their wives were saved.  The rest were all destroyed in the flood. 3   
  • Without reproduction, God would have a very limited number of citizens.  God needs many generations to reach His required number of people.   

The devil hates God’s kind of marriage 

  • For Satan it is very important to thwart God’s efforts to gather people.   
  • Satan hopes to postpone his eternal torture in the lake of burning sulphur if he can prevent God from getting the right number of citizens.  His hope is that the earth will then continue for a long time.  Thus he opposes God’s kind of marriage.

God’s opinion about these anti-Biblical marriage patterns

The Bible is about God’s Kingdom.  God decides whom He includes and excludes.  God is precise, and does not leave us in the dark.  That is so that people can change their ways and ensure an inheritance in God’s Kingdom. 

  • ‘Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the Kingdom of God?  Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.’ 4 
  • ‘The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the Kingdom of God.’  5
  • ‘For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.’ 6 

Note carefully who God excludes from His Kingdom

  • God mentions sexual immorality, homosexual offenders, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, the greedy, et cetera.  Because God never shows favouritism, He cannot pardon some, and judge others.  His Word explains His course of action.  It applies to all people.  Nobody has any exemption ‘certificate.’  You cannot obtain such a certificate, since it would amount to favouritism from God’s side.  
  • God doesn’t exclude people because they are inherently bad, but, because they will not submit to His ways.  Therefore He categorises them as rebels, followers of the chief rebel, Satan.  Yet they can change through Jesus the Saviour.   There are billions of saved people who left the kingdom of darkness and entered the Kingdom of God. 
  • Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient to save all people who want to, out of darkness, ‘For He [God] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son [Jesus] He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’ 7 

Should followers of Jesus condemn others?

  • The answer is short and sweet.  No.  We have no right to condemn because the two kingdoms differ.    
  • James 4:12 says, ’There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and destroy.  But you — who are you to judge your neighbour?’  The ‘neighbour’ includes both the saved and (one would accept) the unsaved.  Only one eternal Judge can save and condemn.  It is not necessary for us to do God’s work. 
  • 1 Corinthians 5:12 makes it even clearer, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside.  ‘Expel the wicked man from among you [inside the church].’”  It is the Holy Spirit who convicts people of sin, righteousness and judgment, not we.  

What can we do?  

Pray!  Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the devil’s schemes and his demons.  Prayer is powerful and effective.  Do not judge but pray for your loved ones that may be in the devil’s trap.  Satan cannot stop Holy Spirit inspired prayer.

To be continued…

References

  1. Ephesians 5:25-32  
  2. Revelation 19:6-9  
  3. Genesis 6:5-10  
  4. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10  
  5. Galatians 5:19-21  
  6. Ephesians 5:5  
  7. Colossians 1:13

How God deals with traitors in His Kingdom

It caused quite a stir when the New York Times published an anonymous letter indicating how people inside the administration work against Mr Trump.  How are leaders supposed to handle such things?  Does the Bible give us insight how the glorious eternal God, Ruler of the eternal Kingdom, will prevent something like that during His eternal reign? 

#  Jesus and the traitor in His midst

“Then of the Twelve – the one called Judas Iscariot – went to the chief priests and asked, ‘What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?'” 1  It was the time of the Passover and Jerusalem was filled with pilgrims.  Therefore it was difficult for the leaders to know exactly where Jesus would be in the evening, as they did not want to draw unnecessary attention to their scheme to get rid of Him.

#  Jesus’ grace towards Judas 

Jesus identified Judas as the traitor in front of the other disciples. 2  That was to give Judas the opportunity to reconsider.  Why did Judas not repent?  There is a twofold answer: 

  • Judas loved money.  Lazarus and his sisters gave a dinner in Jesus’ honour.  Mary took some expensive perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet.  We read in John 12:1-6,  “But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray Him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?  It was worth a year’s wages?’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” 
  • Satan entered Judas.  ‘The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.’  Jesus identified Judas, “‘[The one who will betray me] is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’  Then, dipping the piece of bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.” 3 

#  God and traitors

  • God uses this age to identify the rebels, ‘independents’ and traitors who belong to the devil.  They themselves make it very clear they are not in the least interested in God and don’t want to be associated with Him.  Logically they will not be with God in the age to come.
  • Let’s compare God’s brilliance to Mr Trump’s dilemma.  He is the president, but he has no way to identify the secret traitors.  God’s advantage is that he knows all things.  Therefore He allows the traitors to expose themselves before the eternal Kingdom begins.  It is on this side of the grave that people pledge loyalty to God, through Jesus Christ. 

Conclusion

God’s called, chosen and faithful followers 4 will enjoy the privileges of the eternal reign of God.  What a precious reward for loyalty.  And Mr Trump?  As commanded in 1 Timothy 2:1-6, we are to pray for him as for other leaders.

References

  1. Matthew 26:14-15  
  2. Matthew 26:21-26  
  3. John 13:21-27  
  4. Revelation 17:14

The war against God proves He is real

God’s Kingdom is real. His enemy is real. We see the war against God and His people around us today. That should encourage and strengthen us as we continue to seek the Kingdom of God.

Wars are often fought over precious minerals.  An example is the Second Boer War (1899-1902). One of the main reasons for the war between the Transvaal (in South Africa) and Great Britain was the discovery of gold.  Other wars might be fought over freedom, a leader, or a better country.

#  The Kingdom

The war against God is about a future country, the Kingdom of God.  What exactly does ‘kingdom’ mean?  To understand it, let’s take a ‘normal’ country as an example.  It has a leader, a president or king, queen, or prime minister.  He or she governs over a nation in a specific territory, called by various names like England, America, et cetera.  A kingdom is therefore a group of people (a nation) with its leader, living in a country.

#  God is the King.

God reveals in the Bible that He will create or establish exactly such a country, but it will be different from all countries in the world.

  • The area.  It will be the new heaven and earth.
  • The King.  God is the undisputed King.  He will not be a democratic leader, voted for by the people.  We, while alive, ‘vote’ either for or against God.  If we vote against Him, we declare our intention not to become part of God’s Kingdom, but to remain in the kingdom of darknes ruled by the devil.
  • The citizens.  Those who accepted God as their Leader and their Lord.

#  God’s enemy

  • Most leaders and countries have enemies.  God also has an enemy.  God’s enemy was a high ranking angel in God’s administration who rebelled.  He chose to go his own way because of pride and ambition.
  • The devil’s defection tells us why there is a war against God and His plan for man, ‘And there was war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he [the dragon] was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.’ 1
  • The next verse explains it all, ‘But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!  He is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short.’ 2  It is not without reason that the Bible declares, ‘woe to the earth….’   The war is over man’s allegiance to God, to rob them of eternal life with Him.
  • The devil especially hates the followers of Christ, ‘Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.’ 3

Conclusion

God’s Kingdom is real.  His enemy is real.  We see the war against God and His people around us today.  That should encourage and strengthen us as we continue to seek the Kingdom of God. 4

References

  1. Revelation 12:7-9
  2. Revelation 12:12c
  3. Revelation 12:17
  4. Matthew 6:33
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