And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” – 2Corinthians 5: 18-20 (NLT) This week the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and refused to hear the Prop 8 case, essentially restarting gay marriage in the state of California. To the world, this was a day of great victory. It was a day of equality. It was a day to celebrate. The Bible says that the things of God are foolishness to those who are perishing. What that means is that the truths that have been revealed spiritually to us through the Holy Spirit within us are not seen be the unbelieving world. Not only are they not seen but they simply do not make any sense to them. On the subject of abortion for example, we know that God knew us before He formed us in our mother’s womb because the Bible tells us so. The world dismisses the Bible and as such, that verse carries no authoritative weight to them. All they see are people trying to tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. The child inside is not considered. Likewise, when it comes to the matter of gay marriage, it just does not make any sense to them why someone would not allow two consenting adults to love each other. The clear Biblical admonitions do not matter to them because they do not believe in them. They remain as foolishness to them and those who side with the Bible appear equally foolish. I say this as the backdrop because it is at times such as these that the church gets so easily distracted. We can rant and rave about how God instituted marriage and the world cannot redefine what God has instituted. While I get that – the world certainly will not. It seems at times like this we can climb up on our self righteous horses and speak judgment down upon people who do not even understand what we are saying. The Bible may as well be written in a foreign language for them beloved. The things of God are only truly understood through the Spirit of God: these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. – 1Corinthians 2: 10-14 (NIV) Beloved nothing changed this week. The world still went on without God and the church still went on with Him. The affirmation of sin lifestyles did not relegate the unsaved to hell number two. Despite the continued dismissal of God He does not love them any less. He still wants to see all come to salvation. He still wants the church to be the church for the lost. To bring people the love of Christ and not the judgment of religion. While we are the subject, this is NOT the time to call for yet another revival. I am seeing the clarion calls already. Pray for the nation, pray for revival. The problem is that revival implies that you bring back to life something that once was alive. It is a flawed foundational understanding that has infected American Christianity for some time now. Entire books have been inaccurately written based upon this false premise. I know that some will balk but the cold hard truth is that the country was never a Christian nation. It was not founded as a Christian nation. It has never been in covenant with God. Israel was in covenant and after Jesus; the church is now in covenant with God. The church covers believers in relationship with Jesus Christ across this entire world, not just in America. Were some of the founding fathers believers? Sure. And some were not. And some were Deists, who agree there is a God but reject any books claiming authority – such as the Bible. I used to teach United States History. While we may have behaved in a benevolent fashion in many areas over many times there are also blemishes and imperfections across our history that could not have pleased God. This is not to speak ill of the country but to speak the truth about the two sides we are dealing with beloved. There is the church and there is the world. That is it. There is no reviving America. Wait a minute preacher! Aren’t we supposed to positively affect our culture? Yes, but HOW we positively affect it is more important. Lambasting people who view the mere notion of God as foolishness as being “sinners” is not going to get the job done. Bringing the morality of religion to the unsaved will save no one. Bringing the forgiveness of Christ however, can save anyone. The revival that needs to happen; needs to happen within the church. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. – 2Chronicles 7: 14 (NIV) We are the people called by His name beloved. It is the church that needs to repent. We need to stop playing church. We need to stop being enamored with the ways of the world. We need to stop trying to be relevant to their dying culture. We need to stop pursuing their gods of money and sensuality. We need to stop compromising the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to humble ourselves, return to prayer, truly seek the face of God, and turn from our own sins. The land gets healed when the church operates as God intended. When we are that shining city on a hill. When we are salt and light to a dying world. When we are different then everything else in the world. The recent trend in Churchianity sees the church becoming too much like the world. That will not work beloved. We need to provide the world with an alternative to the lies and misery in this world. All we have is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the opportunity to spread it. The people we saw all week on television celebrating these decisions do not have a “gay problem.” They have a separation from God problem. THAT is what we need to be addressing. If they ever resolve their separation problem, God will solve all of their other problems. Remember, we all sin. The difference is that we recognize it and repent of it. The fact that they sin makes them human. The key verses today remind us that we are in fact ambassadors for Jesus Christ! The dictionary defines an ambassador as a representative for a sovereign entity and its mission. The mission the church has been given is mandated in the Great Commission. The key verses only reinforce the fact that God has given us a task beloved. That task is not to shake our finger at a sinful world and call them sinners. It is not to preach morality at them. It is not to quote Bible verses to them. It is not to call for faux revivals while sitting in sackcloth and ashes for effect. Remember, that all of that is nothing but foolishness to them! No, our task given by God is to reconcile people to God. Think back to when someone first started witnessing to you about God. Would you have responded to the dos and don’ts of religion? If you were in a sexual relationship outside of marriage would you have been convicted by someone telling you that you were a sinner? I remember the person who first witnessed to me spoke about the love God had for me. She spoke to me about how my life always felt incomplete because I was separated from God. She spoke to me about what God had done in her life. She had an infectious joy that made no sense to me but I knew I wanted it. God made His appeal to me through her. She truly was an ambassador for Him. An ambassador does not declare war but seeks reconciliation. Within the key verses is one other simple truth we often forget. This message of reconciliation is wonderful! The actual Gospel message is literally Good News in a world of bad. It transcends generations and centuries. The same Gospel that saved me saved the fifth century feudal serf and the 19th century factory worker. It has saved kings and peasants. It does not discriminate. It needs no help. It needs no embellishment. It doesn’t need to be watered down. It does not need to be adjusted, made “hip”, or selectively compartmentalized. It just needs to be preached. Don’t be distracted beloved. Nothing changed this week. There is still the church and there is still the world. There are still the saved and the unsaved. The revival that is needed is within the church itself. We need to get back to the proper role God has given us. Not to be the nanny state for the world but rather, to bring the love of Jesus Christ to the lost and give them hope again for something beyond this world. God is making His appeal through us beloved and there is nothing the Supreme Court can do about that. Only we can. Rev. Anthony.