Last Friday, the Supreme Court in US ruled that same-sex couples can now marry in all the 50 states. Quite alarming, but the trend and debates in the recent years vividly pointed to the ruling. Of great concern is the rippling effect to other nations of the world because often what is cooked in the West is also served in other parts of the world. Generally it is not an easy time for the church.
But while the world deteriorates into darkness in its values, believers also find an opportunity to shine brighter and brighter for Jesus in such a context. It was in the context of pagan Greco-Roman culture that the early church treasured the words of Jesus and boldly proclaimed the gospel. Knowing what God promises and does not promise is of importance for our spirituality and ministry. Here are some highlights on what God has promised:
- God never promised us the absence of strange and confusing times but promised his enduring presence; I am with you always, to the very end of age, Matt 28:20
- God has not called us citizens of this world but called us aliens and His ambassadors; we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us 2 Cor. 5:20
- God never said that he is making the world a better place but promised that he’s gone to prepare us a place; And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am Jn 14:3
- God never promised that things around us will not grow from bad to worse but promises to make all things new; I am making everything new! Rev 21:5
- He never promised us power to legislate morality or overturn Court rulings but promised us the power to be witnesses; But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses…Acts 1:8
- He never guaranteed a world devoid of trouble but spoke comfort saying, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn 16:33
- God never promised a Christendom in this world but promised a kingdom of people called unto himself, the church; But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, 1 Pet 2:9
- God did not promise the comfort of religious freedom but warned of hate, persecutions even death. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own Jn 15:18
Irrespective of what happens in our world, God is at work; and in him all things hold together Col 1: 17.