Let us just bow in a word of prayer before we come to the word of God, and I want to speak to you this morning on a very contemporary subject: 'The Solemnisation of Sodomy'. We're going to look at some of the events that have been taking place within our world, and indeed within the broader term 'Christendom and the church' in the week that has gone by. So let us pray and ask God's help for this time together:
O our Father, our hearts are very heavy at times when we look around the world and we see what is going on. We think of Horatius Bonar when he said: 'I looked for the world and I found it in the church, I looked for the church and I found it in the world'. Our Father, what we do fear for most of all is for the many myriads of people who are out in the wild winds and storms of their own iniquity looking for help, looking for light - and that light that ought to be set upon a hill, is either hidden under a bushel or extinguished by the waters and floods of sin. Father, we pray today for ourselves as we come to the word of God, we pray that You may guide us and direct us and build us up and instruct us in the way that we should go, and we pray that the church of Jesus Christ - the true church of those who are blood-washed, born of the Spirit - that they will again get a vision of what the Bible is and what the Bible can do. Lord, that you would ignite again in our hearts a fresh zeal and enthusiasm for the Gospel and how it can change lives. But O, our Father, we are in such a dark hour, and all seems to pointing to the soon coming return of the Lord Jesus, and we look forward to Him - but O, we pray from the depths of our souls that in the time that is left, that His blessed name would be vindicated again in His church, and souls would be brought savingly to Him. 'O for the floods on a thirsty land, O for a mighty revival; O for a sanctified, fearless band ready to hail its arrival'. We ask all these things, asking Your help now, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Church of England is in - if you have been watching the news you would know - a vicious crisis, as it tries to grapple with the issue of homosexuality in its ranks. The row is part of a wider split developing within the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the English aspect of the crisis stems from the decision of the Bishop of Oxford, the Right Rev Richard Harries, to choose an openly gay man, Canon Jeffrey John, as Assistant Bishop of Reading. Almost simultaneously the Episcopalian church, which of course is also the Anglican Church, but that's the name that they go under in the United States - the Episcopalian church in the States is also in crisis, after the nomination and the recent election of Gene Robinson, an unapologetic practising homosexual, as Bishop of New Hampshire.
You would be forgiven, I imagine, for saying: 'What on earth is going on?'. To a lot of people who thought that the world had gone mad long ago, it seems that the church has followed suit. It is absolutely perplexing how these things can happen, and how men who take the name of Christ can condone such actions - and if you were like me when you heard of this news this week, once your blood ceased to boil, in righteous anger of course, and you began to contemplate these events, you asked the question: 'How can these things be? How can things come to this? How can this happen?'. I want to attempt to try to answer this, and indeed some other related questions, for all of our benefit, in trying to understand where many churches are today in our society, and how we can guard against this as the church and individual Christians in the 21st century.
What I want first of all to do is look at the man, the man Gene Robinson, because he has been to the forefront this week in the news. I want to ask the question: 'What kind of person is he?'. Maybe you were asking that question: 'What kind of person is a minister, a priest in the Church of England, and then is promoted to the position of Bishop in the Episcopalian domination, yet is a practising homosexual that has been living with his male partner, Mark Andrew, for the past 13 years?'. What kind of an individual is he? Is he an outright enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ? Is he a Satanist, a devil worshipper? Is he someone who does not believe in miracles and has denied the faith? Well, to your surprise, when you look very closely at this individual, Gene Robinson, you find that by his own admission he claims the contrary. Gene Robinson, in an interview on the Diocese of New Hampshire website - I quote - said this: 'As a twelve year old child in a poor rural congregation, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour'. He goes on: 'Little did I know where that would lead to: to be Episcopalian in college, saying 'yes' to Christ's call to be an ordained minister, and my first call - following Jesus Christ - is never easy for long. Ultimately, of course, Jesus Christ challenges us to take Him at His word' - watch this - 'to accept the extravagance of His accepting love, to be the child of God we were created to be no matter what the cost, in order to better serve Him'.
I want you to remember these words, for they're very important as we understand what's going on in our world today, he says: 'I answered God's call to acknowledge myself as a gay man' - that was God's call for him! This is remarkable, he says: 'My wife and I' - with whom, incidentally, he has two daughters - 'in order to keep our wedding vows, to honour each other in the name of God, made the decision to let each other go'. Strange, isn't it, to keep your vows you make the decision to let each other go. He continues: 'We returned to church, where our marriage had begun, and in the context of the Eucharist released each other from our wedding vows, asked each others forgiveness, cried a lot, pledged ourselves to the joint raising of our children, and shared the body and blood of Christ'. From that moment on he has lived, 13 years, with a man called Mark Andrew.
Isn't it astounding - or maybe it is not to you - but it seems to most of us that a man in the same breath, who can say that as a boy of 12 years of age in a rural congregation he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, yet he also sees God's call in his life to acknowledge his homosexuality, to dissolve his wedding vows in order to keep them. I think that's why one of the senior Bishops in America has called him the most dangerous man in the American church. His appointment this week has caused havoc, and overseas reactions have been similar to those, many of them, in the States to Robinson's promotion. They have been harsh. Peter Akinola, the Primate of Nigeria, who is an evangelical, said: 'It would be an abomination for this man to be an appointed Bishop'. Robinson's response to the Primate of Nigeria in an interview with the Anglican Voice, online magazine of the Episcopalians in the United Kingdom, is as follows - listen very carefully, it's important: 'I am not surprised or angry about what the Bishop from Nigeria said, I don't doubt his sincerity or faith to our Lord, in fact he is being true to his own journey to God - so am I. I don't know if any of us can do any more than that, I have no doubt that we can believe exactly opposite things, each walking our faithful journey with God; for our walk is imperfect. My hope is that somehow we can keep coming to the communion rail together until we get it figured out. I am going to continue coming to the communion rail, and I hope that the Primate of Nigeria would come as well'.
'Each is being true to their own journey to God...we can believe exactly opposite things, each walking our faithful journey to God'. Now you might say: 'David, why are you spending so much time quoting from a man like Gene Robinson?'. Well, I believe that by doing this it accurately illustrates to us all the spirit of the age that is abroad in our society and has now taken over much of the established churches in Christendom. We must, as evangelical Bible-believing Christians, understand how things get to that stage, why things have got so bad. It's not just enough to preach the word ignorantly and blindly, and not ask probing, deep questions about how a man, a young boy who confesses Christ as Lord, can turn out - as one Bishop has said - the most dangerous man in all of Christendom.
Now I believe we must therefore understand first of all the method of their madness. We've looked at the man, now we want to look at the method of their madness. How do people reach such conclusions as Gene Robinson? Let me quote to you N.J. Bigger (sp?) who is the Master of Christian Studies, and also the Chaplain and Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, and Lecturer in Christian Ethics at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, which trains many Church of England ministers. I quote: 'In book one of his treatise of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594, Richard Hooker established Anglican moral theology' - remember that, Anglican moral theology - 'on foundations that owe much more to Thomas Aquinas, who is a Catholic theologian, rather than Martin Luther, who is the reformed theologian. As a consequence', he goes on, 'the Anglican tradition of ethical thought has tended to esteem more highly than its Lutheran, Reformed, or Anabaptist counterparts, the power of natural reason to discern what is good and right without the aid of the grace of special revelation'.
Now I know this is complicated for many of you, but what I want you to remember is this: that Anglican moral theology, many many years ago, made a choice under Thomas Aquinas, rather than Martin Luther, to follow natural reason over and above the grace of special revelation to determine what is right and what is wrong in a moral sense. 'Accordingly', he says, 'it has been more ready to accredit sources of moral wisdom other than Scripture. Scripture is not its final frontier of appeal'. Incidentally, I know its technical, but we must delve into these areas, it was a man called Joseph Fletcher - an American Episcopalian moralist - who coined the phrase 'situation ethics'. You may or may not have heard of that, but it's a very in vogue phrase. In response to the failures of legalism, as he saw it, that is rules and regulations not being able to keep people morally, and the opposite of legalism - antinomianism, which is no laws at all, you just do whatever you like, and live as if there are no rules from God - in an attempt to address that lack of guidance and the imbalance that there was there, Fletcher opted for a middle way, a middle way - the third way if you like. You've heard Tony Blair talking about it, and politics is very akin to religion where these things are concerned - a third way. Not the Tories, not old Labour, but a middle way - there seems to be a balanced way that takes everybody else in under its umbrella.
Now this situation ethics, this middle way, was simply this: you enter into every situation in life, yes, fully armed with the precepts and lessons of the past, the things that you have learned, the traditions that you've held dear, but you are willing - and this is the key - to set those things aside if love would be better served. Now it's important, please, to note this: you esteem your history, your traditional past, but if love would be better served in the present by letting go of those binds, well, you let go of them. Why? For love. Now Fletcher propounded the four presuppositions and six key propositions of situationalism, and these are they, listen carefully because you'll recognise them. The presuppositions were: one, pragmatism - what is pragmatism? It means the rightness of a thing is determined by its effect, the end justifies the means, as long as you get where you want to, it doesn't matter how you get there - a pragmatic thought. The second pillar is relativism, which is simply this, it's abroad in society today: the idea of what is right or wrong, good or bad, true or false, varies from time to time, place to place, person to person - so you can't say something is absolutely right or absolutely wrong, it may have been absolutely wrong for that generation, but may be absolutely right for this one.
Pragmatism, relativism, and then positivism - that means moral rules should not influence or limit the scope of the laws of society. It means 'live and let live' - if you want to be religious, if you want to have your religious spiritual beliefs, that's okay, but you cannot let those infiltrate society or limit the scope of its laws. Then fourthly and finally personalism - what is that? Well, it means we're all special in God's eyes, He made us all as individuals the way we are. We should love ourselves because God loves us as we are, and what that effectively does is diminish personal responsibility for our sin before God and before society. Now those are the four presuppositions of situational ethics - situational ethics being adopted by Episcopalian moralists. As long as love exists you can let go of the old traditional baggage in the past if it has the greater good for love, and love is served.
Now let me recall to your mind some of the statements that Gene Robinson has made: 'I answered God's call to acknowledge myself as a gay man' - the implication being that God made him that way, so God called him to acknowledge it. Positivism, personalism - he is special before God, he doesn't need to be changed, he's not responsible for what he is or what he does. He goes on: 'The extravagance of God's accepting love, to be the child of God we are created to be no matter what the cost' - do you see it? He goes on in his response to the Primate of Nigeria: 'You're being true to your own journey to God' - relativism - 'Your journey to God mightn't be my journey to God'. He goes on and he says: 'We can actually believe exactly opposite things, each walking our faithful journey to God' - there is no right, there is no wrong, there's just what is right or wrong for you, and as long as you get to God - pragmatism - that's all that matters.
I could go on and on and on, but what is the relevance of all this? It is simply this: that the criterion of love is now what is all-important, it would seem, in many areas of the church of Jesus Christ - to the exclusion of anything else! Even the Scriptures! Norman Pittinger, who is an Anglo-Catholic theologian as far as I can gather, and who has done many studies in human sexuality, his criterion for evaluating the actual homosexual acts is based on situational ethics. His reasoning is: 'God's purpose for us all is that we should realise our humanity as lovers, so any act that takes us nearer that goal is morally justified'. Do you see the thought process here? Now in the 1960's, those views were seized upon by the minority, but now it seems that not only has the majority of our population seized upon that philosophy, but the church is now starting to turn to them and beginning to solemnise sodomy.
We've looked at the man, I hope you haven't got too confused as we've looked at the method of their madness - really the bottom line is this: they esteem human wisdom greater than the revelation that God has given to us by grace, and look where their human wisdom has brought them. Our third and final point is the measure of morality. Now let's draw these threads together, what we have learnt about this man Gene Robinson; what we have learnt about the method of their madness, how they come to these conclusions; and now ask ourselves, and hopefully while others are listening and learning, ask the question: what should be the true measure of our morality? Where ought we to be going, and where did these men and women go wrong?
For that we want to turn to the Scriptures, to Romans chapter 1, turn with me - Romans chapter 1 beginning to read at verse 18. Verse 18 says: 'For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness'. Please do note in verse 18 that it says 'the wrath of God is revealed', not 'is going to be' - yes, there is wrath still to come, but this iniquity and ungodly unrighteousness that was surfacing in the city of Rome was a sign that God was taking His hand of grace and restraint away from the people, and you see that because it says twice: 'God gave them up, God gave them up', and then, 'God gave them over'. This is judgment itself, and we can conclude that our own society, and certain sections of the church, is presently under the judgmental wrath of God.
Verse 19: 'Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse'. There is no-one who has got an excuse to sin toward God, nobody can say: 'You made me like that, I'm just acknowledging myself the way You made me' - you can't say that. Verse 21: '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'. They didn't except the knowledge of God's revelation of Himself to them, but rather they thought they could do better and in their vain imaginations their heart became dark. When you reject God's light, you bring darkness to your own heart.
Verse 22: 'Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted 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' - changed the truth of God - 'into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. 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 that 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; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them'.
Now, at a casual glance and reading you would say: 'Well, that's perfectly clear, that's the matter settled' - but it's not the matter settled. Because although you accept the infallibility and the inherit inspiration of the word of God, the supporters of Gene Robinson and others like him do not accept, and indeed the supporters of these two men say that Christian interpretation of the Bible has changed over the past 2000 years. They would say to you that the church no longer condones slavery, like there was slavery in the Old and the New Testament - mind you it never condoned it in the Old and New Testament either. They would say today the church does not automatically assign women to an inferior status, therefore they relegate these Scriptures to the oblivion of modern irrelevance - 'They don't apply to today'. So whenever you go to Leviticus chapters 18 and 20, and you have the prohibitions of homosexual acts there, and it says that anyone caught in that offence will be judged, indeed by death, instantly, for it is an abomination in God's eyes - they say: 'Well, that's not for today. You don't stone people today for the other sins in the Levitical books'. Go to Genesis 19, verses 1-25, where that evil city of Sodom - Lot was there and the angels, and the men of the city surrounded it and were ready to rape those angels before the holy family of Lot - and we say: 'That is for today!'. They say: 'No, that is not for today, that is not for today'. When we go to Judges, a similar situation in Judges 19, a similar story; and then we go into 1 Kings, and we read of kings who rid the cities of Jerusalem and Judea of all the sodomites, those who were homosexual, and God praised them for it - they say: 'Well, that's not for today'. Now you say: 'How can they say such things?'. Listen - we'll find their mentality in just a moment - even when they go into the New Testament and they read Paul in Romans chapter 1, and he includes lesbianism, homosexuality and says they are unnatural, they are incompatible with the lifestyle of God's kingdom, an affront to God's law and God's gospel, they say: 'No, that's not for today'.
Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 6, another citation on homosexuality from the apostle, verse 9: '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', that's homosexuality, 'nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God'. 'No, that's not for today', they say. First Timothy chapter 1 verses 8-11: 'But we know that the law is good', God's commandments are good, 'if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind', that is homosexuality, 'for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine', that's the commandments, 'According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust'. They say that's not for today.
Now you say: 'Well, how do they say that?'. It's quite simple, now you listen to their argument. The liberals will come, liberals condoning homosexuality, they will say: 'Well, Genesis 19, where these wicked men of Sodom wanted to know these angels, that word 'know', it shows Sodom's sin was inhospitality - they were inhospitable to the people. They were not wanting to perform a homosexual perversion on them'. Now I ask you, with the common sense that God has given you, do you think that's what it means? They say: 'In Leviticus, 'abomination', the word there it doesn't literally mean abomination, just as 'unnatural' doesn't mean unnatural in Romans chapter 1, it means not according to Jewish law and the custom of the Jews'. Then they go into 1 Corinthians 6 that we read, and 1 Timothy 1, and they say that the Greek word translated 'homosexual' it means 'male prostitute', and it's different from a person who is a faithful homosexual living in a monogamous relationship, a lasting, faithful existence. They claim in Romans 1 that Paul, who was a child of his age, was unaware of what we have today in our great Renaissance, of a settled homosexual orientation.
Now, my friends, they've got an answer for everything. They say that 'Paul, Moses, any other writer within the Old or New Testament, their condemnation therefore cannot be applied across the culture gap that separates their day from our day, it's not for today!'. They adopt situational ethics: 'As long as it feels good, it's for the end of love, it doesn't matter what has been said in the past we will relinquish it, release it, this is different today! We have evolved into true love!'. What have they done? Bishop J.C. Ryle was the evangelical Bishop of Liverpool, and they could be doing with a few more Ryles today, and when he addressed the aggregate clerical meeting held in Weston-Super-Mare in August 1858 he took for his text to those ministers 2 Corinthians 2:17: 'For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ'. He said in that sermon: 'We corrupt the word of God most dangerously when we throw any doubt on the plenary' - that means every word - 'inspiration of any part of Holy Scripture. This is not merely corrupting the cup, but the whole fountain. Once wrong on that point, the whole substance of our religion is in danger. It is a flaw to the fountain, it is a worm at the root, and we must not be surprised if the branches, leaves, and the fruit little by little decay'.
The bishops and many ministers and members of the Church of England and Anglicanism, and many other established faiths in our world today have fallen for the truth-twisting motives of Satan himself. It's the oldest trick in the book - when Eve was said to by the serpent in the Garden of Eden: 'Yea, hath God said?' - Has God really said that? Is that really what God means? Is that what God's word is to us today? They have bought it, and they have rejected the word of God for their own human wisdom. They've even tried to twist the word of God from its plain understanding, and God would say as He said through Jeremiah to His own people: 'For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water'.
Now apart from the overwhelming weight of scholarly opinion that contradicts these liberal conclusions about the meaning and interpretation of these relevant biblical texts, if you were to ask the biblical writer what did they mean when they wrote these words about homosexuality, the answer is clear! Is it not clear? They intended to put a ban on all homosexual behaviour, they're not condoning it! They're condemning it! Now it is very important in the time in which we live not to be guilty of dodging the interpretative issues that we have before us today, but answer them categorically, because they can be answered - and ought to be demolished! One thing that is good to do, if you ever want to know what is the real meaning of Scripture, is to ask: 'What is the theology expressed by all of these writers in aggregate?'. The answer would have to be, when you go to all these passages that we have read, is that they have foremost in their mind the one flesh pattern of heterosexual marriage in the book of Genesis right at the very beginning.
Now let me recall to your mind - that is why there is no doubt why Paul bracketed homosexuality with adultery in the 'ten commandments update' that he gives us in 1 Timothy 1. If you look at it, out of all the commandments that he's going over, the law of God is good if it's kept lawfully and profitably, he links homosexuality with adultery, going right back to the law. In the book of Romans that we read chapter 1, the context of the ban on homosexual acts is the doctrine of creation - God did not make us that way. When you go to 1 Corinthians chapter 6, it is the context of the kingdom, and you can go from Romans through to 1 Timothy and then through to 1 Corinthians chapter 6, and what have you got? Creation - the law - the kingdom - from the very beginning, to the middle, to the end God says 'No' to homosexuality.
But one of the biggest questions that people ask today is: 'Well, is not natural for some people, or is it unnatural as you say?'. Well, many say that it comes to them naturally, this is the way they feel, it's their emotions, it's their instincts, it's their inclination their orientation - but from a Christian point of view, to ask whether homosexuality is natural is to ask whether God made us that way, and the answer is categorically: 'No, He did not'. Therefore it is not natural. Now what has made, perhaps, some people think that way is another question - but I want to say if there's anyone here today, even in the bondage of your thinking and mentality: contrary to gay-rights propaganda there is no gay gene! Sexual orientation is not formed nor final at the age of 16, and praise God it is not the unpardonable sin but can be forgiven, is forgiven, for such were some of you - Paul said to the Corinthians - but ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are cleansed - and I've seen people converted out of this and changed!
One thing that Gene Robinson's liberal theology cannot do is change a man from the inside out. That's where they've failed. They think they're revolutionary, but what is revolutionary is the Gospel that can make a man a new creature in Christ Jesus, can miraculously make him experience deliverance from a lifestyle that has bound him!
Let me go on to say evangelicals, I believe, in the Anglican Communion, have for too long brought an air of respectability to a movement that has long ago set aside the Holy Scriptures for their own human reason. You have kept it afloat when it would have sunk long ago if you had got out! Evangelical clergy have lured godly people to a den of iniquity, and I believe Spurgeon was right in his day and it could be applied today: 'The pope's work is being better done by our state paid clergy than by his Jesuits or Cardinals'.
Now listen, I'm not in the operation of hammering other denominations, if you know me you'll know that - but I know this: when a church or a denomination has set aside the word of God - I don't know what all the fuss is about, about a Bishop being appointed in homosexuality, the ministers have been like that for years! And still the evangelicals haven't got out! I'll tell you, my friends, I know that there are Gospel preaching godly saints, godlier men than I am in these establishments and churches, and I praise God for them - but surely, can you not see that you would do better outside the fellowship of church and state than you are now? For what fellowship hath light with darkness, what fellowship hath God with Belial? I call you today, upon the authority of God's word, if you're listening to my voice anywhere: come out and reject such blatant apostasy! Rediscover the centrality of the Scriptures in all of your doctrine and all of your practice, and resist worldly thinking in all things. There should be no half-reformed Church when we've got a Bible in our hands!
If the church in the United Kingdom, and I mean the true church, those in every denomination and creed who really were blood-bought and regenerated children of God, would get back to the Bible and would unite together under the banner alone of the Bible and the blood of Christ, I believe we would have a revival on our hands! I've no doubt about it! The BBC reported the Rev David Phillips, who said: 'A split is inevitable both within the Church of England and the whole Communion', and I say: 'Amen' - it's about time! It should have happened long long ago when the word of God was put aside for the religious knowledge of men and women. You hear a lot about homosexuals 'coming out' these days, don't you? Well, it's time for Christians to come out of establishments that have apostasized and are blaspheming the name of Christ!
John said: 'I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities'. Can I ask you: what part of the Scriptures are unintelligible with regards to this lifestyle? The only thing you can do is set this book aside, and I say to all the brethren here in the Iron Hall: beware that we never demote the Scriptures beneath our human reasoning and our depraved desire to solemnise our sin, because that is the slippery slope to apostasy.
Can I leave you with a story of godly King Edward VI? You don't hear too much about him, probably because he was godly. At the preparation of his coronation Edward VI was brought three swords which were carried in the procession, making an emblematic metaphor for the three kingdoms that he was about to reign over as the King. When they brought those three swords to him he looked up and he said: 'There is one yet wanting'. The nobles inquired what it was, and he answered: 'The Bible', and then he added, listen, 'That book is the sword of the Spirit, and to be preferred before these swords. That ought in all right to govern us, who use them for the people's safety by God's appointment. Without that sword we are nothing, we can do nothing, we have no power - from the Bible we are what we are this day, from it we receive whatsoever it is that we are at present and do assume. He that rules without it is not to be called God's minister or king. Under the Bible, the word of God, we ought to live, we ought to fight, we ought to govern the people and perform all our affairs. From it alone we obtain all power, virtue, grace, salvation, and whatsoever we have of divine strength'. Brethren, no matter what the itch is in society today or in the church, let us for the sake of Christ get back to the Bible.
Let me say that there are tapes available after this meeting, and you'd be very welcome to go and purchase some or even borrow them - but I would love this tape to go as broad and as wide in this nation as it could do, it will be going over the Internet - but that call, it's time people got out of such a system that is ungodly and an abomination to God. It's important that we do it in love and grace, but it has to be heralded today, for we need a holy church, Christ needs a holy church to win the lost.
Let us bow together, and let us be conscious that God's word says that none of those sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6 will inherit the kingdom of God - you'll not get into heaven a practising drunkard, or a practising adulterer, or a practising murderer, or a homosexual. If that is your lifestyle, though you asked Jesus to be your Saviour at 12 years of age, I don't care what you did, you will not enter the kingdom of God. But isn't it wonderful that those who are in Christ Jesus are new creatures, old things are passed away and all things have become new. There is hope, and there is love for the repentant homosexual at the feet of the Lord Jesus - Hallelujah! What a Gospel!
Our Father, we pray that these truths may be taken to all of our hearts, that we may be people who study, read, and inwardly digest the word of God - that we'll not set it on the shelf and bring it out on a Sunday or at the Bible Reading. Lord, make us men and women of the book, like Bunyan said, whose blood is bibline flowing through our veins. Lord, make the book real to us, may the book bring Christ more into the fore of our lives that others may see our good works - that we're not just 'walking bibliographs' - but we're men and women with the love of Christ in our breasts, reaching a world that is dying. Lord, we cannot give hope to a world if we conform to them, if we jump out of the lifeboat to save them - Lord, we must pull them in, and we pray that the water will never get into this boat, for we ask these things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and for His glory. Amen.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at The Iron Hall Assembly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, by Pastor David Legge. It was transcribed from the tape, titled "Homosexuality - The Solemnisation Of Sodomy" - Transcribed by Andrew Watkins, Preach The Word.
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