Prayer Targets: Prayer & Fasting for Marriage; HHS Mandate; Human Trafficking; Marine Chaplain; More
March 13, 2015
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:25-31 Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4
Andreas J. Kostenberger is the Director of Ph.D. Studies and Professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) and founding president of Biblical Foundations, which aim toward "restoring the biblical foundations of the home, the church, and society." He writes:
Incredible as it may seem, we can no longer assume that people in our culture understand what the proper definition of "marriage" and "the family" is. Not only is this a sad commentary on the impact of same-sex marriage activists on our society, it also shows how the culture's memory of the biblical tradition on which it is based is fading fast…marriage and the family are institutions under siege today. Only a return to the biblical foundation of these God-given institutions will reverse the decline of marriage and the family in our culture… What Is Marriage? It is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God and normally consummated by sexual (intimacy). God's plan for the marriage covenant involves at least … five vital principles:
(1)Permanence: Marriage is intended to be permanent, since it was established by God (Mt 19:6; Mk 10:9). Marriage represents a serious commitment that should not be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. It involves a solemn promise or pledge, not merely to one's marriage partner, but before God. Divorce is not permitted except in a very limited number of biblically prescribed circumstances...
(2)Sacredness: Marriage is not merely a human agreement between two consenting individuals ("civil union"); it is a relationship before and under God (Gen 2:22). Hence, "same-sex marriage" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms. Since Scripture universally condemns homosexual relationships… God will never sanction a marital bond between two members of the same sex.
(3)Intimacy: Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships, uniting a man and a woman in a "one-flesh" union (Gen 2:23 -25). Marriage involves "leaving" one's family of origin and "being united" to one's spouse, which signifies the establishment of a new family unit distinct from the two originating families. While "one flesh" suggests sexual intercourse and normally procreation, at its very heart the concept entails the establishment of a new kinship relationship between two previously unrelated individuals (and families) by the most intimate of human bonds.
(4)Mutuality: Marriage is a relationship of free self-giving of one human being to another (Eph 5:25-30). Marriage partners are to be first and foremost concerned about the wellbeing of the other person and committed to each other in steadfast love and devotion. This involves forgiveness and restoration of relationship in the case of sin. Mutuality, however, does not mean sameness in role. Scripture is clear that wives are to submit to their husbands and to serve as their "suitable helpers," while husbands are to bear the ultimate responsibility for the marriage before God (Eph 5:22-24; Col 3:18; see also Gen 2:18, 20).
(5)Exclusiveness: Marriage is not only permanent, sacred, intimate, and mutual; it is also exclusive (Gen 2:22-25; 1 Cor 7:2-5). This means that no other human relationship must interfere with the marriage commitment between husband and wife. For this reason, Jesus treated sexual immorality of a married person, including even a husband's lustful thoughts, with utmost seriousness (Mt 5:28; 19:9). For the same reason, premarital sex is also illegitimate, since it violates the exclusive claims of one's future spouse. As the Song of Solomon makes clear, only in the secure context of an exclusive marital bond can free and complete giving of oneself in marriage take place. http://www.frc.org/brochure/the-bibles-teaching-on-marriage-and-family
Marriage is holy, the image of Christ’s union with His Bride, an image being debauched in America. Because we love God and neighbor, we must stand up boldly for marriage. God will judge all who violate the holy estate of marriage, how much more a nation that discards His building block for every fruitful society? May we give ourselves to unceasing prayer for the U.S. Supreme Court!
Marriage and the Supreme Court - A not-so-small army of homosexual and pro-homosexual politicians, activists, big businesses, colleges, universities, unions, and even some liberal religious groups have aggressively and assiduously lobbied federal, state and local governments to push the homosexual agenda. Mostly unsuccessful, they turned to the courts because the big guns in this legal and spiritual war against natural and biblical marriage are the activist liberal judges. The liberal media often touts that 38 states have now embraced same-sex “marriage,” while concealing the fact that only in three of those states did the people have a say in giving the practice legal status. The citizens in 35 states had their one-man, one-woman marriage laws overturned by biased federal judges. Thirty-one states went through lengthy, costly amendment processes to make natural marriage part of their state Constitutions.
Most states have resigned themselves to these unjust rulings. Only the Alabama Supreme Court has stood unwaveringly against federal court usurpation. Just one federal Circuit Court (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit – KY, MI, OH, and TN) has ruled in favor of natural marriage, thus, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule. As FRC has repeatedly warned for the past ten years, and as legal and government assaults against Christians in the last few years have demonstrated, religious liberty and forced same-sex “marriage” cannot coexist. A sweeping Supreme Court ruling like Roe v. Wade in 1973 will not bring resolution. Christians will continue to stand and defend their right to believe and practice their faith. When they are told to do what they cannot do in faith, they will choose to obey God, rather than man, just as Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel and the apostles, and millions down through history have done.
What impact would a sweeping, imposed legalization of same-sex “marriage,” do to our families, churches, businesses, and every other component of our culture? We are on the verge of finding out unless we pray and God intervenes. If God is merciful, we can win this decisive battle. We must pray that the U.S. Supreme Court will not make a disastrous mistake by declaring same-sex “marriage” a constitutional right, as other courts have done. God will respond to repentant, prevailing prayer and turn the hearts of our Justices. The Court will hear oral arguments from both sides in an unusual 2 ½ hour session on April 28th. The court will record the proceedings and publish them at 2 p.m. that same day (see Holder Requests Nationwide Same-sex ruling; Alabama Still Standing; Prayer Strategy).
YOU UNDERSTAND THE URGENCY OF THE HOUR!
The Jews in Babylon responded to Queen Esther’s appeal to fast and pray for her and for their brethren. Will you pray with us for the very life of our nation? Our good friend, Derek Packard, has written a heartfelt appeal. CLICK HERE TO READ IT. Use it as Prayer Points in your own an ALL-OUT PRAYER strategy for the next 47 days. Pray for the attorneys, the hearings, and the hearts of our Supreme Court Justices; that they will be softened and moved by God to rule aright in this monumental case (Est 4:11-16; Pr 21:1; 22:28; Is 10:1 ff; 1Th 5:17).
Finally, pray over these: 1) The Supreme Court has ordered the 7th Circuit Court’s to reexamine its ruling against Notre Dame in the HHS Mandate case in light of Hobby Lobby; 2) Senate Liberals blocked passage of the bipartisan Human Trafficking Bill because it won’t allow abortion; 3) Despite a provision in 2013 National Defense Authorization Act to stop religious liberty violations in the military, a Marine Chaplain has been egregiously dismissed for doing his job - counseling men with the Word of God (see Navy Reg Facts; sign Petition); 4) Pray for the media and the SPLC; 5) The Utah Legislature overwhelming passed a compromise homosexual rights bill with support from the Mormon Church. But it will not protect religious liberty. 6) Iran’s chief negotiator has declared that if a deal is reached or not, “Iran is the winner!” 7) FRC President Tony Perkins is asking everyone he can to set apart April 7th thru 28th, 21 days, for consecrated prayer and fasting for marriage; and for all who can to take part in the March for Marriage in Washington, April 25th. Thank you for praying!