Tag Archive: Scripture


Churches may, indeed, soon face more vicious forms of government sanctioned persecution in this country. This is not something new, nor should it surprise us. (Matt. 5:10-12; John 15:20-23) Let us be sure of one thing, however: the Church of Jesus Christ, over which He is Head (Eph. 1:18-23), will never cease to exist on the earth. (1 Cor. 15:22-28) The people of God do not have to have buildings and public meetings to carry on the work of the gospel, which is the one unique and glorious thing about this message– it does not deal only with external behavior, but is the power of God to penetrate to the very soul and no opposition, seen or unseen, will ever succeed in stopping it. (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12, 13) You can forbid people to meet and you can destroy our buildings and you can threaten us all you want, but the gospel will continue to be applied to the human race according to the sovereign decree of God and then it will be over–and not a millisecond before God has done whatsoever He pleases with this world. (2 Pet. 3:3-10) Rave on God-haters. He who sits in the heavens is laughing at you. (Psa. 2:1-4) You are only storing up wrath for that great Day. (Rom. 2:5-8)

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Dan Savage is the founder of an anti-bullying campaign known as It Gets Better. Recently, Savage was invited to speak to several thousand young journalists who were present at a conference in Seattle sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association. It was naturally assumed that the topic of the remarks would be bullying, which has become such an increasingly disturbing issue in our culture.

It became obvious, however, that Savage intended to address another subject. “I hope you’re all using birth control,” he said as he began to speak. After that, Savage related several stories about his husband and assured the students that, if his husband were to join him on stage, they would not be able to pull him off of his partner.

The tone of the speech became even more vicious as Savage started cursing as he made reference to the Bible. For example, he declared: “We can learn to ignore the b***s*** in the Bible about gay people.” And using the same phrasing, Savage referred disparagingly to the Bible’s teaching on slavery, menstruation, virginity, and several other subjects. Nothing had been said or done to spark such an outrageous commentary.

Personally, I think that the remarks of Savage amount to nothing of consequence. This was nothing more than a man who hates God shaking his fist in God’s face while thinking he was making such significant points. A couple of passages in Scripture came to mind as I heard the story. The first was Psalm 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.” In an effort to escape the accusations of God’s Word, men like Savage are forced to attack the concept of God and righteousness. They find some perverted solace in raving against that which emphasizes their sin.

The second passage presents a response from the God that Savage hates so bitterly: “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them.” (Psalm 2:4) Savage is no threat to God, but is just another foolish man whose behavior verifies the teaching of Scripture concerning fallen humanity. Consequently, God mocks the pathetic example of an enemy ranting against the standard by which he is judged now and in the world to come.

Although Christians are rightly disgusted by this performance, we should have a measure of pity for a man like this. And we should be humbled because we know that without the grace of God we would be in the same condition as Savage. There is nothing for the believer to boast about when it comes to our deliverance from sin. Savage happens to speak louder and more vigorously than other sinners, but the root cause of such perspectives is one we all share. We can only thank God for his merciful condescension to us in Christ our Savior.

Memorial for Joe Vacossin

Early on Friday morning, a dear friend and brother left this world to be with the Savior. Joe was the quintessential “idea man.” He always had at least two or three projects bouncing around in his head. One of the first conversations I had with Joe focused on his desire to find a way to spread the Word of God using his experience and skills. He came up with a concept that involved printing Bible verses on pens, cups, water bottles, etc., with a web site address for those who might read the verse and want to know more about the Bible and Christianity.

I thought this was a creative way to introduce people to Scripture. I was more impressed, however, with Joe’s zeal for finding a means of serving the Lord as a layman. For one not called into ministry as a vocation, he had an unusual drive to make a contribution to the work of the church.

Another quality I found personally humbling was Joe’s frequent questioning about how he might better order his life for God’s glory. He wanted to know how the teaching of Scripture should be applied to his marriage, his job, and his friendships. That was a sure sign that the seed of the gospel, which was planted in Joe’s heart by the Holy Spirit, was flourishing.

Beyond what I’ve described, Joe was my friend; and I will miss him. He was always kind to me and went out of his way to ask about my well-being when I was ill or when I was facing some disturbing development in my service as a pastor. Joe probably didn’t realize how encouraged I was by his concern.

Right down to the last days of his earthly life, Joe maintained a serious regard for his testimony to medical personnel, family, and friends. His courage and trust in the Lord will always be an inspiration for those of us who knew him. We all look forward to the day of reunion in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you.” (1 Thessalonians 1:2–4)