From John’s Desk

Posted by Kim McDonald, Category: Announcements, Church News, From John's Desk,

In June of 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in the Obergefell vs. Hodges case that homosexual marriage was legal in the United States. The decision has, to say the least, created a firestorm of reaction in every direction. Christians were saddened by the court’s decision, but not surprised. To borrow from Daniel chapter 5, we could see the hand writing on the wall.   Although we were hopeful, the swelling tide of support for the homosexual movement was obvious, being promoted heavily by politicians, the media and the entertainment industry. Most of us had a feeling how the vote would come out.
Since that day last June, the sanctity of marriage has been the subject of many a sermon in pulpits not only throughout the brotherhood, but in the general world of Christendom as well. Preachers have sought to make clear what God’s Word says about homosexuality and there’s nothing wrong with that since we are called to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
However, homosexual marriage is hardly the only non-Biblical type of marriage. Another trend that is gaining popularity in our country is called “sologamy” or, are you ready for this, “same self” marriage. Yes, people are actually marrying themselves! In fact, according to the Houston Chronicle, a woman right here in our fair city married herself last year “in a lavish ceremony with 10 bridesmaids in attendance, plus family and other guests on hand to celebrate the event.” CNN ran a story on a North Dakota woman who married herself last year and recited these vows, “I, Nadine, promise to enjoy inhabiting my own life and to relish a lifelong love affair with my beautiful self.” To tell you the truth, I don’t want to think about what other kinds of marriage we might be talking about soon!
But, here’s what I do want to talk about: I want to talk about God’s plan for marriage; a plan that was established at the dawn of creation and hasn’t changed since, nor will it ever. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24, NKJV).   Jesus added this additional thought to God’s plan, “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:6). The formula for marriage that God created is a simple one: one man and one woman, becoming one flesh for life…until “death do us part.”
I am convinced that God’s marriage formula is one of the critical blocks in the foundation of society, an opinion that history supports as well. When marriages are strong, nations are strong. When the institution crumbles, societies soon follow. And here’s another undeniable truth: when marriages struggle, so does the local church. It is in every Christian’s best interest to not only have a good marriage yourself, but also help others have a strong, healthy marriage.
This Sunday morning we will continue a series of sermons on the family that we began on Mother’s Day and will continue through Father’s Day next month. Our lesson this week is entitled “Until Death Do Us Part” and we will look deeper into God’s plan for a marriage that lasts a lifetime. After taking a break for Senior Sunday next week, we will return to the subject of marriage on May 29 with a lesson entitled,Returning to Our First Love”. While I realize that these lessons may not directly apply to every single one of us, I can assure you that it is important to all members of the body of Christ that Christians have good marriages. The truth is that all of us should be praying every single day for Christian marriages and it is my prayer that this series will help all couples at JV to have the marriage that God designed and intended for us to have.
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Our records show that we have a ways to go to hit many of our goals for the year. Our attendance averages in April fell slightly and we need to ramp up the pace for the million verse challenge. Please do all you can to help us catch up!
GOAL
Thru April
25 baptisms inside our assembly
3
400 baptisms outside the assembly
213
10-20 net gain of new families                      
13
360 Sunday AM attendance
352
275 Bible class attendance:                   
223
8 in deaf ministry attendance                    
1
18 in sign language class                         
8
Million Verse Challenge
185,840