January 8, 2013
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
About a month ago, the pope made a speech during which he condemned gay marriage.
His comments were not universally applauded. Indeed, in the Netherlands, a country which legitimized same-sex marriage over a decade ago, the negative reaction seems to have been significant.
Tom Roes, a man who has put up a website which tells Catholics and other Christians how they can "de-baptize" themselves, has reported hits on his website have increased from ten visits a day to more than 10,000.
Now Mr. Roes, himself an ex-Catholic, readily admits a person can't be de-baptized. He also confesses he doesn't know how many people follow up on the suggestions that are made on his website. What he does know is this: many people in the Netherlands aren't happy with the things the Christian church is saying.
In the Netherlands, and in many other countries, people seem to be shopping for a religion that tells them what they want to hear. It seems the time has come when people refuse to obey sound teaching and will listen to the Lord only if and when He agrees with their own personal beliefs.
And that's wrong.
The Lord in His justice has given us the Law, which tells us we are sinners. God's Law points out that our transgressions have separated us from our Creator, who loves us. Further, the Law's high and holy standards show us we cannot fix the problem, which has damned us.
To bring healing to those who acknowledge the sickness of their sin is why the Lord Jesus was sent into this world. Through His life, His sacrifice and His death, the Redeemer successfully carried our sin and paid the penalty brought about by our disobedience. Now by Jesus' victory and resurrection, all who acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior are given forgiveness and promised a place with Him in heaven.
God's plan is perfect, complete and unique. And it is one other thing: it is not something people want to hear.
This is why today we pray for those around the world who think they know better than God and who prefer to follow their myths rather than God's truth.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess both my sins and my need for the Savior's blood-bought forgiveness. By the Holy Spirit's power may Your truth reach into the hearts of those people who proudly think that their way and path is better than that which You have lovingly given. May they see their sin and need for the Redeemer. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries