California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie gave a special sermon Sunday to help his congregation and Christians elsewhere in the country deal with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.
There are at least six things that Christians can do, he said, including showing the power of a biblical marriage to the world in his Sunday sermon titled "Stand Your Ground!"
"The church is under attack around the world," the Harvest Ministries pastor said as he began the sermon on Sunday, two days after the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right.
"I'm very disappointed by this decision. It is clearly the wrong decision," Laurie said, urging the congregation to stand their ground.
God created marriage, and it precedes all civilizations, culture and everything, he said.
Mark 10:6-9 points to God's purpose of marriage, the pastor added. "This special union will happen only between a man and a woman."
Biblical truth is being challenged, he said, adding, however, that just as it seems some things are coming apart, in the same way they are also coming together. "Bible prophecies are being fulfilled before our very eyes."
There are at least six things Christians can do in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and other attacks on Christians and Christianity, Laurie suggested.
One, "don't panic; God is still on the throne," he told the church.
He quoted Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, as saying: "The Supreme Court can do many things, but the Supreme Court can't put Jesus back in that tomb. Jesus of Nazareth is still alive; He is still calling the universe toward His kingdom."
The church thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the culture around it, Laurie said, giving the example of the first century Christians, who also lived in a pagan culture where immorality was rampant. Yet "they turned the world upside down."
They didn't do it through protests or marches, the pastor said. "They out-loved, outplayed and out-gave the non-believers."
Two, we need to remember that Romans 8:28 is still in the Bible, Laurie told the congregation.
"Even a ruling like this can, in God's sovereign will, work together for our good and His glory," he said.
Three, we need to show this culture what a biblical marriage looks like, Laurie shared.
A reason why marriage is a big deal to God is because "of all of the pictures, of all of the illustrations He could have chosen to illustrate His love for the Church and His Church's love for Him, He chose marriage."
"Your marriage should be a testimony and an example" to the non-believing world, Laurie urged.
If you have problems in your marriage, "forgive and move forward," the pastor said, explaining that differences between spouses are bound to happen but love can overcome them.
Four, we need to show the love of Christ to everyone, Laurie said. To do that, we need to meet them where they are and greet them with the Gospel, he added. "God loves everyone, no matter what they have done."
Nobody is born a gay, the megachurch pastor said. One may be tempted with attraction for the same-sex, which can be resisted, he explained, and read out a letter a former lesbian woman wrote to him about how she turned away from homosexuality after her conversion as she listened to his messages on the radio.
"The Gospel does not define us by our temptations, but by the righteousness of Christ," Laurie stated.
Laurie also said we need to love homosexual people but not condone or accept homosexuality. Evaluating and speaking the truth in love are not judging or condemning, he explained.
Five, we need to engage all people with the Gospel, Laurie said.
Deep down, everyone is searching for a relationship with God, he said. "God can change anyone."
Six, we need to pray no matter what, Laurie said. "We need to pray that America has a spiritual awakening."
There's no political messiah that is going to save us now, Laurie underlined. "This is bigger than politics, this is bigger than culture … this is a spiritual war we are engaged in, and we need a spiritual solution. … America needs a revival like she has never needed it before."
We might lose a few battles, but the Bible says we're going to win the war, Laurie emphasized, stressing the importance of being equipped with the armor of God.
He quoted Ephesians 6:10-13: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."