Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Word to Teens and Singles

Last Sunday as we continued our study through the book of Malachi here are Grace Church we saw that the men of Judah had dealt treacherously with their wives by divorcing them in order to marry younger, more attractive women from the surrounding nations who did not believe in or worship the God of Israel.

This was a problem due to the fact that way back after Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he gave them a command prior to their entering the Promised Land. This land was inhabited by multiple foreign nations who all worshipped numerous false gods. God commanded his people that they were not to marry with those from these nations. This was not due to their being of a different race. This was due to their not being followers of Jehovah. Boaz married a Moabite named Ruth but she had abandoned the idolatry of the land of Moab and had converted to following the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But God warned Israel that by marrying those of a different religion, the most likely result was that it would lead them away from worshipping Him as well.

The same principle is true in the New Testament as well. In 2 Corinthians 6:14 we are clearly told not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Why? Because the principle remains the same. When we marry someone who is not a follower of Jesus Christ the end result is that it is most likely to mess us up spiritually.

Now if this is true regarding marrying an unbeliever, than I think we can safely conclude that it is also true when we date unbelievers as well. Teenagers, listen. If marrying an unbeliever will mess you up spiritually, it only goes without saying that so will dating someone who is not a committed follower of Jesus Christ as well. I know I’m not your parent (Praise God!) but allow me to give you some pastoral advice. Drive a stake in the ground today. Make the commitment before God now that you will only marry someone who loves Jesus Christ every bit as much as you do. Pound that stake even deeper into the ground by also resolving that neither will you date anyone who is not a follower of Jesus Christ. I know that this means you may get a few less dates and that you might find yourself staying at home more Friday nights than you desire. But in the end, you will be glad you did this.

Now I know what some of you are thinking. Some of you have parents who began to date when one of them was not yet a believer. Perhaps they married with only one of them being a Christian at the time. And in the end, the unbelieving parent accepted Christ and today they have a wonderful and godly marriage. That’s great. Praise the Lord. But please realize that if that is the story of your parents, then it is the exception to the rule and not the rule itself. For every couple you parade in front of me who have a story like that where they went around the principle of God and it all worked out in the end, I can bring forth a hundred with stories of heartbreak and despair.

So take my advice. Save yourself a lifetime of heartache. Only date those who are committed followers of Jesus Christ. Those dates make the best potential mates.

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