The 2024 elections are still more than a year away, but the historic Supreme Court decisions from this past June remind us just how far-reaching election results can be.
In a landmark 6-3 decision, the justices ruled in favor of Colorado Christian graphic designer Lorie Smith, who did not want to use her design skills to promote same-sex weddings. This has struck a tremendous blow to the LGBTQ lobby, which seeks to force its immoral lifestyle on any who disagree, particularly, Bible-believing Christians who stand on God’s Word, which does not condone any form of homosexual or transgender behavior.
This historic ruling in favor of personal religious liberty rights was made possible primarily through the appointment of three conservative justices—Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh—by President Donald Trump, who had promised to do exactly that during the 2016 presidential race.
I couldn’t agree more with Justice Gorsuch, who wrote in the majority opinion, “The First Amendment envisions the United States as a rich and complex place where all persons are free to think and speak as they wish, not as the government demands. Because Colorado seeks to deny that promise, the judgment is reversed.”
Before and after the ruling for Creative 303, Smith continues to be harassed viciously online, including death threats and more than 10 million cyberattacks on her website, by evil, hateful people. We need to pray for her, and others like Colorado Christian baker Jack Phillips, who has been mired in court challenges with the state of Colorado ever since he declined to create a cake celebrating a same-sex wedding in 2012.
And while I am grateful to God for the Supreme Court’s favorable ruling, let’s always remember that over all of the governments, all of the courts, all of the nations, Almighty God reigns and rules. He alone is Supreme.
The Bible says, “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). The Prophet Isaiah frequently references how God would use Cyrus, king of Persia, as His instrument in conquering much of the ancient world. Daniel explicitly writes how God humbled the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar until he recognized that God’s “dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:34). Ezra proclaimed how God “turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel’ (Ezra 6:22).
And we know that in God alone rests true freedom. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can set a person free from the burden and bondage of their sin. Jesus’ sacrificial death on a cross paid your sin debt and my sin debt in full. And when God raised His Son on the third day, sin lost its power over those in Christ, and death became simply a prelude to eternal life. That’s why the Apostle Paul writes in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin isdeath, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now more than ever in my lifetime, people are obsessed with their identity. Race, gender and sexuality have become the throne to which our culture bends the knee. Humanity worships the created instead of the Creator. But God’s grace and forgiveness offers more than freedom from slavery to sin. His life-transforming power enables those who love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength to be in the world but not conformed to it.
That’s why the Apostle Paul encouraged God’s people in Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
There is nowhere on the face of the Earth where freedom is experienced any greater than in the center of God’s will. Moses obeyed God even while under Pharaoh’s rule in Egypt. Noah worshipped on an ark tossed about in a global flood. Daniel worshipped in a lion’s den. Joseph served God while a slave to Potiphar. David praised God before a towering giant named Goliath. Paul freely worshipped God while in prison, shipwrecked, and while being beaten nearly to death.
Freedom in Christ is what empowered Jesus’ disciples, following His ascension to Heaven, to evangelize much of Asia, Africa and Europe. In the face of ruthless governments and hostile religious leaders, Christ’s ambassadors persevered for God’s glory even unto death.
No court ruling, laws passed by Congress, king’s edict, presidential veto or executive order will ever override God’s Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18-19). That is why the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will never retreat or relent in taking the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world.
Jesus promises in Scripture “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. …So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:31-32, 36).
So, until our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ parts the eastern sky and returns with a shout by the archangel, may His church—the Bride of Christ—be found faithful to worship God freely and serve others for His glory. ©2023 BGEA
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.
Photo: Shealah Craighead/©2023 BGEA