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We continue the series by Professor Malan on Christian Fundamentalism. The recognition of biological identity. Apart from cultural identity, the Lord also determined the basic, personal identity of every individual as male or female (Gen. 1:27). The purpose of this was that heterosexual males and females would contract marriages which are the basic social units for procreation, the raising of children, education, enculturation, and the maintenance of authority in society. God definitely did not create genderless people who do not really know whether they are male or female (homosexuals, or gays). People become like that because of learned behaviour and not inherited behaviour. There are no people with gay genes in them. Sodomy is an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, as such people deny their Creator by their behaviour. Some of them even blame God for their perverted sexual orientation. There is deliverance from this sinful inclination (1 Cor. 6:10-11), and there are many testimonies of former gays who now maintain normal, heterosexual relations. Sodomy should not be condoned or justified as it is contrary to sound doctrine (1 Tim. 1:10; cf. Rom. 1:24-27). The establishment of gay congregations, as well as the appointment of gay pastors, are further evidence that biblical fundamentalism is rejected by deceived people, thereby destroying the foundations of the Christian faith and Christian societies (cf. Ps. 2:2-3; 11:3). No compromise. The Lord Jesus gave us a sure faith and clear rules for living. He didn’t come to compromise. All people are born in sin and are called, by faith in the Lord Jesus, to make a clear transition from the darkness of sin into the marvellous light of His kingdom (1 Pet. 2:9). He expects of us, by repentance, to make a clean break with our sinful past. The rich young ruler was not prepared to give up his earthly possessions and form of godliness in order to become a true follower of Jesus. The cost was too high. He wanted the best from two worlds by trying to serve God and Mammon. When he turned around, the Lord Jesus did not call him back to compromise by convincing him to only abandon half of his possessions in an effort to win him as a disciple. That does not mean that rich people should part with all their possession to become Christians. But they should dedicate themselves and all their material wealth to God – then they will be stewards in the cause of the Lord, who will not find it hard to make substantial contributions to the advancement of His kingdom on earth. Christian morality, values and practices. A fundamental Christian is a person to whom a Christian way of living is the only acceptable form of existence. There were times, particularly during the great revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries, when Christian reforms were characteristic of most nations in Europe and North America – also nations of European origin in other parts of the world. Afterwards, secularism and humanism again got the upper hand, and these societies gradually started to lose their Christian character. That placed bigger pressure and more responsibilities on Christian families to persevere on the right way and give Christian education to their children. People who do not seriously consider the Bible, easily abandon this way of living and accept a postmodern orientation, which is inherently post-Christian. Strangers and pilgrims. In spite of the positive reforms in many countries during the great revivals, human history is predominantly characterised by godless and sinful societies in which there is no appreciation for fundamental biblical truths. On the most, a form of godliness will be tolerated but without strict principles and rules. In the end-time, conservative Christian principles are increasingly abandoned (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5). The consequence of this falling away is that true Christians are strangers and pilgrims in a world that lies in the sway of the Wicked One (1 John 5:19; 1 Pet. 2:11). We have to accept this reality, as well as the opposition and persecution which come upon evangelical believers. The kingdom of God will definitely not be established on earth now, as Christ will only be revealed as King of kings at His second coming. He will then destroy the powers of the Antichrist (Rev. 19:19-21) and have Satan bound and incarcerated in the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1-3). Only then, a government of righteousness and peace will be established for the whole world (Isa. 2:2-4; Jer. 3:17; Zech. 8:20-22). In that future kingdom, we will not be rejected disciples (John 15:18-19) but kings who will be co-rulers with Jesus Christ (Rev. 5:9-10; 20:4). Perseverance. One of the strongest characteristics of an evangelical Christian is perseverance in his Christian life. When the road becomes steep and the progress difficult, when friends ignore you and family members turn their backs on you, you should remain unwavering in your commitment to the Lord Jesus. “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Heb. 3:14; see also 6" class="scriptRef">3:6,13). Don’t allow disappointments or opposition to force you off the right course: “If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col. 1:23; cf. 1 Tim. 1:19). Persevere in following and serving the Lord (Luke 8:15; 21:19). We know that the Lord will never leave nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5), but the possibility always exists that we may become unfaithful towards Him. Jesus said, “Abide in Me, and I in you… If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered” (John 15:4,6). How does that happen? People first grow cold in their love for Jesus, and ultimately many of them leave their first love (Rev. 2:4-5). Peter says that there are those who fall away from their own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked (2 Pet. 3:17). Faith, obedience and discipline are needed in our spiritual lives. Paul said, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection” (1 Cor. 9:27). A biblical future expectation. It is evident that somebody who keeps the Word of God and does not deny the Lord Jesus (Rev. 3:8) will be strongly focussed on the second coming of Christ. He will know that this world is not our home because the Lord is preparing for us a city which has foundations, eternally in heaven (John 14:2-3; Heb. 11:10). This expectation keeps us from getting bogged down in a small world of materialism and own interests. Paul says, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Cor. 15:19; NIV). We should love and serve Christ with a view to the eternal interests of His heavenly kingdom. The day when the Lord Jesus takes the true believers away by means of the rapture we will leave this corrupt world to be with Christ forever (1 Thess. 4:16-17). This is what we are living for and we are daily looking forward to it. We expect the heavenly Bridegroom any moment. The Bible describes an evil servant as one who lost his expectation of the soon coming of Christ. He says in his heart, “My Master is delaying His coming” (Matt. 24:48), and then becomes arrogant and indulges in sin. (To be continued) Prof. Johan Malan, South Africa (February 2008)

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