A Wedding

Okay, so perhaps this isn’t your typical Bible conference post, but at any rate, I thought I’d share it with you.

                Now, as many of you know, I don’t normally share personal stories. But after a little thought, I decided to ask Antoine about this. As you remember from A Day with the Millers, my family and I spent an entire day with Brother Antoine. It was then that he shared this story with us while we were on tonight’s topic. Antoine told us this story, and linked it to the subject. So after talking to him, I decided to release this story.

Antoine Miller was born on April 4th, 1977 in Ashland, KS. His parents were sincere Christians and raised him in the Baptist Church.

                About a year after Antoine was born, on August 29th, 1978, Anna Peters was born about 76 miles away in Liberal, KS. She was raised in a secular home.

                Antoine’s parents homeschooled him from Kindergarten to 12th Grade; Anna attended Southlawn Elementary, Sunflower Intermediate, South Middle and Liberal High School, graduating second in the class of 1996.

                Antoine was saved at the age of seven, and was baptized the next year in July.

                Antoine’s first film project was in 1988, in a basic-Gospel-film. He found his niche in filming, and was soon chosen for three more films: one in 1990, and two in 1991.

                Antoine began Send the Light TV and Radio in 1995; soon after graduating.

                Anna’s first film project was in 1991, as an extra in an advertisement. She, too, found visual arts thrilling, and pursued the career. She was in six films and seventeen commercials from 1991-1996.

                Antoine and Anna met in 1996, when both of them were brought on the set for Disappeared, a Christian end-times scenario. While Antoine was rehearsing one day, Anna began to think about God.

                “Billy,” she said, as his character’s name was Billy. “Billy, where is Heaven?”

                “Say what?” he asked.

                “Where is Heaven?” she repeated.

                Antoine thought for a bit, then replied, “Well, Nelly (her character name), Heaven is where God is, you know.”
                She rolled her eyes. “Okay, I know that, but what I’m saying is, where is Heaven?”

                “Well,” Antoine replied, “for one thing, there’s more to this earth than what we see.”

                “What do you mean?”

                “Well there’s a spiritual side to this world that we can’t see,” Antoine answered. “Heaven is in that realm, but it’s kind of hard to understand, since Heaven is very real, but it’s something we haven’t seen before.”

                “So what’s a spirit, then?” Anna asked.

                “Well,” Antoine began, “the Bible says in 1st Thessalonians 5:23 that we have a body, soul, and spirit. Our body is what we can see: our hands, our head, our feet, our hair, etc. Our soul and spirit would be what we cannot see: our mind, our emotions, our personality—what makes you you.”

                Anna sat in silence.

                “Our spirit and soul kind of overlap,” Antoine stated. “This is who a person really is. It’s what makes some people cheerful in general or sour in general.”

                Anna slowly nodded her head.

                “If someone smiles real easy—if it’s genuine, that is—then it’s their spirit—their ‘inner man’,” Antoine stated.

                “So who—or what—controls this ‘inner man’?” Anna asked.

                “Well that depends upon the person,” Antoine replied. “All of us have a tendency to run our own selves, and in most cases, we do. But, if a person has Christ in their life, then they try to let Jesus run things.”

                “What do you mean by try?”

                “Well,” Antoine answered, “as a Christian, I seek to live in a manner that pleases God, so that ‘when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming’ (1st John 2:28). But, as Paul said in Romans 7, ‘I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me’.”

                “So what do you mean by evil?” she asked.

                “Evil is the same thing as sin, in this case,” Antoine replied. “And ‘sin is the transgression of the law’.”

                “So what does that mean?” she asked.

                “Have you ever lied Nelly?” he asked. “Be honest.”

                She giggled. “Oh, I suppose.”

                “Have you ever wanted something that wasn’t yours?”

                “Probably,” she answered.

                “I already know you’re a liar,” he stated.

                She smiled.

                “So you see,” Antoine stated, “we’ve all sinned; Romans 3:23 and 6:23 say the same thing.”

                “But what about all these good people?” Anna questioned.

                “The Bible says ‘there is none that doeth good, no, not one’,” Antoine answered. “It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ you are: James said, in James 2:10, ‘For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all’.”

                “So then what?” Anna asked.

                “What do you mean?” he replied.

                “What are we supposed to do?” she demanded.

                “Well,” Antoine began, “because we’ve all sinned, we can’t get to Heaven on our own. So Jesus came to this earth as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He died, and was buried according to the Scriptures. He rose from the dead on the third day, and is now at God’s right hand in Heavenly places, ‘Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things’ (Acts 3:21).

                “So what we have to do is admit that we are sinners,” Antoine stated. “Then we have to be willing to repent—that is, turn to God and turn from sin. Then we must confess and believe that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.”

                Anna thought about this for the next two-three days, and then finally, with tears in her eyes, received God’s free gift of salvation and asked for forgiveness of sins.

                Their friendship continued after that. Anna’s family was saved soon after she arrived home, with her youngest brother (age 14) first. Anna’s oldest sister, Brooklyn, was saved in early November, and her youngest sister, Kady, on December second. Anna’s father, Richard, was saved in January of 1997, and Anna’s mother in February of that same year. Antoine remained in contact with Anna and her family, and the two were on set for another film in the summer of 1997.

                One evening in March of 1998, Antoine called the Peters’ home and asked to speak to Richard. After a brief conversation, Antoine asked for permission to court Anna. Their courtship began soon after.

                Antoine proposed on August 29th, 1998. They were married the following year in June.

                June 13th, 1999 was a beautiful day. The wedding was performed at Antoine’s church. The guests arrived and took their seats. Then the wedding party came in, and sat down in the front row on each side. The pastor led in prayer:

                “Lord we thank You for this day and for these two who desire to become one under You. May You bless and comfort and keep them in Your love and guidance in the coming years. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

                All the guests sat down.

                “Now does anyone have any objections to this union?” the pastor asked.

                No one answered.

                “Alright, then, please take your Bibles and turn to Mark chapter 10. Mark chapter 10, verses 1-9:

                “‘And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again. And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him. And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

                “The Pharisees came a waltzing up to Jesus and asked Him His opinion about divorce. Jesus tells them that, yes, Moses allowed for divorce, but that wasn’t God’s original plan. God intended marriage between one man and one woman until one of them passes from this earth. Genesis 2:24 says, ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’ God gave Adam Eve (not Steve) as a wife to have, to hold, to love. Ephesians 5:29-32 says, ‘For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.’ God uses marriage to draw a picture of the way He calls us. God sees us down here on earth, just as Antoine saw Anna. God loved us enough to pay for our sins, by dying on the cross for us, and then offers us the gift of salvation; God offers us a new life in Christ, similar to what Antoine did when he asked Anna to marry him. All we have to do is answer yes; just as Anna did.

                “Now that means something,” the pastor continued. “Ephesians 5:23 says, ‘For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.’ When we accept God’s offer, we agree to live as He directs under His authority. We agree to love Him and to follow His leading; we agree to submit to Him. When a girl, like Anna, tells a man ‘Yes’, she is agreeing to be his wife; to submit to his leadership. Now you know what you’re getting into, Anna, don’t you?”

                Anna smiled and nodded her head. Several laughed.

                “But, just as God loves us and guides us,” the pastor continued, “so ‘ought men to love their wives’ (Ephesians 5:28). God loves the Church and cares for her, just as the husband must love his wife.

                “Marriage is also a one-way door,” the pastor continued, “just as salvation is. When we say ‘Yes’ to God, we agree to live with Him the rest of our lives, and He promises to keep us unto the end, or, as 1st Corinthians 1:8 puts it, ‘Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Just as divorce is not an option, so we cannot, repeat, cannot lose our salvation. We are saved once and for all, just as we are married once and for all.

                “Ephesians 5:31-33,” he announced, and read:

                “‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

                “Antoine and Anna, will you please come forward.”

                Antoine and his brother James came forward, and Anna and her sister Brooklyn followed.

                “Hymn number 124,” the pastor announced. “Hymn number 124, ‘Lead Me to Calvary’. Please stand.”

                They sang the song, and then the congregation sat down while Antoine and Anna faced the pastor.

                “On this beautiful day,” the pastor began, “as you both have come to be joined as one flesh, I ask you first, Antoine: Do you take Anna, your sister in Christ, to be your lawfully wedded wife; to have, to hold, to love, to cherish, to provide for, and to lead her always in the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ, until death do you part?”

                “I do,” Antoine replied.

                “And I ask you, Anna,” the pastor stated, “Do you take this brother in Christ, Antoine Miller, as your lawfully wedded husband; to have, to hold, to love, to care for, and to submit to his leadership in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, until death do you part?”

                “I do,” Anna replied.

                The pastor smiled. “The Bible says, ‘For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.’ By the authority of the Word of God, I now pronounce you husband and wife. As Mark 10:9 says, ‘And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’ Antoine, you may now kiss the bride.”

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