Days will come when you don’t have the strength, when all you hear is you’re not worth anything. Wondering if you ever could be loved, and if they truly saw your heart they’d see too much. You’re Beautiful You’re Beautiful, you are made for so much more than all of this.
The Bible never specifically addresses the issue of abortion. However, there are numerous teachings in Scripture that make it abundantly clear what God’s view of abortion is. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb. Psalm 139:13-16 speaks of God’s active role in our creation and formation in the womb. Exodus 21:22-25 prescribes the same penalty—death—for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb as for someone who commits murder. This clearly indicates that God considers a baby in the womb to be as human as a full-grown adult. For the Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6).
The first argument that always arises against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about cases of rape and/or incest?” As horrible as it would be to become pregnant as a result of rape and/or incest, is the murder of a baby the answer? Two wrongs do not make a right. The child who is a result of rape/incest could be given in adoption to a loving family unable to have children on their own, or the child could be raised by its mother. Again, the baby is completely innocent and should not be punished for the evil acts of its father.
The second argument that usually arises against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about when the life of the mother is at risk?” Honestly, this is the most difficult question to answer on the issue of abortion. First, let’s remember that this situation is the reason behind less than one-tenth of one percent of the abortions done in the world today. Far more women have an abortion for convenience than women who have an abortion to save their own lives. Second, let’s remember that God is a God of miracles. He can preserve the life of a mother and a child despite all the medical odds being against it. Ultimately, though, this question can only be decided between a husband, wife, and God. Any couple facing this extremely difficult situation should pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) as to what He would have them to do.
Over 95 percent of the abortions performed today involve women who simply do not want to have a baby. Less than 5 percent of abortions are for the reasons of rape, incest, or the mother’s health at risk. Even in the more difficult 5 percent of instances, abortion should never be the first option. The life of a human being in the womb is worth every effort to allow the child to be born.
For those who have had an abortion, remember that the sin of abortion is no less forgivable than any other sin. Through faith in Christ, all sins can be forgiven (John 3:16; Romans 8:1; Colossians 1:14). A woman who has had an abortion, a man who has encouraged an abortion, or even a doctor who has performed one—can all be forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ.
tumblrbot asked: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?
So, how closely does the message of salvation in the Bible line up with what you’ve heard? According to Paul, salvation from God’s perspective is a done-deal, and one can add nothing to it (Romans 6). However, from the believer’s perspective, another work is in progress after salvation called sanctification. This post-salvation work is an effort initiated by the Holy Spirit that requires believer participation. With words too sobering to ignore, the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Philippians instructed them to work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). To “work out” means to come into an understanding of what they have been given and then to apply those truths in an experiential way to their daily walk with the Lord. Paul goes on to say the Philippians were to do so with a sense of awe and accountability before the Lord because their salvation is a precious gift. Paul is not suggesting they work for salvation nor is he saying they can lose salvation.
Just to be clear, salvation in the Bible is not limited to justification. Sanctification is also a work of Grace - not a work performed by the believer. It is God working in the believer to do His will (Hebrews 13:20-21). Although God works to do His will in the believer, the believer can faint (grow weary) and draw back, which is the central theme of this post. Supporting this truth is Proverbs 24:10 whereby it says, “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” The verse is saying that “to draw back” when the going gets tough is to demonstrate weak faith.
Consider, if you will, the external pressure of the sin nature after one is born again. The sin nature is like that of a cocoon attached to a tree. The cocoon, with its butterfly larva inside, is part of the world. The cocoon-like sin nature remains snugly wrapped around every believer (larva) as a force, to constrain the new life growing inside. In order for new life to emerge, it must grow and then struggle against the outer wrappings of the sin nature until it emerges, free from its external bondage.
According to biologists, the struggle put forth by the butterfly is necessary to strengthen the flight muscles. Similarly, the struggle put forth by every believer (through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit) is necessary to develop and strengthen the spiritual muscles of faith.
Several years ago, I read an article about a biologist who thought he could help a struggling butterfly by opening its cocoon. After observing the butterfly emerge, the scientist discovered he had inadvertently crippled the small creature. The wings of the butterfly were deformed and the butterfly unable to fly. After some research, the biologist learned that during the ‘struggling phase’ the circulatory system carries essential nutrients to the developing wings as they flex (struggle) against the wrapping of the cocoon. Whenever the struggling phase is disrupted (or made easy), the wings develop abnormally or not at all.
During the ‘struggling phase’ for the believer, the Holy Spirit supplies essential nutrients of transformation to the developing “wings of faith” as they flex (struggle) against sin and the cares of this world. The Bible teaches the growth of a believer can be interrupted (Hebrews 4:11), resulting in a backslidden condition. In other words, a believer can stop holding fast to his or her profession of faith for a variety of reasons.
Several years ago, a believer I knew professed faith in Christ and grew steadily in the Lord for some years. He prayed and studied the Bible daily, attended church, witnessed to others and distributed salvation tracts. During his early walk with the Lord, he heard well-known television personalities tell their listeners to relax and enjoy the gift of salvation because it is a finished work!
Consequently, the person I knew relaxed in his walk with the Lord thinking there was nothing more to do except maybe a few good works along the way. One day, several years later, he woke up to realize he had more interest in the world than Jesus. As a believer, he was sitting on the fence with one leg in church and one leg in the world. He was not reading the Bible. He had lost his first love, failing to hold fast to his confession of faith. He had stopped struggling to work out the meaning and responsibility of his salvation. He was ignorant of his responsibility to press on in faith to the fullness in Christ (Philippians 3:12-14).
His backward slide to an unenthusiastic state was slow and imperceptible. He did not intend for it to happen. He did not plan to leave his first love! Nevertheless, he did and found himself loving the world more than his Savior! How could this happen to a Christian who had been on fire for the Lord? After much thought and prayer, it became clear to him that he had neglected to press on in the high calling of Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14).
The idea of sinfulness is no longer acknowledged by the vast majority of people in our society. One reason for this movement away from accountability for bad behavior is that society views sin as an old fashioned idea that will die out with those who uphold it. Another reason for the fading idea of sin is the Ten Commandments are relatively unknown or remembered by many who once knew them, and in some places they are even outlawed. As a result, society has no comprehension of holiness, which means they have no benchmark for distinguishing good behavior from bad behavior. Today, living together is an acceptable lifestyle even though the Bible teaches fornication is sin (Galatians 5:19). Even more disturbing is the teaching of “situational ethics and cultural relativism” in our schools and universities, to make us believe there is no right and wrong. In other words, institutions teach you to believe that whatever is right for you at the moment is what you should do. The harmful impact from the adoption of liberal social norms is wide ranging, further obstructing the true gospel and Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20).
If sin is a meaningless and outdated norm, the act of repenting from sin is meaningless too. The non-believer will think ‘what nonsense’ and go on with his or her life (1 Corinthians 1:18). Of all the people who believe in hell, only a small percentage believes they will go there. Why? It is because they do not see God as absolutely holy and humanity as totally depraved (unholy) (2 Peter 4-11). What is even worse, the idea of Jesus dying on the cross to save them does not make sense or warrant any further consideration. Whenever a society looks upon sin as normal human behavior, the need for Christ and the church goes away.
The apostle Paul said, “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were (Romans 5:20). Paul went on to say of the law, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.Clearly from these verses we extract two purposes of the law, one of which is to show us our sin and the other to show our inability to keep the law. One perfect picture of this truth surfaced in the gospel of Luke when Jesus said to the young rich man who had kept all the commandments from childhood: “There is still one thing you lack…Sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”But when the man heard this, he became sad because he was very rich (Luke 18). Why did the young rich man become sad? He became sad because he treasured earthly wealth more than God, and herein broke the first commandment within his heart: “Thou shall have no other god’s before me (Exodus 20:3).” The young rich man kept the first commandment outwardly but then inwardly failed to do the same, and herein lies our dilemma as well. In verse 27 Jesus said to His disciples about this young rich man, “What is impossible from a human perspective is possible with God.”
Here is my point: Jesus’ ministry was all about “doing” a great work on our behalf in order for believers to “receive by faith” the benefit of that work (fulfilling the moral law). Jesus came to do what no person could do, pay a ransom no person could pay, and die a death that no person could die. His death, burial and resurrection changed everything and set up our redemption. Jesus came to Israel under law for the purpose of keeping the law and then to impute the righteousness of that completed work to all who would believe in Him (Matthew 5:17). The apostle Paul picks up on this theme in Galatians 3 when he says, “But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor (law) (Galatians 3:24-25).” Moreover, Paul is not saying we ignore the law but that now because of our faith in Christ we are empowered to keep the law (Romans 3:31), and even go beyond the law as did Christ.
How does faith in Christ empower a believer to go beyond keeping the law? A few examples are that genuine believers will not steal but give; they will not kill but protect; they will not lie but share the truth of God’s word; they will not covet but rejoice in another’s good fortune, and so on. Genuine believers will do the works of Christ when He sits on the throne in the kingdom of their hearts. These wondrous truths overshadow the bad news of sin and our inability to keep the law.
A person once wrote to me about growing up in a church, having an understanding of the gospel, but did not think he had been granted repentance unto salvation (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). He went on to say something was blocking him from seeing himself as a full-blown sinner and that he was not fully disgusted with himself…did not see himself as that bad or like the tax collector in Luke 18:13. In other words, he believed the gospel but did not recognize his own depravity.
In response to his question I wrote, “Your view of being a sinner might need to be modified. A full-blown sinner would be, indeed, a very despicable person and demonstrate a measure of depravity exceeding most people. May I assure you, the “measure” of one’s depravity has nothing to do with our separation from God. We are born with a rebellious, sinful nature and whether you sin a little or a sin a lot makes no difference to God. Sin is sin and the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23 and 6:23).
One way to look at this truth is from the eye of a perfectionist who would see a fly speck on a wall and muddy foot prints on white carpet as equally abhorrent. Speck or mud, it is all the same and the measure of difference between the two is hardly the issue. The issue for the perfectionist is the need for his dwelling place to be immaculate. God is a “perfect being” with zero tolerance for sin. God is holy, all powerful and lives in unapproachable light – attributes of the divine we obviously fail to grasp.
So then, what is sin and where did it come from? According to the Bible, sin originated with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3) and since then passed on to every human generation. Sin is a disease of the heart, the central most part of our being. Sin is all the dreadful stuff people do to each other and themselves. Sin is worldwide, abiding in the hearts of people everywhere like a hissing snake in a dark den coiled to strike. Sin varies from wrong thoughts to the really bad stuff. The Bible pulls no punches when it says everyone is born a sinner (Psalm 51:5). The Bible is candid when it says no one is righteous, not even one (Psalm 14:1–3). The Bible continues its outspoken view of human depravity by saying, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
One believer recognizing his sin said, “Like the tax collector in Luke 18:13, God opened my eyes to see my depravity and the sacrifice of his Son on the cross for my sin. I was heartbroken, grieved, and humbled by the picture of it all. I prayed to receive Christ and went on to experience a changed life.” This believer understood what it meant to be granted true repentance. God revealed the believer’s depravity, his need for mercy and forgiveness. Like the tax collector, he saw his guilt and unworthiness and came to embrace Christ as his Savior. This believer’s experience in coming to Christ is nothing like the “all friendly and reaffirming gospel” preached by Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and their gospel contemporaries. These charlatans transform the seriousness of sin into nothing more than innocent mistakes, and then redefine repentance to mean nothing more than adopting a positive attitude.
Why would a loving, holy God require a sinner to look upon his or her depravity? As we all know, rules establish the boundary for acceptable behavior. If everyone ignored the rules set up by societies, the outcome would be unending confusion and mayhem. The same is true with God’s way of doing things. Recognition of depravity produces in the sinner a sense of guilt, entrapment, and accountability. Although not a pretty picture, recognizing one’s sinfulness and then calling upon God for deliverance is the beginning of repentance (Luke 18:13-14). A Bible commentator by the name of Matthew Henry writes, “(1)Sorrow (repentance) according to the will of God…renders the heart humble, contrite, submissive, disposed to mortify every sin, and to walk in newness of life. Repentance begins with recognition of one’s depravity and need for deliverance, becoming the life-saving tether to faith in Christ.”
(1)Paraphrased from Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:5-11
In closing, if people are led to receive Christ before being led to see their own sin described in Romans 3:23, they will not see their need for Christ to save them in Romans 6:23.
People must be made to understand WHY they need a Savior, they have to see their sin and know that it is sin - then they must compare the lives they’ve lived to our perfect and holy God and His standards (that no one can meet). When given a true consideration, one must come to the conclusion that the Gift of salvation through Jesus is a miraculous gift from a loving God, and that it is only through Him that we will be able to reach Heaven and our Heavenly Father
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The Hal Lindsey Report 12/9/2011: THE ENEMY AMONG US
We need to be aware of the world around us. The end times are here and as Christians, we need to make sure we are prepared.