Posts Tagged ‘duty’

Advertisements

Is abortion abolition the work of every Christian?”

When you publicly encourage Christians to take a stand against the evil of abortion you will be asked this question many times. Normally it comes in the form of statements such as, “I appreciate what you are doing but this must be your calling.” or “I’m glad that you are doing something about this but I am just too busy right now.” Most Christians I have talked with believe that opposing human abortion is for the few Christians that have been specifically called to the “abortion abolition ministry.” Others think that it is a great thing to participate in when they have time. Acting like a Christian in the face of legalized murder becomes optional. Many will say that they are too busy or old or tired or just plain not interested. This is evidence of a heart problem. It has nothing to do with having time and energy. You make time to do the things you desire. Christians make time to attend a church service. Hours of the day are often dedicated to television or movies. Some spend hundreds of dollars on vacations. Why is it so unthinkable to take some time out of your week for the fatherless?

So what is the duty of a Christian?

Why are we here? What does God expect of us? I could throw out one hundred opinions but the Bible should be our source to answer such an important question. Really, the answer is not that complicated. A good place to start would be to ask why were we created. Revelation 4:11 gives us the answer.

Thou are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” For God’s pleasure we were created. That’s astounding to think about. I know that if we truly believed that we would live our lives differently. Our lives are not about us. We weren’t created for our pleasure but His. I wasn’t created for that great vacation. I wasn’t given the the evening hours of the day to watch my favorite movie. We are only stewards of our time. I am not saying that enjoying our lives is wrong. We can have fun as Christians but God didn’t created us and save us to make us happy. We should desire to live pleasing lives for God, not for ourselves. God’s acceptance of us isn’t based on our performance but that never gives us a right to abuse the grace of God.

So we were created for His pleasure but what is our duty as a God pleasing Christian? Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “…Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Many Christians try and skip this altogether. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. His justice and judgment must be recognized before we will see our need for such a Savior. It is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. We like to focus on the goodness part of that verse while totally missing the point of the verse. The goodness leads us the repenting of our sin.

When a scribe came and asked Jesus what the foremost law was, He answered the man with what the Jews call, the Shema, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the LORD our GOD is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: for this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

That is what God requires of us. God commands us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is a command. He also commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Our duty is to fear the Lord and keep His commandments. His greatest commandment was to love Himself and love others. Notice that the love of God comes first and out of that love we are able to love others. So how does this relate to abortion abolition?

What does loving your neighbor look like?

This question was asked by a certain lawyer who tempted Jesus. He first asked Him, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered with a question, “What is written in the law? How readest thou?” The lawyer answered correctly when he quoted the Shema. Wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

We would be wise to ask the same question. The answer to this question determines whether or not it is your duty to help the preborn children sentenced to death.

A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him.

And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?

And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Christian, who is your neighbor? Isn’t it everyone you pass by that has a need? Might they be the homeless you try and avoid on your way to work or the widow woman down the street? Could they be the co-worker that never smiles or the family that sits on the pew behind your own? Could it have been the bloody remains of that child ripped apart in the abortion clinic? Those children have “fallen among thieves,” thieves of human life. Men and woman who make their living on the blood of tiny babies. The priests and levites pass by everyday. “Abortion abolition is someone else’s ministry.”

If you are trying to make excuses for why these verses don’t apply to you or the babies being aborted in your community I have to question your love for God. Why would you want to make excuses? Are those babies’ live really that invaluable to you? I have to wonder. Will you at least stop and consider whether or not what I am saying is true? It may be worth your time.

Who will be called faithful and welcomed into the kingdom of God? Jesus tells us very plainly in Matthew 25:35-40. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in;

Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

When you refuse to feed the hungry and give drink unto the thirsty you refuse to do this to the Lord. When you fail to cloth the naked and visit the sick and imprisoned you fail to do this for the Lord. When you fail to protect the innocent from unjust death sentences you condemn your Lord to the same fate. If it was Mary the mother of Jesus that was going in for an abortion would you have stood by and said that it wasn’t your ministry? Jesus is ripped apart every time an abortion is commited against the preborn. The image of God is defiled.

James 1:27 states that, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Do you follow a pure religion? Hold your Christianity to the light of this scripture. Are not the children aborted by their own parents the “fatherless?” How are you visiting them in their affiction when you are silent about their murder? “But I do believe that abortion is wrong!” This is the problem with the main stream pro-life groups; they teach moral beliefs without moral action. The churches have become those described in James 2:14-17.What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not work? Can faith save him?

If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things that are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being alone.”

We talk about the horrible sins of our society and do nothing about them. If you have no works you have no faith. It becomes empty belief. You may believe that God says abortions are wrong…good for you; the devils also believe.

The words of Zechariah 7:8-12 are hauntingly similar to the state of the church today.

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother:

And oppress not the widow nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor, and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.

Yea, they made their hearts an an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts has sent in his spirit by the former prophets: Therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.”

As Christians, I should hope that we are not oppressing the widows and fatherless and poor but could we be stopping our ears that we will not hear? Are not we aiding the oppressors when we stand by silently watching the holocaust? I’m not talking about preaching to the choir. That’s easy to do. I’m talking about bringing the light of His gospel in conflict with our culture of death. The chapter goes on to say that because they refused to hear the cries of the LORD, He refused to hear their cries. That’s a scary thought.

Proverbs 21:13 tells us that, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” We don’t have a right to stop our ears at the cry of the abortion victims. We cried out to God in our affliction and He came to us. How selfish of us not to do the same for our neighbor!

Proverbs 24:11-12 asks us this question, “If thou forebear to deliver them that are drawn to death, and those that are ready to be slain;

If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? And he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? And shall not he render to every man according to his works?”

Why are you forebearing to deliver them that are being drawn to death? We love to quote verses like Proverbs 3:5-6 and Proverbs 27:17, why not this verse?

Proverbs 31:8-9 tells us to, “Open they mouth for the dumb in the cause of all that such as are appointed to destruction.

Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”

What could be a better description of the babies murdered by abortion. They are the dumb, they are the voiceless. God told us to be their voice. Open your mouth Christian. We are commanded to do this for ALL that are appointed to destruction. Not just for the causes that will give you accolades.

As Christians we are to expose evil. Ephesians 5:11 tells us this. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Are you reproving the unfruitful works of darkness? Is abortion an unfruitful work of darkness? The answer is obvious. How do you reprove this evil? It is most certainly not done from your living room couch. God expects righteous action.

But isn’t abortion just a distraction from the gospel?”

Paul didn’t think so. Neither did Jesus. In Acts 20:26-27 Paul says, “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”

We must teach the whole counsel of God. We don’t get to pick and choose. Abortion abolition isn’t a distraction from the gospel but complimentary to it. The lost must see the ugliness of their sin before they will see their need for a Savior and the Christians need to have a righteous, biblical response to the evil around us or we become hypocrites in the eyes of those we claim to help.

Why must abortion be a distraction from the gospel anymore than pointing out that people are liars or thieves or idolaters? Grace becomes real when sin becomes exceeding sinful. Are any of God’s commands, outside of preaching the death, burial and resurrection, a distraction to the gospel?

Isaiah 58 is a description of true religion. You should read it. The Israelites were confused at why they did certain religious observances. They thought that they were doing the will of God by fasting. Hadn’t He commanded them to fast? Yes, but they had forgotten the point of fasting. God asked, “Is it such a day that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul?”

Verses 6-8 tell us what true religion looks like. “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thy own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rearward.”

That is true religion. That is what the world needs to see. I think God is tired of our worship. We speak praise with our lips and yet our heart is far from Him. Is not our lack of care for our most innocent neighbors evidence of this?

There will be many objections and excuses for why what I have just written is wrong and how that this abortion abolition stuff really isn’t for you but I’m not going to answer them all. I don’t think I need to. The Bible speaks loud enough to your conscience. But what I will do is question your love for God and for your neighbor. Why should you want to get out of loving your neighbor in need? Where are these excuses coming from? Ask yourself this question. Is it coming from a heart deeply in love with God? I think not. Does love make excuses for why we wouldn’t take the time to help someone in need?

Don’t base your love for God on past experiences. Our hearts can fall away from our true love. Without prejudice and guilt, examine your own life. Are you obeying the voice of your God?

If not, will you choose to obey Him today?

I am overwhelmed at how many times I have to explain Christianity to Christians. We should be the ones that know the way, the truth and the life. We should know Jesus. We should know our Savior. We should know our God and Creator, but we don’t. The majority of those that call themselves the children of God don’t even know their own Father.

I am heart broken at how many lost people I speak with that tell me they have tried God and He failed them. God says that He will never leave us nor forsake us. God is a God that cannot lie. The reason the lost feel this way is because their god has failed them. The god that they served doesn’t exists. The god they embraced was the false god of the modern church. A god of no absolutes. A god with no requirements. A god that panders to the whim of evil men. A god that looks the other way when we sin. This god is easier to accept. This god doesn’t demand that we fear him. This god is okay with a perverted gospel and a cheap grace. This god would never say “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” That would be too radical. That would be asking too much.

I thought we were given the power of God at salvation. I thought that we are ambassadors and soldiers for Christ. I thought that we are no longer under sin. I thought that we became a new creature at the second birth. I thought that we were to forsake ALL in order to follow Him. I thought that we were to bear a cross. I thought that we were to be hated of all men. I thought that the joy of the Lord is our strength. I thought that that we could do all things through Christ. I thought that we were to care for the hungry and the homeless and the widows. I thought that we were to love the Lord with our WHOLE heart, soul, mind and strength. I thought that we were more than conquerors through Christ. I thought that we were to be partakers of His suffering. I thought that we were to preach the gospel to the whole world. I thought that we were to be set apart from the world. I thought that the whole duty of man was to fear God and keep His commandments.

By the evidence around me I would have to assume that I was wrong. The life you live, is the life you teach. Christians are teaching the world that Jesus didn’t really mean what He said. They apologize for God’s behavior in the Old Testament and make up for it with a seeker-friendly, worldly-lifestyle pleasing approach. The commands of God don’t mean anything anymore. I mean, we are under grace now, right?

When you join the Marines, you no longer belong to yourself. You have been bought with a price. You become a soldier. How ludicrous would it be to join and than assume that they would bend the rules for YOU! “Hey Sarge, I decided that the training is a bit too rigorous for me. I’m gonna take a nap while the more dedicated guys do push-ups and pull-ups. I’ll come back when the work out program is more convenient.” I wonder if that young recruit would get by with that. You think he would. If you didn’t you wouldn’t constantly try it on your Captain. We think that we can take advantage of His grace. That is repulsive. When did it become optional to obey God? Why did that foolish recruit join the Marines? Why did you join the army of God? Was it for the benefits and blessings?

I am disappointed at the nonchalant attitude of the church. This isn’t a game Christian. We are in a war and the enemy wins a battle every time a former “Christian” is tuned away from Christ by the pride, laziness, and disobedience of their fellow laborer. I have seen it too many times. Every time I go out to witness to the lost I meet yet another man or woman who grew up in church and never met God. If God isn’t in the church, if God isn’t in the Christian homes, if God isn’t flowing out of your and my actions, it is no wonder they don’t want anything to do with Christ. We like to leave the declaring of God’s handiwork to the stars. At least they obey the voice of their Master. Jesus said that the rocks would do it. They don’t know His love, they haven’t been saved from Hell and sin, they haven’t experienced His wondrous grace and mercy and yet all of creation sings His praise.

Why won’t you?

There are no more excuses left. If you have been bought with a price you are no longer your own. It is high time that we start obeying the voice of God. Get rid of the idols in your life. You know what they are. Get rid of your sin. It no longer has dominion over you like it once had. Nothing in this life is worth more than a relationship with God. And when I say relationship I mean truly knowing God. Be still and know God. Get a hold of God like Elijah did. He was a man subject to like passions as we are but he knew God. Elijah believed God enough to know that He would send fire from heaven when he called on Him. God desires true faith, not apathy. Apathy is a sin. Faith is a requirement of a believer.

Examine your life. What has replaced God? Something obviously has or there would be revival in your heart, you would desire to know Him, you would hate even the thought of sinning against a loving Savior. Living a life of reckless abandonment to God isn’t just for the few extra spiritual radicals out there, on fire for the Lord. That life is for you. That’s the life you signed up for at Calvary. You are that radical for Jesus…or at least you should be. Don’t be ashamed of your Savior. Don’t be ashamed of the new life He has called you to. Christianity isn’t a private faith. Hiding your faith is no longer an option. We can see the fruit of that kind of life. It is all around us. It is all of those hurting souls headed for Hell because they were told by the church down the street about the modern, American “jesus” that has infiltrated into the house of God.

Lets not continue to be a part of the problem. There are already enough Christians out there that do a great job at that. Rise to the occasion. Stop worrying about your next vacation. Stop relying on the wisdom of men. Stop wasting time in front of the television. God wants to know you. God wants a relationship with you. God desires that you love Him with your whole heart.

He’s done His part, it’s time we do ours.

After reading the horrendous statistics on abortion; after seeing the images of babies torn apart limb by limb; after realizing the apathy of the church in combating the evil norms of our society; after being awakened to the wickedness of the world around us and the helplessness of our most innocent neighbors, we have a tendency to feel guilty. We feel guilt for not doing enough. We feel guilt for not being a voice for the voiceless. We feel guilt for our blind compliance. We see the need. We see the vast fields ready to harvest but where are the workers? I am the worker. You are the worker and you know it. You have awakened from your slumber and have found yourself surrounded by the things that are your duty as a Christian but that have been left undone. You have heard other Christian brothers and sisters admonishing the church to take a stand and it seems that they are guilting you into action. Some of you will be so offended that you shut out the message. Others will interpret the truth through their past and preconceived ideas and turn away. But a few will take that guilt to heart and leap into action. This last group of people is who I want to write about. Is this a good thing that guilt forced them into action? You may say that, “At least they are doing the right thing.”  Is this enough?

Why do we do what we do? Think about it. As a Christian, what is our motivation? What keeps us going? Is it guilt? Should we use guilt to get Christians to act like Christians? No. Jesus never did and neither should we. Guilt is a heavy burden to bear. It burns the active Christian out. Guilt is what made Judas hang himself. When we use guilt we are tapping into a temporary human emotion. It will run dry eventually. Guilt makes a bitter heart in the end. Guilt is exhausting. Does that sound like the work of the Holy Spirit?

So what is the right motivation? What truly convinces the Christian to do what is right and be obedient to his Maker and Savior? Jesus gave us the answer very clearly but before I delve into that I must make one thing clear. I love to rock the boat of Christianity. I love to challenge the norms and traditions and make people think for themselves. I love to shine a light in the dark corners of the church building and see what has been hiding there. I’m not talking about purposely causing dissension but challenging other true Believers to hold their personal walk to the perfect light of His Word. Often we find our relationship with God to be terribly lacking. That is iron sharpening iron. And I welcome the challenge into my own life. I never want to grow content with mediocre Christianity and neither should any of us. Because of this I have been accused of using guilt to wake up the church. I think that something is missing in this evaluation. We have to remember that there is a difference between GUILTING people BY their sin and EXPOSING their guilt CAUSED by their sin. What I want to do, as an ambassador for Christ, is to show people their need for a relationship with Him and as a result of that relationship, they will naturally act as a Christian. Works will follow when we have a relationship with Christ. When people are faced with their sin and feel guilty about it, sometimes they will lash out at the one that has shown the light on their sin instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin and repent.

So what did Jesus say about this? Why did the apostles do the work of the Lord? The answer is in Mark 12:28-34. A scribe came to Jesus and asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” That is the question we are asking as well. What becomes our foundation for everything we do as Christians? Jesus answered him and He answer us.

“The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

All other commandments hang on these two commands. We are told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That doesn’t leave much room for loving anything else other than the things that the Lord loves. That brings us to the second commandment; love your neighbor as thyself. This is the key. Only after we love the Lord will we be able to love others. It is His love through us. When we love the Lord, love for others naturally flows through us. We no longer need guilt to keep us going for Christ. Love goes so much farther than guilt ever could. There will never be an end to the supply of God’s love for He is love. If you are working and serving your Savior out of guilt, it is no wonder you won’t also love the children being murdered by abortion. It makes sense that you wont tell your neighbor about coming judgment and the grace of God. I understand your acceptance of sin in your life. It doesn’t matter to you that you hung Him on the cross because you don’t love Him. The mass genocide in our nation becomes a side issue when you love yourself more than your God and your neighbor. I don’t want you to feel guilty, I want you to see your sin and see the love of God that covers a multitude of sins. The goodness of God should lead us to repentance. When we partake in the love of God it becomes easy to love those around us. We wont have to be prodded and dragged to preach the gospel. We wont have to be convinced that it is our duty to speak out for the victims of abortion. We wont have to be forced to adhere to standards and restrictions but we will want to be rid of anything that hinders our relation with Christ.

Instead of allowing guilt to rule, instead of being angry with those that you feel are using guilt to see results, just love the God that bestowed the greatest love on you. There is enough bickering among the brethren. Let us take the power that God has given to us and proclaim His truth. With God, all things are possible but with men it is impossible. We can’t do anything that will last in our own strength. It must be the work of God. But don’t let that fill you with fear. It is okay to step out in faith. We must wait on the Lord and go wherever He goes but sometimes He is waiting on us to take that step in obedience. We will stumble and fall sometimes but God will never allow us to be utterly cast down. Love is stronger than any weapon made by man. Run the race with love. Stride into the battle with full confidence.

Get rid of the guilt and trust in the perfect love of God.

Auschwitz stock

May, 1944

  Despair increases steadily as does the terrible hunger, the like of which mankind has never yet suffered. With complete assurance we may say that they have not left us even a jot of that which is called body or soul.

  In truth, the world deserves only that we spit in its face…Sudden death, hunger, deportation, interrogations, labor, queues, etc., etc. wreak havoc on the ruined vineyard of Israel, among the poor remnant. Will you O God, keep silent? How can you, having seen it?

July 31, 1944

  My…heart is cut to pieces when I perceive how terrible my little sister is tormented. She lost literally everything- no stockings, no clothes…no tenderness. O you poor orphan, and what you have to suffer by my unjust treatment, because of my destroyed nerves. You, poor being, must help yourself with substitutes: instead of stockings some rags, instead of boots some wooden contrivance…God seems to have abandoned us totally and left us entirely to the mercy of the heartless fiends. Almighty God, how can you do this?

August 3, 1944

  When I look at my little sister my heart is melting. Hasn’t the child suffered its part? She has fought so heroically the last five years. When I look on our cozy little room tidied up by the young, intelligent, poor being I am greatly saddened by the thought that soon she and I will have to leave our last particle of home.

  Oh God in heaven, why didst thou create Germans to destroy humanity? I don’t even know if I shall be allowed to be together with my sister. I cannot write more. I am resigned terribly and black spirited.

  That was a few entries from the diary of an unknown Jewish boy orphaned, along with his younger sister, by the Nazis. The children lived in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland where they were forced into slave labor. After the war his diary was found written in the margins of an old French novel. Both of the children were murdered.

  Even though the Jews were forced to live in the confines of the ghettos, people, often children, would sneak through the borders and scavenge for food to bring back to their families. The Gentiles (Goyim as the Jews called them) were not allowed to mingle or assist the Jews in their plight…but some did anyway.

  Imagine for a moment that this was happening in our country. Our Jewish population was being dehumanized and confined to bordered ghettos in YOUR city. Imagine that we lived in a country that taught us through the school system, media and court rulings that the Jews were not human like you or I because of their race. Evil propaganda spread like wildfire on the internet assuring us that annihilating the Jews was for the betterment of our civilized society. The Gentiles justified their murder by calling it “choice” and “rights.” Imagine also that 80% of your fellow Americans supported this discriminatory ideology.

  Can you picture it? You were born in a country this way. You aren’t even surprised anymore when you see the smoke rising from the crematoria. That’s how it’s always been…well, at least since you can remember. You are disgusted at the racist barbarism but just try not to think about it too often. During the elections you faithfully vote for the candidate you think will help make the Jewish people a bit more comfortable. You are satisfied with the fulfillment of your duty. You stand for what is right with your vote! I mean, just two months ago a provision was voted on in your state that allowed the elderly Jewish people 85 and older to live outside of the ghettos. Not only that but it actually passed! Life is good…or is it?

  Imagine once more that you need to head into town to pick up a few groceries. No big deal. You hop into the car and head strait for the supermarket. Your day is busy but this will only take a few minuets. Zipping absentmindedly around traffic you make a left turn and speed down 7th Street. Less traffic down here. A long razor-wire fence stretches the length of the road, an ancient brick building looms beyond the boarder. Dark billows of smoke curl like a wicked smile from a blackened chimney. It’s the Ghetto hospital were the Jews go to get “taken care of.”

  Turning up the Christian radio station you try and ignore the place but are stopped short when two children dart from the curb and into the road. Quickly, you slam on the breaks and come to a screeching halt. The children are frozen in their tracks right in the middle of the road and stop to see what you will do. You know that they have just escaped from the prison-like ghetto.

  Reddened eyes stare back at you from swollen lids and tallow colored faces. Stained and tattered rags cling to the children’s sweaty, emaciated bodies. Hunger and fear are etched deep in their beings. Bitterness and resentment leap from the boy’s eyes. In one hand he holds his sister’s tightly and in the other an old book. Golden words grace the front of the hardback cover…are those french words? You don’t have time to figure it out.

  A piercing alarm rings out across the city. The children have been missed. A dog barks in the distance. A few shouts echo from beyond the ghetto fence. The children would never have a chance on their own. The city teems with police and people that are more than happy to turn over runaways for a promised reward.

  You love the Jews. You aren’t a racist. You see the “King of the Jews” in your mind’s eye with children sitting at His feet. You worship these young Jew’s Messiah. Startled, the children run to your window and plead with you to let them in. You can’t hear their faint, despairing voices over, “God’s so good” blaring from the stereo. Now you can really see their faces stained with tears. They beat on the window with their fists. Two guards appear on the hospital grounds, weapons raised. A German shepherd bounds forward with a menacing growl and slams his body into the fence just a few feet behind the children. Tension floods the air. Screams from the children, barking from the dog and curses from the armed men all scrambled into a chaotic frenzy. Your heart pounds against your chest in rhythm to the pathetic drumbeat of the Jewish children’s fists. Police units assemble on both sides of the streets.

  Oh, what was that? A faint sound hummed in your pocket. You look down. There is was again! Suddenly a burst of laughter irrupts from your mouth. Excitedly you whisk the phone from your pocket and glance at the screen. Incoming call. It’s Sammy! You answer, “Hey, what’s up?” A bouncy voice answers back, “Not much. And you?” You laugh and after a short pause look at the children. They’ve stopped screaming. The despondency in their eyes screams louder than their voices ever could.

Um, nothing really…Just headed for the store.”

Great! You have time for coffee?”

You look out your window and see the guards closing in.

Yeah, I think so. I’ll meet you at Starbucks. Sound good?” You snap the car into gear and zoom off.

Yep, sounds good. See you in a bit.”

You hang up the phone with a smile.

Coffee sounds great right now.”

  You are free and it feels good to take a drive…even if you are busy. A few angry gun shots scream through the air but you don’t notice. You were just at the best spot in your favorite hymn and singing along.

  That would never happen, right? How could I ever be so hardhearted? If I saw another human in need I would stop and help, wouldn’t I? I would be brave like Corrie Ten Boom, Miep Gies, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

  After shopping you head strait to the coffee shop and meet your friend. You are having a wonderful time. Outwardly you chat about what is new and exciting in your life but inwardly you wrestle with accusing thoughts in your mind.

Should I have helped those children? Well, I am really busy this summer.

But you could have taken a bit of time out of your busy schedule to save a life.

They were going to die anyway and besides what could I do when thousands die everyday?

Don’t you think it is your moral obligation?

I know what you mean but that isn’t my ministry. I have never been led to help the Jews.

Do you have to be “led” to do what’s right?

Well…the Holy Spirit hasn’t given me a peace about it yet.

What about the peace of those children?

I’ll do it in my own way. I wouldn’t want to offend any of the guards.

They are murderers!

Jesus was loving and…

I know. So loving that He gave His whole life to save the lives of others.

But, that was Jesus!

Now it’s your turn.

  Nonchalantly you say good bye to your friend and drain the last drops of your mug. It was a long day and you hurry home. Out of habit you take 7th again. The street is abandoned and lonely. In the center on the road you notice a small object. Is it a book? Gold letters gleam brightly in the sunlight of the evening golden hour. Carefully you pull alongside the book and open your door. The words are French on the cover. It is an old French novel. Your curious fingers reach down and scoop up the fragile book. Nothing extraordinary about it. Just an old book.

You gasp and recoil your hands in shock. The book falls, binding up, smashing the yellowed pages. Dark blood spots the back of the book. It is the boy’s blood. Hurriedly you slam the door shut and speed away from the sight of blood. The steering wheel feels sticky. No, it can’t be! There is blood on your hands.

Have you ever heard about “Depraved Indifference?” Whether we have heard of the term or not, it plays a huge part in all of our lives. Let me explain. Depraved indifference is a standard used to show mens rea in court. Mens rea is a legal phrase used to describe the mental state a person must have been in while committing a crime for it to be intentional.It can refer to a general intent to break the law or a specific, premeditated plan to commit a particular offense.

  If you allow another human being to die when it’s in your ability to save him, you are guilty of “depraved indifference.” Countries such as The United States and England have used the depraved indifference standard as a basis for determining the legal state of mind of a defendant, although it is known as “depraved heart” under English common law.

Here is a story to help us understand:

The Firefighter

  An experienced big-city firefighter was charged recently with grave neglect of duty. Prosecutors maintain that he abandoned his responsibility and betrayed the people of the city when he failed to release rescue equipment during a recent fire, resulting in the needless and tragic deaths of a family of five.

  The lead prosecuting attorney said that for more than three minutes after arriving at the scene, the firefighter sat in his vehicle, wearing earphones and listening to a CD, while the family of five screamed to be rescued from the sixth floor of the burning building. Horrified bystanders reported that as the flames licked at the mother’s clothing, she cries out in terror and fell to her death, still clutching an infant in her arms.

  The distraught onlookers also said that the father held two terrified children as the massive flames engulfed him. This terrifying drama took place in full view of the firefighter as he remained seated in the fire truck, listening to the CD.

  Eyewitnesses were sickened when they discovered that the reason the firefighter had remained in the locked emergency vehicle was simply to test a new high-tech CD player that he had purchased as a gift for the fire chief.

  The chief immediately distanced himself from the defendant and dishonorably discharged him from the fire department. In a prepared statement, the chief said that there were no words to describe such a betrayal of those the firefighter was sworn to protect.

  At the trial, the defense pleaded, “no contest,” but added that the defendant had gone to great personal sacrifice to purchase the expensive gift for the chief, and hoped that the judge would take that into account when passing sentence.

  What do you think would be a fitting punishment for this firefighter’s serious crime – probation? Two years in jail? Twenty years? Life? Death? What sentence would YOU give the negligent firefighter? Please make a judgment.

  Do you enjoy worshiping God? Most people in church would say they do. Every Sunday all across the country, auditoriums are filled with hand–raising, God–loving Christians singing their praises to God. That’s understandable, because when the Holy Spirit dwells within us, it’s not hard to worship our Creator. In the light of the Cross, it’s as natural to worship God as it is for flowers to open up their petals in the warm sunlight.

   May I ask you a personal question? When was the last time you shared your faith with an unsaved person? When did you last go out of your way to witness to a stranger? In his book, The Coming Revival, Dr. Bill Bright notes that only two percent of American churchgoers share their faith with others. That is tragic. If the love of God dwells in us, how can we not be horrified at the fate of the lost? Yet many professing Christians today are so locked into worship (with the volume turned high) that they seem to give little or no thought to the fact that all who die in their sins will be cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 21:8) (Way of the Master, Ray Comfort page 6)

  This is the essence of “Depraved Indifference.” I’m not doubting the salvation of those that are guilty of this but I do know that we have no excuse for acting this way. Often we are motivated by a fear of man instead of a fear of God. We are too worried about offending someone while we pull them from the flames they cannot see. But this is just evidence of something deeper, a denial of something we claim to believe. We don’t really believe in Hell. If we did we would take the proper action to warn the millions upon millions of our fellow human beings, our neighbors that will spend the rest of eternity in such a place.

  One of three things are true for the Christian. Either you don’t really know Hell is real and so neglect to tell people about it, you know it is real and still fail to tell others because of apathy and selfishness or you know it is real and so you act on that knowledge and tell the world the reality awaiting them after death. If we are either of the first two examples we are guilty of “depraved indifference.”. Either we know and do nothing about it or we claim to know and still do nothing. This is evidence that hate is not the opposite of love, but apathy is.

Again I quote Ray Comfort,

  Worship is the highest calling of every Christian, and we can see in the book of Revelation that the church will one day be consumed in worship before the throne of the Almighty. We are going to worship God for all of eternity. But when we look back at the book of Acts, we don’t find the church consumed with worship. Instead we find it was obsessed with reaching the lost, to the point that they willingly gave their lives to preach the gospel.

  So please, reevaluate your priorities, take off the earphones, unlock the doors, become equipped, and demonstrate the depth of your love for God by rescuing those who are about to perish.

The question arises, Why worship a God you don’t obey? The early Christians truly believed in Hell. They knew it was a real place and acted upon it. They had a deep love for the one that saved them from Hell and their sin and because of that love obeyed Him. They weren’t guilty of “depraved indifference.” They had no blood on their hands because they were the watchmen on the wall that sounded the warning of coming judgment. Most Christians today don’t like to hear that “God is angry with the wicked everyday” because they feel indifferent to the flames of His holy wrath. No wonder the world calls us hypocrites. We tell them of Jesus’ return and of eternal death and act like they don’t exists.Where is the evidence that what we claim is true? They should hear the torturous flames in our pleading voices. They should see the mighty grace of a holy God behind the compassion of our eyes. Our lives should be evidence of what we claim to believe. Maybe then the lost would see we are serious.

Jesus Christ will never be real to the world if He isn’t real to us. The flames of Hell will cease to sear if we ignore its reality. Heaven becomes a fairy tale when we live for earthly things.

I’m no longer interested in playing games. I’m not interested in being at peace with the world. I’m not interested in watching my neighbors burn up in the consuming flames of sin. I’m not interested in a gospel stripped of it’s power by modern day preachers that preach peace when there is no peace.

We have become a people consumed with depravity and indifference while the world marches on into the gates of Hell. We have burned in our lusts of worldly pleasure and comforts while a silent holocaust greedily rips our children limb from limb. They smile and we smile with them, too afraid to rock the boat. We want to blame the world for their “depraved indifference” while being guilty of the same thing.

If you do nothing for the lost, if you stand by while the youngest among us are being systematically exterminated we are guilty of “depraved indifference.” Your mind will protest and say that I am wrong but look at your hands. Do you see the blood? You have so readily accepted the blood on the hands of your Savior, it is time to have the “ministry of reconciliation.”

 DSC07431

  We stood on the quiet, narrow streets of downtown Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Despite the overcast weather the quaint, brick walled shops were inviting and a trickle of foot-traffic rambled along the sidewalks, window shopping and going about their everyday business. It was an average day in this city of 45,000. Or was it?

  I stood on a street corner holding a sign. There was nothing extraordinary about that until you took the time to stop and read it. One moment I was a part of the ambling humanity around me and in another I had become a disturbance to a normally calm city. I was a voice for the voiceless. A voice of dissidence in a culture in love with death and destruction. Honestly it is a humbling place to be. No one wants to be awakened from their sleep. It is painful to be faced with a light after living contentedly in the dark for so long.

  My sign read, “CHRISTIAN. deliver those being drawn to death. ARE YOU?” A simple question with huge implications. This is the blinding light. This is salt in a wound. It is not condemning, it simply asks a question to today’s Christians. Their conscience condemns them for us. The conscience in on God’s side and all we do is awaken it.

  If you were walking down the sidewalks that afternoon you would have seen six abolitionist declaring unabashedly what the wages of sin really are. Your ears would have met with the sounds of two men preaching the Gospel of Christ. You who were lulled to sleep by the lies of the world would have been faced with the blood on your hands. The blood of 57 million babies murdered by abortion. Ignorance is no excuse. Being too busy is no excuse. Your conscience would pierce your heart. You would be awakened. Your evil works of darkness would be exposed.

  Coeur d’Alene was awakened that day and she lashed out in a desperate attempt at justification. An evil mindset, ideology or desire, when met with opposition often reacts with hatred. People hate the love of God because it reveals their own weakness and need. I saw the awakening, if for but a moment. The devil and his angels were affronted that day and they stared back in the stony faces and angry stares of the people that passed me by.

  I glanced to my left and saw a family approaching down the side street. The middle aged man gave me a smile that didn’t reach his eyes and I knew he hated life. He casually pushed a stroller with his baby boy. His wife and teen aged daughter followed close behind. The girl looked amused. I looked at the man and said,

  “What is your opinion on the American Holocaust?” Without a moment’s hesitation he answered,

  “I think every baby should be aborted!” He said it with a smile. I shot a glance at the baby sitting quietly in the stroller unaware at the evil fate he had escaped by the mercy of God. I told the man that he would be judged one day by a righteous God. He just cheered and whooped and yelled trying to shut out the truth.

God sees you as a murderer, Sir.” He walked right passed me, still cheering and mocking God. The woman didn’t say a word but the look in her eyes spoke volumes. She was lost in darkness. A broken heart.

  I think the majority of Christians never see this. They don’t understand the depth of darkness that envelopes the world. The Holocaust today is no different than that of Nazi Germany. I say this over and over again because no one seems to grasp it. It is true. Honestly, I don’t think that I even understand the enormity of what is happening. We are living during a Holocaust. What will awaken the apathetic Christian heart to this desperate situation? Would you be awakened by the sight of 57 million mutilated bodies? I’m beginning to wonder. I think we have lost the value of life. We have begun to live peaceably with death. Life has become about us or about what God can do for us. Maybe that is why the death of Jesus Christ has failed to move the Christians to action. We are more than willing to accept the death of Christ so we can live but we hesitate to lay down our own lives and become hated of all men; to speak out for the lives of others. The churches have become a safe haven for selfishness and hypocrisy.

  Christians love to talk about the “glorious days in the future when we will be persecuted for our faith.” Maybe we have never been persecuted because we have never given the world something to persecute us over. Maybe the church has become the world. The world is not at peace with Christ but it is with you Christian. Why? What has become more important than being one with God? Christ is the rock of offense, so would we be if He shown through us by our words and actions.

  The devil is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We are hated because He is hated. We are in a war Christian and the enemy has made another soldier of God ineffective every time he can slyly lull us to sleep and make us think the battle hasn’t reached us yet. Though Christ is the victor the battle isn’t over yet. For some, they haven’t even begun to fight.

  It is time to be a light. It is time to be hated. It is time to live Jesus publicly. The world is just waiting for you to speak. Some will be malicious toward you, others will run to the grace of God. Your neighbors are waiting to be loved as you love yourself. Some will be saved, others will still be lost. God is waiting for you to be obedient. He will bless you and keep you.

What doest thou here, Elijah?”

How often is that question put still! When a Christian worker, sorely needed, deserts his post, because of some unforeseen difficulty, or some selfish gratification and ease; to that couch of indolence, or to that forest glade where soft breezes blow, the question comes, “What doest thou here?”

When a child of God is found in the theater, the dancing saloon, or the place of evil companionship; sitting in the seat of scorners, or walking in the way of the ungodly- again must the question come as a thunderbolt out of a clear sky, “What doest thou here?”

When one endowed with great faculties digs a hole in the earth, and buries the God- entrusted talent, standing idle all the day long among the loungers in the market place, again must the inquiry ring out, “What doest thou here?”

Life is the time for doing. The world is a great workshop, in which there is no room for drones. God Himself worketh as the Master- builder. All creatures fulfill their needful functions, from the angel that hymns God’s praise to the wasp that buries a corpse. There is plenty to do. Evil to put down; good to build up; doubters to be directed; prodigals to be won back; sinners to be sought. “What doest thou here?” Up, Christians, leave your caves and do!

Do not do in order to be saved; but being saved DO!

(F.B. Meyer – Elijah)

This is a plea to the early twentieth-century Christian but it is as applicable today as it was then. Have we forgotten that we are in a war? Is there not a cause? Why do we justify wasting our time in frivolous things when there are battles to be won? Do you not see the victory just awaiting the obedient child of God? I think we have allowed ourselves to be blinded by both the cares and the pleasures of this world. Often we have bound ourselves as bondmen to the world’s master. We have no reason to serve the god of this world. He no longer has a hold on us. Once we were the children of the devil but now we have become the sons of God. There is great victory and power in being adopted by the King of the universe! Why subject ourselves to anything or anyone else other than our rightful Master?

“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

As Believers, we have been saved from death to live as a holy sacrifice unto God. This is our reasonable service. Often we think that anytime we do something for the Lord that we are doing something great or extra. No. Living as a holy, acceptable sacrifice unto God is what is expected. We are the vessels that God has so graciously used.

  When we repent of our sin and trust in the Lord for salvation we receive a new occupation. No longer are we thieves, drunkards and idolaters. We become soldiers.

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:4

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7

Will we be able to say that about our lives? Have we fought the fight or are we more concerned about what people think of us? Have we put on the armor of God or are we just too busy to take the time? A soldier has no other option than to follow the commands of his Leader. He makes the rules of engagement. How selfish of us to accept the gift of salvation only to trample the name of our Savior. Is this not what we are doing every time we fail to obey His voice?

“What doest thou here?” Ask yourself this question. Are we doing what the Lord wills? Why do we pursue the things we do? Why do we spend our time doing the thing that we do? Where is our focus? What is the first thing we think of when we wake up in the morning? Where is our heart? The answer lies in where our treasure is. We can not serve two masters but so often we try to do just that.

More often than not we sleep while a desperate battle rages all around us. It is time to stand, to awake, to fight.

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:14-17

We have nothing to fear as children of God. Victory is sure when the Lord is on our side. If God be for us who can be against us?

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

What does faith look like in action? We don’t have to fantasize or dream up an example. It really isn’t up for debate. The Bible makes it very clear. Christians find a lot of pleasure in discussing this subject as if it is some deep mystery. If you really want to know the answer you don’t have far to look. Most likely you have read it over and over again. Some of the greatest missing truths in the modern church today are hid right in the open. The problem isn’t that people don’t know the answer but that they are unwilling to act on the knowledge that the Lord has already given to them in His Word. My goal isn’t to always dis the churches but they haven’t given much to praise them for. For the most part the churches of North America are dead. They have the Bible. They people sit year after year in the pews and soak in the truths of His Word. People like to hear messages reaffirming the truths they already know. It feels spiritual to shout amen on the front row. An emotional tear for the lost satisfies our burden to speak the Gospel. A moving, motivational message is tucked neatly into our repertoire of good doctrine. We have become satisfied with hearing. We have become addicted to doctrinally sound sermons. The church has become a house of entertainment. Is it not true? Do not the majority of Christians feel their duty is done by listening intently to a Sunday morning message? Where is my proof for such a claim? The evidence is all around you! Where are the Christians willing to make their faith public? Why are not they decrying the evils of our land that they already know are wrong? Christianity has been confined to the church building. You already know that the church is not the building but often your actions cry, “Hypocrisy!” Am I condemning? No. You have condemned yourself. The Christian has bought into the lie that the world is at peace with the message of Christ. The only reason they hold to this false idea is the fact that they have never spoken the vibrant light of Christ to the sin depraved world around them. I’m not talking metaphorically. We have heard enough of that. I mean practically sharing the light of Christ right where you are; with your neighbor. I’m talking about faith in action. Christianity is NOT a private faith. But believing that isn’t enough. Don’t nod your head or amen in approval unless you are willing to live the life outwardly that God has commanded of us. It is our reasonable service. Reasonable.

That doesn’t mean going the extra mile for Christ. It’s just the expected action of a true Believer. You might as well stop reading this if you aren’t going to act on what you know because I’m not trying to fill your head with more information. I’m not trying to make you feel guilty. I’m not trying to pressure you into action. I’m not even trying to convince you of your fault. You already know what you need to do. I’m just trying to leave you with no excuse for living a Christian life in the corner of a church building on Sunday. Some may be offended when they read this but I would implore you to look at the fruit in your own life and see if what I am saying is not true. We will use the Bible verse that says, “you shall know them by their fruit” to make judgments against others but it is time we turn that verse against our own lives. Where do we stand in light of this passage? Are we guilty or innocent? And will we act accordingly to the answer we will be forced to give? The thought is sobering. That is okay, it should be. This is serious.

So what does the church in action look like? Certainly not what we see in the majority of those that claim the name of Christ. The Bible says in James that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this; to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Is this just a suggestion for a nice church program or a standard that God has set for His church? I think the answer is obvious. This is the church in action. This is when faith works. A faith that isn’t working is no faith at all. Read it again, it’s Bible. I’m not going to apologize for the message. James didn’t. It is the Word of Almighty God. The example James gives us is a shocking resemblance of the churches today.

“If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

This is practical faith in action. How horrifying the thought that James is writing of us. Why do we insist on clinging to illusions of piety? Is it enough just to believe? This isn’t a doctrinal debate. It isn’t about works vs faith. Why must they be in conflict? Faith must have works or it isn’t faith. There are no exceptions. If you disagree you’ll have to take it up with God. This applies strongly to abortion abolition and evangelism but really it applies to every area in our lives. We are to be “unspotted by the world.” If there is something in your life that is in conflict to the pure religion of Christ get rid of it. If there are no works accompanying your faith maybe it’s time to examine your faith. Don’t make excuses anymore. Don’t cover your sin with humor or complacency. We can’t negotiate with God.

Proverbs 21:13 says, “Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.” What are we stopping our ears at? What have we conveniently ignored? Might it be the unborn children being slaughtered at the rate of 3,500 a day? Maybe it’s the lost soul you call neighbor. Or that insistent sin that we just can’t give up to our loving Savior that died for that sin. Ask yourself the question. I think you already know the answer. Don’t let your preconceived ideas get in the way. There are no safe havens for sin in the Christian’s life, in God’s eyes. He sees. He knows. Don’t use “waiting on the Lord” as an excuse for inaction and apathy. You have before, so have I. Don’t let the devil win another victory. Your action may look different than your brothers and sisters in Christ but it must pass the Lord’s inspection. It must be pure religion. Not everyone’s works looks the same. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others.

I could write until the Lord returns trying to clarify about what I am writing and than apologize for sounding harsh but I’m not going to. I’m not going to apologize for the truth. You can take it or leave it. I am tired of Christians using the Bible to justify their apathy and sin. The Lord didn’t give us His Word so we could war against each other or to sit back in our comfortable click of Christianity. But it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” I’m not condemning because if we aren’t living our faith we are condemned already.

I don’t want this to be a dramatic essay or emotional dissertation. This is a plea for those bought with a price to live like it. A living church will be salt and light. What good is light when it’s locked up inside your church building or home? Many have found a comfortable place of peace soaking in the blessings of God. So many embrace the love that the Lord has given them. So many live, to learn the Bible and pray. Good for them. The people walking down your hometown streets hate God. They spit in His face everyday and they’d spit in yours if you told them of God’s future judgment. The devil has gripped their hearts and blinded their eyes. We have learned to be at peace with those that deface the name of our God and live a quiet, private faith. We are more concerned about being the friend of those that embrace murder, fornication and hate than exposing them to the light of Christ’s redemptive grace and just punishment.

  This should break your heart. This should move us to action. This should draw us closer to Christ and forsake the evil relationships and desires we cling to with tenacity. Maybe you have never seen the evil in the heart of man. Maybe it isn’t real to you. Salt burns wounds but it also cleanses. The walk of the Christian can be painful at times. Lonely. Sacrificing. But there is joy and peace in serving our Creator. Taking the first step in a faith that works can be terrifying. But who can stand against us when God is on our side? You will have doubts cloud your judgment. You will face fear and rejection. You will be criticized by both the sinner and the saint. You will be called judgmental and hateful. Slander will become your companion. Welcome to the company of the first century Christians. I’m not saying we are heroes or martyrs.

No, this is just our reasonable service.

Is it the Christian’s duty to speak out for the unborn children? I believe it is. What should our response be to the 3,500 children being murdered everyday in the U.S. alone? The Bible actually gives us a pretty clear answer.
Proverbs 24:11-12 states it very bluntly. “If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?” It is our duty to “deliver them that are drawn unto death and those that are ready to be slain.” And God is the Judge of those action and will “render to every man according to his works.” The Lord sees the innocent babies that are sacrificed on the alter of convenience and God sees what you and I are doing about it.
God cherishes children and teaches us to as well. “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Proverbs 127:3 tells us that the unborn children in a mother’s womb is God’s reward to us. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” God is the author of life. He created each human being inside of their mother. Abortion interrupts the perfect hand of God right in the middle of his precious sculpting. Before He had time to complete His miraculous work the baby is torn to pieces by the cruel hand of man.
The womb should be the safest place for a child and yet it has become a place of imminent death; a precarious balance between convenience and guilt. This is a battle between life and death. This battle is not carnal but spiritual. And it must be fought with spiritual weapons for they are mighty through God. Often that means standing with the unborn, drawing them from destruction. We must be the voice for the dumb. We must have a “readiness to revenge all disobedience” by bringing into “captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Our minds need to be reprogrammed to seeing things the way Christ does. Every life is precious. If you believe that you will do something about it.
Most Christians are like the people that James was addressing in chapter 5. “Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” We live in a day of slaughter. It is as real as the Jewish Holocaust but abortion is happening under our watch. We nourish our hearts with pleasure while thousands of lives are denied birth. Am I trying to make you feel guilty? No. But maybe the cries of the thousands of innocents already has. You may be thinking, “but I am pro-life!” Where is the proof? Where is the action?
Does belief negate our responsibility to action? As Christians we focus a lot on our belief system. We love the words “trust” and “believe.” But what about the word “work?” Belief is essential but it doesn’t stop there. James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Verse 25 of the same chapter says, “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” Many are afraid of the word “work” because so many professing Christians have highjacked the term and have made it a part of salvation and sanctification. We know that salvation comes by grace through faith. But the Bible does have a lot to say about working our salvation outwardly. The work is evidence that we have faith. As a Christian our belief must turn to action. What good is a belief if it is not practiced? I have to clarify a few things because I’m sure that a few thoughts have come into your head as you read this. I am not saying that good works are part of salvation because our righteousness is as filthy rags. I am not saying that we need to work for the Lord to please Him because as a child of God I am already excepted. I am not condemning Christians for inaction but extorting them to action. I am not advocating that we need to get out there and do His work in our own strength because without Him I can do nothing. But what I am saying is that, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27. That verse explains the reality of Christ’s love flowing out of us.
What is the great commandment? According to Jesus in Matthew 22:36-40 it is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” So first we love the Lord and out of that love for Him we can love our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? A certain lawyer in Luke 10 asked Jesus that very question and He answered with the parable we call the good Samaritan. Without going into the whole story it can be summarized in a few sentences. A man on his way to Jericho was attacked by thieves and was robbed and beaten and left on the side of the road to die. A priest came by but instead of helping the dying man just went on his way. A Levite also passed by but ignored the man as well. Finally a Samaritan, who normally hate the Jews, came by and had compassion on the man and helped him. Isn’t that a perfect picture of the thousands of babies being murdered by abortion every single day? The worlds babies are robbed of their humanity and cast aside. The religious people, Christians today, often pass by without saying a word, let alone do something for them. The Christians that have a love for Christ and for our neighbor will be like the good Samaritan, though hated by the majority, and help the unborn children.
James 2:8-10 says, “ If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Christians should not be partial to one human being over another. We will defend other nationalities against racism and the Jews against antisemitism but why wont we defend the unborn children against ageism? And I am not talking about holding a belief in equal rights. Wilberforce helped abolished slavery in England through action. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in action. The founding fathers of the U.S. Constitution believed in action. The Apostles believed in action. Where would we be today if everyone just kept their beliefs to themselves?
James 2:14-17 is a good example of this. “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled: notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being alone.”
What do our words mean if no action follows? Nothing. They say actions speak louder than words. Not everyone has to speak out for the unborn in the same way but I am proposing that every Christian should have a part. The unborn cannot defend themselves. Who will if not for us? They are our neighbors. They are precious in God’s sight. They are without a voice.
I was reading in Proverbs 31 and found something very interesting. Proverbs 31 was written to a king named Lemuel. It is written to him by his mother. First she instructs him in what a king should and shouldn’t do. Then later on she explains what a virtuous woman looks like but right in the middle of those verses there are two that stood out to me. “Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” She tells him that he must open his mouth in defense of those that are dumb and headed to destruction and to judge righteously. The reason that I found it so interesting is that I believe this command was both the king (government) and part of the virtuous woman’s description. It is something that the government should be doing; protecting its weakest citizens. But when they fail to do their God given job it is up to the people and mothers especially to speak out for the unborn.
In a hundred years from now how will American’s see the Christians of 2014? Will they see them standing in opposition to the evil of our age or will they see a people who give lip service to God and fail to love their neighbor as themselves? The answer is up to us. The answer is up to you Christian.