Monday, May 25, 2009

Abortion - The Argument for Life

Definition: the intentional termination of a pregnancy

Abortion: A. is a frontline issue today - moral, social, legal, political, medical
B. is afamily issue

The purpose of this message:
#1. to inform you briefly about abortion

#2. to convince/persuade you that it is wrong

#3. to direct you away from abortion (in your future - especially young people)

#4. to assure you - if you've had an abortion that God loves you, He heals, He forgives.
Statistics show that about 43% of women in the US will have at least one abortion before they are 45 years old.

#5. to challenge you to combat abortion by various means and to open your heart and arms to those who've experienced abortion.

Today's Statistics:
The U.S. has one of the highest abortion rates among developed countries. It's estimated that around one million abortions take place annually and more than 45 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. since 1973.

In comparison: during WWI 116,576 Americans were killed. In WWII 405,399 Americans were killed. That totals 521,915. In any given year since 1972, more babies are legally aborted in the United States than in both those wars combined. (in 1990, it was almost exactly double that figure)

Worldwide, approximately 42 million abortions per year are performed - that averages 115,000 per day.
In the United States, approximately 1,37 million per year - average 3,700 per day.

Compare that figure to the total Americans killed in the Iraqi war since Mar. 19, 2009 - 4,300 total as of 5-23-09.

We could call this an argument against abortion, but prefer to to call it the components in the Argument for Life.

#1. The Scriptural Argument - where we begin as Christians.
Sanctity of Life - Gen. 1:26-28 - human life is very special.
Individuality of the child - Psalms 139:13-16 and Jer.1:4-5 God knows every child even prior to conception.

The Greek word used in scripture is the same word in these three instances:
a. Luke 1:44 (in womb) b. Luke 2:12 (infant) c. Luke 18:15 (child) There is a similar situation in the Hebrew language as well.

#2. The Common Sense Argument - people have always know that termination of a pregnancy results in the expulsion of a child!!!
In the 21st. century we are the only people who deny what has always been known. Now they try to say that "it's not really a baby!!!"
One doctor's answer: "in 25 years of medical practice, I've never delivered a carrot or a rabbit; I've always delivered babies, members of the human species...."
We only fool ourselves when we try to deny what we know!

#3. The Medical Argument (why is the most modern generation the only one to deny medically that it's a child?!)
Facts: there is a detectable heartbeat at 30 days.
there are brain waves at 40 days.
there are identifiable arms and legs at 45 days.
At 56 days, all body systems are present!!!
This is the point at which most abortions take place!! Babies can feel pain at this point, they will move away from a needle during amniocentisis.

#4 The traditional Argument (ie: the traditional Christian argument) Many quotes from early church fathers regarding the sanctity of life.

#5. The Human Rights Argument (civil and constitutional)
A baby in the womb is protected by law ONLY IF wanted by the mother.

John C. Wilke, a Cincinnati physician and for many years the head of the National Right to Life Committee, has summarized some of the .... likenesses in his book, "Abortion and Slavery". Both required a Supreme court decision: the 1857 Dred Scott case ruled that blacks were not persons worthy of protection under the Constitution; the 1973 Roe v. Wade case ruled that unborn children were not persons worthy of protection under the Constitution. The slave was considered the property of his owner; the unborn child is considered the property of his mother. The slave owner had the right of choice over the slave - to buy, sell, and in some cases to kill. The mother has the right to choose to keep or to kill her unborn child. Pro-slavery proponents argued vehemently that they did not want to impose slavery on any other states or sections of the country; they only wanted the rights of those that chose to own slaves protected; they objected strongly to the imposition of the moral values of the abolitionists upon them. Pro-abortionists argue that pro-lifers have no right to impose their morality on the mother. And of course the most obvious parallel is this: slavery received, and abortion receives, the full protection of the law.

He goes on to say in his book that: "....Both are but particular cases of the recurring challenge to the first principles of the American Revolution, which forbid the violation of the God-given rights of any person, no matter how convenient such a violation might be for some powerful individual or faction, or even a majority".

According to the Constitution "we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.."
and "that among them are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Incidentally: the Supreme Court has reversed itself 100 times in 200 years!! It is NOT infallible.

#6. The Psychological Argument (the effect on those involved)
Women: and LA times poll showed that 56% felt guilty; 26% mostly regretted it.
Men: One man who'd taken his girlfriend to an abortion clinic stated that, "every spring I find myself thinking 'what would my son be today?"
This is called Post Abortion Stress Syndrome Prov. 27:17 - includes the unborn!

#7. the Social Argument (the effect on our people, nation, society)
Who knows? How can we measure?

#8. The Consequential Argument - (long term results and consequences)
A. Here and Now? one example: there is a population implosion. Almost all countries in the world today are experiencing a decline in population. There are not enough babies being born to replace those people who are dying off.
Gal. 6:7 - "a nation reaps what it sows"????
B. there - afterlife and judgment?? Matt. 18:5 & 6 (context is not abortion, but Jesus attitude toward children.)

Numbers 1 - 8 all lumped together equal

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Marriage - God's Way

Gen. 2:19-25

#1 Marriage is God's idea. (the wedding, ceremony, music, flowers, etc. are man's idea. The Union is HIS idea.

Question: Why then: do so many marriages fail. Stat: of American adults over the age of 18, 78% have been married at least once. 33% have experienced divorce at least once. When you add mulitiple divorces and marital failures, the rate hovers around 50%.

Answer: There is no problem with the institution. The problem is with people, and practices. Rom. 3:23
The United States has one of if not the highest divorce rate in the world.

#2. We are (mostly) designed for marriage. Mostly - meaning there are some exceptions - Biblical examples: Jesus, Paul
Statistics on marital popularity: 9 of 10 Americans marry, most adults are married. Most divorcees remarry. (75%) Most couples who cohabit intend to marry some time.
1 out of 5 who are not married would like to be married.
The point being: the institution of marriage has suffered a lot of criticism and hard knocks and it remains very popular.
In 1999, 78% of people surveyed worldwide agreed that "a family created through lawful marriage is the fundamental unit of society".
Also in 1999, 86% of people worldwide agreed that "all things being equal, it is better for children to be raised in a household that has a married mother and father."
This is inherent knowledge which is scripturally confirmed. Rom. 2:14-15

#3. Many basic human needs are met in marriage. This by design.
Notes & Observations:
A, we're created needy. Adam and Eve were in a perfect environment with human needs!!!
B. we're designed to be complementary. Definition of complementary - to complete, fulfill, round out, fill up one another.
As Christians...
C. we're obligated to be complementary. 1 cor. 7:3-5 Note the principle underlying this specific application!!
D. being complementary does not come naturally. ( being selfish does!!)
Therefore, we need communication, education, and reminders!

#4. For maximum marital benefit we should follow a Biblical model.
Question: What does the Biblical model look like???
A. 1 man and 1 woman for life
B. 1 man and 1 woman for life committed to one another
C. 1 man and 1 woman committed to one another for life with Jesus as LORD. This is the New Testament model.

But, question: What about a Biblical model for those who are..... estranged? abandoned? divorced? widowed? remarried?
Example: John 4:16-18 So..... is there no hope? correction? redemption? plan? for the future?

Wherever you are (maritally) God has a Biblical model (plan) for you (and yours) from here forward.
Christianity was not designed for "perfect" people - but for sinners...who mess up but now want to straighten up.

I. God's got a marital plan for you.

II. It begins where you are now.

III. It's a Biblical plan

IV. It includes Christ. - as Savior and as Lord

V. Personal blessing is found within that plan Jer. 29:11

VI. Whether you seek it or pursue i is your choice.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Benefits of a Christian Home

Ed's definition of a Christian home:
A household unit wherein:
Christ is recognized and accepted as Savior and Lord (by some in the home) This is more than choose Christianity over other religions.
B. His Word is accepted as authoritative. This makes for very few actual Christian homes.
C. An attempt is made to live by His Word, and His directives.

This home won't be perfect. because of:
1. human nature Rom. 3:23
2. individual choice. Can never guarantee an entirely Christian family.
But having a Christian home does have some advantages and benefits.

#1. A divine presence. (Literally the presence of God.)
On on hand, God is omnipresent - meaning He cares for all people and homes.
However, at the same time He chooses to be most active where He's welcomed and received.
Mark 6:1-6 Rev. 3:20

#2. An authoritative moral code.
Everybody's got a moral code. People make up their own moral code. With no moral authority, they have multiple moral codes.
But this one: A. is not custom made by the individual. Prov. 12:15 Prov. 28:26
B. is from a higher authority than the home/the head of the household.
C. applies to all members of the family
In a Christian home, God's Word is used to establish moral code and every member is subject to that same code.

#3. Moral consensus
If members of the home recognize Christ as Lord and accept His Word as authoritative, then there should be agreement on right and wrong, shared values, common goals, etc.
The result being: less conflict and more harmony.

If the faith is lived out in a practical way, you should have:
#4, A moral model.
(which is important because:
we tend to act according to what we see more than to what we're taught and told.)

#5. A moral challenge
Biblical content and the Presence of the Holy Spirit. We are challenged when confronted by Biblical demands, expectations, responsibilities, etc.
For instance: the responsibility to:
a. forgive, ask forgiveness
b. be kind, be patient, be longsuffering, to bear with one another
c. to give, to share, to sacrifica for others
d. to admit sin, confess sin, forsake sin
e. to go the extra mile, tun the other cheek, pray for your enemies
f. avoid gossip, slander, tale-bearing
g. to encourage one another, build up one another, pray for one another
h. to model your faith, share your faith, to exercise your faith, to grow in faith...

The primary challenger is the Holy Spirit. However, He works through God's Word and God's people.
We need the moral challenges. Jer. 17:9

A. there are many other benefits
B. these benefits can't guarantee a successful home - because of human nature, faulty application, and individual choices.
BUT there are definite benefits and advantages.

1. How does your home/household measure?
(not as compared to other homes, but compared to the Holy Spirit's directions to you?)
2. What's your place or part in directiong and influencing the home?
3. What are you going to do about it?

Start with personal decisions. Share those decisions with your family. Prov. 14:1
Follow up and follow through.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Understanding God's Specific Will

Definition: God's Will - ie: His desire, His wishes, His preference.
Contrast this with: God's determinate will - ie: what He desires may or may not happen because our will comes into play.

A. God's general will is His desire for all men. - 1 Tim. 2:3 & 4 2 Pet. 3:9
B. His specific will is His desire for you in your situation, circumstance, time, etc.
It's natural for a serious believer or follower to want to know God's specific will.
Last week we discussed discovering His specific will when and if possible.
This week we will add to those observations.

#1. God may or may not have a specific will for you in all situations.
Examples: college? career? job? location? house? spouse? etc.
On one hand, God is omniscient. Therefore you expect Him to know what's best and have a preference.
On the other hand, He is omnipotent. Therefore, He could say, "you choose (within My general will), and I'll bless you in that choice."

#2. God may have a specific plan and choose not to reveal it to you.
For example: Joseph - he spent 13 years in slavery and prison. But, he was right in the center of God's specific will for him, but he didn't know it.

#3. Therefore, it's not always necessary to know His specific plan to fulfill His specific plan.
Example: Moses and the Israelites trapped at the Red Sea.

#4. If God wants you to know His specific plan it is His responsibility to reveal it.
On one hand, you are responsible to prepare and seek and recognize it when it is revealed.
On the other hand, it is the Holy Spirit's job to reveal the plan to you.
Examples: vocational calling, the prophets - Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.

#5. His specific will is found within His general will.
Therefore, if you are in his general will, you are reasonably close (within blessing range)
This doesn't mean that you have no need to seek for His will. But there is no need to be exasperated!
This also doesn't mean that the specifics are unimportant, but He's bigger than the specifics.
Hos. 1:2 & 3

#6. If you (honestly) miss His specific will, He can correct or redirect the situation.
If you miss His will, he can readjust. He may or may not have a specific will concerning a situation, but if He does and you honestly miss it, He's bigger than your decision.

#7. Being in His specific will does not guarantee safety or success. (according to our definition of safety and success)
Some examples: Joseph, the disciples in the storm (they were sent there by Jesus), Jesus on the cross.
Being in His specific will does not mean that you won't go broke, won't get cancer, marriage will succeed.
It does mean you will be where He desires you to be and (ultimately) you'll be blessed.

Seek His specific will - look for it.
Don't be exasperated if you can't find it
Know His general will.
Do your best to stay within that general will.
Prov. 3:5 & 6