We live in perilous times; not only physically but spiritually. We see the violence in the streets and there is an atmosphere of anxiety and fear regarding our national future. What we are experiencing today as Americans supersedes even the trauma of 9/11. But as Christians, we are to stay firm in following the principles of the Kingdom of God and persevere through whatever is coming. The Bible is clear when it says that in the last days, perilous times will come. We are living in perilous times. This year, in addition to the Covid-19 virus, we are still engaged in never-ending wars; battling the threats of more diseases; experienced a record-breaking hurricane season; the threat of devastating earthquakes along the New Madrid fault line, civil unrest in our cities, and more. This is a dangerous world.
But as Christians, we are to endure by following the principles set forth by our Savior. And it is to my fellow Christians that I want to address this post; to those who have answered His call and profess faith in Him as their Savior. Of course, we must understand that faith comes in degrees as we journey through our salvation process; not everyone is equal in living out their faith, although Jesus will accept each one of us on an equal basis -- all are welcome in His Kingdom. But we each must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, for we must one day answer our Lord for the decisions we have made. And it goes without saying that there is disparity among the faithful in how we are living out our salvation experience.
Take the Presidential election for example. There is a definite and deliberate choice between the two candidates on just the issue of abortion. How will you explain your decision to vote for a pro-abortion candidate which effects the lives of millions of unborn babies? Immediately, Matthew 7:13-14 comes to mind: Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Jesus is talking to everyone -- including self-professed Christians. As I see the world spiraling out of control, I sense our Lord speaking these words as a dire warning to all who would hear.
I fear that so many Christians in America dismiss this passage; thinking
that it pertains to the lost. They think that Jesus is saying it is a
narrow gate that leads to salvation, and only Christians will enter it.
The lost of the world will take the broad path because it is easier,
more attractive and less demanding. And in the broadest sense, they are
correct. There are only two choices: right and wrong; good and evil;
the way to heaven or the road to hell. There is no middle ground. You
either choose Jesus or you don't.
But I believe He is telling us so much more in this discourse. I believe He is talking directly to Christians and admonishing them to take their faith seriously. Yes, the gate is narrow because accepting Christ as your Savior should not be taken lightly. You must truly become a new person with a new heart and a new spirit; old desires must be purged and a new life begun. And that means your new life must be reflected in all you do and say. You cannot say that you are a follower of Christ, and support anyone, Presidential candidate or not, who agrees with abortion. That is being double-minded. And the Bible says this about that state of mind: the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
I do not believe this refers to losing one's salvation, but instead to a loss of inheritance and rewards when we stand at the Bema Seat Judgment. And I think it is fair to say that it is not easy to be a Christian. But, again, I say there is no middle ground. We must be prepared to be called extremists and religious fanatics. In fact, our very faith itself, will be a target as we are accused of being against "women's rights". But our faith is centered on maturing into the fullness of the image of Christ, and agreeing with abortion in any way or manner, would never be an acceptable choice for our King or a Kingdom citizen.
At the same time, I want to be perfectly clear that our Lord sacrificed Himself to pay for the sins of each one of us -- including those who have partaken in the act of abortion. We must never be deceived by a "religious spirit" that would have us think we have the authority to condemn anyone who made that choice. I believe it is our duty as Christians to help people see the sin in their lives and offer them a way to get right with God and be washed clean of their sins, transgressions, and iniquity. In our Inner Healing Ministry, my husband and I have personally witnessed Jesus offering forgiveness to women (and men) who have made the decision to abort a life. That act has been a stumbling block in their Christian life and a very effective tool for the devil to keep them in bondage. Mind you, Jesus will never accept or approve of their decision, but when, in the spirit, they encounter Jesus and repent for their sin, He forgives them and assures them their child is in His safe-keeping. He absolutely hates the sin, but will always accept the repentant sinner.
But I am also really confused about the whole movement among Christian Millennials, especially women, who call themselves "Christian feminists", who support legal abortion. I don't understand arguments that make abortion a "healthcare issue", or that interpret "freedom in Christ" as the freedom to make choices about their own bodies, which is expressed in the perplexing terminology, "bodily autonomy". One female pastor, who supports the right to abortion, explained it this way ... "because I value life, and I believe Jesus values life—I value the choices that give us the type of life that we need." Do you, as a Christian woman, really need an abortion? Or do you simply want one so it doesn't infringe on your independence and self-determination, which is the definition of autonomy?
This same female pastor quoted 1 Corinthians 6:19, but only partially, and said this: "When people talk about 'Our body is a temple of God, and holy,' I see that as I have the right to choices over my body, and the freedom to make the decisions that are right for me." Oh, how I wish she had read and quoted the entire passage which reads like this: "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." How does your decision to allow God's creation to be willfully killed glorify God in your body? [If you would like to read the entire interview with this pastor, please click here].
That type of thinking is exactly why Christians should work out their salvation with fear and trembling! Our decisions in life should never be made from how it makes us feel. What we "feel" is injustice does not give us ultimate authority in a matter. We should rule our lives in accordance to the moral laws set forth by our Father in Heaven. It is by His Will that we should live our lives... not our own. Unless this pastor is able to rightfully discern Scripture [in its fullness], she will most likely not come to a position of recognizing that she has grieved her Creator by not honoring her body, nor has she glorified His sacrifice. And she most likely will never arrive at repentance or asking for forgiveness for not only her own confusion, but leading her congregation to confusion or disobedience. She will one day stand before her Lord and have to answer for how she has represented Him. I would never question her love of the Lord. I don't know her heart. But Jesus does. Her salvation may not be in question, but her rewards and inheritance in the Kingdom of God certainly will be.
We must pray for our nation and our fellow Christians. We must pray that the deception that has been eagerly welcomed in our universities and our churches will be exposed for the lies that they are. We were not made for our own gratification, but to glorify and hold sacred the One who created us, and honor all His ways. Each one of us will have to answer to Him, and we have a choice this election -- not only to safeguard our nation, but our eternal destinies. Pray without ceasing that Christians examine their hearts!
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.