Archive for the ‘Self Destructive Behavior’ Category

ACHAN – THE POWER OF SECRET SIN

(Joshua 6:18 & 7:1-5, 14-26)

Joshua 7:1“But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.”

The command to abstain from the spoils of Jericho having been secretly violated, a curse is brought upon the Israelites, who are defeated in an attack on Ai (Joshua 7:1-5). Joshua, alarmed at the defeat, turns to the Lord for answers as to why it had happened. The Lord informs him of the cause of the disaster at Ai. This leads to the discovery of the perpetrator, his confession and then his punishment.

INTRODUCTION:  Achan was evidently the only offender in this matter among all the thousands of Israel—a wonderful instance of religious discipline and obedience. Yet the whole nation became implicated in the consequences of his transgression, a principal we can get from this is we do not sin in a vacuum, our sin does not only affect us; it affects those around us as well.

The fall of Jericho had been followed up by the temporary fall of Israel as the result of the sin of Achan. There are still Achan desires lurking within the hearts of men today; desires for forbidden and accursed things and sins. Desires that need to be combated and defeated through the power of Christ in the life of a believer. Sin always leads to failure, to lost fellowship with Christ and lost testimony for Him. We are going to examine seven stages of secret sin and look at what the end result of secret sin is in the life of a believer.

DESIRE – “I saw… then I coveted them…” Joshua 7:21. The first stage in secret sin is desire. Achan first had a desire; he first coveted what he eventually took.

  • Achan’s sin lay not in seeing the things that he eventually took, perhaps he could not help but to see them; but his sin lies in the coveting of them once he saw them. We all may see something sinful for an instant. We should turn our heads and avert our gaze after that. The sin lies in when we keep looking at the sinful thing and then begin to covet after it. (Luke 11:34 – The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.)
  • The pleasures of sin will be attractive to us. Christians have a great need to watch and guard their hearts from the attraction of sin. Certain circumstances and certain sins we may give into can lead to disastrous results in our life. We need to learn and to practice to bring every thought in our life into the captivity of Christ and His Spirit. (II Corinthians 10:5 – Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;)

DISOBEDIENCE – “He took of the accursed thing…” Joshua 7:21. God had warned the Israelites in Joshua 6:18 to not take of the accursed thing. Achan knew of the warning, Achan sinned willingly, not ignorantly.

  • The fact that Achan hid what he took proves he was conscious of the sin he was doing. He knew it was sin, he knew it was wrong and he did his best to hide it from everyone. (John 3:19 – And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.)
  • Do you have something in your life that you do your best to hide from everyone? Do you not want anyone to find out about it? Do you hide it from your parents? Your siblings? Your family? Your spouse? If you are hiding the sin it means you are abundantly aware of the wrongness and sinfulness of your actions.
  • Do you try to keep up the appearance of godliness to those around you while keeping the secret sin in your life? This is the epitome of hypocrisy. You are putting up a show of being one thing while actually being another thing. You need to confess the original sin along with the sin of hypocrisy and turn to God and start living for Him like you should. (Matthew 15:7-8 – Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.) – Where is your heart? Is it right with God? Or is it just pretending to be?
  • The Bible tells us not to love the world. It was a love of the world and things it could offer that led Achan into his sin. Are there elements of the world that you love? If there are, confess that to God and seek His help to rid that affection for worldly things out of your life and instead seek those things of God instead. (I John 2:15-17 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.)

DEFEAT“they fled before the men of Ai …” Joshua 7:4. Sin will always lead to defeat. You cannot live a victorious life for Christ while carrying around the burden of a secret sin in your life. There may be a temporary satisfaction or a temporary victory associated with sin, but in the end sin will always lead to defeat. You cannot have true victory in your life while harboring sin in your life. Sin brings defeat, sin brings heartache, sin brings guilt, secret sin brings paranoia, and secret sin will lead to depression in the life of a believer. There is no long term good, satisfaction or upside to having a secret sin in your life. (Hebrews 11:24-26 – By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.)

DEPRESSION“the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.” Joshua 7:5c. Secret sin in the life of a believer will lead to depression and defeat. Secret sin does not benefit you at all, it only leads to paranoia and living in perpetual concern of being found out which leads to depression and the absence of true joy in your life.

  • Secret sin will lead to unexpected defeats in our life.
  • Secret sin will lead to depression where it feels like everything is crumbling down around us and there is no hope and no way to get victory.
  • God’s hand of blessing will be removed from the life of those living in secret sin. For awhile it may go unnoticed but eventually you will cease to see God’s hand of blessing in your life. Eventually your secret sin will lead to your depression and living in a defeated and hopeless state of mind, but if you repent of that sin the Lord will begin the healing process in your life. (Psalm 32:3-5 – When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.)
  • To get a solution to depression you have to first acknowledge its cause. In the case of secret sin, you have to acknowledge it to God and confess it to Him. Then remember all the promises of God and how He has said He can help you in whatever situation you find yourself in, whether it is your own doing or not. He will always be there for you. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5b – for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.)

DEBILITATION – “could not stand before their enemies…” Joshua 7:12. Secret sin leads to weakness, it leads to lack of motivation, it leads to an uncaring attitude, and it leads to a defeatist attitude. Secret sin, as it worms its way into your soul, debilitates you and leaves you unable to defend yourself from further attacks of the devil and causes you to be easily defeated in other areas of your life. One secret sin in your life is the gateway to countless other sins creeping into your life.

  • Harboring sin in your life breaks your fellowship with God, because the Bible teaches us that God cannot look upon sin. If we have unconfesed sin in our life our prayers go unheard, our communication line with Christ is broken.
  • Without a good prayer life our hearts too will melt under pressure when situations get difficult, our spirits will weaken under the stresses of life, our strength will wane, our ability to handle new attacks from the devil will be non-existent because our source of strength is the Lord, and when we have cut off that source by our secret sin we will not be able to renew our strength for what lies ahead. We won’t be able to stand before our enemy. We need to Lord and His strength in our life to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Psalm 28:7-8 – The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.)

DETECTION“and Achan… was taken” Joshua 7:18. Be sure your sin will find you out, no matter how skillful you think you are at hiding it, it will eventually find you out. Among the thousands upon thousands of Israelite’s at this time, Achan’s sin was discovered. Achan’s sin was found out because nothing is hidden from God. His sin was exposed to all the eyes of the whole nation. It was no longer secret, now humiliation and the most dreadful shame fell upon Achan, this shame must have also fell upon his family too. Every hidden thing will eventually be brought to light. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 28:13He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”

  • (Joshua 7:16-18) – It was strange that Achan being conscious of his own guilt, when he saw the lot come nearer and nearer to him, did not either make an attempt to escape or try to get grace by making a confession of the sin before the lot fell upon him.
  • This lack of confession shows the hardened heart that Achan had as a result of unconfessed secret sin. Keeping secret sin in your life and not confessing it and seeking forgiveness will lead you to have a hard heart to God and the things of God. Once a heart is hardened it can be a very difficult thing to get reversed.
  • You can imagine the moment Achan was singled out as the trespasser to all the nation of Israel. He had been found out; the secret sin was secret no more. Can you imagine the panic that must have went through him, the horror that must have instantly hit him? If only he had not coveted after that sin, if only he had not deceptively hid that sin, if only he had come clean about that sin and confessed it on his own and not had waited until he was found out, what a difference in his life it would have been.

DESTRUCTION – “And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.” Joshua 7:25. There is no way to escape the consequences of your sins. If you are God’s children He will chastise you as you sin. Yes, Christ paid the eternal penalty of your sins on the cross, but there is still earthly chastisement from Him for sins you commit. The Bible teaches us that if fathers love their children they will chastise them and rebuke them when it is needed. So too does our heavenly father love us, so He too will bring chastisement into our life as a result of our sin. (Hebrews 12:6-7 – For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?)

  • What a contrast we can see between Rahab the harlot’s life, verses Achan the Israelites life. The one was saved along with their family and possessions; the other was lost along with their family and possessions. The faith of one, Rahab, made all the difference; and we learned how the disobedience of one, Achan, made all the difference.
  • Not just Achan suffered the consequences of his sin. (Joshua 7:24 – And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.)
  • Can you imagine the guilt of Achan knowing his sin was responsible for the premature death of his own children?
  • Achan did not intend anyone to get hurt from his sin. He did not intend for the thirty-six Israelites to die when they first tried to take Ai. He did not intend for his own family and children to die as a result of his sin. When we sin we do not intend for others to get hurt by our sin. We do not think our sin will affect anyone else but us, but that thought is not true. Your sin hurts more than just you. Your sin hurts and affects those that love you. Your sin hurts your family, your church and can even have an effect on your future children.
  • You need to keep the consequences of sin not just to you personally, but the consequences of your sin to others in the forefront of your mind. You do not ever want to experience the guilt and utter horror that Achan felt knowing he was responsible for the death of his children and knowing that his own children knew they were dying because of something Daddy had done. God forbid anything like this ever be true of anyone of us.
  • What will be your end? Will it be one of faith and obedience? Or will it be one of disobedience and destruction? Your future, your family’s future can be on the line all because of your secret sin. If you have a secret sin, run from it and run to the Lord and repent of it and seek His immediate forgiveness and grace only He can provide. Seek His comfort, seek His guidance and seek His wisdom in overcoming and conquering the desires in your life that may be leading you to commit your secret sin.

CONCLUSION:  Secret sin in the life of a believer is destructive. (Joshua 7:26 – And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.) Secret sin can destroy your reputation and your testimony. Look at what we know about Achan, he may have been a great man up to, and except for his secret sin, but do we know him for any of that other good stuff he may have done? No! We know him for the secret sin he committed. We know Achan for the shameful sin he perpetrated, for all the death and destruction that resulted from that sin.

Guard your life, guard your decision making. Make sure you are living for God in all areas. Cleanse yourself of any known sin in your life. Carefully examine your heart and your mind, seek to find out all the sin and rid yourself of it, repent of it and turn to God. If you have a secret sin or sins in your life, confess them right now, seek forgiveness right now, seek grace while it is available, and don’t wait to be found out like Achan did. That brings destruction; seek forgiveness and receive grace from God.

The heap of stones left in the valley of Achor would be a reminder that God expects His people to obey His Word. God expects His people to live by His teachings and truths. God did not put that heap of stones in the valley of Achor just for the Israelites; it was put there for us too; to remind us that there really is no such thing as a secret sin. To remind us that God knows everything we do. We cannot hide anything from God. To remind us we need to do all we can to live our life right and good for the Lord. Harboring a pet sin, harboring a secret sin in our life does not pay in the long run and can cause much anguish and pain not just to the person committing the sin but to their family and friends as well.

Do you have a secret sin in your life? Do you have a pet sin that is unconfessed? Do you have a sin that so easily beets you? You need to get that right with God. Don’t wait to be found out. Do the right thing, don’t be an Achan and seek to hide it until you are caught, but voluntarily confess that sin and seek grace and forgiveness, and move on in your life, living it to the fullest for the Lord! (Hebrews 12:1 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,)

Homosexuality: A Moral Issue Confronting Christians (Romans 1:24-27)

Romans 1:26-27 “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”

Idolatry to immorality is just one short step. Take God out the equation and man can justify any sin or action. For God and His Word is the only absolute truth that exists in this world; if man no longer accepts that fact, or pretends that fact does not exist, then man has no ultimate moral guide or compass and can then do whatever is right in his own eyes. By exchanging the truth of God for a lie, man has removed God’s authority in his life and has made himself his own god. So man will naturally seek to please his new god, which is himself.

INTRODUCTION: Homosexuality and the acceptance of this lifestyle have become more prevalent in our society. So called “equal rights” are being granted to practice and promote this lifestyle. There are now, and I hate to even use this terminology, “gay churches”, and “gay priests and ministers” in some mainstream denominations. How they can reconcile those things and the Word of God together is beyond me. There are cities in our country and around the world that cater to this lifestyle. There are vacation resorts and a certain “magical kingdom” that have days set aside to cater to and celebrate this anti-God and anti-Bible lifestyle.

This is a moral issue that seems to be confronting churches and Christians today more and more. As Christians, we need to be educated and prepared concerning this issue (I Peter 3:15). Some Christians behave wrongly and hatefully to this lifestyle. Some even question if it is wrong, again this I do not understand, the Bible is very clear on its teachings on this issue. But as with any moral issue, we must look to the Word of God for our guidance and for the truth about this issue confronting so many Christians and churches today.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THIS ISSUE?

IN THE PATRIARCHAL AGE…

  • Homosexuality is what led to the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 18:20 – And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;) – The men of the city young and old were involved in this sin. They are later described in Jude verse seven as “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
  • Some will question based on what Ezekiel 16:49 says as to why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. (Ezekiel 16:49 – Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.)
  • But this is an invalid and unresearched questioning of the destruction of Sodom. The Sodom referred to in this verse is Ammon and Moab, offshoots from Sodom.
  • It could not have been the original Sodom, for that Sodom had been destroyed by God about 1500 years earlier.
  • The sin of homosexuality was a grave sin in the days of the patriarchs and it was dealt with harshly by God.

IN THE MOSIAC AGE…

  • The Law of Moses made it a capital crime. It was an abomination listed together with bestiality. (Leviticus 18:22-23 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.)
  • This sin was a reason other nations were driven out of the land. (Leviticus 18:24-25)
  • It was a sin punishable by death. (Leviticus 20:13 – If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.)
  • Some may say this is the law and when Jesus came he said nothing about homosexuality. But remember Jesus lived under the law; He was the fulfillment of the law. He is the only person that ever kept all the law. The law was enforce and did not end until His death on the cross (Colossians 2:14). While alive, Jesus taught strict observance of the law (Matthew 5:17-19). By this we can easily infer and clearly understand that Jesus approved of what the law taught about homosexuality. (Matthew 5:17-19Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.)

IN THE CHRISTIAN AGE…

  • We find in Romans 1:24-17, that Lesbianism and Homosexuality is described as “vile affections” and “against nature” and “unseemly”. Also is says “receiving in themselves that recompence of their error” – could this be a reference to AIDS or other diseases possibly?
  • The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church regarding this issue in I Corinthians 6:9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” The sin of homosexuality was included in a list of sins that could prevent one from inheriting the Kingdom of God.
  • The Apostle Paul wrote again of this sin to Timothy in I Timothy 1:9-11Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.” This time the sin of homosexuality is included in a list of sins that are “contrary to sound doctrine.”
  • Homosexuality is indeed contrary to the sound doctrine of the Word of God. The Bible is clear on this subject over and over again. Yet, there are some that believe that God made them that way. Is this true? Would a righteous, sinless, perfect God make someone this way?

WHAT CAUSES HOMOSEXUALITY?

NATURE OR NURTURE? – Is homosexuality the result of one’s genetics, and were they born that way? There has been no definitive scientific study documenting or proving that homosexuality is genetic. There was one that came out in the 1990’s saying this, that it was genetic; but it later came out that the data in this study had been heavily faked and a lot of it just made up to fit a narrative. If God made someone a male or a female He made them that way on purpose. He also intended them to live out their life that way and also to be fruitful and multiply according to the way they were designed and made by Him and not contrary to that design.

  • There was a study conducted at Northwestern University by a Dr. Michael Bailey examining 110 sets of identical twins. He found no genetic link or cause of homosexuality. If it were genetic one would surmise that if one identical twin was homosexual the other would have to be also; but this study demonstrated that was not the case at all.
  • Note that identical twins are exactly alike genetically. If homosexuality were genetic then both would have the same sexual preference or desire. This study showed that was not the case and demonstrated no genetic linkage to homosexuality.

IF NOT NATURE, THEN NURTURE? – Nurture may not fully explain the issue either. Many believe nurture has an impact on this issue; but it is not the sole cause either. The consensus opinion is it is a combination of possibly nurture and possible exposure to sinful behavior of a sexual nature at a young age, but this opinion must be qualified by noting it is an opinion surmised from study’s trying to figure out what causes homosexuality. This opinion is not definitive or exclusive in nature.

  • Documented environmental factors that have been linked to the development of homosexual tendencies include:
  • A lack of healthy parental relationships.
  • A missing father.
  • An overbearing or smothering mother.
  • Early exposure to improper sexual activities.
  • Sexual abuse at a young age.
  • It must be noted that sinful behavior does not always have a simple explanation. There is no simple explanation to sin, especially once one becomes enslaved to that sin. (John 8:34 – Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.)
  • As Christians, we need to understand the power that sin can hold over someone; and in turn we need to have a sympathetic response to those that are currently enslaved to some sin in their life, whether that sin is homosexuality or something else. Our attitude towards those suffering in the bondage of sin needs to be one of sympathy; and desiring to help in some way and not one of judging and condemning or making fun of.

SO WHAT SHOULD A CHRISTIANS RESPONSE BE?

WE ARE TO SHARE THE GOSPEL OF TRUTH AND FREEDOM FROM SIN.

  • We must hold fast to the gospel of truth that is in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 4:20-24 – But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.)
  • We must continue to teach sound doctrine and truth to those affected by this sin. It may not be popular, it may not be well received sometimes, it definitely will not be politically correct; but we need to not compromise God’s truth, not compromise on what the Word of God says and we must continue to hold fast to the life changing, sin liberating truths and promises as found in the Word of God! (I Timothy 1:8-11 – But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.)

WE ARE TO DISPLAY THE LOVE OF THE GOSPEL TO THOSE AFFECTED BY THIS SIN.

  • We have a duty to speak the truth in love, notice not just speak the truth as many do; but we are to speak the truth in a loving way to those affected by this sin. (Ephesians 4:15 – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:)
  • We must have the right kind of attitude when we seek to minister to those living in this sin. We must have a meek, patient, gentle, and loving attitude seeking to avoid the argument about the issue and instead seeking to minister to and share the gospel with. (II Timothy 2:24-26 – And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.) As the saying goes, and I have recently heard this saying criticized, but this saying falls in line with how Christ conducted Himself and with the teachings of the New Testament “You must hate the sin; but love the sinner”.

WE MUST OFFER THE HOPE OF THE GOSPEL TO THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS SIN.

  • The Bible teaches that cleansing, sanctification and justification is available to all that will receive it. (I Corinthians 6:9-11 – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.)
  • No matter what form the perversions of sin take, the Gospel of Christ is the solution to them. The Gospel is the provider of deliverance from them. The Gospel of Christ is the source of hope to work through them on the way to victory from them. Faith in Christ and His Word is the source of victory in our life! Faith is the victory! (I John 5:4 – For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.)

IN CONCLUSION: Homosexuality is a volatile issue today. It is a very politically charged issue today. Having opposition to it is often depicted as being hateful, narrow minded and, a new word that has become part of our vernacular, homophobic. But let me remind you being true to God’s Word, standing on your convictions based on the Word of God, speaking the truth of God’s Word to a lost and sinful world is never any of those words just mentioned above. Using a much used comparison, if a man walked by someone’s house and saw it on fire, he would not encourage the man to stay in the fire and say how supportive he is of the man for following his heart and staying in the fire. No! The man walking by would do everything he could to save the man in the fire and do everything he could to warn others, whose homes were nearby, to stand guard lest the fire spreads to their houses too!

And so should we as Christians not back down or shy away from sounding the alarm and spreading the Truth of the Gospel about this issue to those affected by it and to the world in general. We as Christians must, and I repeat must, remain faithful to the Scriptures on this subject; but we must also be faithful to the example of our Savior Jesus Christ, in how He reached out to all sinners with love and promises of forgiveness and hope of transformation. (Mark 2:15-17 – And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.)

DRINKING ALCOHOL FOR A CHRISTIAN IS WRONG

Proverbs 20:1 – “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Wine and alcohol not only lead to foolish behavior, but they have led even good men (such as Noah and Lot) into folly and sin; since wine and strong drink darken the reason and bring the soul under the control of excitement and passion, and by that control prepare it for foolishness and wickedness of every kind, no wise man will ever give himself up to the influence of them.

Drunkenness is foolishness epitomized. The Bible tells us that wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging. To those that decide to take of it, it will mock you, it will make a fool of you, and it will promise you satisfaction which it can never deliver. It will smile upon you at first, but at the last it bites.  It is raging in the body, damages your health. Wine will mock a man, make him look like a fool or rage like a madman. Drunkenness, which pretends to be a sociable thing, makes men unfit for society, it makes them abusive with their tongues and can make them physically abusive to those around them. It makes men act outrageous and act out sinful passions. (Proverbs 23:29-30 – Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.)

Thomas Haweis speaking on this topic said “Drunkenness is a vice most odious; exposes a man to be the jest and sport of others; brings him into broils: disorders his body with feverish heat; and though the liquor at first seems to exhilarate his spirits, he is deceived thereby; it drowns his reason and his conscience together, and tends to ruin of body and soul both here and hereafter.”

***I am a Christian and I don’t drink. I am a Youth Director and the son of an alcoholic and the nephew of alcoholics. I need to make that disclaimer right up front. Although it makes me a little biased on the subject, it also gives me real world experience to draw on when teaching on this matter. In other words I know what I am talking about in the statements I make. ***

Some of the worst “shudder moments” of my life have been watching men I love while under the influence of alcohol.  I have witnessed extreme self destructing moments in the lives of men in my family because of alcohol. You will never be able tell me it’s God’s best for a Christian to drink, or it’s OK for a Christian to drink socially. I repeat, you will never be able to tell me that or convince me of that. Common sense tells you it is wrong, and the Bible teaches that it is wrong.

We are living in a church age where drinking has become the in thing to do for some. Christian young adults post pictures of their signature drink on Facebook, or they talk about what a great night they don’t remember on social media. Middle-aged Christian’s may name drop their favorite brand of this alcoholic drink or that one to impress their worldly minded friends. I have even recently heard of some pastors that drank. Then I later heard of one of those pastors losing his ministry and family over his alcoholism.

This lesson is not only a biblical defense on the topic of Christians and why they should not drink alcohol, but it is a heartfelt plea. I humbly ask you to put aside any knee jerk, pro the right to drink alcohol arguments that you may have ever heard, or made, and prayerfully consider what the Bible says on the topic and what just plain common sense teaches us on the topic.

FIRST LETS LOOK AT 25 COMMON SENSE REASONS NOT TO DRINK

  1. Alcohol is a depressant. Anything that depresses should be avoided at all costs.
  2. Alcohol skews judgment.
  3. Alcohol leaves people worse, not better.
  4. What I do in moderation, my children will do in excess.
  5. Even the unsaved know Christians shouldn’t drink. Bible in one hand, beer in the other—any lost person could point this out as a confusing contradiction.
  6. Alcohol doesn’t bring us closer to the Lord when we drink, but further away.
  7. Show me a family for whom alcohol has made a positive difference in their lives. You won’t be able to.
  8. I have never heard anyone say, “Wow, that gin and tonic made me feel so Christ like!”
  9. Alcohol makes it much harder for someone to practice self-control.
  10. Alcohol is a legal mind-altering drug.
  11. Alcohol is addictive.
  12. Many regrets are associated with alcohol.
  13. No one has ever said, “If only I had taken a drink, things wouldn’t have gotten out of control.”
  14. Alcohol causes people to act in ways they normally wouldn’t.
  15. Alcohol kills brain cells.
  16. Alcohol is a counterfeit and provides a false peace.
  17. Alcohol is a waster of: money, gifts, talents, futures and so on.
  18. Alcohol leads to really bad behavior. It is a factor in 50 percent of violent crimes.
  19. Alcohol has ruined many, many marriages.
  20. If you don’t start drinking, you’ll never have to stop.
  21. Alcohol lowers your resolve to resist temptation.
  22. Alcohol = Brokenness (broken lives, health, dreams, etc.)
  23. When the world sees a Christian drinking, it sends the message that Jesus isn’t enough.
  24. Social drinking? How about social pornography or social heroin use or social lying or social adultery?
  25. Alcohol fills your mind with impure thoughts.

NEXT LETS LOOK AT 25 BIBLICAL EXAMPLES & TEACHINGS ON WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT DRINK ALCOHOL OF ANY KIND – One has only to examine the Bible to find abundant references condemning and demonstrating drinking as evil. Below is a summary of Scriptures about this topic:

  1. Genesis 19:30-38– In this instance drinking resulted in Lot’s debauchery of his own daughters.
  2. Leviticus 10:9 “Do not drink wine nor strong drink…” here is an express command not to drink.
  3. Deuteronomy 21:20 – Drinking leads to stubbornness, rebellion, and gluttony by young men; and brings dishonor to parents.
  4. Deuteronomy 29:2-6 – Abstinence assures better knowledge of God.
  5. 1 Samuel 1:14-15 – Hannah, an example of all honored motherhood, practiced total abstinence.
  6. II Samuel 13:28-29 – Amnon, while in a drunken brawl, was murdered by his brother Absalom.
  7. II Samuel 11:13 – Only by strong drink could David lead Uriah into a trap.
  8. Proverbs 4:17 – Through drinking the wicked become violent. They are bad enough at best, but drink leads them to violence.
  9. Proverbs 20:1 – No wise man will take wine or liquor.
  10. Proverbs 23:21 – Strong drink leads to poverty.
  11. Proverbs 23:29-30 – Strong drink produces woe, sorrow, contentions, babbling, wounds without cause, redness of eyes.
  12. Proverbs 23:31-32 “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” – We are urged not to even look upon intoxicating beverages, let alone drink them.
  13. Proverbs 23:33 – It fills men’s minds with adulterous and impure thoughts.
  14. Proverbs 23:34 – It brings on insecurity.
  15. Proverbs 23:35 – It is habit-forming; one drink always calls for another.
  16. Isaiah 22:13 – Drinking and carnal behavior go together.
  17. Isaiah 28:7 – Drinking brings on spiritual blindness.
  18. Daniel 1:5, 8, 16; 10:3 – God honored Daniel because he abstained from the king’s wine.
  19. Amos 6:6 – Drinkers tend not to be concerned about God, nor about the welfare of other people.
  20. Hosea 4:11 – Strong drink and immorality go hand in hand.
  21. Luke 1:15 – Greatness of John the Baptist linked with his total abstinence.
  22. I Corinthians 6:10 – No drunkard shall inherit the Kingdom of God.
  23. Galatians 5:21 – Revelers in drunkenness shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.
  24. Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” – Here is a direct command not to become drunk.
  25. I Thessalonians 5:6-8 – Sobriety, as opposed to drunkenness, is celebrated and encouraged upon the Thessalonians.

THE TEMPTATION OF ALCOHOL – Lots of people you may know consume alcohol of some variety. I have seen it consumed by several different family members in my life and I have seen lots of destructive behavior and lots of destruction because of it. Alcohol is a strong temptation and once it has its hooks in you it is one of the hardest things to get away from. First, never take the first sip. Never try it. But if you are tempted by it remember what the Bible says about temptation in I Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

  • The demands of life may tempt you to seek gratification in alcohol and other things. We must be on high alert for this temptation. The enemy uses “opportune times” to draw us away from God (see Luke 4:13). The line is so thin that it is often hard to determine when we cross over. I believe that total abstinence from alcohol should be practiced by all Christians, especially if they have members of their immediate family that drink often and in excess; they could be more at risk for alcoholism. The Bible teaches a principle of the sins of the fathers being visited onto the 3rd and 4th The influence of the lifestyle lived by fathers onto their prodigy has been scientifically proven to exist (it is called epigenetics) and it is passed on and extends to the 3rd and 4th generations just like the Bible said. (Exodus 34:7bvisiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.) So if you had a father, a grandfather or even a great grandfather that was an alcoholic you could be more susceptible to becoming one too if you were to ever take that first sip.
  • Social media influences people on a broad scale. In Jesus’ day, society was much more isolated—no Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. We have no idea how many people are affected or tempted by social media posts. We can foster temptation by the things we post and we can be tempted into making life altering decisions by viewing others posts. We need to call on the Lord to help us resist all temptations no matter the form they take or the avenue they use to get to us. (Matthew 26:41 – Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.) We need to be vigilant about resisting temptations like alcohol consumption.

“In Christ alone there is deliverance from man’s tortured thoughts and freedom from the sordid habits which are destroying so many people. Why does the Bible so clearly denounce drunkenness? – Because it is an enemy of human life. Anything that is against a person’s welfare, God is against.” – Rev. Billy Graham

THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF ALCOHOL – In August of 2016 Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte was flying high, just winning a gold medal, but then news broke that he was robbed at gunpoint. We soon learned this report was not true, what we now know to have happened is he was under the influence of alcohol and vandalized a gas station and then while still under the influence of alcohol talked to a reporter and made up the story of being robbed at gunpoint. He was made out to be a liar, he caused a bit of an international incident, he disgraced himself, he embarrassed his teammates and his country, and he ruined his reputation, all because of the influence that alcohol had on him that one evening in Rio de Janeiro. This brings us back to our opening verse Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

  • Alcohol is destructive. God is never for anything that could destroy Alcohol, unfortunately, is also promoted and elevated as a normal/sophisticated activity in society today; even among some Christians this statement is true. It is also expensive, addictive and enslaving. People get hooked by America’s number one legal drug. And just like all illegal drugs, alcohol finds its way into the body, the bloodstream and the brain of the user/abuser.
  • I had two uncles whose lives were damaged by alcohol. The exception you say? Hardly. Alcohol damaging or ruining lives is the norm where it is concerned. It is not what they wanted when they dreamed of their futures when they were in their 20s. But praise God, they were wonderfully delivered in their 60s when the grace of God became real to them. My one uncle, especially, his salvation testimony was amazing, and can you imagine what a strange coincidence they both had, they both became total abstainers from alcohol and got their lives back by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit! – Alcohol has no place in the life of a Christian who is right with God!

IN CONCLUSION: Matthew Henry said this about the use of alcohol “It seems hard to believe that men of the greatest abilities, as well as the ignorant, should render themselves fools and madmen, merely for the taste or excitement produced by strong liquors.Drunkenness is foolishness epitomized. The Bible tells us that wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging. To those that decide to take of it, it will mock you, it will make a fool of you, and it will promise you satisfaction which it cannot deliver. Alcohol is a strong temptation and once it has its hooks in you it is one of the hardest things to get away from. First, never take the first sip. Never try it. But if you are tempted by it remember what the Bible says about temptation in I Corinthians 10:13.  Plain common sense teaches us to abstain from all alcohol, and the Bible clearly teaches us to abstain from it. It is destructive, it ruins live, it ruins reputations, it ruins relationships, it destroys your health and it can kill innocent victims on the road. Stay away from Satan’s beverage and make it a conviction you will never waver from, that you will NEVER drink any alcoholic beverage in your life; but if you have already, God is the God of forgiveness and the God of the second chance. Seek out his forgiveness and deliverance now, and set your conviction that from now on you will never partake of alcohol again. (I John 1:9 -If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.)

BALAAM & GOD’S WILL

BALAAM AND GOD’S WILL In the book of Numbers we find the account of a mysterious soothsayer named Balaam had a reputation for having success in divination (receiving hidden knowledge, especially about the future) and incantation (the use of occult demonic power to grant blessing’s or curses) and he was willing to sell his services for all who could pay him his fee.

Request of the King – The Moabites and Midianites were very frightened when they saw the size and scope of the Israelite people encamped near them and heard all the stories about Israel’s military victories thus far. (Numbers 22:4 – And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.) – So King Balak looks to hire Balaam to place a curse on the people of God encamped near him to protect him from their supposed threat; at this point Balak did not realize that God had told Israel not to attack Moab because the Moabites were relatives of the Jews, descended through Lot, Abraham’s nephew. (Deuteronomy 2:9 – And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.)·

Balaam must have had a wide reputation of his abilities in successfully practicing the occult arts for a King to have searched him out in spite of the distance and the price. We all have a reputation. What is your reputation like? What are you know for?

King Balak was hoping to influence Balaam into cursing the children of Israel, and by such a curse protect him and his kingdom from their attack. He hoped to convince Balaam to help him by the impressive dignitaries he sent calling on him and the price he was willing to pay him for his services. This shows us a great weakness of character on Balaam’s part.  Balaam loved money and he was willing to do just about anything to get it. What about you? Is money or financial gain your God? (I Timothy 6:10 –    For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.)

Balak had Balaam figured right. Balaam was a hireling of the worst kind. Interested mainly in money. Balaam used deception to try to get his way around issues and problems to fulfill his ultimate goal of self enrichment. Balaam would use pious Godly sounding talk; all the while in his heart he was coveting material gain.·

Balaam was determined to do his own will and not God’s will. (Numbers 22:20 – And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do.) – Notice what God said here “If the men come to call thee” then Balaam was to go. Now look at verse 21 what Balaam actually did “And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.” – He took it upon himself to get up and go. He did not do as the Lord instructed, he did not wait on the Lord, and he took the situation into his own hand and by his own wisdom determined it was in his own best monetary interests to not wait on the Lord but to act on his own. Now examine yourself. Are you more interested in God’s will or your own will?

Resistance of a donkey – God was angry at Balaam for defying His will and direction and allowing his love of money to be the controlling factor in his life. You may sometimes hear the phrase “dumb animals” – but in this case it was the human who was “dumb” and the animal was the smart and wise one. (Numbers 22:22 – And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his ass, and his two servants were with him.)·

His donkey saw something that Balaam did not and turned aside to save Balaam’s life. Balaam’s anger was kindled against the donkey and the Bible says he struck him over it. (Numbers 22:23 – And the ass saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the ass turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the ass, to turn her into the way.)·

Two more times the donkey sees the Angel of the Lord with his sword drawn and two more times the donkey does what it can to avoid him and saves Balaam’s life. Two more times Balaam gets enraged at the donkey because of it. One of the times by the donkey avoiding the angel, Balaam’s leg gets crushed, when the donkey swerved out of the way. (Numbers 22:24-27 – But the angel of the LORD stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again. And the angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place, where was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the ass saw the angel of the LORD, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff.) Balaam was so angry with the donkey at this point, had he been armed he would have killed his faithful animal. The Apostle Peter called it madness. (II Peter 2:16 – But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.)· Sin in our life has a way of blinding us to other things in our life. Sin can keep us from seeing the efforts of others, motivated by their love for us, to keep us from harm or to keep us from harming ourselves as a result of that sin.

A unique conversation takes place. (Numbers 22:28-31 – And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay. Then the LORD opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face.) So why wasn’t Balaam shocked when his donkey spoke to him? – Perhaps Satan had used Demons to speak to Balaam in the past through animals speaking to him.  In any case a person has reached a very low point in his life when God has to use an animal like a donkey to communicate His mind to him.

Revelation of an angel (Numbers 22:32-33 – And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.) – As God opened the Donkey’s mouth to speak to Balaam He now opens Balaam’s eyes so he too can see the Angel of the Lord standing there with his sword drawn. Balaam fell on his face when he saw the angel and the angel told him how is donkey saved his life.·

The angel warned Balaam that he was rushing headlong and recklessly onto the wrong path that would only lead to his destruction and ruin. Many people today are on a similar path in their life. If we see people on this path it is our responsibility to shout out a warning to them; because it is only the truth of God that can free them and save them from destruction and ruin. (John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. & John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)·

I have sinned” – Just saying these words do not repentance make. Balaam said these words to the angel in Numbers 22:34 “And Balaam said unto the angel of the LORD, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.” – Pharaoh, King Saul and Judas Iscariot all uttered the same words but did not truly repent and turn to God with their life. Pharaoh in Exodus 9:27 “I have sinned “, King Saul in I Samuel 15:24 “I have sinned” and Judas Iscariot in Matthew 27:4 “I have sinned” – but they did not repent, they did not accept God by faith. ·

MAKE SURE YOU ARE REALLY SAVED – Don’t be guilty of saying the right sounding words but not really meaning them in your heart. It is possible to acknowledge you are a sinner but not repent and turn from your sins and turn to God. We need to acknowledge the fact we are a sinner but true salvation is more than that; it is also a turning from our sin and a turning to God by faith in the saving power of Jesus blood. Salvation comes by trusting in the fact that the shed blood of Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and accepting His free gift of a payment in full on our behalf. Salvation is getting something for nothing; it is getting eternal life, that you can never lose, in exchange for nothing from us but our child like faith in Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. & Romans 10:9,10 & 13 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.) – If you have more questions about salvation please click on this link: KNOW FOR SURE YOU ARE ON YOU WAY TO HEAVEN

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THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM & WORLDLY CHRISTIANS

THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM

the doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14) – Balaam enticed the Israelites to attend an idolatrous feast and into committing immorality with the Midianites in Numbers chapter 25. (Revelation 2:14 – But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.) – The doctrine of Balaam is the lie that it is permissible for saved people to live like unsaved and that God’s grace gives us the right to disobey God’s law.

The church is the bride of Christ. If you are a Christian you are part of the church and make up part of the bride of Christ. If you are a Christian living in sin and living like an unsaved person you are in effect playing the harlot to the bridegroom of the Church which is Christ. (Revelation 19:6-9 – And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.)·

Why as a Christian would you want to see how worldly you can live; you should instead be striving to live as Christ like as you can! Any teaching that makes it easy and permissible to sin is false doctrine. The Word of God was given to us to help enable us to live holy and sanctified lives. (Titus 1:1 – Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;)

We as Christians should not be seeking to see how far we can push the envelop into a sinful lifestyle. We should not be sinning freely just because we are under grace. We should not think we can do what we want since we have fire insurance now. We should be doing the exact opposite! We should be living for Christ and seeking to be living a sanctified and separated life unto Him; and not seeking to live just like the world and look just like the world. Some Christians need to grow up a little and just start showing some basic respect and reverence to the Lord of lords and the King of kings. (Colossians 3:1-2 – If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.)

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN

Leviticus 9:23-10:2  “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”

THE TRAGEDY OF THEIR LIVES – One of the most tragic statements can ever be made about someone’s life is “What could have been” – This is what can be said about Nadab and Abihu.  They could have done so much for the Lord, they could have set a great example, they could have been remembered in their family and history as great men and great men of God; but they are not. They became part of the long line of the “What could have been’s” – They had it all at one point, and then died an early death because of sinful mistakes. What remained of their lives was wasted. Let’s look at what they had going for them.·

  • They were the two oldest sons of Aaron, nephews of Moses, they were among the privileged to see God and live to tell about it. (Exodus 24:9-11 – Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.)
  • God called them out for appointment to the priesthood and ministry to Him. (Exodus 28:1 – And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
  • After this calling out by God, God Himself participated in their ordination service to the priesthood and His ministry. (Leviticus 9:23-24 – And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.)

ONE SEEMINGLY SMALL ACT (OR SIN) RUINED EVERYTHING – Don’t make the same mistakes that Nadab and Abihu did in throwing away a promising future for one moment, for one act, for one lapse of judgment. Always, always, always do things God’s way. Always put God first in your life and in your decision making. Establish convictions on what you will and will not do in certain situations based on God’s word and stick with those convictions. There is a famous song that states “I did it my way”; what a horrible statement this is that can lead to a life of ruin. We should hopefully never be able to say that about our lives. We should always strive to always do things God’s way and never our own way. (Galatians 6:7-8 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.)

No sooner had they enjoyed the great blessing of God consecrating them for His service in a glorious moment in front of the whole nation of Israel, that then Nadab and Abihu ruin everything. Just as Adam and Eve had it all in the Garden of Eden, and chose to disobey God in their pride, so too Nadab and Abihu ruin their lives and bring great grief upon countless other lives by their sin.

THE EFFECT OF YOUR SIN – Your sin does not just effect you, it also effect’s everyone else in your life too. Psalm 119:136 was spoken in reference to the sins of others “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.”Doing things your way, your mistakes, your sins don’t just effect you, they affect everyone that loves and cares about you; they also affect all those who in the future you could have ministered too if it were not for those mistakes. Just as fire from God had consumed the animal sacrifice, it now fell upon Nadab and Abihu and consumed them because of their tragic sin and mistake.

Biblical Instruction on Gender Identity

Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

Moses gave us some foundational and relevant instruction on a hot topic of discussion happening today. Moses in his writings in the Pentateuch, gave the world God’s foundational teachings and truths on this topic of gender identity and transgenderism.

INTRODUCTION: First, before we delve into this topic of transgenderism and gender identity, we have to establish what sources are used for truth. We have to establish that absolute truth, that absolute rights, and absolute wrongs do exist. Something’s are right or permitted to be done as long as they are in the bounds of God’s Word; and something’s are wrong and sinful to do. We have to acknowledge that there is sin in the world. We have to acknowledge that there are evil things in this world. We have to be willing to accept that certain acts committed by men are in fact evil in the sight of God and condemned as such by Him in His Word.

We have going on in the news today several examples of this topic that we are going to examine in light of God’s Word. We have the new bathroom policy implemented by Target stores – In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”  We also have in North Carolina the law designed to protect the privacy and safety of women and children while using the restroom by restricting people to using the bathroom that corresponds to their sex that is on their birth certificate. Since this North Carolina law has taken affect the state has been threatened and now sued by the federal government claiming the right of a transgender person to use the bathroom of their choice, trumps the right to privacy and safety of the other 99.7% of the population of the United States.

The Texas Attorney General in response to the bathroom policy of Target issued this statement – “As chief lawyer and law enforcement officer for the State of Texas, I ask that you provide the full text of Target’s safety policies regarding the protection of women and children from those who would use the cover of Target’s restroom policy for nefarious purposes,”. American Family Association President had this to say on this topic “Nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy …Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable.” – As you can see, we live in a world that seems to have lost what historically most would have considered basic common sense. What is up is now down, what is right is now wrong, what was wrong is now right. The Bible warned us about this in Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” “Modern social righteousness often differs from the righteousness of the Bible. Someone has said: ‘A wrong deed is right if the majority of people declare it not to be wrong.’ By this principle we can see our standards shifting from year to year according to the popular vote!”Rev. Billy Graham. Hazen G. Werner, who served as a United Methodist bishop in Ohio, Hong Kong and Taiwan, once said this: “There is no more startling phenomenon in our day than the respectabilization of evil.” We are seeing this phenomenon taking place right before our eyes today. Today we are seeing things that were once generally accepted as being good, getting challenged over and over again. Governments and courts are redefining marriage and ruling that those desiring to live by Biblical standards are law breakers. So how does one know what is right and wrong in areas of morality, and specifically in the area of transgenderism? The answer I would argue is very simple; but we will first consider a few things.

WHAT DO MANY ACCEPT AS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY? 

Their feelings. – If it feels good to them it must be right. The Bible warns us against trusting our feelings. (Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.). Others may say I have to follow my heart. The Bible also warns us against doing that as well. (Proverbs 28:26a – He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:). Many people have destroyed their lives by trusting their feelings or following their heart. (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)

Their conscience – As the saying goes “Let your conscience be your guide” – But your conscience will not always be reliable, especially if you are not saved. A better saying would be to “Always let the Holy Spirit that lives in you be your guide”. An example of a conscience not being right is found in the life of Paul. He let his unsaved conscience guide him to persecute Christians. (Acts 26:9-11 – I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.)

Their friends – “Everyone else is doing it” – Remember everyone else in Noah’s day did not trust God and get on the Ark. How did that work out for them? Don’t use what everyone else does as your guide to morality but rather choose the right path and the narrow way that leads to a joyous life. (Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.)

NOW LETS EXAMINE THE CHRISTIANS AUTHORITY IN MORALITY

Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18). Jesus has all authority in all areas, including areas of sexual morals and behavior. (Ephesians 4:21-24 – If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.)·         Jesus will one day judge all of mankind. (Acts 17:31 –  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.)·         Jesus will use His Word as the standard to judge all men. (John 12:48 – He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.)

Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, guided what the Apostles wrote about morality in their writings.  (John 16: 12-13 – I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.) – The argument that says Jesus did not say anything about it does not hold water. Jesus used the Holy Spirit to author the entire Bible. The entire Bible is what Jesus said. (II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.)

This authority pertains to all areas including areas of morality. – Paul charged the church of Thessalonica regarding moral issues (I Thessalonians 4:1-8). Paul also addressed the churches of Ephesus and Corinth regarding issues of morality.

CONFUSION ABOUT MORALITY – With the sources of authority the world uses you can see why there would be confusion about morality. This brings me to my original point in order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. The Christian need not to be confused about moral issues, because God, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” II Peter 1:3. All need to know and accept by faith what Jesus said “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. If God is not the author of confusion then who is? —- The father of lies – Satan; and he uses his lies to help cause the confusion of the transgender person. (John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.)

SO WHAT ABOUT BEING TRANSEXUAL OR TRANSGENDER?  – Deuteronomy 22:5 says “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” We find also that Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 19:4 “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” – Notice Jesus said it is God that makes people male or female. They do not later get to decide or identify as a different gender, it is God that makes that determination and that determination was made before their conception.  This verse tells us clearly that women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way, with masculine characteristics to their dress or hair. It also teaches us clearly that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.

Charles Ryrie said this about this passage – “In that society male and female dress were similar, making distinctive styles for the sexes especially important to help prevent transvestism and homosexuality.” 

The British Family Bible Commentary states this about this verse in Deuteronomy “If there were no distinction of sexes, made by their habits, it would open a door to all manner of impurity: for which reason, if there were no other, this law was very wise and pious.”

It goes against nature to blur the distinction between male and female. When such blurring of these distinctions begins it creates confusion and opens the door to all kinds of unspeakable sins. It is not just a blurring of the distinctions between male and female but those who proclaim themselves as transgender or transsexual most likely are really suffering from a psychological disorder or the effects of sinfulness of some kind; because the Bible clearly teaches all people were made either male or female by God. God is not the author of confusion and thinking one is supposed to be the opposite sex of one’s birth is a clear indication of major confusion. (I Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.)

AN EXAMPLE OF THE CONFUSION INVOLVED IN THE SIN OF TRANSGENDERISMThere was a man who had medical procedures in the 1980’s to become like a women. He has since reverted back to his biological gender as that of a man. He changed back because he said he found God and God redeemed him, forgave him and changed his life and gave him the hope he had been searching for. This man lived for 8 years as a woman. He said the physical change did nothing to resolve his mental and emotional struggles. He simply needed God and instead searched for fulfillment in other things. He said one day he had an epiphany, he was not transgender he realized he was simply a man with a psychological problem. He now says that no one is born transgender but people can suffer from psychological disorders brought about by sin. Either their own sin or by being abused sinfully by others usually at an early age. This man said “God designed man; He designed women, God will redeem the lives of people who struggle with gender identity issues just like I did. He redeemed my life, and I’ve been free from it as a result of that. I can see that changing genders, quite frankly is just pure foolishness.” God’s power, love and forgiveness can redeem sinful man; it can redeem the transgender person. We need to demonstrate God’s love and compassion to the transgender person, while making sure at the same time to not condone their sin. Remember, such were some of the church at Corinth and God changed their lives and used them to do great things for Him. (I Corinthians 6:11 – And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.)

SO IS TRANSGENDERISM ACCEPTABLE OR SHOULD WE ACCEPT IT? – NO, it is NOT acceptable in God’s sight. It should NOT be accepted. It is not intolerant to be against sin. It is loving to be against sin and proclaim sin as sin. It is wrong to remain silent on the issue when you know the truth; and you know the truth has the power to set men free from the shackles of sin and the shackles of the sin of transgenderism. (John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.)

It is not acceptable because God created two distinct genders and roles at creation. (Genesis 1:27 – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.)

It is not acceptable because nature teaches us that transgender conduct is sinful. (Romans 1:26-27 – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.)

It is not acceptable because it disregards our God given gender. (Deuteronomy 22:5 – The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.)Ø  It is not acceptable because it promotes homosexuality. (Leviticus 18:22 – Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.)

It is not acceptable because it dishonors God’s creation. (Romans 1:24 – Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:)

It is not acceptable because it dishonors marriage and the home as ordained by God. (Genesis 2:23-24 – And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.)

IN CONCLUSION: Temptations and sin are not insurmountable. There is no sin too big or egregious that God cannot forgive and help the sinner to overcome it. We need to be ministry minded to those who are affected by this sin. Remember how God was able to use those that used to be affected by this sin in the church of Corinth to do service for Him. God can change lives and change hearts if the person affected by this sin will open up and let Him. It is that God forms our identity as male or female and He knows us before our birth. (Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.)

We just examined a foundational truth as found in the writings of Moses in Deuteronomy 22:5. This truth is a key teaching to be familiar with in light of current events going on in our country. We have to establish that absolute truth that absolute rights and absolute wrongs do exist. In order to get to where one can know for sure what is really right or what is really evil in the sight of God; one has to acknowledge that absolute truth does exist and the authority for establishing that absolute truth comes from Christ Jesus. We learned that this passage given to us through Moses clearly teaches women are not to dress in a way or present themselves in a way that would lead one to possibly confuse them with a man or present themselves in a masculine way and that men are not to dress up like women or present themselves physically in a way that could lead them to be confused for a women or to dress or present themselves in an effeminate manner.

BITTERNESS & BONDAGE (Acts 8:9-24)bondage

Acts 8:21-23 – “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.”
Sin hurts, it hurts us and it hurts those around us. Sin starts in the heart, it then can lead to bitterness and bondage and sins answer is repentance. Simon the Sorcerer sinned in wanting to buy the power the Apostles had. He coveted something that was not his to have. He thought lightly of the things of God. He did not honor God but wanted to bring honor and power again to himself. All this wanting, coveting and seeking self honor and self power started in his heart. We need to understand and see the hurt and problems sin brings. The Bible does tell us there is pleasure in sin for a season (Hebrews 11:25). But after that comes the results of sin, the bitterness and the bondage. The season of pleasure is not worth it. Living in sin is not worth it. Sin hurts yourself and can hurt others around you too.

SIN STARTS IN THE HEART (Acts 8:21 – Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.) Think of David – He did not wake up one morning and decide to commit adultery and then plan a murder. He first conceived the sin of adultery in his heart. He did not check this sin. He gave into it. Then this sin progressed unto other sins. David’s sin hurt himself; but it also hurt Bathsheba, it hurt Uriah, it hurt David’s unborn child. Sin hurts; don’t think you sin in a vacuum. Sin hurts and your sin hurts more than just you. The Bible teaches us there is a progression to sin. (James 1:15 – Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death) – Sin is first conceived of in our heart, and then we outwardly act on that sin and when we do that, sin can have damaging effects to us and to others. Mark 7:6 says “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.Where is your heart? – Is it close to God like it ought to be or are you far from Him? – Are you allowing sin to conceive itself in your heart and lead you far from God? Jesus goes onto say later in Mark 7:21-23 – “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

SIN LEADS TO BITTERNESS (Acts 8:23a – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness). Sin can make people bitter. Some of the most easy going, happy people you could know, once they get started into a life of sin can become some of the most bitter people you may ever know. Sin is a terrible thing which the Lord hates. Sin in our life is the root of bitterness in our life. Don’t let bitterness take root in your life. (Deuteronomy 29:18 – Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;) Bitterness can be the result of unresolved anger in your life. You may be thinking I am not letting sin dwell in my heart – well do you have unresolved anger with someone? – Then you are letting sin dwell and take root in your heart. If you are not already there you are heading toward bitterness. (Ephesians 4:26-27 – Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.) Judas Iscariot is a prime example of one’s sin leading to bitterness and hopelessness. Judas sinned and became bitter at himself and the circumstances he found himself in and took his own life. Don’t let sin take root in your life, don’t let anger or hurt dwell in your heart – get it resolved and forgiven and move on for God.

SIN LEADS TO BONDAGE (Acts 8:23 – For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.) – Notice sin not only leads us into bitterness but it also leads us into bondage. Sin first is conceived of in your heart – you then can become bitter over this sin – sin can also enslave you. You will do anything and everything just to get to do that sin or experience that sin one more time. YOU IN EVERY SINCE OF THE WORD WILL BE ENSLAVED TO THAT SIN. Nothing else will matter in your life anymore but that sin. (Genesis 19:4-11 –  But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. ) Notice even after being made blind they still did not stop in their pursuit of their sin. – They were in bondage to their sin – they were enslaved by their sin. (Genesis 19:11 – And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.)

Even after they received a physical hardship as a direct result from their sin, they had let themselves become so enslaved by their sin of homosexuality that it did not matter, they kept pursuing their sin. Paul warns us to not let ourselves become enslaved to sin in Romans 6:12 – “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.” – Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life. Sin can take many forms, it can be obvious forms of sin such as physical sins or sin can take the form of unresolved anger or the form of spending too much time on games or other activities and not enough time in your Bible. Whatever form sin takes in your life it will eventually hurt you and can hurt others around you. Don’t let sin have the preeminence in your life instead let Christ have that preeminence. (Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.)

SINS ANSWER IS REPENTANCE (Acts 8:22 – Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.) Repentance is the best advice for those in sin. – We should not be accepting of others sin, we should not condone others sin, we should not ignore others sins; instead counsel them, instruct them and point them to the things of God and the need for repentance. – This needs to be done however with an attitude of love and a goal of getting them closer to the Lord. You don’t do anyone any favors by being accepting of their sin. If someone’s house is on fire will you just be accepting of it and think well that is the lifestyle choice they made to live in a burning house – no you would be doing all you could to get them saved from that fire. We need to be doing all we can to get those living in sin around us to the Lord, inviting them to church, going door knocking, teaching them repentance of their sins and if they are not saved how to accept Jesus as their Savior. He is the one that can save them from the eternal fire.

Notice how Peter worded verse 22 “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness” – our repentance to God needs to be specific. Peter said “this they wickedness” – We need to get specific to God about our sins and repent of those sins specifically. Also notice what Peter called it “wickedness” when you repent to God you must call it what God call’s it. Don’t explain away your sin to God or try to justify it somehow just pray and repent of it specifically and call it what God calls it. Notice one more word Peter says in verse 22 “perhaps” – Peter doubted the sincerity of Simon the Sorcerer. This tells us we need to be sincere when we ask God for forgiveness of our sins. Our repentance must be sincere, it must be specific and our sins must be called by what God calls them. We need to understand our need of repentance. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – If we have never accepted Jesus as our Savior the wages of those unrepented sins is our eternal death and torment in Hell.

Sin hurts, sin not only hurts us but it can hurt others around us. Sin starts in the heart it is first conceived in our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)
Sin starts in the heart, Sin leads to bitterness, sin leads to bondage but sins answer is repentance. Our repentance needs to be sincere, it needs to be specific and it needs to honestly portray our sins as they really are not as we may wish they were.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFEabortion9

Psalm 100:3a – “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;” & Ephesians 1:4a – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world,)”. God is the Author and Creator of life. God created us and the Bible says He knew us even before the “foundation of the world.” – We need to respect life; we need to respect the life of the innocent unborn children especially.

WHO CREATED HUMAN LIFE? (Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.) The Bible says He is our God even before we are born. (Psalm 22:10 – I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.) God is our maker. He formed us. He designed us. (Isaiah 44:2a – Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb,).

WHEN DOES LIFE BEGIN? Jeremiah 1:5 answers this question. It says “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,” So at the moment of conception God already knows us. Before anyone else even knows us, God already knows us and loves us and gave His life that we might have life eternal with Him in Heaven. If life begins at conception, then can the unborn have feelings? Can they feel emotion or pain? Do they recognize voices? (Luke 1:44 – For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.) – The answer to those questions is yes. They can feel joy, they can hear their mother’s voice, and they can feel pain.

President Reagan said “We cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion or infanticide…. There is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings…”

Human Life Begins Before Birth at conception. There is a belief widely held today about the unborn, a belief not found in the Bible, that in the early stages of pregnancy, a separate human life does not exist in the womb, but rather a collection of cells that may be regarded as just a part of the mother’s body. It is wrongfully believed that the mother is free at this stage to destroy this so called tissue, because it is not yet a child or a babe, God forbid! The Bible, in the way it describes conception and pregnancy, lends no support to that belief. The Bible speaks of that which is conceived and developing in an expectant mother’s womb as a “child” or “babe”.

• Rebekah had “children…. within her” (Genesis 25:22)
• Job speaks of “the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived” (Job 3:3).
• Elizabeth had “conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her”, and the “babe leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:36, 41).

The main reason why abortion is so common is the belief that early abortion is not killing a child, but merely preventing one from coming into being. Abortion would almost cease to exist if people could just come to understand and accept the Bible teaching that a “child” is “conceived in the womb“.

WHOSE IMAGE ARE WE CREATED IN? (Genesis 1:26-28aAnd God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,) Only man was created in God’s own image. Not animals, man did not evolve over millions of years. We are not descendents of apes or monkeys. God created us in His image and God breathed the breath of life in us. All life comes from God, but human life is set apart from all other life, in that it was God Breathed. (Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.) The Bible is clear on this subject, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Can we tell the moment of each person’s creation by God? Science offers a clear answer that perfectly complements the teaching of Scripture. Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni, professor of obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, states, “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life.” Speaking of the early stages of a child’s development in the womb, Professor Bongiovanni says, “I am no more prepared to say that these early stages represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.” Every scientific indication, is that at the moment of each person’s creation, is the moment of his conception. Before that moment the individual did not exist, and from that moment on he will exist for all eternity. Either alive on earth or after his death with the Lord or in an eternal Hell.

IS IT WRONG TO MURDER A PERSON? – Few people would object to the statement that murder is wrong. Murder is the unjustified and unlawful terminating of human life.(Genesis 9:6 – Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man & Matthew 19:18 – He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,)See also Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; John 8:44; Acts 3:14.

The Bible tells us those that commit murder are worthy of death. (Romans 1:29,32 -Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.)Historically, the standard of men, even apart from knowing God, or being a Christian, is that taking the life of an innocent person is wrong and worthy of death. So by God’s commandments and word, and historically by mans laws, murdering an innocent person is wrong and worthy of death.

SO THE NEXT QUESTION IS – IS THE UNBORN A PERSON? – We have established by God and mans standards and laws, it is wrong to murder a person. So let’s look at some qualities or characteristics the Bible assigns and gives to the unborn to answer this question. The unborn possess personal attributes such as sin and joy. In Psalm 51:5, David says, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” and in Luke 1:44 the Bible says “For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.” The unborn baby experienced joy at hearing the voice of Mary. Unborn children experience emotions just like us. The Bible also uses personal pronouns to describe unborn children. (Jeremiah 1:5Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.)

The Bible says regarding the conception of Jesus in Matthew 1:20 – “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” The Angel of God, the messenger from the Sovereign of the universe, told Joseph “that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” From the very moment of conception the Angel is telling Joseph that Jesus was indeed a person at conception. “That which is conceived”, means a child that was fathered, a life being brought forth or to cause life to start.

The unborn are called “babe” or children. (Luke 1:41 & 44 – And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.) The word “babe” here means either an unborn child or a new born child. The term was used interchangeably. No difference was placed on the unborn or the newly born, they were considered the same. The unborn are personally and intimately known by God, starting in the womb at conception, the same way He would know any other person. God, in the Bible, talking about the prophet Jeremiah, said in Jeremiah 1:5 – “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Think about this verse for awhile. God had already ordained Jeremiahs future service to Him as a prophet before he was even born. What has God had planned for you since the moment of your conception? Think about that and pray about that, and with everything you got, seek to fulfill His purpose for your life.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SPECIFICALLY SAY ABOUT THE TAKING OF THE LIFE OF AN UNBORN PERSON? (Exodus 21:22-23 – If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,) This passage is talking about women through the fault of a third party having a premature birth of their child. “her fruit depart from her”, means the baby comes out alive. So the person causing this pays a fine. But the part of this passage that says “if any mischief follow”, means if any injury or death occurs. According to this verse if the death of the unborn child occurs, the person who caused this to happen should pay with his life as well, “any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life” So this passage is crystal clear on the subject. It places equal value on the life of the unborn and the life of the mother. It tells us those that cause the death of the unborn should have their life taken from them as well, they are guilty of murder.

WHAT IS ABORTION? According to the Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary “abortion” is – “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus….” The issue of abortion has to do with the morality of a person’s choice to “terminate” the pregnancy, not a miscarriage that happens naturally. Abortion stops the natural process of human development within the mother’s womb. The purpose of abortion is to empty the mother’s womb, which results in the death of the tiny, innocent, defenseless human being. Because the Bible recognizes the unborn as being fully human (Psalm 139:13 – For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.) Abortion is undoubtedly murder of the worst most, wicked kind. (Jeremiah 2:34 – Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. & Deuteronomy 19:10 – That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.)

IN CONCLUSION – God is the Author and Creator of life. God controls the timing of our birth. He wanted us born when we were born, where we were born and to whom we were born. He has a reason and a purpose for everyone. At the moment of conception God already knows us. Before anyone else even knows us, God already knows us and loves us and gave His life that we might have life eternal with Him in Heaven. What is conceived in the womb is a “child” — a baby human being however very small. We should understand that destroying what has begun to form in the womb is taking the life of a child. We could not justify such action before God. Only man was created in God’s own image. Not animals, man did not evolve over millions of years. God created us in His image and God breathed the breath of life in us. All life comes from God, but human life is set apart from all other life, in that it was God Breathed. (Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.)Our bodies are not our own. Neither is someone’s body that is unborn. Not one has a right over their own bodies or the bodies of the unborn. We all belong to God. We are created in his image. We must honor and respect the sanctity of God given life.

ABORTION STATISTICS (source abort73.com)

ANNUAL ABORTION STATISTICS

• In 2011, approximately 1.06 million abortions took place in the U.S., down from an estimated 1.21 million abortions in 2008, 1.29 million in 2002, 1.31 million in 2000 and 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions have occurred in the U.S. (AGI).
• Based on available state-level data, an estimated 1.04 million abortions took place in 2012—down from an estimated 1.16 million abortions in 2009 and 1.13 million abortions in 2010.
• In 2011, the highest number of reported abortions occurred in California (181,730), New York (138,370) and Florida (84,990); the fewest occurred in Wyoming (120), South Dakota (600) and North Dakota (1,250) (AGI).
• The 2011 abortion rates by state ranged from a low of 3.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in Mississippi (Wyoming had too few abortions for reliable tabulation) to a high of 28.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 in New York (AGI).
• The annual number of legal induced abortions in the United States doubled between 1973 and 1979, and peaked in 1990. There was a slow but steady decline through the 1990’s. Overall, the number of annual abortions decreased by 6% between 2000 and 2009, with temporary spikes in 2002 and 2006 (CDC).
• In 2011, 17% of legal induced abortions occurred in California (AGI).
• The US abortion rate is similar to those of Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden but higher than those of other Western European countries (NAF).
• In 2005, the abortion rate in the United States was higher than recent rates reported for Canada and Western European countries and lower than rates reported for China, Cuba, the majority of Eastern European countries, and certain Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (CDC).
• Half of pregnancies among American women are unintended; about 4 in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-one percent of all U.S. pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion. (AGI).

WHO HAS ABORTIONS?

• In 2010, unmarried women accounted for 85% of all abortions (CDC).
• Women living with a partner to whom they are not married account for 25% of abortions but only about 10% of women in the population (NAF).
• In 2010, women who had not aborted in the past accounted for 55.6% of all abortions; women with one or two prior abortions accounted for 36.7%, and women with three or more prior abortions accounted for 7.7% (CDC).
• Among women who obtained abortions in 2010, 40.3% had no prior live births; 45.9% had one or two prior live births, and 13.8% had three or more prior live births (CDC).
• Women between the ages of 20-24 obtained 32.9% of all abortions in 2010; women between 25-29 obtained 24.5% (CDC).
• Women in their 20’s have the highest abortion rates. In 2010, women aged 20-24 had 27.4 abortions for every one thousand 20-24 year-old women. Women aged 25-29 had 20.4 abortions for every one thousand 25-29 year-old women (CDC).
• 51% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25; women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all U.S. abortions, and teenagers obtain 18% (AGI).
• In 2010, adolescents under 15 years obtained .05% of all abortions, but had the highest abortion ratio, 851 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
• Black women were 3.7 times more likely to have an abortion in 2010 than non-Hispanic white women (CDC).
• The abortion rate of non-metropolitan women is about half that of women who live in metropolitan counties (NAF).
• The abortion rate of women with Medicaid coverage is three times as high as that of other women (NAF).
• 37% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 28% identify themselves as Catholic (AGI).
• At current rates, nearly one-third of American women will have an abortion (AGI).

WHY DO ABORTIONS OCCUR?

• On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (AGI).
• Only 12% of women included a physical problem with their health among reasons for having an abortion (NAF).
• One per cent (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of rape (NAF).

WHEN DO ABORTIONS OCCUR?

• 89-92% of all abortions happen during the first trimester, prior to the 13th week of gestation (AGI/CDC).
• In 2010, 6.9% of all abortions occurred between 14-20 weeks’ gestation; 1.2% occurred ≥21 weeks’ gestation (CDC).
• Percentage of 2010 Reported Abortions by Weeks of Gestation* (CDC):
≤6 wks 7 wks 8 wks 9 wks 10 wks 11 wks 12 wks 13 wks 14-15 wks 16-17 wks 18-20 wks ≥21 wks
37.8% 19.3% 14.6% 9.8% 6.7% 5.1% 3.9% 2.9% 3.3% 1.8% 1.8% 1.2%
• *Gestational weeks are measured from the first day of the woman’s last menstruation and not from the day of conception. Though it does not provide an accurate fetal age (which is roughly 2 weeks less than the gestational age), it is the simplest way for an OB/GYN to age a pregnancy since the day of conception is often not known. Hence, if an abortion occurs at 8 weeks gestation, it is actually aborting a 6 week embryo. The images on our Prenatal Development and Abortion Pictures pages are more precisely captioned with fetal ages in accordance with standard teaching texts on prenatal development.

HOW DOES ABORTION TAKE PLACE?

• In 2010, 80.5% of reported abortions were accomplished by curettage (which includes dilatation and evacuation). Most curettage abortions are suction procedures (CDC).
• Medical abortions made up approximately 17.8% of all abortions reported (CDC).
• Ninety-six per cent of the more than 140,000 second-trimester abortions that occur annually in the USA are accomplished by dilation and evacuation (D&E) (NAF).
WHO IS DOING THE ABORTIONS?
• The number of abortion providers declined by 4% between 2008 and 2011—from 1,793 to 1,720 (AGI).
• Forty-two percent of providers offer very early abortions (during the first four weeks’ gestation) and 95% offer abortion at eight weeks. Sixty-four percent of providers offer at least some second-trimester abortion services (13 weeks or later), and 20% offer abortion after 20 weeks. Eleven percent of all abortion providers offer abortions past 24 weeks (AGI).
• Most abortions in the USA are provided in freestanding clinics; in 2005, only 5% occurred in hospitals, down from 22% in 1980, and only 2% took place in physician’s offices (NAF).

ABORTION FATALITY

• In 2009, 8 women died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortion; From 1973-2009, 411 women have died as a result of legal abortion (CDC).
• The number of deaths attributable to legal induced abortion was highest before the 1980s (CDC).
• In 1972 (the year before abortion was federally legalized), a total of 24 women died from causes known to be associated with legal abortions, and 39 died as a result of known illegal abortions (CDC).

Romans 1:18-22 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,”

A knowledge of God was imprinted on every human heart. There is no excuse to deny God or to say He does not exist. The evidences of a Creator God are all around us to be clearly seen. Those that teach and promote lifestyles that are contrary to God’s Word are setting themselves up as knowing better then God. In doing this what they really are doing is showing themselves to be fools. The Bible tells us those who think they are the enlightened ones, the tolerant ones, are actually fools who have knowingly denied God, denied His precepts, and denied His righteous authority.

When you deny God you are deny yourself true and lasting happiness. When you deny God you are denying yourself eternal life and sentencing yourself to eternal damnation in Hell. Those who preach tolerance of sinful lifestyles and try to cloak it in the guise of christian sounding words are committing a most heinous and sinful deception. If they truly believe the arguments they espouse they are the epitome of what Paul states in II Timothy 3:8 “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. “

God imprinted a knowledge of Himself on every human heart. Man is without excuse in denying God. God gave us the Bible His Holy Word. Filled with His moral code man is to live by. The intolerant left wants to deny God and wants to deny His moral precepts He gave us in and through His word. You are not intolerant nor a bigot if you believe and live by God’s word. Matthew 9:12 “But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” Pray for the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ to come to our nation.