Today it was announced that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs. Wade.
This is welcome news. Roe vs. Wade has always been a bad decision both legally and morally. The overturning of Roe vs. Wade has been long overdue.
Now states can ban or restrict abortion. Some already do, and many more may now do so.
Also, Congress has the power to ban or restrict abortion for the whole country, if it chooses to do so and if it can get past a presidential veto.
There is much that can be said about this, about abortion, about Roe vs. Wade and its reversal, about what the Bible says about abortion, and about God's judgment.
But I want to just point out one thing.
The responsibility, and guilt, for allowing abortion will now fall more directly and completely on the heads of the people, on the heads of the voting public.
God is teaching us lessons, and the great tribulation to come will be a lesson for the United States and other Israelite nations.
Up until now, in judgment, the people could say, "Abortion is not our fault. The Supreme Court, which we have not elected and whose justices we cannot remove, has forced us to allow abortion".
That will no longer be true. This decision does not end the issue and the controversy. It simply moves it from the courts to the legislatures. It will be an immediate issue in the state legislatures. Some states will outlaw abortion and some states will not. Women who want an abortion who live in states that prohibit it can make a trip to a state that allows it to have their abortion.
But the issue, in years ahead, can also be decided for the whole country by the Congress and the President. The United States Congress can pass a law banning abortion and the President can sign it, and if that happens, abortion will be banned in the entire country.
Or, and this may be overlooked but is important, the Congress and President can pass a law that FORBIDS STATES FROM BANNING ABORTION. Federal law overrides state law. Congress and the President, in the future, can pass a law that has the same effect as Roe vs. Wade - it will make abortion available in all states - not because of the force of the Constitution but because of the force of federal law over state law.
Here is the difference. With Roe vs. Wade in effect, the ordinary voting public can blame abortion on the Supreme Court, over which voters have no direct power to install or remove justices. They can say to God, in effect, "This is not our fault - we didn't pick these justices who force abortion on us". But now, this issue is under the control of the voting public. They elect liberal or conservative senators and members of the House of Representatives. They elect liberal or conservative presidents who sign or veto bills.
Right now, it is unlikely there will be a federal law banning or allowing abortions. The House of Representatives and the presidency are controlled by different parties. The House would never pass a bill requiring the states to allow abortion, and the President would veto any bill that banned abortion.
But this will be a hot election issue in the future.
If the American people want to stop abortion, they can elect conservative members of Congress and a conservative president who will pass a law banning abortion in all fifty states. But if the American people want to allow abortions in all fifty states, they can elect liberal members of Congress and a liberal president who will pass a law legalizing abortion in all fifty states, and that federal law will override state law.
I do not think the Supreme Court would overturn a federal law legalizing abortion. I could be wrong, but the basis of this would be different than Roe vs. Wade and would not be so easy to overturn.
So the whole issue will be more directly in the hands of the people than ever before.
And if the people - the voting public - decide to legalize abortion nationwide - look out! The blood of the innocent children killed will be more directly on the heads of the people than ever before.
We are being made ripe for punishment.
God is teaching us lessons, and He is allowing Satan to set us up for the great tribulation in a way such that our national guilt will be very obvious to the people who must go through the great tribulation.
As a nation, if we allow abortion to continue, we will not be able to say to God, or to ourselves, "The Supreme Court made us do it".
When the great tribulation begins, God wants the nation to know that it is guilty and that God is just and fair to punish us for our national sins. National sins bring national punishment, and we are being set up for it.
God is taking away our excuses.
It is possible that in the 2024 election, abortion will be a hot issue, and the majority of the voting public will be in favor of abortion and will elect a liberal Congress and liberal president, and that Congress and president will pass a law, maybe in 2025, legalizing abortion in all fifty states. Our nation will be more guilty than before and without excuse.
Friday, June 24, 2022
The Supreme Court Has Overturned Roe vs. Wade
Today it was announced that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs. Wade.
Thursday, June 9, 2022
Don't Become Vain If God Uses You in His Work
We just celebratedd Pentecost, and as with all the feasts and holy days, God uses it to teach us lessons.
Pentecost teaches us about the starting of the New Testament church and the gift of the Holy Spirit. It teaches us the lesson of first fruits, that the Church of God is a small, early spiritual harvest compared to the greater harvest to come after the return of Jesus Christ to rule the earth.
But Pentecost is also a reminder of the work of the Church in preaching the gospel. One of the first things Peter and the other apostles did after receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit was to preach the gospel to the crowd, and about 3,000 people were added to the Church that same day (Acts 2:1-41).
God's way of life is the give way of life. God teaches us the give way of life to prepare us for eternity in His kingdom as His children. He teaches the give way of life through His law, through the example of Jesus Christ, through His word, the whole Bible, through His Holy Spirit working in us, through the Church and the instruction of the ministry, and through circumstances. We learn not only by instruction, but by doing. We learn to give and love our neighbors by practicing the give way of life.
God is doing a work in the Church and the world to prepare for His kingdom, and He gives us the opportunity to participate in that work. That is one way we learn by practicing the give way of life. There are many parts to God's work, and God gives different gifts and opportunities to different members in the Church. All of us can participate in God's work through our prayers. Most can contribute tithes and offerings. Some have the opportunity to help feed the flock through sermons and sermonettes. Some serve the needs of other members. Some are able to write articles for the Church or for the work of the gospel. Some are pastors and can serve by speakng, counseling, and baptizing.
God can use each of us in a small way or a large way. But however God uses us, all credit goes to Him. He provides the gifts we need to do any kind of work, and He provides the opportunities.
No matter what kind of gifts or opportunities God gives us, and no matter how greatly He may use us in His work, we must never become vain, proud, and puffed up about the work we do.
If God uses any of us in a powerful way, that does not mean we are righteous!
If God uses a person in a powerful way, can that person still lose out on salvation?
Doing a powerful work, doing God's work, does not guarantee a place in His kingdom if we do not develop God's holy righteous character - if we do not really practice the way of faith and love.
Consider this passage, which I will quote at length, though most readers are probably familiar with it. "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (Matthew 25:31-46).
Note that those who were rejected because they did not really put love towards their neighbors into practice protested that they did great works in Christ's name. But their works did not save them.
God gave gifts to many Old Testament Israelites in the wilderness after they came out of Egypt. Notice these examples.
"See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you" (Exodus 31:2-6). God inspired and used these men to build the tabernacle.
" 'I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me. If You treat me like this, please kill me here and now - if I have found favor in Your sight - and do not let me see my wretchedness!' So the Lord said to Moses: 'Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone" (Numbers 11:14-17). Later, these seventy men prophesied (Numbers 11:25).
But though God gave spiritual and mental gifts to these men, gifts of skill and ability, then used them to do a work, God did not bring them into the promised land. They died in the wilderness. God only brought Joshua and Caleb into the promised land because of their faithfulness (Numbers 14:29-30).
"But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness" (1 Corinthians 10:5). Who does that include? It includes Bezalel and Aholiab and other gifted artisans who built the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 31:2-6). It includes the many whose spirit God stirred up to contribute to and do the work of the tabernacle (Exodus 35:4-35, 36:1-7). It included the seventy elders who prophesied (Numbers 11:25). God used them to do the work, but in the end they were not faithful, and God was not pleased with them. They died in the wilderness.
Look at Solomon. God loved him (2 Samuel 12:24-25). God gave him wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-14). God used him to build the temple and to write books of the Bible (much or most of Proverbs, all of Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes). Yet, Solomon did not remain faithful "Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David" (1 Kings 11:6).
Consider king Saul. God selected him and used him, yet he was not faithful and God later rejected him (1 Samuel 9:15-17, 1 Samuel 10:1, 23-24, 1 Samuel 15:10-34, 1 Samuel 16:1).
Joab fought battles for king David and helped David in a number of ways (2 Samuel 12:26-30), but he was a murderer and was executed for his crimes (1 Kings 2:5-6, 28-35).
Or consider Judas. He was one of the original twelve apostles. He served Christ and God. He went out along with the other apostles, and healed the sick, cast out demons, and preached the gospel (Matthew 10:1-15). He probably baptized (John 4:1-3).
Did God not perform miracles by the hand of Judas? Judas must have been as successful in doing God's work, in general, as the other apostles, for when Jesus said that one of the twelve would betray Him, the other apostles did not know who He was talking about (John 13:21-30).
Here was a man who served Christ by helping to do the work, probably performing miracles and helping to bring the truth to others, yet Christ said he would have been better off if he had never been born (Matthew 26:23-25)!
If God gives any of us the gifts and opportunities to do a powerful work, let us not become puffed up in pride and vanity, thinking the work we do makes us righteous. We have to make sure our hearts are really right with God. And we have to be humble, giving all credit to God for any good work He does through us.