Our government has been in a battle over when life begins and when life ends for years and it is a discussion that not many are willing to address. I believe those talks will continue but will be driven more by money than they will by what is right and wrong. Living in a society that says there is no Absolute Truth and what is right for me is right for me and what is wrong for me is wrong for me, allows people to talk themselves into many actions and justify them regardless of how brutal or cruel they are.
We addressed that mentality and how it breaks down several weeks ago but the problem is that it has already permeated our society and those now who have leadership positions have been taught their whole life that life is insignificant and that their bodies are their bodies to do with as they please.
The key for us today is to see what the Bible Says and to follow it because we believe it to be God’s Word.
1) What the Bible says about when life begins.
Job 10:8-12Your hands fashioned and made me, and now you have destroyed me altogether. 9 Remember that you have made me like clay; and will you return me to the dust? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese? 11 You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. 12 You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.
Job 31:15 Did not he who made me in the womb make him? And did not one fashion us in the womb?
Isaiah 49:1-2,5 Listen to me, O coast lands, and give attention, you peoples from afar. The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him—for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
Psalm 139: 13-16For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.4 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a] Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Luke 1:41-45 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[a] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
God even passed laws to protect an unborn child.
Exodus 21:22-25 When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm,[d] then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
God did not differentiate in this passage from children in the womb and children that were already born. The Hebrew word was the same whether in the womb or not.
Jeremiah 20:17 because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb forever great.
Jeremiah said if he would have died in his mothers womb that would have been his grave meaning it is a life in the womb. I realize that someone reading this may have had an abortion and I want you to know there is grace from God. If you are struggling with a past decision you have made I want you to seek help because in one survey 80% of women after an abortion have self hatred issues. 49% began using drugs and 39% increased their alcohol consumption. (See John MacArthur, pg 83, Right thinking in a world gone wrong)
We all stand before God condemned by sin and we all need the forgiveness of our sin through Jesus Christ regardless of how big or small you think the sin is. Guilt and Shame of our past decisions are only remedied through forgiveness. That forgiveness is available to all, no matter what the sin was, through a loving God who already knew the sins you would commit before you were even born.
Psalm 32:5 acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
That is what King David prayed after his adultery and murder. J.I. Packer wrote a book called “Never beyond Hope” and he goes through many of the Bible stories we know as children and how they continually sinned, yet God loved them and used them.
Our sins become dangerous either when we do not call them sin or when we allow the guilt and the shame to overtake us.
Psalm 103:8-12 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. 10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
2) What the Bible says about the Right to Die.
What we are going to address here is a choice to prematurely die either by suicide or assisted suicide or a willingness to not seek the proper treatment although it is availiable to you.
1 Million people world wide commit suicide each year averaging about every 40 seconds. Not too long ago the news showed a man committing suicide in court when the ruling did not go his way. After the guilty verdict was announced the man slipped something into his mouth killing himself so he would not have to face the consequences of his actions.
In 2005 the number of suicides was almost double that of murders. Physician assisted suicide is not legal except in Washington and Oregon where they passed the Death with Dignity Act in 1994. Euthanasia also called mercy killing is thought to be for the good of the person dying.
“The suffering that precedes death can be so excruciating that many people hope to leapfrog over the process of dying to get to death itself. Books explaining how to commit suicide are selling briskly; a growing number of people want to “control their own destiny” rather than be at the mercy of modern science. Dying with dignity we are told, is our right. Strictly speaking, no on “dies with dignity” Ever since sin entered into the world and brought death with it, death has always been the final humiliation, the one unalterable fact that confirms our mortality and reduces our bodies to ashes.” (One minute after you Die, Erwin Lutzer, pg. 154-155
Exodus 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
1 Samuel 2:6 The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
This is why we say death and life are held in the hands of God. To take your life prematurely is to take that away from God and in essence you become God.
Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.
This is the crucial factor behind murder or suicide is the person who kills, kills Gods image. If we see our life stamped with the image of the Divine Maker we see our lives as precious no matter how difficult life may be by ours or others choices. To see ourselves as globs of goo or primordial soup only devalues who we are. When our society is about making the human race better by allowing or assisting those with defects to die we are devaluing the human race. Suicide or even assisted suicide is self- murder and wrong in the eyes of God.
Suffering is part of life
I want to address this because many people think that life for some reason should not be difficult. It is when you have a faulty view of life that your thinking starts to change about whether or not you should continue in it. Of course wrong thinking is always the cause of many problems but if you think life would be better without you or that your difficulties are too much for you to overcome, then you will begin to think about ending your life. God never promised us an easy life and He said that this life will have problems but that He would empower us to overcome them.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
We face these trials and they can become overwhelming at times. The pain that we carry (Emotional or Physical) can become so great that the only way we feel we can escape it is to end it all. Suicide is a failure to trust God even in the midst of our pain that He is still in control and that He is using the things we are walking through somehow beyond our ability to understand.
Just because someone commits suicide that does not mean they did not go to heaven. We do not go to Heaven because of our actions but because the actions of Jesus Christ as He lived a perfect life, died on the cross and rose again from the grave. If a person that committed suicide could go to Hell because their last act was sinful then what about the person who cusses as they are getting into a car crash? Do they go to Hell because they sinned. We sin more than we will ever know this side of Heaven which is why we needed a Savior. Our grace before Christ is based on His work on the cross not whether we sinned or not before we died.
God uses our Suffering
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[a] into this grace in which we stand, and we[b] rejoice[c] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.
This does not mean that on this earth we will see the good that comes out of it but we trust God who does. Romans 8:28 has been used a lot in the midst of pain but we have to be careful to not make it about us. God can use all circumstances to bring glory to Himself and for the saving of many lives. Christ death on the cross was by evil people who did not like Him challenging their beliefs or authority. Even though the cross looked like defeat in the eyes of many, it was through the pain of the cross that we can be granted forgiveness and put back in a right relationship with God. (John 3:16)
A friend of mine had a wife that had cancer and although we prayed for her healing God decided to take her home to Himself. One of the things that came out after she passed was the ministry she did while receiving her chemotherapy. Over seven ladies were ministered to and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior before they died. In fact my friend said that if his wife did not have cancer who knows if those ladies would have heard the good news about Christ forgiveness. My friend went on to say that he believed the ladies that passed before his wife were waiting for her at the gates of heaven as she entered in.
Do you find comfort in that story. You may never know how God is using the pain of what you are going through for eternal purposes. We tend to always look at pain as a negative but God uses it for the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)
3) It’s not about You
That phrase was made popular with Rick Warrens book “The Purpose Driven Life” My problem with some of the issues we are facing today it is about My Rights, My Body, My Choice, My self Esteem. The focus is all inward and not about the ones we are hurting who have no say in the matter. Whether it is your choice to commit suicide or to have an abortion there are others who suffer because of the decision you are making.
1 Kings 19:1- 9 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.
9 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
I am glad that God used broken people to reach a broken world and that He has us study them for encouragement. Elijah wanted to die and he asked God to just take him to heaven because his focus was on himself. Our focus is to be on God and not on our circumstances or the people that are making it difficult for us.
Matthew 6:25-34 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We are given this life from God to live for His glory. When we make it about us then the focus is on us and not Him. What we call accidents or misfortunes God knows and uses for a purpose greater than we can ever imagine.
Remember we have the word accident in our vocabulary not God
We only have to look to our Savior Jesus Christ who faced death Himself and although He could have run from it faced it boldly while asking the disciples to watch and pray with Him. We will never walk through that final curtain call alone because Christ walked through death and defeated it. Jesus did not help His death prematurely even though He faced one of the most grueling deaths of all.
As He told His disciples “My hour has not yet come” John 7:30, 8:20) so we should as well trust our lives to God no matter how hard it gets. When our time is up and God wants to take us home we can rest assured that He knew what He was doing with our lives. For a believer they never depart they arrive. This is not our home and God will one day take us home and the pain we faced on earth will not even compare to the joy we will experience with God.
Jesus died “Without Dignity” so we can live for eternity.
I do not know where you are in life and what you are facing but we will all face death one day. Today is about life and how God created it and how only God should take it. Death makes us ask the hard questions of life and those answers are found in Christ because only true life is found in Christ.
John 10:7-11 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.