Today, I posted this on social media, “I think the Gosnell case is going to fundamentally change the way abortion is not only talked about in our culture, but also how its argued.” That statement generated quite a lot of conversation and I told people engaged in the discussion, I would write a post to elaborate on what I’m saying. I’ll start this post with stating what I don’t mean by this comment. First, I don’t believe that changing people’s views on abortion or any other issue will help them to become a born again Christian. Christians aim not to persuade people of our morality or ethics but to declare His finished work and entrust the salvation of sinners to God. The preaching of the Gospel necessitates the need for words to be said in the power of the Spirit for the salvation of sinners and the maturity of the saints.
What do I mean then when I said, “I think the Gosnell case is going to fundamentally change the way abortion is not only talked about in our culture but also how it’s argued?” What I mean is I think the Gosnell case is going to expose people to the consequences of the pro-choice position. The worldview behind the pro-choice position is not biblical, as I demonstrated in my previous post on this subject. The issue we are dealing with in regards to abortion is one of worldviews, which also explains the lack of coverage by a largely liberal media. This also highlights why we need to understand how God evaluates people.
God’s evaluation of His people is always through the prism of the finished work of His Son Jesus who reigns as our Advocate and High Priest. Non-Christians are dead in their sins and trespasses meaning they are spiritually blinded and unable to understand God and His ways. The great need in this debate, and it needs to be understand this way, is not to help people understand why abortion is important, but rather to understand why they must be born again.
As I mentioned earlier, our task as Christians is not to persuade people of our moral and ethics but to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit. The Gospel is not a suggestion; it is the power of God to save sinners and to help the saints grow in maturity. Through the preaching of God’s Word, He evaluates our hearts, checks our attitudes and points us, through His Spirit to Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Whatever platform or influence God has given you boldly declare with unflinching courage the truth of God’s Word that He is mighty to save, sanctify and glorify His people. Christians have been charged by God in the Great Commission with making disciples who reproduce disciples for His glory. This means Christians must stand not in their own strength, but in the strength God provides. God has not given us a “spirit of fear” as 2 Timothy 1:7 says, but one “of power and love and self-control.”
The future of the abortion debate may change as people begin to understand the horror of abortion. I believe Christians need to use this opportunity we have been given to teach what the Bible says, but do so not to force our position down their throats, but to point them to Jesus Christ. If the response of the Christian community is to force the Bible down people’s throats, we will forfeit the opportunity provided to us to speak the Truth in love to people who desperately need to hear what the Bible teaches on life.
The future of the abortion debate, either way will change. Pro-choice people may feel emboldened by this situation, but I believe they should be sobered and saddened, resulting in the need to earnestly reconsider their position entirely, especially if they are professing Christians and believe the Word of God. Scripture makes it clear murder of any type is wrong, and that He created life. Since this is so, the future of this debate is ultimately a question not of policy or politics but one of authority. God’s Word makes it clear that it is inspired, inerrant, sufficient and authoritative. This means the opinions of men are not inspired or authoritative, but rather fallible. This also means Christians have a definitive Word from God, and are to hear it, believe it, obey it and apply it to their lives.
Some people wrongly think there is so many “views” on this subject that the Truth can never be known. This is not only wrong, it’s also very dangerous and leads people straight into error. Questioning the biblical text for what it says is one thing but just flat out questioning it will lead one straight into heresy. There’s a fine balance here so note what I just said, “Question the Bible text for what it says” not “flat out question.” Flat out questioning whether the Biblical text speaks rightfully and truthfully is wrong.
Thankfully, as we study the Word together in community there’s an extra layer of protection that God uses to protect us from error and help us think through issues. The Scriptures plainly teach that they themselves are the inspired, inerrant, sufficient and authoritative Word of God. We don’t study the Word to “get all the views” we study the Word to ascertain what it teaches in order to submit to what it teaches and then obey and apply what it teaches into our lives. This is why the Holy Spirit has been given to us as Christians not for our “various views” but to point us to the Truth, to teach us the Truth about what is in the Bible, to convict us of error and sin, and point us always to the person, work and glory of Christ. Christians should continue to study the Word with the goal of submitting to and applying what it teaches into one’s life. God’s Word is not just “some truth” it is His Truth, which means we must heed it, and conform our lives by His grace and through the work of His Spirit to what it teaches.
While the debate about abortion may be changing, the great need for our country is for revival. The fact, is we live in a sin-stricken world that is in love with itself. The moral decay of our civilization is well-documented– from the change on American’s views on gay marriage to a whole host of other issues. The fact is we are not improving in our world. Conversely, we are falling more in love with our ideas of what is right and wrong from our own worldview instead of accepting what is right and wrong from God’s Word. Some people think they are above God’s Word, but the fact is they are not above it and will never be. The Word of God reigns supreme over the mind of men, because God is sovereign over mankind even when the creation thinks they are supreme over the Creator.
Revival will never occur in this land until Christians take seriously the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That may be a bold statement, but it is the truth. Many Christians treat the Gospel of Jesus Christ like there is some deeper hidden message in the Bible other than the Gospel. The fact is the Gospel not only saves us, it also sustains us so we can walk in Christ. Additionally, it will also one day glorify us, so we can be clothed in white robes. Everything God does- He does through the means of His Gospel.
What is needed now more than ever in our churches, seminaries, and ministries is a recovery of the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ. Revival will not come to our land or our churches, until we stop playing games with God, His Gospel and His Son. What is needed today is genuine repentance, not mere religious repentance. Religious repentance is half-hearted repentance. Repentance is not just sorrow. Repentance is sorrow and change of direction.
What can we do? As Christians we need to pray for the leaders of our government. As Christians we need to pray for our Pastors, teachers, seminaries, and churches. As Christians we need to understand the Gospel is not just the means by which we are saved, rather it is the means God uses in our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit to increasingly grow us into Christ-like character for the purpose of equipping us to be effective Christ-centered servants of His Word.
Revival will not come to America until we repent, and in the words of Jesus in Revelation to the Church at Ephesus return to our first love. The American Church has fallen in love with its latest celebrities, theological trends, and popular authors, and has neglected its first love Jesus Christ. It has neglected its first love in allowing false teaching into our bookstores, our churches and our pulpits. It has neglected its first love by allowing people in the Church to live worldly lives without any form of Church discipline.
What is needed today more than ever is preaching and teaching that is truly biblical. By this, I mean sermons that are Scripture-saturated, and none of this “let’s preach sermons that are sort of Scriptural, but not biblical.” A Scripture-saturated sermon is a sermon that takes the text of Scripture under examination and actually explains it and applies it to the people of God.
Revival is needed. It will start first in our churches with the preaching of the biblical Gospel, and then call for people everywhere to repent of their wicked ways and come to Christ. Revival will come when we understand that God expects us to live a holy life as Christians and not just talk about our faith but live it out.
One of the most impressive things about Jonathan Edwards is that he often retreated into prayer. He was a man who would ride on his horse for many miles and spend significant time out in nature. What is needed is preachers and teachers of the Word who value prayer who don’t mind spending significant time on their knees before God- pleading with Him to speak through them in His power and deliver His Word to His people. What is needed is Spirit filled preaching empowered by God that centers itself on the Word of God and lifts high the glory of God .
God will not bless the false revival of moralism. God will bless the preaching of His Gospel. God will bless the faithful who stand in Him through the Gospel. Yet, sadly today we live in an age where the Gospel is minimized and false revival is promoted.
Christians need to be careful who and what they support. False gospels abound in our day calling people to believe and follow its teaching. Holiness not worldliness ought to define the believer and the Church. Christians are called upon to explicitly proclaim the Gospel to all making it clear to those they are sharing it with- that if do not repent and believe upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ- they will burn in the fire of hell.
Since God has saved believers through the means of the Gospel, and the Christian stands in Christ because of the Gospel, it is incumbent upon every Christian in every way and with every means to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord over all, and in all. May we as Christians ever stand upon the Gospel, live out the Truth of the Gospel, and proclaim in word and deed that the Gospel is truly the power of God for the salvation of the lost and for the growth of the saints in maturity.