Help for Today — Hope for Tomorrow
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Abortion happens thousands of times every day. Children are not allowed to be born and not allowed to grow up. Not allowed to play or to live their lives. These are the faces of hopes and dreams. Each of these children can grow up to inspire others, save lives, or start their own families. Every abortion ends an untold story. It should give us all a reason to stop and consider the impact of these lost lives.Join us on Beyond Today as we discuss “The Sanctity of Life.”[Announcer] Join our host, Darris McNeely and his guests, as they help you understand your future on Beyond Today ![Darris McNeely] Of all ancient practices of pagan religion, those that involved child sacrifice are the most hideous. Child sacrifice involved the actual death of a child, often in fire and presided over by a priesthood with the approval of the worshippers. A child could be placed on an open fire or into an open burning chasm of a metal idol known alternately as Baal or Molech. Done to appease a god and to gain favor for an abundant harvest, these acts litter the ancient world.These practices were done throughout the Middle East and in Africa. One well known cemetery, full of such infant sacrifices, has been found on the site of ancient Carthage in North Africa. Graves of infant bones and skulls with signs of violent death have been unearthed. Sadly, even the Bible tells of a time in Judah under certain kings that child sacrifice was also done in the city of Jerusalem.There is a lesson from these examples for any modern nation that chooses to commit child sacrifice in the name of “pro-choice,” “family planning” or “abortion rights.” It is this: Any culture or people who have participated headlong into the cult of child sacrifice have declined and disappeared from history. Ancient Carthage was destroyed by Rome and salt was sown into its land so it would never rise again. Idolatry eventually won out in Judah and it was captured by Babylon - its Temple destroyed and the people deported.Abortion is nothing more than the ancient form of child sacrifice. It's the killing of unborn children cloaked in the form of the modern religion of the “self”. This is a hard saying but it is the truth. On today's program we are going to tell why.Every year more than 43 million abortions are estimated to be performed in the world. Each day more than 120 thousand lives are terminated by a chosen medical procedure that is legal in most countries of the world.Abortion is a polarizing topic in society and in politics. Judges nominated for America's Supreme Court are analyzed for their views on this issue. It becomes a public feeding frenzy that excites emotions and polarizes society into opposing groups, and emotions become raw.The continuing abortion debate reveals deep fears and division, especially in America. It is tragic that such a matter as the life of a child in its mother's womb, something that is sacred and should bring people together, continues to divide and tear the moral fabric of a people.It was in 1973 that the United States Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case called Roe versus Wade that a woman's legal right to privacy extended to her decision to have an abortion. Roe v. Wade, as it is called, eventually legalized abortion. The result is multiple millions of abortions each year in the United States alone.Where do you stand on the issue of abortion? Do you support it as a woman's right over her own body? Do you support it only in the case of rape, incest or where a woman's life may be endangered? Or do you, as many do, oppose it in any form?You see, abortion is an emotional issue. It is a moral matter. It's also a legal issue where states make it so. But most of all, it is a spiritual matter. Unfortunately, most don't realize that it's a spiritual matter. God is the creator of life and what God says is the final word. His word issued from His throne in heaven is the ultimate supreme court.The debate about abortion, the taking of a life from the womb of a mother, must be understood within a framework that starts with what the Creator of life says about life. God's Word, the Bible, is our foundation. In it He claims to be the Creator. His Word must therefore be our starting point for understanding.The taking of life is not a political issue. If you think it is, you're wrong. It's a moral and ethical matter. Life belongs to God. He created and He sustains all life on this planet. His Word alone is where we begin.Let's go to the Bible. Let's go to the beginning record, the beginning record of creation and beyond, to understand what the Bible says about life. Let's notice what is recorded in God's Word, the Bible.In 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.×it says, “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 being.”In this opening verse, we are told that it is God who has created human life. His breath animated Adam, the first man. God as Creator of life holds the judgment about life.In the book of Exodus we find the Ten Commandments, and the Sixth Commandment gives the command not to murder.In Exodus 20:13 You shall not kill.×it says: “You shall not murder.”The Sixth Commandment speaks strongly to the sanctity of created life.Now a question: Does this verse apply to the unborn? It does if you consider the unborn life, the unborn child to be human and to have life.God takes great care in these founding documents for mankind. These writings were forged in a different world than ours and they map out God's view of human life. Scripture says that humans are created in His image. Life began when He breathed it into the first man and human life is of God and therefore life, human life, is sacred.God took great care to show that human life must be protected even in the womb. Notice this example again from the book of Exodus.In Exodus 21:22 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 on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.×it says that: “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely … he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.”The description here is of a woman with life, a human life, not a mass of tissue.Going on in verse 23 it says, “But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life.” In other words, if the injury to the woman results in the death of the unborn, considered here in this verse a life, then it is called murder; murder in the first degree as we call it today. A life for a life.The Bible considers the unborn in the mother's womb a life - nothing less. It is considered murder to take an action that destroys that unborn life.There is another key reference in Scripture about life in the womb. It is found in the story of Jeremiah, one of the major prophets of the Bible.In Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.×it says, God is actually talking here, it says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”You see there are many references in the Bible to the life of an infant in the womb, before birth. There are enough there to give understanding that God considers the unborn child to be a life. This argument, that an unborn child is not a viable life is one of the most insidious arguments used by pro-abortionists. It is an argument meant to remove any guilt that the decision to abort is the taking of a life.God, the Creator of life, sees all parts of life within His creation. He considers the life of a child in the womb to be viable, capable of being known even at that stage by God. And if God knows the child in the womb then it is a life - and it should be protected and it should be cherished.The stand we are taking on abortion is rooted in the sanctity of human life. God created human life with the potential to become divine sons and daughters in His spiritual family. That is why God is against the taking of an unborn life. God's design for life is infinitely greater than anything imaginable.The booklet we're offering on today's program, What Is Your Destiny , explains this truth from the Bible. That family relationship of becoming children of God the Father, is at the heart and core of God's incredible plan for humanity! We believe that when you understand God's view of human life you then have the proper perspective to view all the issues surrounding the abortion matter. This key piece of information must be understood. So please, download or request your free copy of this booklet.In North America, you can receive this free booklet by calling: 1-888-886-8632.1-888-886-8632. You can also go online to BeyondToday.tv and order the booklet. If you live outside of North America, to request your free booklet please go to our website or write us a letter to the address on your screen.And this booklet as well as all we offer is available for download to your iPad, Kindle, or to your Nook. As always, all of our publications are provided free as an educational service.Any discussion about abortion involves a situation where there is an unwanted pregnancy. Regardless of the source of a pregnancy, let's first ask why would any pregnancy be “unwanted”?A pregnancy is a life in the womb of a mother. How does it occur? Well, before modern medicine perfected in vitro insemination, the primary means of engendering a child was through sexual intercourse. Today, sexual relations between a man and a woman is still the primary means and the one where abortion would normally be considered.The vast majority of abortions performed each year are by choice. They involve a decision by a woman to remove the life of a developing child from her womb. Again I ask: Why would a pregnancy, a growing life, be unwanted? That is the question to consider and that's what we need to answer.It speaks to our view of life. Is human life special? Is it above the animal level, closer to the holiness of God than we might imagine? This is the starting point for any discussion about abortion, what it is and what it does. Let's begin by looking at the most unique pregnancy in all of history - the birth of Christ to a young woman named Mary. You see some of the main elements that are in today's debate about abortion are also found here in this story.Let's look at it in the New Testament book of Luke, where Christ's birth is announced:We find it in Luke the first chapter. Let's start reading in verse 26. “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!'”“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus…” (verse 31).“Then Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I do not know a man?'” (verse 34).This pregnancy you see, was unplanned by Mary. She was a young woman with no sexual experience. She was betrothed, similar to our modern form of engagement, to a man named Joseph. While the two had committed to each other, the formal wedding had not occurred. In that day and place such a pregnancy out of wedlock held life-long consequences. Mary was on the verge of becoming a single, unwed mother consigned to a life of poverty. First century Israelite society was less forgiving than our modern cultures. The temptation to terminate the pregnancy would have been very strong.Now her husband, Joseph, had some initial doubts and some embarrassment. Matthew's account tells us that He “was minded to put her away secretly” because he did not want to bring embarrassment to the family (Matthew 1:19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.×).But upon the appearance of an angel of the Lord in a dream while sleeping, Joseph accepted that Mary's pregnancy was of God in fulfillment of a divine plan. He may not have understood every detail but he accepted his role. And by accepting this, his life was forever changed. Joseph accepted responsibility for the life of a son that was not technically his. His act was one of the most noble that a man, a true man, can do. He accepted the role of fatherhood.Mary's decision to keep the child growing in her womb also says something to a modern mind. In Luke's account after Mary learns her life has been turned upside down, she accepts her role and she says, “let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.×).What if today, so many who do become pregnant, for whatever reason, would simply say, “let it be…” out of respect for God, the Creator of life?Mary and Joseph held a high regard for God and for life. Here in this example we see the foundational truth to frame a discussion about abortion and life at any time and in any place. It is the sanctity of life.And here we must also point out the life Mary held in her womb was not just any life. It was the life of the one called “the Son of the Highest.” He was the one called the Word who had been “with God, and…was God” (John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.×). He was the one who would live a perfect life and die for the sins of the world. He was the Christ, the Messiah.Now here is what's vital for you to understand. This key event - the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ - this event had to occur in history just as it had been prophesied long before in the Scriptures. Without this event occurring there would be no hope of salvation and eternal life for any human from any race and any time. This pregnancy had to go full term. This life, forming in the womb of Mary, was the answer to man's greatest yearning - eternal life. Without it there was, and is, no hope!Do we understand then the vital teaching from the life of Mary? What if she had decided to abort her child? What if this birth had not occurred? It may sound academic and merely an argument for the sake of argument, but it raises an uncomfortable issue again for the modern mind. How important is a human life? How vital is life - every human life, from the moment of conception - to God the Creator of life?The answer is human life is the center focus of God's plan and purpose for the universe. Notice this all-important passage from the Psalms:“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; you have put all things under his feet” (Psalms 8:3-6 3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; 4 What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him? 5 For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him to have dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet: ×).Later in the New Testament book of Hebrews this verse is developed with a fuller revelation of man's destiny. It goes on to say:“For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He [might], by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” (Hebrews 2:8-9 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. ×).God created human life to bring many sons to glory. God's purpose for humans is to expand his divine family with sons and daughters created through a process ending in a change from flesh to spirit through a resurrection. It is the divine reason for life, and the human act of reproduction is a type of that great process. When humans decide for themselves to intervene in and to terminate the process of life, they wrongly take for themselves the decision to become like God - determining for themselves what is good and what is evil.Abortion is the taking of a human life. It is murder. The arguments that seek to split hairs about when life begins and whether a child in the womb of a woman is “viable life”, those arguments are the height of human pride. The arguments over rights and freedom of a woman's power over her own body, and whether any human government can define life is a modern tower of Babel - an insult to God. It is a modern form of idolatry where the self, and the rights of self, are worshipped and esteemed higher than God.In abortion we have created a culture of self-deification. We have made ourselves like God. We say we will determine what is good and evil, right and wrong. We say that human life is nothing more than inert, meaningless tissue that can be disposed of at will and at any time during the nine months of pregnancy. We say that a man and a woman along with a doctor can decide the power of life or death on a growing child.If you know someone who is considering abortion, have them watch this program or get reputable counseling. We don't want this to happen to any unborn child, nor should you. You can begin to do something.First let me give you some hope in the form of our Good News magazine. The gospel of the Kingdom of God is what Jesus Christ came to announce. That gospel announcement forms a foundation of knowledge for your life today. Our free magazine, The Good News, comes with articles in each issue that explain how you can understand and begin to live a life that is today based on the teaching of God's Kingdom.Every issue contains articles on Christian living, biblical teaching and prophecy. You can receive a free subscription by calling the toll free number on your screen. In North America, call free: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632. And in other locations, please order on our website at BeyondToday.tv , or send us a letter to the address on your screen. The Good News will help you put our changing world into perspective, examining world events in light of the Bible. Get your free subscription today.To sacrifice a child in the womb, to abort her life, is to sacrifice her to the rights, needs and convenience of the parents. But what about her rights? The prevailing spirit of the culture and age does not protect the baby in the womb. It is a modern form of an ancient pagan practice which nearly always involved the readiness to sacrifice a child for one's own good. The millions of abortions performed annually throughout the world are an affront to God. Abortion is an accursed practice among the nations and it invites the judgment of God.The nations of America, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Israel or China - and any other modern nation that sanctions abortion as a fundamental human right - invites the judgment of God.We cannot continue with this practice - going on with everyday life, business as usual, thinking we are righteous and good. No nation can foolishly go on persisting in sin. Such behavior is like shaking a defiant fist in the face of God. And the God of life will require a day of judgment for such behavior.God made known to man His view about life. He said to choose life over death. Notice in the book of Deuteronomy what God said:“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, …I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20 15 See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. 17 But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce to you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days on the land, where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: 20 That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may hold to him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. ×).God created life and He urges us to choose life - and not in a way that leads to death. If you are still with me to this point in this program I want to say there is something that you can do to turn from this culture of death. It can begin with you. Look at your thoughts, your perceptions about this one issue of abortion. Have you been taken in by the arguments that justify abortion? Has the culture wars on this subject worn down your perception of good and evil, right and wrong? It can happen. But there is a solution.It must begin with you and in you. You can decide to change. You can decide to turn from this and you can decide to choose to follow life. You can turn to the God of life. The Creator of all life, He offers you the chance to choose to love Him and obey His teachings. And by making this conscious choice, you can increase the quality of your life. By grabbing hold of God, His teachings and His laws you can begin a journey back from this abyss created by a lawless world. You can turn from the self-centered culture that dares to redefine life on its own terms.Notice again what I just read from your Bible: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 15 See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. ×).What we are asking you to do right now is examine your values and turn to God for help. Call, write, download our offers today! Read what the Bible tells you about your destiny. Look into God's plan for your life. Begin right now studying and learning God's purpose and let Him being to guide your steps.Now, what about some of you that are listening that may have made a decision in the past to end a pregnancy. We want you to know there is forgiveness. There is hope. God's grace is available when there is repentance and a change of heart. You can move on from that decision and you can build a life that's based on God's knowledge. And very importantly, if you know someone considering abortion, again, have them watch this program. Have them get some reputable counseling. We don't want any unborn child to face abortion.Remember our free offers today: You'll want to order a copy of our booklet, What Is Your Destiny? as well as your free subscription to The Good News magazine. Again call toll free: 1-888-886-8632.1-888-886-8632. Or, you can read and order both of these publications, The Good News and What Is Your Destiny? online at BeyondToday.tv . Or if you need, send us your request by mail to the address on your screen.God, the Creator of life, has set before us the most incredible promise of divine sonship within His family. The life He sustains on this planet Earth is the seed for His eternal spiritual family. All human life is precious to God, even the life of the unborn children. We cannot compromise on this point.God laid out the teachings that protect life. He said choose life and when we do, in all ways and at all times, we honor life's Creator.We'll be right back for a final word after this:[Narrator] Christ came to earth with a central message of the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? Most have never heard or understood what Jesus actually taught on this subject. The United Church of God is hosting free seminars held simultaneously around the world.[Steve Myers] That Kingdom is coming to earth - that was the message of Jesus Christ. It's not a Kingdom that's off up there in heaven but it's a Kingdom that Christ is going to establish right here on this earth.[Narrator] Go to KOGSeminars.org for details to find one near you. Kingdom of God Bible Seminars - giving the message of hope for tomorrow, beginning today.[Darris] Sign up to attend a seminar in your city. Thank you for joining us as we think about life beyond today. Let's keep praying, “Thy Kingdom come” and let's look beyond today. I'm Darris McNeely.[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today's program, go online to BeyondToday.tv. Please join us again next week on Beyond Today!