Stand for Life—Live for Heaven

Recently, an Islamic website urged its followers “to see where you are and where you want to go Islamically” as they enter this new year. If followers of the dead and buried prophet Muhammad are thinking about how to live with purpose in 2019, how much more reason do followers of the living Christ—the risen Lord Jesus, who is King of kings and Lord of lords—have to live “redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

I believe that doing so at this time in our nation involves standing strong for life and exercising the privileges of our citizenship to speed the confirmation of pro-life judges.

The November elections saw Democrats gain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, while Republicans solidified their majority in the Senate, 53-47. For months, I had called on Christians across our nation to study the candidates and their stance on key moral issues, and to cast their ballots for those who most closely aligned with Biblical principles. By all accounts, Christians went to the polls in solid numbers.

This development in the Senate holds great promise for protecting life. By God’s grace, we still have a brief window of opportunity to see a seismic shift in one of the defining issues of our time—the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationally.

Major strides in the composition of the Supreme Court have already been made, with the appointments of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. But as additional seats on the court become vacant, the battle to seat pro-life judges will be fierce.

For those who watched the chaotic confirmation hearings for Kavanaugh, it was clear that forces opposing him were largely comprised of ardent pro-abortion advocates. They understood that, for the first time in decades, the Supreme Court would have a clear 5-4 conservative majority that could present a serious threat to Roe.

Overturning Roe is a matter of great importance—not only because life is precious to God, who is its Giver, but because our modern-day slaughter of the innocents has robbed our nation of enormous human treasure. Since Roe, nearly 60 million innocent babies have been murdered in their mothers’ wombs. That’s enough human beings to populate our four largest cities—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas!

As 2019 begins, we need a renewed outpouring of prayer, asking not only God’s forgiveness for this sinful plague that has blemished our land for so long, but also asking for His empowering to bring an end to the slaughter brought on by Roe v. Wade.

What kind of people kill and destroy their own offspring? Like the human sacrifices of some pagan cultures, thousands of unborn are offered up every day on the altars of pleasure and convenience. As my mother used to say, “If God doesn’t judge America, He will need to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.”

This evil in our land will not be defeated easily. In the past few months, federal courts have struck down laws in Kentucky and Mississippi that would have limited abortions. These judges defied the will of the people in those states, whose governments sought to protect the unborn. These cases will likely be appealed and could eventually reach the Supreme Court. More tests for Roe v. Wade could come from the November elections, where Alabama and West Virginia also voted to restrict abortions.

What an opportunity we have now with a conservative majority in the U.S. Senate, which must confirm or reject all federal judicial nominees. Think of the potential safeguards that can be enacted for the sake of life, religious liberty and other moral issues if conservative judges become the majority in federal, district and state courts. The Trump administration has already filled more than 80 federal judicial slots, yet there are still well over 100 others awaiting confirmation.

If we don’t want the expressed will of our citizens routinely overridden by left-wing judicial activists who are hostile to the Christian Gospel and refuse to extend any protection to people of faith, then these vacant judgeships must be filled quickly. The more conservative judges we have, the greater the chance for ordinary citizens to live and work by a Biblically informed conscience.

However, as we do all we can to be salt and light in our decaying culture, we must remember that we are first and foremost citizens of another world. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). Yes, we are earthly citizens as well, but our ultimate allegiance is to the Lord Himself. We are in the world, but not of it.

As a friend of mine recently reminded me, we are a people of the Book, a people of the Blood and a people of the Blessed Hope.

We are a people of the Book, meaning the Bible. I begin most every day by spending time reading the Scriptures. I love them, especially the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which describe the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. I love all of the Bible because it is God’s divinely inspired Word to mankind—66 books written over a period of 1,500 years by 40 authors. There’s nothing else like it in the world. It guides, counsels and comforts us, convicting us of sin and our need for a Savior. It’s a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path. As Charles Spurgeon once said: “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.”

We are also people of the Blood. It is the scarlet thread of redemption that runs straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. As the hymn says, “What can wash away our sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” In the Scripture, the blood of Jesus always refers to the death of Jesus for our sins. Jesus came to die. He came to die for the forgiveness of our sin, for the wrath of God to be poured out on His only Son so that we could repent and receive the gift of eternal life. It is Christ “in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).

And always, we are people of the Blessed Hope—the soon coming of our Lord and Savior. Christ has come, but that’s not the end of it. He’s coming again, this time as the King of kings and Lord of lords, ready to set up His millennial Kingdom and usher in new heavens and a new earth. “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:27-28). The heartfelt cry—“Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)—is always on the lips of the saint.

Throughout the coming year, I’ll be proclaiming that hope, preaching the Gospel in Thailand, Australia, Colombia, Belarus and Cambodia. We will bring our Decision America Tour to the Northeast, with stops in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. And we will be doing much more—at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, on the internet and through all our other Gospel outreaches.

I pray that 2019 will be for you a year of standing for life and living for Heaven. Make it your purpose to live daily as a man or woman of the Book, the Blood and the Blessed Hope. Give Jesus the pre-eminence in your life that He demands and deserves, and “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). And, as my father used to say, “May God bless you … real good.”

 

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.