The right to life is indeed self-evident–meaning that it is simply not possible for anyone to fail to understand that abortion is wrong. Abortion must be stopped, and America must cease to listen to all the voices that defend this indefensible act.
An ad showing up on my facebook page lately offers the chance to “experience church online” at their site “without ever having to leave your home.” I know there are some things about church that can be experienced via technology, and readers of this blog know I seek to take advantage of those things. But actually experience church online? Are you kidding? To “forsake the gathering of ourselves together, as some are in the habit are doing,” is something Christians are biblically exhorted against, even more now in this techno-world we find ourselves in, as we see the day of the Lord approaching. You may hear a sermon online, but you can’t experience the move of God’s Spirit in the body of His people from your home. You may pray simultaneously with someone who is on your computer screen, but you can’t grow close to them and love them with the love of the Lord (or receive that love in return). You may sing along with a band on your computer, but you will not experience the Lord’s presence as He inhabits the praises of His people along with those present. And when the service is over, you will neither receive, nor pass on to others, the encouragement, exhortation, building up, bearing one another’s burdens, and joining together to fulfill the Great Commission that requires you to be present with the assembly. And you will be missing a lot by missing these things, as well as failing to play your role in the body of Christ. You will have no evangelistic outreach and no church to take people to if you limit your worship to online activity.
I know how draining spiritually not having a church to join with can be. Our first 8 months on the mission field, we were only evangelists, sowing new seed in new territory, and having no fellow believers present to fellowship with and worship the Lord with during that time. It was the most difficult time of our ministry, with nothing like it before or since. And we were watching and participating as much as possible with American churches online at the time. I’m thankful that for people in that situation, and for shut-ins that can’t go out, that churches put their services on tv or the web, even though it doesn’t fill the whole gap for those people. But this ad is kind of annoying me, because they are not even marketing their online church experience to those people in need. They are falsely advertising something that they cannot provide: real church assembly without actually having to be there. And the people who believe their ad will be spiritually harmed by it more than they suppose.
The belief that this universe and all that is in it came about by an unplanned, unguided, unintended explosion of absolutely nothing is the most irrational of superstitions out there. And those who believe it, despite the lack of a scintilla of evidence that it could have happened, have no right to don the label of “skeptic,” as today’s agnostics and atheists are so fond of doing. They are the most gullible of people.
If I were to tell my 5-year-old that everything in the world came out of nothing at all, and that no one made it happen, even she would have enough skepticism in her innocent little mind to not only doubt my words, but completely disbelieve them. Atheists aren’t skeptics. They are people who put their skepticism to death on the altar of desire to be free from sensing any accountability to God.
Atheists today, lacking a god, often like to worship Richard Dawkins. (In the sense that they take his words as truth and accept them with the blindest of faiths.) Take a look at what that guy believes. Hard to believe he can even manage to dress himself, walk, and talk.
For most people, despite all the celebration of a year ending and another beginning, the turning of the calendar doesn’t really bring anything new. After the champagne buzz fades, they find themselves still facing the same problems, struggles, and difficulties they did last week. Even if they’ve resolved to change for the better (I’ll stop smoking, stop yelling at the kids, eat better, and exercise more), they soon find that nothing in them has changed. And if left to themselves and dependent on their own willpower and best effort, nothing ever will. The desire for a fresh, new start, and the peace and relief it should bring is universal in the human experience—that’s why there was such boisterous celebration around the world Friday night. But almost as universal is the letdown of realizing that peace and newness eluded you for yet another holiday season.
Is there anything that can give us the fresh start and deliverance from past aches, mistakes, and broken hearts that we all seek? Is there anything that can truly change us from the inside out, while also improving the circumstances of our life and surroundings?
There is one and only one. And thankfully, it is not dependent on the time of the year. Coming into a right relationship with God is something He offers to you every day, every moment, including now. You may have heard that being saved or born again will let you go to heaven instead of hell. That’s true, but that isn’t all of the benefit you’ll get from trusting Christ as your Savior. When you become a follower of Christ, you immediately receive a right relationship with the God who made you. All of your sins are erased forever. And the complete healing of every pain the sins of others have caused you begins. A new life of blessing begins. Your prayers will from then on be heard, so that you’re not just talking to a God who doesn’t really seem to be there. And He begins to guide your life, so that everything in the here and now goes better than it did before. Trials and tragedies decrease; and when they do come, you have a strength within you from God’s presence there that helps you endure and thrive in spite of the hardships that previously would have destroyed you. See for yourself—He makes all things new. And your celebration won’t just last for an evening, but for an eternity.
Christ died for your sins, and rose from the dead. That means the debt you owe God for your rebellion against Him has already been paid. And trusting in Him now, you can receive complete forgiveness and newness of life that will never be taken away. The all-powerful Creator and Controller of the universe will be your father, your friend, your provider, your guide, your protector, and your helper, from now on and forever.
Happy New Year? Not merely that. Happy New Always!