Social Issues Archives

Article taken from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
(May 12, 2017)

It’s your secret. One that you’ve vowed you won’t share with anybody. Nobody talks about that sort of thing anyway. But inside, the memory of your abortion pierces your heart. And Mother’s Day only serves as a crushing reminder of what could have been. Would you believe God not only sees you in your pain, but He loves you? He does. And He is waiting, ready to forgive your sin and heal your heart.

We pray you will draw encouragement from the following Biblical truths, shared by Sandy Day from Caleb Ministries. Abortion is part of her story, but so is healing. Through the years, she has learned to lean on the power of God’s healing love as she walked through the aftermath of her decision and then a subsequent miscarriage. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s one that God continues to use as she ministers to other women in similar situations.

“When I look at Mother’s Day now, it’s a joyful time to say, ‘Thank you, Lord, that I’ve worked through these things,’” Sandy said. “Now in years past, it wasn’t quite that way.”

Four powerful truths for the woman who has experienced abortion:

1. God forgives your sin, and the guilt of your sin. Sandy knows firsthand the guilt and shame associated with having an abortion. She was 19 and a new Christian when she said she bought into the lies that it was her only option.

“Even though I was a very young Christian, I knew that day I had disobeyed God,” Sandy said. “Even though I believed all the lies, that this is tissue, I’m too young, I’d embarrass my parents, all of those lies. After it was over with, I thought, ‘I have made a terrible, sinful decision, and it’s going to last my whole life.’”

She was committed to keeping her secret to her grave, but she continued deepening her walk with God, and by her early 30s, she felt the tug to release everything to Him. It’s not easy, but she points to Psalm 32:5 and Romans 8:11 as Scriptures that offer encouragement and strength.

After that, Mother’s Day was a different day for me because I knew the forgiveness of God, and I understood the forgiveness of God, and I could truly live there.”

2. God can use this painful experience to bring about good. Consider Romans 8:28. “God never says it’s good, but He causes it to work together for good,” Sandy said, noting God uses pain, affliction and even death to draw us into a closer relationship with Him. From that relationship, healing and then serving in His name is possible.

3. The hole in your heart will heal. But God has to do the healing. Psalm 18:6 declares, “In my distress, I called to the Lord, and cried out to my God. He heard my voice from His temple.” Cry out to Him openly, honestly. The Bible says He hears you.

Referring to Psalm 138, Sandy points out that He is not a far-off God. “He is ever so present in the midst of our suffering,” she said.

Be patient with yourself, Sandy also advises. “[Your heart] will mend. But this is the key: It won’t mend in the way that we think it will because God is doing His work in your heart and life.”

4. God’s loving grace is abundant for you, too. Sandy encourages women to live as a product of the finished work of the cross rather than a product of their past. It takes time, but after turning her life over to Jesus, Sandy can’t imagine any other way today. “It’s just so freeing to understand not only what Christ did, but that we can truly live and walk in it.”

And try not to get sucked into the advertising mania surrounding Mother’s Day. That can turn your thoughts inward. Instead, lift your eyes higher. Of course, that doesn’t mean your emotions are invalid and should be ignored, but don’t let them dominate your thought life. Focus on the Lord instead.

“When we think about Mother’s Day, I think that we need to think about the Lord and His plan and His purpose for me, and not the fact of this is what happened,” Sandy said. “[Ask God], ‘How are You using this in my life, and how can I use it to help somebody else?’”

Draw near to the Lord this Mother’s Day!

Be Sociable, Share!

Dear Ladies,
I came across this article and thought if was good. Many times people will come to you and want to know if Christians should be cremated or buried.

Cremation Vs. Burial for the Believer in Christ
Written By John Hamel

Recently a long time friend and supporter of this Ministry asked JHM in writing, “What does the Bible say about cremation?”  I answered that question in writing and thought it would be good to include that answer here.  Please keep in mind I could not answer their question as thoroughly as the Bible does because of time and space limitations.  I simply pointed them in the right direction as follows, encouraging them to study it out for themselves.

As you read JHM’s answer to the question of cremation, we trust it will lead you into further study as well.  Suggestion:  Put the word “buried” into your computer Bible search and see why the Bible on computer is such a wonderful thing that came straight out of the mind of Christ!

“What does the Bible say about cremation?”

Although the word “cremation” is not used in the Bible, the subject is clearly covered.  Burning human bodies after death has always been an occult practice observed by many of the world’s false religions.  It is gaining acceptance in America and other civilized nations basically for two reasons.  Number one, because too many Christians have not bothered to find out what the Bible teaches about it.  Number two, it is considered to be “economical,” “sanitary” and “practical.”

A search of the Scripture reveals that only people who were under a curse for one reason or another had their bodies burned at death.  As a matter of fact, the Lord instructed King Josiah to slay all the priests who had ever burned dead bodies on the altar of God.  (2Kings 23:16, 20)  He then instructed King Josiah to burn those same priests’ bodies on their own altars because they were under a curse for burning other human bodies.  Something to think about, isn’t it?

Elsewhere the sons of Belial came under a curse for their deliberate rebellion.  Anyone who even touched them came under a curse as well and was to be killed on the same day and their body burned. (2Samuel 23:6-7)

Again, the ONLY time someone’s body was burned in the Bible was when they were under a curse.  Honorable people of God in the Bible were always buried upon death, not burned.  Their bodies were placed back into the earth for safekeeping, the same earth from whence they came, until the Lord comes to resurrect those bodies for Eternal service to Him. (John 5:28-29)

In Scripture it was an insult to the Holy Spirit to burn a human body.  This becomes very clear by reading the narrative involving King Josiah mentioned above.  This is even truer in this New Testament Dispensation of Grace because the Believer’s body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit.”  We are to honor God with our bodies not only in life but also in death, not dishonor Him. (1Corinthians 6:19-20)

Just to list a few Biblical examples of burial: Able (Genesis 4:10), Abraham (Genesis 15:5), Sarah (Genesis 23:19), Isaac (Genesis 35:29), Rebecca and Leah (Genesis 49:31), Joseph (Genesis 50:13), Miriam (Numbers 20:1), Aaron (Deuteronomy 10:6), Gideon (Judges 8:32), Jehoshaphat (1Kings 22:50), Saul and his sons (1Chronicles 10:12), King Solomon (2Chronicles 9:31) and the Prophet Elisha (2Kings 13:20), etc.

By reading the Old Testament books of II Kings and I & II Chronicles, you will discover a chronicle of all Israel’s kings who died and were BURIED, not burned.  All of Israel’s kings were buried except for two.  Those two were under a specific curse.

It was God’s will that even the wicked be buried and not burned unless they were under a very specific curse. (Job 27:15; Ecclesiastes 8:10)  Burning a human body was to deliberately point out the fact they were indeed under a specific curse for deliberately defying the Most High God, not because it was “economical,” “sanitary” or “practical.”  In the Old Testament only the CURSED were instructed to NOT be buried. (Jeremiah 16:4, 6; 25:33)

For a human body to be placed back into the earth from whence it came is an honorable thing. (Genesis 2:7)  For a human body to be burned is a dishonorable thing in the eyes of the God Who does not change. (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8)

Under the New Covenant John the Baptist was buried. (Matthew 14:12)  The Apostle Peter made it perfectly clear that King David was buried and not burned after his death. (Acts 2:29)  Ananias and Sapphira were buried even though their deaths occurred as a result of their lying to God. (Acts 5:6, 9-10)  Stephen was buried after his stoning. (Acts 8:2)  Jesus Himself was buried not burned or cremated. (1Corinthians 15:4)

The Bible says we are BURIED with Christ in Baptism.  It does not say we are “cremated” with Him in Baptism. (Romans 6:4)  Going down into and coming up out of a watery grave symbolizes the Believer’s identification with Christ’s death, BURIAL and resurrection, not His death, cremation and scattering of ashes.

Although there is no single verse of Scripture that says Believers are not to be burned or “cremated,” we are to walk in the steps of the faith of Abraham our spiritual Father. (Romans 4:12)  Abraham was buried, not cremated, and he left very specific instructions for all of his family to be buried.  Jesus Himself followed Abraham’s example. (Matthew 27:57-60)  Therefore, we must now follow their example. (Galatians 3:29)

So there you have the short answer.  Short because there are just about one hundred Scriptural references to God’s servants/family/sons/daughters being buried and never cremated.  I believe that’s a pretty good precedent to follow.  There are only a handful of examples of bodies being burned upon death and ONLY when those individuals were under a curse or involved in occult practices.

However, I always point out to people that we do not have two or three confirming New Testament Scriptures SPECIFICALLY telling us what to do in the matter of burial versus cremation, as we do with so many other things pertaining to life and conduct.  Moses, Jesus and the Apostle Paul said we must have these witnesses before building a doctrine. (Deuteronomy 17:6; Matthew 18:16; 1Corinthians 13:1)  However, we do have EXAMPLES to follow, from Able to Jesus and everyone in between.  That, quite frankly, is good enough for me and should be good enough for anyone who wants to both know and to do the Bible thing.

So there you go.  Hope this helped a little.  Again, I point these things out to people when they ask about cremation and then I tell them they must follow their own conscience and the leading of the Holy Spirit from there.  If they have cremated someone, wishing later they hadn’t done so, I encourage them to just receive God’s forgiveness and mercy and to know that He can and will even raise up ashes into a perfect human being when He returns. God knows where everyone’s DNA is! (1John 1:9; John 5:28-29)

However, God’s mercy is no reason to go with cremation if your conscience or the Inner Witness of the Holy Spirit is telling you not to do so.  JHM

Be Sociable, Share!

Where Is America Today?

Today over half of our country is receiving some form of government assistance. Government dependent people out number private sector people in our country. Even in our churches, everyday drug addicts and alcoholics call asking for money.

In 1887, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, said this about the fall of the Athenian Republic 2,000 years earlier:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate who promises the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loss of fiscal policy. This is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota says, “He believes that the United States is now somewhere between the “complacency and apathy” phase of Professor Tyler’s definition of democracy, with some forty percent (49% today 7/10/14) of the nation’s population already having reached the “governmental dependency” phase.

I don’t know when Professor Olson wrote his deduction, but it looks as if our country might be in the “apathy to dependence” stage.  Our country needs a turning back to God. Not only have her citizens become dependent on government, but they have forgotten God. Our country not only needs to be stirred out of her apathy and her dependence on government, but she needs to return to God and His precepts for living.

The following prayer was prayed by Greg Laurie on the National Day of Prayer in Washington, DC, May 2nd, 2013.

Father, we come to You to pray for our nation, the United States of America.
How You have blessed us through the years, Lord! We rightly sing, “America, America, God shed His grace on thee.” Yet we see trouble in our culture today. We see the breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence.

Lord, we need Your help in America. In recent days, we have done our best to remove Your Word and Your counsel from our courtrooms, classrooms, and culture. It seems, as President Lincoln once said, that we have “forgotten God.” But Lord, You have not forgotten us! You can bless and help and revive our country again.

Scripture tells us that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). Lord, in Your mercy, we ask that You would exalt our country again. We have had a number of great awakenings in America. We have experienced times of refreshing, and revivals that changed not only the spiritual but also the moral landscape. As the psalmist said, “Will You not revive us again, so that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6).

That is our prayer for America today, Lord. Send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls, back to you. You have told us if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles7:14).

Forgive us today, Lord, and heal this troubled land that we love so much. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Be Sociable, Share!