Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Reasons to stand for life on Saturday mornings

Every Saturday morning in Louisville from 7AM to about 9AM a group of believers in Jesus stands outside the abortion clinic on 2nd and Market to pray, preach the gospel, and provide counsel for anyone who will listen.

Last Saturday, however, I woke up feeling ill and so I was slow getting out the door. (I thought that it would probably be a bad witness if I showed up and vomited all over the sidewalk.) By the time I got downtown, all parking spaces were gone due to some kind of roadrace that was taking place. As I drove past the clinic, I prayed for my brothers and sisters standing outside the clinic, and I thought to myself that I would continue to pray when I got home.

But when I got home, I felt better and so I cooked breakfast for my family, barely giving any thought to the death mill.

(And I probably won't be able to go to the abortion clinic this coming Saturday morning either, since Abby is scheduled to work at the hospital and I will need to be home with the children.)

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Perhaps you are a Christian in Louisville reading this post. Unless you have some obligation that absolutely prevents you from doing so, I would encourage you to join our brothers and sisters on Saturday mornings. You may think to yourself, "Well, I don't have to get up early on Saturday and go stand in the cold, I can pray just as easily and effectively in the comfort of my own home." I would argue that by taking such a view, you would be robbing yourself of a number of blessings.

1. You will miss an opportunity to pray fervently for life.

Last Saturday morning I drove by the abortion clinic and saw what was taking place outside. I saw women being rushed in to the clinic by the orange-vested "escorts" who volunteer for the death mill. I saw the posters placed by protesters: posters that show the grisly pictures of the dismemberment that takes place inside the mother's womb when an abortion is performed on a baby. I saw my friends outside praying, proclaiming the gospel, and pleading with mothers to make a different choice. And yet when I got home I quickly forgot all that and barely said a prayer or two in regards to the spiritual battle taking place just a few miles away. You who are reading this post, especially if you have never been in a situation such as the one I just described, will also quickly forget these words. You will NOT stand and call out to God for two hours, that He would end the evil of legalized child murder. But standing on the corner of 2nd and Market this Saturday morning, you may do just that.

Our omniscient and omnipotent Father knows what we need before we ask Him (cf. Matt 6:8), and I have called out to God in sudden distress and have seen Him immediately answer my prayers. On the other hand, the LORD normally is pleased to answer our prayers only after intense seasons of persistent prayers; we see this in the Jesus' admonition to "keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking," and in His parable concerning the persistent widow (see Luke 18:1-8). We who believe that abortion is murder and who believe that God answers prayer should eagerly accept an opportunity to stand and pray for life.

2. You will miss an opportunity to preach the gospel.
It is only by faith that a person comes to be counted as righteous in God's sight (Rom 4). This faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the message about Christ (Rom 10:17). Every Christian is to seek the opportunity to proclaim the message about Christ (summarized in passages such as 1 Cor 15:1-4) to those who have not yet come to faith, in the hope that people might believe and be saved from the punishment that they deserve due to their sins (Jude 23).

Christians in Louisville: perhaps you already have plans to preach the gospel this Saturday morning from 7AM to about 9AM at a venue other than 2nd and Market, and if so, then God bless your efforts. But I doubt that you do have such plans. So I ask you not to miss this opportunity to proclaim the gospel hope outside of the abortion clinic- a place where true hope is so desperately needed- this Saturday.

3. You will miss an opportunity to persuade mothers to choose life.

Most mothers entering the abortion clinic seem to have already firmly made up their minds that they will go through with having their babies killed. And the abortion clinic "escorts" make sure that the mothers are hurried into the death mill as quickly as possible, so that we often do not have the chance to speak with them. The great majority of the efforts to save lives at the abortion clinic seem entirely frustrated. In the times that I have stood outside the abortion clinic, I have seen maybe two women go from the abortion clinic into A Woman's Choice Resource Center, and I have only heard a handful of 'success stories' from my brothers and sisters who engage in sidewalk counseling, seeking to persuade women not to go through with abortion. But each of these 'success stories' represents a life: a life that would have been torn apart in the womb. By God's grace, if you show up on Saturday mornings at the abortion clinic, you may be a part of saving lives.

4. You will miss an opportunity to face persecution.

Christians in Louisville: this Saturday morning from 7AM to about 9AM you could [1] sleep in, relax in the comfort of your home, and spend time sitting in a cozy chair reading the Bible or another improving book. Or you could [2] come stand in the chilly air and be cursed at, ridiculed, shoved, lied about (possibly to the police or media), and you may have water thrown on you, all for seeking to tell people about hope in Christ. Choosing the first option may seem a no-brainer, except for the words of Jesus:

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:10-12)

America is still a tolerant enough society that Christians can live most of our lives hardly receiving a sideways glance for believing in Christ, but Jesus promises blessings to those who suffer persecution on His behalf, and the faithful will not be quick to miss out on these blessings due to a desire for personal comfort.

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