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Church of the Good Shepherd

Sanctity of Life Sunday, Abortion, the Horsemen and Hope

Why talk about abortion?

In 1983, an organization now known as Care Net asked President Ronald Reagan to create a special day to focus on the intrinsic value of human life. That same year, Reagan issued a proclamation establishing a National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

... this weekend to consider how God may be calling you to, as President Reagan's proclamation put it, "care for the lives and freedoms of even the weakest of our fellow human beings."

We need the raw facts-just as raw as the language of this psalm. We need to watch the videos over at Abort73, and we need to look at beautiful pictures of the unborn. We need the statistics of over 40 million babies killed by abortion since 1973 just in our own country, with 90% of the abortion clinics in urban centers, and therefore wiping out massive numbers of minorities (over half of all abortions) with a kind of ethnic cleansing that pro-choice people cannot dare to think about. We need to know the procedures (suction-aspiration, dilation and curettage, saline abortion, intact dilation and extraction, RU-486, intrauterine cranial decompression, or partial birth abortion). - Piper

-Video http://www.thedoorpost.com/hope/Volition/

1.  The Horsemen - God's Judgment Made Plain

A.  Identities

Seal 1 = White Rider w/ crown & Bow

  • Debated
  • Parthians
    • Desert horse soldiers
    • Used bows
    • Rome was unable to defeat them
  • Jesus
    • White always = holiness
    • Crown of royalty
  • Death?

 Seal 2 = Red Rider with a great sword

  • War

Seal 3 = Black Rider with Scales, famine and inflation

  • Famine
  • Denarius = 1 days wage
  • Normally a denarius could buy 8-16 times this much food

Seal 4 = Pale Horse

  • Pale = white-ish grey/green
  • Color of death by disease
  • Pestilence
  • This riders' name was Death
  • Hades followed him

B.  Result of the Horsemen

Revelation 6:8b - ... And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

2.  90 AD Roman Christian Perspective on This

How is this assuring?

How does this reveal Jesus?

Key theme in Revelation is:

HOW POWER FITS INTO THE DIVINE PLAN

-          Scroll is in the hand of the Lamb

-          The Lamb releases them

-          The horsemen are 100% Passive!

o       The only voices are:

§         The living creatures saying "Come"

§         The 4 living creatures speaking of the shortage of food (v.6)

o       They are GIVEN their weapons

o       They are GIVEN their authority

o       They are GIVEN everything that makes them scary

Matthew 10:28 -         "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

 

3.  Abortion Is One Way We See the Horsemen Today

A.  Abortion Stats

Adoption

  • Number of women ages 15-44 with impaired ability to have children: 6.1 million
  • Number of women who've ever used infertility services: 9.2 million
  • Number of married couples that are infertile: 2.1 million
  • Number of women using infertility services: 9.3 million
  • The 1995 National Survey of Family Growth found that 232,000 women were currently taken concrete steps towards adoptions, compared to 204,000 in 1988. (National Center for Health Statistics, 1999)
  • According to the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth there are an estimated 3.3 adoption seekers for every actual adoption.
  • According to the 1988 National Survey on Family Growth, about 2 million women ages 15 to 44 (3.5%) had ever sought to adopt a child.

Of these, 1.3 million did not adopt and are no longer seeking.
620,000 have adopted one or more children.
204,000 are currently seeking to adopt.
(Bachrach, London, Maza, 1991)

Who are They?

Analysis of data from the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth shows that:

  • Black and nonblack women were equally likely to have sought to adopt. (Bachrach, London, Maza, 1991)
  • Of women 15 to 44, the percentage of women who had ever sought to adopt was highest among those who desired three or more children, had experienced child death and/or fetal loss, were currently or previously had been married, or who were older. (Bachrach, London, Maza, 1991)

B.  Abortion - The Reality of It for a Young Woman

C.  Other Ways We See the Horsemen Today

4.  Seal #5 - The Place of Christians in an Unjust Society

"..., the true place for a just man is also a prison." - Henry David Thoreau

http://www.challies.com/archives/articles/quotes/what-it-may-cost.php

  • Michael Haykin's new book The Christian Lover a compilation of Christian love letters.
  • A remarkable letter sent from Adoniram Judson to John Hasseltine, the father of Ann, the woman he wished to marry.
  • In this letter he asks John for Ann's hand, but, as he intends to head to Burma to serve as a missionary, he is forthright in his request. It is a remarkable letter. Here is an excerpt:

. . . I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world? Whether you can consent to see her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?

Christians Die Today

Fault Line of Faith http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2009/february/3.11.html

Six pastors killed, 40 churches razed in Jos's most recent violence.

(Nigeria)

Murderous rioting reportedly sparked by Muslim attacks on Christians and their property in late November destroyed 40 churches and left six pastors and at least 500 others dead, according to Nigerian church leaders.

What began as outrage over suspected voting fraud in local elections quickly crossed over Jos's religious fault line between the Islamic north and Christian south. When angry Muslims took aim at Christian sites (rather than at political targets), Christian gangs responded in self-defense. Nigerian troops reportedly killed about 400 rampaging Muslims. Islamists in turn killed more than 100 Christians. More than 25,000 persons were displaced in the violence, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.

http://www.persecution.com/topStory_indiaFourChristiansArrested.html

On Jan. 5, police arrested four Christians on false charges of forcible conversion in the village of Kushalpura, Madhya Pradesh, India.

At 10:00 a.m., Pastor Kantilal Bhuria went to a home where 25 Christians were gathered for prayer. During the service, a mob of Hindu extremists barged into the house and accused Pastor Bhuria of forcibly converting Hindus. The extremists verbally abused those present and beat a Christian woman. The police arrived on scene after receiving a phone call from the attackers and arrested four believers. At last report, these Christians remained in detention. Pray for the release of these Christians.

5.  Seal #6 - Jesus Triumphs

Revelation 6:12-17

Revelation 6:12-17 - When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

The Return

Matthew 24:29-33 - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates.

The Cross

Matthew 27:45-54 - Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, "This man is calling Elijah." And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him." And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

Conclusion

The world has seen the 4 horsemen in many forms

  • Slavery
  • The Holocaust
  • Abortion is just one of thousands

Where do we find hope?

-          The Lamb is still on the Throne

-          He has already won and is returning!

-          The safest and best place to be is with him

o       Loosing everything is worth it.

 

 

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