Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Exulting in the Hope of New Life in Christ

Here is my Monday Pro-life team stopping a car entering the abortion center. This particular mom did not choose life as far as we know, but two other moms did. Those two saved babies were not the only wonderful result of our time on the sidewalk. There was an added bonus awaiting us at the end.

Our team was very active, speaking truth from the Bible over the sound system, and stopping many cars, handing them our literature. One couple pulled in, the woman stepped out of the car, and the driver slowly drove down the driveway to leave, his phone to his ear. He had two young children in the back seat. To my surprise, he stopped for me.

"Please consider going back in and trying to change her mind," I said.
"You think she'll change her mind?" he asked.
"She might. If you brought her our literature and told her you would be willing to help her every step of the way. Is it your child being aborted?"
"Yes," he said. Then he asked me if I was married and if I had a good income. I told him that was really of no matter. Our income did not determine the worth of our child.
"Do rich people's children have more worth than poor people's children?" I asked.
"No...but see, I need to be responsible in my choices."
"That's true. Were you responsible in your choice to have sex outside of marriage that leads to children that you feel you can't afford?"
He paused. Point made. I moved on.
"Do you believe in God?" I asked.
"Yes. Sure I do."
"Do you love God?" I asked.
"If you love someone, do you do what they ask?"
He nodded, looking a little worried. I think he knew where I was going with this.
"God asks that you be married before sex..."
"So that was a mistake."
"Yes, according to the Bible, it is a sin..."
"So I need to correct it," he said, "Which is why I am here."
"You don't correct sin by deeper sin," I said. "God also says thou shalt not murder."

The entire time I was talking to him, the phone was still wedged against his ear.
"Is that your girlfriend on the phone now?" I asked.
"No, it's my mom."
"Oh. The child's grandmother? What does she think about you aborting her grandchild?"
He covered the phone, and put his finger to his mouth, trying to indicate I should be quiet.
So I spoke loudly, "Grandma, did you know your son is aborting your grandchild today?"
"What do you think God thinks of what you are doing?" I asked.
"Well...I don't know. I haven't thought about that."
"You are about to take the life of your own child, created by God in His image, the God you say you love, and you haven't considered what He thinks about this life or death decision?"
The young man smiled, a little sheepishly, and shrugged.
"Please. There is still time. Talk to her."
He looked slowly through every page of the pamphlet I handed him. He scrutinized the photo of each child in the womb, and showed one to his children in the back seat.
"Baby," he said.
"My name is on the pamphlet," I told him, "With my number. Get her out. And if you need help, call me."

We talked a little longer, and he drove away. However, before the abortionist arrived, the young man returned. He pulled in to the parking lot, the young lady came out of the abortion center, and sat in the car. They left. She could not have had the abortion.

A second couple left and told us they didn't abort. A third couple sat in their truck, and appeared to be conflicted. The abortionist arrived, and still the couple sat in their truck talking. One of my fellow sidewalk counselors, Chrissy, and I decided to stay a little longer, hoping to convince them to change their minds. We took turns calling to them.

Then a car pulled out of the center with another young couple in it. They stopped and rolled down their window for Chrissy. She spoke with them, and gave them some literature.
"Vicky, they want us to pray with them. They already had the abortion."

The young woman rolled down her window and looked sadly at me.
"We already had the abortion two weeks ago. This was a check-up."
"Are you feeling sad?" I asked.
She nodded.
"I will pray with you," I said, "But I wonder...where do you think you will go if as you leave you get in an accident and die? Heaven or hell?"
They both looked surprised, almost as much as I was. I never quite know what will come out of my mouth. I am taking it by faith that it is the Holy Spirit prompting.
"I don't know," the man said. The sad woman shook her head.
"Pull over and give me five minutes please," I said.
To my surprise, they did.
"Well," the young man said, continuing where we had left off, "I don't know. I mean, I know I'm not perfect."
"Do you think you must be perfect to go to heaven?"
"I don't know."
"I can tell you what you need to do to go to heaven. Do you want to hear?"
They both nodded.
So right there, kneeling on my knees by their car (which hurt a lot having been bruised badly in my recent bike accident), I shared the Gospel with them. Chrissy came over, and with her uncanny optimism and understanding had grabbed a new Bible out of one of our gift bags.

I imagine you all have heard the Gospel. I kept it short and simple.
1. Understand you are a sinner and according to the Bible, the penalty of sin is death. You deserve death.
2. Repent of your sin with true sorrow and desire to change.
3. Acknowledge that nothing you do can earn your way to Heaven. All our works are as filthy rags before a perfect, holy God. Seems hopeless then! But, God sent a solution.
4. Jesus, who was sinless and deserved NO punishment took the punishment we deserved upon Himself in our stead. He offers it free of charge, though it cost Him dearly.
5. Accept His sacrificial gift, dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. As a result, we are promised eternal life with God.
6. Invite Him to be Lord of your life, and live accordingly.

"The amazing thing is you can do this anywhere, at any time. Would you like to pray right now to accept Jesus' gift of eternal salvation?" I asked.
"Yes," they both said.
The four of us bowed our heads and we prayed together. They asked Jesus into their lives. Just outside the abortion center where there own baby had died, they opened their eyes to a new hope and new life in Christ.

"Do you have a Bible?" I asked.
At that moment, Chrissy held up the Bible.
They simultaneously grabbed at it, as though it were a life jacket, or a priceless treasure. Indeed...it is both.

I laughed. "Good," I told them, "That is one thing you may fight over...who gets to open the word of God first."

Meanwhile the wavering couple in the truck went in to the abortion center. As far as we know, their baby did not make it home with them.

Chrissy told me, "We thought we were here for the couple in the truck. But God had other plans. We were here for them." She nodded her head at the departing car of the new believers.

God had known all along that a grieving couple would need His comfort, and the horror of what they had done to their own child softened their hearts to receive Him. I cannot tell you what a privilege it was to be there, mourning the loss of their baby's life, but exulting in the hope of their new life in Christ.


Acts 4:12 

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. ...

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