Ben Stahl

Abortion: Roots, Causes, and Defeat

When the lusts of the world are conceived they deceive many to carry out sin. Sin when it brings forth fruit leads to death. Millions upon millions of children have died and are still dying because parents and abortion providers have been deceived by lies of the wicked one and are acting out those lies in the murder and killing of their own and others’ children.

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days… (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NKJV).
The American Thinker recently posted an article republished on many Christian websites titled “What Hath Roe Wrought?” The author notes reasons abortion clinics are closing and Americans are turning against abortion. The reasons include studies documenting harm to many women from abortion; too many abortions driven by designer baby goals; and the profit generated through abortion. Recently at an Atlanta abortion clinic as a pregnant woman entered for an abortion, a woman standing against abortion called out, “You are a great mom! This procedure will hurt you because many women regret their abortion.” Many today are rightfully hoping and praying for abortion to end, but the way it is being opposed is with wisdom of this world rather than wisdom from the Lord.
The Lord does not call abortion one of the seven things He hates (1) because of the documented harm to the mothers who murder their own children – the Lord hates abortion because it is an abomination to Him. Christians oppose abortion because we are in a spiritual warfare against sin and abortion is sin. The articles that follow seek to frame abortion in its true context, that is the biblical context, so that the people of God might be thoroughly equipped in their prayer lives and evangelism to those on the road to death. In this manner, the Word of God will go out faithfully, and men and women will be saved for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
Abortion: Its Roots
“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15 KJV)
These words of the Lord written by James trace the origins of all sin. Sin is conceived by lust and therefore the root of abortion is lust (2).
Lust of the Flesh
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines bloodlust as the “desire for bloodshed.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “enjoyment of being violent or watching other people be violent.” At some risk of lowering the level of scholarship, perhaps the Urban Dictionary defines the term most accurately in our context: “an uncontrollable desire to kill people.” The bloodlust of abortion is the insatiable appetite for the shedding of innocent blood. We often see this bloodlust in politicians and abortion promoters who speak so cruelly of children being killed. Rather than crying out, “Enough, enough,” they cry out “More, more!”
The recent U.S. house bill H.R. 3755 (dubbed by some the Unrestricted Warfare on Children Act) includes this line: “Access to equitable reproductive health care, including abortion services, has always been deficient in the United States for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and their families.”
In Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, and many other cities, more African American children are murdered by abortion than are born alive. A large portion of politicians believe murdering half of all Black babies is not enough, it is deficient!
There are three things that are never satisfied, four never say, “Enough!” The grave, the barren womb, the earth that is not satisfied with water – and the fire never says, “Enough!” (Proverbs 30:15-16)
A devouring fire is never satisfied. Burning half the fuel is not enough – it wants more! A fire seeks to burn all and only goes out by reason of loss of fuel. So are those who hate innocent life. One half of minority children being slaughtered is “deficient.” When will it be enough? There is only one way – when all are consumed and there are no more to murder.
Lust of the Eyes
The concept of devouring fire and abortion is not a new idea. In ancient Canaan, there was a horrific idol named Molech.
God warned His people Israel against engaging in the barbaric idolatry of Molech in several places including Leviticus 18:21 and 20:3-5. And yet, the people quickly fell into the sin of worshipping Molech along with the Baals, Chemosh, and Ashteroths who seem to have utilized overlapping practices of requiring blood at the hands of their worshippers (3).
In I Kings 11:7, Solomon in his multiplication of wives built a high place for Molech outside Jerusalem. In II Kings 21:6 King Manasseh of Judah offered his son through fire as a sacrifice to false gods. Molech, required the shedding of the innocent blood of children at the hands of their parents. The blood was shed by burning the child alive in the devouring fire of the idol.
12th century Rabbi Schlomo Yitzchak wrote a commentary on Topheth (Molech) who is mentioned in Jeremiah 7:31 and gave this description of the practice:
“Topheth is Moloch, which was made of brass; and they heated him from his lower parts; and his hands being stretched out, and made hot, they put the child between his hands, and it was burnt; when it vehemently cried out; but the priests beat a drum, that the father might not hear the voice of his son, and his heart might not be moved.”
This horrific practice of which the Lord says, “I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart,” was one of the primary reasons that Judah was destroyed by Babylon. The lust of the eyes towards the idols of the world and their worship always comes with the shedding of innocent blood, one of the seven things the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16-17). Similar practices are recorded throughout history in places such as Carthage and portions of the Roman empire.
Today, as children are sacrificed to the gods of this world, their parents turn up loud music in their cars or on their headphones to drown out the words of God presented by Christians on the street warning them of the cries of their little ones that call to for their parents and their Creator for help and protection! So it was many years ago as the babies screamed in the flaming arms of the idol Molech that the priests beat the drums and blew the trumpets drowning out the cries of agony.
Pride of Life 
“Reproductive justice!” “Bodily autonomy!” “International human rights!” “Women’s health!” Such are the rallying cries of the wicked as they lead their followers to murder their own flesh and blood. Like the “Answer to the Jewish Question” of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, so the euphemisms of our day are the death sentences of millions of innocents. Why?
“The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor” (Psalm 10:2 NKJV).
Lord willing we will consider Psalm 10 in more detail in future articles but to introduce the chapter and its teaching, the wicked in their pride think God doesn’t know, see, or care what they do and through vain words they carry out atrocities on the innocent. This foolish pride is a root of the sin of abortion.
Abortions: Its Cause
When lust conceives it brings forth sin. When sin is finished it brings death. The lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life have conceived together to bring forth sin in the form of abortion. Their fruit has largely been born through deceit.
In my experience at several Atlanta abortion mills, few if any parents enroute to murder their children have ever thought about shedding innocent blood. They have never thought about minority abortions as a percentage of the minority population. They may have never heard of “bodily autonomy,” and in the many conversations with folks, I have never heard that term used in their own defense. What they have said are things like this:

If the life in the womb seems to be an inconvenience then the right thing to do is to abort.
There is no moral issue with abortion as the baby is not “viable.”
The mom’s choice to abort is a valid choice.
God understands their difficult decision and will accept or at least forgive them if it is wrong.
It is better to end the baby’s life than to lose friendships over pregnancy.
It is better to abort the child than to raise the child without a father.
No one can judge their decision, as God says, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

What these ideas have in common is that each is false. Those who believe these things and practice their belief have been deceived by the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Jesus said,
You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44 NKJV).
When the lusts of the world are conceived they deceive many to carry out sin. Sin when it brings forth fruit leads to death. Millions upon millions of children have died and are still dying because parents and abortion providers have been deceived by lies of the wicked one and are acting out those lies in the murder and killing of their own and others’ children.
This is what the devil subtly came to do: steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Those that participate in such murder are demonstrating two things: 1) They are children of their father the devil; and 2) They do not have eternal life abiding in them, for murderers “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:21).
Abortion: Its Defeat
And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (I Corinthians 6:11 NKJV).
There are many individuals and groups today that call themselves “pro life.” Some mean by this that they are for laws that limit and restrict abortion. Others mean that they want mothers to know that they have other options besides abortion. Still others consider mothers to be victims of abortion and want to help rescue them. None of these ideas will hinder the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. They will not defeat Satan, his deceit, and his deceived children from bearing forth the fruit of their sin, which is death. There is only one way that sin is defeated and it is not found in politicians, laws, or slogans. Sin is defeated by a person whose name is Jesus Christ.
To those who are living in sin and murder, deceiving and being deceived, the Lord calls out from Heaven:
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword”; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken (Isaiah 1:16-20).
The defeat of abortion and all sin comes from the one who bore my sin on the cross and shed His blood for me, even Jesus Christ. God has made “Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21). Christ Jesus came to save the murderer. The one who was a captive to Satan and sin Christ came to set him free.
Christ did not sugarcoat sin or tell people their sin was ok as so many are apt to do today, but He came telling them it was evil, of their father the devil, and He could set them free. How can sinners, murderers, evil men and women be set free? By repenting of their sins and believing in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. For this reason Jesus came into the world, to set the prisoner free!
The faithful proclamation of the full counsel of God and of His holiness, righteousness, perfection, glory, sacrifice, redemption, and salvation – in other words, the gospel of Jesus Christ – will defeat abortion. As the gospel goes out, lost souls are saved. As lost souls are saved, the day of the Lord is hastened. As lost souls are saved, they and their children live. As children live, the abortion doctors have no more work to carry out. Sin is defeated by Christ and His glorious gospel.
Go Ye Therefore!
Many people view the proclamation of Christ and His Word to the lost and dying at abortion mills as folly. Just before Christmas I was surrounded by a group from another religion who told me, “God’s Word that you’re reading cuts people to their hearts. We don’t want to do that. We want to show them love.” A group then exceeding thirty people stood on the sidewalk and sang Jingle Bells and the 12 Days of Christmas as mothers carried their children into the modern day temple of Molech to pour out their blood a sacrifice to their own idols and lusts.
Let us not be deceived, the world and its religions, even sadly, many in various pro-life movements, are no friends of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are no friends of preaching when it is preaching of the cross. They consider it foolish and powerless. Instead they desire men’s wisdom. Fifty years of men’s wisdom later, abortion is alive and well. It is high time for the gospel of Jesus Christ (4) to be preached and to give no quarter to those who would seek to stop it.
Christ sent us into the world not with wisdom of words but to preach the gospel!
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (I Corinthians 1:18-25 NKJV).
The Kingdom of Heaven has come, Satan is bound, Christ is ruling, all power in Heaven and on earth has been given unto Him, He is destroying sin and setting free those who are slaves to sin, and He is doing it by the proclamation of His Word and by His Holy Spirit. Here is how abortion is defeated – by Jesus Christ the Lord and giver of life. Go out to the fortresses of Satan and proclaim freedom to the prisoners through that everlasting Word that cuts to the heart of men for their salvation. Christ is for you in this! Who can be against you? Make Christ known, call all to repentance and faith, and Christ will be glorified, wickedness will subside, souls will be saved, and children on the path to death will live.

“These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood…” Proverbs 6:16-17
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” I John 2:15-17
See I Kings 18:25-29 as the prophets of Baal cut and butchered themselves over their altar. See also II Kings 2:26-27 when the Moabites who worshipped Chemosh were in a fix in battle the king offered up his oldest son as an offering spilling his blood all around.
The gospel message can be read of further here, here, and here. The gospel call can be read here and listened to here (Spurgeon) and here.

Ben Stahl is a member of Redeemer Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Doraville, Ga. This article is used with permission.

Fame Among the Faithless

Let us not be content to know of Elisha in these chapters of Scripture. Let us not be content to know of Christ and His glory in the Scripture. There are many in that great day who may say Lord Lord did not we know these famous prophets of old and He will tell them to depart from Him. Instead, take hold of Christ by faith that you may know Him and be found in Him, trusting in Christ alone for salvation.

Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!”
II Kings 9:14 NKJV
Shortly before Jesus was crucified, Pilate realized Jesus was from Galilee and sent for Herod who was ruler of that region and in Jerusalem for business that night. Luke 23:8 tells us Herod “was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him…and hoped to see some miracle done by Him.” Jesus did not provide answers to Herod at which point Herod and his soldiers treated Jesus with contempt and mocked Him. It is not uncommon for those who have great fame to be sought out by those who have no faith. The world loves to be among the famous.
In the final account of Elisha’s ministry, Joash the king of Israel went to see Elisha. We know only a little of King Joash but what we know is not good and summed up like this:
And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, but walked in them.
II Kings 13:11 NKJV
When Joash visited Elisha it seems he went hoping for some help from Elisha in fighting against Israel’s long-time enemy, the Syrians.
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A Few More Years Shall Roll

Will our lives be remembered at all? As we think on the closing of Elisha’s life in the few remaining verses in our study, let us set our own minds towards serving our King for all the years the Lord gives us so that He may be well known and that we may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of for us (Philippians 3:12). 

And Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, “Get yourself ready, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Remoth Gilead. Now when you arrive at that place, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, and go in and make him rise up from among his associates, and take him to an inner room. Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the LORD: “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ (9:1-3)
So Jehu rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. And the period that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years (10:35-36).
Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD (13:1).
So Jehoahaz rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Joash his son reigned in his place. In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash* the son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD (13:9).
So Joash rested with his fathers. Then Jeroboam sat on his throne. And Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel (13:13).
Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” (13:14).
Excerpts from: II Kings 9 – 13:14 NKJV
Who was the longest serving prophet in the Bible? Moses served the Lord as a prophet for about 40 years. Samuel served about the same amount of time. Hosea served during the reigns of seven different kings, perhaps as long as 60 years. Isaiah served the Lord during the reigns of five kings of Judah during a ministry that may have exceeded that of Hosea’s in length. But Elisha served the Lord beginning with Elijah in the days of King Ahab and continuing through the reigns of Ahaziah (1 year), Joram, (9 years), Jehu (28 years), Jehoahaz (17 years), and a portion of the reign of King Joash* of Israel (16 years). Conservatively, it seems Elisha’s ministry stretched more than 65 years in length!
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Is Health Everything?

The cry of the Lord these past two years continues to be the same as the 2,000 before, “Repent! For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” By all means care for your physical body, after all it is the temple of the Lord. But do not let these physical pursuits blind your eyes from Him who is eternal and who freely gives life to all who ask, seek, and knock! Death is coming. Today then is the day to find life by believing in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. 

Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.” But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.
II Kings 8:14-15
Earlier this week during a driving rain I drove past a Covid testing center. More than 100 people were standing outside waiting for their chance to have a Covid test. The next day I passed a drive thru testing site where cars were lined up for more than a mile. The news is full of similar stories as the world risks sickness from exposure to the elements and spends massive amounts of time for the opportunity not to be treated for Covid, but simply to find out from tests if they might have Covid. The world has trained many to consider health the most important thing in life and worthy of all sacrifice to maintain it for as long as possible.
King Ben-Hadad and his armies had killed untold numbers of people. Men, women, and children had starved under his sieges, kings had been killed in his battles. But when sickness came upon him, Ben-Hadad was so worried he sent 40 camel-loads of gifts to Elisha not as payment to be healed but as payment for the knowledge of whether or not he would survive the illness. On that note, Elisha had good news. Ben-Hadad would recover. The results of the test? The disease was not fatal! The bad news was Ben-Hadad was focused on the wrong thing. He should have been concerned for his soul and his spiritual health more than his physical health which will one day abandon us all. Ben-Hadad was going to die anyway and in a way he seemed to have least expected — his long-time servant Hazael would smother him in his own bed!
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The Lord is Not Slack

Throughout church history each generation of believers expected the Lord to return in their generation. All the signs of the times looked just like the time when the Lord promised to return and so they watched and labored just as God called them to (Matthew 25:1-13). We too must look for the appearing of our Savior from heaven with a shout and the voice of the archangel. Either in our generation (we should pray that Christ would come today) or in a future generation, the Lord will return.

Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept. And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”So Hazael said, “But what is your servant—a dog, that he should do this gross thing?” And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will become king over Syria.”
II Kings 8:11-13 NKJV
Much happens over twenty years! A generation is generally considered about twenty years. Between the end of World War 1 and the beginning of World War 2 twenty years elapsed. I started my first regular job twenty years ago. Twenty years later, twenty years does not seem to be so long a time but how much happens in twenty years – terrorist attacks, wars, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, pandemics, regime changes, marriages, births, and deaths.
Twenty years prior to Elisha’s journey to Damascus, Elijah was on Mt. Sinai communing with the Lord about Israel’s sin. When the Lord spoke with Elijah he told him to anoint three people: Hazael king of Syria; Jehu King of Israel; and Elisha to be a prophet in Elijah’s place. During Elijah’s lifetime, only one of those tasks took place – Elijah left Mt. Sinai and anointed Elisha as a prophet. The instructions concerning Hazael and Jehu did not take place until well into Elisha’s ministry about twenty years later.
Elisha’s journey to Damascus was not the random wandering of an unwanted prophet but rather the carrying out of the mission and instruction the Lord had given to Elisha’s predecessor in the ministry many years prior.
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Are You A Child of Abraham?

The point of Abraham as a father figure in Scripture is that he is a father of the faith and an example to us all of believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. So then we who believe in Christ are following in the path of that father in the faith and the very fulfillment of the promise to Abraham more than 4,000 years ago that in him all nations of the earth would be blessed. We who believe in Christ are the promised children of Abraham who are like the stars of the sky in number. But notice, Abraham is an example of faith, but Abraham is not the author or the object of faith.

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:29 *
All those Jews and Gentiles who put their trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation are the children of Abraham, the Israel of God, and members of the body of Christ.
Since college one of the most common questions I have experienced Christians wrestling with is the relationship between blood relatives of Abraham (Jews) and Christians. Is God saving the Jews differently than non-Jews? Should Christians think of Jews as closer to God than anyone else? What is the relationship between the people of God in the Old Testament and the people of God in the New Testament? Do Jews go to Heaven by nature of their being Jews? Are any of the promises to Abraham helpful for us today?
The goal of this short article is not to critique my brothers and sisters in Christ who hold to a dispensationalist view. The goal rather is to demonstrate to Christians that the answer is not as complicated or mysterious as it may sometimes appear to be. That which God would have us to know about ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ through history is set down very clearly in Scripture so that we can rejoice in the Lord who brings all His elect to salvation by faith.
A discussion of the children of Abraham naturally begins with Abraham. Abraham’s name was not always Abraham as history generally remembers him but for the first ninety-nine years of his life he was named “Abram “(Genesis 11:26). Then in Genesis 17, God changed Abraham’s name from Abram to Abraham for a specific purpose:
No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
Genesis 17:5
From the introduction of Abraham’s name to history, God tells us that his name is significant because it reminds us that Abraham was never to be the father of just one nation but many nations. The children who would have the Lord as their God (Genesis 17:7-8) would be children not limited to one nation but a multitude of nations united by one faith in one Lord Jesus Christ.
From the beginning of Scripture, the Lord helps us to discern the children of Abraham with the very name of Abraham. Whenever we hear the name Abraham we should think “Father of many nations.”
Abraham’s Faith in Christ
Abraham believed God and His promises. Hebrews 11 ties together the Old Testament church and the New Testament church by the Hall of Faith telling us that as of old so now we live by Faith. Even Abraham obeyed God not by his own will but “By faith” (Hebrews 11:1). Abraham didn’t look for God to fulfill His promises in an earthly kingdom in the Middle East but “waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (11:10).
Sometimes we are tempted like the Jews in John 8 to think that Abraham didn’t know anything about Jesus 2,000 years before Jesus was born. But we find in Scripture something very different. Abraham had faith in the promised Messiah to come. Jesus tells us in John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Two thousand years before Christ, Abraham believed in and was looking for the coming of the Messiah, the Christ! Jesus who was before Abraham tells us, and Abraham saw Christ’s coming by faith! Abraham is remembered above all as a man who had faith in Christ alone for salvation – a faith that God calls all men, Jews and Gentiles, to share.
And he [Philippian jailor] brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Acts 16:30-31
The Promise of God to Abraham
God’s promise to Abraham to be his God and the God of his seed after him, to justify him, to give him eternal life, was not through the law or by blood but by faith. From the beginning, the promise was through the righteousness of faith.
Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? 
Romans 4:9-10,13
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Pain, Presents, and a Prophecy

The great message of Scripture to all mankind is that the promised King and Savior has come. His name is called Jesus for He saves His people from their sins. Jesus Christ is the greatest gift one can receive, for the “gift of God is eternal life.” I cannot buy eternal life. You cannot buy eternal life. Forty camel loads of gold will not help you on that great day. But 2,000 years ago Christ came freely into the world to save sinners. How can you receive that gift? Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). 

So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’” And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However, the Lord has shown me that he will really die.”
II Kings 8:9-10 NKJV
What percentage of your assets would you give in order to recover from a deadly disease?
Governments around the world have spent billions and perhaps trillions of dollars in an attempt to recover from present diseases. Wealthy individuals have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to find and eliminate the part of DNA they assume leads to aging and death. Naaman the leper brought Elisha nearly 100 pounds of gold and silver and many other costly gifts. Perhaps Ben-Hadad remembered the great work the Lord had done for his chief general and outdid that previous gift (1), by sending forty camel-loads of “every good thing of Damascus.” He who was in great pain unto death and turmoil of soul was willing to give great possessions for help.
At the moment of trial, all the treasures of the world are of little use and will fly away from us or we will fly away from them. They cannot add a day to our lives.
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Enemy Territory?

The many headquarters of evil in the world around us should not scare the Christian. If God be for us who can possibly be against us? Certainly not any man or institution. Let us be fearless as Elisha in going into enemy territory for the sake of Christ and His glorious gospel knowing that if a host should encamp against us, our hearts should not fear; if war should rise against us, in this will we be confident: The King has come, the King is ruling, the King is conquering and saving, the King is coming again! 

Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’
II Kings 8:7-8 NKJV
Last week when reading the Bible at an abortion mill a man got out of his car, grabbed a gun, and pointed it my way. He then concealed it in his pants and cursed God and His Word as he walked around the parking lot. This mill and its customers are certainly not friends of the gospel. And yet, the Word of God goes out there and often those who come in cursing Christ leave having heard something of the Lord and His glory.
Enemy territory is not unusual territory for Christians. The whole world lies in wickedness and is opposed to God and His Word (I John 5:19). This world of darkness is exactly where the Savior went when He was incarnate and born of the virgin just as He promised (Isaiah 7:14). Most of the world did not receive the Savior but despised Him, rejected Him, and eventually killed Him. However, Jesus the God man has all power in heaven and on earth – laying down His life He then took it from the grave on the third day and rose from the dead.
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#165: Listen, Obey, and Live!

The Shunammite woman demonstrates the life found in Christ’s Word in her obedience to the Word of God. She listened to God’s warning – famine was coming. She heard God’s instruction – get away from here! She obeyed God by leaving Israel and going to the land of the Philistines. Seven years she was away from her home and country. During this time another occupied the home she had so carefully kept. But by listening to and obeying the Word of God she received the benefit, she and her family lived!

So the woman arose and did according to the saying of the man of God, and she went with her household and dwelt in the land of the Philistines seven years. It came to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land.
II Kings 8:2-3 NKJV
What makes the Bible unique? Walking through the airport recently I saw the best selling book, “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” Another nearby was, “How to Do the Work.” There are books teaching readers “How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids,” “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free,” and how to “Live Your Best Life Now.” So many books telling us how to do things that should make our lives more fulfilling. What we don’t find in these books, however, is what we need most, eternal life.
The Bible is altogether unique and superior to the plethora of other books for two reasons: 1) its author; and 2) its message. No other book in the universe has the same author as the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God (1). God is the author of the Bible.
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Preserving Grace

The Lord does not leave His children after He saves them. He abides with them forever, always warning, teaching, nourishing, instructing, and comforting them from His Word. Trust in the Lord dear saint for, “The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore” (Psalm 121:8). 

Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.”
II Kings 8:1 NKJV
Several years ago my wife and I watched a movie where one of the characters decided to be baptized at a random time in his life without any saving knowledge of Christ or His Word. Through the balance of the movie, this man would refer to himself as being saved because he was baptized. Sometimes Christianity is thought of as a religion where people get baptized, born again, or say a prayer and they are forever changed but without any impact on their lives. Sometimes Christ is thought of as God who delivers us and then leaves us to ourselves. The Christ of the Scripture however, does not only change one’s status before God, unjust to just, but also changes one’s life before God, dying to sin and living for Christ. Christ never leaves those whom he saves but whom He saves He sustains throughout their lives and even through death by His Word and Spirit.
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