Friday, May 15, 2015

Where is the Promise of His Coming? - May 9th, 2015

I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. "It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh. "When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." 
(Genesis 9:13-16, NASB)

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 
(2 Peter 3:3-10, NASB)

Abortion Clinic
Mission Hills

Praise the Lord, Don was back this week and his voice is nearly back to 100%.

This week there were 13 or so couples during the 2 hours we are there and oh, the hardness of heart of each one of them!  To kill so coldly, and so intentionally, is a hard thing to witness.

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
(Romans 2:5-11, NASB)

"It's just a fetus" or "it's not life until it can survive on its own" are common excuses for this self-exalting sin.  So common it's unfortunately not even shocking to hear anymore.  Today, though, when a young man protested that "it's just soup", it was a reminder of just how hard and willingly ignorant people are.  The support for abortion is rooted in evolutionary thinking, but not even the most staunch evolutionist scientist would back such an obviously false statement.

As the morning neared an end, this girl arrived for a CPR class.  While she had nothing to do with the abortions, our being out in front bothered her so much that she shouted as she was pulling in and then, after parking, angrily came over with an unusual opening question: "How does an unripe fruit fall off a tree?"

Though Don tried to get her to a point of how that related to...well, to anything, she kept demanding an answer.  Finally he said, “I don’t know”.

“Ahhhhh...," she replied, "you don’t know.  Maybe you should think about that for awhile.”

A good guess as to what she was getting at (though she never got there) was that unless one knows exactly how something happens, then one cannot speak with authority to make definitive statements on the subject.  If we extend that to babies (a far leap from where she was, but again probably where she was going in her thought process), then her argument might be that because we aren't experts on biology, then we “don’t know” what we are talking about with regards to abortion.

The problem is that her point is both nonsensical and irrelevant.  Nonsensical, because the average "laymen" is entirely capable of discussing topics from mechanics to politics to science w/o being PhDs in them.  Irrelevant, because we don’t point to our knowledge on reproductive biology as the basis for the claim that it is a baby and it is being murdered.  Rather, we are appealing to the authority of our Creator.  It’s not open to debate - even with a scientist who does hold a PhD - when it contradicts what the all knowing Creator has said is true.

Babies - even really small ones - are created in the image of God.  They were known by God before they were conceived (Jeremiah 1:5), are formed in the womb by God (Psalm 139:13-16), and have been created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27).  God has not only demanded blood for blood, for murder of others made in the image of God (Genesis 9:6), but He even gave Israel an indication of how He feels about the harming of an unborn child (Exodus 21:22-25) and that the same "life for life" payment applied.  From this, and many other passages, we know that God hates murder and that He has a particular disdain for the one who intentionally harms or abuses the defenseless.

The girl spoke foolishly because she rejected the authority of God outright (Proverbs 1:7), but it gave us the chance to reiterate why it is we call abortion murder.  Not because someone skilled in biology studied and that current science says that the unborn child is human, but because our Creator has said so.

On a related note of the ever-changing understanding of science, an article came out this week at the NY Times about the unexpected survival of premature babies born at 22 weeks: Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated, Study Finds

As the Times said:
A small number of very premature babies are surviving earlier outside the womb than doctors once thought possible, a new study has documented, raising questions about how aggressively they should be treated and posing implications for the debate about abortion.

Another encounter, which spanned about an hour from beginning to end, also started unusually when the girl coming for an abortion drove up in her car with a wide grin and ecstatic, “joyful” wave.

Again, we were struck by just how arrogant and hard people can be who've made the decision to murder.

As they walked into the clinic, Don tried speaking to her but she just kept replying in a silly manner that might have even been humorous in any other context.  Her ending comment as she headed inside summarized the flippant nonsense of the encounter well: “You have a weird hobby!”.

Later, her “kind of boyfriend” came out and sat in his car (shown in the image, above) and Don both pleaded with him to save his child, and to offer help.  For quite awhile he said nothing back, but after Don persisted, he walked out and said ”you have 1 minute to prove that you can help me”.

Holding his iPhone up with a timer, he counted down 60 seconds as Don explained that whether the issue was drugs or lack of money or inability to care for the child, right across the street is a clinic that would help with all of that, and if they couldn't keep the baby, that he or she could even be adopted that day.

After one minute was up, the man said, "you didn't help me" and returned to his car.  Don continued talking to him across the parking lot that he would help him, if he (the man) would do the most basic of things by responding to the offers given.  Don even said he’d go with him to a facility to get help.

This went on for some time, with Don calling out and the man yelling back that Don hadn't helped him.  Privately, Don expressed how torn he was because he just couldn't tell if the guy really needed help, or was just acting out.

After a while of this, the man got into his car, drove out, and told Don to get in the car so he could go with him to a "facility" to get help.  However, when Don asked where they would be going, the man refused to say.  Instead he kept insisting that Don get into the car for "help" (while we couldn't be sure, it sounded ominously like it was the man who was intending to "help" Don).  They spoke for another couple of minutes and Don wisely decided to not get into the car in light of the refusal to provide information as to where they would be going.

In the end the man threw out the pamphlets Don had given him for the clinic across the street and sped off.

It was a very odd, tiring morning, with lots of people seemingly "giddy" as they went inside.  Please pray for Don who does this regularly twice a week, for his strength and that he finds joy in standing for the innocent and doesn't grow weary from the hate directed his way.  Also, pray for laborers.  It's a hard place, with often very angry people and very few people able or willing to go out.

Every Wednesday and Saturday at 8-10 am
10200 Sepulveda Blvd
Mission Hills, CA 91345

No Experience Needed and no need to say anything if you are not ready - come hold a sign, pray, and bring encouragement to those who are standing for the innocent.

Saturday Outreach

Back at the corner of Magnolia and San Fernando, we took up our places to await the waves of people who pass through the intersection.

Within the first few minutes the issue of Islam grabbed the angry attention of a passerby.  The statement that caused her to do a 180 and defend Islam was that the only sure way into Paradise (according to the teaching of Islam) is by killing someone through Jihad (battle against those who would oppose Islam and what it stands for).  Technically this “right” can be extended to martyrs and those who fight with the willful intention of killing, even if the opportunity to kill never arises (joining ISIS might be considered an example of willingness to kill).

The “surahs” that support this are many, yet most in America remain either deceived on this point (still subscribing to the idea that Islam is peaceful, and it’s just some “extremists” that have taken it too far) or are actively lying (lying is supported and encouraged by the Quran to deceive and gain an upper hand on your enemy).

One can see that if the only sure way into Paradise is Jihad, why there is such a lure to join groups like ISIS.  However, regardless of the promises in the Quran, they are merely man's promises and in direct contradiction to the ones from God.

See CARM’s site for more about this religion of peace.

Whether the lady in the image was deceived or not does not change what the Quran says regarding Jihad.  And what the Quran says about entering into Paradise, does not change what Christ said: “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.  No man comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6, NASB)

Another sad conversation happened between Mark and the man in the image.  He wanted us to preach more against homosexuals.  Not against homosexuality, but against those “fairies”, as he called them.  He saw their sin as particularly and peculiarly bad.  One might even say he took a position like the Pharisee who said, “...God, I thank You that I am not like other people…” (Luke 18:11, NASB).

But when Mark took him to the Bible to show that other sexual sins, such as adultery and fornication (sex outside of marriage), are also heinous sins against God, worthy of His wrath, the man would have nothing of it.  When reminded that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), he stormed off.

One defining attribute of all Christians is that we all at one time were, by nature, children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3).  We aren't out to call people to repentance to be holy like us, but so that they might repent before a holy God and be saved like us.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11, NASB)
This doesn't mean that we soft-pedal sin - it is an affront to a holy God - but that we remember that when we call it out for what it is, that there is no one beyond the saving grace of God.  Equally true, neither are there any who are closer to salvation by not engaging in a particular sin.  Indeed, if we had a true understanding our own state even now as believers and our sin against the knowledge given to us of who God is, we would weep (James 4:9, 10) in shame.

Praise the Lord, for His mercies are new every morning! (Lamentations 3:22, 23)

These two men (middle, right) sat engrossed with the “Are you a Good Person” tract.

One of the joys in recent weeks is seeing men on the box with their Bibles open.

There’s been a noticeable uptick in reading passages directly from the Word on the box, which is encouraging to hear, and unchains the lion of God (Spurgeon), which is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the hearers heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Our words pale in comparison!

Off the box, our Sister and Brother expound upon the Word as this self-proclaimed believer struggled to understand why God hasn't yet met her demands and fulfilled her wishes.  They ended the time praying with her, that she would come to have her will placed in submission to the will of the Lord.

This young lady, a new believer, came to Jack struggling with the worry over her parents who are dying, and her homosexual brother’s hardness of heart.  Jack prayed for her to be strengthened in her faith and for boldness in her witness.

Speaking with Armando (Catholic), Sharon probed for his understanding of the gospel, which turned out was no understanding at all.  Near the end of their time together, she challenged him with John 3:5 (“...unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God”).  He seemed genuinely concerned and promised to read the passage when got home.

Luis, another nominal Catholic, shared several stories about how he had almost died, but kept changing the subject when pressed with what would have happened if he had died.

One gift the Holy Spirit has given to Sharon is the courage and diligence to pursue a point like this and, in the end, he listened and even took a Bible.  We praise the Lord that He has spared this man from death so many times and allowed him to hear the gospel this evening!

Others took Bibles, as well...

We praise the Lord that we were once again able to go out and that, in His mercy, He gave more people the opportunity to hear the gospel.

It can be sad when we think of all those who hear and continue on in rebellion, but imagine, if you can, the glory we will heap upon our God when we stand before the Lamb who was Slain and it first begins to dawn on us just how merciful and gracious and long-suffering He was during this time.  We will never find ourselves questioning Him for stopping short of calling some, but marvel in wonder and awe at His calling of any.

To Him be all the glory and honor forever and ever.  Amen.


NY Times: 22 Month Old, Premature Babies
A small number of very premature babies are surviving earlier outside the womb than doctors once thought possible, a new study has documented, raising questions about how aggressively they should be treated and posing implications for the debate about abortion. Islam - Religion of Peace?
In Islam, there is no guarantee of salvation except in one instance, dying in Jihad. Jihad is the struggle--the battle against those who would oppose Islam and what Islam stands for. This is very important because in the Muslim religion, there is no guarantee of salvation.

Washington Post: Tech Titan's Latest Project: Defy Death
“The great unfinished task of the modern world is to turn death from a fact of life into a problem to be solved — a problem towards whose solution I hope to contribute in whatever way I can.”
PETER THIEL (co-founder of PayPal, et al)

CMI Review: Martin Rudwick's Deep Earth History (Appendix Regarding Creationists)
"For all the noise that creationism generates, it is no more than a bizarre sideshow that has set itself in implacable opposition to one of the most solid and reliable of human scientific achievements. Sadly, creationists are utterly out of their depth" (quote from book, p. 315).

A photo reminder (from 5/8/2015) of God's judgement by flood and His promise to never again judge all of mankind in that way again (Genesis 9:13).  ABC News quotes Benjamin Jurkovich (the photographer/storm chaser):
"I have a bible verse I use for storm chasing, Nahum 1:3, which says that God is the god of the whirlwind, and the clouds are the dust of his feet," he said. "When I'm looking at these massive, ridiculous storms and tornados that scare the crap out of me, it's just like, wow, this is the dust of God's feet. It puts me in a state of awestruckness and makes me feel small, which is a good place to be."

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