We take it as read that:
1) Life begins at conception; made in the image of God, the unborn are equal in value to the rest of us.
2) “Abortion”, the intentional killing of an innocent human being, is a violation of the Sixth Commandment.
3) “Abortion” is child abuse (a serious safeguarding concern).
4) “Abortion” is child sacrifice (an idolatrous, blood-shedding outrage against the Living God).
5) “Abortion” in the UK is a genocide (a national crime against humanity).
6) “Abortion” is taking place in the UK Church.
7) Not only is “abortion” a sin; doing nothing about “abortion” is a sin: there are numerous commands in Scripture to take proactive action against such evils.
8) UK Church leaders have been clearly presented with the reality of “abortion”.
9) UK Church leaders are still doing largely nothing about “abortion” (they are, variously, silently tolerating, indirectly condoning, expressly justifying “abortion”, both within and without the Church).
10) Most Christians in the UK still believe that “abortion” is sometimes morally justifiable.
11) The UK Church has been called to repent over this in word and deed.
12) The UK Church at large is not repenting.
(Click here for a substantiation of points 1 to 12.)
What next? A warning to those who will not repent.
In line with Revelation 2-3, the Lord Jesus would say to us with regard to the above: “I have this against you”.
God is not indifferent to our indifference. He takes it personally. The Lord has a controversy with us over this.
God’s word to us at this moment in time is surely not a commendation but a stern warning combined with a merciful call to repentance.
The fact that we are not repenting is spiritually very dangerous. We are provoking the wrath of God and testing his patience.
Biblically, judgment is characterised by plague, famine, natural disasters, oppression by enemies, economic downturn; by a famine of the word of God; by a “handing over” of sinners to insanity and deception, to moral (particularly sexual) depravity, and to a culture of selfishness and violence.
Our nation is under judgment for turning away from God and his word, for worshipping created things, and specifically for the legalised mass killing of human babies (e.g. Isaiah 10:1-4).
But judgment begins with the household of God (1 Peter 4:17).
Possibly for those who have been encouraging the Church in the above sins the opportunity for repentance has already elapsed (“I have given her [Jezebel] time to repent…but she is unwilling”, Revelation 2:20-22). There may yet be time for those who have followed them in these sins to repent and avoid harsh judgment (Revelation 2:22). But we should not think we can get a “forever” extension (Amos 7:8).
Here is a warning as to what can be expected to happen and is already happening because of our refusal to humble ourselves and change our ways:
1) Are not our prayers, corporate and individual, falling on deaf ears because of our resistance to God’s word and in particular his call to justice and mercy?
“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” Proverbs 21:13
“If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.” Proverbs 28:9
“When you offer your gifts – the sacrifice of your sons in the fire – you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you enquire of me, O house of Israel? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will not let you enquire of me.” Ezekiel 20:31
“When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood…” Isaiah 1:15
Why would God listen to us if we won’t listen to him?
Notwithstanding the fact of Jesus’s finished work on the Cross and our access to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), there is New Testament evidence that the prayers of genuine believers can still be hindered because of their behaviour: 1 Peter 3:7.
2) Are not our services, conferences, ceremonies, songs, worse than worthless when we ignore God’s word and in particular his call to justice and mercy? He hates them.
“What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.” Psalm 51:16-17
“Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths, convocations – I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.” Isaiah 1:13-14
“Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice…?” Isaiah 58:6
“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies… Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” Amos 5:22-24
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness.” Matt. 23:23
Although we are robed in the righteousness of Christ, the New Testament is clear that our corporate church life is not automatically pleasing to God: 1 Corinthians 11:17; Revelation 2-3.
3) Is it biblically or historically reasonable to expect revival to begin with us who are apathetic to God’s word and far from his heart of holiness and justice? Biblically and historically it would be much more reasonable to expect God’s judgment. (We are already experiencing something of this, and there is probably more to come.)
By refusing to fulfil our part of the 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 deal, we are telling God not to hear our prayers, not to forgive our sin, and not to heal our land. Revival has always followed earnest, humble, contrite God-honouring repentance and prayer, and reverence for his word. Will God bring revival if his people, by their actions, tell him not to?
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
4) If professing Christians are unmoved by child sacrifice and our aiding and abetting of it, it may be an indication that they are not saved in the first place.
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers!’” Matthew 7:21-23
“…faith without deeds is dead.” James 2:26
We are not saying that a lack of conformity to the will of God in this particular area is necessarily a sign that someone is not saved. What we are saying is that a new way of life necessarily springs forth from the gracious gift of regeneration that comes through real saving faith in Jesus Christ. The Spirit-filled life of a born again believer will be evidenced by fruit. If there is no visible fruit, it is right to question whether there is any new life.
5) Those who do demonstrate evidence of salvation, yet remain unmoved by child sacrifice, show themselves at least in this regard to be blind, cold, and experientially (if not in spiritual status) far from the heart of the Living God. They are “worldly” or “fleshly” (1 Corinthians 3:3), still “conformed to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2). Their intimacy with God is limited and their effectiveness in the kingdom hampered.
God will still achieve his purposes, but inasmuch as we resist the fullness of his transformative call on our lives we consign ourselves to spiritual irrelevance and redundancy in this generation.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.” Esther 4:14
6) The Church is to be a “pillar of truth” (1 Timothy 3:15) and has a mandate to expose the “deeds of darkness” (Ephesians 5:11) and to protect the fatherless (James 1:27). When we fail to issue the warning and play our part, blood is on our heads. God will hold us accountable (Ezekiel 3:16-27).
7) We have now gone past the point of, “But we knew nothing about this,” (Prov. 24:12); we have crossed the line from ignorant culpability – which is still a thing (e.g. Leviticus 4-5) – to knowing, conscious culpability. The consequences for this are much more serious.
“If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” Prov. 24:12
“That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.” Luke 12:47-48