Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Reflections on a busy day at the murder mill 

As I do every Tuesday for my lunch hour, I went to a local abortion clinic in Granite City, IL (Hope Clinic for Women). I’ve been going there for nearly 8 years preaching the Word of God, pleading with women to not murder their babies, offering to adopt their babies and walk with them every step of the way, and offering free ultrasounds (through a pregnancy center close by and a mobile medical unit right on site). 

Today was similar to other Tuesdays in that many women flooded in. In fact, I think there were at least 25 women that I saw go into Hope Clinic for Women. It is one of the largest hubs of murder mills in the central midwest area. Tuesday often brings women who are late term who have come for the kill. It’s terrifying and evil. It’s saddening and maddening all at the same time. 

It was busy. Very busy. I drove up and arrived about 5 minutes before they usually start their “business”. When I walked up to the front of the parking lot, the women flooded out of the cars and lined the sidewalk ready and eager to pay their money, all while putting on their mask, so as to pay their money first, and then enter the murderous building. 

License plates struck me today — as they have been more and more in recent days. Cars today came from Missouri and Illinois (mostly). But there were cars from Minnesota, Arizona, Oklahoma and two from Florida. They drove here, to Hope Clinic, for the purpose of murdering their baby. 

About ten minutes after I arrived, a young lady finally got out of her car, which was the closest parking spot to where I was standing. When she got out, she was about 5 feet from me. I told her that we cared for her, wanted to help her and give her other options, and that babies are murdered here. I was holding a sign that read: “BABIES ARE MURDERED HERE”. And on the back, a sign which read: “IF YOU WERE TO DIE TODAY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?  REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.”  

The many women that walked in gave different responses.  Some laughed and mocked.  Some yelled in anger. Some were cursing and commanding that we stop talking to them. Many others just ignored. One lady stopped, turned around, read the signs, and saw the mobile medical unit — but still decided to ignore the offer for a free ultrasound and go into the murder mill to kill her own baby. 

Why do I go to such an abominably wicked and divinely abhorred place?  For a number of reasons. 

  1. I go to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.  — Yes, I preach.  I plead. I cry out. I entreat. I summon. I beg mothers, fathers, grandparents, abortion clinic workers, the security guard, the abortionists themselves and even passers-by to turn to Jesus Christ in full surrender and in faith to be saved.  There is no other faithful and full gospel proclamation there.  I go to preach the gospel loudly, faithfully, biblically, persistently, and passionately. 
  2. I go to honor and glorify God.  — I believe that God is glorified when His Word goes forth. God has given me His Word, I’ve eaten and tasted the Truth in the Word and thus I am sent to “go” and I preach His Word so that God may be glorified in how He chooses to use His Word.  I am undoubtedly an aroma of death to death to many — but I pray that God will be glorified in saving some by snatching them out of the fire. 
  3. I go to see babies saved.  — I love children. And I want children to be spared from the murders of abortion. There is no easy and kind way to say it. Abortion consists of the violent, gruesome and blasphemous ripping of children limb from limb in a mother’s womb. It’s vile and evil. And I love children, who are made in God’s image and fearfully and wonderfully made, and so I go to see the weak and the defenseless saved. 
  4. I go to evangelize any and all who will hear. —  Each week I go, I get to plead lovingly and urgently with the security guard. I tell her that I care for her and pray for her often. I give gospel tracts to people who are walking by on the sidewalks.  Often I get to stop cars after they drop a lady off and she goes into the murder mill and the driver will stop, roll down the window, and take a tract from me with some information about a pregnancy resources center in the immediate area. 
  5. I go because hell exists and murderers go there.  —  Evangelism is and must be urgent. Souls are of infinite worth and hell is drawing near. So many people walk into the building whose god is their ‘belly’ and they live for the flesh, they do not glorify Christ, they hate me and the gospel I preach, and they know what abortion is and they cheer the fact that they are murdering their babies. Oh the fires of hell await them, unless God mercifully and effectually intervenes. And how will God do this? Through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  These people will not come to my church, so I must go out to them and plead with them to come in so that the Father’s house may be full! 
  6. I go because I want to set an example for my church in pursuing the lost in fervent evangelism. — The Word calls me to 'do the work of an evangelist.' I love to go out to the lost and hand out tracts, open air preach, approach students on a college campus and have conversations, go door to door, do chalk evangelism on a busy sidewalk, and more. But I love taking men and women from the church with me to the streets so that we can labor together, in fellowship and with joy, for the sake of the souls of men and women. It is the duty of churches to pursue the lost with the aim to win souls to Jesus Christ. May the Lord magnify His name and spread His gospel through us -- all for His glory.

Today a young man walked with his 3 or 4-year old daughter together with a young mother. She clearly was hobbling along — probably had an abortion yesterday or in previous days but perhaps may have had an infection, and she was very vocal about me shutting up. She yelled and told me to stop talking to her and to leave her alone.  I offered tracts and gospel literature to the man and he kindly took it.  Then, after she went in, he turned back around to head to the car and I was able to give the full gospel with him and plead with him to turn to Christ and find salvation in Jesus Christ alone. 

A tragic day. Death happened inside that building where I was. But I triumph in Jesus Christ who alone reigns sovereignly and supremely over life and over death. 

Continue to pray for those who go to abortion clinics and preach the gospel.  Perhaps you can and should make it a priority in your schedule to go to your local abortion clinic to call out, to cry out for life, to glorify the God of life, and beg dads and moms to not murder their babies.  May God have mercy on our nation!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Here is a note of encouragement to our church family that I emailed out earlier this morning.

As I was meditating and praying through 2 Corinthians this morning, I wanted to pass along some thoughts that gripped me.  Here is my heart — and the shepherds’ hearts — as we seek to care for you and labor among you, with you, and for you — and ultimately, for the praise of our God.

2 Corinthians 1:24 — “Not that we lord it over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.

In thinking about and applying this verse to our ministry context, I want to give you 4 brief motivations that we have as your elders.  By God’s Grace, we as shepherd elders seek to: 

Paul said that he is NOT lording it over the faith of the Corinthians.  As he teaches and preaches and labors for them and among them, He reminds them that GOD is the one who establishes the believers in Christ. And God has sealed His people and given them the Spirit of God as a pledge.  Paul said that he came to Corinth again to serve them, not to lord his apostolic authority over them. He did not come to roll his authoritarian credentials over them but he came to serve them, to help them, to minister to them, and to aid them in their growth.  Paul had his leadership position and his apostolic authority from God — not self determined by his own whims. Similarly, it is our desire to serve you, not to lord any sort of authority over you.  As your shepherds, we must lead and we must oversee and God has appointed us to make decisions to protect the flock, to uphold biblical truth, and to maintain purity in the Church. But our desire is to serve you, never to lord authority over God’s saints. 

Paul told the saints that he is a worker with them for their joy.  Paul expresses his heartfelt desire to be a diligent and driven worker in gospel advancement for their good.  That is the heart of a shepherd.  Our hearts are to work hard together with you for your good and for your welfare. First Timothy 3.1 says that if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work that he desires to do! Yes, it is work. It is hard. But nothing brings more joy and more thrill and more excitement than to serve the Lord and serve His people by working hard for God’s glory and for the good and well-being of the saints. And that well-being is for the people of God to grow in Christlikeness so as to walk in holiness, bask in the fear of God, and live with peace and joy on this pilgrimage toward our heavenly home. 

Paul said that he is a worker for their joy. In an amazing clarification, Paul affirms that he is not in leadership for power, or for honors, or for recognition. Rather, he does what he does for the enhancement and increase of their joy in the Lord. As the believers suffer, God called Paul to help them in their perseverance through difficulties for their joy.  As God brought blessings and favorable circumstances into their lives, Paul endeavored to help them process and think through such occasions in a way that would glorify God and maintain a God-Centered joyfulness.  So also with us as your shepherds, we are committed to working hard, together with you, for your joy in the Lord.  As Paul said to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the LORD.” Don’t rejoice in the things that you can tangibly see here and in the passing pleasures of this realm. But we resolve to honor God and aid you in rejoicing in the unshakeable truth and rock-solid beauty of God’s character, Christ’s salvation, and the Spirit’s power. 

Paul poured out his heart by telling the believers that he found great joy and comfort in knowing that they are standing firm in their faith.  In the body of Truth, in systematic theology, that he had taught them, they are now standing firm and resting upon it.  This brings great joy to a shepherd to know that saints are standing upon, grounded in, and unmoved in their confidence in “the faith”.  Our commitment, as shepherds of CFBC, is to teach the “full counsel of God” so that you will grow deeper in precise systematic theology, so that your worship of the Triune God will be transcendent, captivating, and biblical. And we want you to stand firm on the Lord and on the Truth (=“the Faith”) in the ever-so-changing days in which we live. We want you to stand strong, to stand firm, to stand courageous, to stand boldly, to stand vocally, and to stand worshipfully on the Lord.  The LORD is my rock and my salvation, of whom shall I be afraid?  Stand firm knowing that it is on Christ the solid Rock that you stand. All other ground is sinking sand!

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