Vol. 29, No. 4 April, 2005 LIVE, AND LET DIE
By Pastor George Mills
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat, I was thirsty and ye gave me no drink.” (Mt 25:41-42).
I have been very troubled at the situation here in Florida where a young woman has been denied the RIGHT TO LIFE. Courts, Lawyers, Legislators, and citizenry itself have bound together and have been determined to let Terri Schiavo starve to death. We all had our breakfast this morning. We had our coffee, or juice, or water, but we all had something to eat and drink. And so this will continue through the day. Convicted murderers on death row will be fed and watered very well. Our system will see to that. They will have the best of care. Animal rights groups have passed laws which will be enforced, concerning the care of animals, a mangy cur dog that has given birth to a brood of puppies will be rescued, fed, and watered. Stray cats, birds, eagles, turtles, snail darters,
Horned owls, wolves, whales, and a thousand others of the animal kingdom will be protected, watered, and fed. But the Parents of a helpless woman are denied the right and privilege of giving their daughter a drink of water. “Oh” they say, “Terri will just fall asleep, drift into a coma, and die. It is painless.” Others who have been through similar situations testify differently. As I have pondered this situation, I would first of all like to say thank you to all those who have been in the fight for Terri. Thanks to President Bush who was willing to help some. Thanks to Gov. Jeb Bush, and to the Congressmen who were willing to help, and to friends and neighbors. It is very hard for me to know a starting point, but let me share with you some thoughts that have come to my mind lately..
1. LIVE AND HELP LIVE.
2. LIVE AND LET LIVE.
3. LIVE AND LET DIE.
These three thoughts have been in my mind lately. I have seen these three philosophies in my lifetime. I believe that they describe the trend of our Nation, and I do not see any change in the future. I am not God, nor am I a Prophet. I can only see the future through the revealed Word of
God, (KJV). I do not have much of an outline as I type this, I am trying to
share with you the things on my heart today. Allow me to review some of my life, and bring these three philosophies into focus.
1. LIVE AND HELP LIVE. I was born in 1931. That puts me at age 73. This seemed to be the philosophy of those days. That is, the days between world wars 1&2. I was born at the height of the depression. People today have no earthly concept of how things were in those days. But people had the mind to LIVE and HELP Live. Our neighborhoods were poor, very poor. We had the usual neighborhood squabbles, and quarrels, but they only lasted for an hour or so, and things were back to normal. People helped one another. I do not believe that a court, or a Judge, or a Legislature would knowingly allow someone to starve to death even in those hard times. As a boy in our summer months, we had to spend our time on a farm in southwest Georgia. We lived in a sharecropper’s cabin. There was no indoor plumbing. There was an open well in the back yard. The interior of the cabin was not sealed. It was just a shell of a house. You can still see one of these cabins in some rural areas. But even there, in those days, there was the philosophy of LIVE and HELP Live. There was no money in that farming community. There was about a dozen or so farms in our area, but there probably was not ten dollars in the whole community. But people were bound together to help one another. If a farmer got sick, his neighbors would take care of his crops. LIVE AND HELP LIVE. That?s what I saw in my early years. Well, I could go on and on about those days, but I just wanted to bring to mind the philosophy of the early days of the 20 th century. The days of great heroes. This is the time in history when young men who were raised with this philosophy bound together, and met the Germans, and the Japanese and won the battles of world war 2. This is known as the “Great Generation.” LIVE AND HELP LIVE. I am proud to have lived through those days, but I saw those days slowly slip away, only to being in the next philosophy,
2. LIVE AND LET LIVE. As the days that followed the war slowly slipped away, the next generation had this idea. “I just want to Live and Let Live. I don’t want to bother anybody, and I don’t want anybody to bother me. You just go your way, do your thing, and I’ll do the same.” It is hard to be a neighbor with this idea in mind. This guy will not help you. He will not help you put out a fire, or help rescue your loved one. “Just LIVE and LET Live.” So your teen age daughter got pregnant, so what?” We’ll just pass laws that will allow her to abort her pregnancy. After all, she just wants to Live and Let Live. She has her life ahead of her. And that boy, he had a part in this, but, that’s life.” “Let’s just live it up. There is no sense in wasting our time on marriage vows, let’s just live together. “Just let everybody do their own thing, LIVE and let LIVE.” Life began to take on a different meaning. Many laws were passed in those days. Laws concerning abortion, parental rights, teachers rights, senior citizens rights, marital and moral purity. They even made it illegal to pass out a simple Gospel Tract. “Don’t bother me with that.” It also happened in Churches. Personal concern for the unsaved is a thing of the past. LIVE AND LET LIVE IS SELFISH. “I don’t want to get involved.” This attitude ushered in our present philosophy;
3. LIVE AND LET DIE.
This is where we are today. This did not happen overnight. This brings me to the points I want to make concerning Terri Schiavo. In 1990 at age 26, Terri Schiavo suffered a heart attack. I believe that is right. Her brain was without oxygen for several minutes, leaving her with brain damage. Terri has been in that condition for 15 years. She is NOT on life support systems. Her lungs, her heart, her blood pressure, her digestive system all work, so we are told by the media. Some Doctors have stated that there are possibilities that Terri can improve with proper rehabilitation. However, she has not been given the privilege of such. Her “husband” will not allow her any help. Michael Schiavo abandoned his wife when she became ill. He moved in with some immoral woman, and fathered some children with her. I can well remember when this would probably mean a jail sentence. But, remember, Live and Let Live? Certain laws were passed that made this alright, even the proper thing to do. I believe that Mr. Schiavo probably stood with Terri before an official and swore “Till death do us part.” But remember, Live and Let Live? After all, I have MY life to see about. I have no respect for a person like this. I have seen married people stick together in good times, and when one mate got sick and helpless and the other mate stayed by the side to take care of that loved one. Michael Schiavo should have stayed by the side of his wife, held her hand, and whispered to her over and over again, “Sweetheart, you can make it.” Mr. Schiavo gave up any right to have anything to say concerning her treatment when he abandoned her. But the courts, the laws, the philosophy of our day, LIVE AND LET DIE, well, you know. What kind of person, court, lawyer, judge, or society would refuse a cup of cold water? Prisoners are well treated, but the helpless? I have seen the public opinion polls. One poll said that 67% of the American public believes that the feeding tube should be disconnected and Terri allowed to starve to death. That’s 67% of the American public. This is not a passing thing, we are in the middle of LIVE AND LET DIE. You ain’t seen nothing yet. Euthanasia is right around the corner. The Bible (KJV) has strong indictments against a people who knowingly forsake the Living God and His Law. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Ps 9:17). Some questions that trouble me today are;
(A) Why all this mad rush to put this woman to death. Is someone trying to cover up something?
(B) Where is a document signed by Terri that she would wish to end her life at this time.? Banks insist on a valid signature before granting a loan, But in this case, courts take the word of an infidel.
(C) Why would the courts take the word of her “husband?” I wouldn?t believe him on a stack of Bibles.
(D) I wonder what law Terri violated that would cause people to be crying for her death. Did she kill someone? Did she rob someone? I think of a killer in Homosassa, Florida. He kidnapped a child, raped and murdered her. Chances are he received food and water today. What did this woman do?
(E) We hear much about “the Law” and “the courts have spoken, so that’s final” . Are we of the opinion that the courts have the final word in everything? God forbid. We have elected officials. They make the laws. The courts are not the law of the land. The silence of the people, and willingness of the Legislature to accept the courts final decisions have caused us to take that route, but the Constitution does not give the courts that power.
I wonder just what did this helpless woman do? I wonder just what kind of an authority would refuse parents the right to give their child a drink of water.
(F) To the 67%, and possibly more by now who think that this woman should starve to death, Just what did she do to you? I just can?t help but wonder.
(G) I just cannot help but wonder about the Legislators who refused to vote one way or another on this issue. Are you afraid to make your stand known by all?
LIVE AND LET DIE. This philosophy has saturated our society. Life means little now. Violence fills our land. Unsafe neighborhoods, unsafe streets. Gangs will kill you for a quarter. On our highways, ROAD RAGE. “Get out of my way, or I?ll kill you.” And the slaughter of the innocent unborn, well, that’s another subject, Let’s Live and let die.
These and other questions come to mind today.
“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed.” (Isa 10:1)
In the small space that I have left, let me speak to those of us who claim to be Christian. These same ideas have crept into our congregations. Let us LIVE and HELP Live. I am so much afraid that in our services, the emphasis has been so focused on”ME” that we have, like the world adopted the LIVE AND LET DIE philosophy. Help spread the Good News of The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not know about the spiritual condition of Terri Schiavo. I hope that someone has led her to Christ. Let us tell the world that “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” (Jn 1:12). Christ gave His life that anyone who would believe, trust, receive Him would be saved from the penalty and power of sin.. Ask Him into your life today. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. “Ask, and ye shall receive.”
Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
By Pastor George Mills
“And He said unto me, My Grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”(2Cor 12:9).
I suppose that the sweetest, strongest, most meaningful word in the language of men is the word “GRACE” Grace is Love in action, Grace is Mercy in action. But still, this brief definition falls far short of the real meaning of Grace. I suppose that the best definition comes from the Word of God, (KJV) itself: “For ye know the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, they ye through His poverty might be rich.” (2Cor 8:9) Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Grace gives us that which we do not deserve, and keeps us from getting that which we do deserve. Now, let us see how God’s Grace is sufficient.
1. GRACE IS SUFFICIENT BECAUSE OF IT’S SOURCE. It is God’s Grace. Far beyond the capacity of men. God’s Grace appeared in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ; “For the Grace of God that bringeth Salvation hath appeared unto all men.” (Titus 2:11). The source of all Grace is God; “But the God of all Grace who hath called us unto His eternal Glory by Christ Jesus…” (1Pet. 5:10) The manifestation of the Grace of God is the Cross of our Lord Jesus. “God commendeth His Love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:8). Grace is sufficient because of it’s Great source.
2. GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR SALVATION. Grace is all you need. It is not Grace plus something. Works, baptisms, giving, quitting, changing are not sufficient for our Salvation. If they were, then The Sacrifice of Christ would be meaningless. We are saved apart from all of these things. After we are saved by Grace, we will want to work, to change, to be baptized, to live a dedicated life for Him, but we must remember that we are saved by Grace apart from these things. “For by Grace are ye saved through Faith and that not of yourselves, it is the Gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9). Grace is all you need. If you trust anything else, then it is no more Grace, and that will never work.
3. GRACE IS SUFFICIENT IN IT’S SCOPE. Again, the verse in Titus 2 says, The Grace of God hath appeared unto ALL MEN.” (Titus 2:11) Grace includes all. That’s the scope of Grace. I thank God for that. Grace includes me, and you, young or old, rich or poor, black or white, morally good or morally bad, the drunkard, the harlot. No one gets left out when we rely wholly upon the Grace of God. Take the letter ‘G’ from the word “Grace” and you have “RACE” That’s what man has done. We limit Grace to a few, or to our group. But God’s Grace is sufficient in it’s scope, it is available to ALL MEN.
4. GOD?S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR SERVICE. “If only I had more talent, more ability, or a better personality, etc, I could really do something for God.” I have heard that from people down through the years. We seem to think that our service for God depends upon our ability. Not so! We must learn to rely completely on the Grace of God. God will give you all the Grace you need in order to do His will. He just needs willing vessels. “My Grace is sufficient for you,” Paul, or John, or Mary, or whatever your name may be. Grace has transformed the most unlikely vessels into marvels of His Grace. Is He calling you into His service? Or is there something or somewhere you believe that He is leading you? Trust Him, moment by moment, day by day, and His sufficient Grace will be with you. His Grace is sufficient for service.
5. GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR SEPARATION. The Bible, (KJV) commands us to be a separated people, and the world expects us to be a separated people. “But,” we say, “I find it very hard to live a separated life in these days.” Well, that just proves that you are not trusting in the Grace of God for your help. In one of the darkest periods in the history of this world, when man had no morals, when the earth was filled with violence, when the judgment of God threatened, “Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen 6:8). Grace was sufficient in Noah’ s day, and Grace is sufficient for separation in our day. Read Titus 2:11-12. Paul says that Grace teaches us, and controls our lives that we may be able to live a holy, separated life to honor our Lord Jesus.
6. GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR OUR SECURITY. The same Grace that saves us, keeps us. I am glad of that. I do not have the ability to keep myself saved. None of us have that ability. Our security is not in our endurance, or in our holding on. God did not tell Noah to build an ark for the saving of his family, and then drive some pegs on the side of the ark, and tell everyone to “grab a peg, and hold on.” He said, “Get inside the ark.” And so it is with us. We are “In Christ.” That’s our Security.
7. GRACE IS SUFFICIENT UNTO THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Not only does Grace help us to live a holy life for His Glory, Grace teaches us to look for the Coming of Christ. “Looking for that Blessed hope, and the Glorious appearing of the Great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ.” We are not to be looking for the Antichrist, or for the tribulation period, or for some great religious movement or experience. We are looking for this wonderful Blessed hope. What a day that will be. What comfort, what hope, what assurance. Grace is all we need unto that hour. It is God’s Sufficient Grace, Saving Grace, Serving Grace, Sanctifying Grace, and Satisfying Grace. My dear Christian Brother, or Sister, God’s Grace will meet you where your need is. I know. I can sing with John Newton as he wrote, ‘Tis GRACE hath brought us safe thus far, and GRACE will lead us home.”
And my dear friend, if you do not know Christ today, why not, right now, wherever you are, open your heart, and ask Christ into your life today. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. He will make you ready for life, and for eternity. His Sufficient Grace will cause you to, Begin TODAY to live FOREVER.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. For a brief period, Grace Tabernacled here. The world was no friend of Grace, the world rejected Grace. But God is able to make all Grace abound. While the world is not a friend of Grace, Grace is still available for the world. But the world will one day find that the Grace they rejected was their greatest friend, but too late!
WANDERING THROUGH THE WILDERNESS..Answers to questions people ask from time to time.
Question, ‘What do I believe about Faith Healing, or Divine Healing?”
Answer. I believe that ALL healing is Divine healing. If we get healed from some sickness, it is because God did that for us. While I do believe in Faith Healing, I do not believe in these “Faith Healers.” The airways are filled with religious charlatans, money grabbers, tricksters, who promise much, but deliver nothing. I believe that the prayer of faith shall save the sick, (Ja. 5:15) All fundamental Bible believing people believe in the power of prayer in praying for the sick. I well remember back in 1994, my Wife, my Daughter, and two Granddaughters gathered around my sick bed. Doctors were going to take me to an operating room. These sweet loved ones of mine gathered around my bed and prayed for me, They asked that God would give the Doctors wisdom to do the surgery. There was Faith in that hospital room. We believe in the power of prayer, and about 10 days later, in answer to prayer, God raised me up. I praise God for that. He is our healer. Now, some related questions.
1. “Is Salvation a cure-all?” Since I am saved, does that mean that I will never be sick again? Salvation is a cure-all in the sense that we are safe and secure in Christ, but that does not guarantee that we will never be sick again. We all get sick, and we will die, unless Christ comes first. We will live in a new body one day. The body we have now is frail and corruptible.
2. “Why are some Christians sick?” Many a saint of God has lived in a sick body for years. There are many unkind accusers who try to convince them that there may be sin in their life, or, that they just “think that they are sick”
(A) Some Christians are sick because of natural birth defects inherited from parents. A heart, or liver condition may be inherited from our parents.
(B) Some Christians are sick because of other natural causes. Christians get Measles, Chicken Pox, etc
(C) Some Christians get sick because of lousy eating habits.
(D) Some Christians are sick because of sin. A familiar verse would be 1Cor. 11:30.
3. Should a Christian go to a Doctor? Yes, of course. Jesus said that the sick need a Physician. I believe that you should see your Doctor regularly, and that you should follow his advice.
4. Is it always God’s will to heal? NO! If that were true, no one would die. As I stated, I believe that we should pray and ask God to heal, and to accept His answer. I am a product of that very thing.
So much could be said on this subject, but I have limited space. Let’s face it. As Christians, we live in a body that has not been redeemed. This body is weak, and subject to sickness and death. We live in a world that has been cursed. This world is filled with disease, germs, viruses. One day, we will live in a new body, like the Body of Christ. Let us take good care of the body we have while we are here.
Don’t be carried away with the religious “hucksters” of our day. Even the “faith healer” dies.
5. No, if you are sick, you have not lost your Salvation. The preaching of some today would leave you with that idea, but the Doctrine of By Grace alone, through Faith alone refutes that idea. Salvation is eternal. Be HAPPY, Be HEALTHY!
Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!