Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth invites you to celebrate life.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: In a culture of death, that’s the bad news, the good news is that God has made Christians to be messengers of life! There is life available in Christ. God created and values life and Christians must be messengers of life. In a world that de-values life, we can show the infinite, eternal value that God places on every single human soul.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Surrender, for May 29, 2018.

Yesterday, Nancy gave us a deep biblical basis for the sanctity of life. Today she’ll pick back up on this important topic. You have to hear this message! It’s far different than most pro-life messages, getting deep into the heart of the issue. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: The other night, Robert and I rented a movie that looked like a really sweet love story. It’s based on the true story of a couple struggling with the husband’s terminal illness. We were drawn into this story. It was intense; it was emotional; it was tender. And we found ourselves pulling with this couple as he struggled to stay alive and as his wife cared for him in an extraordinary, selfless way. We’re just totally cheering for this couple; we’re pulling for them!

Then it gets almost to the end of the movie and we were totally caught off-guard by what happened next. We looked at each other and said, “Did that just happen!?”—and it had. With the wife’s blessing, the man chose to end his life with the assistance of his physician.

It was all portrayed so lovingly, so “naturally,” and it left us just hardly able to breathe—kind of with a knot in the pit of our stomachs. But that movie—and how beautifully all this was portrayed—reflects what has been a distinct shift in our culture in our lifetime.

The late Dr. Francis Schaeffer, who died in 1984 (so this was a number of decades ago), wrote the book Whatever Happened to the Human Race? And, almost as if he were a prophet, this is what he said:

Times of monstrous inhumanity do not come about all at once. They are slipped into gradually. Often those who use certain emotions and appeal to ‘rights’ do not even know what they have started. They see only some isolated condition they want to accomplish, but they have not considered soberly the overall direction in which things are moving. At some point they want to go backwards—but then it is too late.

Stephen Alexander is a pastor and a retired judge, and he’s written a piece called "The Biblical Argument Against Assisted Suicide." Here’s a part of that article. He says,

What happens to a society which increasingly turns to death as a resolution to its social problems? When will the right to die become the obligation to die? . . . Our culture, which was once known as western Christendom, is slowly, but surely becoming a culture which seeks to solve societal problems with a violent act of death. And it is especially in America that we are so obsessed with personal rights that we are willing to sever our traditional, biblical ties of duty, compassion, and love to the weak and the unwanted. We are becoming not just inhospitable, but even a dangerous place for those too weak to compete effectively in what has become a contest of rights—the very young, the unborn, the elderly, the dying, the handicapped [and so on.]

We’re looking today and in the last program at this statement in the True Woman Manifesto that says,

Human life is precious to God and is to be valued and protected from the point of conception until rightful death.

We looked yesterday at how God is the Creator of human life, and we are to affirm that, to value it, to protect it. But to the contrary, what we are experiencing in this nation and in our world is a culture of death—and you see this on so many fronts.

We talked in the last program about abortion, which is now legal in two-thirds of all countries of the world. It’s estimated that approximately fifty-six million babies are aborted world-wide every year, more than sixty million abortions in the United States since 1973, Roe v. Wade.

If you want to see this in a really graphic way, you can go online, and you can find websites that have a counter going on showing—as you’re sitting there looking at this website—each abortion that is taking place in this country. I had it on my screen last night as I was preparing for this session: one child, one child, one child . . . gone, gone, gone, gone! That number of abortions in the United States since ’73 is greater than the population of California.

It’s more than the combined populations of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Based on the current rate of abortion, one out of every four pregnant women today will choose to terminate her baby’s life.

One writer said,

I lose track of how many millions have died. We can cope with such figures only by ignoring them. Once I heard someone observe that a memorial similar to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, listing the names of all these babies, would have to stretch for fifty miles. That was many years ago, and it would be many miles longer today. But such a wall cannot exist, because those babies never had a name.

In the area of euthanasia—taking the life of the elderly and the handicapped—who were considered by that Nazis as “useless eaters . . .” Useless eaters. As we heard, the hard-fought-for “right to die” is becoming now the “duty to die.”

Just a few examples of this. (I have someone on our team who sends me each week updates and alerts about things that are happening in various areas of culture, society, news—Christian and otherwise—and some recent ones have a lot to do with this whole life issue.)

In 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an edict legalizing physician-assisted suicide. One report said since then, the College of Physicians of Ontario established a rule that doctors that oppose euthanasia must refer patients to doctors who will assist them with suicide.

Now, there are some physicians in Canada—brave ones—who have challenged this rule, but thus far the superior court of Ontario has ruled unanimously to uphold it. If you don’t believe in this, you are obligated legally to refer your patient to someone—to a doctor—who will [assist them with this].

Here are some other headlines recently:

  • Records show an increasing number of people in Belgium are being euthanized without having agreed to it 
  • Euthanasia deaths in the Netherlands up and rising
  • Proponents of Childhood Euthanasia [this is sick children] Argue It Should Be Left Up to the Beneficence of Doctors [to decide to terminate the lives of these sick children.]
  • Pro-family Group Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Man Whose Mother Was Euthanized without Him Knowing. 

It talks about how he had no chance to say goodbye to her. He’s a chemistry professor in Belgium who had been a mild supporter of Belgium’s ultra-liberal euthanasia law and is now among its most outspoken opponents. When it hit home, he said, “This is not right!” He had no absolute moral code to tell him that, but in his heart he knew it wasn’t right.

The whole area of infanticide . . . This has been in the making for decades, as long ago as 1982. There was a symposium on infanticide held at Cornell University. Scientists participating in this conference concluded that infanticide is not deviant behavior or wrong (this is the taking of the lives of the born children). Rather, it is as “normal” as any other instinct and may be a beneficial evolutionary adaptation. You say, “That’s not happening here!” Listen, the United States has the highest rate of child homicide—taking the lives of children.

Here’s a heading I saw: “Moms killing kids not nearly as rare as we think.” Cheryl Myers—a professor of psychology at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio—is the coauthor of a book called Mothers Who Kill Their Children. She says in that book,

I’d say a mother kills a child once every three days in this country, and that’s a low estimate. . . . The horrific stories make the headlines, so we believe it hardly ever happens. But it’s not a rare thing.

Suicide . . . every year more than 44,000 people die by suicide in the United States. It’s estimated that more than twenty-five times that number attempt suicide each year.

A few recent headlines:

  • New York Times: U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High. "Increases in every age group except older adults, and the rise was particularly steep for women.”
  • Huffington Post: Suicide Rates for Teen Boys and Girls are Climbing.”

It says that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the suicide rate for girls has doubled since 2007. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among ten- to fourteen-year-olds in the United States. It’s the second leading cause of death between those ages fifteen to thirty-four. Life is no longer viewed as precious.

Entertainment . . . by the age of eighteen—between movies, television, and video games—the average American child has seen 80,000 murders. Now do you think you take all that in over those young impressionable years—any years—without being impacted, influenced?

Can you still see life as being valuable when you see it being snuffed out again and again and again and again—in many ways that are treated humorously or lightly or as entertainment?

We see murders and shootings and violent deaths so often in the news—not just entertainment but in the news—that it’s become routine. We’ve become desensitized, immune. How many of these can you feel deeply about when you hear it again and again and again?

In a culture of death, that’s the bad news. The good news is that God has made Christians to be messengers of life. There is life available in Christ! God created and values life and Christians must be messengers of life. In a world that de-values life, we can show the infinite eternal value that God places on every single human soul.

Proverbs 24, verse 11 gives us this mandate: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” And how many of the things we’ve just talked about could that be applied to? Rescue them! They’re being taken away to death, those who themselves are stumbling to the slaughter. They’ve lost a sense of purpose or meaning or reason to live. We can say, “There is reason to live! Christ has life available for you—life eternal!” Hold them back who are stumbling to the slaughter. There are so many ways that we can be engaged in the battle for life.

A number of our staff, over the years, have been involved with our local Pregnancy Care Center here in Niles. Many of our listeners are involved in their communities to help young women who think they may be wanting to take the life, or don’t know what to do with this pregnancy or how to deal with this situation. The women are offering compassion and options and alternatives for the child and for the care and for the care during the pregnancy and physical help and resources in the Name of Jesus. They’re doing this just down the street from us in Niles, Michigan.

I have friends, many of them over the years, who have been involved in this life matter by providing foster care—bringing children into their home. A woman in our church, a couple, have adopted six special needs children who were first theirs through foster care. The other day I saw her and she’s got a baby in her arms. I knew she didn’t have another one, but she’s doing respite care for a foster care mom in her sixties and saying, “This woman needs a break”—so she’s got that woman’s two little children with her—a drug baby and a two-year-old brother. Foster care.

We had a conversation—a wonderful conversation—the other day with a couple who have just adopted their first child internationally and are working on adopting another. They said, “God has blessed us!”

They have two biological children, and they say some people said, “You have children; why would you want to adopt?”

They say, “Because we want to extend the love of Christ to these children who might not have hope for survival apart from somebody stepping in and providing adoption.”

And we certainly need to be concerned about laws that de-value life, to know where our elected officials stand on the issue of life, and to vote knowledgably and responsibly.

Now, having said all that, I feel pretty sure that most of the people listening to this program today would consider themselves to be pro-life. Most of the people in this room, most of the people going to our website—not all—but most would consider yourself pro-life.

But I want to make this a little more personal for those of us who consider ourselves pro-life and ask this question: Do you really treat all human life as precious? And what are you doing in real tangible ways to honor our Creator’s view of life? Do you value and protect life around you? Let me give you a few examples, some things to think about. 

Are you, are your children entertained by movies, shows, video games that sensationalize murder and promote a cheapened view of life? Think about the entertainment in your home, the things that you find humorous or the shows you like to watch. Do they show a de-valuing of human life?

Do you laugh at the cheapening of life or does this grieve you? I think the movie that Robert and I watched the other day, a lot of people would have just said, “That’s an amazing story, that’s a precious story. Look how she loved him.” And she did love him well to a point—and then they said, “This is our life to handle as we see fit.” Does that disturb you, does that trouble you? I think it does, but we need to ask ourselves that kind of question about entertainment.

The value we place on life—the value we really place on life—is seen in:

  • How we view and treat children. Are they a nuisance, are they a bother? Do we want them out of the way?
  • How we treat the poor, those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.
  • How we treat, how we talk about, how we view those with disabilities.
  • How we treat the elderly, our parents, in-laws. 
  • How we treat difficult people. 
  • How we treat those of other faiths.
  • How we treat those of other ethnicities.
  • How we treat people who are immoral, people living in sinful addictions. 
  • How we treat people with whom we disagree politically or theologically.

These are all people who are precious to God—even if the way they think or the way they live may be abhorrent to you or to God—they need to be precious people to us.

So the way we talk to others, the way we talk—maybe more importantly—about others, or the way we don’t talk to those that we diminish or minimize in some way—harshness, slander, destroying their reputation . . .

It is shameful and shocking and so sad to me to read comments from Christians and interaction on social media about people with whom we don’t agree! I’m talking about government officials. I’m talking about our President. I’m talking about people with whom you have theological differences.

You go on some of these Christian blogs and you see such ugliness, such hatred. You go on our blog or Google my name and you’ll see some really ugly stuff . . . but it’s not just me. We do this to each other, and we dismiss each other like, “You don’t matter!” and “You’re nothing!” Words stab, words wound, words destroy!

Cruel, demeaning, mean-spirited . . . when we attack others with our words—written or spoken or typed on a keyboard—we are attacking the image of God! James 3, verse 8 says,

The tongue . . . is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (James 3:8–10). 

These people are precious to God.

I’ve been following a lot over the past year, as you may have been, the goings-on related to the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Now, you may not share all his views theologically, or perhaps in some other areas. That would be true of me as well.

But he was a human being made in the image of God, and he stood for the rights of a whole ethnicity—people made in the image of God. I’ve heard and seen (you probably have, too) not just toward him but toward other leaders of the Civil Rights movement of that era, others who are talking about racial issues in our day. I know some of these are very difficult to know how to deal with.

I’ve heard some of the most angry, ugly spirits being expressed in what is being said and how it’s being said. It doesn’t mean we have to all agree with each other on these things, but there should be a spirit of grace, a spirit of assuming better of others.

I don’t expect non-Christians to talk like Christians, but when you get on social media and on the Internet and you see Christians being vicious with their words—whether toward him or others in this movement or other politicians or whatever—the world should expect Christians to talk and act like Christians. 

Mom blogs . . . you know, you have differences of opinion about how you feed your baby—and scheduling versus not—and food. I saw this the other day: a young mom was wanting to feed her child something and the women were weighing in on, “Don’t feed your child that before he is one,” and “Oh, you should give him that every hour.” I mean, it’s like contentious—not seeing people as created in the image of God and precious.

Do you harbor hatred or anger in your heart toward anyone? You may not say it; you may not put it on a blog. But in Matthew 5, Jesus equates that to murder—because life is precious.

So if you find yourself saying, “I’ve de-valued life; I’ve diminished life”—maybe the way you talk about your daughter-in-law, your son-in-law who has broken your heart, things you’ve said that are unkind, that are malicious, that are ugly, maybe a son or daughter who has broken your heart. They’re still created in the image of God. And you may need, today, to confess to God—and maybe to some other people—“I’ve identified myself as pro-life, but I’ve not valued and protected life as I ought.”

Now, as we wrap up today, I want to just speak for a moment to two specific groups of people who are listening to my voice and just to give a word of hope and gospel to you.

First of all, as we’ve talked about abortion today and in the last program, you may have taken the life of your pre-born child—maybe several—and you find yourself (even though perhaps it’s been decades) eaten up with guilt. You may have failed to value life in the past. There are women sitting in this room of whom this is true, or women listening online today, women listening on a podcast.

I want to say that through repentance you can be fully forgiven and freed from that guilt, and you can begin to promote a culture of life. God may even want to use your story, your failure, to be a means—an instrument—of promoting a culture of life!

There’s a woman who’s been very connected to our ministry who wrote on the True Woman blog some of her story, some time ago. Let me just read a brief excerpt from it (and we’ll link to the blog on ReviveOurHearts.com). She said,

Before knowing Christ I had an abortion. The doctors warned me about the very high possibility of having a baby with birth defects due to a severe chicken pox virus that happened during the time conception.

Since my husband and I walked ‘in the counsel of the wicked’ at that time, I went through what they called ‘a therapeutic abortion’ at or around eight weeks of pregnancy. This was a very dark period of my life, even though we still did not know the depths of our sin. We did not know at the time that even special children are a beautiful gift from the Lord and that He created the mute, the deaf, the seeing, and the blind for His own glory.

Years later God stepped into our lives and in His infinite mercy brought repentance to our hearts and we received His forgiveness. Today my husband and I counsel young people and challenge them to allow God to reign Supreme over their child-bearing decisions. I challenge those girls not only to choose life and oppose abortion, but to be open to God’s desire to bring life through them, so as to continue raising generations of faithful children.

So here’s a woman who, before she knew Jesus, took the life of her unborn child. But here’s a woman who, now, God is using as an ambassador of life—a messenger of life—to give life to others. And that can be true of you as well through repentance and surrender to Christ.

And then there’s another group—maybe small—but as you’re listening to this today, the Lord just providentially had you listening to this program. You’ve been thinking about taking your own life. Maybe you even attempted it. Maybe you feel so in despair, so discouraged, so hopeless that you would seriously entertain thoughts and think, It would just all be better off if I weren’t alive. Maybe you’ve been told this world would be better off if you weren’t alive. Let me say to you as compassionately as I can, “Your life is precious! It’s precious to God! It’s precious to Christ! He died for you! He gave His life to give You life!”

The Lord had you listening to this program today to tell you that there is hope, and by God’s grace you can experience and choose life—through Christ.

And Lord, if we’re honest, all of us would have to say that we don’t value life the way You do. We’ve sinned against other human beings with our words, our thoughts. We’ve harbored anger and bitterness; we’ve wished others would just vanish.

And so, Lord, give us Your heart of compassion. Make us true women who really do value life as being precious and who do all that we can to protect it from the moment of conception all the way to the final breath. Thank You Lord Jesus for laying down Your life for us! I pray that as a result of this program today, there might be some lives that would be saved, for Your glory, for the advancement of Your Kingdom! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Leslie: Wow! Valuing life is a huge contentious issue in our nation. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has taken us past the controversy into the real heart of the issue. Each of us who claim to be pro-life need to seriously consider the challenging words we just heard.

Those words come to you each weekday thanks to listeners who support Revive Our Hearts financially. Nancy’s here to help explain how your investment can make a huge difference for the ministry.

Nancy: A few weeks ago the Revive Our Hearts leadership team was meeting for a day and what came up over and over again was the need for additional staff in specific areas where the ministry’s growing. It’s fruitful, but we need more people to help give leadership to those areas.

And our staff kept saying, “We see so many opportunities, but we need people to be able to get the job done.” So we’re praying that the Lord will bring many new workers to this ministry and that He’ll provide the funding needed to be able to bring those people on the team.

Our team especially thinks about these things during the month of May. That’s when we get ready to set new budgets for the next twelve months, and we’re asking the Lord to provide for some really significant needs. That’s because the opportunities at this time are so great!

In fact, we’ve been praying that He would provide $680,000 in donations during the month of May. So many listeners have already given toward this fiscal year-end need. And if you’re one of those, please hear me when I say we are so grateful for your gift!

And if you’ve been thinking about it—you’ve been prompted but you haven’t got around to it yet—let us hear from you by May 31. That’s just a couple of days away. You can donate online at ReviveOurHearts.com, or give us a call at 1–800–569–5959.

Thanks so much for your prayers and for your financial support to help us continue spreading the truth that is setting women free around the world!

Leslie: The Bible calls children “a blessing from the Lord.” Do you truly believe it? Nancy explores that tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you promote life in every way. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

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