I was flying from Los Angeles to Miami when I found myself sitting next to two women. Sarah was sitting closest to me. She was 29, inappropriately dressed, with a ring through her nose, and she wasn’t the friendliest person I have sat next to on a plane.
After we took off I couldn’t help but notice that her friend kept kissing her on the cheek, holding her hand and rubbing her shoulder. They were “gay,” and that little revelation lifted my planned witnessing encounter up a big notch on the awkward meter. I really didn’t want an angry homosexual couple complaining to the airline (and the media) that I was a homophobic fundamentalist, imposing my “hate speech” by saying that they were going to hell because they were gay.
I waited until she had eaten, finished her movie, and simply said, “Sarah. I have a question for you. Do you think there’s an afterlife?”
She wasn’t sure, so I asked, “If heaven exists, are you going there? Are you a good person?”
She predictably said she was, so I took her through three of the Ten Commandments – had she lied, stolen and taken God’s name in vain? She had broken all three, so we then looked at whether or not she would be guilty on Judgment Day and whether she would go to heaven or hell. I then shared the cross and the necessity for repentance and faith in Jesus.
I didn’t mention her sexual orientation; I didn’t need to, nor did I want to. I simply shared the moral law (the Ten Commandments), because the Bible says that the law was “made” for homosexuals – see 1 Timothy 1:8-10. She wasn’t offended, and I kept her friendship and stayed out of jail.
What about a woman planning an abortion?
Trying to witness to someone who is about to take the life of her child is also high on the awkward list. It’s awkward, mainly because the mind of this person is preoccupied with what she is about to do and therefore it’s difficult to get her attention.
However, if she would stop and talk, I would handle the situation similarly to my conversation with Sarah. The reason for that is that I don’t want to reform people. I didn’t want Sarah to stop being gay and end up in hell for her lying, theft and blasphemy. I don’t want to just stop a woman from killing her child and have her go to hell for her other sins. With God’s help I want to see more than a change of mind. I want to see a change of heart.
Contrary to popular opinion, most who take the life of their child through abortion believe in God. Even the staunchest fundamentalist atheist believes in God. I know because I have an inside source. I have a “whistleblower” – “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:20-22).
Those who abort the life of their children are “idolaters,” illustrated in the fact that their god condones the taking of a human life. They have no fear of God before their eyes. So your agenda, with the help of God, is to stir her God-given conscience to do its duty and put the fear of God within her, and you can do that as I did with Sarah and her homosexuality, without even mentioning the elephant in the room – the impending abortion.
To put the fear of God in someone means that you will have to stay with the biblical gospel. Do not use the “God has a wonderful plan” message, because it is both unbiblical and will do more damage than good. If you really believe that that message is biblical, think for a few moments about how the first eleven disciples were murdered for their faith. If you know Church history, you will know that the foundation of the church is founded in the blood of the saints. Jesus warned that people would kill Christians thinking that they are doing God a favor.
Imagine you have been asked to preach the gospel to 1,000 people on the 100th floor of the World Trade Center the night before 9/11. You know that within 24 hours every person looking at you will die a death so horrific it defies human imagination. Many will be burned alive. Others will jump 100 stories to their deaths on the unforgiving sidewalks of New York. Others will fall with the building and be so crushed that their bodies will never be recovered. What are you going to tell them – that God has a wonderful plan for their lives? You can’t say that to people who are about to die!
Instead you would soberly tell them that it’s appointed to man once to die and after this, the judgment. You would tell them that God is holy, that He will judge them by His perfect law, that hell is very real and that they desperately need a Savior. You would tell them that they could die within 24 hours, and plead with them to repent and trust alone in Jesus.
If you have to change the message you normally preach, then you are not preaching the biblical gospel. Why would you have a different message for people who are walking the streets of this world and are about to die? Every day 150,000 people throughout this world pass into death, many of whom will die in terrible ways – through horrific car accidents and through the suffering of cancer.
Think of David and Nathan the prophet. David had coveted his neighbor’s wife, stolen her, lived a lie, committed adultery and murdered her husband. He had violated the Ten Commandments, but he wasn’t too worried. His conscience wasn’t doing its duty.
God had commissioned Nathan to expose the king’s terrible sin. So what did Nathan say? Did he say, “David, God has a wonderful plan for your life”? What has that got to do with anything?
David was a criminal, and Nathan was there to expose his crimes, not speak of some wonderful plan. The faithful preacher began in the natural realm with a story about the theft and slaughter of a poor man’s lamb, and when David became indignant about that man’s sin, Nathan said, “YOU are that man. Why have you despised the Commandment of the Lord!”
And that’s when David cried, “I have sinned against God.”
Think for a moment as to whether or not the “wonderful plan” message could ever have elicited that response. Why should it? It doesn’t bring any knowledge of sin or the fear of God. It doesn’t stir the conscience. But the law does. It made David tremble. The Law stirred the king’s seared conscience so that it would do its God-given duty, and we can see its result in the penitent prayer of Psalm 51. And that’s what we must do with those who see nothing wrong with the taking of the life of their unborn child. Their terrible sin must be made personal, so that the fear of the Lord causes them to depart from it. The instant someone is converted to Jesus Christ, they know that means no more lying, stealing, lust, pornography, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, idolatry and no murdering of your own children.
In Mark 10:17 we are told of the story of the rich young ruler who ran to Jesus, kneeled down and said, “Good master. What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He ran (was earnest), he kneeled down (he was humble), and he asked the question we so wish the world would ask, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
But instead of leading him in a sinner’s prayer, Jesus reproved him of his use of the word “good.” Proverbs 20:6 says, “Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,” and they certainly do. Ask anyone if they think they are a good person and most will say that they are. So Jesus used the Ten Commandments to bring the knowledge of sin to show him that he wasn’t good at all. He, like Nathan, made sin personal.
Paul did this in Romans 2 when he said, “You who say you shall not steal; do you steal? You who say you shall not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?”
Such faithful talk will cause the sinner to tremble as Felix trembled when Paul reasoned with him – not about some wonderful plan, but of “sin, temperance and judgment.”
The stirring of the dormant conscience coupled with a knowledge that a holy God will hold her accountable should be enough to put the fear of God within someone who is about to commit the murder of her own offspring. May God help us to be faithful, courageous and give us wisdom and help us to stop such slaughter.
You can learn how to do this through free resources on www.livingwaters.com.