Do not be frightened or afraid
By Rick Light
My Dear Co-Laborers in the Gospel,
Luke 2: 10-12 says, “But the angel said to them, Do not be frightened, for, behold, I
bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people; because to you is born
this day in the town of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign
for you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”
First, notice the exhortation “Do not be frightened or afraid, literally stop being
frightened,” when God shows up or his holy angels we are naturally fearful because of
our sin. We want to run and hide, just like our first parents! What’s going to stop me
from being fearful? The message of the Evangel, which was, “I bring you good news.”
The gospel! As it was proclaimed by the angel so it is proclaimed by us! Next notice
that it is good news that brings, “great joy.” What greater joy could there be than the
realization and acceptance of the fact that God himself, through the sacrifice of His one
and only Son, had brought about the solution of the world’s greatest problem, that of
sin! And was not the Son’s incarnation the first step in this solution? Next notice that this
message of good news is, “for all the people,” regardless of nationality, age, wealth,
fame, social position, education, etc. Next notice that the One promised long, long ago
is now born in the town of David, even as the prophet foretold.
Our mission and purpose since 1958 has been to proclaim the good news of the Gospel
to all men everywhere, any time, any place. What a joy to work along side of you in
helping you to keep at it, by the grace of God!
From all of your REF staff members, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a most
blessed New Year!
Together in Christ,
Dr Rick Light
By John O’Roark
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
With the monumental decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade on June 24, 2022, Christians may be wondering, “What next?” Is the battle against abortion won? For nearly 50 years, pro-lifers have been vying for Roe to be overturned. Now that Roe is no more, is there anything left for the Christian to do to stand up for the rights of our littlest neighbors: the pre-born baby? The answer is an overwhelming “Yes!” The battle against abortion is far from over.
The overturning of Roe does not make abortion illegal in the United States. The individual
States have always had the right and the duty to outlaw abortion under their own State laws; even when Roe was the Supreme Court’s opinion. Nevertheless, Roe vs. Wade was always an excuse for States to say that they cannot make laws that outlaw abortion. This was never a good excuse, but now that Roe is gone, this is an irrelevant point. There is nothing, whether perceived or actual, that is standing in the way of a State totally abolishing abortion. There is no longer the false statement “Roe vs. Wade is the law of land” nor is there the excuse, “We have to follow the Supreme Court on this.” With no more Roe, there are no more excuses on account of Roe.
With the excuses of Roe eliminated, Christians must stand up and prophetically call their
legislators to justice. Abolishing abortion simply means this: Laws against murder should be applied to all people equally; both born and pre-born people alike. This means that our law codes should not have a separate category for “abortion.” Rather, our laws against homicide should simply include the pre-born from the point of fertilization (i.e. when life begins in the womb) onward. God says that He hates unequal standards. “Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 20:10; see also Lev. 19:36, Deut. 25:13-15, Prov. 11:1, 16:1, 20:23). In other words, you shall not have one standard for yourself and another standard for others. That is unjust. Yet this is exactly how we treat the pre-born. We have one set of homicide laws for the born and another (lesser) set of homicide laws for the pre-born.
Christians need to be calling their legislators to make laws that provide equal rights to born and pre-born people. In my home state of Tennessee we have what is called a “Trigger Law.” This was a law that was made in 2019 that, upon the overturning of Roe, would automatically go into place and outlaw certain abortion procedures. Now that Roe has been overturned this law
will be effective in July 2022 (30 days after Roe was overturned). This law will make it illegal for abortion doctors to provide abortions in the state of TN. Sounds good, right? Yet this law is unjust. How so? Under this law, an abortionist would only be committing a Class C felony by murdering a pre-born child. Class C felonies in Tennessee carry possible sentences of 3 to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. Yet, in TN, First Degree Murder is a category by itself, even more severe than Class A felonies. So, for example, murdering a 4 year old would be categorized as First Degree Murder, with the possibility of the death penalty. On the other hand, murdering a pre-born child may get you 3-15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. These are unequal standards for born and pre-born people.
Another problem with TN’s Trigger Law is that it doesn’t penalize women who murder their pre- born baby on their own without the aid of an abortionist. In other words, it is not illegal in TN for a mother to kill her child with an abortion pill on her own. This is not equal protection for pre- born babies because it does not forbid mothers from murdering their babies; it only criminalizes abortion doctors who murder pre-born babies. Yet if a mother murders her 2-year old in TN, she will charged with First Degree Murder. If the laws against murder were applied equally (i.e. justly), the law against First Degree Murder would apply no matter who the murderer is (mother of the victim or not) and no matter who the victim is (a pre-born person or a born person).
Looking at Tennessee as an example, we can see that even with States that have laws against abortion coming into play after the overturning of Roe, it does not necessarily mean that abortion has been justly outlawed in that State. We as Christians still have much to do if we are truly seeking justice. We need to call our legislators to write laws that penalize all murderers; whether they kill a pre-born person or a born person; and whether the murderer is a doctor or a mother (or anyone else).
Ultimately, the only way that people will no longer desire to murder their own children is if they are given a new heart with new desires. Only God can do this. Ezekiel 36:26-27, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
God gives new hearts the Holy Spirit through the means of the preaching of the Gospel of
Jesus. The Gospel is therefore the foundational remedy to the abortion issue because 1)
Through the preaching of the Gospel God makes people born again which results in new
desires to obey God, and therefore not to murder their own babies, and 2) For those who are guilty of murdering their baby, God offers free forgiveness in Jesus for those who repent of all their sins and trust that their only hope of salvation from the wrath of God is that Jesus took the penalty for them that they deserve when He died on the cross. The preaching of the Gospel, then, is the thing that Christians must be diligent to do in responding to the issue of abortion.
So now that Roe is no more, what’s next? 1) Continue to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and 2) Lift up your prophetic voice to the legislators of your State to do justice in the eyes of God for the sake of the pre-born (Psalm 2:10-12; Psalm 119:46-47). There is always much to do with regard to fighting against abortion (even beyond the two things noted above), but the main point is simple: Seek to advance God’s kingdom through the Gospel and seek to