“Help, Yahweh, for the godly man ceases to be, for the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.” (Psalm 12:1)
What words these are in our time. This week the state of New York legalized abortion up to the moment of birth, including murdering a child that survived an abortion. Abortion has been completely removed from criminal statutes, meaning that it is no longer a crime – under any circumstances – to bring about the death of an unborn child. If a mugger attacks a pregnant woman and her baby dies, he faces no consequences for the death of that child.
Perhaps worst of all, at the passing of this terrible law, many in the New York legislature burst into cheers and applause.
There are times when Christians can despair of our culture and society. Wide scale murder, on a level only dreamed about by Lenin, Hitler, and others, is now celebrated and exalted. Molech reigns.
Here’s the issue, though. Molech has always reigned. Death has always been the mark of human culture, ever since Adam rebelled against God.
Cain’s great-great-grandson, Lamech, boasted that he had killed a man who attacked him, and claimed that God was on his side (Genesis 4:23-24).
Yahweh determined to destroy all life because the earth was saturated with violence (Genesis 6:11).
When Noah and his family emerged from the flood, they were almost immediately warned about the consequences of violence and murder (Genesis 9:6).
So no Christian should be surprised that our world is as dark and ugly as it is. Sin brings death, and always has.
The answer is not legislation or laws or rolling back Roe V. Wade. If we could manage to return the United States of America to its pre-Roe state, we would not have changed a single thing about human hearts and souls. Women did seek abortions before Roe. The legalization of abortion did not change human hearts for the worse. Just as man who hires someone to kill another is guilty of murder, even if he was not the killer, a woman who undergoes an abortion is equally guilty of murder (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28). (If abortion is murder – and it is – both the woman who undergoes an abortion, and the abortionist himself or herself, is a murderer).
The world is filled with God-denying, idolatrous, profane, faithless, hateful, murderous, adulterous, thieving, lying, coveters. (Exodus 20:1-17). Laws, at best, punish the most obvious forms of these sins. At worst, laws seek to regulate them, normalize them, make them ok under certain circumstances.
No wonder Isaiah writes, “Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, devastation and destruction are in their highways. They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked, whoever treads on them does not know peace.” (Isaiah 59:7–8)
Why would anyone think that laws could change, or even restrain, such evil? It’s a fool’s errand to think that if we make people behave differently, they will BE different.
No, the only answer is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by which a wicked, rebellious, hateful sinner is miraculously transformed.
When a man or woman is touched by the Gospel, their eyes are open to the wickedness that filled them, and fills the world.
Their pride is broken.
They become aware of their own guilt and sin, and filled with horror and loathing at their own shame. (If it were not for the mercy of God, no one could survive this sudden awareness of their own evil.)
They long to be clean and forgiven.
They desperately turn away from their sin, and leap for the Savior, trusting (hoping) that He will keep His promise.
And they find Him not only waiting, but drawing them to Himself, opening their eyes to their sin and guilt, forcing them to see the truth about themselves. They find that Jesus Christ born the wrath of God against sinners. They find that Jesus grants those who believe His own righteousness. They find that Jesus is a gentle, loving, kind Savior.
They receive grace, the blessings of God they do not deserve. They receive mercy, the rescue from the judgment they do deserve. They find God to be utterly faithful, never breaking His promise, and keeping every single promise. They find peace, love, safety, and hope for all eternity.
We can certainly pray that the Lord will have mercy on our land, and preserve the United States from destruction. We can even pray that better laws are passed.
But apart from the Gospel of God every human being will continue this life dead in sin, filled with wickedness, and suffer eternal torment in hell.
The good news – and the Gospel IS good news – is that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. Each Christian ought say, with the apostle Paul, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost.” (1 Timothy 1:15). And rather than cursing this world for not being different, we ought to consider ourselves recipients of mercy, and ambassadors for God, carrying the best possible news a condemned sinner could hear:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16–17)