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" Right to Life? "

"My times are in Your hand" (Ps31:15a) "Precious in the sight of Jehovah is the death of His saints." (Ps116:15)

"As Jehovah lives, Jehovah shall strike him, or his day shall come to have died, or..." (1Sa26:10) "In a moment they die, in the middle of the night; people convulse and pass away; the mighty are taken away without a hand." (Job34:20)

"When your days are fulfilled and you have rested with your fathers" (2Sa7:12) To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heavens: A time to be born, and a time to die..." (Ec3:1-2)

"Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass beyond it." (Job14:5)

"For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand." (2Ti4:6) "...knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ made known to me." (2Pe1:14)

No more had Terri Schiavo died one day; but the very next, by the time I had returned home from work, it was on all the TV networks: the pope's "imminent death", watching ('live') the lights in the papal apartment windows. One local station seemed to devote most of their half-hour newscast to the pope, and all the local prayer vigils, masses and church 'hours' where people could go light candles and contemplate/pray. There was other local news that needed reporting...some of it went whizzing by my store several times throughout the day in the form of -multitudes- of fire trucks and emergency vehicles, the likes of which I've never seen before, even compared to the time the sewage treatment plant had an explosion killing a worker; and the previous night there had been a "jumper" incident on one of the local bridges which needed a follow-up report; but none of that rated any mention, because: clear on the opposite side of the globe, "the pope is dying".

In the Schiavo case many were the complaints because Terri's artificial feeding tube had been removed; the stopping of life-extending measures; accusations of "murder" and "euthanasia". On the other hand as reporters indicated how the pope refused to go to the hospital, but insisted on "dying at home", there is a spirit of commendation and pride, that the pope was 'lucid', 'strong' and "in charge" of himself, even to the end.

Both were catholic, believing the same doctrines about "life". While Terri's husband's lawyer spoke on camera of "right-to-die" and "death-with-dignity", and catholics complaining that Terri had been "murdered"; the pope is eulogized that he was welcomed into Heaven, into the arms of Mary.

Many speak of the "wishes" of the dying, of "living wills". Actually, it is becoming clear that the living could care less about the wishes of the dying! Again recently a local funeral home has been advertising: the TV ad begins with a woman speaking of how they had scattered the ashes of her departed mother ACCORDING TO HER WISHES, "but now we wish we hadn't"; wishing there was a place to memorialize, to go and 'visit'. Doesn't matter 'what' the departed one wished, the living are going to do with their bodies what they want, anyway. And this is the funeral home's message: Ignore the wishes of the dying, and do what you want with the dead....and of course: 'we' are here to help you with those arrangements.

What did Terri Schiavo want? We may never know. People were praying for the pope, no longer for 'recovery', but for a "peaceful death"; something they weren't willing to give to Terri, preferring instead to make of her a national spectacle, full of the accompanying theatrics.

After the Schiavo case it is claimed that the subject of "right-to-life" is going to be addressed in Congress. The US Constitution speaks of the "unalienable rights" of its citizens to, among other things, "life"; that this "right" is endowed by the Creator.

To artificially shorten life is called "murder" or "euthanasia". But what is the proper term for artificially -extending- life? Presumption? Does sinful man have the unconditional "right", before his Maker, to life?

Like I said to one person who wrote regarding the Schivo case, "death" is part of life on this sinful earth. Death is the consequences ("wages" Rom6:23) of sin. Unless a Believer is alive when Christ comes, and goes through the rapture (Jn11:26) "in Adam -everyone- dies" (1Co15:22), "And as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this the judgment" (Heb9:27) Death is not 'pretty' or pleasant. And often suffering is involved. And there is nothing we can do about it. And our emotions don't change a thing... I suspect God gave us emotions, partly, so that we could feel just how awful death is. And those who take heed, look at their own hearts, and repent of their sin before God, can receive His blessing of Eternal Life. I 'feel' for all those whose emotions have burst forth, as they also harden their hearts against God.

God set forth His Law and exhorts through Moses: "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live" (De30:19)

What was the context of that statement? God's Law: doing righteousness and rejecting evil and sin. If people -do- righteousness, God offers life. "You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am Jehovah." (Le18:5, Ga3:12)

But if a person disobeys God's Law? "..the soul who sins shall die" (Ezk18:4) Death.

Does today's humanity have a "right" to life? One of the Bible's closing blessings is stated: "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life" (Rev22:14)

Is today's world -doing- His commandments? Not hardly! In public displays they are carting the Ten Commandments away from public view into back closets. If juries decide cases of "morality" from having read the Bible while deliberating, their decision is overturned. Depictions of Jesus coming to the world as flesh-and-blood (manger scenes) are not allowed on publicly tax-funded property. In a nation espousing "free speech", if a mob of sodomites and transvestites is demonstrating publicly, a relatively 'few' Christians are arrested and carted away if they dare to hold signs decrying the immorality.

Is today's world -doing- God's commandments? No? Well, then, does today's world have a "right" to life?

The prophet proclaims: "Through Jehovah’s kindness (mercies) we are not consumed, because His compassions never fail." (Lam3:22)

The fact that any of us are "alive" is not because we have that 'right', but because God has had pity on us, knowing that we are "dust" (Ps103:14), and is 'sparing' us the instant judgment we deserve.

But does that give man the right to kill another human indiscriminantly? God commands: "Do not murder" (Ex20:13); and established the death penalty with Noah after the flood. (Gen9:5-6) The giving or taking of life is at God's authority. A person is not to 'take' another life; but neither does he have the ability to 'give' life

Any time a person dies, it is the natural outworking of sin. Based on our proclivity to sin, our only right is to die and receive judgment.

The only ones for whom death is "precious" in God's sight is for His saints.

A "saint" is not someone who has been "beatified" by the pope. The word "saint" and "holy" mean the same thing. The word "holy" can apply to both people and objects. The word "saint" applies specifically to people. People who have "separated" themselves from the world and sin, and have been separated to God. People who have received the "washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" and thus have been "saved" (Tit3:5) "Saved" from what? Saved "from wrath" through the "justification" provided by Christ's blood. (Rom5:9) Thus, Paul writes to the churchs, to those "called saints" (Rom1:7, 1Co1:2); "to the saints" (Eph1:1, Col1:2) Jesus is coming back to earth to reign "...and all the saints with [Him]" (Zec14:5)

Eternal Life is not a 'right', but a "hope" to those having been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (Eph1:13, Tit1:2,3:7); by "grace through faith" (Eph2:8) to "as many as received Him" (Jn1:12) Once the "change" has come (Job14:14, 1Co15:51), then we have "right to the Tree of Life" (Rev22:14)

Until that Day, "in Adam -everyone- dies" (1Co15:22)

Amen!


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