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Adrian Rogers - Families That Choose Life

Adrian Rogers - Families That Choose Life
TOPICS: A Perfect 10 For Homes That Win

Would you turn now to the book of Exodus chapter 20 and we're going to begin reading in Exodus chapter 20 verse 1 through verse 13 so we'll be able to get the sweep of all of these commandments one more time? "And God spake all these words, saying, 'I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.'" That's commandment number one. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments".

That's commandment number two. Number three is, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain". And then the next commandment, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made Heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it".

Then verse 12, "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee". And now this sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill". Look up here and let me tell you this, that life is God's wonderful, wonderful gift. And therefore we ought to enjoy life and we ought to choose life. Jesus is the great life giver. Satan is the great life destroyer. Now, the key verse in the New Testament that helps us to understand this verse is John 10 and verse 10. That helps us to understand this sixth commandment more than anything else. John 10 and verse 10, "Jesus said, 'The thief cometh not but for to steal and to kill and to destroy.'"

Now when He said, "The thief," He's not talking about a thief in the general sense; He's talking about Satan. That's Jesus' name for Satan. Jesus calls him a thief. And Jesus said, "Satan comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy". But He said of Himself, "But I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly". Satan came to destroy; Jesus has come to give life. Now I want you to think, as we talk about families that choose life, I want you to think about the Lord Jesus Christ as the great life giver. Jesus gives three kinds of life. First of all Jesus has given physical life. The very reason that we're here with our hearts beating, with our eyes looking out, and our ears receiving sound; we're sitting in this building because Jesus is the one who gave us this life.

In John 1:3, the Bible says that, "All things were made by Him". And how did He make you? Genesis chapter 2 and verse 7, and by the way parents, teach this over and over and over again to your children because they're not going to get it in the public schools. Listen to it, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And man became a living soul". Listen carefully. There is no way ever that any evolutionist, I don't care who he is, how many degrees he has after his name, where he teaches, there is no way that he can explain the origin of life. Absolutely, you would have to say that evolution falls apart at this point if it didn't fall apart at every other point. This monkey mythology is laughable. To say that life came about by accidental origin and some spontaneous generation, out of some fortuitous concourse of atoms, out of green scum somewhere. By the way, they don't even know where the green scum came from. But to say that life accidentally began.

Now friend, evolution is not science; it is a bias against Almighty God. And we need to teach our children. We need to teach them that Jesus is the author of physical life. He gives physical life. He gives spiritual life. John 14 verse 6, "Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.'" When He said, "I am the Way," He said, "Without Me there is no going". When He said, "I am the Truth," He said, "Without Me there is no knowing". And when He said, "I am the Life," He is saying, "Without Me there is no growing. I give supernatural, spiritual life". Christians are not just nice people who are trying to do better, who have accepted some creed or some code. They are new creatures having been regenerated supernaturally by Jesus Christ who comes into them and transforms them; sends His spirit into their hearts and gives them L-I-F-E, life, supernatural life.

Jesus who gives physical life and Jesus who gives spiritual life is Jesus who gives eternal life. Now remember our verse, John chapter 10 verse 10, "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly". But verses 27 and 28 of that same tenth chapter of John, Jesus is speaking of those who believe in Him. He calls them His sheep and He says, "My sheep hear My voice. And I know them and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life. And they shall never perish". Jesus is the author of physical life, spiritual life, eternal life, never ending life. What does eternal life mean? It speaks of the quality of the life and quantity of the life. He adds years to the life and life to the years. It is a never ending life. A little boy went to the pet store to buy a puppy. There were a lot of puppies, but one was sitting over in the corner wagging his tail. The little fellow said, "I want the one with the happy ending".

Now that's what I want. I want the life that has the happy ending. I want that eternal life, that life that never ends. Now if Jesus is the great life giver, John 10:10 says that, "Satan is the thief, who comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy". John 10:10, "The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy". Satan is the sinister minister of destruction. Jesus in John 8 verse 44 said this about Satan, listen to it, He was speaking to the unsaved Pharisees, and He said, "Ye are of your father the devil and the lust of your father ye will do," now listen carefully, "He," Satan, "was a murderer from the beginning".

Now this command that says, "Thou shalt not kill," is another way of saying we must reject Satan; we must choose life. Satan wants to bring death into your family. He wants to bring death to youth, death to purity, death to joy, death to happiness. He wants to bring physical death. He wants to bring spiritual death. He wants to bring eternal death. He wants to make this life that Jesus said is to be abundant; he wants to make it miserable. Someone wrote these words, "A crust of bread and a corner to sleep in, a minute to smile, and an hour to weep in, a pint of joy, and a peck of trouble, and never a laugh, but the moan comes double, and this is life". Not if you know Jesus. Not if you know the Lord Jesus.

Someone has discovered if you take the word evil and turn it around, it spells live. Take the word live and turn it around, it spells evil. If you take the word lived and spell it backward, it spells devil. If you take the word devil and turn it around, it spells lived. Satan is antithetically against life. Now why does Satan hate life; because he hates man. Well, why does he hate man? Because man is in the image of God and Satan hates God. You are made in the image of God, and that's the reason Satan wants to destroy you. He cannot get at God, so he tries to get at man. Now Satan is the murderer, and his method is deception. He wants to deceive, and then to destroy, and then to damn. Sin thrills and then it kills. Sin fascinates and then it assassinates.

Jesus said in John 10:10, "I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly". Jesus said, "Satan' the thief comes, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy". God's Word says in Exodus 20:13, "Thou shalt not kill". Now when the children of Israel were facing their inheritance, the Promised Land, Moses called them together. This is worth turning to. Would you turn, just fast forward from Exodus to Deuteronomy if you would for just a moment, chapter 30? I want every dad and mom to turn to it if you will, verse 15. Moses had given them the Ten Commandments and then this is what he says in verses 15 to 20, "See, 'I have set before thee this day life and good and death and evil.'" Said, "I've set it before you. There it is. There's life and good, there's death and evil".

"In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, and His statutes, and His judgments that thou mayest live and multiply and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land wherein thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away so that thou wilt not hear but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I denounce unto you this day that ye shall surely perish and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land wither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call Heaven and earth to record against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life".

That's where I got the title for my message this morning, "Families That Choose Life". "Wherefore choose life. It's a choice that both thou and thy seed, that is your children, may live. That thou mayest love the Lord thy God and thou mayest obey His voice and that thou mayest cleave unto Him. For He is thy Life". What a great statement. "He is thy Life," not that He gives life; "He is thy Life and the length of thy days that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob and to give them". Now, when our Lord made man; we read about it over there in Genesis chapter 2 verse 7, "He formed man of the dust of the ground". That's physical life. "He breathed into man's nostrils the Spirit of life, the breath of life".

That's spiritual life and man became a living soul. The soul speaks of the mind, emotion, and the will. That's self-conscious, or social life. And every man every woman has three kinds of life. He is body, soul, and spirit. With his body, he has physical life made of the dust of the ground. With his soul, he has social life. The Greek word for soul is psyche. It's the word we get psychology and psychic from. And then with his spirit, he has spiritual life. He knows the world above him, with his body the world beneath him, with his soul the world around, with his spirit the world above him. He has physical life. He has psychological life. He has spiritual life.

Now, fathers, listen to me. We're talking about the Ten Commandments as they relate to the home. Your wife, your children have three kinds of life. They have physical life, social life, and spiritual life. They were made that way by Almighty God, and it is your job to protect that life. In Deuteronomy chapter 22 and verse 8, "God said, 'When a man builds a house, he's to go up on the roof of that house and he's to build a border.'" The King James' version of the Bible calls it a battlement. We would call it today a parapet wall. He's to build a wall around the roof of that house. And he's to build that wall so that no one will fall off. And he will not be held guilty if he builds that wall to protect the life of those in the home.

In Bible times they spent of a lot of time up on the roof top. They enjoyed themselves, but God said, "It is the father's responsibility to protect his family from death. If he doesn't do it, he will be guilty of their blood". Now having said all of that, let's just talk about three kinds of life that we're to choose. And let's see what fathers are to do and mothers are to do to protect these homes. First of all, the family is given to protect physical life. From what? Well, number one, from intentional killing. There are people today; it's a bloody and a murderous society. In the streets of our cities we have people who are being gunned down, murdered, killed in cold blood, gratuitously killed and their blood cries from the ground. And one day God who said, "Thou shalt not kill," will judge them. There's the crime of homicide. There's the crime of suicide.

As I studied, and as I've been studying about homes I'm so alarmed at the rise of teenage suicide. What a grievous thing. What a heart breaking thing it is for anybody to take his or her own life. Listen to your pastor, no one, no one ever has the right to take his own life, never. Number one it is never his. It is not his. It belongs to God, and the most incurable disease, the most constant pain, the greatest trouble and heartache, the worst persecution that you can mention is still no reason to take one's own life. Because it takes out of God's hand matters which he is wise enough, strong enough, and good enough to handle.

Could a Christian commit suicide in a moment of deep despondency, in a moment of mental derangement? Some may, but it is never ever an answer that God approves of. It never makes matters better. How painful, and hurtful, and how harmful it is when a person faces the Savior. How ashamed he will be. What shame and sorrow is left to families behind. Never do that. Jesus will give grace. First Corinthians chapter 10 verse 13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be too tempted above that you are able but will with the temptation make a way to escape".

And the word temptation is used in the Bible as an inducement to sin but also means testing and trial and sorrow. God will give grace, and God will make a way. Then not only is there homicide and suicide that families need to be protected from in these days, but, oh, the crime of infanticide, the taking of innocent little lives. In America, some 4,000 a day are snuffed out, every day. Like that, little lives, and they're being put to death, listen, with governmental approval. Do you know what the Supreme Court said in February of 1973? This ought to make you angry. Listen, they ruled, quote, "That every woman in the United States now has the same right to an abortion during the first six months of pregnancy, as she has in any other," listen to this, "minor surgery; any other minor surgery".

I deplore the classification of little preborn children and their death as minor surgery. Something very wrong in America, when we protect spotted owls and whales and snail darters and eagles and have made perhaps the most dangerous place the mother's womb. The real issue, of course, is simply this, when does life begin? That's the real issue. Jeremiah 1:5 answers it, if you're a Bible believer. God said to Jeremiah, "Before I formed thee in the belly, I know thee. And before thou camest out of the womb, I sanctified thee and ordained thee a prophet unto the nations". That little baby, there in that life, in that mother's womb is life. What kind of life is it: vegetable life, or animal life, or human life? It is human life. Somebody said, "That's not a human being any more than a nut and bolt put together in a Ford factory is a Ford".

There's a difference. That nut and bolt will always be a nut and bolt, but that baby in his mother's womb has every component of life and you add to it is nutrition and fluid; it continues to grow. The analogy does not fit within 18 to 25 days the heart of this little human being is beating. Brain waves may be recorded in 45 days. In eight weeks the brain is completely present. By this time the little one will respond to touch. At nine or ten weeks, he will squint, swallow, move his tongue. In two more weeks, he has fingernails, sucks his thumb, swallows, digests, recoils from noise or pain. All of the organ systems are functional. Nothing new will develop. All he does is simply just pass on down through the birth canal. That's life.

Dr. R. A. Gallop, made the Gallop Poll so famous, said this, "If a doctor will take money for killing the innocent in the womb, he will kill you with a needle when paid by your children". In the newspaper, I read this but I couldn't believe it, but yet knowing today's insanity I did believe it. It told of Frank Balun, a New Jersey gardener. He was in his seventies. He went out, you know, to grow tomatoes. Everybody has to try that one time or another, to grow tomatoes. And a rat was coming out there and eating his tomatoes. So Mr. Balun, Frank Balun set a trap for this rat, and he caught the rat, and the rat was trying to get out. And Mr. Balun took a broomstick, wrapped it in newspaper and beat that rat to death, that was eating his tomatoes.

Now, Mr. Lee Bernstein, the Associated Humane Society Executive Director issued a summons for his arrest, for Mr. Balun's arrest. And he said that he needed to be fined $1250 for killing that rat and could face up to six months in jail. His crime, he beat a rat to death with a broom stick. Now when Mr. Bernstein found out that people were laughing at him all over America, this is what he said. Listen to this, "The fact that the animal was killed is not why the summons came, but the summons came because it was a trapped animal that could not escape and it was mutilated and died a horrible death". Not that I killed a rat, that's okay. But it was trapped, he couldn't escape. When I read that, I thought about little babies in their mother's womb, little babies in their mother's womb who are trapped and cannot escape and are mutilated in their mother's womb. Yet here's a man who wants to arrest another man for killing a rat who's been eating his tomatoes.

You say, "Well what do you know about it? You are not a medical doctor, Pastor". Well, let me tell you what a medical doctor said. Dr. Landrum Shettles served for more than a quarter of a century as the attending obstetrician and gynecologist in Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. He pioneered in the field of sperm biology, fertility, and sterility. And a part of his international reputation lies in the discovery of male and female producing sperm. This man's no six or seven either, he is a medical doctor of no mean repute. Listen to what he says, he said, "I oppose abortion. I do so first because I accept what is biologically manifest that human life commences at the time of conception. And second, because I believe it is wrong to take innocent human life under any circumstances. My position is scientific, pragmatic, and humanitarian".

That's a man, I don't know whether he's saved or not but he thinks straight. Now, but not only is there this matter of direct transgression of this commandment, there's the indirect transgression that we need to warn our children about. Cruelty, cruelty is a way of killing people. I'm just talking about being heartless. Some sons have put their mothers in an early grave. Some husbands have put their wives in an early grave. Some of you have pinched wrinkles into your daddy's brow and put gray hairs in your mother's head because of the way that you live. The Chinese used to have an ancient torture and form of execution. They called it the Chinese water torture. They would strap a man into a chair and put over his head a huge reservoir of water and let the water just drip on the man's head until finally the whole nervous system would explode in devastating rebellion and it would end in horrible death. Drip, drip, drip, drip.

Some of you are killing people that way. Other forms, I believe people that are guilty of this are people who are in corrupt businesses. I would never be in the whiskey business, not because of financial matters, but because of this verse that says, "Thou shalt not kill". The liquor industry, and we need to teach our kids this. They don't understand it. Hollywood is saying drink it, Madison Avenue is saying drink it. Their friends are saying drink it, but listen, the liquor industry has the curse of God upon it. Whiskey is brewed with tears and thickened with blood and flavored with death.

Listen to these Scriptures, Habakkuk chapter 2 verse 12, "Woe unto him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity". Habakkuk 2 verse 15, "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink". What's he saying? People say, "Well liquor is good for business". God says, "Woe unto him that buildeth a town with blood and establisheth a city with iniquity. Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink". Did you know that six times as many Americans lost their lives due to alcohol during the same period of time as in the Vietnam War? Six times as many! When is somebody going to say, "Well we made a mistake about alcohol"? They won't do it. Every 22 minutes somebody's killed in an alcohol related crash. Every 60 seconds someone is maimed. We have millions of teenage alcoholics in America today. Here's a letter that was written to the Dallas Morning News. It's signed by a medical doctor in Dallas. He works in the Parkland Hospital there.

"Recently we saw another preview of Hell in the Parkland Hospital emergency room. A woman struck down by a drunken driver, a college student lying semiconscious following a head on collision with another drunken driver who himself was critically injured. The drunk's companion was dead. Four other drunks with lacerations and stab wounds waiting to be treated. Night after night, year after year the same bloody trail of horror: major automobile accident injuries, stabbings, rapes, wife beatings, and nightly emergencies treated and released, admitted to the hospital, or pronounced dead on arrival and almost always the bloody trail is lead by the honored man of distinction who again drinketh. Almost always the moderate drinker, not the alcoholic. I wonder is there so much joy to be gained from the total consumption of all the beers and whiskeys ever made to ever equal a small fraction of the innocent suffering, the damaged bodies, the broken marriages, the discarded children, the total brutality, and the crimes will ever accompany its use. What a quiet place our emergency rooms would be if beverage alcohol was ever abolished from our city".

That's a medical doctor. Now I know that alcohol has many defenders, but it has no defense. I mean it has turned our highways into slaughter pens and our homes into prisons of despair. Fathers you need to build a wall. Take that boy, take that girl down some Saturday night, some Friday night to the emergency room and let them see. They don't understand. These kids think they're invincible. I'll tell you another way that we transgress this. It's just by failing to take care of our bodies and temple maintenance. We commit suicide by degrees. Many of us who look down our long noses at the drunkard, we're killing ourselves with a knife and fork. Hello! Someone has well said that, "We, Americans are digging their grave with their teeth, killing themselves with immorality and embalming themselves with alcohol".

Now you say, "Well, Pastor, I'm free from all of those things". Well one more thing and I can see that I'm certainly not going to come to the bottom line of this message. But here's where we all need to listen. Our Lord said in the spirit of this command that if we allow hatred in our hearts, we have transgressed this command. First John 3 verse 15, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in Him". Mental murder, is there somebody you hate? You say, "I'm not in the liquor business. I'm not an abortionist. I'm not a strong armed thug. I'm not a terrorist. I'm not a drug pusher. I don't have one of those rock bands that encourage suicide".

Do you hate anybody? Do you? Is your heart headquarters for hate? Now I believe in salvation by grace, but according to John, you're going to Hell. You're going to Hell. If you are a person who hates others, I don't care what kind of hate. It could be racial hate, religious hate, revengeful hate. Somebody has done something bad to you. Fathers should protect physical life. Fathers should provide social life. That was my second point, never got to it; but should make the home a happy place. And then fathers should present spiritual life. Dads ought to lead their children to Jesus. I have four children on this Earth and a little boy in Heaven. And my four children are a long way from perfect. You know how the preacher's kids get into trouble. They get that way playing with the deacons' kids. But, they're not perfect, but I tell you they all love God.

When Steve was a teenager, I got to watching him. I didn't see the beauty of Jesus in his life, though he'd walked down the aisle and made a profession of faith. I said, "Steve get in the car with me. Would you please? Let's just go for a ride". I said, "Let's just go out and walk in the woods. Let's spend a day just walking in the woods". And I said to him, "Son, daddy has got to know that you know Jesus". We talked. I didn't try to put a strangle hold on him. But I just wanted to know that I knew that he knew Jesus. And out there in the woods we kneeled and prayed. He assured me, "Daddy I love Jesus". And he's showing it now through his life.

One day I was praying and I said, "Lord, if any of my children are not saved," I don't have any reason now to believe that any of them are not saved, but, "if any of them are not saved, oh, Lord, I don't want to go to Heaven without all my children". I didn't say anything to my wife Joyce or the children about it. But the next Sunday when I gave the invitation, my oldest daughter Gayle came down the aisle and she said, "Daddy, I don't believe I've ever really and truly been saved. I want to be saved". She'd already been baptized. She gave her heart to Jesus. And I believe it was directly related to that prayer. "Oh, God if any of my children are not saved, I want them saved".

Families need to choose life. Choose life! And dads you've got to build a wall around the roof of your house, lest your children fall off. You need to protect them; their physical life. You need to provide their social life and make home the happiest place on Earth. And you need to pray for and plead for their spiritual life and say, "I will not go to Heaven without my children to come with me". Families need to choose life. "Satan has come to steal and to kill and to destroy. But Jesus has come that we might have life".

Would you bow your heads in prayer? Right now you can choose life. Right now you can be saved. Right now you can invite Christ into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior. I'm going to ask that no one move; no one stir about; but bow your heads in prayer and I want to lead you in a prayer. If you're not certain that you're saved. If you don't know for certain that if you died right now you could go to Heaven. You can get it settled right now. Now you can choose life and abundant life. Would you pray a prayer like this, "Dear God," that's right, just pray:

Dear God, I know that You love me and I know that You want to save me. Lord, You promised to save me if I would trust You. I do trust You. Jesus, I believe You're the Son of God. I believe Jesus You died on that cross for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead and now I turn from my sin and I receive You by faith as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart; forgive my sin; save me, Lord Jesus.

Would you pray that prayer right now?

Save me, Lord Jesus. I repent of my sin. I yield my life to You. Thank You, Lord, for saving me. I don't look for a feeling; I don't ask for a sign; I stand on Your Word. Thank You for saving me. And now Jesus, begin to make me the person You want me to be, because I'm very weak. Begin now, Lord, to make me the person You want me to be. And Lord, give me the courage to make this public. In Your holy name I pray, Amen.

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