Friday, August 29, 2014

Hell.

Most people don’t like to talk about Hell. It’s uncomfortable. It’s unclear. More often than not, when people do talk about Hell, it’s to manipulate and scare someone to Christ. Not a good idea. So, Hell is typically a subject that people avoid and there is no need to feel uneasy about it or to use it as a weapon. Let’s take a look at Scripture to see what it says.

Who will go to Hell?

No one wants to hear that their dearly departed is in Hell, so most people just stick with “they’re in a better place” and with good cause…that would be just plain rude to imply the opposite, but some people do, in fact go to Hell. Who?
Matthew 25:31-46 implies that all who love toward those less fortunate will gain eternal life and those who reject them will receive eternal punishment. Revelation 21:8 says that the “cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” However, the lake of burning sulfur is NOT the Hell (or Hades) that people go to at the first death. That is the second death. Hades is thrown in the lake as well.
So, wait…being a good person gets you into heaven? No, not exactly. Acts 16:31 tells us that simply believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord will save you.
So, who goes to Hell? Everyone who does not believe that Christ saved them will. If you simply accept your salvation, you’re golden. Literally.
Now that sparks the question of “well what if they had lived a few more years? What if they would have eventually accepted Christ, but they died too soon?” That will not happen. If a person has not yet reached an age of accountability, or was simply taken before they were ready, then He will send them wherever they would have chosen to go. He is GOD after all, He is all-knowing. He knows where you would have placed your faith had you been given the chance.
As unimaginable as it is that someone could have a true God experience and still turn away from Him…well I do not have an answer for that. I can’t imagine someone coming face to face with Him and not falling to their knees in awe, but the Bible says that it will happen.

What is Hell like?

Well the Bible says that there will be flames and moaning and weeping and gnashing of teeth. Do I take this literally? Heck to the no!
Flames are used several times in the Bible to represent judgment. God is a fiery God. Jesus returns to Earth engulfed in flames. These are symbols of judgment and because Hell is the result of your judgment…it makes sense for it to be referred to as fiery. I do not think people will actually burn for eternity. God puts people in Hell because they don’t want to be around Him. It would be quite childish to say “well, since you don’t want to be around me, you can just burn! Ha!”
What about weeping and moaning and gnashing of teeth? Well…I can imagine that if you spend your life condemning He who gave you life and ultimately land yourself in Hell…once you have realized that you really messed up…you’re going to be pretty upset! People weep and moan and gnash their teeth when they mourn the loss of a fellow human, a loved one, so can you imagine the mourning that would occur after realizing that they lost God, lost all love? God is love, so it’s safe to say that there is no love in Hell.
Pretty depressing, really. People don’t need to be whipped and burned and tortured for eternity to make Hell scary. Just being away from God is scary enough all on it’s own.

Why does God use an infinite solution for a finite offense?

Well…there is actually a really simple explanation for that. The length of time it took to commit a crime has no bearing on how severe the crime was. For example…if you were to rob a bank, it would probably take days, maybe even weeks or months to plan and perfect your escape and then, eventually, to pull off the heist. In the state of California, that would earn you three to nine years of prison. However, let’s say you kill someone. No planning at all. You just pull out a gun and shoot a man and it takes you all of ten seconds. In most every state that would be a minimum of 25 years, but you’re really looking at life in prison. So the crime that took months gets you 9 years and the crime that took ten seconds gets life.
Because the time it took is not relevant to how heinous the crime was. What is the worst thing a person can do? How about to mock and dishonor the One being they owe absolutely everything to? Not to mention the influence they may have had on taking others from God. Not a finite crime when you look at it that way, is it?

Why doesn’t God just force people to go to Heaven?

Well honestly, that’s just dehumanizing. God had given us the power of free choice and nothing speaks of His love and respect for us more than his willingness to send us to Hell. He respects our decision to be apart from Him, no matter how much it grieves Him. What a gentleman! To think…if you want nothing to do with Him, He will respect that and stay away from you! Wow!

Why doesn’t God just destroy people who don’t choose Him?

Well come on now…that’s worse than forcing them to go to Heaven! That’s totally immoral! He respects your choice. Period. End of story.

Why doesn’t God give people a second chance?

Well now, here’s where things get tricky. Many people think that once you go to Hell, well then that is that. Others, however, think that Judgment Day is the final say. I happen to fall into that second group. Let’s look at the Scripture now and make sure I’m not just spouting fantasies…

Revelation 20:11-15 talks of the judgment of the dead. It says that all dead come forth to be judged based on what is written in the book of life. Now there is much disagreement on the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life. I, myself, believe that they are different.

The book of life contains the names of every single person who has ever lived. The Lamb’s book of life contains the name of every individual who is born again, and only those who are born again. That can be argued seven ways to Sunday, and we will never really know the true answer until we die, but for now, this is what makes sense to me.

Now, every person will be judged based on what is written in the book of life. The name implies that what is written is from your life, but let’s not assume, we all know what that does. I believe that what you did in death is also recorded. The amends you made and the forgiveness people may have asked for whilst in Hell. At this point of judgment all of that will come into play and every soul will have the choice to accept or reject God and His son. Those who reject will be thrown into the lake. Will anyone reject Him? Seems highly unlikely, but the Bible says it will happen. Also, anyone who’s name is not written in the book of life will be thrown in. Who is this? These are the “people” Satan has created in his pathetic attempt to imitate all that God does. I could go on into much more detail and pull on all sorts of Scripture, but I already put my husband through that, and quite frankly, if you want the verses, leave a comment and we can chat.

The bottom line:

Everything that anyone will ever tell you about Hell is just speculation. This entire post is just my speculation. You can study Hell until kingdom come and you will never truly know any answers. God is blatant about many things in His word and Hell is not one of them. Some things He gives you a taste of, but nothing more. Why? Because He knows we are imperfect and we will misuse information and become arrogant. Maybe. I don’t know. That’s the point.

No one knows.

So then what do you tell people when it comes up? You tell them just that. “I have an idea. I have something I believe in, but I don’t know.” We know that God is perfect and holy and ultimately good, and so with that knowledge we trust that Hell is necessary and that it is not a cruel or evil way of dealing with a sad situation and we accept that we just don’t know all there is to know.

You know Hell is only mentioned in the NIV translation 14 times. Grace is said 123 times, Faith 254 times, and Love 232 times. So you tell me…what should we be talking about more? What is the message God is sending?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Abortion. Reputable or repulsive?

Abortion is a pretty touchy subject. It's a political issue. It's a social issue. To many, it's also a moral issue. Some people have no idea where they stand on the issue because so much information is misconstrued to fit the opinion of the informant. So what exactly is an abortion? What methods are used to perform an abortion? Who gets abortions? Can a fetus feel pain? Does the woman feel pain? What are the risks? What are the benefits? These questions will all be answered here. Let's get started, shall we?

What is an abortion?

Well, depending on where you look, you can find many different definitions of "abortion." They all pretty much say the same thing, but with some slight variation. Here are a few examples:

-the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.
-An abortion is when the pregnancy is ended so that it does not result in the birth of a child. Sometimes this is called 'termination of pregnancy
-Abortion means ending a pregnancy before the fetus (unborn child) can live independently outside the mother.
-Abortion is the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo before viability

Please note that an abortion can happen spontaneously as a result of complications during a pregnancy, or it can be induced. A spontaneous abortion is most often referred to as a miscarriage.

What are the methods that are used?


First, we'll discuss a medical abortion. A medical abortion is when a woman takes medication to terminate the pregnancy. As of 2003, there were two drugs on the market for this procedure, methotrexate and mifepristone.  The medication can be delivered orally or via injection and the outcome resembles a natural miscarriage.
Next, there is manual vacuum aspiration and this can be performed at any time up to 10 weeks gestation.
This procedure is also called menstrual extraction, mini-suction, or early abortion. Basically, all this does is suck the contents of the uterus out through a small tube. This lasts about 15 minutes and is about 99.5% effective in terminating pregnancy.
Now we have dilatation and suction curettage, more commonly known as a D&C, but is also referred to as suction dilation, vacuum curettage, or suction curettage.In this process, the cervix is stretched to make room for a suction tube to remove the contents of the uterus, and a small looped instrument is used to clean the walls of the uterus.
Fourthly, there is dilatation and evacuation. This is often performed in the second trimester. It is pretty similar to a D&C, but a larger tube must be used as there is more material to remove from the uterus. This increases the amount of dilation necessary, and therefore this procedure is slightly more uncomfortable.
Rarely, a dilatation and extraction is performed in the second trimester. Very similar to the previous two, but the fetus is removed mostly intact. However, the head does need to be collapsed in order to fit it through the cervix.
Another rare procedure is an induced abortion in which the woman is basically experiencing labor. Medication is given to induce labor and the cervix is opened up so that the fetus may be delivered. After looking at several unbiased resources, I was unable to find what happens to the fetus after delivery.
Lastly, and also very rare is hysterectomy. Basically a premature c-section. This is done after another attempt at abortion failed.

Who gets abortions?

In 2000 and 2001 the highest number of abortions were performed on women between ages 20-30 with 20-24 having the highest rate. Adolescents ages 15-19 make up 19% of elective abortions while 25% are women over 30. About 73% of women having an abortion had previously been pregnant and 48% of those had had a previous abortion. Non-Hispanic white women make up 41% of abortions, African Americans made up 32%, Hispanics were 20%, Asian and Pacific Islanders made up 6%, and Native Americans made up 1%.

Do the fetus or woman feel any pain?

For the woman, an abortion can feel uncomfortable. Many women describe pressure and cramping similar to menstrual cramps. Some women require minimal recovery time, while others require more rest. An abortion is just like any other medical procedure in the amount of pain a woman feels differs from woman to woman. Modern medical science does show that after 20 weeks gestation, a fetus does feel pain. It is unclear whether physical pain is felt prior to 20 weeks.

What are the risks and benefits of an abortion?

Some of the benefits to the woman electing to receive an abortion are the avoidance of financial or emotional hardship due to pregnancy and motherhood, removing the evidence of a rape or case of incest, or maybe the pregnancy was unintended and the woman is not ready to be a mother, or the pregnancy was posing a health risk to the woman, and the procedures usually take about 15 minutes and most are outpatient procedures.
Some risks involved with an abortion include uncontrollable bleeding, infection, a tear in the cervix or uterus, and a failed or incomplete abortion.

Here is where I start writing my opinion...

At just 5 weeks gestational age (that is just 3 weeks after conception), a child heart starts beating and some organs are in place. At 6 weeks, the heart's beat has become rhythmic and is going at a rate of about 150 beats per minute. About 39% of abortions occur this early. If a human being is pronounced dead when their heart has stopped beating, then why are they not pronounced alive when their heart starts beating?




Science has not proven if a fetus can feel pain prior to 20 weeks gestation, but modern ultrasound imaging shows that a fetus does jerk and fight when a suction tube enters the amniotic sac, and their heart rate skyrockets. Maybe they do not feel physical pain, but that sure sounds like fear to me.



In the above video, you can see this happening to a 12 week old fetus. About 3.9% of abortions occur at 12 weeks. That's about 40,000 babies each years that struggle like this.
When you look up information on abortions, you find that any pro-choice or unbiased producers refer to the baby as "fetal matter" or just the "contents of the uterus." They never call it a human, baby, child, or infant, and they rarely call it a fetus.


At what point is a fetus a human being?

A fetus is parasitic. It's true. It takes vitamins and nutrients from the mother and gives nothing in return. That is the definition of a parasite. But is this parasite a human? When can we call it that? Well, I have some very simple logic for that. It is a human when it can no longer be anything else. What does this mean? Well...at conception, the baby certainly doens't look like a baby, so can we call it a human? Well, will the fertilized egg ever turn into say...a puppy? Nope. Never has that happened. How about a sapling? Or a reptilian baby? What a bout a kitten, fish, chick, whale calf, or foal? No, it won't. That fertilized egg will only ever become a human child, if it is given the chance to. So, it needs to be considered a human being at CONCEPTION.

What about a woman who is raped?!

Rape is a horrendous thing. I myself am a victim of sexual abuse and cannot fathom having become pregnant by an abuser, but it is a sad truth for many women. I just have one question...who is the criminal? Is the baby the rapist? No! So why should the child die for it's father's crime?! I could never kill a man's children if he went to prison for murder and his wife was unable to support the children on her own. That's ludicrous. So why kill one just they are the product of rape? Adoption is always an option.

Well, I didn't intend to get pregnant...

There is only one way to create a child, and that is by uniting a human sperm with a human egg. So, if you do not want children, would it not make sense to not engage in the act of uniting a sperm and egg? That seems logical to me. And if this logic eluded you, why should the child pay for it? Why should the child die because his parents didn't want him? Adoption is always an option.

Well, sometimes abortion is necessary to save a mother's life... 

No, it is not. Not a single study has ever shown that abortion actually has any medical necessity to it. It does not lower maternal mortality rates or increase the availability of optimal prenatal care.

What if the child has a defect that means it'll die after  birth?

Then so be it! Let it live until then! What harm comes from allowing that child life until birth? We can only guess the child's chance of survival, we cannot guarantee it. Miracles happen. That child may live after birth.

I  could go on and on. Every human has a right to life, no matter how small they may be. This concludes this posting. I hope you have been enlightened!