[Nov 29]—Eternal Perspective And One Case For Abortion

            Verses 9-12 come back to a theme I’ve hammered again and again and again over the last three years.  They belong under the umbrella of “eternal perspective.” This means I not only say I believe what the Bible says but live in accordance with its truths. Truths such as:

·         The fact that this world is passing away, and everything that isn’t eternal will one day be nothing but dust and ashes.
·         That’d include any earthly wealth you’ve accumulated, such as houses, money, land, and any other material possessions.
·         That means that if you’re a believer who doesn’t have two dimes to rub together, you should still feel like you have Bill Gates’s bank account. You have a “high” position, not because you’re poor but because you’re an heir to the One who literally owns the world.
·         That also means that if you’re wealthy (and most every American is fabulously wealthy compared to most of the world and 99% of the people throughout history), then you should keep in mind that it’s all going to be gone someday like the flowers which are here today and gone tomorrow. It seems that he’s addressing rich believers, not unbelievers, since he was just addressing poor believers in the last verse. If so, then in the context of talking about trials (which rich people also undergo), it’s telling us—per MacArthur—that this “[refers] to the rich believer's being brought low by trials. Such experiences help him rejoice and realize that genuine happiness and contentment depend on the true riches of God's grace, not earthly wealth.”
·         Finally we see James pronouncing a blessing on “the one who perseveres under trial, because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” This again points to the eternal perspective we all need. On the Day when we stand before our Savior and he judges our works which we (supposedly) did for him, there will not be one person there who says “It wasn’t worth it.” Better this crown of life than all the crowns which all the kings in all of history have worn. They’re either dead or dying, and their kingdom either is, or will be, like that of Ozymandias. Any crown I have will last forever.

            Then we come to vss. 13-15. Trials and temptations are not the same concept, although they’re the same word in Greek. Therefore, we have to know from the context as to how to translate it. Trials are horribly bad circumstances in which you either lose something valuable or might lose it. Temptation is an enticing to do wrong. James tells us straight out that God never tempts anyone, in the sense of leading them into evil. He might allow them to follow the course set by their sinful natures, and he might give them over to their desires, but he doesn’t cause anyone to sin. 
             Also please notice that although James talks about Satan later in his book, he doesn’t mention him here. No, it’s all on you. If you sin, there’s ultimately only one person you can blame, and you can see this person every time you look in the mirror. Satan actively uses your sinful nature, and the Lord allows it (which is why we need to pray for him not to allow it btw), but you made the wrong choice.
            Now we come to the only good case for abortion I’ve ever heard of or read. Of course normally I’m completely opposed to abortion. In the immortal words of Horton, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” But there’s one case in which abortion is not only necessary but a good thing. No, it’s a great thing. That’s because this “baby” is our rotten desires, which gestates in our hearts, which eventually “gives birth” to sin. And this “baby” when it’s full grown, will be the literal death of us. Most Pro-Life people I know reluctantly find abortion acceptable if it’s to save the life of the mother (which is an almost nonexistent scenario nowadays). And in this case, if we don’t decisively deal with this “baby” while it’s still in its womb, well, it’s a matter of life and death.
            Note the equation in verse 15: Evil desire leads to sin, which eventually leads to death. This echoes Romans 6:23, where Paul tells us that the “wages of sin is death.” Please let that sear on your mind. Sin leads to death. Always always always. No exceptions. But thank the Lord, although sin always leads to death, it’s not necessarily true that my sin leads to my death.  My sin can lead to someone else’s death. And it did.

Lord Jesus, the longer I walk with you, the more I realize that I don’t take sin seriously enough. It was my sin that led to your death. I have no excuses, no one to blame but myself. My greatest enemy in my spiritual battles is not the Devil, but me. Keep my eyes fixed on the eternal, not this world’s trinkets. Please. 

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