“Eunuchs for the Sake of the Kingdom of Heaven” (10/31)

Thought from today’s Bible reading from Matthew 19; Mark 10.

After Jesus explained that there was no lawful cause other than fornication for one to put away his spouse and that one’s subsequent marriage would constitute adultery (Matthew 19:9), His disciples concluded that it would be better not to marry.

The disciples said to Him, ‘If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.’ But He said to them, ‘Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it’” (Matthew 19:10-12).

Eunuchs were familiar to the people of that time. They were “emasculated men” (ISBE) who would, therefore, be unable to engage in the “one flesh” relationship that Jesus spoke of as being part of marriage (Matthew 19:5).
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Contraceptives, Abortion, and Infanticide

Birth Control Pills

Abortion has long been a hot topic in our society. Recently, contraceptives and infanticide have joined it. The issue over contraceptives started getting a lot of attention after a Georgetown law student testified before a Congressional committee to argue that others should pay for her contraceptives. Regarding infanticide, a pair of “ethicists” have argued recently that “after-birth abortions” are reasonable and acceptable in certain cases. What these three topics have in common – contraceptives, abortion, and infanticide – is that they all have to do with human reproduction.

When addressing these issues, it is important that we do so from a Biblical perspective. Below are two verses that are good to keep in mind as we begin to consider these things:

Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man” (Genesis 9:6).

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).

Man is made in the image of God. This certainly applied to the first man – Adam (Genesis 1:27) – but the verse above makes it clear that it applies to every individual that descended from Adam as well. The second passage reminds us of the fact that children are a blessing from God. Though many in our culture view children as a burden or a necessary evil, Christians are to have a different perspective and cherish each child.
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Roadblocks on the Way to Adultery

Roadblock

The sin of adultery is explicitly condemned in Scripture. It was prohibited in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:14) which God gave as a foundation for the rest of the laws given to the nation of Israel. In the New Testament, Paul listed adulterers as those who “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9). The Hebrew writer said that adulterers will be judged by God (Hebrews 13:4). In fact, Jesus gave fornication (which is adultery when committed by a married person) as the only cause that gave one divine permission to put away his spouse (Matthew 19:9).

Not only does God specifically condemn adultery, but society generally looks down upon it as well. The wise man said, “Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; but when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; he must give all the substance of his house. The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; he who would destroy himself does it. Wounds and disgrace he will find, and his reproach will not be blotted out. For jealousy enrages a man, and he will not spare in the day of vengeance” (Proverbs 6:30-34). This passage does not justify stealing while condemning adultery – both were condemned (Exodus 20:14-15). But the wise man’s point was that man tends to be sympathetic toward one who steals solely out of hunger. For the adulterer, there is no excuse in the eyes of man – particularly with the husband of the wife who participated in the affair. Instead, the adulterer becomes a target for wounds, disgrace, and vengeance.

Despite the fact that there are many deterrents to adultery, this sin remains prevalent. Why is that? I believe we can begin to see why as we examine the warnings about the adulteress (Proverbs 7). As she was described in that chapter, we read of her doing everything she could to remove the roadblocks that stood between a man and the sin of adultery. She wanted to portray the sin as not only pleasurable, but also convenient and without consequence. Let us notice some of the roadblocks – those things which help deter us from committing adultery – and see how the adulteress strives to take those roadblocks out of the way.
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Pro-Life, With Exceptions

Pro-Life

[This article was written by Bryan Matthew Dockens.]

For years, political candidates have attempted to appease conservative voters by claiming to be “pro-life”, while moderating their positions to appeal to the mainstream by claiming three exceptions, namely: rape, incest, and the mother’s life. Is the pro-life position one that can bear exceptions?

In the case of rape, it is certainly true that someone deserves to die. That would be the rapist. The Old Law stated plainly, “If a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die” (Deuteronomy 22:25). Although the Law of Moses has been done away with, capital punishment remains a valid penalty for crime (Romans 13:4).

Under what rationale can it be argued, though, that the unborn child, conceived in rape, deserves to perish for his father’s sins? In the Old Testament it was written, “The fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall the children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:26). The baby in the womb is entirely innocent of the sin his father committed against his mother. Spare that child the pain of death. Punish the sinner, not one of his victims.
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Living Together Before Marriage Does Not Make a Stronger Marriage

As morality in our country has declined, naturally we have seen a rise in immorality. One visible example of this is the number of couples who live together before marriage. As time goes on, more and more people are either indifferent to the practice or are a promoter of it.

One of the arguments that is commonly used to justify the practice is that it can make the couple’s eventual marriage even stronger. During the time of cohabitation, the couple can get to know one another better, learn how they handle a marriage-type relationship together, and can get a better idea of whether or not they are compatible. If they live together first and it goes well, they can be confident of their relationship going into marriage. If it does not go well, they get to find that out before marriage.
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The Growing Acceptance of Homosexuality

White House - rainbow colors

It was not that long ago in our society that homosexuality was a shameful practice that was mostly kept secret so that others would not know about it. Times have certainly changed! We have seen the transition from secrecy and shame to those who practice it parading and protesting in the streets, demanding that society recognize and accept same-sex “marriages.”

As we consider this practice and the growing acceptance of it, it is important to be reminded of what the Bible teaches. In this article we will look at what has happened in the past when homosexuality was widely practiced and/or accepted, as well as what the Bible has to say about the practice itself.
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Divorce for Any Reason at All?

The problem of divorce is one that is very obvious in our society. About half of all marriages end in divorce. Families are torn apart. Lives are ruined. We all know people who have been directly affected by this problem. As it has spread throughout our society, we have seen it more in the church as well.

However, this is not a new problem. In the days when Jesus walked on the earth, He was asked about this very topic. Some of the Pharisees asked him about the proper cause for putting away one’s mate. Of course, they asked him for the purpose of trapping Him in His answer. Their question was, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all” (Matthew 19:3)?
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