12 December 2021
When you submit to the Lordship of Christ, your human existence is forfeited. You take up a conscious awareness that your life on this earth is now in God's hands, and it ends when He wishes to bring you Home. What should happen is that your soul embraces the value of your eternal existence over your earthly existence. You should be eager to get this life over with. It's just a tool and you won't miss it when it has served its purpose.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NASB 1977)
Nobody in their right mind would want to prolong this life unnecessarily. This is the Covenant viewpoint.
Yes, we recognize that this is completely backwards from those who live outside the Covenant of Christ. They live under the mistaken assumption that this life is all there is. You can thank Aristotle for that. It's not exactly what he taught, but such a belief is the net result of his influence in forming Western Civilization. Even most folks professing to be Christians act as if this life is precious.
This is not the same as some mythical noble bravery, where dying in pursuit of duty and ideals is somehow a great sacrifice. In Scripture, you've already made that sacrifice, and you realize it's a paltry poor thing, but it's all you have. It's not a great sacrifice; it's just a big hurdle in our fleshly minds to overcome.
Nor is it the kind of thing where we fail to celebrate the sweet provision of the Father while we serve Him in this life. There's nothing wrong with declaring, "Life is good!" What you are really saying is that Life in Christ is good. It makes our time here bearable, but when this life is over, we have just begun the really best part. We are actually celebrating the Life to come in Eternity. The Lord keeps giving us little tastes of Heaven before we get there. Yes, such a life is a good one.
But what of all those outside the Covenant? As long as they reject His Covenant, their lives are forfeit in a different way. They cling to it, or despair of it, all for the wrong reasons. Either way, their lives are forfeit because they have rejected Eternity.
Being born in a mortal form means death is never far away. The existence of a fleshly nature is damning. It has to die one way or another. Why not sacrifice it willingly on the Cross? If you do not nail your fleshly nature to Cross -- daily, repeatedly all day long -- you cannot have what little this life has to offer. Being born human means you already deserve a short miserable existence, a lingering painful death, and eternity in Hell. Once you embrace that whole idea, you escape it.
So there is not a single innocent soul in this world. You can make an allowance for children, but the curse of their fleshly nature is permanent. It will manifest sooner or later. We aren't permitted to see it from God's angle, but at some point they become culpable rather early in life for choosing sin over righteousness. Being born in a mortal body means that choice has already been made. I'm not saying infants who die go straight to Hell; the Bible is mostly silent on the whole question. You are left to your own convictions to decide what to make of their innocence. My point is that they don't have much time before their place in Hell is registered.
So the question becomes whether the person taking a life has God's approval for that act. Our Lord's declaration of what constitutes justice is radically different from what is commonly assumed in American society. I've covered that already in previous posts. My point here is that it's not a question of whether people deserve to die; of course they do. We all do. What matters is not their demise nor when, but why and how. If it's done wrong, there is blood guilt.
Notice how the Code of Noah is enunciated in Genesis 9: It's all about human blood. It's not about any other living thing on this earth. There can be injustice there, as well, but it's not the same thing. The real issue with destroying non-human life is that you may be indirectly destroying human life and violating His Covenant in other ways. There is a fundamental reverence required in shedding animal blood. All bloodshed is, in essence, a sacrifice to God. But the sacrifice of human life is on a different level than animal and plant life.
The net result is that the Bible teaches you must be humble before the Lord always. There are times when your heart will warn you that you are about to enter into a situation where human bloodshed is likely. You can sense it if you choose to walk in conviction. It may be something as subtle as a shift in the social context, but you'll know. And you need to be prayed up about it. You'll need to make sure you are keeping in touch with God moment by moment so that you'll know when your convictions demand shedding blood, or not. That includes your own blood.
Every mortal life is already forfeited one way or another. The only question is when God is or isn't behind their death at any given moment, and why. Mortality is a fact of this life.
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