Historical/Forensic: What you saw, what happened
Acts 22: 15 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
Acts 2:32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Talking, Living Example, Helping for the sake of faith, Inviting, Confronting, Asking, Showing…. …..Disciple Making…. Relationships (family and friends)
Sanctity of Life Sunday: I. God’s Image II. God’s Doing III. God’s Children IV. God’s Decision V. God’s Love
Genesis 1: "So God created man in His own image”
Genesis 1:27-28, "So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ¡°Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
Psalms 139:13-16 "For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
Jeremiah 1:4-5 “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.'‟
Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.”
Exodus 21:22-25 "If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
At conception, God made it possible for life to start. At the cradle God made it possible for life to be seen. At the cross God made it possible for a life to be saved.
On Friday afternoon, Sept. 21, a mob of several thousand radical Muslims attacked St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Mardan City, Pakistan. The attackers, armed with rifles and kerosene, overwhelmed security guards and broke into the church. They destroyed Bibles and prayer books, desecrated the altar and set fire to the church building and several surrounding homes and buildings. The mob was returning from a protest against the film Innocence of Muslims. In Pakistan, the government had declared Sept. 21 a national holiday in honor of Muhammad, and the day had been set aside for peaceful protests. Muslims wrote on church wall, “Allah is great, O Allah help and love Prophet” The attack on the 82-year-old church lasted for five hours. The church staff was able to flee, but those who lived on the campus lost everything. An adjoining high school, a Christian library, a computer laboratory, the bishop’s house, the bishop’s office, a pastor’s house and the school principal’s house were all burned. The mob also burned a car, three motorcycles and three bicycles. More than 2,000 Bibles, 100 New Testaments and several hundred Christian books and DVDs were destroyed. The attackers spray-painted the words “God is great,” “Oh God help us” and “Love our prophet” on the church steeple. St. Paul’s in Mardan, which is about 30 miles from Peshawar, was built by British colonists in 1937. The church is active in sharing the gospel with Muslims and also operates a Christian book store. A mosque is directly across the street from the church. In the last two years, the church staff has received six phone calls in which callers threatened to kill them if they didn’t stop preaching and distributing Christian literature. The day after the attack, church members and other local Christians gathered in front of the burned buildings to express their disappointment at the local government for failing to protect their church. On Sunday, Sept. 23, more than 1,000 people — many more than the church’s usual congregation of 300 — attended a prayer meeting at the church site. Pastor Gulam Shad, a church staff member and VOM volunteer, shared a message from Rev. 2:10: “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (ESV). He reminded the crowd that the Lord knows our suffering. “The teaching of Christ is to forgive our enemies,” Pastor Gulam said. “His teachings are on forgiveness and kindness. Today we have to be a role model for other nations so they can see from us how we follow the teachings of our Lord.” The same church was bombed in September 2010, after an American pastor publicly burned a Quran. Three security guards, including a Muslim, were injured in the attack. After the bombing, VOM provided the church with a generator, which was destroyed during the violence last week.
Luke 21:14 “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 All men will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By standing firm you will gain life.
Forgive us for our complacency Inspire us to speak the truth of your Word Strengthen us to stand for the helpless and persecuted. If persecuted, give us the resolve to witness. In Jesus Name, Amen.