By PPL Board Member, Rev. Lowell Avery
We champion human life in obedience to “God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” [2 Timothy 2.3f]. One of the clearest truths in Scripture is that human life is precious in God’s sight. One of the obvious facts about our world today is that human life has become cheap. And one of the recurring lessons of church history is that broad moral improvements in societies follow spiritual awakenings.
I am convinced that the end of the atrocities of abortion and so-called euthanasia will only happen when we have spiritual awakenings across the land and around the world. For that to happen, we almost surely will need a revival in Christ’s church, probably starting with Ephesian-type evangelical congregations [Revelation 2.1-7].
For that to happen, I believe it will require repentance-inspired, fervent, persistent labor in prayer and preaching about our congregations’ accommodations to our society’s false gods of power and pleasure, and the idols that embody them. During Holy Week, many churches reflect on Jesus’ prayers for Himself and for His church.
I urge you also to pray for yourself and for Christ’s church, including your own congregation. Pray especially against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly realms that keep the church and the world blind to our condition.
To that end I offer these cautions and admonitions:
No self-righteousness – we’re all guilty in one way or another, and if we are going to pray as righteous people [James 5.16], it will only be by the blood of Jesus and in repentant, humble obedience to Him.
No ceasing to make disciples for Jesus – that’s our Christian commission, and praying for conversions and teaching believers to love God and neighbors will require dealing with human life issues. That may call for repentance too.
No compromise with the world’s and the devil’s falsehoods – Jesus commended the Ephesian church for their hatred of the deeds of the Nicolaitans, and most of our Presbyterian evangelical churches have the same attitude. However, in many cases, the practice of winking at cultural idols in our congregations exposes the loss of our first love. Again, repentance will be in order.
No giving up the struggle – whether it’s in the wrestling in prayer or in the labor of whatever action the Spirit inspires. Our work is difficult, but so far, as the Spirit said, we “have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in [our] striving against sin” [Hebrews 12.4]. If you have grown cold, repent; God will give you renewed fervor.
Family, as you pray for all of the particular parts of our ministry, please pray also for the big picture: repentance-prompted revival in the church and a wide-spread spiritual awakening in our land and around this hurting world. May our gracious God soon grant us a long season of honoring life in our church and in our land.