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LESSONS ABOUT LIFE (2)
Taking Another’s Life & Giving Life (1)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Life is a precious gift from God (Gen. 2:7).
B. The whole design of the human body promotes life.
1. The beating of the heart
2. The breathing in and out of the lungs
3. The body’s desire for food and drink
4. The body’s ability to protect major organs
5. Our responses of fight or flight
6. The ability to procreate
C. The loss of life is tragic whether it is voluntary, accidental, natural, or taken by violent means.
1. We dread and fear death.
2. The loss of life causes us deep sorrow and grief.
3. We have done many things in our society to protect us from the feelings of death.
D. We are in a series of lessons entitled: “Lessons about Life.” We are in a section in which we will be discussing: “Taking Life and Giving One’s Life.”
I. CAIN SLEW ABEL
A. The account of Cain and Abel from Genesis 4 is well known to all of us.
1. These are the sons of Adam and Eve.
2. The contrast between the two men.
a. Tillwe of the ground a. Keeper of the flocks
b. Brought the firstfruits to God b. Brought the firstlings of the flock
c. Rejected by God c. Accepted by God
B. Not long after this event, Cain rose up and slew his brother (Gen. 4:8).
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
1. This is the first account of life being taken in the Bible.
2. The act was extremely evil.
a. God punished Cain (Gen. 4:11-12).
And now thou art cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
b. In the New Testament, Cain is used as an example of what none of us should be (I John 3:12).
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him, Because he own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.
C. Lessons learned:
1. Murder proceeds from an evil heart.
2. God knows and sees when life is taken from the earth.
3. Murder is a sin.
4. Murder deserves to be punished.
II. GOD CAN TAKE LIFE
A. God is the Creator. Man is the created. God gave man life. He has the right to take life from man.
1. Job 1:21
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
2. This is a concept that is difficult for man to grasp because we can think and reason and have feelings.
a. Our reason says: “God has no right.”
b. Our feelings say: “How could God do such an evil thing?”
3. NOTE: God has NEVER arbitrarily taken a human life. He does not slay individuals just to slay them.
B. When does God take life?
1. He can take life as a disciplinary measure.
a. When the two priests, Nadab and Abihu, offered strange fire to the Lord, he slew them (Lev. 10:1-2).
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censor, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and he devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
b. In the case of David’s sin with Bathsheba, God decreed that the child born to them would die (II Sam. 12:14).
Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
1) The sin of adultery demanded death.
2) The child would have been in line to inherit the kingdom. The enemies of God knew about the sin. If he became king, he would be reviled.
3) Thus, God charged that the child must die.
2. God can also take life when He judges nations or the world (Ex., the world in Noah’s day, Gen. 6:7).
And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; bot man, and beast, and creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
C. Two points:
1. Does God take life through discipline and judgment today?
a. He can. I believe that He does.
b. Two examples:
1) Herod was killed by worms for his arrogance (Acts 12:23).
2) The city of Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Roman army of Titus. Thousands of Jews were killed in that defeat. This was a judgment of God.
2. When God takes human life, man has no right to question God. Again, we are just the creatures. We are the clay in the hand of the potter (See Jer. 18:6).
III. ALL MURDER IS THE UNLAWFUL TAKING OF HUMAN LIFE
A. Murder involves the vicious taking of human life.
B. Murder is condemned in every dispensation of Bible history.
1. Patriarchal Age (Gen. 9:6)
Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
2. Mosaic Age (Exo. 20:13; 21:12)
Thou shalt not kill.
3. Christian Age (Gal. 5:19-21)
…envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
C. We live in an extremely evil society wherein murder is committed on a regular basis.
1. Cities in the U.S. (2017)
a. Jacksonville, FL (160 homicides)
b. Chicago, IL (650 homicides)
c. New York, NY (290 homicides)
d. Los Angeles (282 homicides)
2. Countries (2016)
a. United States (17, 250 homicides) 47 per day
b. Mexico (20,789 homicides) 57 per day
c. Canada (611 homicides) 1.6 per day
D. Sadly, there are some who have legalized the killing of innocent people.
1. Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973.
a. 925,000 babies killed in 2017
b. Since 1973, 60,203,000 babies have been slain.
c. Proverbs 6:16-19
These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood…
2. Euthanasia is another way of “legalizing” the taking of life.
a. Also called: mercy killing, The End of Life Option, physician assisted suicide
b. A practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.
c. It is legal in WA, CA, OR, and VT (Montana has virtually legalized the practice, as well as, one county in New Mexico).
d. In euthanasia cases, the doctor does two things:
1) Assesses the patient’s condition:
a) Terminally ill
b) Has the ability to make decisions
c) Can self-administer the deadly medications
2) Prepares the death cocktail.
e. Some argue for euthanasia by arguing something called “passive euthanasia.”
1) Passive euthanasia involves such things as: feeding tubes, respirators, chemo, dialysis, experimental drugs, and surgeries.
2) NOTE: In these situations, no one is actively taking a life.
f. The argument is that in not saving a life one is committing murder. (NOTE: This can be true in some instance, but not in the case when death is inevitable).
1) The distinction between active euthanasia and passive euthanasia.
a) Active: A person is intentionally taking a life.
b) Passive: One is allowing death to take its natural course.
A. What have we seen?
1. The vicious taking of life began early after the Creation of man.
2. God as the Creator has the right to take life. However, He never takes life arbitrarily.
3. Murder, in all of its forms, is wrong.
B. What we will see.
1. Taking our own life is serious.
2. Not all taking of life is sinful.
3. There are times when a person can willfully give up his life.