The blessings and pitfalls of communicating the Gospel
July 9, 2002
Terri holds baby Sadie, who was dedicated to the Lord in a recent local church service. As the congregation prayed that God's plan would be fulfilled in Sadie's life, they may not have realized how God had already rescued her from one of satan's destructive plots. Less than a year ago, Sadie's mother was entering the abortion chamber to have her killed. Thankfully, she stopped and listened to Terri, and after watching a video about abortion at the LifeHouse, she repented of her decision to abort God's plan in her life.
If you have helped us in this ministry, Sadie's life is one of the many treasures that you have helped to store up in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
"God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." These familiar words express the heart of our "pregnancy evangelism" approach to ministry. Pregnant women need to hear that God's loving plan extends not only to themselves but also to their preborn child.
Most people have heard that God loves them. Every week, people tell us of their assurance of God's love for them as they enter the abortion chamber, plotting to destroy a precious child God gave them. "God loves me, so I know that he will forgive me." These people don't seem to recognize the fact that God has a plan for their life -- but so does satan. Abortion is a key strategy in satan's plot to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
So a "gospel" message of God's love (that fails to mention God's plan) is not only incomplete, it can be deadly.
Throughout our past 15 years of ministry, we have not made it a priority to design our own literature because of the abundance of pro-life literature available. But we have come to realize that none of the hundreds of titles of currently available literature adequately expresses the pregnancy evangelism message.
So we recently decided to design our own pregnancy evangelism pamphlet. Our son Micah, 12, did a beautiful job on the typesetting and layout. We are continuing to refine the pamphlet as we determine how to best communicate this Gospel message, but we hope to eventually be able to spread the use of these pamphlets across the nation. While many pro-life ministries know that the Gospel is the motivation for our mission, many fail to understand that the Gospel must also be our primary message. So we hope that someday they will be using our pamphlets.
There are many implications to God's loving plan, and we are looking for ways to better communicate His loving plan to those we encounter in this mission. A post-abortion woman needs to know that God still loves her, and that even though she has rebelled against His plan, it's not too late to submit to God. He still has a wonderful plan for her life. But just as satan carried out his plot to destroy her child, satan is now plotting to destroy the post-abortion woman's own life. He wants to steal the joy she would experience through repentance and confession.
God's loving plan even has implications for abortionists like Kenneth Wright whose bloody hands have dismembered hundreds of thousands of children created in God's image. God created Kenneth Wright to be a tool for saving lives, and if he repents, God can still use Dr. Wright for His glory. If Wright will not repent, he will face the consequences of his rebellion. The Scriptures are filled with warnings to those who destroy God's creation (for example, see Psalm 94, and as you read verse 9, think about the tiny eyes and ears of the children Wright has killed). Because of Jesus' mandate to love our enemies, we cannot exclude even this hardened abortionist from this Gospel outreach. We must remind him of God's justice -- and mercy.
Terri proclaiming God's Word to the abortionist today.
But preaching the unadulterated Gospel can be dangerous, as Terri discovered today. As I was in the middle of writing this
letter to you, police arrived and began to read Terri her rights: "you have the right to remain silent...." She didn't know what she was being arrested for at first, but eventually she was told that she is being accused of threatening the abortionist, and that she may be facing felony charges and up to a year in prison. As a TV cameraman arrived, the police left without arresting Terri, but they told her that they will be presenting the case to the District Attorney.
Terri's "threat" involved simply reading Ezekiel 33 from the public sidewalk. We videotaped Terri speaking to the abortionist as he left today (documenting how she communicated God's love, assuring him that "you have nothing to fear from me or any of us out here"). If you would like to view this videotape, let us know. If Terri is brought to trial on these charges, we will undoubtedly face many misrepresentations, so it is important that our friends who have been stood with us in the past know the truth first.
We don't know what will happen in the days ahead, but we are confident that God has a good plan for us, even though we know it will involve suffering and persecution. If it is a felony in America to proclaim God's Word from the public sidewalk, then it looks like we could end up in prison!
We are grateful for a few people who are becoming a part of God's plan to help meet our needs so that this mission can continue. We desperately need to find more friends to support us, but our recent efforts to recruit new supporters have usually been frustrating. We need about 39 more monthly supporters just to meet our basic financial needs (it really is a miracle that we have continued this far). Do you know anybody who might consider supporting us? If so, please let us know! And please continue to pray for us, that God will use us to His glory in the trials ahead.
In Christ's service for those who cannot speak for themselves,
For more information on this experience, see:
More letters from the Palmquist family