Summary: In the spiritual realm it has always been possible to have babies after you are dead. The Apostle Paul gave birth to many new babies for the kingdom of God in his lifetime, but he has given birth to millions more after his death.
Can dead people have babies? If you think not, you have not kept up on modern technology in
baby making. They can now freeze human embryos in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of 321
degrees below zero and keep them for up to 600 years, and then implant them in a woman, and she
will have a baby. It might be difficult for this child to explain that his biological mother and father
died over half a millennium ago, and how it could be that he was 600 years old the day he was born.
This is not science fiction, for there are thousands of these frozen embryos waiting to be implanted.
In Paris a man knew he was dying of cancer and so he had some of his sperm frozen. He did die
but failed to leave in his will what he wanted done with his sperm, and so his wife had to go to court.
She did win the right to use his sperm to get pregnant, and she had his baby after he was dead. But
what happens to frozen embryos when both parents die? This has happened and there are orphan
embryos. In 1984 the Queen Victoria Medical Center in Melbourne, Australia learned of the death
of both parents of two of the frozen embryos they had in storage. They left an estate of one million
dollars. Right to life lawyers claimed that the embryos had rights to the estate. They had another
son who had to go to court to pursue his rights. This just illustrates the complexities involved in
trying to have babies after you are dead.
In the spiritual realm it has always been possible to have babies after you are dead. The Apostle
Paul gave birth to many new babies for the kingdom of God in his lifetime, but he has given birth to
millions more after his death. He put the Gospel he preached into writing and by means of the
printed word the seed he sewed in life has been penetrated millions of minds after his death, and has
led to the new birth all over the world, and all through history.
There is no question about it being possible to have babies for the kingdom of God after death,
but there are complications in these births quite often. They are the same complications that Paul
experienced in winning people to Christ when he was alive. Acts 17 reveals clearly some of the
complications of spiritual childbirth. We want to focus on these so that we are not surprised if we
experience the same complications in bringing new babies into the family of God. The first
complication we see is-
I. JEALOUSLY ON THE PART OF THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE.
Fertility and virility not only lead to new life, but they lead to hostility which aims at bringing
about sterility, and a ceasing of this production of new life. In other words, forced birth control is
their goal. Verse 5 says that the Jews were jealous of Paul's success. It is one of the paradoxes of
success that it will lead to opposition. It is almost impossible to lead someone to believe in Christ
without offending those who do not believe.
You will note that verse 4 describes the converts of Paul. It says that some were Jews, and a
large number of God fearing Greeks, and not a few were prominent women. These women had
prominent husbands, and the implication is that they were not all that eager to give up their views,
especially since they probably got where they were by holding those views. Paul's success with the
Gospel was eroding a monopoly, and people who have a monopoly cannot stand anyone who
threatens it, so it leads to conflict.
If you have a religious family with 7 children, all of whom are active in their church, and you
persuade one of those children to follow another persuasion you will likely bring down the wrath of
the whole family upon you because you have broken up the monopoly. This is true for any family,
or any group of a common persuasion. This is one of the most common complexities in spiritual
childbirth. You offend the physical family when you bring them into the spiritual family of God.
Your success will lead to jealously, and jealously is a powerful negative motivation.
The Jews were so jealous that even though they were religious men they stooped to using the
lowest characters in town to form a mob and start a riot in the city. In a mob spirit Jesus was
crucified, and this has been the case every since. A mob can murder and nobody has to feel all that
guilty because it was not him or me, but they who did the murder. Paul knew the dangers of