The doctor gave the visibly upset, middle-aged couple their options. With all that was known at this point he suggested that abortion may be a very legitimate way out. What were they going to do? You see, this mother hadn’t realized that she was pregnant. It had been nine years since she had had her first child. She and her husband were getting older, and thoughts of another child being born into their home were far from their minds. She had been feeling sick, but she didn’t even consider the possibility of a baby. And because of that she allowed x-rays to be taken, more than once. In fact, it wasn’t until after several x-rays were taken throughout an entire week that it was discovered that she had been carrying a baby. And now, because of all the radiation it had been exposed to, there was serious reason to be concerned about the fetus’ health.
As that couple sat in that quiet doctor’s office they were faced with one of the biggest decisions of their life. What were they going to do? A decision had to be made.
Many would have made that decision with no hesitation. Many people didn’t have to think twice about what they would do. When faced with that decision they have chosen abortion, no questions asked. And as a result, over the past 33 years, since abortion has been made legal, over 47 million babies have been sentenced to death without the privilege of a trial. 47 million babies have been aborted before they ever had the chance to even see their mother’s face. That’s 1,424,242 babies aborted every year. 118,686 babies aborted every month. 27,389 every week. 3,902 babies are aborted every single day. 162 babies will have been aborted while you’ve sat in your pew by the time we say our final amen this morning.
Every day in abortion clinics around our nation more babies lose their lives than the number of individuals lost on 9/11. And yet, our nation’s reactions to the two are totally opposite from each other. Whereas a great cry came up from our people after 9/11, I hear little weeping for the children lost each day. Whereas swift vengeance was rendered as a result of 9/11, it’s not easy for us to find many Americans who will stand up for the unborn. Instead, we’ve become a nation that encourages mothers to have an abortion, and even pays for them to do it. It’s a terrible tragedy that is ongoing in our nation today. And it’s scary. Mother Teresa knowing perhaps better than any other how far disrespect for human life can go spoke painfully and pointedly to America stating, “When a nation encourages its mothers to kill their children, there is nothing that won’t be done.” When we’ve begun encouraging abortion we can have no doubts as to the seriousness of our nation’s moral decline.
Now, I want to say right up front today that I do not know your history. I don’t have the foggiest idea if there is someone here today who was faced with the decision of whether or not to abort, and you chose to do so. I don’t need to know that. But before I go any further with this message I want to assure you that God loves you no matter what you’ve done. He offers His mercy to you no matter what the sin. Abortion is forgivable. And I want you to know that before I say another word today.
I also want you to know that the message that I’m going to preach this morning is not meant in any way to condemn you or to make you feel any more guilty than you already feel. I don’t believe that would be a very Christ-like way to preach. I don’t want to condemn you this morning, but, just like any sin, I am going to condemn abortion. Just as I would love the homosexual or the murderer, but hate their sin, I want to make it clear that I love every woman that has had an abortion, and every man that has pressured her into doing so, but I hate with a passion the sin of abortion.
I believe that’s the attitude that Jesus would have. When He met the woman that the Pharisees wanted Him to condemn to be stoned, He knew her sin. He knew she had been an adulterous woman. And you’d better believe that Jesus hates adultery. And yet He loved her. And He forgave her. And He said, “Woman, I don’t condemn you. But go and sin no more.” I believe that Jesus would love the woman who’s had an abortion. I believe He would say, “I don’t condemn you.” But I also believe He would say, “Go and sin no more.” And so, because I believe that’s what Jesus’ attitude would be, that the attitude that I want to preach with this morning.
I want to direct your attention to the book of Psalms. In the 139th chapter I believe we can see three reasons why God is Pro-life. And I want to talk with you about those three things for a little while on the Sanctity of life Sunday.
Let me ask you a question. Do you think abortion is a big deal to God? Do you think He hates abortion? Or do you think that He is grateful for it because it’s given Him 47 million extra little angels over the past 33 years? Or do you think He even cares? Well, I sincerely believe that abortion is a very big deal in the mind and heart of God. And I believe there are three reasons why that we can find in the last few verses of our text.
I. It Undermines God’s Power
The first reason I believe abortion matters to God is because it undermines God’s power. When we make the decision to end the life of an unborn child we are stripping God of His authority. We are taking a right that only belongs to Him and making it our own. How is that?
The answer is actually quite clear. For you see, the Scripture makes no bones about who owns us. Paul asks the Corinthian church, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost,… and ye are not your own?” In Rom. 14 he says, “Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” We are property of God Himself. He owns us. He has all rights to us. Only He can choose who lives and who dies.
Let me put it this way. If you were to invite me to your house for dinner this week and I accepted, and I walked into your house and immediately began destroying things, you probably wouldn’t be very happy with me, would you? What if I took out a permanent marker and began marking all over your nice, white carpet? What if I took a butcher knife from your kitchen and began slashing every piece of upholstery that I could find? What if I started pulling down all of your fancy wallpaper? I’m sure you’d be very upset with me. In fact, I’d probably end up going home hungry that evening, wouldn’t I? Why? Because that’s your stuff. It belongs to you. You paid for that stuff. Some of that stuff you probably made yourself. That’s yours, and I have no right at all to come in your house and start destroying your stuff. You’re the only one who has the right to choose whether or not you would do that. Because it’s yours.
Paul tells us that we are not our own. We belong to God. Gen. 2:7 says, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” In vs. 13 of our text David says, “For thou hast possessed my reins,” or as Adam Clarke puts it, “You laid the foundation of my being.” God is the One who designed us. He is the One who made us.
Perhaps you’ve heard about the day that God was approached by a scientist who said, "Listen God, we’ve decided we don’t need you anymore. These days we can clone people, transplant organs and do all sorts of things that used to be considered miraculous." God replied, "You don’t need me, huh? How about we put your theory to the test? Why don’t we have a competition to see who can make a human being, say, a male human being?" The scientist agreed, so God declared they should do it like he did in the good old days when he created Adam. "Fine," said the scientist as he bent down to scoop up a handful of dirt." Before he got his hands full though, God said, “Whoa,” shaking his head in disapproval. "Not so fast. You get your own dirt."
God is the Creator. He is the One who brought the dust together and breathed into it to create life. Therefore, He owns us. We are His because we are the work of His hands. Not only that, but we are also purchased by Him. Paul said, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price.”
We belong to God, this morning. Paul told the Colossian church, that “all things were created by God, and for God.” He created us and He owns us. And because of that, the only One who has the right to determine what will happen with His possessions is Him. He alone has the right to decide between life and death. He alone has the authority to determine whether that baby inside of the womb should be born or not.
And for us to say that it is our right to choose is to usurp His authority. It is to undermine His power. It’s like me walking into your house and destroying your things. I have no right to do that. And we have no right to do that with God’s belongings. The founders of our nation recognized this when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In one of his speeches, talking about the sanctity of life, President Bush said that our forefathers "recognized that an essential human dignity is attached to all persons by virtue of their very existence and not just to the strong, the independent, or the healthy. That value should apply to every [person], including the elderly and the unprotected, the weak and the infirm, and even to the unwanted." That is our unalienable right.
Do you know what the word, “unalienable” means? Unalienable is defined as “incapable of being surrendered or transferred to another owner.” In other words, it is impossible that every man’s right to life can be transferred to another owner aside for God Himself. No one should have that power besides Him. You and I don’t have that authority. No potential mother has that right. God is that One that put that fetus in the womb, and it is He, and He alone who has the authority to decide if that child should live or die. Someone said, “God is the one that has given life. He has not given us the right to take it away.” Abortion is wrong because it undermines God’s power.
II. It Undervalues Man’s Price
I believe God is pro-life. I believe He hates abortion because, not only does it undermine His power, but it undervalues man’s price. To have an abortion is to say that the value of a man’s life is worthless. You know, I’m going to place some blame this morning. I believe with all my heart that the rise of abortion is a direct result of the teaching of evolution. It’s not the only thing at fault, for sure, but I believe that evolution has done more to minimize the value of life more than anything else.
I mean, think about it. If evolution is true then we all evolved from monkeys. There is no purpose in life except to survive and live it up. There’s no reason for existence. There’s nothing to live for. And there’s nothing to look forward to or fear after death. You’re just born, you survive, and then you die. Nothing else. What kind of value does that put on life?
With that kind of world view how can you blame someone who doesn’t want their life to be disrupted? Which, by the way, that is the reason for 75% of abortions according to surveys. But how can you blame someone who doesn’t want to have to deal with that kind of responsibility if this is all there is know? How can you blame them for not wanting to bring a child into this kind of world that is terrorized by violence and wickedness? How can you blame them for not really thinking twice about destroying that fetus if it has no soul? Abortion is just the natural outcome of that lack of worth. Evolution has caused us to consider human life, really, very lightly.
So lightly, in fact, that often times the lives of animals are worth more than the lives of humans. Case in point… The Endangered Species Act protects 3 amphibians, 56 birds, 7 clams, 2 crustaceans, 29 fish, 8 mammals, 21 reptiles, 2 snails and 42 plants - and their unborn offspring. The penalty for killing an unborn eagle in this country is a fine of up to $5000 and up to five years in prison. The fine for killing a cat is $4,000. The fine for torturing and killing rabbits is $1,360 and sixty days in jail. The fine for killing a tree is $10,000. But the killing of an unborn baby is not considered a crime at all, as long as the mother gives consent.
You know, it’s strange. A Florida man was arrested for stealing turtle eggs from the beach. He defended himself by saying that the eggs were not yet "life." But his argument was no good. He was convicted and fined. Tell me, where is the logic in that? There is none. And that, in my mind, is a direct result of the indoctrination of evolution. Our country has lost its value for human life.
Many people don’t even consider babies to be alive until they are born. And so killing an unborn baby is not murder because you aren’t really killing anyone. Abortion is just another form of birth control. But so many who support abortion rights don’t want to talk about the fact that at three weeks the baby’s backbone, spinal cord, and nervous system are forming. They don’t want to think about the fact that at eight weeks a potential mother may not even realize she’s pregnant, but the baby’s heartbeat is going strong and it is actively moving about. They don’t want to talk about the fact that at ten weeks that hands and feet are perfectly formed and can even wrap around something that would be placed inside their palm. They don’t like to think about the fact that twelve weeks that baby is swallowing and even squinting. At four months an unborn baby’s hearing has begun to be developed and hair and eyelashes have been growing. By five months the vocal chords have been fully developed. At seven months the child can recognize his/her mother’s voice.
Chuck Swindoll writes, “Medical authorities determine a person to be “alive” if there is either a detectable heartbeat or brain-wave activity. With that in mind, it is eye-opening for some to realize that unborn children have detectable heartbeats at eighteen days (two and one-half weeks) after conception and detectable brain-wave activity forty days (a little over five and one-half weeks) after conception. What is so shocking is that essentially 100 percent of all abortions occur after the seventh week of pregnancy.”
On and on we could go. But many don’t want to think about those things. Because admitting those things would be concurring that life begins at conception and not at birth. And doing that would put value upon the life of the unborn. But the life of the unborn is extremely valuable. God spoke to Jeremiah and said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
But David realized the value. For in our text he writes, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Gen. 1:27 tells us that “God created man in his own image.” One commentary states that “Our bodies are such a wonderful exhibition of God’s incomprehensible skill, power, and goodness, as should inspire us with the deepest feelings of admiration and awe.” This morning, every individual, young, old, unborn and dying are valuable. They are precious because they are created in God’s image from their very conception. But abortion undervalues that price.
III. It Undercuts A Child’s Promise
Lastly, this morning, not only does abortion undermine God’s power, and not only does it undervalue man’s price, but it also undercuts a child’s promise. Listen to the words of Jer. 1:5. God says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” You see, we are created for a purpose. We are created already ordained by God to do something for Him. And when you abort a child you obviously completely obliterate any hopes that they would be able to fulfill God’s purpose for their life. You take away any prospects of them being able to do what God had ordained them to do, and given them life to do.
Who knows what kind of difference those 47 million people who were denied their shots at life in the last 33 years could have done to make a difference in our country? Who knows what kind of impact they could have had for good? We’ll never find out, because they never got the opportunity to show us. If we could have only given them the chance.
Let me illustrate it this way. Charles McCarry can claim a varied career. In addition to being the author of The Tears of Autumn and The Last Supper, he served as assistant to the Secretary of Labor in the Eisenhower cabinet and has done two stints in the CIA. But he almost wasn’t born. Listen to what he says. “My mother became pregnant with me at the age of 39. She had nearly died while giving birth to my only sibling. Her doctor, who believed the second pregnancy was a serious threat to her life, advised an abortion. The advice made sense, but my mother refused to accept it. Just before she died at age 97, I asked her why. She replied, “I wanted to see who you were going to turn out to be.”
Let me illustrate it another way. The question of the baby’s health was still a great concern. The thoughts of all the radiation that the x-rays had exposed to the child unbeknown to the mother and father brought many fears that the child would be seriously defected. A decision had to be made though. The father looked the doctor in the eyes and asked, “Dr., if you were in our position, knowing everything that we know, would you have an abortion?” Thankfully, the doctor replied, “No, I seriously don’t think that I would abort this baby if it was my wife and I in your situation.” And that couple made their decision. And as a result of the choice not to abort their baby I have a beautiful, healthy, smart wife, with no serious defects anywhere. You see, those parents were my in-laws. And that exposed fetus was my wife. I thank the Lord that they chose life.
Let me ask you, what would you have done? What would you do in these situations? Think about it. A white man raped a 13-year-old black girl, and she got pregnant. If you were her parents, would you considering recommending abortion?
A father is sick with syphilis. The mother has TB. They have had four children. The first is blind, the second is dead, the third is deaf, and the fourth has TB as well. She finds herself pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you consider recommending abortion?
There’s a preacher and wife who are very, very, poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she’s pregnant with number 15. They’re living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending she get an abortion?
A teenage girl is pregnant. She’s not married. Her fiancé is not the father of the baby, and he’s very upset. Would you consider recommending abortion?
If you answered yes to any of those scenarios you have just deprived the world of one of its greats. In the first case, you would have killed Ethel Waters, one of black gospel music’s all time greats. In the second case, you would have killed the world renowned composed, Ludwig von Beethoven. If you would have aborted the third child you would have killed our church’s founder, John Wesley. If you would have aborted the last child, you would have sent the Savior of the world to His death before He ever got the chance to be our Savior.
What’s my point? My point is this. So much potential is wrapped up in every single child ever to be conceived, world-changing potential. But so many of those children will never have the chance to reach that potential because of abortion. Abortion undercuts any promise that child might have.
Is abortion wrong? You bet it is. Is it sin? There’s no doubt in my mind. Is God pro-life? I guarantee it. Why? What makes me so sure? It’s because abortion undermines His power, it undervalues man’s price, and it undercuts every aborted child’s promise.
So what should we do? Aside from not having abortions ourselves, how can we make a difference? I think the answer can be found in Prov. 31:8. It says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are appointed to die.” We, as Christians, have the duty to stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. We have the responsibility to stand up for life.
Listen, a man by the name of Martin Niemoller wrote about the Second World War. He said, “In Germany, they first came for the Communists and I did not speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time, there was no one left to speak up.”
Tell me, who’s going to stand up for the unborn child if Christians don’t? Who’s going to stand for the defenseless if the Christians don’t? Nobody will. We have the responsibility to do everything we can to protect them.
How? I believe there are at least four ways. First of all, we can make a stand in the political realm. Now I cannot stand up here and tell you who to vote for. But I will stand up here and unapologetically tell you that I believe that a politicians stand on abortion should be a huge indicator as to whether you should vote for them or not. Don’t take me wrong, but if abortion is not a big enough issue to you to determine your political choices then I can’t help but wonder about your desire for Christ-likeness. Because I believe that major moral issue is far more important than any economic plan or foreign policy or health strategy ever will be. We, as Christians, must take a political stand against abortion.
I also believe that we can and should take a stand by teaching our young people the importance of sexual purity. Did you know that seventy-nine percent of the abortions performed in 2002 were to unwed mothers? By the thousands and by the millions innocent unborn children have been the helpless victims of promiscuous sex. And if we can teach our young people the importance of remaining pure, I believe we would see a great decrease in the numbers of abortions happening in our nation.
The third way I think we can take a stand is by being informed ourselves about the realities of abortion. You know, I read something yesterday that brought tears to my eyes. I know all of us have heard about the disagreements about partial-birth abortion. And I thought that I was informed about it. But yesterday I actually saw, written down, the procedure of a partial birth abortion. And you know what, I don’t know that many Christians are really that informed about it.
Maybe I shouldn’t, but I going to read you what I read. 1st The mother is given medication to induce labor. 2nd The doctor reaches into the birth canal and turns the baby so that it will be delivered breached (feet first). 3rd The baby is delivered completely except for the head which remains in the birth canal. The entire body of the baby is outside of the mother except for the head. The baby’s arms and legs are moving. 4th The doctor then take a pair of scissors and places them at the base of the infant’s skull inside of the mother’s birth canal. The doctor then punctures the baby’s skull. 5th When the baby stops moving and becomes limp, the doctor then removes the scissors, and put a suction tube into the baby’s skull while it is still inside the mother’s birth canal. The doctor then sucks the baby brain out, thus collapsing the baby’s skull. This is done for two reasons. One to make sure the baby is dead and the other is to ease the delivery for the mother.
Now, I realize that isn’t that pleasing to the ear. But I also realize that if we truly understand the realities of abortion, the seriousness of it and the horror of it, we will be much more likely to take a strong stand against it. We must be informed.
And the fourth way that I think we can take a stand is by offering a message of forgiveness, love, and hope to those who have made their choice already. The church must be a safe-house for those who have had an abortion. We must show them God’s love. We must let them know that God will forgive them. And we must give them hope that better choices can be made. Abortion is a sin. But healing is offered.
Most of us recognize the term, “Roe vs. Wade.” But I wonder if you know the story about the woman known as Jane Roe. For ten years she was not heard from at all. But in 1989, Norma McCorvey came out of seclusion and announced to the world that she was the Roe in Roe vs. Wade. The pro-abortion movement recruited her for their cause and a TV movie was made about her life. She then went to work for an abortion clinic in the Dallas area, where her life would change forever. She was killing babies for money and she knew it.
But one day Operation Rescue moved in next door to the abortion clinic. Norma said that she would watch the women handing out pro-life literature. Norma said that the pro-life people were always smiling and she was very curious about that. She began talking with the pro-life Christians and they began witnessing to her.
Norma remembers a young mother who had 2 little girls. Emily was 7 and Chelsea was 3. Their mother, Rhonda, became pregnant soon after marrying and Rhonda’s relatives tried to convince her to have an abortion, because they said "Well Rhonda, that’s no way to start a marriage: with a problem." Rhonda had seen the results of abortions that some of her friends had and she refused to abort her first baby.
One day Norma was looking out of the abortion clinic window and saw little 7 year old Emily take literature from adults and she would just walk up to women and say, "I would like you to have this information and please don’t go in there and kill your baby." Norma began talking with Pastor Flip Benham, director of Operation Rescue. And she was lead to Christ in 1996 by these Pro-life protesters next to her abortion clinic and by a little 7-year-old girl named Emily.
You see, even one of the people responsible for making abortion legal was able to find forgiveness. And this morning, I don’t know your past and I don’t know what you’ve done. But the message I want to leave with you this morning is that God will forgive you as well. I don’t care if you’ve had an abortion or if you’re guilty of cheating on a test, God is offering His arms of love to you right now.
And this morning I’m not going to open the altar necessarily. If you want to come when we close in prayer you’re welcome to do so. But I want us to stand and bow our heads. And if God has spoken to you today, whether it be about the topic of abortion or anything else, and you would like prayer, I want you to quickly slip your hand up, and give me an opportunity to take your need before God in prayer this morning…