THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
ILL> A recent Reader’s Digest had this story. The man was running late. He was worried that he was going to miss his plane so he ran out of the hotel, flagged down the first cab he saw and got in. He told the driver to get to the airport as fast as possible.
Evidently, that was the wrong thing to say. The driver took off racing through the streets, came to a red light and didn’t even slow down. The man in the backseat became quite nervous and said, "Isn’t that a little dangerous."
"My 5 brothers and I have been driving taxicabs for years and this system has worked pretty good. ‘Red means Go.’"
Sure enough the next light was red as well and he flew right through.
The passenger was relieved when they finally came to a green light. However, this time the driver slowed the cab down until he almost came to a complete stop.
"I don’t understand. You fly through the red lights, but you nearly stopped at that green light. That doesn’t make sense."
"Well, you never know if one of my brother’s might be coming the other way."
We would probably be a little nervous if we were in that man’s shoes too.
We place a high value on life--especially when it is our own lives. We seek jobs with good health benefits. We spend thousands of dollars on surgeries and treatments to make our lives longer and more comfortable. Some of you exercise, watch your weight, and do other things to make your life better.
However, we live in a world that is having less and less regard for human life. Dr. Kevorkian has gained much support and continues to assist in suicides even though it is against the law. While there is a side of us that can understand wanting to bring someone’s life to an end when they are going through a great deal of distress and pain, it is not our place to play God.
There is a growing number of people who would support killing babies that are born with birth defects. With the ability of amniocentesis it is now possible to find out a lot of information about the baby before birth. Babies that have birth defects are being aborted. Babies of the wrong sex are being aborted.
Who is to decide who is to live or die? Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” In Ephesians 2:10 we read, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
God is the one that has given life. He has not given us the right to take it away.
ILL> Jesse Jackson, "I am somebody."
We have been made by God and that makes us special. We have been created in His image. His desire is that all of us become His sons and daughters and join Him in heaven for eternity. In God’s eyes we all have importance. In God’s eyes we are precious and valuable.
I>WE ARE VALUABLE BECAUSE GOD KNOWS US
God knows everything about us. Even the number of hairs on our head, the number that have fallen out. (Luke 12:7) The thought that God knows everything there is to know may at first make us uncomfortable.
Take a look at Psalm 139:1-6.
VS 2 - when I sit and rise
What I am doing every minute of every day
VS 3 - perceive my thoughts
feelings of dislike or hatred toward another person
when we hold a grudge
VS 4 - word on my tongue
about to let a 4 letter word slip
jokes we are about to tell that we shouldn’t
God knows us.
That’s makes us uncomfortable because we are a little leary about letting people know what we are really like.
ILL> Take the young lady and young man that is going on their first date. Dress nicely. Proper manners. Talk is mainly small talk.
After several dates don’t worry so much about how they dress. Get to the point where they will belch in front of each other.
Slowly, they let the other person know what they are like. They talk about likes and dislikes. They start letting the other person know what is important to them and showing their true attitudes.
However, there are always some things you don’t find out until marriage. A few more masks are removed as you continue to grow in your relationship together. I suppose the longer a couple is together, the more masks are removed. But, only God knows what is under the last mask. Psalm 139:4 says, “You know me completely, O Lord.”
On the other hand, there is a positive side to all of this. When you take off a few of your masks and people still like you, you can find comfort in knowing that you can be yourself.
ILL> The first time you go to someone’s house you probably don’t just walk right in. You don’t take a tour of their house without them suggesting it. You don’t open the refrigerator and make yourself at home.
But, after a relationship is developed you might do all of that.
God knows what is under the last mask and He still holds you up as valuable. He still loves you. And He desires to be loved by you in return.
Since we are valuable in God’s eyes, He is always with us. We cannot escape His presence. Look at Psalm 139, verses 7 through 10. When you are happy, God is there to rejoice with you. When tragedy strikes, God is there to bring comfort. When troubles arise, God is there to help.
II> WE ARE VALUABLE EVEN BEFORE WE ARE BORN
When we were created, God was there. Look at Psalm 139, verses 13-16. Then in Jeremiah 1:4-5 it says, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying,  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."
The question of when a person becomes a person is a heated one in our world today.
ILL> Ronald Regan
"If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn."
ILL> The process of growth
"Within 21 days the baby’s backbone, spinal cord, and nervous system are forming. A small heart is present and beating.
At one month arms and legs are present. There is ahead with rudimentary eyes, ears, mouth, and brain. The digestive system has begun. The baby is still only one-fourth of an inch long, but he is ten thousand times larger than when he began.
At 2 months the baby is uflly fomred. He reacts to stimuli such as tickling. He will try to grasp a tiny instrument with histiny hand. He "swims" or moves about in the amniotic fluid. He has fingerprints.
By the end of the 3rd month, as one observer notes, "he can kickhis legs, turn his feet, curl and fan his toes, makes a fist, move his thumb, bend his wrist, turn his head, squint, frouwn, open his mouth," swallow, and breathe (fluid, of course). Fingernails are forming.
ILL> Pro-choice and Pro-life
ILL> I am pro-choice in a way. However, once a woman decides to have sex and conception takes place, then the choice concerning the life of that baby is not longer hers.
In the OT if a woman was physically harmed and she lost her baby, the one that caused the harm was to pay life for life. The same holds true in our society today. If a woman is harmed and loses the baby prematurely, the man can be sent to prison for manslaughter. However, a woman has the law to back her up if she decides to abort the baby.
Abortion has become a way of life and is accepted by many people. However, I beleive that the passages we read makes it clear that we hold value from the moment of conception.
As I said at the start of this sermon, we live in a world that has a growing disregard for human life.
ILL> The penalty for killing an unborn eagle in this country is a fine of up to $5000 and up to five years in prison. But, the killing of an unborn baby is not considered a crime at all, as long as the mother approves.
ILL> AMERICAN WAR CASUALTIES
REVOLUTIONARY WAR 25,324
CIVIL WAR 498,332
WORLD WAR II 407,316
KOREAN WAR 54,246
VIETNAM WAR 56,655
GULF WAR 293
WAR ON THE UNBORN 31,000,000 since abortion was legalize in 1973. (6 times the number of casualties in all the wars combined)
God is with us from the start; He is there watching us grow.
For those that have experienced an abortion there is forgiveness. God values everyone and wants to heal their lives as well.
You are of tremendous value to God. So much so, that He sent His son into the world to die on the cross and pay the penalty for your sins and my sins.
1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”
His desire for your life is that you give your life to Him, make Him the Lord and Savior of your life, so that your sins might be forgiven and that you will share in the eternal rewards that He has prepared for His people.