Yesterday on Sanctity of Life Sunday, I shared at my church how God loves the helpless, especially the unborn. Then, earlier this morning I was inspired by this short video containing the words of our President Barrack Obama.
Here’s the transcripts of yesterdays message. You can also find the audio here.
God Loves the Unborn
January 13, 2013, Sanctity of Life Sunday
It’s Sunday, January 13, 2013, and do you know what happen forty years ago tomorrow? Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, and the Miami Dolphins completed the first and only perfect season in NFL history (Jan. 14). (In my opinion, that makes them the greatest team of all-time. Yah that’s right, they beat the Patriots twice (52-0 once), the Colts twice (23-0 and 16-0!), the Steelers, and the Redskins!). Elvis also performed on national television from Hawaii that day in front of 1.5 Billion viewers, which for 1973 standards is incredible.
This was the beginning of an incredible two weeks of American history. The very next day (Jan. 15), the war in Vietnam was suspended. Five days later (Jan. 20), President Richard Nixon was inaugurated for his second term. Two days after that (Jan. 22), George Foreman defeated Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Championship of the world. That same day (Jan. 22), former President Lyndon Johnson died. Five days later (Jan. 27), the Vietnam War was officially ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accord. And three days after (Jan. 30), bringing an historic month in American history to a close, former Presidential aids James McCord and Gordon Liddy were convicted of conspiracy, burglary, and wiretapping for their roles in the Watergate scandal (dates found on Abort73.com).
Somewhat quietly, something else happened this month 40 years ago. And it will be talked about this week, more than any of the other events I mentioned. A week after the Vietnam War officially ended, Newsweek published this in their magazine:
“The end of a war and the death of a President got bigger headlines. But in a quiet way, a third event last week may have as lasting an influence on American life…
In one of the boldest and most sweeping decisions of the Nixon years, the [Supreme] Court ruled 7-2 that the criminal abortion laws of almost every state violate a constitutional ‘right of privacy’ and must therefore be struck down.” – Newsweek, February 5, 1973
On January 22, 1973, quieted by the crowning of a new heavyweight champion and the death of a former president, 7 men changed the course of human history, by wiping away every state law that had previously protected the life of human beings in the wombs of their mothers. “The decision was simple enough in its main point — that a woman had a constitutional right to an abortion for any reason or for no reason within the first trimester of her pregnancy” (Mohler, Losing Ever Since Roe?). And so today, it is legal to abort the life of a baby in the womb in all fifty United States, at any time during the 9-months of pregnancy, for almost any reason at all.
Why Talk About Abortion in Church?
Since that decision, the issue of abortion has been one of the major issues in American life. “In every presidential election since Roe v. Wade, abortion has been a central issue — and never more so than in the 2012 election. The two party platforms of 2012 had diametrically opposed statements on abortion” (Mohler, Losing Ever Since Roe?).
And since that decision, forty years later, nearly 60 Million abortions have been carried out legally in America. That means the lives of unborn babies have been terminated equaling the size of the population of Florida, multiplied by 3, in just forty years.
Our sermon series is called “How He Loves” and today is Sanctity of Life Sunday.
Sanctity of Life Sunday is celebrated in churches across America each year on this Sunday because of the anniversary of a court’s decision forty years ago called “Roe vs. Wade.”
Abortion is a Biblical Issue
Some might say, “Wait a minute! This is a political issue and has no place as a topic on a Sunday morning message at church.” Well, I want to assure you, we are not a politically motivated church. We believe there are Christians who are Democrats and Republicans, and we welcome both in our church. And in the past, we have been openly critical of so-called “Christian Politics” or the aim some might have in establishing a “Christian government.” That’s not the agenda of the New Testament.
My aim this morning is to show that the issue of abortion is first a biblical issue, before it is a political issue. And once a Christian sees what God has to say about the issue of Abortion, they are obligated as a Christian to respond accordingly. And if part of that response requires political action, then we go there.
God Loves the Helpless, and so should the Church
I want to show this morning How God Loves Those Who CAN’T Help Themselves. People like to say God helps those who help themselves. That’s never true in the Bible. God loves the helpless. And as one example of this, we’re going to see How God Loves…the child in the womb. God loves the helpless, and so should His church.
I have a second goal with this message. I want to show How God Loves the mothers and fathers of these aborted children. Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S. says, “Abortions are very common. In fact, 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old.” If that’s true, it could mean that 5-10 ladies here this morning have had (or will have) an abortion.
This could be a difficult message to hear for some. But it’s a message you really need to hear. What I have to say this morning has more power to help you than to hurt you.
My main idea this morning is that God Loves the Child in the Womb and we will see this by answering the question, “What does God think about the unborn?” Which means, since the Bible is the Word of God, what does the Bible say about the unborn? And if we are to be real Christians, then how God in His Bible thinks is how we as a church and as Christians should think.
We’ll end up in Luke 1:39-45. But I want to lay a foundation for this topic by answering three foundational questions. So am taking a little longer than normal to get to my text.
What is a Human Being?
First, lets answer the question, “What is a Human Being?” You go to Genesis 1 and 2 to answer the questions. “…God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). “…the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Gen 2:7). Human beings are both male and female and are made by God in His image. We are designed to reflect the image of God.
Isaiah (43:6-7) tells it wasn’t just Adam and Eve who were formed by God. God forms all human beings too. And they too are made for His glory. But Adam and Eve where formed as mature adults. Does that mean the definition of human beings only includes adult persons? The Psalms help us with this question.
King David wrote, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14). So God formed the first two people as adults, but every person after them are formed as a person in their mother’s womb.
And David makes it potently clear that this is in effect at conception. He explains, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). He became a sinner at conception. One cannot become a sinner before they are a human being, and therefore a person. So a human being is a person created by God beginning at conception and each one bears the image of their Creator God. Each person here, starting at conception, is a work of God.
Some of our students tried to be smart-alecs this week when we allowed them to submit questions for the pastor to answer. They pressed me to answer the question, “Where do babies come from?” I told them to come this morning and I would give the answer. So there you go. That’s what the Bible teaches. Babies are a work of God.
What does it Mean to End Someone’s Life?
Second, what does it mean to end a person’s life? Early in Genesis God told Noah, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Gen 9:6). God warns of taking the life of another who is made in God’s image. And in Exodus God said, “You shall not murder (unlawfully cause human death)” (Ex 20:13). The life of a human being is a work of God. To unjustly kill a human is to destroy a work of God.
And Exodus 21:22-25 shows what God’s sentence was on those who unlawfully ended an unborn babies life: 22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm,then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye… That’s called capital punishment! God is saying here that an unborn child’s life is of equal value to your life.
What is Abortion?
Third, what is an abortion? I Googled “define abortion” and Google defines it as, “The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy.” Planned Parenthood says, “There are two kinds of abortion in the U.S. — in-clinic abortion and the abortion pill.” So abortion can be as simple just taking a pill. And the cheapest form of an in-clinic abortion “costs about $300–$950 in the first trimester.” It’s actually quite a business in the U.S. to abort babies.
Merriam-Webster defines abortion as “the termination of a pregnancy…resulting in…the death of the embryo or fetus.” The embryo or fetus? Here it is. This gets to the main idea behind this message. It’s clear that abortion is the deliberate killing or termination of a human pregnancy. The question is, “What are we allowing the mother and father to kill by supporting the right for a person to choose abortion?”
What does God think about the unborn? – Luke 1:39-45
The Bible tells us what a human being is and what God thinks about killing one. And we’ve looked at the definition of an Abortion. The debate behind Abortion is the question, “Does a mother’s womb contain a fetus or a human life?” This question is answered in Luke 1.
The context is, Elizabeth and Mary both conceive because God gives them a baby. Two women. One a teenager, a virgin, single, and a small town girl. Another, Mary’s relative, middle-aged, and barren. Both scenarios are looked down upon in society. Both deal with the scrutiny of peers. Many women in these circumstances in our day consider abortion.
No matter the mother or her scenario, God loves the child in the womb. One way we know this is because this passage shows us What God thinks about the Unborn.
I’ll read verses 39-45:
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
1. God sees a Baby in the Womb!
First, when God looks at the unborn, He sees a Baby in the Womb! Notice the word baby in verses 41 and 44. Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes this account and purposefully uses the Greek word for baby (brefos). He does not use a medical or political term for the unborn. The unborn child in Elizabeth’s womb is a baby.
Here is how we can be certain that God meant for us to see what he thinks of the unborn from this. In Luke 2:12, an angel announces to shepherds, “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” See what he calls Jesus in the manger? The Son of God is called a baby. The same word for baby (brefos) used for Jesus is used for unborn John in the womb (see also Luke 18:15-16; Acts 7:19).
Consider What Science Says
Mounting scientific evidence supports the Bible. Science confirms that at conception, the baby has a unique DNA, and the baby’s blood type, fingerprint, and sex are already determined. Ultrasounds confirm that long before most women even discover they’re pregnant, the baby’s heart is beating; and has fingers and toes, eyes and ears, a mouth and nose.
And according to the Law of Biogenesis, when life creates life, it always creates after its own kind. Meaning, it’s impossible to create something in a human womb that is at first not human, then becomes human after some time. No, what is created in a mother’s womb at conception is a human being, not an embryo or a fetus. Some object, “But its only tissue!” And so are you. That doesn’t make you a fetus.
2. God sees a Person in the Womb!
But not only does God see a baby, He sees a person in the womb too. Look at verse 41 and 44 again. It says the baby leaped in her womb. Why did little John leap in his mommy’s womb? Elizabeth tells us the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Joy is an emotion. This little baby showed emotion. And this is not just based on any old interpretation. This is God’s interpretation. In verse 41, we’re told that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit when she explained that this was a leap of joy. God told her that John was overjoyed when the newly conceived baby Jesus arrived at his house.
I never thought of this. John’s purpose in life was to announce the arrival of Jesus. John actually began fulfilling his God-given purpose as a pre-born baby boy. What an incredible thought! That little child in his mother’s womb is a person capable of feeling and expression emotions. And each unborn child has a God-given purpose that they begin fulfilling at conception; chiefly, that each baby is formed at conception to glorify God.
God Loves the Child in the Womb and So Should We
So there you have it. Does a mother’s womb contain a fetus or a human life? According to the Bible, a mother’s womb contains a human life. What does God think of the unborn? He thinks of them as precious little babies, and little persons. He loves them, so should we.
Knowing this, our response shows what we think about God. If an expecting mother or father finds himself or herself in an unplanned pregnancy, there’s no difficult circumstance too difficult to support opposing God and unlawfully causing a human death.
When it comes to abortion, the question is, Who are you going to let be God over that human life in the womb? God the Creator or you? When a person chooses abortion, they choose to play god and enforce their will above another person’s will. That’s no different than infanticide or euthanasia. Why do we see these as evil, and not abortion?
You say, what about when doctors predict that the child will not have a good quality of life or will die a premature cruel death? The two babies in Luke 1 both died premature cruel deaths. If these ladies expecting under these circumstances today, someone would take them to the nearest abortion clinic. Under this kind of thinking, the world would never know a John the Baptist or Jesus Christ.
Besides, Planned Parenthood, who advocated abortions, admits that 93% of all abortions are performed on healthy mothers with healthy babies. And less than 1% of all abortions are performed because of rape of incest. These cases are a fraction of the whole. They are usually brought up as tactics to divert from the truth about abortions.
What if They Accuse Us as Against Women’s Rights?
Does being pro-life or anti-abortion make me anti-Women’s Rights? No! In this country, as many baby girls are murdered through abortion as baby boys. What about the rights of the nearly 30 Million baby girls who have been killed while in a helpless state over the past 40 years? Moreover, around the world more baby girls are killed than baby boys, especially in countries where families are only permitted one child.
Maybe some might say this is a political form of Racism? Well, TIME Magazine reports that the abortion rate for African-American women is 3.5 times that of white women (Mohler). The way I see it, a pro-life person who opposes abortion is pro-Racial Unity and pro-Women. All women and all races should be against abortion, not to mention all Christians!
What to Do? [Application]
So, What can we do?
1. Pray…for expectant mothers and those doing abortions.
2. Read and become knowledgeable. Let these facts set in (from The Ethics &Religious Liberty Commission):
- 22% of all pregnancies end in abortion.
- Two out of five unplanned pregnancies end in abortion.
- Half of all abortions are women under-25.
- The largest category is 20-24 year-olds (33%).
- Two-thirds of abortions are by unmarried women.
- And 60% of abortions are from existing mothers.
3. Speak up with patience, compassion, and conviction.
Listen, if we as Christians minimize abortion because we think we are being loving to those who have had abortions, we actually minimize the Gospel. As awful as abortion is, Jesus suffered and died for abortionists and for murders. He paid for the sin of taking the innocent life of another. He forgives this sin. Why minimize that? That’s a great sin too.
4. Volunteer. Get into the lives of those in need.
5. Adopt. Or at least be an advocate and help others to.
6. Dream. Help Providence discover ways to serve Lehigh.
7. Receive forgiveness.
None of us have done all we should regarding abortion. We all need of forgiveness. If you have had an abortion, know that God loves you as He does the unborn. In fact, He sent Jesus as a baby to demonstrate His love for the greatest of sinners.
Some of the greatest men in the Bible were murderers. Arguably the greatest man of the Old Testament, King David, and the greatest man of the New Testament, the Apostle Paul, were both guilty of causing the unlawful death of another human being.
Both men found comfort and experienced the amazing grace and forgiveness in Jesus. If it saddens you beyond comfort that you had an abortion or you encouraged another to have one, acknowledge right now to God your guilt and repent. Turn to God and put your trust in Jesus. He experienced the weight of sin greater than yours while on the cross. He did it so that many like you can be cleansed and restore to Him.
But those who have had abortions are not the only ones in need of forgiveness. Too many are uninformed or ignorant about what God thinks about abortion and share responsibility in allowing this great tragedy to continue in our land.
We are in great need of repentance this morning. We need to repent if we are guilty of being silent when it comes to abortion. Church, silence is not an option. Will they say of us what many of us think of the church generation of the slavery days? Were there any real Christians in the South to stand up for the helpless slaves? How could they claim to be Christians and not see the horror of slavery?
Well, I fear 100 years from now when the truth about abortion is even clearer, many will say of our generation, “Were there not any real Christians in America then? How could they be silent while 60 Million babies were murdered? Why didn’t they do all they could to stop it?” Is that what they will say about you? This church?
God don’t let it be. Church, lets not be silent anymore. Too much is at stake.