By: The John Ankerberg Show
Good morning. It is good to be with you. I feel like the Apostle Paul when he wrote to the church at Rome when he said, “I long to see you that I may impart to you a spiritual gift to make you strong, that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by one another’s fellowship.” And I just want to thank you for your prayers.
As you know, last week’s sermon has been the topic of a lot of conversation. And if you were here last week and you heard the sermon, you know that it was a sermon about love and forgiveness. If you haven’t heard the sermon, I want to encourage you to go online and listen to the message in its entirety before you jump to a conclusion about the nature of the topic.
The sermon is about love. And the question we have to ask ourselves at Brainerd Baptist is, how do we love people? How do we love people that don’t look like us or act like us?
We love people in two ways. The first way we love people is to tell people the truth. You know, the Bible says and Jesus out of His own mouth, He said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
But the second way we love people is, we love them the way Jesus loved them, right? Jesus loved people unconditionally. He loved them just the way they were. And one of the things I love about our church here at Brainerd Baptist is that we welcome everyone.
If you are just joining our church, you realize that it is a church where it is okay to not be okay. But it is not okay to remain not okay. You see, although Jesus meets us where we are, He doesn’t leave us where we are. And if anyone is grateful for the grace of God, it is me. I mean, you guys know my story better than anyone.
God radically saved me many years ago from a life of drugs and addiction. In 1999 I got involved in a bad car accident where I herniated two discs in my back, two discs in my neck. I went to the doctors and they sent me home with four things: oxycoten, valium, soma and percocet. Within three months, I was addicted not to pharmaceutical drugs but to street drugs. I had a $180 a day heroin and cocaine addiction. I robbed my own family of $15,000 to perpetuate this addition I had. I loved sin and I lived in sin.
So if anyone understands the grace of God, it is me! And I am grateful that God met me where I was. But the cool thing about God is, He didn’t leave me there. Aren’t you glad for that?
One of the things I want you to know, Church, is that every week that I come to preach the Word of God to you behind the sacred desk, every message is saturated with prayer, with love, with compassion and with grace. And I want to pray as we begin that this sermon would be no different than the rest of the sermons. Every week I come prepared to deliver to you the Word of God because I know when you are exposed to the Word, the Word changes people. It changed me.
And before we pray, I want to read to you an encouraging email I got this week. It was right in the middle of the week I received this and I appreciate the man who was brave enough to send it. He said I could read it to the church if I left his name out.
He said, “Pastor, Robby, you will find this funny that I found out about you from a Facebook caption that read, “More Hate. So Sad That People Like This Have a Voice, Especially in Religion.” Well, as you can imagine, this got my attention because I am a man who desires other men. You see, I decided to read ALL of what you said in your sermon and then I went and downloaded the pod cast in its entirety. And somehow, Pastor, it changed me. I am not a kid. I was married for 16 years. I struggled through and finally divorced my wife. I had an annulment from my marriage so that she could remarry in the church and so for 20 years I have struggled with guilt. And while I did indulge my desires through a certain amount, I always felt that indulging in those desires wasn’t right. I struggled with my demons and my belief in Christ. And for some reason, could only come to believe that this was the way God made me. So to pursue my desires with the right person in a loving manner would be what God wanted for me. But I am not so sure now. This lifestyle that I live in is full of unholy people. I listened to your words and for some reason, it did give me some solace and a better understanding of perhaps what God wants of me. I believe that I have more searching to do, but I pray that as of today I have a better road to follow. I felt so compelled to write to you and tell you thanks for the work you do. I know that you have touched many lives with your words and I dismiss the person calling you homophobic because you are not, nor is what you preach. I will keep listening to your pod casts. Thanks again for all you do. Feel free to share my thoughts with the church as long as you keep my name out for my family’s sake. God bless you.”
Join me as we pray. Father, we thank You that You came to us just as we were. We thank You for the Word that is unchanging. We thank you for the Word that is active and living, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. We thank You for Your Spirit who indwells us as believers. We thank You, God, that we are able to love other people because You loved us. And we are thankful that we are to extend mercy because You were merciful to us. God, we continue to pray that You will use Your Word to bring people to You. Thank You for a church, God, that desires to do what God says and hear what God has said. God, we give this time to you. We are about to talk about a difficult topic that affects a lot of us in this country and we need Your grace. Would You empower us by Your Spirit to be more like Jesus. We thank You and we ask it in the only name we know how and that is the strong and powerful name of Jesus Christ. And everyone said, Amen!
I didn’t realize how important this message series was until we got into it. And you probably didn’t either. The title of the series is called True North. And basically the whole idea of this series, if you are just joining us, is that we are trying to figure out what God has to say about cultural issues. I mean, that is the thrust of this whole series. It is the thrust of this message. It is the thrust of all the messages. We want to hear what God has to say. You don’t want to hear what I have to say. I am just the mailman delivering the message that I didn’t write. This message is no exception.
I think it is a message that is important in our culture, more importantly it is a message that is important in our culture. Robby, are you trying to say that we need to listen to a book that is 2000 years old for the shaping of our life? That is exactly what I am saying.
Friends, we have to understand that God’s book is the standard for our living. It doesn’t change. God’s Word is inerrant, it is infallible, it is sufficient for salvation. It is timeless. It is trustworthy. And it is an applicable today in our lives as it was when He wrote it 2000 or even 3500 years ago.
And that is why this message on abortion is a difficult one. It is a challenging one for us to hear, but I think it is really a message of life and death. That is the title. The message is It Is An Issue of Life and Death.
Lets say today that I pull out of my pocket a $20 bill. And I offer you today that $20 bill. How many people would take it? We all would take it, right? I tried to bring a $20 bill. I asked Kandi last night before I was preaching this, I said, “Do you have a $20 bill that I could use as a sermon illustration?” She said, “No, I don’t have any cash.” I said, “Well, I don’t have any cash either.” So don’t come up here. I don’t have the $20 bill. And you probably don’t have a $20 bill either, that is just the culture in which we live. But if I had a $20 bill and I offered it, you would take it. Everybody would take it. But what if I said, Look at the bill. It is a little dirty. It has smudges on it. Would you still take it? Absolutely. What if I took the bill and I crumbled it up and I threw it on the round and I stepped on it? Would you still take it? Absolutely. What if I tore the bill in half, taped it back together and then offered it to you ripped and restored, would you still take it? Absolutely. You would take it because of the value of it. Why would you take a dirty, crumpled and torn bill? Because it is valuable.
Now why is it valuable? Is it valuable because of the paper that it is printed on? We know that is not true. Is it valuable because of the ink that it is printed from? We know that is not the case. It is valuable (come in real close) because the creator of the bill, the United States of America, the government by which we live in, has said it is valuable. In fact, they say that it is valuable to the extent of $20.
Friends, the reason that human beings are valuable is because God said we were valuable. You see, the reason we are valuable is because God made us and because God made us, God puts a price upon our life. He gives value to us.
As we study this text today, we know that many people that are listening, whether you are here in person or whether you are joining us around the world, many people have struggled with the procedure of abortion. Maybe you have thought about it in the past. Maybe you have engaged in an abortion. Maybe you are the boyfriend who encouraged a girlfriend to get an abortion. Maybe you are the parents who said this is a mistake, as some people call it, so we are going to help you to remove this inconvenience in your life. Whatever you have done or whatever you have engaged in, I want to offer you hope today. Listen to me, my deepest sympathies go out to you today.
As I was studying this topic, I know how difficult it can be, particularly once a year for you. As you come to churches and on the Sanctity of Life Sunday, pastors preach against abortion and it bring back all those old memories. And so I don’t want to put a burden upon you today. I want to give you hope today.
Now with any message, I am going to ask you to remain with me to the end of the message and listen to the message in its entirety. You know, it is dangerous to take things out of context…no pun intended…but this message like any other message is important to remain to the end.
The first point I want to make as we are looking at God’s Word and what God says about abortion is this: Children are a gift from God. Children are a gift from God. I think you would agree with me.
Go to Genesis Chapter 1. We will take kind of a journey through Genesis. But go to Genesis Chapter 1. I want to show you how it all began. Every human being is made in the image of God. Look at Verse 27, “So God created man in His own image; He created man in the image of God.” Now you may have read, after His own likeness. “He created them male and female.” So we see in the book of Genesis early on, when God creates man and eventually He creates woman, He makes us in the image of God.
Now a lot of people have wondered, even Christians, who have said, what does it mean, Pastor, to be made in the image of God? Well, let me explain to you what that means. In order to do that, I have to give you a short systematic theology lesson. And I have to explain to you what theologians label as the incommunicable qualities of God and the communicable qualities of God. Just big words that mean…incommunicable means those qualities with God that we do not share. The communicable qualities of God are those that we do share with God, right?
So what are some of the incommunicable qualities, Robby? We don’t share with God His immutability. That means God never changes. We are constantly changing, right? We don’t share that with God. We don’t share God’s omniscience. God knows everything…we don’t. We don’t share God’s omnipresence. God is everywhere…can you fathom this…at the same time…we are not. We don’t share God’s omnipotence. God is all powerful…we are not. Those are the incommunicable qualities.
But on the flip side, in this category, we have the communicable qualities. Those are qualities we share with God. Because God is a loving God and as loved us first, guess what? We are able to love other people. We are able to exercise justice because we have received justice from God. We are able to extend mercy to other people because God has merciful to us. We are able to grow in wisdom because God has given us the ability to grow in wisdom. We are able to hate things. God gets angry. Jesus says, “Be angry, but do not sin.”
But we are also able to be kind to people and compassionate because Jesus had compassion for us. So when the Bible says you are created in the image of God, I think what Moses has in mind here is that we share those incommunicable qualities with God. We are able to love. We are able to show mercy. We are able to show compassion. And because we are created in the image of God, particularly children, children are a gift from God, right?
Now for those of you who have tried to have children for a long period of time and have been unsuccessful, you know that when that child finally comes into the world, you are gracious for that gift from heaven. Amen?
Children are a gift from God. Turn with me to the book of Psalms. Let me show you quickly how the writer says this. Psalm 127:3 and I will show you the proof text for this. Hold your place a Genesis, we will come back. But look at Psalm 127:3. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.” Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Children are a gift from God.
Now you may know as you read through the book of Genesis that God is the One who opens the womb and closes the womb, right? You remember the story of Sarah who was unable to have children in Genesis Chapter 16 Verse 2. She said to Abram her husband, “Since the Lord has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family.”
But then we know God hears her prayer. Genesis 17 Verse 16. It says that God opens her womb. Look at it in the text. If you are there. “I will bless her; indeed. God says, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
We see this again in Genesis Chapter 20 Verse 18. Just go four chapters to the right. It says in the text, “the Lord has completely closed the womb in Abimelech’s household on account of Sarah.”
But then we see in another occasion, Genesis 25, five chapters ahead, Verse 21, “Isaac prayed to the Lord,” look at this, “on behalf of his wife because she was childless.” I love this. “and the Lord heard his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.” She conceived because God opened the womb.
So we see in the text early on through the book of Genesis that God is the One who creates life, God is the One who sustains life. You remember the story of Hannah. Hannah repeatedly prayed to the Lord and in I Samuel it says two times in that text, the Lord was the One who shut her womb. Who shut the womb of Hannah? It was the Lord. But then we see this great text, I Samuel Chapter 1 Verse 19, I Samuel Chapter 1 Verse 19. “Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah,” this is another great reminder, “the Lord remembered her. After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, I requested him from the Lord.”
Robby, what are you trying to say. What I am trying to say is that God is the One who creates life. God is the One who sustains life. The Bible repeatedly speaks of conception as a work of God. And when God works, He creates man and woman in His own image after His own likeness. So the first point I want to make is children are a gift from God.
Secondly, children are formed by God. Turn with me to Psalm 139. Children are formed by God. Psalm 139 is the proof text. Many of you are familiar with this text. It is the text that talks about God creating us in our mother’s womb. He knows us. He created us before the foundation of the world. Look at what it says in Psalm 139 Verse 13. “For it was You who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.” Your version says maybe fearfully and wonderfully made. “Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.” That basically is this idea of being formed in the mother’s womb, formed before the foundation of the world. “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.”
Now a lot of us know that passage but in order to understand this passage, we have to take the text in context. One of the reasons I preach every week in an expository manner and that is, I just take a text and I try to camp out on a particular text and say to you what God says in the text is I have to take that text in context. You know, it is dangerous to take something out of context, especially in the Bible.
So lets go back into the context of Psalm 139 and lets start at Verse 1. I think you will be surprised at how David begins this Psalm. It was enlightening for me. Verse 1, Psalm 139. If you are there, say “word.”
“Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, Lord. You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it. Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, then You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there, if I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will be night’ – even the darkness is not dark to You. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You.”
It is interesting because what David is doing here is, he is describing for us the incommunicable qualities of God in praise. Verses 1-6, he talks about the omniscience of God. Look at it in the text. He talks about how God knows everything. God knows him intimately. You know what is cool about God is that He knows our future better than we know our own past. Think about that for a second. God knows our future better than we know our own past
Secondly, he talks about the omnipresence of God. He says, God, where can I go, Verses 7-12, where can I go to get away from You? If I go to heaven, You are there. If I go to Sheol, You are there. If I am in the darkest places, You are there. If I go to the western limits or the eastern shores, God, You are there with me.
And then he finishes with the omnipotence of God, particularly in the creation of human beings. Look at Verse 13. He says, “You created me.” This is so neat. “And You created my inward parts.” In the Hebrew that word “inward parts” is the word for kidneys. That is not just the organ in our body. It is just the idea that God created the complex organs in our body. He fashioned them and formed them Himself. The very fibers of your body, folks, don’t miss this, were woven together by God. The DNA strips of your life were printed from a heavenly printer. God Himself formed you. God Himself fashioned you. God Himself fabricated you with His own hands. And that is why David says, I am fearfully and wonderfully made or remarkably made.
That word “remarkably” in the language of today would be “awesomely made.” I am just awesomely made. Not because of who I am, but because of who? Who You are, God. You made me.
He goes on to describe the process. “Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless.” I love this, “all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” If you are having trouble with the sovereignty of God, that will throw a monkey wrench in your life right there. I mean, look at that one. “All of my days were written in Your book and planned before a single day began.” That word “formless” is the key word to understanding this text. That word “formless” is the idea of a ball, a mass, that is rolled up. And what God says is, He unrolls the mass, He unfolds the mass, if you will.
What are you saying, David? God saw me when I was just a genetic mass, not just, when I was a genetic mass. God saw you and formed you when you were just an embryo. Friends, God was involved in the very beginning details of your creation. Fathom that!
What does that mean for us, Pastor? Well, our response should be the same as David’s. Look at how David responds in Verse 17. He says all this and in praise recalls the wonders of God and he says, “God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is!” David says, the more I sit here and think about Your goodness and Your grace in my life, I am just perplexed. I am just overwhelmed.
You see, the question we have to answer as we talk about the issue of abortion is when does life begin? That is the question. The Bible is clear that life begins at conception. And what is cool is, what is neat is that secular scientists now are agreeing with the Bible.
I found one scientist out of Paris, France, professor of fundamental genetics, Dr. Jerome Lajune. He writes and I quote and it is a lengthy quote, but it is worth reading. He says, Life, I quote, “has a very long history. But each individual has a very neat beginning, the moment of its conception.” That is when the beginning happens, the moment of its conception. “The material link is the molecule thread of DNA. In each reproductive cell this ribbon which is roughly one meter long is cut into pieces of 23. As soon as the 23 paternally derived chromosomes are united through fertilization to the 23 maternal ones, the full genetic meeting necessary to express all of the inborn qualities of the child, of this new individual, is gathered and personal constitution takes place at that moment,” he says. “At two months of age, the human being is less than one thumb-length from head to rump. He would fit at ease in a nutshell. But everything is there. The hands are there, the feet, head, organs and brain. In the fourth week, there is consciousness, all are in their place. His heart starts to beat after the first month. His fingerprints can be detected at this time. His heart is beating at a pace of 150-170 beats a minute, to accept the fact, (watch this) that after fertilization has taken place, a new human being has come into being and it is no longer a matter of taste or opinion.”
So what is the doctor saying? He is saying that life begin at conception. Now the Bible is clear about this because all through the Bible we see passages talking about the children in the womb. I mean, think about the passages about Jacob and Esau in the Old Testament and in the New. It says that God had separated these two individuals, even in the womb. I mean, you think of Samson’s mother. She knew by God that Samson was to take the Nazarite vow which was complete abstinence from alcohol. And so what she says, if you study that passage, she says, I am going to abstain from alcohol because I don’t want to affect the child in the womb. There is a lot of talk about what happens in the womb.
You think of the Apostle Paul or the prophet Jeremiah. Both of them said, God, you set me apart in the womb. Paul says in Galatians, God, You chose me and set me apart for a task in the womb.” My favorite one is Elizabeth and Mary. You remember Mary. She conceives by the Holy Spirit and immediately rushes over to her relatives house which many people think could be her cousin, Elizabeth. Elizabeth, at the time, has John the Baptist in her belly. He is six months old or six months, yeah, six months old at that time. And what happens is, immediately when Mary walks in the door, what happens to John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth. He leaps for joy.
Now I want you to understand this. Jesus had just been conceived moments earlier, just moments earlier. She goes to her cousin’s house and John just in the presence of Jesus leapt for joy.
When does life begin? It begins at conception.
What are you trying to say to us today, Pastor? Friends, human life is precious to God. Children are not biological inconveniences. Children are not mistakes. Children are not sexual accidents. No one starts as a nothing and then turns into a something. It is God who fabricates us. It is God who molds us. It is God who shapes us. It is God who manufactures us. It is God who creates us, if you will. And it is God who sustains the entire process from fetus to born child.
What is the point of all this, Robby? The point is simply this. At the moment of conception, something happens. Two independent…follow this…blood cells come together to form one independent cell. The sperm and the egg unite at conception. Two independent blood cells become one new blood cell. And at that moment, the Bible says that if someone sheds the blood of an innocent person, it is wrong. So you have to understand, if something happens to that new blood cell and it is destroyed, the Bible says it is murder, which leads us to our last point and it is the most important one. Children, we know are gifts from God. Secondly, children are formed by God. Thirdly, children are to be protected by man. Children should be protected by man.
Friends, the reason abortion is wrong is because it is murder against humans and the Bible prohibits that. Genesis Chapter 9 Verse 6, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, his blood will be shed by man. For God made man in His own image.”
The Old Testament is filled with passages speaking of the helpless and the innocent ones. Murdering against them is always condemned. Murder against them is always condemned. Passages in the Book like Exodus or Leviticus, Ezekiel, Joshua, Samuel, Kings. God speaks about capital punishment for anybody committing murder. If you think about it, in the Bible it says, if you murder your brother, your blood will be shed by man.
It talks about innocent blood. In fact, I was looking through the Old Testament and we see that term “innocent blood” over 20 times in the Old Testament. And it is always in reference to murder and it is always condemned or mostly in reference to murder it is always condemned.
John Piper says this. “Surely the blood of the unborn is as innocent as any blood that flows in the world today.” But Robby, isn’t “Thou shalt not murder an Old Testament command? We are not supposed to follow the Old Testament anymore, right, because we are under grace in the New Testament? Do we really have to follow the Old Testament laws? I think that is a misunderstanding for New Testament believers because they misunderstand the purpose of the Old Testament law. 613 commands of the Old Testament can be divided into three categories. Here they are: the first category are ceremonial laws. The second category are dietary laws. And the third category are the moral laws.
One of the things I want you to realize is that when Jesus came, He said out of His own mouth that the Old Testament laws are not useless. In fact, Jesus said, I didn’t come to do away with the law, I came to fulfill the law, right? Jesus said, “In Me the law is fulfilled.” He said, “Not one jot or tittle, not one punctuation mark, not one ending on the end of a word will be removed until heaven and earth pass away. Jesus said, the law is good. Why? Because the law leads us to Him.
So the New Testament believers, if you are a believer in the New Testament, which all of us are if we are believers. The reason we do not murder or steal or lie or covet is not to check boxes on stone tablets that were written thousands of years ago. The reason we don’t murder or lie, steal or covet is because we have been filled with the Spirit of God and we are walking by the Spirit of God because the law is now written on our hearts. Do you see the difference? And because the law is written on our hearts by the Spirit of God, we are to follow, the Bible says, the conduct of God and the character of Christ. We are to live like Christ and to act like Christ and to respond like Christ in a manner worthy of the gospel.
You know, as I was studying, surprisingly I came across an insert in the Didica which an early church manual for living. This would have been around in the first early centuries of the church. The early church manual clearly says, “You shall not murder a child by abortion.” Let me read that again. It clearly says, you shall not murder a child by abortion.
You have to agree, we have misplaced our priorities in the country we live. We love our country and we are thankful for the country in which we live. But some people have misplaced priorities. In our country, Federal Law prohibits the touching or the tampering or the stealing or the breaking of a fertilized sea turtle egg. If you touch the egg of a sea turtle, you can go to jail for upwards of ten years and you can receive a fine for $100,000. Now the reason that is happening while abortion is allowed to continue to happen is because I think people have a misunderstanding of the difference between humans and animals. And let me just say for the record, I love animals, right? But animals, according to the Bible, are created differently than humans. See, animals are not on the same plain as humans.
When God gave Adam a task, He said, “I want you to name all the animals in the Garden. I am giving you dominion over the animals.” Man was vegetarian, was a vegetarian until after the fall. And then particularly, God gave concession in Genesis Chapter 9 to Noah that you can now eat meat. Prior to that, most were vegetarians. Right? But the reason for that is that animals are not on the same plain as man. And so this idea that you should preserve animals at the expense of killing human beings is an idea and a concept that came from reincarnation in Hinduism. See, Hinduism has effected our culture so much that people are saying, don’t eat a crab because you might eat Great Uncle Harry. I say that tongue-in-cheek, but you get the point.
It is appalling to us that we live in a country today where it is legal to kill babies and it is not a big deal. But at the same time, it is a crime to touch the egg of a sea turtle.
Another issue that should cause you to pause is the statement from the Physicians Association of Planned Parenthood. I went back and researched this twice to make sure that this is what I was reading. You can search it online. The Association of Planned Parenthood from the physicians. This is their statement on abortion. I quote. “Abortion is a treatment for unwanted pregnancy, the second sexually transmitted disease.” Is pregnancy the second sexually transmitted disease?
In January of 1973, a ruling came down that would affect our country forever. It was the ruling of Roe v. Wade. You remember the ruling. And since that time, our nation has allowed, get this, 55 million innocent children to be killed. Now wrap your mind around that – 55 million children. Let me put it in perspective. We live in a country in America of 313 million people – 17% of that would be 55 million. If 17% of our population died immediately, it would be a catastrophic event to unparalleled proportions!
Joel Rosenberg, the author, said, “If we continue at this pace, we will have allowed 60 million innocent children to die. That is ten times the number of Jewish people who were killed at the hands of the Nazis in Germany.” Ten times!
47,000 mothers died last year because of complications from the abortion procedures. It is not just the children who are dying, it is the mothers as well. Worldwide statistics say that one in three women have engaged in an abortion or will engage in an abortion in their lifetime. One in three women! 47% of abortions are from people who have already engaged in an abortion in the past. I was thinking about this, almost 50% – one in two who have had an abortion will engage in another abortion. And I am thinking the reason for that is once you open the door for that, it is just concession to do it again.
Friends, we live in a country today where it is legal to kill a child or to do with a child what is illegal to do to a cat or a dog or a bald headed eagle or a sea turtle. I mean, think of the logic here. Imagine a mother who has a child in her stomach. She is in the first trimester. She is driving to an abortion clinic to perform a procedure to eradicate the baby from her womb. On her way to the procedure, a drunk driver comes across two lanes of traffic, T-bones her in the car, the baby dies in her stomach. That drunk driver will go to jail for involuntary manslaughter and yet the person that she is driving to eradicate and suck the baby from her womb will go free without penalty. That is the world we live in!
The reason we stand up for children is because they cannot stand up for themselves.
But Robby, do you mean to tell me that you as a Pastor are going to tell women what to do with their body? Who are you to tell a woman what to do with her body? Friends, I am not trying to tell a woman what to do with her body. I am actually talking about saving the life of a baby within her. That is all we are talking about here.
But, Robby, what about the cases of rape or incest? What about the cases where the mother may die because of this pregnancy? I understand that is a difficult issue. Those are some of the hardest issues to navigate. I will tell you this, that is really a straw man argument because in all of the abortions ever performed, those are less than 1% of the cases. Most of the time, if not many of the times, it is because of an inconvenience.
But, Robby, what about children that are deformed? Are you trying to say to me that those children are gifts from God? Deformed kids? Absolutely. God says in Exodus 4 to Moses, “who made the human mouth. Who made man mute or deaf or seeing or blind? Is it not I, Yahweh?”
You see, friends, you have to understand. Every one of us is deformed. The difference is, to what degree? We are all deformed, right? Some of us are more deformed than others, but we are all deformed and marred from sin.
Jesus was walking with His disciples one day. The disciples in John 9 said, “Jesus, who sinned?” They saw a man who was born blind. “Jesus, who sinned, this man or his parents?” You have to understand in Jewish culture, they believed that sin could affect illness or if you sinned, you could be ill or if you sinned you could be deformed. And so they saw this man who was born blind and they naturally asked the question, did he sin or his parents? Well, how can a baby sin? The rabbis gave a note on that issue and said that as the child was coming out of the womb, he could have kicked his mother and he could have been deformed. That is kind of a crazy idea but that is what some rabbis thought.
And Jesus says to him, “Neither he sinned nor his parents sinned, but this man was created blind so that God’s glory may be magnified in him.” What he is saying is, God doesn’t make mistakes! Friends, let me say this to you. In the economy of God, there are no mistakes.
God is the One who sustains life. God is the One who creates life. God is the One who fabricates life.
Russell Morris said this about this topic. He is the Ethics and Religious Liberty President. Dr. Morris says, “That Down Syndrome baby is worthy of life, not because of his or her usefulness, but because he or she is created in the image of God.” And when we understand that, he says it changes the way we see an entire range of issues, issues like human trafficking or poverty or immigration, even pornography and a list of other things.
Friends, you are precious to God because He created you. Children are precious to God because He created them.
So how do we respond, Pastor, to these difficult truths here today? Let me give you two walking points as we close. Two walking points. The first one is this. As Christians, we are called to stand up against abortion. As Christians, we are called to stand up against abortion. The people of God must take a stand. What does that mean? That means we don’t support candidates who are pro-choice which is actually pro-death. I mean, that is what it is. We don’t support amendments that propagate the killing of innocent children. You see, it just comes down to this. I know this is a hard teaching, but it comes down not this, are we going to follow God’s Word or are we going to bend to man’s opinion? It just comes down to that. Are we going to follow True North or are we going to get sidetracked along the way.
You have to understand, we are not fighting a battle against flesh and blood. This is a spiritual battle here. We are fighting against Satan himself with this issue. And I will prove it to you. Think about the Old Testament and the New. Satan has always been in the business of taking and killing babies. He did it in Moses’ day and he did it in Jesus’ day.
Think of Moses’ day. He wanted to slay all the children, the males because he was fearful that a king would rise from them and so he was going to eradicate all the males in the community. In Jesus’ day, he killed all the males two years and younger because he was fearful that a deliverer would come from them, right?
Now I know what you are saying. You are thinking, well, Robby, yes, it was Satan who killed the children in Exodus, but didn’t a few chapters later, didn’t God do the same thing with the Passover? Right? Remember what God says to the people of Israel, this plague is going to wipe out all the first-born males in Egypt and you, by faith, will have to take a lamb, an innocent lamb and slay the lamb, take the blood from the lamb and apply it to the doorpost of your house. I am going to send the angel of death through the community and the angel of death, here it is, will pass over the house that has the doorpost covered with blood. If you have a covering of blood upon your house, you were protected, right? So the angel of death comes, the Jewish people, it is a great picture of faith and obedience. They had to believe God was going to do what He said He was going to do and they had to act. And here is the good news. You are saying, Robby, how can God take life? The reason God can take life is because God is the One who created life. Because He created life, He can take life. Satan did not create life. He has no right to take life and human beings did not create life and we have no right to take life. But the good news is this, is that for any person in here who applies the shed blood of Christ that was shed on the cross of Calvary to the doorpost of their hearts today through repentance and faith, can be saved from their sin. Aren’t you grateful for that? That the same thing God does today, the same blood in the Passover is available to us today in the shed blood of Christ if we apply it to our life through repentance and faith.
And so, as Christians, we need to stand up for those who are unable to stand up for themselves. Why? Because the attack on babies from Satan is actually an attack on God.
Here is the second walking point. I want to offer some encouragement. If you have had an abortion in your past, my challenge to you is to ask God for forgiveness and allow Him to fix the brokenness in your life. It is important for you, folks, listen to me, if you have experienced an abortion in your past or participated in an abortion in your past to make peace with God. When I talk to people about this who have experienced something like this, they will say, I know God has forgiven me but I can’t forgive myself. You may have heard this before. And I understand that. It has to be tough. I can’t imagine what you experience every year as the Pastor gets up on Sanctity of Life Sunday and preaches against abortion and you hear Pastors saying, it is murder. And it is a heinous sin. Don’t get me wrong. But it is no different than any other sin in this world. Aren’t you grateful God doesn’t grade on a curve, He grades on a cross! And it doesn’t matter what sin you did in the past, God will cleanse you in the present if you cry out to Him. And friends, don’t miss this, if you have had an abortion, you need to move past I aborted a child and you need to move to, I grieve the loss of a child that was lost. And listen, it is okay to grieve. The grieving process of part of the healing.
And I want to encourage you, if you are a Mom who or a Dad who funded that, or if you are boyfriend who encouraged that or if you were the person who was engaged in that, I want you to know there is forgiveness and healing in Christ. He fixes our broken lives and He puts them back together again. And because of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, we can be forgiven of all of our sins. That is a glorious truth for us as believers.
Max Lucado tells the story in his book, The Applause of Heaven, about a sweater than hangs in his closet. He said, “This sweater is basically useless to him. The sleeves are too short, the shoulders are too tight, the buttons are falling off and the material is frazzled. It is an older sweater. He said, there is nothing about the sweater that I can use. Logically, I should have thrown the sweater out a long time ago with other clothes that I had cleaned out from my closet. It simply takes up space in the closet. He says, logically I should do it, but love says no. Now what is significant about this sweater, you may ask? The sweater is not really special in the fact that it has no tags. There is no insert on the sweater that says wash or handle with care. It has no section on it that says wash in cold water. There is nothing significant about the sweater in that sense, why? Because it wasn’t made in a factory or an assembly line as a product by a person trying to earn minimum wage. Lucado says what is special about the sweater is that it was a creation of a devoted mother expressing her love. He said, it was my mother who made the sweater. That sweater is unique to me. It is one of a kind. It is irreplaceable. Each strand was chosen with care. Each thread was selected with affection. And so, even though the sweater has lost all of its use, it has lost none of its value. It is valuable not because of its function, it is valuable because of its maker. So is each life created by God.
Friends, the reason we stand up against abortion is because life is valuable to us because we are valuable to God.