WHAT GOD WANTS US TO KNOW ABOUT ABORTION
Sanctity of Life Message ❧ Part 1 of 1
Forty-nine years ago, almost to the day, the Supreme Court of our land made a sweeping decision legalizing abortion on demand. Writing on this issue a year later, the late theologian Charles Ryrie observed that widespread debate and discussion among a number of major Christian denominations led them to adopt formal resolutions, “favoring repeal of laws against abortion and placing the responsibility for the decision in the hands of the woman or the couple involved” (Ryrie, You Mean the Bible Teaches That? p. 85). It seems difficult to comprehend, but Ryrie says that a startling number of major Christian denominations responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling supporting the Court’s decision! Ryrie goes on to point out that much of what had been written and discussed about abortion made little to no reference to the Bible at all – and that that was almost fifty years ago. Little has changed in the past five decades. There is still a great deal of tension and disunity among those who claim the name of Christ when it come to the topic of abortion.
This morning I want to talk to you about abortion. Specifically, I want us to look at: What God Wants Us to Know About Abortion. This is not a new message, but it is a needed message.
Let me say up front, abortion is a very difficult and painful topic. Yet, it needs to be discussed, brought in the open. Too many are hurting because no one cared enough to speak into their lives. Too many face each day looking through the prison bars of hidden torment and unresolved guilt because no one cared enough to say something. I’m not here to condemn, but to give hope. What I want to share with you today is not new, but it is needed.
I am aware and thankful that the numbers of abortions are going down in America. I find that many people are against it, but they don’t all show it the same way. WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT ABORTION? Three questions: 1) When does life begin? 2) Where does choice end? And, 3) Where does healing begin?
I. When Does Life Begin? A lot of people begin with the question: Are you pro-choice or pro-life? The right question to ask is: When does life begin? One of the major issues in the abortion debate today is When Does Life Begin? When does the baby become a person? You have to begin with this question. It comes before pro-choice or pro-life. Some believe only when the fetus is able to survive independently outside the womb. Nobel Prize winning biologist Francis Crick says we should wait until children are at least two day’s old before they are legally declared persons!
What does the Bible say? You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (Psalm 139: 13-16, NLT). Circle each “I”, “Me”, “My” in these verses. David says, you were a person even before you were completely formed. Have you ever watched a newborn baby? They have dainty physical features. There’s a sense of wonder and joy that even though they are so small, they’re a whole person. You marvel at watching them!
David is saying God looked at you with that same kind of marvel even before you were born, even before you were fully formed! He saw you as precious in both body and form. You were a whole person in God’s eyes long before you were even born.
Are there other places that the Bible teaches this? Absolutely. Let me give you a few.
A. The unborn are called babies. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:41, NCV). Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary and the unborn baby John the Baptist jumped inside of her. Then in Lk.2:12 it says, This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger (Lk. 2:12, NIV). This was the baby Jesus after he was born. Here’s the point: the same Greek word for baby is used for both the unborn and the born.
We don’t even have to look to the Bible for this one really. Every pregnant woman refers to her unformed, unborn baby as a baby. I’ve never heard a pregnant lady say, “I’m carrying a blob of tissue, a mass of cells in my stomach.” Why? Because we know intuitively, long before medical science told us, that a baby is a baby whether in born or unborn. But what’s important here is that God uses the same word for baby for the unborn as well as the born. God chooses His words carefully – 2 Tim. 3:16 says every word we have in the Bible is inspired by God. God wants us to know that unborn unformed babies are babies.
B. The unborn possess human traits. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:41, NCV). It says the baby jumped, meaning there was a sense of joy when he heard Mary’s voice the mother of Jesus. In David says there’s another: For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me (Ps. 51:5, NLT). We’re all born with a sin nature. Every mom knows this. They’ve felt the kicks. There are the joyful kicks and then there are the sinful kicks! Both are already there, present.
The Bible makes it very clear life begins in the womb, even when a baby isn’t completely formed. That makes an incredible difference in the debate.
When someone says, “Would you prevent a woman who was going to have a potentially handicapped child from having an abortion? You can say, “I’m glad you brought that up, because it helps clarify the issue of abortion. What kind of living thing is in the mother’s womb? If the unborn child is not a living person, then no excuse for an abortion is necessary. But if the unborn child is a living person, which God says he or she is, no excuse for abortion is acceptable.
It’s interesting that science is telling us more and more what the Bible has told us all along. About the time of Roe. V. Wade is when the Ultrasound began – it provided a window of life. Suddenly science could watch, like God in Psalm 139 the unformed body of a little person take shape. By the second month – 8 wks. – brain waves are detected in the baby. At 40-42 days, a nose and eyes, ears and toes appear. The heart beats, its own blood with its blood type starts to flow. A skeleton develops and it has it has its own unique fingerprints. By the third month the baby swallows, swims around, and can suck his or her thumb. The baby can feel pain between the 8th and 13th week. If that’s not life, then what is?
II. Where Does Choice End? We have to start by realizing that it is not always the woman’s choice to abort. Sometimes it’s a boyfriend pressuring her into it. It’s not unusual for the parents to push abortion to spare their daughter unwanted pain and embarrassment. Statistics say that a great number of abortions happen before the age of 22. There are a lot of pressures that don’t allow a well-thought-through choice. It doesn’t lessen the reality though. Someone else may pressure you into abortion, but you’re the one who has to live with the consequences.
For the believer, when it comes to the issue of choice the Bible is very clear: Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body (1 Cor. 6:19, NLT).
As a believer your life belongs to God. It was purchased at the greatest cost possible. You are worth a Son to God. But what about the non-believer? We can tell another believer, “Hey, that’s not right.” But what about the non-believer? Can we tell non-believers what they can or can’t do with their bodies?
Some Christians may say, “I’m personally opposed to abortion, but I don’t I have the right to tell a woman what she should or shouldn’t do with her body.” That statement only makes sense if the life inside of her wasn’t a life.
The fact is, that little life has its own genetic code and is often a different blood type. Not only that it has its own immune system and half the time it’s a male. That doesn’t sound like the woman’s body. Because it’s not. It’s a completely separate person. If that is a life, then you and I have a moral obligation to say, “That’s not right.” If you saw a child drowning in the river and his or her parents had their backs turned, what would you do? You’d holler at the parents and do everything you could to save that child!
You see, pro-abortionists have carefully crafted their arguments so that if anyone questions them, they’re made to look narrow, intolerant, and unfair. Abortionists frame their rhetoric so that abortion is a life-style argument instead of what it really is a life-taking agenda. Did you know that 97% of all abortions are not because of rape or incest or because the life of the mother is threatened, but simply because the mother made a choice the baby is inconvenient?
In 1993 Mother Theresa was speaking at a prayer breakfast in Wash. DC. She shocked the audience when she stood up and said that America was once a generous nation, but it was now a selfish nation. Her number one illustration was abortion. Here’s the most respected woman in the world looking at us saying, your choice is hurting your nation.
What do you tell someone who’s considering an abortion? What about the choice of adoption? Not nearly enough is said about adoption. The complications with adoption are nothing compared to the life-long complications of abortion. Many birth mothers think that since they don’t want their baby, who else would?
The last question we need to look at is: Can I be forgiven? Can I be healed of the awful pain of what I’ve done? God’s answer is YES!
III. Where Does healing Begin? Ten years after having an abortion, 96% of women regarded the abortion as a murder. There are a lot of walking wounded today that need hope. Come now, let us argue this out,” says the LORD. “No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool (Isa. 1:18, NLT). Did you catch that, “No matter how deep the stain of your sin, I can remove it.” The good news is God says there is hope; you can find healing. Others have, so can you. Did you know that most of the Bible was written by men who’d taken the lives of others: Moses, Paul, David – all of them took the life of another person. Yet they came to God and were forgiven, and God used them in a great way. That’s the message grace. You need to hear this, this morning… How do you find healing? How do you find healing? God’s word tells us in Psalm 51 four steps to finding healing.
A. Ask for God’s forgiveness. Have mercy on me O God, according to Your unfailing love according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions (Ps. 51:1, NIV). These are David’s words after he’d been confronted with his sin. He said what is true of you and what is true of me. We need God’s mercy, God’s forgiveness. Don’t ever forget the ground is level at the foot of the cross, no matter who you are or where you’ve been – we all need God’s mercy. You have to start here. You start by saying, “God, I’m hurting, I need your help, I need your forgiveness in my life. I cannot fix what I’ve done. Only You can forgive me and heal me.”
B. Confess your sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me (v.3). Tell God what you’ve done. Transgression means you’ve stepped over the line. God you’ve said how to live my life and I stepped out of the line – I did it my own way. Be honest. All of us have stepped over the line. Some of us more boldly than others, “I’m going to do what I want to do!” Some more timidly, just barely outside the line. Whatever your personality, whatever your situation – you stepped over the line. Every one of us here is a transgressor. Ask God for forgiveness and tell Him what you’ve done.
I found this letter from a man who’d encouraged the abortion of his own child: “My child, I won’t try to make hollow excuses or rationalize…It is only recently that I’ve been convicted that a child is a person and God’s predestined creation from the moment of its conception. And to end that life intentionally is a murder and is a sin. That truth is eternal but I did not acknowledge it then. I do now. I am guilty of this sin and I’m sorry for what I did to harm you. I’ve asked God, our Father, for forgiveness of this sin. I have repented from the sin and my wrong way of thinking. I will never do it again. I know that I will see you in heaven….” Maybe you need to write a letter like that and give it to God.
E. Accept renewal. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed
rejoice. . . Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. . . Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (V.v. 8, 10, 12). It’s one thing to accept God’s forgiveness, but it is another to embrace it with your whole life – that’s called renewal. If you say, “Okay, I’m forgiven. I know it means I’m going to heaven, but I’m going to be miserable for the rest of my life,” you need to accept God’s renewal. It’s one thing to know that the books in heaven have been cleared, but it’s another to know that the museum of your memory has been cleared as well. Let the pitfalls of your past become fertilizer for your future. Only God can do that if you embrace His renewal.
F. Tell others. Then I will teach your ways to sinners, and they will return to you (V. 13, NLT). It is powerful to be able to tell others where and how to find healing – One beggar telling another where there is bread. Let me encourage you with three things you can do from here; something politically, personally, and prayerfully. Politically – take a stand clearly and compassionately on what God says about abortion. It needs to be done compassionately. If the way we deal with abortion keeps people out of the Kingdom of God, then we’ve added one tragedy on another.
Jesus was clear and compassionate – we need to be the same. Personally – this means making choices to begin saving children’s lives. That’s why we have partnered with Life Choices Pregnancy Center for many years. I’ve peacefully demonstrated. I’ve signed petitions that send a voice of protest to the decision makers of our nation. I’ve talked to people about abortion.
While working for one well known company in college, I disagreed with company policy to give to a pro-choice organization as a part of a charity effort on behalf of the company. It was not easy,
but I could not accept knowingly giving money. Tell people about the better choice: adoption. God is clear about abortion. Use these notes. Share them with others. Prayerfully – pray for Supreme Court of our land to make the right choice. One man said, In the great battle for hearts and minds, a wistful Pro-choice generation is watching. Have we given them a reason to choose life? Get involved in the political process and the legal process. The problem is not political. It’s not legal. It’s not medical. It’s spiritual. The bottom line is people need Jesus Christ.
What does God want us to know about abortion? It is taking the life of another. It is not the woman’s choice, nor the man’s. The Bible is clear. But God wants you to know something else – there is forgiveness and hope when we turn to Christ.
Prayer: Jesus give us a heart of wisdom and courage on an issue that is incredibly divisive and heartbreaking. Give us a heart of compassion for those whose lives are being torn apart by the pain of abortion. Silence the influencers who promote death and not life. Help us to make a difference. I pray for healing for those who daily live with the scarred wounds of abortion etched into their hearts and minds. I pray for those who are hearing this message right now that don’t know you personally. Speak to them that they will ask You to come into their lives and seeking Your for forgiveness, freedom, and healing in your Son Jesus Christ. None of us deserve Your forgiveness. Thank you for making it freely available to anyone who will ask through Your Son’s sacrifice on the cross. In Jesus Healing Name Amen.