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Thursday, October 13, 2011

the Sin of Abortion

I don't normally publish sermon text, but considering the importance of the topic of abortion, and being pro-choice or pro-life, here is part of my sermon from 9/25/2011 (audio is here).  Sorry, it is a bit long, but I trust worthwhile.

We rightly see such actions [Herod's slaughter in Matthew 2] as an atrocity, as an heinous act of violence, as a crime worthy of significant punishment, perhaps even including the death penalty.  And we would never allow such a thing to be acceptable in our country.  Right?

We think we're more civilized than that in our day, yet in many countries, including our own, children younger than this are sacrificed to the gods of convenience, money, and “choice” every day.  Was what happened back in [Matthew 2] verse 16 terrible?  Yes it was.  Yet our land is more deserving of judgment than even Herod.

Why?  Because many people in our land don’t value human life, and they don’t even recognize human life.  The child in the womb is… a child.  A human person, made by God in the image of God.

Job is the oldest or at least one of the oldest books in the Bible.  And Job knew better than so many in our day.  In Job chapter 10, he said: "Your hands shaped me and made me . . . Did You not clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life" (Job 10:8–12).  Later on, in Job 31, he said "Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One form us both within our mothers?" (Job 31:15).

The prophet Isaiah knew that a person, a human life, lived inside the mother.  In Isaiah 44, he wrote  "This is what the Lord says—He who made you, who formed you in the womb…" (Isaiah 44:2a)

We read Psalm 139 earlier.  Do you remember what part of it said?  "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb . . . Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13, 16).

Or go to the New Testament.  We read about Elizabeth, who would give birth to John the Baptist, in Luke 1.  Verse 41 says: “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”  The word for baby is brephos, which is the ordinary word for baby, or infant, the same word used for born babies, such as in Luke 2 in the manger.  Then a few verses later in Luke 1:44, Elizabeth said: “for behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy”.  Babies in the womb are babies.  They are children.  They are persons, immortal beings made in God’s image.  To murder one is to destroy life, and it is an attack on the Giver of Life Himself.

We tell ourselves that we are cultured and clean, sanitized and civilized, that we’re above such cruelties that Herod commanded.  But we fool ourselves if we believe that.  The bloodguilt of our nation, and of many other nations, is great, for we have done what Herod did, only in a more sophisticated way, and in so much greater numbers.  If God judges America for this great holocaust, we can only say that His patience was great, as we have deserved His righteous indignation for at least 38 years.

Our nation speaks of “choice”.  And that it is.  In fact, every sin is the choice of a person.  We look at right and wrong, and so often choose that which is wrong.  This is especially true of unbelievers, since they are dead in trespasses and sins, their will is held in bondage to sin, and their depravity manifests itself regularly.  That doesn’t mean that unsaved people always do as badly as they could, or even that they choose sin every time, but that is their nature, their bent, their predisposition, because they love sin, and they love darkness rather than light.

But the righteous person, the believer in Christ, chooses sin sometimes, too, don’t we?  We struggle against the flesh, the old nature, and we sin, thus the need for regular confession and asking God to cleanse us.

But calling something a “choice” doesn’t make it a right choice.  People choose to do wrong all the time.  As Proverbs 1:29 tells us, people hate knowledge and refuse to choose the fear of the Lord.  Thus they condemn themselves.  They choose for themselves to serve false gods, idols they have made up in their own minds, and unless they repent, their destruction will be certain.

As individuals, not all, but many, and as a nation, we have refused to abandon our sin.  And the result is and will be the wrath of God, as He abandons us to our sin.

If the Lord has or will depart from us as a nation, and given us over to that which we craved, what sort of results do we expect?  Do we really anticipate that the Lord will continue to bless our blood-stained land?  Can we slaughter the closest thing we have to innocence, and not expect God’s righteous judgment?  Do we really expect God to bless America, when we certainly don’t bless God and instead rebel against Him in so many different ways, including this sin of Herod, the slaughter of the innocents?

Do we expect blessing, economic or otherwise, on a nation that is in moral chaos?  That thumbs its national nose against God and what He says in His Word?  Do we expect God to cater to our whims, to give us more and more, heaped upon lots already, when we spurn His ways, and murder that which He has created?

If God isn’t actively judging our country, then at least He is letting us suffer the consequences of our own disobedience.  The downward spiral happens as a people abandons God, and He abandons them, leaving them to their own devices, and since mankind  has the problem of total depravity, he sins more and more, he degrades more and more, and the result is rampant wickedness, calling evil good and good evil, and an explosion of immorality of all kinds.

When a people don’t even protect their own children, yeah, even purposefully kill them instead, and even call it legal, how far away can we be from the righteous fury of God’s perfect wrath?

“God bless America.”  People sing it at baseball games.  Politicians close their speeches with it.  But on what basis should God bless our country?  Because we’re holy, and following the Lord, and obeying His commands?  Not likely.  I think the main reason why so many people expect God to bless America is because they are referring to the god of many people’s imaginations, which is an idol, by the way, because that man-made god just blesses everyone without regard to their behavior.  But that god (little ‘g’) doesn’t exist, and cannot bless.  As a nation, we’ve made our sinful choices, and we have spit in the face of the one true God.  And we expect Him to bless us?

The most sacred place on the planet, humanly speaking, is invaded thousands of times per day, and children are sacrificed on the altars of choice, convenience, money, and self-centeredness.  The safest place on the planet, where God has designed children to live for the first 9 months of their lives, becomes a killing ground, a blood-stained crime scene, a place where life is taken instead of preserved and nurtured.

Not only that, they don’t tolerate our anger against such sin.  To speak up against such wickedness brings down the wrath of the unrighteous.  We are labeled as the ones who are intolerant; we are declared to be the ones with hatred in our hearts.  But this is to be expected, because unrighteousness hates that which is righteous, darkness hates the light, just as wickedness always hates God and His standards.

Herod did, essentially, though for different reason, as what God condemned at the time of Moses.  In Deuteronomy 12, Israel was warned about not following after the surrounding nations.  Deuteronomy 12:31 says, “You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.”

Our methods may be more sophisticated, and most people in our land don’t do this for a wooden or stone or metal idol, but they do it for the biggest idol of all, “self”.  People don’t have statues that they bow down to, but they certainly worship the god they see in the bathroom mirror each day.

And just as Herod did everything in his power to ensure his sovereignty, so do people in our day, as they look out for number 1, as they do their best to please themselves, and whatever gets in the way, well, they do their best to get rid of it.  And one result of that is that we live in a nation where the ground must be crying out because it is a nation of unrequited blood, a land that is a field of blood, and justice has not been done.  Our nation babies the murderers, and murders the babies.  And we think our economic difficulties is our biggest problem.

This is not a political statement.  It is a moral one.  The answer doesn’t lie in voting and laws.  Please don’t misunderstand.  I’m all for good and righteous politicians.  I’m thankful that we have a few.  I’m all for voting – it is a privilege that God has allowed us to have in our country.  I’m thankful for good laws.  But the real answer isn’t political.

What do we need to solve this problem?  What do people involved in this sin need the most? Not condemnation, because they’re condemned already, if you believe John 3:18.  Not merely politics or law, because an outward removal and enforcement of the protection of life, while good, does not fix the heart, and that is what is needed first and foremost.  If we overturn Roe v. Wade, it would be a good thing, but if we convince everyone in America to protect the lives of the unborn, and they remain unconverted to Christ, we still have a nation headed to the pit.  Pro-life people, if they don’t know Christ, if they haven’t repented of their own sins and turned in saving faith to Jesus Christ, these pro-life people end up in the same hell as the so-called doctors who commit these atrocities and the mothers who pay them to do it and the wicked politicians who vote to allow the slaughter.

The answer is the gospel of Jesus Christ!  No other answer will suffice, no other answer will change the heart, redeem the person, and forgive all the sin.

That’s why I’m excited about this half-hour documentary that Living Waters is releasing.  You may have seen the announcement about it, if nowhere else than at least in our bulletin these last few weeks.  Perhaps you’ve seen it online already.  It’s called 180, and it is an attempt to change people’s mind [to be pro-life], and not only that, it is a solid and biblical gospel presentation as well, because changing people’s minds so they vote differently is good, but sharing with them the bad news of sin and the good news of the gospel is essential.  And 180 does both.  I’m excited to see what the Lord might do with it.  DVDs will be in-hand soon, and in case you haven’t heard it yet, we at Grace Bible Church are pleased to be a part of a team that, Lord willing, will distribute 1600 of these around Collin County next month.  May it be for the glory of Christ.  [click here for 180 info]

What Herod did was horribly evil.  What people today do is horribly evil.  I’d hate to be a so-called doctor who does such things.  I wouldn’t want to be a father or mother who requested such a thing.  And in particular, I wouldn’t want to be a politician or a judge who voted or ruled to legalize such a heinous thing on such a massive scale.  And I certainly wouldn’t want to suffer the consequences in hell of being a mass-murderer.  But even these people – medical providers, politicians, lobbyists, and the parents themselves, they can be changed by the power of God.  This is not the unforgiveable sin.  Jesus paid the penalty for sin, for ALL sin, yes, even for THIS sin, for those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ. [how: www.RUforgiven.org]

(by pastor Dave Dunbar, Grace Bible Church of Allen (TX), www.GBCallen.org, in a sermon "The Attempted Murder of the King", audio is here)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love this! Thank you for speaking so boldly and so clearly what our Lord Jesus commanded all of us to do!

    Would you mind very much hyperlinking the word "pro-life" within the body of your post to the 180 website? It will help them move up in the search engines. :o)

    Again, thank you so much for posting this!