The podcast for this sermon can be found here.
Today is sanctity of human life Sunday. The one day of the year where preachers, pastors, and teachers of God’s Word will make an argument about why abortion is wrong. It will be no different here this morning. God is the Lord of my life. He directs my life, and only He can tell me when my life is over.
Look at Romans 14:8.
All across our country the sanctity or value of life at every stage is being undermined and eroded at an alarming rate. The decline of life became official on January 22, 1973 when Roe v. Wade was decided by the U. S. Supreme Court. The decision of the court overturned a Texas law prohibiting abortion citing a violation of the 14th Amendment guaranteeing a right to privacy. In the lesser known companion case of Doe v. Bolton, the Georgia law prohibiting abortion was overturned the same day. Norma McCorvey (“Roe”) never had the abortion and has since become a strong pro-life advocate. Sandra Cano (“Doe”) says that her lawyer lied to her in order to get her as a plaintiff.
Since that January 22, 1973 decision, over 50 million unborn babies have lost their lives in America. 50 million; it’s hard to comprehend a number like that. That’s the population of FL, GA, SC, LA, AL, MS, AR, and KS combined. In recent years the battle has shifted to the opposite end of life. Assisted suicide and euthanasia have become hot topics for debate. In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Since the law was enacted, 401 people have died as a result (through 2008). Washington State approved Initiative 1000 in 2008 allowing assisted suicide. Since this passed, the number of deaths has not been totaled, but six lethal prescriptions have been written. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is considered a medical treatment and is also an inexpensive treatment. In many cases, these physician assisted suicides are a financial decision – the people cannot afford to be treated since they will die anyway. Those in favor of assisted suicide argue that it gives terminally ill patients the freedom to bring their suffering to an end and die in a dignified manner. Those who oppose the idea assert that it undermines the sanctity of human life.
So who’s right? How do we make a decision on this issue? Do we put it to a November vote? As I have so often encouraged you to do so in the past, we must look to God’s Word for direction and guidance. God has not changed His mind because of new information or research. So what’s the Bible say? I think Paul sums it up pretty well in our text, “For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” It should be noted that the word for die here means from a natural death. It’s not the same word used for kill or murder.
God is the Lord of my life. I am not the Lord of my life. The U. S. government is not the Lord of my life. The popular vote is not the Lord of my life. God is the Lord of my life. He is the one who gives me life. He is the one who directs my life. Only He can determine when my life is over.
No life is an accident. No matter what the circumstances of conception is, the simple fact that we are on this planet is not the result of some weird twist of fate or some random result of billions of years of evolution. We did not just happen to develop from a blob of tissue in our mother’s womb. God gave us life. Speaking to God David says, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” (Ps. 139:13-14)
Have you ever been in the room when a baby was born? It’s a pretty incredible experience as you watch a new life enter the world. With babies, no assembly is required. There are no little parts that might be lost. They come with hands and feet, tiny little toes and fingers. They have hearts that pump their own blood. They have lungs that breathe and ears that hear and vocal chords that never tire. A new born baby is incredible. No group of scientists – no matter how smart or sophisticated they might be can duplicate the miracle of life. Every birth is a testimony to the wisdom and power of our heavenly Father, the one who gave us life. This didn’t take Paul by surprise. Speaking to the people in the city of Athens in Acts 17:25 Paul says, “He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.”
Life is a gift from God just like everything else I have. No matter what society may dictate, no matter what our spouses may say to us, no matter what I may think, my life does not belong to me, it is not my own. Life belongs to God. He is the Lord of my life. Besides giving me life, God also directs my life. The Apostle Paul was not always a Christian. Paul started out as Saul – a great persecutor of the Church. When he was on the road to Damascus, he was on his way to gather up all the Christians, “That he might bring them bound back to Jerusalem.”Saul’s plan was to destroy the Church – God’s plan was for Paul to reach the world for Christ.
Martin Luther started out to be a lawyer, but God changed that. It was Luther that began the Protestant Reformation in 1517 when he posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It was Luther that brought Scripture back to the forefront as the foundation for doctrine. He broke from the Catholic Church and taught that salvation was by grace, not by works.
D. L. Moody started out as a shoe salesman and became the greatest evangelist of the 19th Century.
God has a plan for my life and a plan for your life. Ps. 23:3 says that, “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” You may have plans to be a doctor, or lawyer, or government worker, or whatever. But what about God’s plans? Are your plans the same as God’s? Regardless of whether my plans turn out or God redirects my life in some other direction, I must trust that God will lead and guide me in the way that is truly best for me and fulfills His plans for me. He is the Lord of my life. And He is the one who determines when my life is over. Hebrews 9:27 says, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.”Appointed comes from the word that means reserved for one. God is the one that makes the reservation. God is the one who gives life and God alone has the right and authority to end life. That’s why murder is wrong. That’s why suicide is wrong. That’s why assisted suicide is wrong. That’s why abortion is wrong. David understood that when he said, “My times are in Your hand.” (Ps. 31:15)
Many people don’t have a high regard for the sanctity of human life. You see that in TV and the movies and particularly in video games. People today really think they’re the ones in charge of their lives including many Christians. They make decisions and God’s plan is never consulted, God’s Word is never scrutinized, and people carry out their plans then wonder what in the world went wrong when it doesn’t work out the way they thought it would. Society reasons that if a woman gets pregnant and doesn’t want to have a baby then she should be able to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy. Society reasons that if someone is terminally ill, their life should be allowed to end. There are Christians that believe the same thing. I just don’t see that reasoning in Scripture.
When you look at life through God’s eyes, you get a different perspective. God is a God of incredible, nearly indescribable love. You see that love demonstrated over and over again. Not only is God a God of love, but He is a God of forgiveness. 2 Peter 3:9 says God is, “Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”There are about 125 direct references to forgiveness in Scripture and nearly all of those references are divine references. They are references about God’s forgiveness of our sin.
Abortion is a sin, but in God’s eyes, it is no different than lying, or stealing, or gluttony, or gossip, or any other sin that God is not only able to forgive, but wants to forgive. If you have had an abortion, God wants to forgive you.
- Is. 1:18 sums it up. “Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.”
- Ro. 5:20. “The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.”
- Ps 51:7, “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
- Eph 1:7-8, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight.”
Abortion is wrong. Life is sacred to God and it should be sacred to us. Don’t live in the past, allow yourself to be bathed in the love and forgiveness that is found in Jesus Christ.
If you’ve had an abortion, God is able to forgive you, He wants to forgive you. He wants to help you to live for Him. He is able to comfort you from the pain of regret, from an overwhelming sense of sorrow and guilt.
Special thanks to the Life Issues Institute and Pastor Martin Bentz for the outline of this sermon.