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Today is the third Sunday in January – a day we set aside to talk about the sanctity of human life. A very difficult topic that sometimes is handled without proper care or understanding. I hope you will find this informative and encouraging to you as you live authentically for Jesus Christ. I encourage you to find your Bible and read Gen. 3:1-13.
Our world today is so sophisticated and technical. The modern secular world tries to remove God from His all-creating, all-sustaining, all-defining, all-governing place has decided to make itself god and create its own morality. In other words, when man abandons God and His revelation as the source of what is objectively true and right and beautiful, then someone else must make that determination. If God is not the measure of what is true and right and beautiful, then you are and I am. Since the god called “you,” and the god called “me” may not agree, the result will be what Darwin called the survival of the fittest – the strong will survive. Everything in this God-eliminating world becomes a battle for power. The one who has the power in a world without God defines reality. The one who has the power defines what is true; defines what is right; defines what is beautiful. Man becomes god. The stronger man becomes god-almighty. He is the maker of truth, the determiner of what is right, and the definer of what is beautiful.
The 20th century was the bloodiest century in the history of the world – not because of WWI or WWII or Korea, or Viet Nam, or the Gulf War, but because of genocide. We had Stalin and Hitler. Mussolini and Milosevic. Pol Pot and Idi Amin. Chairman Mao and Saddam Hussein. The abortion industry rounds out the list and proves the 20th Century is the bloodiest in history. The implications of God-dethroning secularism for abortion and genocide are huge, and we’ll come back to that in a moment. Let’s first see how old this “modern” secular world is.
The ancient roots of modern secularism. Gen. 2:16-17 says, “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’” In the creation story, to have “the knowledge of good and evil” meant to claim the independent right to decide for yourself what is good and evil, what is true and false, what is ugly or beautiful. It was appropriate for God to have that, but not man. God knew what would happen to humanity if that dependence on God was severed. That’s why He said, “Don’t eat from this tree. It will kill you.” When Adam and Eve ate from that very tree, it killed them, it killed us, and it continues to kill in more ways than we can imagine.
All death is rooted in this one moment of disobedience. It started in Gen. 3:1-5, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” God instructed Adam in 2:16-17, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” It would be Adam’s responsibility to tell Eve. Even way back there, we have two people that blatantly disregard God’s command. The decision to eat the fruit says, “I determine what is true and right and beautiful.” But that’s God’s job. God alone is the source of objective truth and right and beauty. Here’s the problem though; Satan comes along and says otherwise. He says, “You surely will not die! You will be like God.” In Jo 15:5 Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” You can make the decision to cut the vine that supplies the nutrients necessary for life, but the result is death. God does not need us, we need Him. The immediate result of Adam and Eve eating is found in 3:7, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” The eyes of their consciences were opened. They knew immediately the result of their disobedience. They saw the joy and happiness of the Garden turn into misery. They saw the love and grace of God lost. They saw His likeness and image lost; dominion over the animals gone. Their nature now corrupt and depraved, they felt a disorder in their spirits that they had never known before. That they were stripped of all the honors, joys, and blessings of the Garden and were exposed to all the misery that comes from disobedience. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” Now that they had chosen to be like God, they attempted to hide their non-Godlike appearance by sewing fig leaves together to cover themselves.
For centuries, human beings have been trying to hide their non-Godlike appearance. We spend millions on clothing, plastic surgery, and make-up. We spend hours exercising in order to improve our appearance to try and hide the non-Godlike appearance we have. Adam and Eve chose to be independent from God. They decided to determine what was right, true, and beautiful rather than rely on God to set the standard. They preferred to be their own god rather than enjoy the true God. So our modern secular world is not new, but is old. The secular world changes from century to century. We have terms like: Modernism. Existentialism. Secular humanism. Postmodernism. The common theme in all of these is that God is not God. He has been kicked off the throne and man decides what is right and true and beautiful.
Those are the roots of our secular society, now let’s look at the contemporary scene of abortion. I want you to understand the weight of abortion. It is not something that only happens to poor people, or black people, or non-educated people, or drug addicts, or prostitutes, or teen-agers. A conservative estimate of unborn babies killed in the world each year is 30 million – about a third of those in Russia. In America, since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 made it legal to take the lives of an unborn baby for any reason, there have been over 55 million abortions. One baby aborted every 26 seconds, 137 every hour, 3304 every day. Almost half of all pregnancies are unplanned and four out of ten those pregnancies end in abortion. For women ages 15-44, two out of every hundred have an abortion. Of these, half had one or more abortions previously. Women who have never been married or living with someone account for 45% of all abortions. 37% describe themselves as Protestant and 28% identify as Catholic. If you do the math, 65% of women having abortions in America identify themselves with a religious type background. 63 reported abortions in Camden County since 1994.
The link between abortion and the modern secular world is the word “want.” “I don’t want the child at this time.” You might be thinking, “If only we could show people that they’re killing children, they would stop.” But it’s not about killing babies, it’s about the lesser of two evils. The worse evil was denying the want of the mother. They label it “freedom.” The most powerful thing a woman can say is, “I don’t want a child at this time.” This is the center of the issue. In a world without God, without submission to His will, the want of a mother now becomes the will of a god. Our modern, secular, God-less society has granted the mother not just with the power over her child, but with something far greater. Society has granted her the right and the power to create human life. God is no longer the Creator of life in His own image. We have stripped that power from Him. Oddly enough, we have the most heinous form of hypocrisy regarding an unborn child. 38 states have some type fetal homicide laws. These laws state that if a woman is pregnant and a crime is committed against her that harms her unborn baby, it is a crime with two victims. The law calls it murder to kill a fetus intentionally except in cases of abortion. In a world without God, the strong allows or eliminates the personhood of the weak. How can there be a fetal homicide law that is not broken by abortion? Why is abortion not fetal homicide? There is one essential answer. In the case of the fetal homicide, the mother wants the baby. In the case of abortion, she does not. The will of the mother becomes god. Society has given the woman the sovereignty over her unborn baby. If she wants it, it’s a baby. If she doesn’t, it’s not a baby. In other words, our laws make room for some killing to be justified, not on the basis of the rights or crimes of the one killed, but based on the will or desire of the stronger person. What is right or wrong, legal or illegal, what is a person or not a person is based on the will of the strong. This is the essence of the original rebellion against God, and against objective truth and right and beauty.
What is the solution? The remedy that goes to the heart of the issue is found back in Genesis. Right after the rampant blame shifting occurred in the garden (Adam blamed God, Eve blamed the serpent), God said these words to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Gen. 3:15) This is the first prophecy God’s triumph over sin and Satan through the offspring of the woman. This is why Paul said in Gal. 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” Born of a woman because He promised the offspring of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. That is what Jesus did when He came. I want you to listen very carefully, especially if you have had an abortion or have supported abortion. God knew that Eve sinned and turned her back on Him. But when He spoke the promise, He already had a plan. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was I the beginning with God” (Jo. 1:1-2) When Eve committed the God-dethroning sin, God already provided salvation. The offspring of this woman would crush Satan. Jesus Christ was born, lived, died and rose again to reverse the love affair we have with being god. I want you to understand that God offers you salvation, not judgment. Hope, not dread. Forgiveness, not fear. Jesus Christ, the offspring of the woman, came into the world to save those who dethroned God, to save those who took His rightful place by defining life as tissue and willed the death of their own child. It can’t be reversed, but it can be forgiven. That is why Christ died.
Every person listening to me now needs this salvation – men and women; boys and girls. Turn to Christ for forgiveness and embrace Him as your Lord and Savior. If you think your sin is too great, listen to the apostle Paul as he pleads with you not to lose heart: “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.” (1Tim. 1:15-16). God saved Paul who is described as a murderer in Acts 7:58 and 9:1. God wants you to be saved. Perhaps today is the day.