“God’s Supremacy over All Human Life” January 31, 2016
Pastor Louis Prontnicki Maple Glen Bible Fellowship Church
Abortion is a topic that most people wish would go away. Do you know why? Four reasons:
One: those who have had an abortion (or consented to it) avoid it because of their guilty conscience.
Two: Planned Parenthood, the leading provider of abortions in our country, tries to minimize it, because abortion is their cash cow. 55% of their non-government funded revenue comes from performing abortions.
Three: people running for political office usually ignore the issue because they are afraid of offending voters on one side or the other.
Four: even many evangelical pastors don’t want to touch the topic of abortion in their sermons, either because they claim it’s a political issue, or because they believe it detracts from the gospel message.
So why is your pastor preaching a sermon on abortion and the pro-life issue, again? I can give you at least four compelling reasons, and then a fifth that trumps the others:
First, God commands us not to murder. In the sixth commandment, (Ex. 20:13), God forbids us from killing innocent people, and abortion is the taking of an innocent human life. Over 1,000,000 pre-born babies are put to death each year in America, and each time the sixth commandment is broken. That alone should be reason enough to address this life and death issue.
Second, God commands us to defend human life. Bible scholars tell us that each of the negative prohibitions in the 10 commandments has a positive injunction to it. Therefore the flip side of the sixth commandment is that God commands us to do everything we can to defend human life (made in God’s image), to declare that such life is dear to Him, and to do what we can to prevent murder from occurring. Along the same line, God commands us to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8-9) and to rescue those who are stumbling to their slaughter. (Proverbs 24:11). Does not your heart and your conscience tell you to do all you can to rescue the defenseless child who is being attacked?
So abortion is forbidden by God, and God also commands us to defend innocent human life.
Third, God wants us to show love to the sinner. (Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”) Yes, abortion is a sin against God. But the Lord wants us not only to care for the babies, both born and unborn, but also to love the women and the men who were involved in the abortion decision. Abortion hurts both the women who have an abortion as well as the men who are accomplices to the abortion. It causes damage to the woman’s body, to her spirit and her conscience. And abortion damages the mind and heart of the men who were designed by God to protect their wives and their children. We might say that giving into abortion actually emasculates a man. Furthermore, consider that perhaps 30% of American men and women have been involved in at least one abortion. That means that over 100 million people in our country are in need of specific forgiveness and healing from abortion… people in our neighborhoods, in our families, and in our churches. We need to show them the love of Christ.
Fourth, God calls us to be the “salt of the earth” (Matt. 5:13), and we know that salt has a preserving effect, keeping food from spoiling as quickly as it would without salt. Likewise, our pro-life efforts have a preserving effect on our culture, tending to slow down other evils.
Consider this: it has been the pattern that legalized abortion inevitably leads to a cheapening of human life, and a cheapening of human life leads to more murders and more evil. Here’s why: if you can legally murder your baby in the womb before birth, then what’s to you from killing those who are already born? Is it any surprise that if life is cheap before birth, it also becomes expendable after birth? Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop warned us over 35 years ago that the issues of abortion, euthanasia and infanticide are like three dominoes; when one falls, they all fall. But there was a fourth domino that they didn’t mention: mass murders in society.
Mass Murders in America, by Decade:
1950s – 1
1960s – 6 [Abortion legalized in some states]
1970s – 13 [Abortion legalized in America, in 1973]
1980s – 32
1990s – 42
2000s – 28
2010s – 22 (in just five years)
No wonder we have had scores of mass murders in the last 40 years in America. While politicians immediately blame guns, the truth is that the legalization of abortion made human life cheap, and opened the floodgates for a culture of death. As my cousin observed: “It’s not a hardware problem (the guns); it’s a software problem (our hearts.)” So if a politician tells you that they are for tighter gun control laws while favoring looser abortion regulations, you know that they are hypocrites. Conversely, the more respect we have for life in the womb, the more respect we will have for human life in general.
Therefore, as we deal with abortion we can also be a “preserving salt” in our society.
But there’s a fifth and much more compelling reason why I preach on this topic and why every one of us should be committed to bringing a culture of life to our country. That reason is that we are to declare God’s glory as the One who is supreme over all human life. Consider the following Scriptures that support this claim:
Job 1:21 “The Lord gives and takes away (Job’s children); praise be to the name of the Lord.”
Psalm 100:3 “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us and we are His.”
Isaiah 43:7 The Lord says “I created you for my glory.”
Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things…”
Here is the most compelling reason to speak up and be involved in this struggle for life: God alone is the Giver and Taker of life; and any attempt to usurp that authority is a grievous offense to our Holy Creator.
To help us understand this truth, consider four ways of looking at abortion, in light of God’s supremacy over all human life, born and unborn:
First, abortion is like shaking your fist in God’s face and telling Him that He has no right to meddle in your private life.
Second, abortion is defacing, destroying, and throwing away one of God’s masterpieces that He is lending to you for a limited time. Imagine the Philadelphia Museum of Art loans you one of their most treasured paintings, and allows you to display it in your living room for 20 years. Would you ever think of spraying painting over it, cutting it to shreds, and throwing it in the trash can? Of course not! But that’s what abortion is, in God’s eyes, when we trash one of the little ones who were fearfully and wonderfully made by Him, in His image, and loaned to us
Third, abortion is telling God that you are autonomous and you are free to control your body and the life of the baby within you, anyway you want to, without His interference.
Fourth, abortion is failing to trust that God is sovereign over every conception, and thinking that you know better than He does, for what is best for you.
Let me express those things in a more positive manner: in the words of Pastor John Piper, we should “Spread a passion for the supremacy of God over all human life- born and unborn- for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.” That should be the burning flame of our passion. That is what must sustain us and compel us to persevere in being advocates of life.
This is why for the past 40 years I have preached against the sin of abortion and, by God’s grace, Lynn and I have worked to rescue babies, help mothers, and bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to bear upon the matter of abortion. This is why I am preaching about it, again, today.
So, if God’s supremacy over all human life should be our main motivation, then what does God want us to do about it?
Let me give you four responses, beginning with the letters M.O.R.E.
1. “M”: Practice Ministries of Mercy
Our God is a God of great mercy and compassion, and if we want to bring Him glory in our pro-life work, then we must be people of mercy and compassion. (Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”) We need to have our hearts broken and our hands outstretched to help in a tender way. Many women who have had abortions (or are considering one) are deeply hurting; others have been abused by the father of the child. We must extend Christ’s mercy to them, in tender words and in practical assistance. (See Matt. 25:37-40 –showing practical and merciful help to the needy.)
Ministries of mercy may include offering forgiveness in Christ’s blood, comfort and hope from God’s Word, through His Holy Spirit, as well as assistance to mothers and their children. It includes open hearts, open homes, open hands, etc. It includes volunteering at places such as Every Good Gift (thank you to the many in our church who are helping here!) and Alpha Pregnancy Services (now called Alpha Care). Let us therefore imitate the Father of the fatherless; let us imitate the God of mercy and compassion.
2. “O”: Express a Holy Outrage.
God calls us to demonstrate His mercy while at the same time expressing His moral outrage against the taking of innocent human life. John Piper puts it this way: “The deepest evil of abortion is that it defies God’s supremacy over life in the womb. It is fundamentally an offense to the glory of the Creator. It is ultimately a sin against God.” This is where we must start, even above the idea of the “Sanctity of Human Life,” because that sanctity is derived from God the creator. You get a sense of that anger and outrage in the scripture on your bulletin cover, from
Psalm 106:35-40 “…but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs. 36 They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. 37 They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. 38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. 39 They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves. 40 Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance.”
You see, proclaiming God as the Creator, Author, Sustainer, and Owner of all human life is the first building block in our response to abortion. For a woman’s so-called “right to choose” is actually an attempt to seize God’s throne and rule in His place. Does a mother have the right to take the life of her unborn child? No. God alone has that right.
Acts 17:25 “He himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.”
Abortion is the attempt to be autonomous, to not need men, nor God, nor the church, and to be absolved of all consequences for their actions.
Therefore abortion is an assault on Jesus Christ, as Creator of all. Abortion in an insurrection against the Almighty; it is an assault on the authority of heaven. It should fill us with a holy outrage. Ask the Lord to break your heart, and to give you His holy and righteous attitude and emotion about this matter that matters to Him.
3. “R”: Be Broken through Repentance
To properly respond to the atrocity of abortion, we must also repent of our sins and be broken before God. If we fail to do so, we will become self-righteous hypocrites. We need to see, confess, and turn from our own idols. And this is true for us as a church and as a culture:
First, Our Churches Must Repent of our Abortions (James 4:4-10)
18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as evangelical or born again. That means that each year, church people participate in about 200,000 abortions.
So we need to preach repentance and we need to preach forgiveness to ourselves. Please hear me: There is wonderful forgiveness for all of us, for all of our sins, in the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, as we repent and trust Him. Do you know that loving forgiveness of Jesus?
Second, Our Culture Must Repent of Our Abortions (and the Idols that Drive Them)
We live in a culture of death, and there are three main incentives drive this sinful culture. Can you guess what they are? They are idolatry, freedom from responsibility/ consequences, and greed, and all of them must be repented of.
Idolatry: (self-worship): we want to be God and to make our own decisions about life and morality.
Freedom from responsibility/ consequences: Through abortion, women think they have achieved what men had: complete sexual freedom, with no seeming consequences or responsibilities for a baby!
Greed: The abortion industry is a multi-million dollar industry. Planned Parenthood takes $500 million of your taxes to kill babies. (Note: they get nothing if a woman decides to keep her baby).
Of course each of these idols can never deliver what they promise; they will all fail those who trust in them.
John Piper comments: “The unholy triad of sins that characterize the pagan way of life… all three are sins on which the abortion industry runs.”
If these idols were repented of, abortion would almost entirely vanish. And we are part of this culture; therefore we need to repent of our participation in it.
4. “E”: Seek to Be Examples of Christ’s Love
A. The need for men to be Christ-like.
Eph. 5:25-28 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
The bottom line here is that if more men, especially husbands and fathers, would seek to treat all women they way Christ treats us, his bride, then the need for abortions would radically decline. Why? Because if men loved, protected and provided for their wives, and if that mindset carried over to young men towards young women, few women would feel the desperate need to destroy their own child. A husband’s love or a father’s love would be the safety net such a woman needs at that time.
B. The need for all believers to be examples of Christ’s Love:
In the early 1970s, Dr. Bernard Nathanson had presided over the world’s largest free-standing abortion clinic in NYC. In just two years, he oversaw 70,000 abortions and performed 5,000 abortions with his own hands…including his own child. A few years later, the discovery of the ultrasound caused Dr. Nathanson to reconsider his views. He realized he was killing human beings, and he stopped doing abortions. But Dr. Nathanson’s conscience bothered him deeply. At the end of a talk that he gave in the area, he said, “I have committed horrible deeds; I am in desperate need of forgiveness. Help me deal with my guilty conscience.” I was asked to close that meeting in prayer, and so I prayed for the doctor to find forgiveness for his burdened conscience, a forgiveness that God freely offers to all of us, in the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. A few years later, Dr. Nathanson found that freedom release in Jesus!
But here’s something else we should know about how God melted Dr. Nathanson’s heart. One day, in 1989, he went to observe a large pro-life rescue operation in NYC, whereby pro-lifers would place themselves in front of an abortion chamber, and peacefully prevent anyone from going inside, so as to prevent any killing of unborn children, as long as they were there. It was a bitterly cold day, but there were 1,200 rescuers there, and, as Dr. Nathanson described it, they had love on their faces; they were singing and praying… not for themselves or each other, but for the children and their mothers. He writes, “It was… the sheer intensity of the love and prayer that astonished me.” “And he wondered: How can these people give of themselves for a constituency that is (and always will be) mute, invisible, and unable to thank them?”
God used the joyful, selfless, and sacrificial love of those Christians to melt Dr. Nathanson’s heart. In them he saw the joyful, selfless, and sacrificial love of Jesus Christ, who died for them.
Abortion is one of humanity’s darkest works, and it can only survive in darkness. Therefore we must let Christ’s light shine, in two ways:
– We must expose the works of darkness. Since abortion is an offense to God, we must speak out against it with great clarity and boldness. Our job is to say what God wants said, regardless of the results. And… speaking the truth about abortion will involve a proclamation of the gospel, for God is the only one who can forgive the sin of child-killing.
– We must do good deeds, and so bring God’s light and love to people. Abortion will not go away; it will long outlast Roe v. Wade. Changing laws is important, but we must also aim to change minds and hearts, by God’s grace.
“Let us spread a passion for the supremacy of God over all human life- born and unborn- for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.”