ABORTION: REAPING THE WHIRLWIND

January, 1996 - Selected Scriptures

Dennis McBride


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

I. THE THEOLOGY OF ABORTION

A. Theology is the issue

B. The legacy of unbelief

C. The legacy of self-deification

II. HOW TO APPROACH THE SUBJECT

A. Theological, not merely biological

B. The starting place: forgiveness

III. WHAT DOES GOD'S WORD SAY?

A. God grants life

B. God grants conception

C. God shapes the unborn child

D. The unborn child is a person

E. The unborn child has value

F. The unborn child has purpose

G. God defends the helpless

H. Some final thoughts

IV. BIBLIOGRAPHY


ABORTION: REAPING THE WHIRLWIND

January, 1996 - Selected Scriptures

Dennis McBride

When Israel repeatedly violated God's law and refused to repent, the Prophet Hosea said of her: “They sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7). Israel professed to know God, but her empty profession simply masked her idolatry. Like America, she boldly proclaimed “in God we trust,” but her heart was far from Him. God likened her sins of rebellion and idolatry to wind that was sown; He likened His judgment upon her to a whirlwind that would return in horrifying intensity. She could not escape the law of harvest: “What you sow, you shall reap--in abundance!”

Like Israel of old, our nation has rejected God. And the cold-heartedness with which we've murdered multiple millions of unborn children is perhaps the most dramatic and revealing evidence of just how far we've drifted from biblical truth. The unthinkable has become commonplace, and we cannot escape reaping the whirlwind!

The April, 1995, edition of the Focus on the Family newsletter contained the following letter from Colleene Hackett. It is reproduced here with permission.

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Dear Dr. Dobson,

I listened to your radio broadcast yesterday as you spoke about abortion vs. pro-life and how the politicians feel about taking a stand on the issue. Please let me relay the following story to you.

In 1991, my beautiful 3 1/2-year-old daughter was accidentally shot in the head and killed by the 8-year-old boy next door. Needless to say, my life came to a screeching halt. My daughter lay dead in my front yard, and my 5-year-old son had witnessed the whole thing. My life went from normal and routine and beautiful to a complete mess, filled with psychiatrists for both my son and myself, near divorce over the next couple of years due to the stress, and thoughts of suicide for myself--as well as plotting and planning how I would kill not only the little boy who shot my daughter, but also the entire family. I felt justified. I felt that I should do it.

Well, it's been almost four years now. I never did harm the family next door, nor did I harm myself. Instead, I got down on my hands and knees after trying to make it on my own and asked Jesus into my heart. I told Him I wasn't the supermom, superwife, superhuman being that I thought I was. I couldn't do it on my own anymore. Once I prayed that prayer, Jesus started to work in my life. He's still there--so powerfully in fact, that I can almost feel His breath sometimes. He's that close to me.

I had my tubes tied after my daughter's birth in 1987. In 1992, I went into surgery to have my tubes untied. After several procedures that didn't work, I turned to in vitro fertilization. I was 39 years old when they did the embryo transplant (my egg and my husband's sperm) and implanted five eggs. Three of them adhered to the uterine wall. It was confirmed. I was pregnant with triplets. I can't explain to you how overjoyed I was, not to mention my husband, my family and nearly the whole community where we live, as they were all praying for me.

Two minutes after the doctor showed us on ultrasound the three separate sacs containing our future children, he turned on the light in His office, told me to sit up and then said, “Colleene, you'll be 40 years old when you deliver. I suggest that you seriously consider `selective reduction.'”

He said it as calmly as if he thought I ought to purchase a Honda car. He was talking about killing one of our children. He knew the pain we had been through losing our daughter and were STILL going through. He knew we were financially able to support three more children. He knew I was in excellent health and had no problems in past pregnancies; yet he stood before me and continued to say, “It's really quite simple. We just abort the child that is most easily accessible. That would be `Baby A.'”

I was speechless. I said, “No! That's it. Don't talk to me about that anymore. God has given me three babies, and I'm keeping those babies.”

Right after that doctor's appointment, my husband and I got back into the car and discussed our blessing from God. We agreed. In no way were we going to tamper with things. We'd come so far in our faith since Heather left us.

That evening we drove up to the church and met our pastor and his wife. We told him of our good news then felt the need to discuss with our trusted pastor what the doctor had said about “selective reduction.”

The pastor simply said, “Well, do it. If the doctor thinks it would be best, then you should do it.”

I think that was the last time during my pregnancy that I spoke with either of them. Every time I would think of what they said, my stomach would become sick. The pastor had been at our house within hours of Heather's death. He saw firsthand the pain and agony we were going through. He heard our screams of disbelief. He heard me pleading with the Lord to make it all a bad dream. How could he say this now after all we had been through?

Well, I spent my 40th birthday and the next three months after that in bed, drinking two gallons of water every day. On June 11, 1994 (which was the anniversary of when we buried my precious daughter and said goodbye to her for the last time), I gave birth to three absolutely beautiful, perfect boys. Their weights were an astonishing 6 lbs. 14 oz., 6 lbs. 6 oz. and 5 lbs. 8 oz. They never required intensive care. They came home with me in two days, and haven't been sick since they were born nine months ago.

Selective reduction! Abortion! Murder! It's all the same. Our society views it with such commonness that it is sickening. We paid $30,000 to have these three boys, and our insurance wouldn't cover a dime. But had I decided to have an abortion, it would have paid for the whole procedure, and probably sent me a dozen roses!!

“Baby A” is our son Sean Michael. He's gorgeous and full of life. Every time I hold him in my arms, I think that he would have been the one who was most easily accessible. He's the one we would have lost had I not stood firm on my convictions.

It's scary that even my pastor could suggest that I listen to the doctor. Sometimes, if people are shaky in what they believe, they can be so easily swayed when they turn to the “learned” people--the doctors, the lawyers, the clergy--because we tend to hold them up, to think that they're something special. . . .

Oh yes, one more thing. I mentioned that God is working so powerfully in my life. Let me just end this letter by telling you that the people next door--the parents of the little boy that killed my little girl--are now the godparents of Sean Michael. Tell me God isn't alive and working in my life!

I could write a book on how powerfully He's speaking to me. Three days before little Heather died, she told me that “Jesus is painting a picture of me, and He isn't finished yet.” I would write how she came up to me, kissed me on the lips, and said, “I love you, Mommy.” Fifteen seconds later, I picked up her lifeless body. I would write how I found her one day kneeling beside her bed with a cross in her hand and how I took her picture. I have so much to tell.

I must end now. My three little ones are all in their cribs calling, “Ma-ma. Ma-ma.” It's music to my ears.

God's blessings,

Colleene J. Hackett

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Tragically, the counsel Colleene received is all too common, and its fallout is staggering. For example, Congressman Robert Dornan, in his “Right to Life Act of 1995,” reported that an estimated 1,500,000 legal induced abortions are performed every year in America. That's 4,000 per day (other sources cite from 4,200-4,500), three per minute, one every 20 seconds! (Incidentally, that's about the same number of adoption requests that go unfilled each year according to Dr. James Dobson. He rightly observes that every child is indeed a wanted child.)

Congressman Dornan further reports that since 1973's Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion on demand, approximately 33,000,000 legal abortions have been performed in America. That's 16 times the total number of Americans killed in all of our nation's wars combined. It seems that the battlefield is now safer than the womb!

At an average cost of $350 per operation, abortion is big business! And many abortionists make additional profits from the sale of aborted tissue. In fact, it is documented that babies' bodies are sold by the bag for use in some cosmetics and for experimentation. One Washington D.C. general hospital brought in $68,000 in a ten-year period from the sale of preborn babies (The Christian Activist 1, no. 2 [Summer 1984]; 11).

The American Life League, Inc. reports from documented sources that the U.S. legal abortion statistics for the 28 years between 1965 and 1992, indicate a rise in legal abortions from 7,000 in 1965 to 1,540,000 in 1992. About 27 per 1,000 U. S. women of childbearing age have induced abortions each year-- a rate higher than in other industrialized Western nation, but still only half the worldwide rate.

They further report that from 1981 to 1990 the yearly average for legal abortions in the United States was 1,550,000. Of that number, less than .05% were “hard cases” (to save the mother's life or health, or for rape and incest victims). If we add to that number the so-called hard cases involving fetal birth defects, girls under 15 years, and women over 40 years of age, the total increases to only 2.74%. In other words, less than 3% of all legal abortions are “hard cases.” That means that 97% of all legal abortions performed in America are convenience killings--merely a form of birth control! Yet the 3% is repeatedly argued to justify of the 97%. However, if we were to legalize only the hard cases, we would immediately cut abortions by 97%.

California is our nation's most populous state, and had a resident population of approximately 30 million (29,760,021) at the time of the 1990 census. At the rate of 1,500,000 abortions per year, in just 20 years we abort the equivalent of the entire population of California!

And as if that weren't staggering enough: Grolier's Encyclopedia reports that during the 1980s, about 40 to 60 million induced abortions occurred each year worldwide. Taking the mean average of 50 million abortions per year, during the 1980s 500 million preborn babies were exterminated. In 1992 the estimated population of the United States was 255 million. That means that in one decade alone we killed the equivalent of twice the population of the United States!

How can it be that a so-called Christian nation kills unborn babies at a rate of one every 20 seconds? In this study I will answer that question and give you a biblical framework for analyzing, addressing, and avoiding this contemporary holocaust.

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~ I ~

THE THEOLOGY OF ABORTION


A.

THEOLOGY IS THE ISSUE

1. Abortion, like every other sin, isn't merely a matter of sociology or morality. It's primarily a matter of theology (our view of God, with its resultant attitudes and actions).

2. Abortion is a symptom of blatant unbelief and rebellion toward God. And once someone rejects God, it's consistent also to reject little ones made in His image. That's why Scripture closely links rejection of God to hatred and murder:

1 John 3:10-15 - “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: any one who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

“Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Every one who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”


B.

THE LEGACY OF UNBELIEF

1. When we trace the legacy of unbelief, we see that it always leads to sinful actions:

--> Unbelief leads to bad theology (wrong thinking about God).

--> Bad theology results in corrupt (sinful) thinking.

--> Corrupt thinking results in corrupt values.

--> Corrupt values result in corrupt behavior.

--> Corrupt behavior can result in almost anything - as history has borne out.

2. As biblical ethics erode, there is a corresponding rise in the level of evil a society will tolerate, then eventually propagate.

a. Depravity leaves mankind inherently capable of justifying even murder.

b. Jesus said, “The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murderers, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matt. 15:18-19).

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C.

THE LEGACY OF SELF-DEIFICATION

1. Self-deification is the act of replacing God with oneself, thereby elevating self to godhood. It is more popularly know as humanism.

2. Notice the legacy of self-deification:

a. When we reject theism (belief in God), we must settle for humanism, thereby dethroning God and deifying man.

Abortion is a graphic example of the utter selfishness and inconsistency of humanism, which at the same time says “Man is God, but this child is expendable.”

b. When we reject the Creator, we must bow to the creature, thereby reducing worship to idolatry.

Idolatry is the fertile soil in which immorality flourishes (cf. Rom. 1:18-28). Note the close relationship between idolatry, immorality, and murder:

Rev. 21:7-8 - “He who overcomes shall inherit these things [the blessings of heaven], and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Rev. 22:14-16 - “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”

c. When we reject God's absolute standards, we must settle for relative standards, thereby setting ourselves and our society adrift on a sea of relativism, with no spiritual or moral mooring--no fixed point of reference.

d. When we reject God's law, we must settle for man's law, thereby making every society a law unto itself and, potentially, every person a law unto himself.

e. When we reject God's morality, we must settle for man's morality, thereby embracing morality by majority vote, or even worse, whatever morality an individual may choose to impose on others.

f. When we reject creationism, we must settle for evolution, thereby reducing man to a mere product of an evolutionary process.

That view has paved the way for the teachings of men like pro-abortionist Peter Singer of Monash University in Australia, who wrote in the journal Pediatrics (72, no. 1 [July 1983]:129),

“We can no longer base our ethics on the idea that human beings are a special form of creation made in the image of God and singled out from all other animals” (Cited in Erwin Lutzer, Exploding the Myths that Could Destroy America, Moody Press, 1986).

In other words, we're not only mere animals, but also we're nothing special among animals. Therefore (the reasoning goes), it's no more immoral to kill a handicapped baby than it is to kill a lame animal.

g. When we replace biblically prescribed duties with individual rights,” we shift the focus from serving others to satisfying self.

h. When we replace personal accountability to God with a so-called right to privacy, we eliminate the fundamental internal motivation for right thinking and righteous living, and pour gasoline onto the fire of human depravity. Additionally, we forget that what is private and shameful today will be public and sheik tomorrow.

i. When we replace our God-ordained roles with so-called equal rights,” we blur gender distinctions, thereby paving the way for the feminist movement and ERA, which at its heart maintains that women cannot be equal to men unless they can rid themselves of childbearing responsibilities. Consequently, one child every twenty seconds is sacrificed on the altar of equality and liberation.

j. The bottom line: when we forsake godly truth and discernment, we must settle for satanic lies and ignorance, thereby falling prey to the one who has been a murderer from the beginning.

Correspondingly, to the degree that we fall prey to satanic deceptions, we will forsake godly truth and discernment. Once that happens, the door is wide open for the unthinkable to walk through, unobstructed by biblical guidelines.

3. In a piercing dialog with some Jewish religious leaders, Jesus said,

“`I know that you are Abraham's offspring; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.'

“They answered and said to Him, `Abraham is our father.' Jesus said to them, `If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.'

“They said to Him, `We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.' Jesus said to them, `If God were your Father, you would love Me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.

“`Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me'” (John 8:37-45).

4. First John 3:7-17 adds:

“Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

“No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Cain, who was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous.

(Does it seem extreme to jump from brotherly love to murder? It isn't. Follow John's thought:)

“Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?”

What greater need does an unborn child have than the loving shelter of its mother's womb?

• Love will sacrifice self; hate will sacrifice others.

• Someone may object: “That's all very interesting, but it's irrelevant because abortion isn't murder! It's simply the termination of an unwanted pregnancy.”

In one sense that is true because by definition murder is “the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another” (Webster's New World Dictionary). Therefore, by law, abortion is not murder because man has legalized it.

But for Christians, God's law (the law of love) is the issue, not man's law. God's law is consistent and righteous; man's law is inconsistent and relative. It can at once withhold death from one convicted of a capital offense, and impose death on an innocent unborn child.

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~ II. ~

HOW TO APPROACH THE SUBJECT


A.

AS CHRISTIANS, OUR APPROACH MUST BE THEOLOGICAL,

NOT MERELY BIOLOGICAL

1. All of us may not have expertise in medical science, but as students of the Word, we should have some expertise in how God views life.

a. That doesn't mean we ignore science. Science can be very helpful in confirming what Scripture already teaches.

For example, Peter Barnes (Open Your Mouth for the Dumb: Abortion and the Christian) reports that:

“So far as the genetic code is concerned, the normal baby has all forty-six chromosomes at conception. His heart is beating at twenty days, and at forty-five days brain waves can be detected. He has all his organs by the time he is eight weeks old, and by about twelve or thirteen weeks he recoils from pain and sucks his thumb.

“Dr. Paul Rockwell of New York has described a two-months-old foetus who was aborted due to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy [tubule pregnancy]. The tiny boy, only one centimetre long, was swimming in the amniotic fluid in the embryo sac.

“In Dr. Rockwell's words: `The tiny human was perfectly developed, with long tapering fingers, feet and toes. It was almost transparent, as regards the skin, and the delicate arteries and veins were prominent to the ends of the fingers. The baby was extremely alive and swam about the sac approximately one time per second, with a natural swimmer's stroke . . . . When the sac was opened, the tiny human immediately lost its life.'

“The differences between a baby before birth and a baby after birth lie in the areas of physical maturity and geographical location. There is a continuity in life, beginning at conception, and it is arbitrary to say life begins at animation, viability or birth.

“As dramatic as birth is, it is not magical; the baby is not wonderfully transformed from a blob of foetal tissue into a human being; from the beginning it was a human being who was conceived” (pp. 5-6).

b. We can read those kinds of reports and draw appropriate conclusions, however . . .

2. Our primary responsibility is to communicate what God has to say about this issue.

And His counsel is very clear. Therefore, once we understand His counsel, the biological and ethical questions will be resolved.

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B.

THE STARTING PLACE

1. For Christians who may have participated in an abortion, I want to start by stressing God's forgiveness.

a. Abortion is a sin--perhaps the worst kind of sin because it preys on the helpless and innocent, terminating all the promise and potential that human life holds.

b. However, where sin abounds, grace super-abounds! And although abortion is an irreversible sin with serious lingering consequences, God's wonderful forgiveness avails for every repentant sinner--even the abortionist.

e. Christians who have confessed and repented of abortion need to appreciate the magnitude of the grace, cleansing, hope, and release that Christ's loving forgiveness brings.

2. The example of Paul

a. The Apostle Paul was a Christian-killer, yet he found abundant mercy from Christ.

b. Acts 9:1-2 - “Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”

c. 1 Tim. 1:12-16 - “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service; even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.

“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. And yet for this reason I found mercy, in order 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.”

d. 1 Cor. 15:9 - “I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”

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~ III. ~

WHAT DOES GOD'S WORD SAY?


A.

GOD GRANTS LIFE

1. Ps. 100:3 - “Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

In what sense did God make us? In the general sense of creation and biological reproduction only? No, He made us personally and individually.

2. Is. 44:24 - “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, `I, the Lord, am the maker of all things.'”

3. Job 12:9-10 - “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?”

4. Acts 17:28 - “In Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, `For we also are His offspring.'”


B.

GOD GRANTS CONCEPTION

1. Every conception is a sovereign and personal act of God.

2. Every child is a blessing directly from the Lord (personally and individually).

Ps. 127:3-5 - “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They shall not be ashamed, When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”

3. Sometimes God withholds conception.

a. As with Abraham's wife, Sarai.

Gen. 16:1-2 - “Now Sarai, Abram's wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, `Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children through her.' And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.”

b. As with Abimelech's household.

Gen. 20:17-18 - “Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maids, so that they bore children. For the Lord had closed fast all the wombs of the household of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.”

c. As with Rachel.

Gen. 29:31-30:2 - “Now the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, and He opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son and named him Reuben, for she said, `Because the Lord has seen my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.' Then she conceived again and bore a son and said, `Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.' So she named him Simeon.

“And she conceived again and bore a son and said, `Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.' Therefore he was named Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son and said, `This time I will praise the Lord.' Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

“Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, `Give me children, or else I die.' Then Jacob's anger burned against Rachel, and he said, `Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?'”

d. As with Hannah.

1 Sam. 1:4-6 - “When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.”

4. Sometimes God grants conception.

a. As with Sarai.

Gen. 17:15-16 - “Then God said to Abraham, `As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

Gen. 21:1-3 - “Then the Lord took note of Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.”

b. As with Hannah.

1 Sam. 1:19-20 - “Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. And it came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the Lord.”

c. As with Ruth.

Ruth 4:13 - “Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.”

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C.

GOD SHAPES THE UNBORN CHILD

1. Ps. 139:13-16 - “Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.

“My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

2. Job 10:8 - “Thy hands fashioned and made me altogether?”

Can't the miracle of fetal development and birth be said of animals as well as human beings? Yes, in the general sense that all of creation demonstrates the power, glory, and wonder of God (Ps. 19).

• But humans are UNIQUE in that we are made in God's image.

• We have a LIVING SOUL.

• Christ DIED for us.

• Christians will live with Him for eternity, worshiping and enjoying His FELLOWSHIP.

• That is not true of animals.

3. Job 31:13-15 - “If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves when they filed a complaint against me, what then could I do when God arises, and when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make him, and the same one fashion us in the womb?”

Not only did Job recognize that God is personally involved with each individual, that knowledge became a point of accountability to him, and had implications on the way he treated others.

4. Eccl. 11:5 - “Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.”

The wind and the womb are the work of God!

5. Isa. 44:1-2, 24 - “Now listen, O Jacob, My servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus says the Lord who made you and formed you from the womb'. . . . Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, `I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, stretching out the heavens by Myself, and spreading out the earth all alone.'”

6. Ex. 4:11 - “The Lord said to [Moses], `Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”

a. Not only is the Lord personally involved in the development of every unborn child, but also He fashions each person for His own purposes.

b. A specific New Testament example:

John 9:1-3 - “As [Jesus] passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, `Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?' Jesus answered, `It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.'”

c. Which, incidentally, should utterly eliminate “hard case” abortions against handicapped babies.

There is no biblical rationale for killing preborn babies simply because they are handicapped in some way. Quality of life is no excuse to terminate a human life. That is convoluted, sinful reasoning, which should be rejected outright by every Christian man and woman.

d. “But what about such hard cases as rape or incest?

1) I have read that the incidence of pregnancy as a result of rape is extremely small (only .06 %). Statistically, abortions resulting from such cases is also very low (less than 1/2 % of all legal abortions).

2) All such brutal acts against women are tragic, and the consequences very serious and sensitive.

3) However, one doesn't eliminate the pain of rape or incest by murdering an innocent preborn child.

e. Unfortunately, many people who are otherwise strongly antiabortion imply that a life conceived by rape or incest is of less value than one conceived otherwise, and can therefore be terminated.

1) For example, the official position statement of The Salvation Army, a strongly evangelistic organization, reads in part:

“Termination of a pregnancy may be justified . . . in those instances of proven rape or legally defined incest or where reliable diagnostic procedures determine that a fetal anomaly is present which is incompatible with postnatal survival for more than a few weeks, or where there is total or virtual absence of cognitive function” (The Salvation Army, New Frontier, March, 1986).

2) I believe that position is wrong.

Additionally, any Christian who believes in the healing power of God cannot possible embrace such a position and remain theologically consistent.

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D.

THE UNBORN CHILD IS A PERSON

1. An Old Testament example

Ps. 139:13-16 - “Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.

“My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

Life, personhood, potential, and promise all are bound up in the unborn child.

2. New Testament Language

The same Greek word (brephos) is used to describe:

a. The unborn John the Baptist

Luke 1:41-44 - “And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the BABY leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, `Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

“And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the BABY leaped in my womb for joy.'”

b. The baby Jesus

Luke 2:12-16 - “`This will be a sign for you: you will find a BABY wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, `Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'

“And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, `Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.' And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the BABY as He lay in the manger.”

c. And the young children who were brought to Jesus.

Luke 18:15-17 - “They were bringing even their BABIES to Him so that He might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.

“But Jesus called for them [the “babies”], saying, `Permit the CHILDREN to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a CHILD shall not enter it at all.'”

• “Babies” and “Children” are different Greek words, but Jesus clearly equates the two, instructing His disciples to bring them to Him, and instructing His audience to receive the kingdom of God like a child.

• Infants, of course, are unable to “receive” the kingdom because they are not capable of understanding the Gospel. Therefore, the “babies/children” in this text apparently are children old enough to acknowldege faith in Christ.

3. Old Testament language

a. Exodus 21:22-25 (NASB) - “And if men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman's husband may demand of him; and he shall pay as the judges decide.

“But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

1) That is a misleading translation because it implies that the health and safety of the woman is the only thing of concern.

However, the Hebrew text literally reads:

“And when men fight, and they strike a pregnant woman, and her child goes forth, and there is no injury; surely he shall be fined, as the husband of the woman may put upon him, and he shall give through the judges. But if injury occurs . . . ”

2) The NIV conveys the meaning more clearly:

“If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury [to the woman or her baby], the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

3) “Miscarriage” [in the NASB text] is an unfortunate choice of words because the normal Hebrew word for miscarriage isn't used in this passage, although it is used elsewhere in the Old Testament (e.g., Gen. 31:38; Hos. 9:14). To use miscarriage here is to interpret, not translate (Peter Barnes, p. 17).

The word used here simply means “to depart” or “to go out.”

4) The word translated “miscarriage” in the NASB text is the Hebrew word yeled, which is used 88 times in the Old Testament and always for a child.

“So the Old Testament Hebrew sees a child in the womb and a child out of the womb as the same thing, calling it the same: a child” (Mac Arthur, p. 23).

b. Gen. 25:21-23 - Note the principles that are evident in this passage about Isaac & Rebekah:

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived.

It is the Lord who grants conception.

“But the children struggled together within her; and she said, `If it is so, why then am I this way? So she went to inquire of the Lord.

The Hebrew word translated “children” is ben, which is translated many ways in the Old Testament, but predominately “children” (120 times) and “sons” (2,393 times).

“And the Lord said to her, `Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples shall be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger.'”

Those were not blobs, but persons with the potential for producing two nations.

God's plans were already in place while the children were yet in the womb.

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E.

THE UNBORN CHILD HAS VALUE

As seen in our discussion of Exodus 21:22-25.


F.

THE UNBORN CHILD HAS PURPOSE

And that purpose begins to unfold from the womb.

1. The Prophet Isaiah

Is. 49:5 - “And now says the Lord, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, in order that Israel might be gathered to Him (for I am honored in the sight of the Lord, and my God is my strength).”

2. The Prophet Jeremiah

Jer. 1:5 - “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

• God's omniscience isn't limited to Jeremiah.

• Even before a child is conceived, God knows him and plans intimate details of his life.

• Conception, in uteral development, birth, and subsequent years of life are the unfolding of those details.

• Eph. 1:3-4 - “[God] chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”

3. The Apostle Paul

Gal. 1:15-17 - “When He who had set me apart, even from my mother's womb, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus.”

4. John the Baptist

Luke 1:15 - “He will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother's womb.”

Luke 1:39-44 - “Now at this time Mary arose and went with haste to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

“And she cried out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed among women are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.

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G.

GOD DEFENDS THE HELPLESS

1. Ex. 21:22-25 - We saw that God made special legal provisions for their protection.

2. Deut. 27:25 - “`Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to strike down an innocent person.' And all the people shall say, `Amen.'”

Abortionists are in great peril because they are killing for hire by taking bribes to strike down innocent persons.

3. Prov. 6:16-17 - “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.”

There is no more innocent person than the unborn child within the mother's womb.


H.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

The influence of our society and peer pressure can be great, therefore:

1. Beware of those who call good evil and evil good:

a. Isa. 5:20 - “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

b. Some contemporary examples:

• Pro-abortion is merely “pro-choice.”

• Abortion is merely “selective reduction.”

• Unborn Babies are merely “products of conception, fetus, fried eggs, blobs, or mere inconveniences.”

• Murder is merely “exercising one's freedom of choice.”

• Committed pro-lifers are “social terrorists.”

2. Beware of those who knowingly do evil and encourage others to follow suit.

Rom. 1:28-32 - Listen to Paul's indictment of such behavior: “Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and, although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

“They sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind.”

“Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you.

“You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your [own] way” (Hosea 8:7; 10:13).

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

“Abortion,” New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (Navato: The Software Toolworks, Inc., 1995).

“Abortion,” Webster's New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, (New York: Webster's New World, 1988), p. 3.

John Ankerberg & John Weldon, When Does Life Begin? (Tennessee: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1989).

Peter Barnes, Open Your Mouth for the Dumb: Abortion and the Christian (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust).

Judie Brown, Abortion: Your Risks (Virginia: American Life League, Inc., 1995).

The Christian Activist 1, No. 2 (Summer 1984), p. 11.

Brian Cloves, “Analysis of United States Abortion Statistics,” Pro-Life Encyclopedia, 1993.

Brian Cloves, “United States Legal Abortion Statistics, 1965-1992,” Pro-Life Encyclopedia, 1993.

James Dobson, Focus on the Family Newsletter: April, 1995 (Colorado Springs: Focus on the Family).

Olga Fairfax, “101 Uses for a Dead (or Alive) Baby,” About Issues, American Life League, Inc., January, 1984, pp. 6-9.

Nellie Gray, America Has a Pro-Life Bill (Virginia: American Life League, Inc., 1995).

Hank Hanegraaff, “Annihilating Arguments for Abortion,” Christian Research Newsletter, Volume 6, Issue 4, September/October, 1993, pp. 5-7.

The Interlinear Hebrew/Greek English Bible, Vol. I (Genesis-Ruth), (Wilmington: Associated Publishers and Authors, 1976), pp. 197-98.

Erwin W. Lutzer, Exploding the Myths that Could Destroy America (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986).

John MacArthur, Jr., Abortion: The Slaughter of the Innocents, Published transcript from taped messages, Grace to You, Panorama City, 1992.

The Salvation Army, “Position Statement: Abortion,” New Frontier (Rancho Palos Verdes: The Salvation Army, 1986) p. 2.

What Does God Say About Abortion? (Colorado Springs: Focus on the Family), 1991.

What Does the Bible Say About the Unborn Child? (Los Angeles: The Right to Life League).

John W. Whitehead, The Second American Revolution, (Chicago: David C. Cook Publishing Co., 1982).

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