Here are excerpts from the Focus on the Family booklet titled, "What Does God Say About Abortion?"
You can read this booklet in its entirety by requesting it from (800) A-FAMILY for a suggested donation of 35 cents per booklet. Ask for item code LK010.
Why Should We Value Life?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His, we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3
This is what the LORD says - "your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by Myself." Isaiah 44:24
For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16
Yet, O LORD, You are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8
Who is the Creator of the unborn?
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
Your hands shaped me and made me. Will You now turn and destroy me? Remember that You molded me like clay. Will You now turn me to dust again?
Did You not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in Your providence watched over my spirit. Job 10:8-12
For you created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 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
How is God concerned with the unborn?
Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth He has made mention of my name. Isaiah 49:1
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. Ephesians 1:3-4
Who is responsible for life and death?
The LORD brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up. 1 Samuel 2:6
And God spoke all these words:…"You shall not murder." Exodus 20:1, 13
"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.'" Matthew 5:21
Jesus replied, "Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 19:18
This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed.
Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. Jeremiah 22:3
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…Deuteronomy 30:19
Is man permitted to take life before birth?
If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, 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. Exodus 21:22-25
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Ammon, even for four, I will turn not back My wrath. Because he ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead…" Amos 1:13
Should a child conceived as a result of rape or incest be aborted?
Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. Deuteronomy 24:16
"What do you people mean by quoting this proverb, about the land of Israel: 'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?' "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to Me, the father as well as the son - both alike belong to Me. The soul who sins is the one who will die." Ezekiel 18:2-4
The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. Ezekiel 18:20
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Should a child who might be born deformed or retarded be aborted?
The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" Exodus 4:11
"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say 'He has no hands?' Woe to him who says to his father, 'What have you begotten?' or to his mother, 'What have you brought to birth?'"
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, 'Why did You make me like this?'" Romans 9:20
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 1 Corinthians 1:27
Should a woman have control over the life in her own body?
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Psalm 127:3
For every living soul belongs to Me, the father as well as the son — both alike belong to Me. Ezekiel 18:4
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Does God forgive those who have had abortions?
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8
I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Isaiah 43:25
Sanctity of Human Life Sermon Outline
We are created for life.
Two of the persistent questions we repeatedly ask are: "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" God addresses both of those early in the scriptures. In Genesis 1:26 we read, "Then God said, 'Let Us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule. . . .'" God's view of His creation on the sixth day is very clear (v. 31): "God saw all that He had made, and it was very good."
Several years ago, a fragile young woman came to my (a doctor's) office, expecting her first baby. One month before she was due, the baby was in a breech position. The death rate of breech babies is high because of the difficulty in delivering the after-coming head and the imperative need of delivering it quickly after the body is born.
During the delivery, I waited as patiently as I could for the natural forces of expulsion to thoroughly dilate the firm maternal structures. At last the time had come, and I gently drew down one little foot. I grasped the other, but it would not come beside the first one. To my consternation, I saw the other little foot would never be beside the first one. The entire thigh from the hip to the knee was missing.
I knew what a dreadful effect this would have upon the unstable nervous system of the mother. The family would almost certainly impoverish itself in taking the child to every famous orthopedist in the world. I saw this little girl sitting sadly by herself, while the other girls danced and ran and played.
I could slow my hand; I could delay those few short moments. No one in this world would ever know. The mother, after the first shock of grief, would be glad she had lost a child so handicapped.
The little pink foot on the good side bobbed out from its protecting towel and pressed firmly against my slowly moving hand into whose keeping the safety of the mother and baby had been entrusted.
I couldn't do it. I delivered the baby with her pitiful little leg. Every foreboding came true. The mother was in the hospital several months-she looked like a wraith of her former self. As the years went on, I blamed myself bitterly for not having had the strength to yield to my temptation.
Our hospital stages an elaborate Christmas party each year for the staff. This past year, three lovely young musicians on the stage played softly in unison with the organ. I was especially fascinated by the young harpist. She played extraordinarily well, as if she loved it. Her slender fingers flicked across the strings, and her face was upturned as if the world that moment were a wonderful and holy place.
When the short program was over, there came running down the aisle a woman I did not know. "Oh, you saw her," she cried. "You must have recognized your baby. That was my daughter who played the harp-the little girl who was born with only one good leg 17 years ago. We tried everything at first, but now she has a whole artificial leg on that side. Best of all, through all those years, she learned to use her hands so wonderfully. She is going to be one of the world's greatest harpists. She is my whole life and now she is so happy . . . And here she is!" The sweet young girl had quietly approached us, her eyes glowing.
Impulsively, I took the child in my arms. Across her warm young shoulder I saw the creeping clock of the delivery room 17 years before. I lived again those awful moments when her life was in my hand. As the last the last strains of "Silent Night" faded, I found comfort I had waited for so long.
(Adapted from "Family News From Dr. James Dobson," December 1993, as condensed from the book, Christmas in My Heart, by Joe Wheeler, Review & Herald Publishing Co., 1993.)
Created to live.
We are created to live.
The unique characteristic of each human being is the reflection of being created "in His image." Each of us reflects the very image of God. Our peace ("Shalom") is derived from recognizing that we reflect His image and when we allow God to achieve His purpose through our lives. If we lose sight of the value placed on human life, we are susceptible to the temptation to destroy that life designed by God. Life is sacred. When life is destroyed, we lose the impact of a life that could have enriched our lives and brought glory to God. The movie, It's A Wonderful Life, allows a man to see what the world would have missed if he had not been born. A similar experience might help us value our lives and all human life.
A college professor presented this challenging situation for his ethics class to consider. "A man has syphilis and his wife has tuberculosis. They have four children. One has died; the other three have terminal illnesses. The mother is pregnant again. What do you recommend?" The class voted to terminate the pregnancy. The professor noted they had just killed Beethoven. (HIS magazine, February 1984)
Ethel Waters, the great gospel singer, was born to a 13-year-old child who had been raped. The world would have been robbed of the wonderful sacred music provided by each of these individuals if life had not been valued even under difficult circumstances.
We are created to live. God saved His breath for the creation of human beings. Genesis 2:7 says, "the Lord God…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being." We are created in the image of God and endowed with His very breath to live. That is sacred.
Job, even in the midst of his afflictions, notes that God created him to live. (Job 27:3) Paul speaking to the men of Athens, a great Greek city, notes that God is the giver of life. (Acts 17:25) The Psalmist (139:14,15) notes that God weaves life in the formation of humankind. In Isaiah (44:24) the prophet is informed that the Lord formed us in the womb.
When we lose sight of a Creator who has formed us with a purposeful life in mind, we may devalue life and even be willing to destroy it. The Roman Coliseum remains a monument to the degradation a culture or society will experience when it does not recognize that humans are created to live. It has often been noted that abortion and euthanasia are only symptoms of a greater problem: our culture no longer recognizes the sacredness of human life. Mother Teresa said, "Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion."
We are created to live.
Consecrated for life.
Life is sacred. Our lives are a trust from God and therefore should be dedicated and lived to achieve His divine purpose. The music of our lives should be offered as an act of worship to our God the Creator. Life is a sacred trust.
Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus (2:10) recognizes that "we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Oswald Chambers states, "If I will come to Jesus, my actual life will be brought into accordance with my real desires; I will actually cease from sin, and actually find the song of the Lord begin." (My Utmost for His Highest, June 11) When I realize that my life dedicated to the One who created me actually fulfills the intent of my life, I discover life has meaning.
Jeremiah, the prophet, noted (1:6) that God knew him completely before he was born. The Psalmist (138:8) declared, "The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; . . ."Peter challenged the church (I Peter 2:16) "…to live as servants of God."
Like a piece of art or music crafted for a specific purpose, we find that life indeed is sacred when we allow our lives to be given to serve the purposes of our Creator God. We are created to live. We are consecrated for life. He gives life; we give Him our life to be His for whatever He designed us to become.
Henri J.M. Nouwen, noted author, wrote an entire book to celebrate the life of Adam Arnett. Henri wrote the story of his relationship with Adam because he realized "…that this very disabled human being was loved by God from all eternity and sent into the world with a unique mission of healing…." (Adam:God's Beloved,Henri J.M. Nouwen, Orbis Books: Maryknoll, NY, 1997)
If we understand that life is sacred and that we are created to live and called to consecrate that life to God's purpose, we will be able to celebrate a lifetime! In Revelation we have a picture of 24 elders celebrating before the throne of God. They recognize that the Creator is worthy of praise for what He has done through His creation. St. Augustine understood that we were made to fellowship with our creator. He said, "You made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." The picture Christ paints is of a son returning home to the Father. Luke 15 tells us there is a celebration when the son comes home.
We can celebrate the music of the harpist with one leg, Beethoven and Ethel Waters and others because life was valued as sacred and they consecrated their gift to the Creator. Life is sacred. We are created to live, and because we consecrate our lives to the Creator, we have opportunity to celebrate what He has accomplished through the lives of those He created.
In Matthew 18, Jesus warns against harming children. The Psalmist (127:3) notes that children are a gift from God. Hebrews 4:13 informs us that everything in creation will be uncovered and we will then give an accounting to God. It will be sad to realize the beautiful music that was missed because we did not value life created by God.
On the other hand, we are clearly told that there will be rejoicing in the presence of God as his people are invited to the tree of life. (Revelation 22)
Life is sacred. We are created to live lives that are consecrated to God and can be celebrated in eternity. It all begins when we recognize that life is sacred.
Sanctity of Human Life 2001 Sermon Outline
The first to be killed in Nazi Germany were the infirm, the senile and mentally retarded, the aged and defective children. Eventually, as World War II approached, the doomed undesirables included epileptics, children with badly modeled ears and even bed-wetters. Transportation of patients to killing centers was carried out by "The Charitable Transport Company for the Sick." The plan then was to kill all Jews and Poles and to cut down the Russian Population by 30,000,000.
We're all struck by this great Holocaust and wonder how it ever could have happened. Leo Alexander, who was consultant to the Secretary of War and on duty with the office of Chief Counselor for War Crimes in Nuremberg, says that what happened in in Nazi Germany "all started with the acceptance of the attitude that there is such a thing as life not worthy to be lived."
An elderly German man who lived through the Holocaust tells the following story:
I always considered myself a Christian. I attended a church since I was a small boy. We had heard the stories of what was happening to the Jews; but like most people in America today, we tried to distance ourselves from the reality of what was really taking place. What could anyone do to stop it?
A railroad track ran behind our small church, and each Sunday morning we would hear the whistle from a distance and then the clacking of the wheels moving over the track. We became disturbed when one Sunday we heard cries coming from the train as it passed by. We grimly realized that the train was carrying Jews.
Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns. It some of the screams reached our ears, we'd just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more.
Years have passed, and no one talks about it much any more; but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.
Does this sound like the United States in 2001 — are we tempted to just "sing a little louder"?
Notice, it all began with "the attitude that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived." That sounds a lot like today's statistic. Ninty percent of expectant parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of down syndrome will abort their baby. A life not worthy to be lived?
What that's really saying is that God goofed, He must've been distracted or tired when He created that particular life, maybe not paying real close attention. Is that the way God views the people He creates? Let's look into Scripture.
Created to Bear His Image
- Only human beings can fellowship with the Creator (Genesis 1:26-27).
- Only man is crowned by God with glory and majesty (Psalm 8:4-5).
- Only God should determine life's beginning and end (Psalm 139:16).
In this context, the question is often asked, "What if the mother's life is in danger? Shouldn't she have an abortion then?" Dr. C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States says that during his more than 35 years of medical practice in obstetrics, "Never once did a case come across my practice where abortion was necessary to save a mother's life."
And at the other end of life, when, loved ones have illnesses diagnosed as terminal and are perhaps in great pain, Christian physicians who view God as the giver and taker of life can become very skilled in pain management to alleviate that suffering. Even though the circumstances may not make sense from our perspectives, we are never "authorized" to "play God," to usurp the position that is rightfully His (Psalm 23:4, Corinthians 12:9).
Developed According to His Plan-
It is declared in His Word:
- Psalm 139:13-15 - organ systems being "woven together," the "frame," obviously referring to the skeleton, bones, skull which will determine height, build, size.
- Luke 1:35 - the baby Mary is carrying is called the "holy offspring," not a "blob of tissue" or a "potential" being.
- Luke 1:41 - Elizabeth's baby leaps in her womb upon hearing Mary's news, not an action performed by "fetal tissue."
It is validated by medical science:
- Heart beating from 18-21 days, brain waves from 40 days.
- Clearly shown by us of ultrasound technology.
- Not even supporters of abortion argue any more as to when life begins.
Protected to Fulfill His Purpose-
- God loves little children, a theme throughout Scripture.
- If they're not protected in the womb, they can't live to experience that love. Even the animal kingdom is fiercely protective of its young! If our children are to be protected after birth, shouldn't they also receive even more protection in utero, when they're even more vulnerable?
- He leaves us here only until that purpose has been fulfilled: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Job 2:10; Ecclesiastes 3:12.
In his book Sanctity of Life, Chuck Swindoll tells the story of a couple who married during the Great Depression when he was middle-aged and she was in her twenties. Exactly 10 months after their wedding day, their first child was born — a baby boy. Times were tough, but they managed fairly well. Before their second anniversary, along came a second child, this time a girl. Their hands were certainly full with this addition!
And then lo and behold, in January long before their fourth anniversary the following October, the mother conceived her third child, even though they were using contraceptives. The other two children were, obviously, still in diapers. Finances were very challenging. The mother's health was not good, and understandably she was tired all the time. She didn't especially enjoy young children to begin with; she was depressed. The pressures were so great that it would've been easy to consider seeking out someone, who could perform an abortion, even though they were illegal. However, this couple was convinced that they should accept whatever God had sovereignty planned for them. In spite of the circumstances, they chose to trust God and have that baby in October of 1934.
That baby was Charles R. Swindoll, president of Dallas Theological Seminary, pastor for many years and pre-eminent teacher of the Word. He was his parents' last child. All three of those children are today in vocational Christian service.
No one, certainly not his parents, knew at that time what God's plan for him, or his siblings, would be. But they knew God, and they fully believed that He was greater than their rights, their plans or their inconveniences.
That God has not changed. Whether at the beginning of life, at the end or any point in between, His timing is perfect, His plan is detailed and His provision unmatched.
The question is, will we trust Him?