Sanctity of Life Sunday

Good morning. For a long time I’ve been saying that Blooming Grove is more than a church; it’s family. As such we rejoice whenever someone new is added to the family. And whether you’re new to the Grove or you’ve been around longer than I have, I hope that you know that you’re a valuable part of our family. We’re glad you’re here.

This Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday. Pastors all across the country and even the world, will stand behind their pulpits and confront one of the most critical issues of our generation—the question of when life begins.

In 1973, the year that abortion was legalized in America, Planned Parenthood reported 744,600 abortions. Today, there are approximately 2,000,000 unborn babies painfully killed every year and organizations like Planned Parenthood receive nearly a billion dollars annually in government funding. There will be more unborn children killed this year alone than the total number of American soldier who have died in every single battle ever fought since the American Revolution.

That’s 60,000,000 preborn babies killed since 1973. That’s 35,000 babies every week; that’s 5,000 babies every day; that’s 1 baby every 18 seconds; that’s 180 babies painfully killed while we worship here today.

This is easily one of the most difficult issues for me to talk about. The issue has become so emotionally and politically charged that many Christians and pastors are afraid to talk about it at all. But, frankly, I’m not interested in being politically correct. I’m only interested in being biblically correct. Christians need to consider carefully what the Bible has to say on the subject. So I want to equip, encourage and embolden to confront this issue within your own spheres of influence—at home, at work, among friends or family. First, I want to share with you some answers to endorse and then some attitudes to embrace.




Sadly, most political debates or discussions surrounding the subject of abortion, fail to ask the only question that really matters—is an unborn fetus a living human being? If not, then a woman certainly has the right to choose what she does with her own body. But if so—if an unborn fetus is, in fact, a living human being—then abortion, for any reason, is nothing more than the painful killing of an innocent human life and can never be morally or ethically justified. So to answer this vital question:

1)      We know an unborn baby is a living human being scientifically.

In an age of scientific enlightenment we now know that the embryo even at its earliest stages fulfills the criteria needed to establish the existence of biological life. It has metabolism, development, the ability to react to stimuli, and cell reproduction. We know that even a zygote is a living organism with a distinct genetic code, different from the mother’s. So, while the unborn fetus is fully dependent on the mother, it is not part of the mother—it has a distinct and unique genetic makeup, its own DNA.

A pre-born life is more than just a clump of cells or a by-product of conception. It’s a newly conceived human being whose life is sacred and inviolable at every moment. It’s a living human being whose DNA is infused with potential, talent, eye-color, hair-color, and life. Whose tiny heart begins to beat at day 25, who practices inhaling and exhaling by day 90, whose delicate frame can kick, twist, flail, grasp, squint, frown, grimace, and even suck a thumb by day 105. Human personhood does not depend on size, location or level of dependence.

My favorite book by Dr. Seuss is Horton Hears a Who. One day, Horton the elephant hears a cry for help coming from a speck of dust. Even though he can’t see anyone on the speck, he decides to help it. As it turns out, the speck of dust is home to the Whos, who live in their city of Whoville. Nobody else can hear the tiny voices because they don’t have Horton’s gigantic ears. But despite the naysayers and neighbors who ridicule him, Horton agrees to protect the Whos and their home, because, as Horton says, “After all, a person is a person, no matter how small.” In an age of scientific advancement, nothing could be more certain, clear or correct.

2)      We know an unborn baby is a living human being Scripturally.

Modern science only serves to confirm what any student of the Bible should already know. The Bible says, “God created human beings in his own image” (Genesis 1:27). God himself told Jeremiah, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT). David praises God, saying, “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” (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV).

Every pre-born life is an impression of God’s own image and likeness, a sign of his presence, and a reflection of his glory. Every human life, no matter the stage or condition has value because God created it—because God knit it together.

Max Lucado knows something about that. In his book, The Applause of Heaven, he tells about a sweater that hangs in his closet. He seldom wears it—it’s too small, the sleeves are too short, the shoulders too tight, some of the buttons are missing, the thread is frazzled. Logically, he says, he should throw the sweater out since he has no use for it and will never wear it again. It simply takes up space in his closet.

That’s what logic says. But love won’t let him throw it out.

Why not? What’s unusual about that sweater? To start with, it has no label, no tag telling you “Wash in cold water.” That’s because it wasn’t made in a factory, produced on an assembly line as the product of a nameless employee earning a living. Rather, it was the creation of a devoted mother expressing her love—his mother. That sweater is unique, one of a kind, irreplaceable. Each strand was chosen with care, each thread selected with affection—knit together by his mother’s hand. And so, even though that sweater has lost all of its use, it has lost none of its value. It is valuable not because of its function, but because of its Maker.

So it is with each life. You, I and every child yet to be born are valuable because of our Maker. Abortionists may call it simply “terminating the pregnancy,” but in reality abortion is the painful killing of a valuable human life. So we know both scientifically and scripturally that a pre-born infant is a living human being knit together by its creator with the right to life. Those are the answers I want to equip you to endorse.




I also want to give you some attitudes to embrace. Statistically, one in three women has an abortion by the age of 45. What attitudes should we embrace when relating with these women?

1)      First, we need to practice loving acceptance.

The Bible tells us, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you” (Romans 15:7 NIV). Is abortion a sin? Absolutely. Were you a sinner when Christ accepted you? Absolutely. We need to be Jesus to those who have experienced the ravages of abortion—we need to lovingly accept them, just as Jesus accepted us. These women need to know that there is help and healing in God’s family. We’re not going to look down on them or shun them or treat them like second-class Christians. We have a God of second-chances. No one demonstrates this better than David. After David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then murdered her husband in cold-blood, he prayed. This is what he said:


Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night… Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice. Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51 1:-10 NLT)


Like David, many women who experience abortion are left feeling broken and joyless. Studies show that more than 85% of women reported negative reactions to their abortions including sorrow, sadness, guilt, regret, grief and disappointment.[1] Last November, New York Magazine published a cover story simply entitled, “My Abortion.” It relays the abortion stories of 26 women. Some are desperate accounts of young women feeling they had no other choice. There are even those who felt forced to abort. Many tell of the shame, guilt, regret and pain that has followed them. They need to know that there is a God who loves them, who wants to remove their stain of guilt, restore their joy and renew their spirits. We need to be his hands and arms—reaching, embracing and healing the hearts of those who have been spiritually crippled by abortion.

God can forgive and change anyone who has committed an abortion or been part of the pro-abortion campaign. Not only can they receive God’s forgiveness in the here and now, but they can look forward to the ecstasy of reuniting with their unborn loved ones in eternity. So, first we practice loving acceptance.

2)      Second, we need to point to living alternatives.

Women with unplanned pregnancies need to know that they have options available to them other than abortion. There are pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers all over the country that can provide help and hope in scary situations. A couple of years ago there was a young girl, just 15 years old, in our youth group who became pregnant. Ashley and I were among the first adults she talked to about it. We met with her and her boyfriend and encouraged them to visit the Pregnancy Resource Center in Jacksonville. Ashley drove her up there and enrolled her in some pregnancy and parenting classes. I’m happy to report that she had a bouncing baby boy and is raising him with the help of her mother and boyfriend. Ashley and I have maintained a relationship with the PRC ever since. After acquiring an ultrasound machine, which they use to give free ultrasounds at any time during a pregnancy, the PRC Director sent out a letter saying:

“We wanted to share a testimony with you about the impact that our ultrasound is already having with our clients.  Recently our Nurse Manager, Kris, did an ultrasound.  After the necessary measurements and initial exam the father of the baby and his parents were brought into the room.  This young father stood in amazement as he gazed at his child on the screen.  He could identify arms, legs, and a heartbeat.  The tears flowed down his cheek as he saw his unborn child through this window into the womb.  Right there in the exam room he fell in love with his unborn baby.  As we watched just a moment longer the child appeared to be blowing bubbles.  As we laughed together the now-grandfather said, ‘And people say there is no God.’  We knew that ultrasound was a powerful tool for helping a young woman choose life, but it has also become a powerful witness to our Creator.”

Christian operated crisis-pregnancy centers like this one are doing amazing work. They are saving lives and leading young women and men to Christ.

You may not be familiar with the name Norma McCorvey, but you probably know her alias. Norma McCorvey was the “Roe” of Roe vs. Wade. In 1969 she found herself pregnant and on the streets. She sought an abortion, but could not get one in Texas because of the strong pro-life laws in Texas at that time. She found help in an ambitious young attorney named Sara Weddington. After three-years of trials, the Supreme Court reversed the laws banning abortion in Texas and in all 50 states. Of course, by that time, Norma already had her baby and gave it up for adoption.

In 1989, she came out of seclusion and announced to the world that she was the Roe in Roe vs. Wade. The pro-abortion movement recruited her for their cause and a TV movie was made about her life. She then went to work for an abortion clinic in the Dallas area, where her life would change forever. She was killing babies for money and she knew it. But one day Operation Rescue moved in next door to the abortion clinic.

Norma said that she would watch the women handing out pro-life literature, that the pro-life people were always smiling and she was very curious about that. She began talking with the pro-life Christians and they began witnessing to her. In 1996, a young mother named Rhonda and her two little girls, working with Operation Rescue, led Norma to Jesus. Today Norma is a Christian working with Operation Outcry, trying to reverse the Roe vs. Wade decision that she had been a part of so many years ago—all because someone took the time to practice loving acceptance and point to living alternatives. Let’s do the same.




As we reflect on the sanctity of life today, I want to encourage you to endorse these answers: A pre-born baby is a living human being Scientifically and Scripturally. I also want to encourage you to embrace these attitudes: practice loving acceptance and point to living alternatives.



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