By John J. Blanchard
June 1, 2013
Good morning once again, brethren. It is wonderful to be speaking to you again from Newberry. Today’s sermon is a very sobering subject—not one that’s really pleasant to talk about, but one that must be dealt with. There is no time like the present because of the circumstances that are going on, especially in the United States today. If you like to title your sermons, the title of today’s is “The Scourge of Abortion.”
Of all the subjects that we could talk about with spring out there, I would love to talk about the trees in blossom, the plants coming up, how spring is thrilling, and how it shows us God’s plan. Unfortunately in the news today there is a big news item, if you want to call it that, about Dr. Gosnell and his clinic of horrors in which abortions were taking place. It is disgusting, and we are not going to go through the details.
It is weird because on the way here, I pass by a Sandhill Crane that’s nesting on its eggs. It has been there for about three weeks now. It is a beautiful bird hiding on a little hummock in a puddle of water and hoping no predators will see her. She is trying so hard to get these eggs to hatch. Then we have people in our country seemingly without conscience terminating life of something as special as a human being. Like I said, it is depressing, but we need to talk about it. I want to address it today because it is front and center in the news.
It is interesting that Dr. Gosnell was convicted of killing several babies and one woman through malpractice. Of course, he made a plea deal, so he would have life in prison instead of the death penalty. All of a sudden he became pro-life when he was faced with the death penalty! It is very interesting that the babies did not have that option.
In any case, he is not an only operator. Sad to say there are clinics around the United States and many other nations of the world that perform abortions routinely. The gruesome statistics are is that last year in the United States alone there were 360,000 abortions. Since the infamous Roe vs. Wade in 1973 it is estimated that in the United States there have been 55 million abortions. Ever since then the United States has been very badly divided over this practice. There are the pro-life versus the pro-choice. I want to cover some of the huge ramifications that Roe vs. Wade and the abortions have had on our country. We need to think about this. I have a number of them listed here.
The first one I want to talk about is economic. We are also talking today in the United States about how we are running out of tax receipts for Social Security to help the elderly retire. There is not enough money. It is going to run out of money. Medicare is also going to run out of money. No one seems to stop to think that there is a connection between 55 million abortions and the children that the earliest ones would have had. If you start back in 1973, those children would be entering the work force by now. You might be talking about 75 million workers to help support the retirees, but they are dead and gone. They can’t contribute to the system. No one seems to talk about that. We did it to ourselves.
Tax receipts are down. If you notice that is a big item in the news. We have this $17 trillion debt, and our debts each year go up. It is the same situation. There are 75 million tax payers that should be here that aren’t here. Obviously, we can’t afford as much as we would like to.
The gross domestic product is stagnating. It’s the same thing. Seventy-five million people don’t need homes, cars, television sets, and education. We rely heavily on immigration. They say the immigrants are taking our jobs, but if we shut off immigration, who is going to fill this gap that the 55 million abortions have created for our country. That is just the economics, which is probably one of the least significant things I am going to talk about today.
BREAKDOWN OF THE FAMILY
The second item I want to mention is the breakdown of the family. When pregnancy is just something that is inconvenient and that can be terminated any time you want, it promotes a way of life that is very irresponsible when it comes to life itself. It does not sanctify life. It cheapens life, which leads to the breakdown of the family. If you are certainly willing to kill your children, how much easier is it to have wives in sequences or live-in partners? You get a callousness toward all aspects of family and family life. You get this idea of, we don’t want to be saddled with a baby. We even had one of our national leaders say that recently. I wouldn’t want my daughters saddled with a baby! Babies are wonderful. That’s the future! We need to teach family responsibility and not irresponsibility like terminating pregnancies when it is inconvenient and when we don’t want them.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
The next one is another taboo subject that people don’t like to talk about regarding abortions. There are a host of physical and mental health issues that spring from abortion. First of all, it has been proven scientifically and medically that it is more dangerous to have an abortion than to have a full-term pregnancy and delivery of the baby. Secondly, there is a lot of emotional distress and emotional upset that comes with killing a child. There is guilt that goes along with it. There are recriminations and second guessing. What if? All these emotional problems are actually immeasurable. With economics we can measure it, and with population we can measure it. But in our nation, how do we know how many people there are walking around with a heavy cloud and depression because they have terminated one and some cases more than one life? There is no way to quantify that, but it is out there.
The fourth one I want to mention is the national division which I briefly mentioned at the start. Politics got involved in religion when Roe vs. Wade came into being. It has divided our nation. How many protests, how many arguments, and how much hatred has been engendered because of pro-choice versus pro-life? It is probably the most divisive issue in our nation today. It has forced our country, our government, and our politicians to get involved trying to make moral and ethical decisions and determinations that are virtually impossible to deal with.
A few questions that arise would be, when does life begin? When you start talking about ending life, you have to start figuring out when did it begin? Secondly, when is a fetus viable? Of course the side issue is, when did a fetus become a fetus and not an unborn child? When is a fetus viable? Maybe we could use that to figure out when life starts.
A third issue is what method is it safe to abort with? What is least harmful to the mother? What is the least painful to the “fetus?” Another one is, when do we allow the morning-after pill? Do we allow it the morning after or a few days later, and who should be allowed to take it? Now they are talking about 15 year olds and any girl who happens to get pregnant, even if younger than 15. That brings another issue into it. Should the parents be told, or should the schools handle this? Every high school and middle school has a nurse. Why do we tell children they can go to the nurse, and why do we make it so that the school doesn’t have to tell the parents? Get the education system involved in aborting babies! All these difficult conundrums come up when you start to deal with abortion.
The last to me is the biggest of all. It is the biggest ramification of all. It is the fifth one. Individuals and the government are playing God! That is never a good idea. If there ever was a case to made for the separation of church and state, abortion would have been a good one, where the government had just stayed out of it. Let churches preach the doctrines they want and let people believe what they choose to believe. Don’t force things down their throat.
Freedom of choice is an interesting concept because God does allow freedom of choice. He wants us, of course, to choose the right thing. But if He forced us to do right all the time, He wouldn’t be a God who would have willing subjects. He would have a bunch of automatons or robots. God gave us freedom of choice. It is only when we twist it to freedom of choice regarding life and death—pro-choice versus pro-life—that we start to really tweak God’s way of life. We poke a finger in God’s eye and say, You gave us free will, how about this God? Then we poke God in the eye, because we know He is pro-life.
Just because we are free to choose, doesn’t mean it is without consequences. I want to start with my first Scripture in Deuteronomy chapter 30, verse 11: “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. [This is God speaking through Moses]. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”
We know the word originates with Scripture for us today, and we are supposed to put it in our mouth to speak about it and in our heart to obey it.
Verse 15 of Deuteronomy 30: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil…”
It is a very stark decision here.
Verse 16: “…in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
We have the same choice today. God says, choose life. Abortion is choosing death. Abortion is making the wrong choice in most cases by far because the only time it should ever be a real issue, is when you are trying to preserve a life. Then it becomes a question that must be considered. Otherwise, it is ending life. It is death. God says, choose life. If you do, you will be blessed. I showed you many ways our country would be blessed if we had 55 million more births in the last number of years.
Turn, if you would, to Deuteronomy chapter 5 for the Ten Commandments where it spells it out very, very starkly and very bluntly. Deuteronomy 5, verse 17: “You shall not murder.”
You couldn’t get more direct. “You shall not murder.” You shall not end life without a very, very good reason. We find ourselves going contrary to God and His ways.
Turn to the New Testament in Galatians chapter 6. It is an excellent memory verse. Galatians 6, verse 7: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”
When life has been sown and life is ended through murder, you reap what you sow. Could it be the death of our country? Could it be the death of individuals because there is not enough medical care or tax receipts? God is not mocked. We reap what we sow. The problems we have today are tied to the decisions of the past. We don’t need to keep making those mistakes. We need to face up to those mistakes and correct them.
JOHN THE BAPTIST AS A FETUS
There is a very interesting exchange in a story in Luke chapter 1 about the soon-to-be birth of Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. If you would, turn to the gospel of Luke. I want to read about Jesus Christ and John the Baptist being carried in the wombs of their respective mothers. Read Luke 1:26-43.
Then Mary eventually goes on to fulfill the prophesy. But listen to what’s being said here. Mary is in her first few weeks or month of carrying Jesus Christ here. Elizabeth is carrying John the Baptist and is six months along. We have doctors and politicians arguing about when a fetus is viable? When does life start? There are babies getting aborted into and beyond the sixth month! Give me a break! God never allowed mankind the purview of deciding when life begins. This is proof positive. If this was to occur today, these ladies could have an abortion if it was going to be inconvenient! Both of them! Enough said. We need to stop playing God! We need to treat life with the sanctity God gave it.
EVE THE LIFE-GIVER
A few weeks ago we had Mother’s Day. In the sermon I delivered on that day I mentioned that the word “Eve” means life-giver. It is a wonderful gift for women and a very honorable and cherished gift to be able to impart life. That comes with great responsibility for both the mother and the father.
We talk in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence about inalienable rights. How about the right of the unborn to life when they have been conceived? If you don’t want a child, other than of course when a crime is committed, don’t get pregnant. Don’t fool around. Don’t force yourself to make a decision that is really breaking the commandment, and a decision of whether we are going to commit murder or not.
We need to pray that our country will recognize this and enough Americans will realize that God’s word will prevail. He will not be mocked. If we want to have the blessings of God like He mentioned in Deuteronomy 30, we need to start obeying Him.
I want to turn to Genesis. Eve is the life-giver, but there is someone else who brought death into the world. Let’s go to Genesis chapter 3. This is sometimes called the fall of man or the fall of Adam and Eve. We are going to start reading in Genesis 3, verse 1: “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’ Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”
For the first time in their lives they felt shame. Up until then, they did not know good and evil. They knew only good. Satan deceived them. What was he trying to do here—bring death to the human race? He wanted to abort all of mankind! It is the ultimate abortion. He wanted to destroy God’s plan to bring life to this earth. He wanted to make it impossible for Eve—the life-giver—to bring life. He wanted them to die. He wanted their children to kill each other. He wanted to destroy God’s plan through death.
God is pro-life. Satan is pro-death.
Drop down to Genesis chapter 3, verse 14 where we will see what God said and did about it. “So the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.’ To the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.’ Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, “You shall not eat of it”: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.’”
That has been the sad state of mankind for 6,000 years. But if you notice, there is enmity between Eve’s seed and Satan the devil. The seed is what the woman carries to have a child. Adam is the one who fertilizes that seed and then mankind ever since. Between the two, they conceive life, but it takes the woman—Eve—in order to impart life. Satan hates that. He is all about death and destruction.
Satan is at war with God, with Eve, and with Eve’s seed. Ultimately we know that in Eve’s seed was Christ, eventually. We could look up the genealogy of Christ to see that. The seed and the offspring that Satan truly wanted to stop was the birth of Jesus Christ. Therefore because eventually Eve’s seed had within it Jesus Christ, Eve in the end is ultimately a life-giver. Jesus Christ gives us eternal life, but He needed the woman. We could go look at Revelation 12 and all that is involved with the woman. Christ was born because God preserved Eve through all these difficulties. He preserved her seed and the ability to have seed bear fruit in the union of a man and a woman. What a beautiful plan! God has succeeded against all odds, with Satan trying every which way to bring death to the human race.
GOD’S PLAN THROUGH LIFE
Turn, if you would, to Genesis chapter 22. Amazing promises were made to Abraham because he was willing to sacrifice his only son like God the Father with Jesus Christ. Genesis 22, beginning in verse 10: “And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.”
We know the story of how Abraham and Isaac got there.
Continuing in verse 11: “But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ So he said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’ Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.’ Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’”
That is God’s plan. It happens through seed. It happens through birth. It happens through life. As I said, Satan is pro-death. He likes to deceive like he did with Eve when he said, you shall not surely die. Instead of calling it murder of the unborn, he calls it free choice. It is terrible how he twists everything. Of course we have free will, but we don’t have the right to murder!
We need to wise up if we want God’s blessings. Abraham did the right thing. He was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice, and God said, I will do it with My own Son. But I am so pleased that you were willing to do this and be a step in My plan that I will bless all the seeds of the earth—all the offspring that will come of mankind—through your actions here. Turn to Hebrews 11 where it is mentioned again in Hebrews.
God had to do many miracles even for Abraham and Sarah to have children, and many miracles since then. There have been too many miracles to even talk about in one sermon. Let’s go to Hebrews chapter 11. Hebrews 11, verse 17: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.”
We see Abraham only had one son, and he was so old he wasn’t going to have another. Because he was willing to sacrifice that son, he demonstrated that he had faith that God could resurrect that boy. Because of that faith, there is a resurrection that we can count on! It’s marvelous! But the seed had to live. That’s one miracle.
If you back up just a few Scriptures to verse 11 of Hebrews 11, we read this in verse 8: “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.”
A woman past her ability to conceive was miraculously blessed with the ability to have a child. For those of us who can have children—who can either father children or carry children to birth—it’s wonderful to have that ability. If someone does not have a child in their life because of whatever circumstance, God knows, but enough of us need to have children that the seed goes forward. The population grows.
GOSPEL BRINGS LIFE
There is a marvelous plan that we could turn to read about in many Scriptures. I want to turn to I Peter chapter 1, verse 22: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again [that should say begotten—carrying the seed], not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.”
The gospel brings life. It is the word of God that enters us and begets us, so that we are actually carrying life. We are begotten of the Spirit. Otherwise we are just like the grass or the flowers outside that when their season is over, they wither, die, and go away. God said, you shall not be like that. Not only are you begotten and born of corruptible seed—in other words flesh—I am giving you the opportunity to have eternal life. We could turn to many Scriptures that support that.
God’s plan is that we have life now and that we have it abundantly with eternal life, but physical life must be imparted first. Every aborted child is denied the chance at physical life. Along with that child, when that life is ended, are countless children and generations that would come from that child. It is as if when a child is aborted, a whole world of life is cut off. When God looks at abortion, He doesn’t see 55 million deaths or 75 million. He sees billions and trillions of lives and children He should have had that will never be. Satan brings death. God is a promoter of life.
For the final Scripture, turn to Malachi chapter 2. It is the last book in the Old Testament. We will start reading in Malachi 2, verse 13: “And this is the second thing you do: you cover the altar of the Lord with tears, with weeping and crying; so He does not regard the offering anymore, nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’”
Why would God cry?
Continuing in verse 14: “‘Yet you say, For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.”
He is talking here specifically about divorce, but He wants families. He wants marriage to promote life. He wants godly offspring. Can you see why abortion would make God cry? People wonder why they are not having prayers heard. God is not blessing them.
Continuing in verse 15 of Malachi 2: “But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. ‘For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garment with violence,’ Says the Lord of hosts. ‘Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.’ You have wearied the Lord with your words; yet you say, ‘In what way have we wearied Him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them.’ Or, ‘Where is the God of justice?’”
You have people saying abortion is good because you don’t want to saddle these young children with babies! If you are divorced or you are living with someone and a child is inconvenient, abortion is good. I have even heard recently, God bless planned parenthood which is where the bulk of our abortions take place! God is sick and tired of those kind of words. It says right here in the Scriptures God wants godly offspring. He is the One that created life, and He is pro-life. Satan as we saw is pro-death. He is all for death and destruction.
It is not a good idea to subvert God’s plan, to be contrary to it, and we must all remember who promotes death. The safer course is to do all we can to promote life and to make wise choices when we use our free will, so that God will bless us individually and our nation.