The Only Choice [4-11-21]


April 11, 2021

"The Only Choice"


The sermons in this two-part series on abortion are not designed to convince you to be pro-life or to change your position from pro-choice to anti-abortion. Covenant Church is a right-to-life church in a right-to-life denomination. My leading assumption in this series is that pro-choice Evangelical Presbyterian is an oxymoron.


My hope is to encourage you in your pro-life commitment. I want to equip you in maintaining a firm grip on the sanctity of life in ways that will minister God's work of mercy and grace in the lives of those who are pro-choice. Also, I know that there might be someone listening today who has had an abortion or been complicit in someone having an abortion. This is a painful thing. There is forgiveness in Jesus Christ. There is hope and forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Only through changed hearts can our culture be healed of the wickedness of abortion.


To start, let's look at the numbers. Most of these numbers are from data

compiled going back no farther than 2016:

  • In 2016, two-thirds of abortions occurred up to 8 weeks of

pregnancy; 88% up to 12 weeks; which means 12% of abortions

occured after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

  • In 2017, there were 862,300 abortion in the United States. That breaks down to 16,582 per week; 2,362 per day; 98 per hour; 1.6 per minute.

  • Of reasons given for an abortion, 50% said they didn't want to be a single parent or they had problems with current relationship; 66% said they could not afford a child; 75% said the child would interfere with their lives; 6% were for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or health risk to mother.


Lori and I watched a French crime procedural series on Amazon Prime. In one season, the lead female detective, unmarried, discovered she was pregnant. She decided to get an abortion. But she was already 15 weeks pregnant. Here's where we learned something new about France. In France, you cannot get an abortion after the 12th week of pregnancy. The woman also has to have two medical consultations, one week apart, by two different doctors. After 12 weeks, most French women go to the Netherlands for an abortion. I couldn't have been more surprised learning about France's strict abortion laws.


Up to what trimester is abortion legal in the United States? Abortion is legal in the United States up until the moment of birth. Let that sink in.


After the November, 2020 elections, the ACLU sent out a celebratory Tweet because Colorado voters defeated a state proposition to ban third trimester abortions. They hailed it as a victory. A young Christian woman who goes by "Natalie the NarrowMinded" fired off a one-word response:

WICKEDNESS

I love that woman for her forthrightness and grasp of Biblical truth. People like Natalie give me encouragement and hope for people younger than me. I have to tell you, there are lots of young, Reformed Christians of all kinds of cultures and ethnicities who will go a long way to winning hearts and minds for Jesus Christ, which will inevitably lead to a decrease in abortion in America.


More numbers:

  • Black women are 3-5 times more likely than white women to have an abortion.

  • Since 1973, between 15 and 20 million black babies have been killed

by abortion.

  • Planned Parenthood, with nearly $2 billion in assets, has strategically placed clinics in black neighborhoods.

  • That is some business model.


Let's now turn to God's Word {Psalm 106:32-48}:

They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account, for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke rashly with his lips.

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds.

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage; he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power. Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity.

Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love. He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive.

Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord!


We painfully understand the precarious situation we live under. We are strangers in a strange land. How do we live in this culture without getting corrupted by this culture? Make no mistake. America is not a Christian nation. I don't understand why some people still cling to that mythology. There are devoted followers of Jesus Christ living in the United States, but we are far from a Christian nation. It's always been amazing to me how, at certain times, we expect morals and values from elected officials that we don't hold the culture in general accountable for. It's ponderous, man, ponderous.


We have a new secretary of health and human services with little to no background in health and human services. His skill is as a lawyer and politician. In 2003, as a member of the House of Representatives, he voted against the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act." He also voted against the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act," which sought to make it a criminal offense to harm or kill an unborn child during the committing of a violent crime. He also voted for taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell experimentation. As California attorney general, he defended a law that required pro-life pregnancy care centers to provide information to their patients on how to obtain state-funded abortions. Almost Orwellian.


It is not surprising that we have such a pro-abortion secretary of health and human services. Consider the administration he serves in. People will vote to ban plastic straws to save turtles, but they won't vote to abolish or at least restrict abortion to save babies. No, we are far from a Christian nation. As believers, we are strangers living in a strange land.


While we might not be a Christian nation, there are signs of God speaking to the hearts of His people. As if 2020 wasn't strange enough, in the fall election, 15 new pro-life women were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. God works in the lives of His true followers, even as a remnant.


How does Psalm 106 speaks to us in 2021?


First, the big picture. The context. Psalm 106 is a summary of the history of Israel with a focus on her repeated sins and God's repeated judgment and mercy. Israel is the primary focus of Psalm 106. Everything that happens in the Old Testament points to, builds to, and leads to Jesus Christ. It is salvation history.


This Psalm is about the disobedience of the people of Israel. Over and

over, they didn't do what the Lord commanded them to do and did what the Lord commanded them not to do. We've all been there in our personal lives. They were disobedient communally. They learned to do the bad things their pagan neighbors did. They worshiped false gods. They were, as verse 36 describes it, caught in a trap of their own making. A trap from which they could not escape.


Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, verse 37 says they sacrificed their children to the demons. I have long said that abortion is the sacrament of the modern feminist movement. Babies are sacrificed to an ideology that is not of God. They desecrated the holy land. They made it dirty. They rejected God, embracing other gods, becoming as prostitutes. These choices angered God.


Last year, dozens of Christian leaders, pastors, and scholars formed the organization, "Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden." Less than two months after the inauguration, they issued a statement saying they felt "used and betrayed" by the president on abortion. If I would walk into a room filled with these men and women, I would be the least intellectually equipped

and vocationally accomplished. That is why their level of willful ignorance is

staggering. It fits with Psalm 106. I wonder how God views their choices.


Psalm 106 says God was angry with Israel's disobedience. They were sacrificing their sons and daughters on the altar of conforming to the surrounding culture. And so, beginning with verse 40, we read of God's punishment. They were given over to the oppression of those they wanted

to fit in with.


And yet…there is always the "yet." Remember, all of this is building toward Jesus Christ and his death for our sin on the cross. Psalm 106 continues the story of God's grace and mercy. Because God chose them and loved them, verses 43-46 recalls the many times God delivered His people. Mercy and grace. Though rebellious, God looked on them in their distress. Grace and mercy. God remembered His covenant. Grace and mercy. God poured out an abundance of love upon them. Grace and mercy.


I love how Psalm 106 ends. It ends praising God, and all the people say,

"Amen." This literally means, "We all agree." We have been rebellious. We

have allowed our pagan culture to corrupt us. And yet God pours His grace

and mercy upon us.


I thank God we are a right-to-life church in a right-to-life denomination. We are part of the growing remnant refusing to embrace the cult of death. It truly is heartbreaking when you realize that children are seen by some as such a burden in society that it is actually celebrated when they can be legally slaughtered in the womb. I love how Samuel Sey captures it:

Aborted babies are not just victims of Planned Parenthood; they are also victims of our priorities.

Make no mistake. There are those in our country who don't blush at the carnage of abortion. But ours is a God of mercy who equips a faithful remnant to rescue those who are perishing. And just as important, God uses us to help turn hearts and minds away from the horrors of abortion, one transformed life at a time.


So, when we read passages like the one in Psalm 106, and we feel the oppressive weight of sin that seems endless, we need to remember:

IT IS ALL POINTING TO CHRIST.

This proclamation of the grace and mercy of God is a foreshadowing of God's grace and mercy in Jesus Christ. When we read the "Amen" of verse 48, we are affirming that we will be forgiven and justified and cleansed and

reconciled by faith in Christ alone.


And so we don't lose heart. Flying over Psalm 106 and all the horrors and failures in that time that are still corrupting us in this age, is the banner of Jesus Christ as the final Savior of the world who has died for sins and conquered guilt and condemnation and death and hell - for everyone who cries out from the heart, "Save me, O Lord my God."


This same banner of Christ is flying over us now as we grapple with the sickness of abortion and the hold it has on our culture. Here's something you might want to write down:

The Blood of Christ Takes Away the Sin of Abortion and the Sin of not Caring About It.


Listen to Jeremiah 8:5-7:

Why then have these people turned away? Why does Jerusalem always turn away? They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.

We end with a call to repentance. We seek God's forgiveness. Why? Because the sin of abortion is great in our land.


Jeremiah goes on to say, in 8:12:

Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.

Did you know that the United States is only one of 7 nations that allow for elective abortions past 20 weeks? Jeremiah asks, "Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?"


How precious it is to be in a church and a denomination that affirms the right-to-life. We support people and ministries that rescue babies, one precious life at a time. I thank God daily for what devoted followers of Jesus Christ are doing to save lives.


Next Sunday, we'll continue to address the sin of abortion and its remedy. Be aware, as we pick things up then, that some sins cannot be comprehended without raw language. Until then:

SOLI DEO GLORIA…

To the Glory of God Alone!



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