The following is an edited transcript of a message preached by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. for “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” on January 18, 2009. Today’s installment is the fifth in the six-part series.
Abortion is a Gospel issue.
Abortion is a Gospel issue because the extinguishing and termination of a life within the womb is not merely homicide, it is robbing God of His glory – the glory that rightly is His, displayed in every single human life.
Abortion is an act of defiance against the Creator. Is it an act of violence against this unborn child? Yes, it is an act of violence that leads even to homicide against this child. But it is also an act of defiance against God. It is the willful act of denying God His glory. God made this human being in His image. Before the person even was formed in the womb he was known by the Creator, and before he or she was formed, he or she was loved by God.
When that baby was destroyed, when that pregnancy is terminated (there’s the euphemism), it is a Gospel issue because we know that when that life is terminated it is not merely that a human life is extinguished, it is that there dies a person who desperately, desperately deserves life. And, living desperately, needs to hear the Gospel.
You see, every life that is terminated is a life made for covenant and made for communion. And yet, this same life is willfully terminated by people whose abhorrence of life and rebellion against the Creator is so extreme that they will become the agents of death rather than the agents of life. Abortion is always a Gospel issue because we can never talk about human beings, even in secular terms, as just being superior to other animals. We cannot speak of human beings simply as having a special dignity merely because we are the ones with language, self-consciousness, a sense of the future, and a sense of humor.
Some anthropologists say that human beings are distinct from other animals, but is becoming increasingly difficult to answer the “why?” – the question of why humans are distinct. Very seriously, just recently I read that human beings are different because we have a sense of humor. Are you telling me that we get to drive and they don’t, because we laugh? This is the ridiculousness of a world in rebellion against God. We are the ones who understand that every single human being is made in God’s image, and thus, to extinguish that life is to extinguish the image of God within the womb.
We come to understand that abortion is a picture also, in a Gospel-perspective, of why we so desperately need the Gospel. It is because we are people who would do this. And it is so dangerous that we would be here today on the Lord’s Day as Christians, and that we would think about abortion as something that is someone else’s fault, and someone else’s problem. It is our problem because it is a picture of sinful humanity. Brothers and sisters, that is who we are. We are a people who in our own way will choose death rather than life. We are the people who, each in his own way, just as “every sheep has gone astray in its own way” as Isaiah says, will form our own rebellion against the Creator – and we do and we did.
Abortion is a Gospel issue because it is such a graphic sin that it points us to the very heart of the human rebellion of God against sin and it points to the very heart of why we so desperately need Christ.
You know, there may be someone reading this today, there may be someone reading this ten years from now – and you are someone who has experienced an abortion. There may be someone who has experienced not only one, but multiple abortions. There may be someone here who is haunted by empty footsteps. The sight of every stroller and crib brings a pang of conscience.
I have good news for you. I know who you are. You are a murderer. I have good news for you. I know who you are. You are a sinner. I have good news for you. There is a savior. I have other news for you. You are in the company of fellow murderers.
You see, the story of the Bible, the story of the Gospel is that when Jesus Christ was sent by the Father, those Jesus was sent to save, killed him. Jesus himself told the parable of the wicked tenants within the vineyard. Because of their wickedness – a picture of our human wickedness – when the vineyard owner sends his own son, the tenants killed him!
I want to tell you, if you have yourself chosen abortion, if you have experienced abortion – you are a murderer. But you are in the company of fellow murderers with blood on our hands because sinful humanity killed the sinless Son of God.
If that is where the story ended, then death would have its victory, sin would have its victory, and that would be the end of it. We would have nothing to say and we would just go home and live out whatever remains of our lives in the despair of a people who know no hope.
But that is not where the story ends, because that is where the Gospel turns and tells us that even in light of the fact that we are sinners beyond even our own imagination to understand our sin, even though we rob God of His glory, even though we do everything we can and everything within our power to do new ways of doing evil, even though the Apostle Paul makes clear – “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – God loved us so much! It was His purpose in the very beginning before we ever existed. He knew us and He loved us, before we were formed in the world He had a plan for us and He sent His Son, to die on the Cross, to shed His blood, to pay the penalty for our sin, to pay a price that we could not pay, to die in our place, and yes, by that one death, to accomplish salvation for sinners.
Abortion is a Gospel issue.
Tomorrow: The conclusion of the series.