Does God value all life? Does God value unborn life?
Abortion has been made a normal part of our everyday society. It is legal, it is utilized by many, but is it moral?
Join us as we learn from Pastor Cal Jernigan where God’s heart is when it comes to unborn life.
Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)
Does God value all life? Does God value unborn life?
Abortion has been made a normal part of our everyday society. It is legal, it is utilized by many, but is it moral?
Join us as we learn from Pastor Cal Jernigan where God’s heart is when it comes to unborn life.
Support the show (https://www.centralaz.com/Give)
[00:00:00] Well, good morning everyone. Can you hear the rain? Yes? Beautiful morning. Hey, welcome to wherever you are. I don't know if it's raining in your part of town or in your part of the world, wherever you are. And seriously, if you're on any of our campuses welcome, and those of you who are online, I can see Linda, you are online from Iowa.
[00:00:18] Welcome Linda and Tracy from Wisconsin. It is great to have you. You are a part of us and we're so glad you're here. I'm glad you guys are here. I want to begin by telling you a story that Tony Campolo, who is a sociologist and a professor at a university, he told some guys, some men that broke into a department store one night and what they were doing in the department store were simply trying to create chaos.
[00:00:40] So what they did is they took all the price tags on everything and switched them. And they were just deviant and that was, they were stealing anything. They just misplaced the value of everything. And the next day, as you can imagine, it was nothing but confusion and chaos. Because when the price of something and the value of something are not aligned, it's kind of hard to [00:01:00] understand how to do that.
[00:01:00] I, I had a situation happened to me a number of years ago, and I was up in Payson I was passing through Payson needed to get gas. And so I went to the Maverick station there and I pulled into Maverick and I got out and started pumping and I realized something as I was watching the pump going, this gas is really cheap.
[00:01:16] And what had happened is the pump was programmed. So I don't remember the actual price. It didn't matter, but it say it was $2.50 a gallon. It was actually only charging me 25 cents a gallon. And so I'm like filling my tank up and I'm like going, this is awesome, man. This is like the cheapest fill up I've had in years.
[00:01:31] And, and then I have this moment of do I just drive away and keep this to myself? And I thought, no, that's wrong. So I promise you, I went inside. I said to the attendant, I said, Hey, yeah, you know, there's problems with your pump. And he goes, what's up? And I said, Hey, it's only charging. They'll charge me the difference.
[00:01:46] And he goes, no, if that's what the pump charge you, that, you know, we'll fix it for the next guy. But so, so, Hey, I got gas for 25 cents a gallon and didn't cost me my integrity. So it was a really, really good day. But, but here's what, you know, you know, [00:02:00] a business cannot stay in business for long doing that.
[00:02:02] Yes. And so here's a concept I want to drop on you with the price of something consistently fails to reflect the true value of something. Someone is on a collision course with reality, you get it. When price and value don't align on something, someone, you know, we're gonna have a wake up call. So we're in a series right now, and I'm so glad you're here in a part of this.
[00:02:26] It's called Priceless and we're just talking about something. Jesus said, we're trying to unpack it. And we're just trying to make it make sense, because it just sounds like, like if Jesus, didn't say this you'd go, that's just not true. But this is what he said in his recording. Luke 16:15, what people value highly is detestable in God's sight.
[00:02:45] What? And we saying is that God has some way of looking at things is different. And the way I've said each and every week has God values what the world... God places value on what the world doesn't. The world places value on what God doesn"t. And why this matters is that every one of us, we have to [00:03:00] decide whose values are we going to own?
[00:03:02] Because the world has a set of values and God has a set of values. And so we've been in this series of priceless, trying to understand how God sees things, not how we see things. We know how we see things. So we started this series a couple of weeks ago when I made the statement that you are priceless.
[00:03:16] You're the first priceless thing I wanted to talk about. You, you are priceless that, that while the world might say that you're just an cosmic accident or you're piece of pollution in a universe, okay. The word of God is so different. It says, no, no, no. You were created in the image of the creator of God, the Imago Dei. That God used himself as the blueprint of how he made you.
[00:03:40] Now, you don't have everything that God has. But, but you have a lot of what God is in you and it makes you very, very special. And we love the thought of being special. I'm special. But then we say the next week, what I said last week is so is everyone else. Because I want to be special, but we're all special.
[00:04:00] [00:03:59] That's the point. So last week we talked about on MLK weekend, we talked about racism. We talked about the fact that. Whenever you want to take one of God's creation and put it above every other part of God's creation. When we're talking about people, you're going to get it wrong because God doesn't do that.
[00:04:13] God made one race. It's called the human race and all of us are a part of it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter where you're born. It doesn't matter how much money you have. It doesn't matter what abilities or lack of abilities, no matter what your skin color is. We're all in the same thing. We're all in the human race.
[00:04:25] So first week was used second week was everyone else. And yet today I want to talk about, so it was you and then it was them. But today I want to talk about. Those those, what do you mean those? We've covered everybody and you and them? No, there's, there's a group we haven't talked about and it's those. And I want to talk about those today.
[00:04:45] It's a group that seldom get a hearing, seldom get a hearing and they don't get a hearing. We don't listen about to, or about this group because our culture has determined this particular group of people well, their value is negligible. [00:05:00] They don't get a hearing because we don't think that they have anything that's worth listening to.
[00:05:04] I want to challenge that today. All right. What I want to talk about today? I want to talk about the unborn. I want to talk about the subject of abortion. That's what I want to talk about. Now hang on before I know you probably have a reaction. I need you to understand something that I am extremely reluctant to want to talk about this.
[00:05:24] I mean, maybe not for the reasons you think I'm extremely reluctant to want to talk about this. Because the last thing I want to do is compound the pain that so many families and so many women, and honestly, some men have suffered. I don't want to make it worse. I just don't. And you talk about it. And all of a sudden you've hit that nerve and it's like, I don't want to talk about it for that reason.
[00:05:46] Why I want to talk about it is because if we don't talk about it, then people reach the conclusion that everything's good. There's not an issue. And so this is huge dilemma and I'm caught in [00:06:00] the middle of this dilemma. I don't want to add any more pain to people who are already hurting, but at the same time, I don't want to pretend like God doesn't have anything to say about this and be silent when I should speak.
[00:06:09] So, you know, have, have a bit of grace here. All right. This is difficult for me, as it gets personally. Let's just from the outset say there's some reasons to make it so tough. And again, these are obvious. Number one, it's an emotionally charged issue. You know that, and I know that, I mean, people go nuts over this.
[00:06:25] This people get violent. Hatred gets expressed over the subject. All right. And you know that the ugliness of all humanity comes out, just pay attention and watch. I don't want to go in there cause it's emotionally charged now also. And I've already said that I don't go there because it's already hard enough for people who have had to deal with this.
[00:06:46] I just would rather not make it harder. All right. But it's not just emotionally charged and I can't get around it's politically charged. I know that. And you know, that I, it just, is it [00:07:00] separates blue States from red States that separates political parties, it separates candidates. And I just need you to understand, okay.
[00:07:07] I don't, I don't care about the politics of this. Honestly, this is, I don't care about the politics of racism. I don't care. I care about the kingdom of God and what God says about this. And so the politics, they just start. But the third part of it makes sense. It's a complicated subject. It's not something we can just, Hey, let me give you like three things to think about, and we'll be done.
[00:07:27] There's a lot to consider here. There's many facets involved. There are tactics involved and motivations that are tapped into there's dollars that are invested a lot of money to be made in. This soundbites are used to influence your thinking. Euphemisms are used to deflect and detract. Angles are taken to not surrender ground and to truly be informed on this, you have to invest yourself.
[00:07:48] You can't get this one quickly. It's just too complicated. There's too many parts to it. The challenge for me to preach on this in one message is enormous. Just understand [00:08:00] that, but here's what I want to ask your church. If you've already made your mind up and can your mind be changed? Can, can you possibly see it a little bit differently than you've ever seen it?
[00:08:10] I don't know. I don't know. It's so easy to just accept it the way it is. It's just, it's just a lot. It's the way it is. Just stay out of it. It's so easy to take that path, but can we not take that path? Can we just wrestle with it? So let me, let me give you a couple scenarios. Okay. So I want you to imagine that there is a preacher and his wife.
[00:08:34] They are poor. Let's start there. I want you to imagine this preacher and their wife have already have 14 kids. They have 14 kids. She just finds out she's pregnant with number 15. Okay. You know, they're already impoverished and there's already like way over the population. So would you advise a woman to abort her baby?
[00:08:56] The second illustration would be [00:09:00] this. Imagine a father and a mother that are both ill. They both have issues with health. They've already had four kids one is deaf. One is dead. One is blind and the fourth one has turburculosis she finds out she's pregnant with a fifth kid. Would you just go, come on.
[00:09:24] Here's the third one. I want you to imagine that there's a teenage girl. She's finds herself pregnant, not uncommon. She finds herself pregnant and she's engaged, but he is like, he wants nothing to do with it. And he's upset emotionally, and she's like trying to make the best of it. And you just go, what are you going to do?
[00:09:47] She, she has to explain that her fiance is not the father of the baby. Would you recommend abortion? Well, just because I've used this illustration, I didn't make those up the [00:10:00] first illustration. True story. It's a story of John Wesley. You might or might not know who John Wesley is, but. Life in America would be different if John Wesley never lived because he was an 18th century evangelist that changed the course of faith in America, the 15th child, if you'd have killed him, you killed John Wesley.
[00:10:16] The second illustration, the one, the fifth of the four kids. That's Beethoven. You just killed Beethoven. That's how that's Beethoven's life. The third one I just described that's Jesus Christ folks. We just eliminated Jesus. Now I talked to the staff about this a couple of weeks back or longer. I don't remember.
[00:10:36] It was a while back. And I said, look, I'm going to talk to the church about this. I just need you to tell you I'm going to go there and I don't want you to be caught off guard. And so I prepared them for that. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that several staff members, as soon as that staff meeting ended, came up to me.
[00:10:49] He said, can I talk to you for a moment and pull me aside? I don't know where that was going to go. And they said, Hey, I just, I'm so thankful that you're dealing with this. And is this that's really close [00:11:00] to me. I will explain. And they said, well, and they told me their story and I was so blown away. I said, Hey, could you just put that in just a paragraph, just, and can I share that with the church and two different staff people unsolicited, it came up right after that meeting told me this.
[00:11:17] And I got a paragraph from both of them. Let me read to you. These are our staff. This is our church. Okay. The first is one of our youth staff and they said this. When I was old enough, my mom courageously told me the dilemma she faced when she discovered she was four weeks pregnant with me, she was 19 years old, just started college and found out that she may have to parent me alone
[00:11:40] if she decided to keep me. After she talked to my grandparents, they urged her to get an abortion. My, my grandparents had even gone as far as to schedule the appointment for her that Monday, she, she was stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. The Sunday before the appointment, she stumbled into a church.
[00:11:58] It was a mother's day. And the [00:12:00] church was giving out presents to mothers. As my mom walked into the church, uh, a greeter stopped her and said happy mother's day and gave her a gift. As she walked into the worship center, by the end of the service, my mom concluded that the right thing to do despite her fears was to keep me, I am so thankful and she made that decision despite being scared.
[00:12:22] And I empathize with her ever feeling like she had to abort me. Wow. And then, um, one of our worship leaders, uh, who stands on our stages, all of our campuses, um, told me this as a baby, I was placed for adoption by a very young mother. She had a choice to make when she got pregnant, she was reluctantly convinced to continue with her pregnancy and not have an abortion.
[00:12:48] I was that baby whose life was up for debate. I was adopted by an incredible family who desperately wanted and prayed for kids, but were unable to have any children of their own. [00:13:00] I was raised to love the Lord and others more than anything. I'm a worship leader here at Central now and have a life surrounded by people who I love and who loved me dearly.
[00:13:09] I'm so grateful for this life that I was so close to not having. And I can't wait to see how the Lord will use it. I don't know when the last time you've thought to thank your parents, your mom in particular for not choosing to have abortion, an abortion with you, but you, you realize that you're here because they didn't do what we're talking about.
[00:13:33] That's how you got here. And I think about my own story. I discovered when I was, what, 25 years old that my dad never thought I was his kid. And that's why he left when I was three months old, my mom very easily could have said, I can't do this. And I wouldn't be here today. It's a real subject. And it matters.
[00:13:54] Um, let me just put some of this in perspective, just so, because I don't think we see it. I honestly don't think we see it. So let [00:14:00] me do my best in just a bit of that and not won't overwhelm you, but let me challenge you with some stuff. Okay. So here's what you need to know every year. A little bit more than 36,000 people lose their lives on us highways 36,000, right?
[00:14:16] Every 16 days that many babies get aborted. Every 16 days. From the time you set around your Christmas tree this past year with your family, we have killed 70,000 children. Now you do that year after year, like we've done it. Uh, since 1973, this week in 1973, by the way, when the Supreme court justice said, Hey, this is legal more than 61 million abortions have occurred in America.
[00:14:47] Now I'll say something about 61 million a moment. Let me just say something about the decision that made it legal. You need to understand this was never put to a vote. This we never got to say on this. This was decided in 1973, in a split [00:15:00] decision between nine Supreme court justices. They're the ones who decided the trajectory we're on.
[00:15:06] It was the famous Roe V. Wade, uh, case Roe was a woman they called Jane Roe. It was obviously an under her name. Her name was Norma McCorvey. Norma McCorvey was the case that was used. Norma McCorvey after the ruling came out and said, I got duped by this thing I got used by this thing. She totally changed her views on everything.
[00:15:33] After she spent a little bit of time working in an abortion clinic, and then she pleaded with the Supreme Court of our country retry the case! And they wouldn't do it. And to her dying breath which came in 2017. She lived to try to get that thing reverse because she was living with a subsequent reality of what that decision.
[00:15:52] Meant for so many babies. Now, 61 million. How do you even get your brain around that number? [00:16:00] So, let me do this. Let me give you a perspective of 61 million. All right. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to add a couple of States populations together and I'll get a 61 million. Okay. So I'm going to add, like, let me just, okay.
[00:16:13] Let's just follow what I'm going to do here. So let's bring all the population of Alabama and then all the population of Louisiana and let's put them together. That's going to be enough. So we're going to have to add Kentucky. And then we got to get everyone from Oregon in the count and that's not good.
[00:16:27] So we got to get Oklahoma and Connecticut. We got to add Utah. We got to add Iowa and Nevada and Arkansas and Mississippi and Kansas and New Mexico and Nebraska and West Virginia and Idaho and Hawaii and New Hampshire and Maine and Montana and Rhode Island and Delaware and South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, Wyoming, and Washington DC.
[00:16:48] That adds up to 63 million people. About half the country. In the United States there's about 800,000 of these abortions that happen every year. [00:17:00] It's down. That's great news. It's down, it's dropping. That's so good. But folks for the last year, we've been consumed in panic over a pandemic, as horrific as it is, it's taken 400,000 plus lives, just half, but when's the last time you've really given any
[00:17:19] grief to the 800,000 that lost their life in well, I need you to understand something about 97% of all abortions happen for the purpose of birth control. Uh, this is not because of rape. It's not because of incest. It's not because the life of the mother is in danger. It's because the baby was unwanted or it was unplanned or the mom was overwhelmed or she was frightened. In a recent poll in Canada on morality, a bunch of Canadians.
[00:17:57] And do you know that 51% of Canadian said it is [00:18:00] morally unjust to use plastic straws? It's a true story. Only 26% said it was immorally, um, inappropriate to take a life of a baby, a child. In the United States. You know, our national bird is the Eagle bald Eagle it's sign a freedom. It's the it represents the spirit, you know, of America, the symbol.
[00:18:28] Did you know that if you destroy a bald Eagles egg, you destroy a bald Eagles egg. You will face up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 financial fines. Why? Because they're protected. And because you understand that the life is in the egg, and if you kill the egg, you killed the bird. So wait a minute.
[00:18:55] So an Eagle's egg is that important? As [00:19:00] important as it is, it's that important and you can kill humans. And why don't humans have the dignity that it Eagle has in America, because our values are so different than the country in which we live. That's that's are you understand what's at conflict here? The country says it's bad to kill an Eagle, not bad to kill a baby.
[00:19:26] I'm telling you, this is what Jesus is talking about. We're getting the value of this all wrong. Let me, um, let me just again, make sure we're on the same page. So abortion is the great moral debate of our age. You need to understand this now you need to understand one number one. There's no debate over the legality of this.
[00:19:45] You need to understand that it's legal. There's not, no one is going to debate that it's been legal since 1973. Um, 48 years now. So some of you are not even close to 48 years old. This is the only thing you've known in the life that you've lived is [00:20:00] it's legal. And what's the big deal about it. If you're over 48, you might remember when it changed, no matter how old you are, you need to understand the 48 years in the total time of the history of the United States is not much time.
[00:20:14] This has only been legal for a fraction of our time as a country, but it's, it's legal. All right. We acknowledge that. The debate is not over the legality folks. The debate is over the morality of it, not the legality. It's legal. Is it moral? Is it moral? I want to point out two things about this debate over the morality of it.
[00:20:34] Okay. And I think these are fascinating. Do you understand that 48 years ago decision was made by the Supreme Court? Do you understand the, the. Like all the debate around it is every bit as intense now as it was when it rolled out in 1973. Do you see this? In other words in 48 years, the tension over this decision is not subsided at all.
[00:20:56] That's bizarre. That's just bizarre. You want to know something else that's [00:21:00] bizarre. Everything in the last 50 years, 48 years has become more liberal. All of our morality's become more liberal. We could take illustration after illustration everything's, but this one. But this one is not become more liberal.
[00:21:13] If anything has been pulled back, because it's such an anomaly that this thing got decided, and there's something intuitive within us, this is not the way it ought to be something is going on here. So let me just say this. What does the Bible say about that? Cause that's really all that matters. What is the Bible?
[00:21:32] If you are a kingdom minded person, it's all that matters is what is the word of God say about this? There's God say life is special. Yeah, it's priceless. It's incredibly special. Whether it's your life or somebody else's life. It's one of the fundamental teachings of the Bible. You get this wrong, you're going to get everything wrong.
[00:21:52] Cause God goes, this is what matters. It's not all the stuff out there. It's people that, that are valuable. Why I already [00:22:00] told you created in the image of God. Remember this Genesis 1:27. So God created mankind in his own image. In the image of God. He created them, male and female. He created them. We've not made you use themselves
[00:22:12] said that. You're you're you have a spark of the eternal in you. You're not, you have a soul, you, you have a soul. All right. You, you were created to have a relationship with God. You're special and life is sacred folks. I don't how to tell you that it's just sacred. It comes to us as a gift. It was by our creator and.
[00:22:35] No other creation is privileged to have a relationship with the creator. Like we are. Yeah. The Bible speaks about the subject that it doesn't use the word abortion. I'll show you some passages just so you, you wrestle with whether or not, well, let me, let me just read some things and then I'll explain something. All right.
[00:22:55] Psalm 1:39. I've read part of this to you. I didn't read the whole thing. I, I waited. Let me read [00:23:00] the whole verse. Okay. So you'll recognize some of this. 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.
[00:23:12] 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. The prophet Jeremiah said this. Uh, he, God said this through the prophet, Jeremiah, before I formed you in the womb, I knew you before you were born.
[00:23:41] I set you apart. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations before you were born before you were conceived before time. In the Bible children. And again, we could talk about Jesus. You don't have time. Cherish, cherish, cherish, cherish. Psalm 1:27 sons or [00:24:00] children are inheritance from the Lord. Children are a reward from him.
[00:24:04] Now, again, the word abortion. You're not gonna find it in the Bible. Don't do a Google search you're not going to find it. It's not in the Bible because in Jewish culture, this is like, this is not even like something we're going to talk about. It's just so obviously not, but it comes from an understanding about the sanctity of life
[00:24:21] that is very much. So if you go to the old Testament, it's part of the culture. If you go to the old Testament, Let me, let me read to you a situation where an Exodus are trying to figure out, okay, what if this happens? What if this happens? Let me just read to you. All right. Exodus 21:22. If people are fighting and they hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, but there is no serious injury.
[00:24:44] 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, [00:25:00] bruise for bruise. What's being said there? Do not mistreat the life of the unborn.
[00:25:10] Now the whole debate in the morality is when does life begin? Because see, here's the deal. If life begins at birth, then taking that before birth is not anything. You're not killing anything because it wasn't alive until it was born. But what if that's not when life, what if life actually begins at conception, frankly?
[00:25:30] Uh, I believe it does. And I strongly believe it does. If it begins at conception then something else. Because if that fetus is alive then is a whole nother study of issues now. Okay. So when does life begin? Uh, you know, uh, Okay, but what kind of life is it? Is it a cat? Is it a dog? No folks. It's a human being.
[00:25:55] We know it's a human being. And do you understand from the time the sperm and the egg [00:26:00] collided together, that it call it a zygote, call it a, an embryo, call it a fetus, whatever seeds you want to talk. Do you know that all that's necessary for that creation to become just like you and me? Three things are needed.
[00:26:13] Time, nourishment, and protection. You know how you got here. Somebody provided you time, nourishment, and protection. You take away any one of those three. You won't be here. Tragically. It's been determined that the most dangerous place you will ever be in your entire life, the most dangerous environment you're ever going to find yourself personal risk and risk to your welfare are the nine months you spend in your mother's womb.
[00:26:43] Does that sound good to you? Does that sound right to you? Does that sound like dignity? And the answer is obviously no. And by the way, just so you know, now it really depends on where that womb is that you're residing those nights, because if you were in New York, [00:27:00] Oh, pity, you, you want to be in Alabama, you see what's happening.
[00:27:06] So subjective. So. We go through. What's the cap. Why would you say life begins at conception? Well, let me, let me fire some things to think about in the womb that developing embryo. All right. All 23 pairs of chromosomes, that will determine what that ultimately becomes. All of the detail is already there.
[00:27:27] That fetus has this own heart. It has its own brain. It has its own nervous system. It has its own DNA. It has its own blood supply in circulation. It has its own gender. It can have illnesses. That the mother has no part of, and it can be healthy. Even if the mother is ill seriously ill, it can die while the mother still lives.
[00:27:49] It can live. Even if the mother dies, obviously with care and help. How have we come to convince ourselves this is not a human being? This is not a life? [00:28:00] I think because we maybe don't want to know. So, what I want to do is I want to show you just a little two minute thing, just to, again, just to remind you about how life develops and if this is not alive, what exactly is happening here?
[00:28:15] Just watch a video two minutes.
[00:28:23] Well, [00:30:00] [00:29:00] folks, obviously, that's your history. That's my history. That's how we got here. And. The very first slide, man, the great meeting, you know, out of millions of sperm, one sperm connects with one egg. How any of us can have a bad self image? You, there were millions of competitors. You won you, you did it.
[00:30:38] And that's how you got here. Now I'm going to say the kind of the, all right. Here's the big takeaway. All right. Ready? Here's what I need you to understand. If God is indifferent to whether or not we kill babies or allow them to live, then God cannot possibly care about the living or dying of any of us. Let that soak in.
[00:30:59] Then [00:31:00] if God says yeah. I don't really care about that. About that group. That's not important. If they're not important, folks we're not important. Now let me, let me be really clear. Is, is abortion unforgivable? No, absolutely not. It's not the unforgivable sin. It breaks my heart, the weight that women carry though, because we live in a world that wants to say, there's not an issue here that you need to be concerned about, but in your heart, you know, there's an issue you should be concerned about.
[00:31:26] And God is going come to me, come to me and release this to me. But you live in a world that goes, you don't need to release anything. But, you know, in your heart, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, uh, a leader in our church. Uh, uh, her name is Lisa Henry and she's fantastic woman. She's a, Oh gosh, she's a board member of our church.
[00:31:47] She's an executive director of a organization. She's a heads up, many of the prayer things going on in our church. She's fantastic lady. Um, she's got a story to tell. [00:32:00] I want you to just meet Lisa that you don't know her. When I was 19 years old, I made it, I found myself in an unplanned pregnancy and the boyfriend said, I will support you in whatever your decision. And those words were.
[00:32:20] Uh, so, um, rejection, I just really heard rejection in that place. And I, I, and I will tell you that I didn't know it at the time, but I truly closed my heart off to that. And when I, uh, followed up at the doctor's office, I recall asking the doctor, what, what are my options? And, uh, I don't remember hearing my options and I will tell you, um, from that point forward, I didn't tell another person that, um, the decision that I made was, um, to have an abortion and the same doctor that would've delivered
[00:32:52] my baby now aborted my baby. And I'm 19 years old. I knew how to work. I was working two jobs a few years later, I bought my [00:33:00] first house and I began to just. Really focus on, uh, the corporate climb and professionally doing the things that I needed to do. When I first came to Central. Um, God just really connected me to the people that, uh, would, uh, let me be safe in my community and let God do the work in my heart.
[00:33:22] And when, when we let God do the work in our heart, he takes our shame that says I'm just a really bad person. And he, um, he allows that healing balm that only Jesus can, can fulfill to enter that place in and heal us from the inside out. And I began to learn a process of just confessing my sin and to springing it before the Lord and bringing it to the cross.
[00:33:47] And what I experienced was this tremendous amount of forgiveness. I received forgiveness in a way that, um, I didn't have the capacity to even [00:34:00] contain at that point. Um, abortion tells us that we're, um, we're a really bad person. It tells me that, um, I wasn't worthy of, of anyone's love much less God's forgiveness.
[00:34:13] Really what transformed my life is this Mark 11:25 that says when we stand praying, if we have anything against anyone that we will forgive as our father in heaven is forgiven us. I don't believe that I have the capacity to forgive myself, but I received the forgiveness that Jesus had for me. The freedom that I have today is to be a vessel for the Holy spirit to work through. It is truly a freedom that allows me to, um, to just, uh, be recognized that I am priceless in God's eyes.
[00:34:45] And his love for me is, is, uh, so, um, unbelievable. It's just a miracle. My name is Lisa Henry. I'm the executive director at a pregnancy care center. And this is my story. Wow thank you Lisa. [00:35:00] So here's the dilemma. So we, we live in a world that says sin doesn't exist. And we live in a world that says abortion, isn't wrong. Here's the dilemma.
[00:35:09] If it's not sin and it's not wrong, then I'm going to handle it one way. If it sin and it's wrong, I'm going to understand something that for sin to be forgiven, it has to be acknowledged. This is what's at stake here. It has to be acknowledged for you to be healed, though, for you to be released from it.
[00:35:26] It's gotta be confessed. It's gotta be repented. It's gotta be dealt with as what it is. And the world goes, don't say that out loud. First, John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. The only way to healing is. Confession and truth.
[00:35:47] It's worth it's to God. And only by facing that. So Church, what can we do? Do we just throw our hands up and go, you know what abortion in America, there's nothing we can do. It's pointless. It's a foregone conclusion. It's been around all this [00:36:00] time. We're not going to change it. All the turmoil. It's just inevitable.
[00:36:05] I want to say no. Slavery used to be illegal until people said no more of that. And the laws changed. Now, what am I supposed to do? I would say, do two things, use your voice and use your life. Use your voice. I mean, speak up, become educated and use your voice so that people at least know. And use your life.
[00:36:33] What do you mean use my life? Why didn't God make you the way that he made you? Some of you, as I've been talking about this, you are so in tune with this, you are so resonating with this. Well, why, because something in you, how about if it's this church? What if we started to provide alternative care for women that the world won't give them? But we could, if we would go, yeah, let's do that.
[00:37:00] [00:37:00] Uh, the pregnancy crisis center that, um, Lisa Henry is and executive director of they have a chapter in Gilbert and one in Chandler. And, uh, on all of our campuses, uh, I've asked if they would be in the lobby and they are on all of our campuses. And let me tell you why I want them here. Some of you, um, you, you, you have struggled for this in your past and you need help in healing.
[00:37:27] They have the resources, they can help you. Go talk to them. Some of you are contemplating, uh, the thought of an abortion, and you don't have anyone to talk to. Who's not gonna cheer you on to do it. Go to the lobby. Others of you go, I want to make a difference with this one. This is the passion of my heart.
[00:37:46] I want to get involved in this and I, you, you we've got resources. And then I started dreaming about us as a church. Folks, I don't have all the answers to [00:38:00] any of this. I really don't. I just have a desire for us as a church. What can we do if we can just collect people who go, I care about this a lot, and we could coalesce into a kind of a, like a mindset of we're.
[00:38:13] We're not gonna throw rocks at people. We're gonna throw help at people. What could we do? What could we, if we could free up resource and we would sacrifice for this. What could we do? And I've been dreaming about this for a while, and I've been recruiting people into this. I've asked one of our staff people, uh, and one of my executive team, her name is Kelly
[00:38:32] O'Donnell. I need to tell you Kelly's never had an abortion. I feel like I need to tell you that, but she is an incredibly strategic leader and she knows how to organize, and she knows how to mobilize. I said, Kelly, I need you to run point on this for us as a church. And she said, I'm on it about, so they put her email address.
[00:38:50] If you are like this me. Contact her and we'll see what we can do. Okay. I am out of time. I've got to, I got to finish. Let me, let me [00:39:00] close by saying this. It's so uncomfortable to speak about this. I just thought I'm going to end where I started. It's incredible. I know. It's hard. I know it's hard. I know it's hard.
[00:39:06] Here's what I just need you to understand. Okay. Um, there's a time to speak and then there's a time when you can't speak anymore. This is my time. This is your time. You might be very well familiar with what happened in Nazi Germany, to the Jews, which I hope you're fully aware of the Holocaust and, um, the church for the most part sat idly by just so you know, actually they kind of contributed if you really want to know.
[00:39:33] And it was because they were duped into this. These are not humans. These are not valuable people. There there were some Christian pastors who really had a struggle with that. One of whom was a guy named Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer stood in opposition to Hitler. And he was captured, put in a concentration camp, and executed for his voice being spoken, horrible outcome.
[00:39:57] There was a peer of his, [00:40:00] a guy named Martin Niemoller. He played it safe. He said, I don't want to get into this. I want to just lay low. I want to stay below the radar. Well, they captured him also. The difference is they didn't execute him. So he lived and survived the Holocaust experience, but he couldn't get over.
[00:40:20] Why wouldn't I speak about this? And then he famously wrote something I want to read to you what he wrote. He said this in Germany, they first came for the communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. And then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. And then they came from the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
[00:40:41] And then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. And then they came from me. And by that time there was no one left to speak up. Who's going to speak for the unborn, who don't yet have a voice? [00:41:00] Church I assure you if God is indifferent to whether or not we kill
[00:41:06] babies or allow them to live, then God cannot possibly care about the living or dying of any of us. So church we're on the record, I'm on the record and telling you where I am. I think if we would seek God on this one, we could play a part in going into a world, changing the price tags back and making what God made valuable valuable
[00:41:34] once again. But you can't do it without a voice. So I'm praying invite you to join me. So, father, I just asked for grace, uh, I know this is so tough. It's so tough on so many women. It's tough on men who have had to sit by and watch with wanting a different outcome. At some times, I it's just tough. It's tough on families.
[00:41:56] It's tough. It's incredibly difficult on a church. [00:42:00] God now is the time we're going to hear so much more about abortion in the future. God we got to talk. We've got to find our voice and Lord. Um, I thank you for this church. I think thank you for the leaders of this church. I know where they stand on this. May,
[00:42:16] um, we coalesce God into the community that you wanted us to be to stand up against this and do our little part, whatever that is. Just like, we're trying to stand up against so many other injustices in our, in our world help us father to this and I pray. Amen. Thank you guys for listening.