Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL

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Sanctity of Life Sermon

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The Sentence:  33 Years to Life

Jeremiah 33:3


The number 33.  What does it mean to you?  There IS a symbolic meaning of many numbers in the Bible, but 33 is not one of them.


But today, there seems to be something special about this number, 33, if only an ironic novelty.  So, what does this number mean to you?


#33—Tony Dorsett?  Is that what you think of?  I hope not!  Or a small record album?  Just barely above freezing?  For me, I used to think of 33 as an “old age,” but now I can see it’s quite young!  Some think of the fraction 1/3rd, since 33 1/3rd is 1/3rd of 100.


Well, today is exactly 33 years since the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade was passed down by the Supreme Court of the United States.  Since that day, millions upon millions have died…legally sanctioned deaths, approved by our government, but not our consciences!  The court may soon have the fate of the unborn in their hands again!


And it was at the age of 33 that Jesus Christ died…innocent blood was shed at the hands of the guilty.  But on the 3rd day the tables were turned, and new life was born again…Jesus became the firstfruits of the resurrection that we may be born again, and live forevermore!


On this day I feel compelled to say:  “Let us make this be the year that the tables be turned on Roe v. Wade.  May we put a period at the end of this death sentence.  And just as surely as those precious little ones over the last 33 years awoke in heaven with Jesus, may the babies yet to come this year and in future years awake to the life here on earth God intended for them from the beginning of their life, which He placed in them at their conception!  And much like Jesus led captivity captive and on the 3rd day burst out of the belly of the Earth, let us once again make a mother’s belly be a safe place where life thrives, and where temporary captivity gives way to a glorious appearing of another of God’s miracles!”


Outline follows these statements made to GBC in particular…


4 Years ago today, I preached on the subject, “Pro-Choice is No-Choice”.  We looked at 5 Biblical Reasons to be Pro-Life.  We committed to pray for change in the Supreme Court, acc’d to II Chron. 7:14…

2 Chron. 7:14

    If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


Then the next year, on the 30th anniversary, we shared the sermon, “Proof of Life”, in which we looked at the new 3 and 4 Dimensional ultrasounds and scientific proofs that life begins at conception.  We also met Norma McCorvey, the “Jane Roe” in Roe v. Wade and learned about her salvation and petition to overturn the very ruling that she once sought.  Do you know how close it is to being overturned?  Some use the words “settled law”, trying to make it more solid, but they are ignorant.  They think Roe v. Wade is just 2 options of how to cross a river!  We talked about the need to dispel ignorance and about prayer for our President, and that he would have opportunity to select justices that could bring about change. 


2 years ago today we again dealt with The Sanctity of Life, and went over other practical steps we can each take in writing letters and emails, and not giving up hope of justices retiring or seeing progress in other ways for life causes.  We spoke of more love for local unwed mothers, and support of NLPC, and for our own young people, whom Satan wants to cast into a bed that will destroy their lives!


Last year we looked at God’s love for life, and even for those who take little lives, and we tried to grow in compassion for those on the other side of the great divide that splits our nation.  That night we took an important look at the other important Sanctity of Life issues of our day, including stem cells, cloning, euthanasia, and physician assisted suicide. 


At this time last year we had just found out we had another 4 years for change on the Supreme Court, and made it again a top priority for prayer, putting it on the weekly list church wide, and guess what has happened?!


2 openings on the High Court!  Ironically, the Chief Justice’s tenure was 33 years, having been approved just before Roe v. Wade was passed.  And now, the swing vote is up for grabs, the President has done his part, and it’s time for Congress to do it’s part.  Only 33% of Americans are Pro-Choice, but they are doing 80% of the letter writing and speaking out!  It’s time, if ever there was a time, for us to do our part!  We must let our voices be heard, and in this democracy, we must demand that Alito be approved this week.


And, once again, we must pray.  I believe God is hearing and answering our prayers of the last few years, and in His usual way, God is bringing it all together on this anniversary.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it happened just like in Jesus’ day, that in the 33rd year the grave would be swallowed up in victory, and death would lose it’s sting?!


Jeremiah 33:3

    Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.


Have you ever seen an apparently healthy driver pull into a parking space marked "Handicapped" at the grocery store? A feeling of indignation rises in your chest, doesn't it? "They shouldn't take advantage that way!" you comment to your companions.


Yet when someone is pregnant with a child that the "experts" say may be less than perfect, they are encouraged to eliminate it. Or when an elderly person has been partially incapacitated by illness, some advocate facilitating their demise.


Why is it that, in the first instance at the grocery store, being disabled engenders a desire to protect, to defend, to stand up for; and in the other two, there's only a desire to get rid of "the problem?"


The unborn, the elderly, the disabled, the terminally ill -- if these are only "problems" to us and have no intrinsic value of their own, then we naturally become very lax about conveniently disposing of them at both ends of life's spectrum.


Francis Schaeffer, that 20th century prophet and intellectual, warned us in the 70s that abortion was the beginning of a slippery slope of denigration of human life that would eventually lead to euthanasia and such things as physician-assisted suicides. People were skeptical then; but now people in Oregon have voted to maintain the availability of that very "option." Why?

People think their answers, their solutions, their viewpoints are at least equal to, if not superior to, God's. We decide which unborn children should be given an opportunity at life. We decide when someone's life is no longer "useful" enough or of sufficient "quality" to be allowed to continue.    All human life is sacred.


In God’s eyes, Life is Sacred, but in America, Life is Scared!


I.      Life is sacred . . . because God made it.


        A. It was created by God.


Genesis 1:27

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.


Col. 1:16

    For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:


        B. It is protected by God.

Job 10:12

    Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.

Psalm 91:11

    For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.


        C. It is valued by God.

Isaiah 49:16

    Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. 

Jeremiah 1:5

    Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee…

John 10:10

    I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Ill.--Have you ever done a piece of needlework, or woodworking, or ceramics for someone special to you? Or for yourself? Or what about an organization, a ministry, a campaign that you founded? You always have a very special place in your heart for that which you had a primary role in creating, don't you? Imagine how God feels when He creates each one of us, and then we are simply "thrown away?"

II.    Life is sacred . . . no matter what its condition might be.


        A. Life is a challenge in a sin-tainted world.

It would be wonderful if God's original plan had materialized, but unfortunately sin came into our world and with it came pain, imperfection, injustice, etc. God warned us of these challenges and enables those who trust in Him to be victorious through Him.

1 Peter 5:7

    Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

James 1:2

    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

John 16:33

    These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.


        B. We must not overlook those who have challenges in this life.


I say this not only as the preacher today, but as the father of a little autistic boy.  Jesus showed special concern for the lame, the blind, the woman with the issue of blood, the lepers. In our day we mustn't forget.


Ill.--Some studies report that as many as 90% of couples faced with an amniocentesis report of probable Down's Syndrome will choose to abort. Yet, do you know anyone with a Down's child that doesn't tell you that child is the light of their life, an absolute joy, the most loving person they've ever known?


Ill.--Max Lucado tells in his book, The Applause of Heaven, about a sweater that hangs in his closet. He says 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 out that sweater 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, he reports, won't let him.

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.

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 is each life.


        C.    Our Lord placed great value on those whom society has shuffled aside.

While on his knees, the leper begged Jesus to make him clean. The Bible says in Mark 1:41

    And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

III.   Life is sacred . . . because of its eternal nature.


        A. Life exists before we enter the material world.

Psalm 139:15-16

    My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. [16] Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

        So technically, life begins even before conception!


        B. There is life at new birth.


John 3:3

    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.


        C. Our earthly life is simply a prelude to eternity.


Hebrews 9:27

    And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

1 John 5:13

    These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.


In other words, we can know and be assured of abundant life while on the earth, and everlasting life in eternity with Christ.


Let’s do our part to insure those same rights to the unborn!  And if you are here and have only been born once, the Bible says you have to die twice:

Rev. 20:14-15

    [14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

        But if you’ve been born twice, you only die once, at most, and Jesus Christ, at age 33 took the sting out of that death, took our hell for us, and will take us to heaven when we die if we believe!



The Sentence:  33 Years to Life

Jeremiah 33:3


2 Chron. 7:14, Jeremiah 33:3


In God’s eyes, Life is Sacred, but in America, Life is S__________!


I.      Life is sacred . . . because God m______ it.


        A. It was c____________ by God. Genesis 1:27, Col. 1:16


        B. It is p________________ by God.  Job 10:12, Psalm 91:11


        C. It is v__________ by God.  Isaiah 49:16, Jeremiah 31:3,

                 Jeremiah 1:5, John 10:10

II.    Life is sacred . . . no matter what its c_______________ might be.


        A. Life is a challenge in a s____-tainted world.  1 Peter 5:7,

                James 1:2, John 16:33


        B. We must not o______________ those who have challenges in this life.


        C. Our Lord placed great v________ on those whom society has                            shuffled aside.  Mark 1:41

III.   Life is sacred . . . because of its e____________ nature.


        A. Life e__________ before we enter the material world.  Ps. 139:15-16


        B. There is life at new b________.  John 3:3


        C. Our earthly life is simply a p____________ to eternity.  

                Hebrews 9:27, 1 John 5:13, Rev. 20:14-15    

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