Keep Knocking, Keep Praying – A Message for the Church after the March for Life
Fifty-seven million babies killed because of abortion.
Fifty-seven million babies killed because of abortion in the United States since Roe v. Wade. Let’s let that sink in a minute. I mean, I know we throw this number around, but fifty-seven million. For the past forty-three years our nation has been in the business of killing babies in their mothers’ wombs. This is the greatest moral issue of our time and we must not keep silent. We must not muzzle our voices and influence. We must continue to knock on the door of the unrighteous judge and demand change. Like the heathen nations of the Old Testament, we are sacrificing our children to the gods of convenience, materialism, and sex. It has become a multi-million-dollar business, where human body parts are harvested for sale.
And we are inflicting pain, not just on the murdered baby, but on the mother and father as well, who live with what they have done. Yes, we have forgiveness because of the blood of Jesus Christ, but often times the emotional trauma takes years to heal, if ever. The psalmist tells us in Psalm 139, that the Lord is intimately acquainted with all the ways of human beings. In verse 13, he explains that God is involved in each new creation, which occurs in the womb. Listen to his words. “For You formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You. For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works. My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the Earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance. In Your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God. How vast is the sum of them.”
God is intimately acquainted with our ways and in our birth and in our formation. Now, of course, because of scientific advances, we can actually see how God created this to happen. There’s a moment after conception, right at the beginning, when it seems like nothing is happening. Then, boom! Like an explosion, cells are formed and begin to reproduce at a phenomenal rate of speed, and new life has begun. Each one of us was knitted together in our mother’s womb and were intricately woven by the Lord into a precious human being. As precious as human beings are, the creation story that we heard from Genesis gives us a glimpse why. Genesis 1:26 says this, “Then God said ‘Let us make man in our image. After our likeness.'” In Verse 27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth.'” Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God. We’re precious because He created us to bear His likeness, His image, even though sin has now added tarnish to this. Human life is precious. Human life is valuable. Human life is sacred.
As Archbishop of this church, it’s my honor and privilege to lead a church that stands for the sanctity of life because we stand on the authority of the word of God, the Bible. In our constitutions and canons, the laws which govern us as a church and how we operate, we’ve clearly stated our commitment to life.
Listen to these words: “God, and not man, is the creator of…human life. The unjustified taking of life is sinful. Therefore, all members in clergy are called to promote and respect the sanctity of every human life, from conception to natural death.”
It’s part of our Holy Communion service each Sunday, the Eucharist. We recite the Nicene Creed, which says, “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life.” We affirm the deity of Jesus Christ, as described in John 1, where we find these words, “All things were made through Him and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” And so we stand with Christians everywhere in our witness to the sanctity of life. We declare that life is sacred, that each life has been created by God for a Kingdom purpose and a divine destiny.
God is restored in a prophetic voice to our Anglican family about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, about the timeless truth of Holy Scripture—that is that it changes us, we don’t change it—about upholding the traditions of the historic Church, about the urgency of evangelism, about upholding the sanctity of God ordained marriage, and about the sanctity of life. Our God is a creator God. New life is not an accident. I’ll say that again. Our God is a creator God. New life is not an accident. He is the Lord and giver of life, as we say every Sunday. Let us not lose heart. Let us not give up. Let us follow the example of the persistent widow in this parable, which Jesus shares in Luke 18, this parable about persisting in prayer.
I want you to hear its words again. “And he told them a parable to the effect that they should always pray and not lose heart.” That’s what the parable is about. Always praying. Persevering in prayer. Don’t lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge.” Think about judges for a minute. “There was a judge, who neither feared God nor respected man.” That sounds familiar too, doesn’t it? “And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterwards he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”
The Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.” And then, he changes, “And will not God”, meaning the Righteous Judge, “And will not God give justice to His elect, who cried to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the Earth?” Brothers and sisters, let us not stop asking God to end abortion in our land. Let us not stop knocking on the righteous judge’s door, but also let us not stop knocking on the unrighteous judge’s door, demanding justice for the unborn. Let us keep knocking. Regardless of what people say, keep knocking. Regardless of the political pressure that’s put on us, keep knocking. Regardless of how hopeless it seems, keep knocking.
Don’t give up, because our God is a faithful God. He will right the wrong. He will make just the unjust. Either by our repentance change will come, or God will use some other means like He did with Israel in the Old Testament using other nations. He will bring justice. He will answer the prayers of His people.
One last word. In a group this size the studies are correct. They’re usually those present here who have had abortions. Please hear this this morning that God still loves you. Please hear that in Jesus Christ you can be forgiven. Please hear that in Jesus Christ you can be healed of the wounds you’ve received. Don’t hear us condemning you. We truly want God’s best for you. Romans 8:1 says, “For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Paul goes on to say in Verse 28, “For all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” In Verse 38 and 39 he says, “I am convinced of this. That neither death, nor life, nor principalities, nor powers, nor height, nor death,” –and he goes through this whole list of things—“Nothing will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Don’t hear us condemning you. God wants to heal you and forgive you. Jesus said this in John 10:10. He said, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy,” the thief, meaning the devil, “but I have come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” Rather than guilt, anger, and resentment, God wants you and me to have His peace. That peace which passes all understanding.
Brothers and sisters, let us stay the course. Let us not turn back until abortion has ended in our nation. Let us not turn back until life is again valued in this country the way God meant life to be valued. Jesus, I plead Your blood over my sin and the sins of our nation. Father, end abortion in our land. And Holy Spirit, send true revival to the United States of America. Amen.
This sermon was preached at the Summit 2016 Prayer and Worship Service by Archbishop Foley Beach (ACNA). It was featured in the March 2016 edition of Carpe Diem.
Tags: abortion, anglican church, author: The Most Rev. Foley Beach, church, made in His Image, march for life, Sacredness of Life, Sanctity of Life, scripture, sermon, unborn,