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Sermon Outline for Sanctity of Human Life

Emphasis on offering hope, compassion, healing, and God's forgiveness to post-abortive men and women, not recrimination or guilt. 

Caution to those who share this message: Make sure the message is not inadvertently communicated that a woman can choose abortion and then get God's forgiveness. We don't want to encourage that Choice. We are still conveying a pro-life message! Christian women and men, particularly the parents of a young woman, sometimes default to abortion because of bad theology and fear/desperation. Those in the midst of this decision need to be reminded that abortion is never an option before a loving and provisional God. 

Introduction: Romans 5:1-2

There are probably a great many people in our churches who don't believe that they are entitled to God's grace and forgiveness. They believe that they have made some choices in life that disqualify them from this promise of friendship with God. We want to help everyone to believe that they are entitled to this reconciliation, and that they don't have to live with guilt and regrets for the rest of their life. Those who have participated in abortion, often believe that they are unworthy of claiming the truth of this Scripture. They are often tormented by the memory of what they decided to do, or that they helped someone else decide to participate in an abortion. They have very little relief from those painful memories, even after a number of years.

Share some examples:

A woman: "It's been five years since my abortion. My recurring nightmares started not long ago — there is a beautiful, cooing baby and then the horrific screams and anguished cries begin. My husband of three years knows nothing of my abortion or of my old boyfriend and the relationship we shared. The guilt on my conscience is almost overwhelming. I've had to bear it alone for so long now — why should I share the truth with anyone? How could they possible understand now? My family has noticed that I am despondent lately, but I tend to draw away from their offered comfort. I can't forgive myself or my boyfriend for the past. I am being driven, uncontrollably, to despair."

A man: Acceptance doesn't come easily. Last year at Father's Day, for example, when fathers at his church were asked to stand and be recognized, Chico remained seated. “I thought about standing,” he said. “I am a father — my child would be about 13 by now. But I didn't. I don't know why. Maybe people wouldn't understand.”

God's Word has encouragement for everyone like these two hurting people.

God's Word stands as a testimony to His love for every woman and man. He promises to forgive our sins completely. As Romans 8:1-2 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death."

God wants to help each woman and Man in their time of grief. He is waiting for them to tell Him about their burdens, so He can take them from her or him, and bring healing. As Paul encourages us in Hebrews 4:16, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need," so let each woman and man walk forward in the freedom that Christ is holding out to them.

Here are some steps to this healing that each of you must take:

For the Woman who has been part of abortion:

  • Grieving. Each woman needs the opportunity to move through the steps of the grieving process. Releasing anger and pain are important steps to ridding the feelings kept inside for so long.

  • Sharing. A woman needs to feel secure to share her experience with someone who can help her work through the emotions she has kept buried.

  • Forgiveness from God. A post-abortive woman must realize that full forgiveness is offered to her through a relationship with Jesus Christ, that He does not hold this sin against her. His unconditional love and grace cover her past choices.

  • Forgiveness for Others. It is necessary to exhibit that same forgiveness towards others involved in the abortion decision. Holding a secret resentment against others will only harbor additional pain and guilt.

For the Men who have been part of abortion:

They've been called " forgotten fathers " , men stripped of their fundamental right to protect their unborn children. Their grief is not validated by a society that paradoxically demands accountability from the deadbeat dad , but scorns the one who wants his child to live.

“Abortion rewrites the rules of masculinity,” says Dr. Vincent Rue, one of the nation's leading psychologists in post-abortion issues. “Whether or not the male was involved in the abortion decision, his inability to function in a socially prescribed manner leaves him wounded and confused.” Society is not sympathetic to abortion survivors in general (Post-Abortion Syndrome is still not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association), and men are virtually ignored when it comes to abortion. Men are bypassed legally as well. “Most men do not realize until they face a problem pregnancy that they have been stripped of all legal recourse to protect their unborn child,” says Wayne Brauning, founder of Men's Abortion Recovery Ministries in Coatesville , Pa.

Men need to take these steps to really experience God's grace and forgiveness:

  • Grieve. “Men are conditioned not to show their feelings,” says Pete Palmer, who after 25 years still recalls the pain of his girlfriend's abortion. “But even though we're males, we have to cry. We won't make any progress beyond that until we can say, ‘Yes, I've lost somebody who's dear to me.' ”

  • Forgive. It took two years before Chico fully grasped what he had done and accepted God's forgiveness. Finding forgiveness from God, then learning to forgive those involved in the abortion is vital.

  • Reconcile. Though most relationships end following abortion, many men seek some sort of reconciliation with those involved. Chico contacted his former girlfriend and apologized for his role.

  • Seek closure. Many men acknowledge their aborted child for the first time by naming or writing letters to him. One father purchased a gravestone and had it placed in a cemetery.

We want to be a church that believes and practices grace and forgiveness for all. The Christian community has often been condemning and hurtful toward those who have experienced abortion. We need to acknowledge that many individuals and families in our churches have been affected painfully by abortion. We cannot live in denial.

Yvonne Wagner, a crisis pregnancy center volunteer, discovered this when she began calling area churches to offer her services as a post abortion counselor. Out of 100 pastors she contacted, only two felt her services were necessary.

The church is not immune to the ravages of abortion. Warren Williams, founder of Fathers and Brothers in Boulder , Colo. , says the incidence of abortion inside the church and outside is virtually identical. And the impact is substantial. “Proverbs 28:17 says that a man or a woman who is tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive until death,” Williams says. “When you're involved in an abortion, you exhibit fugitive behavior — running, hiding, ignoring, covering up. A church populated by people with a fugitive mind-set is an emasculated church.”

Listen to one woman's testimony of healing in her life:

"Sadly, I chose to turn away from God, and the choices I made will always be part of my life. And though I still feel the shame of my actions, I feel the atonement of a loving and faithful God. Psalm 91:4 says, “His faithfulness will be your shield…”
"Thankfully, His faithfulness isn't dependent on mine. God's spirit has returned to my life now. Finally, I have found some measure of healing. Looking back, I believe that all of my previously understood arguments against abortion fell short because I didn't understand what God says: that every life is sacred — even a broken one."

On this Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, we want our church to commit to being a healthy community of faith. So we affirm again today that God's grace and forgiveness is for all.

The Pastor should provide a time of response where those who have been touched by this message have someone who they can talk and pray with, and have Christian counselors names available who can help people to work through their guilt and pain.



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