Loving the World of the Unborn

Steve Viars January 17, 2016 Psalms 139:

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John 3:16-18 - For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Hebrews 10:31 - It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

1 Timothy 3:15 - …the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 - The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth…

Proverbs 28:13 - He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

1 Peter 4:17 - For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God…

4 reasons to love those among us who have not yet been born

I. Our God Sees All – verses 1-6

Omniscience – God is all knowing

A. His knowledge is personal

v. 3 – you are intimately acquainted with all my ways…

B. His knowledge is active

v. 1 – you have searched me…

v. 3 – you scrutinize my path…

C. His knowledge is redemptive

Psalm 139:5 - You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.

John 10:27-29 - My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Psalm 139:5 - You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.

D. His knowledge is unfathomable

Psalm 139:6 - Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Hebrews 6:10 - For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

II. Our God is Everywhere – verses 7-12

God’s Omnipresence – God is everywhere present

A. Our temptation is to flee and hide

Psalm 139:7 - Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

B. We can have hope and comfort in God’s omnipresence

Psalm 139:11-12 - If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

“just received”

III. Our God Has Created Everything – verses 13-18

A. Even an unborn baby

Psalm 139:13 - For You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:15 - My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth…

B. A reason for thanksgiving and adoration

Psalm 139:14 - I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.

C. Even extending to God’s thoughts for us

Psalm 139:17-18 - How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

IV. Our God Will Judge Everyone – verses 19-24

2 Timothy 4:1-5 - I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

A. The wicked men of bloodshed

Psalm 139:19 - O that You would slay the wicked, O God; depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.

B. The enemies of God

Psalm 139:20 - For they speak against You wickedly, and Your enemies take Your name in vain.

“[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” Woman and the New Race, chapter 6: “The Wickedness of Creating Large Families”

C. Such persons and those who support them can and should be simultaneously loved and loathed

Psalm 139:21-22 - Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies.

D. There are eternal issues at stake here

Psalm 139:23-24 - Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

Manuscript

You know, most of us have certain dates. Either positive or negative, that are just seared on our memories, right. You can't forget that date. Let's start simple. You can't forget your own birthday, right? If for no other reason than you have to constantly use it when you're doing different identifications and different sign-ins and all that sort of things. I mean, you can't forget that date. You got one, you got one, right?

Now, if you're married. No doubt in my mind that right now, you could stand to your feet, either here or at Faith West, and recite your anniversary. Then let me give you a little hint, if that's not true ... Right now, just look straight forward. Hope your wife is not listening at all to what I just said. On the other hand, if you do know your anniversary, you might want to bop your head a little bit like this. "I got that one, honey, I got that one." You just do whatever you think you need to do with that particular date.

If you're a parent, surely you remember the dates that your children will born. We have all happy days that we just never forget that one. We'll never forget that one. It's true, on the other side of the ledger. There are some dates that are just associated with sadness. You may remember the day that someone close to you passed away and whether you think that it's appropriate or not to mark those anniversaries, some of them they're just impossible to forget, aren't they? Rolls around on the calendar again and you think about that date.

It's true, historically. If I said December 7th, 1941. Probably everybody who hears this message would know what that means, or certainly September 11th, 2001. Many of us could even talk about where we were and what we were doing when we heard that the twin towers had been attacked. I mean, you'll never, never forget that dates.

Well, none of us believe, one of the worst days in the history of our country was January 22, 1973. When our so called Supreme Court legalized the practice of abortion through its ruling on Roe V. Wade. Since that day, an estimated 57 1/2 million babies have been aborted in this country. Just to try to put that into some sort of perspective. 3,000 Americans lost their lives on 9/11 approximately. Every single day, if you just picked a date, every single day in our country more than 3,000 babies are killed by abortion. The equivalent of one abortion every 30 seconds. Day in and day out.

Now, we're not here this morning simply to condemn the world. Jesus said as much in one of his key passages guiding our annual theme when he affirmed this: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Celebrate that, huh? For God did not send the son into the world to judge the world, but that the world may be saved through him. He who believes in it is not judged. However, make no mistake about this, he who does not believe has been judged already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God.

It's not our place to judge the world, but on the other hand, it certainly is our role to point out to ourselves and to the others that one day, we will all be judged by a holy God. That is not being judgmental, that's being wise and that's being loving. The writer of Hebrew said it like this, it's a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of a living God. That is, to fall into the hands of the living God, unprepared to say anything less, would be unloving from the perspective of eternity. Let me also say this, clearly. This is not a political discussion. This church is unequivocally and unapologetically pro-life for biblical and theological reasons. Not political ones. We are called to be, as Paul explained to young Timothy in one of the pastoral epistles, I mean what are we? We are in part the church of the living God, the pillar and the support of the truth.

That means, among other things, there ought to be some non-negotiables in your life. Loving our world, this theme that we have adopted this year, that certainly doesn't mean walking around with some sort of plastic smile on your face all the time where there's no room for disagreement or dissent or biblical convictions. Paul also told Timothy this, "The Lord's bond servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, but able to teach. Patient when wrong, with gentleness," doing what? "Correcting those who are in opposition that perhaps God may grant them repentance." There it is. Repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth. That leads to the second affirmation, which is there's no sin that places a person beyond that redemptive hand of God. Pretty glad about that, aren't you?

I'm quite sure I will be speaking to men today who, in some cases, encourage a woman to abort a baby that you conceived together. I'm sure of that. Equally sure there will be women here who have taken that step. It's possible that in some cases practically no one knows. Well, the passage that we're about to study clearly shows that someone does. It's the God of heaven and earth. God's word tells you that, not simply to condemn you, but to point out a path of repentance and forgiveness found only at the food of the cross.

For those who have acknowledged their sin and place their faith and trust in Christ, the savior and Lord, and who have acknowledged the sin of participating in an abortion, there is forgiveness for every sin. That's how sufficient the blood of Christ is.

However, make no mistake about this. There is no forgiveness and new life apart from the root of repentance. That's why Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper." Are you glad there's another half of that verse? "But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion." Now, there may be person here who, while you've never had an abortion, you have argued in favor of it. Foolishly, I might add. Perhaps you've even participated in the industry in some way. Let me be crystal clear about my goal this morning. I intend to address you directly with biblical truth and call you to repentance. If that's where you've been, I intend to open the word of God with you today and encourage you to do something about it and today would be a really good day.

Peter says it quite clearly, "It's time for judgement to begin with the household of God." There have been some so called Christians even in this town, who have spoken in favor or acted in favor of abortion and I believe that is wicked. If you're among that number, I'm going to challenge you to do something about it because that's what pastors do. I also just want to say, I understand that any time we talk about babies, that brings up all sorts of potential pain for all sorts of reasons.

There will be moms or, I'm sorry, there will be ladies or couples that would love to have a baby and you've not been able to yet. Even to talk about the topic is hard for you. There will be others, perhaps many, who have had a miscarriage recently or at some part in your past. Even to think about the topic, I recognize that is hard for you. As a pastor, you're trying to teach the word of God, but you're also trying to be sensitive to all the ways that could be misconstrued or misunderstood. You're just crying out for the power of the holy spirit to use his word in the lives of each person who hears, simultaneously in the way that they need. If that ministry of the holy spirit were not available to me and to us right now, well then this would be an overwhelming task, no question about this.

Also let me say, our goal this morning is to be as positive as possible. I realize you might say, "I'm not sure you're succeeding so far." Well, in scripture for every put off, there's also a corresponding put on. Pro-life people aren't simply against things. We're for things. We're for things, but that's part of the rub for some of the rest of us. Because we've not allowed our prolife convictions to take us to the hard and the uncomfortable positive ministry applications of that conviction.

Before you're tempted to sit back and tap your foot and say, "You go after those bad people, Pastor Viars." You might find that something happened to your foot other than you tapping it. We'll see. With that in mind, let me invite you to open your Bible this morning to Psalm 1:39. Psalm 1:39, that's on page 452 of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you.

Psalm 1:39 or page 452. I'm sorry, of the front section of the Bible under the chair in front of you. The Old Testament. As we said a few moments ago, our theme this year is loving our world. That's what we're all about. Of course we're about that every year, but we're especially focusing on that this year. The question before the house this morning is does that include loving the world of the unborn?

You know, Psalm 1:39 is one of the most beloved of all the Psalms. It's really delightful. Please follow along as I begin reading it. Psalm 1:39:1. "Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up. You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down. You're intimately acquainted with all my ways." By the way, as we read this, I would encourage you think about ... You know, that's kind of like good news and it's kind of like bad news. I think you know what I mean by that. I like verse 4. "Even before there's a word on my tongue, behold oh Lord, you know it all." Speaking of the bad news. "You have enclosed me behind and before. You've laid your hand upon me." That's good news.

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It's too high. I can't attain to it. Where can I go from your spirit or where I can flee from your presence?" David asks. "If I ascend into heaven, you're there. If I make my bed in [she 00:12:12], I'll behold you're there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea. Even there, you hand will lead me and your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness will overwhelm me and the light around me will be night,' even the darkness is not dark to you. The night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light, they're alike to you. For you, you formed my inward parts. You wove me in my mother's womb." Did you hear that? Why do you look the way you do? Because God wanted you to look that way. Isn't that amazing?

"I'll give thanks to you." Verse 14. "For I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your words and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance and in your book, were all written. In the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. Even more," Verse 17. "How precious also are your thoughts to me, oh God, how vast is the sum of them. If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with you. Oh, that you would slay the wicked, oh God. Depart from me therefore men of bloodshed for they speak against you wickedly. Your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, oh Lord? Do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with the utmost hatred," David says. "They've become my enemies. Now search me, oh God. Especially in light of that and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts and see if there be any hurtful way in me. Lead me in the everlasting way."

Don't you love the Bible? I hope you do and I hope you came this morning to hear from it. We're going to wring out everything we can from this passage, finding the four reasons to love those amongst us who have not yet been born. The four reasons to love those amongst us who have not yet been born.

I. Our God Sees All – verses 1-6

First of all, our God sees all. That's what the first six verses of this Psalm are all about. That includes the conception of every baby and the pre-natal care of every baby and the destruction of every baby. We're talking to you, logically, about the doctrine of the omniscience of God, that he is all knowing. He's all knowing. Please notice what these verses teach us about that. His knowledge is personal.

You saw that word no that's repeatedly used in this passage. Well, it's a word that is also used frequently in the Bible to describe physical relationships between a husband and his wife. God knows you like that. It's not like your hard drive knows you. It's not like he just has some passive repository of information. He knows you intimately. He knows you personally. Verse three says, "You're intimately acquainted with all my ways." The passage teaches that his knowledge is active. You've searched me. It's not like you've waited. You've searched me. Verse three, "You scrutinize my path." Which means, among other things, anybody in our church and anybody in our community and anybody in our culture who believes you can do anything to an unborn baby that you want and there will be no consequences because God won't find out needs to deal with the clear affirmations of this text.

That's a great comfort to the person living for God. Right? That's why I'm saying, it's a two edged sword, depending on the direction of your path. It's a great comfort to the person living for God. For example, the young mom who is doing everything she can to protect her unborn baby and nourish her unborn baby, even when she feels nauseous and tired and awful physically and ugly and everything that goes along with it. Wondering if anybody knows and appreciates what she's trying to do for this young life inside of her. Here's the answer to that question from the scripture. God does. God does. Much more than anybody else.

Now when you think about this, if you're letting the word of God impact your heart and life, there's at least a side of us that would say, "Now wait a minute. God knows it all. He knows everything about the outside of me and he knows everything about the inside of me." Don't you feel like Isiah in chapter six after he had a fresh revelation of the holiness of God. What did he say? "Woe are all those bad people." No, he said, "Woe is me. For I am undone. I'm a man of unclean lips." All of us, huh?

I hope you're not hear this morning thinking about all those bad people. If God is omniscient, we're all in trouble. All in trouble. Which is why the next portion of the Psalm is so marvelous, because God's knowledge is redemptive. That's really good news, my friend. In verse five, "You have enclosed me behind and before. You laid your hand upon me." We don't know everything that David had in mind with that particular statement, but from the perspective of New Testament theology, we know what had to happen in order for us to have a personal relationship with our Holy God. Where his hand would treat us like that. It required the substitutionary death of God's son. When you admit your sin and you place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, a savior and lord ... By the way, I hope you have. If not, we would urge you and invite you to make that decision today. Today, today. You can and have new life. There's something to celebrate, huh? Eternal life.

That shows how sufficient the blood of Christ is. When you make that decision, your sin is forgiven. Inside or out. Regardless of how heinous it may have been. Oh, by the way, past, present and future. The righteousness of Christ is imputed, what imputation means, it is placed on your account and now, as a result of making that kind of decision, what is it that Christ said in the New Testament about the relationship between you and his hand? It's great news. It's great news. Jesus said, "My sheep, that they hear my voice and I know them and they follow them and I give," What? "Eternal life to them and they will never perish and no one will snatch them out of my hand," Christ said. "My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the father's hand." Thank the Lord for David's statement. "You have enclosed me behind, even though you know it all."

It's not that, well, you took me into your hand because I fooled you. You've enclosed me behind and before. You've laid your hand upon me. His knowledge is unfathomable. "Such knowledge," David said, "Is too wonderful for me." Would you join him in that statement? Yeah, I'll stand in that line. "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me." It's too high, I can't attain to it.

Now, we're talking about the way God relates to adults. I mean, he cares this much about adults to know them this intimately, but he didn't have this kind of time for children, does he? Children, they're a nuisance. Running around the church house. Obviously, I'm speaking tongue in cheek like the disciples spoke about little ones, huh? They were soundly rebuked by Jesus. You remember? When they didn't value little ones. Our God sees all. Even unborn babies and little children. Aren't you glad God has blessed so many of our families with little ones?

Aren't you glad that God has ... Again, I realize, and I want to be sensitive to those who would like to have a baby and God's not allowed you have to one. Or who's had a miscarriage. I don't want to say that and be insensitive to you, but wouldn't we all celebrate the fact that God has blessed so many families in this church and this church itself with all kinds of young life running around here. You might say, "Yeah, and two of them stomped on my feet when they were running around, when I was trying to get into the auditorium." Praise God, huh? Praise God for them.

Let's meet one of our little ones. This is Hannah Burrows, a little girl. Three years old, goes to this church in our preschool. Just think about how sweet she is.

Speaker 1: Can you tell me what your name is?

Hannah: Hannah.

Speaker 1: Hannah. How old are you, Hannah?

Hannah: Three.

Speaker 1: Three years old. What kinds of things do you like to do at preschool?

Hannah: Go to recess.

Speaker 1: Go to recess. Sure. Is there anything that you like about going to church here at [Bate 00: 22: 21]? What do you like about church?

Hannah: I eat donuts.

Speaker 1: You eat donuts. Did you come to doughnut night last night?

Hannah: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Was the doughnut tasty?

Hannah: Yeah.

Speaker 1: Yeah? Did you have a special doughnut or a regular doughnut?

Hannah: I like [your 00: 22: 41] donuts.

Speaker 1: Hannah, do you know what you might want to be when you grow up?

Hannah: Still Hannah.

Speaker 1: I think that's the best thing.

Pretty good answer, huh? Still Hannah. Doesn't that make you want to belt out a verse or two of "Jesus Loves the Little Children"? All the children of the world, you remember that? Yeah. By the way, this is why a number of you serve in our children's ministries. It's because God knows and he cares about children like Hannah. I realize you might say, yeah, there's not a whole of appreciation that goes with that task of children's ministries.

Well, this passage makes it clear, doesn't it? God cares about what you're doing. God cares about what you're doing. We even have some couples who would love to have a baby and God has not blessed them in that way yet. Yet even in their pain, they serve in our children's ministries anyway. Isn't that amazing? The writer of Hebrew says this about that. He says, "For God is not so unjust as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward his name." See, this talk about omniscience of God. What an encouragement and a hope it is for men and women who choose to serve him and have administered to and still ministering to the [saints 00:24:15].

II. Our God is Everywhere – verses 7-12

God knows everything. Secondly the passage teaches that God is everywhere. That's the development of the text logically. That especially emphasizes the doctrine of God's omnipresence. David alludes to this, of course our temptation may be to flee or to hide. He asks, perhaps hypothetically, "But where can I go from your spirit or where I can flee from your presence?" Some of you started this year by reading the Bible in one year. If you did, you spent some time recently in Genesis, chapter three. That text might remind you of Adam and Eve and how they responded after their sin by trying to hide from God. Well, such a pursuit is illogical. There's that repeated phrase in our psalm, but you are there and you are there and you are there and you are there.

The positive side of that doctrine is we can have hope and comfort in his omnipresence. "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me and the light around me will be night. Even the darkness, but it's not dark to you. The night's as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to you." Lord willing, next week I'll talk to you more about the trip that we just returned from when we were in the Dominican Republican and Cuba. Fascinating. Fascinating trip.

Got into Cuba, into Havana late Sunday night after speaking at the church in the Dominican Republic that morning, last Sunday. First thing, got to this quote on quote hotel, I'll show you some pictures of the hotel next week. Lady demanded our passports. We could not get into the hotel without surrendering our passports. She explained to us later that, well, the reason is as soon you went to bed, I had to call the immigration department and report that you were here. Then, the next morning, we got our passports back. After we left, she had to call the immigration department and welcome to Cuba.

I'll tell you, the doctrine of the omnipresence of God is an incredible comfort when you're in a situation like that. God knows. God sees and God is here. Even the darkness. You hear this, Fidel? Even the darkness is not dark to you. The night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to you. How many of us had situation where you felt like you were alone, you felt like God maybe had forgotten you. Then just something happened. Somebody said something that affirmed God's presence in an undeniable way. It was almost like the Lord wanted you to hear the message, "I've got this. I've got this, I'm here."

Pastor [Oakland 00:27:11] shared this email with our staff from a woman who's in our Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling program from a church in Iowa. He said this, "Brent. I just had to write and tell you that once again God has used a bible seminary to meet a need in our local church through unusual means. Our church in Iowa City ministers to people from all over the world. We're small by some standard, but we're blessed to have members from many different countries." That because they're university ministry. Then she said, "One of the women from our church works with international students. She and her husband have been discipling and ministering to a couple from China. The husband accepted the Lord as his savior. He was baptized and attends church and bible studies regularly. His wife has remained distant. They will return to China this month and his wife has shown signs of increased anxiety and fear. Through Grace Lee, who's another woman who's in that same Master of Arts program, but who is Chinese. Through Grace Lee, we just received biblical counseling materials in Chinese."

"I'm so grateful," she said, "Because the faith bible seminary, not only am I receiving personal equipping and opportunities for sanctification, but the lord is providing access and means for equipping our local church through its international reach."

I just received that, that because God in his sovereign plan allowed me to have a fellow student from China who had access to the very Chinese resources that we needed in Iowa City, when this ministry opportunity came by. I just received them. Our omnipresent God does things like that. He's got this. He's got this. Our God sees all and he is everywhere.

III. Our God Has Created Everything – verses 13-18

The passage also teaches us that he has created everything. That's what the next verses clearly tell us. It would be impossible to more clearly state how precious our God considers unborn life to be. This is true. Even for an unborn baby, "For you formed my inward parts." Say what? I got this one leg, it's a little longer than the other. God wanted it to be the way. "You formed my inward parts. You wove me in my mother's womb. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth."

God loves the unborn, friends. The question for every last one of us is do you? Do you? I realize that it's going to be interesting to follow the email that I'm about to receive as a result of this message. You've heard me say this before. Feel free to send one. As long as you're going to be really happy when I send one back to you. That's my view of communication. I'm more than happy for anyone to say anything they want to say to me, as long as you want me to speak back from the perspective of the truth of the word of God. I realize there may be someone who's going to accuse me of participating in the way on women.

Look, approximately half of the babies murdered every year in this country, in their mother's womb, are women. Girls. There is no greater war than that. Any person who argues in favor of this heinous practice should meditate on the verses like the ones before us. Then quickly repent of your folly. Please tell me if there anything unclear about that. You are destroying the very works of God, according to this passage.

We also learn this. There's a reason here for Thanksgiving and adoration. I'm not trying to see how many things I can fuss about this morning, but some of you remember historically this passage was actually used the by the self-love, self-esteem movement. As in, "You're the one who made you and you're all that and a bag of chips because you make yourself." My oh my. The text says, "I will give thanks to you, God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well."

We've all held little babies in our arms, haven't we? We had some young couples with theirs out in the foyer earlier today. Have you ever been tempted to hold a little baby in your arms and say, "Wow, evolution is really cool." Right? I mean, find a masonry wall and bang your head on it. That was not in my notes, okay? Apparently it was in my heart. We're talking about the marvelous and the beautiful miracle of life, for which we bow our heads in praise and adoration for our creator God.

Even extending to God's thoughts for us. "How precious," the Psalm says "Are your thoughts to me, oh God. How vast is the sum of them. If I count them, they would outnumber the sand when I awake." I'm still with you. Think about Hannah. The young girl we met earlier in this service as an example of these truths. God formed her inward thoughts. You realize that? He gave her the like for donuts. He wove her in her mother's womb. She was skillfully wrought and God's thoughts towards her were and are previous.

Aren't you glad she was allowed to live? That's a strange question. Well, it's time for us to hear from her parents, Heath and Christie, who have recently become follows of Christ. They have been willing to tell you about what occurred in their life before them. Heath and Christie, thank you for sharing with us this morning.

Heath: Good morning. I'm Heath Burroughs and this is my beautiful wife, Christie. Until about four years ago, we had never given much thought on the issue of abortion. We just knew there was a lot of people who were pro-life, pro-choice, and not a lot of middle ground. When I met Christie, I was going through a nasty divorce and didn't have much hope for my life at the time.

I was not Christian. I didn't believe in a lot, and I definitely didn't have any idea of what God had planned for me, but Christie stood beside me and helped me get through that tough time. In May of 2011, Christie revealed that she was pregnant. At that point, I was still going through my divorce. I already had two boys. Christie had a daughter from a previous marriage.

We had the child that Christie was carrying. That would make four kids total. In my mind, there was no way that could happen. It was way too many kids. I just didn't want to have to deal with the headaches and responsibilities of having another child, but Christie felt differently.

Christie: I wanted to keep the child, so we talked about it. For what seemed like forever and ultimately, we made a decision to schedule the appointment. In Heath's eyes, abortion was the only good option. I was not fond of the idea at all, but I agreed that we were not in a financial position to raise a child. We were barely making it as it was. We made the quiet journey. No one talked the entire way there. Down I-65 to the Planned Parenthood in Indianapolis. The trip was anything but joyful.

Heath: Once we checked in at the clinic, we were given some flyers and pamphlets which we looked at which were disgusting. Graphic. But we were there. We had already paid to have our child aborted. It was too late. They finally called Christie back to have the abortion and about 30 minutes later she came out crying. I didn't know what do, so I hugged here. Thinking that it was already done, but then Christie proceeded to tell me that they couldn't do the procedure because she was too far along. Exactly one week too far along.

The ironic thing was is that we had an appointment the previous week, but we had car troubles and couldn't make it. The clinic refunded our money and we went home. We decided that it was meant to be and we would have this child no matter what and we would simply make the best of it.

Christie: Fast forward to today. Our daughter, Hannah, will be turning four in just three days, on January 20th. She's so smart, super bright, and just the best thing that's happened to us. She's currently enrolled in preschool at Faith and participates in Wednesday night Kids of Faith. Hannah has helped us to understand that God's ways are higher than our ways. He has a plan for every life, including Hannah's life. Even before she was Hannah. Proverbs 19:21 says, "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."

Heath: Since the time that Hannah was born, the Lord has changed our life dramatically. Christie and I got involved in marriage counseling here at Faith with Lee [Morrison 00:36:07] and through that process, we both decided to trust Christ as our savior. We became members of the church just over a year ago and we're so thankful for the many opportunities to serve alongside others. God is so great, because of the way that he has worked in our lives, we are now totally prolife.

We believe strongly that every child deserves a chance to live and discover what God has in store for them. We are eternally grateful for the grace and mercy of God for the way he has preserved the life of our little daughter.

Thank God for car trouble, huh? I really appreciate Heath and Christie. They told me that story last fall. They didn't have to, of course, but they passed that along to me. I thought what a fitting story to hear today. Aren't you glad that Hannah gets to be still Hannah? Aren't you glad that in sovereignty of God, she was allowed to live?

You know, a few weeks back, our family, we had everybody in for Christmas. My wife, Chris, took this picture, but our daughter Karis is there. Her husband, Austin, was serving as a policeman here. He wasn't on that trip, but Bethany, our other daughter and her husband, Rob, holding our grandson, Liam. Sweet time as a family. I was, just a few minutes after that picture was taken, putting Liam in the car. I don't know why, because I hadn't been thinking about abortion that day. We hadn't been talking about it, but just looking at the sweetness and the innocence of a child. I thought, who in the world could ever take the life of a baby? How could you possibly get to the place ethically or morally where you would believe that it was okay to take another child's life?

IV. Our God Will Judge Everyone – verses 19-24

Well, our God sees all, and he is everywhere, and he's created everything. Lastly, our God will judge everyone. I had to make a conscious decision when I was preparing this message of whether or not I would not at Verse 18. Frankly, I thought that would be doing a disservice to our God and the world that we say we love. If we ignore some of the final ideas in this passage, because here's what the Bible says to me as a pastor.

"I solemnly charge you," Paul said to Timothy, "In the presence of God and of Christ, Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead. By his appearing in the kingdom, preach the word." Including Psalm 1:39, all of it. "Be ready in season and out of season. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction for the time will come when they'll not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside the myths. But you, as a pastor, be sober in all things. Endure hardship. Do the work of an evangelist. Fulfill your ministry."

If you're wondering, why are you doing what you're about to do because of that? That's why. In our Psalm, David refers to certain people who are the wicked men of bloodshed. The series of videos that came out last year showing behind the scenes looks at the activities at Planned Parenthood are shocking. It doesn't matter if the Supreme Court has ruled that such behaviors are legal. That does not mean that we should be in favor of our tax dollars supporting an organization so heavily involved in promoting and profiting from bloodshed.

It's interesting, also, that David is very clear that such persons are the enemies of God. "They speak against you wickedly and your enemies take your name in vain." Note especially the emphasis on the way such persons speak. Let's see. One of Planned Parenthood's talking points is that if they were defunded, essential services would be taken away. Especially from poor and minority populations. You've undoubtedly heard that. That is a blatant lie. The exact same services could be and are provided by other organizations that do not practice and profit from the killing of infants in the womb.

I watch  you say, "Well I still am in favor of Planned Parenthood," the most egregious aspect of their history is the inconvenient truth that their founder was an avowed racist. If you don't about Margaret Sanger, before you let one more word come out of that mouth of yours in favor of that organization, you need to study her and what she said historically. She was a prolific author and it is heinously wicked.

For example, she said, "We should apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization." Did you hear that? We're not talking about abortion now. We're talking about forced sterilization. "A stern and rigid policy and sterilization and segregation to that greater population whose progeny is tainted in the context of minorities. Or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring." Again, not just abortion but sterilization. The historical record is clear about the number of poor minority women who were sterilized without their knowledge or consent by using biblical terminology, the men of bloodshed. The enemies of God.

The count now stays at 57 and 1/2 million. If that does not upset you at the depth of your soul, tell me what I would have to communicate to you that would. You know, tomorrow is the day that we observe Martin Luther King Day. 80% of Planned Parenthood facilities are located in minority communities. Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr., said this, "Abortion is genocide."

I understand why minority populations would be especially upset about this. They should be. It's killing populations, it's killing generations. Certainly the population that's most impacted by abortion in America is the black community. Our passage would suggest to us that such persons and those who support them can and should be simultaneously loved and loathed. This passage will not allow us to go anywhere else. I would be less than a pastor if I did not say those exact words to you.

The text says, "Do I not hate those who hate you, oh Lord? Do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with the utmost hatred." That's the word of God. "They have become my enemies." Of course we have to be careful there, whenever we think like that, which is why it's interesting that this passage ends by focusing our attention on the eternal issues at stake. David says, "Search me, oh God." Especially if I'm going to say what I just said. "Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there's any hurtful way in me and then lead me in the everlasting way." As I said at the beginning, my goal here is not to be harshly judgmental.

We should ask the Lord to help us evaluate our own hearts, with the hope and the assurance that there is an everlasting way. There are eternal issues at stake. Now what are some of the takeaways? What are some of the takeaways? What are some of the positive steps that men and women like me and you can take? I mean, we believe many times it's better to light a candle than to shout in the darkness. What are the takeaways? Let me suggest several of them.

One would be to support organizations that encourage mothers to allow their babies to live. Aren't you glad that God in his providence allowed us to have a vision of hope? The foundation that provided the funding for that ministry was especially concerned about being a place where expectant moms who were considering abortion would instead come and allow us to love them and provide resources so that their babies would be allowed to live. I hope you'll support Vision of Hope. There is a display in either of our foyers about that ministry. Familiarize yourself with them.

There's also a display about Life Care services and Matrix, which have recently combined. I'm so glad for the services they provide to expectant mothers in this community. By the way, they're raising funds right now. It's a great project. A mobile medical unit. Our own Karen Brovont  is one of the administrators of this organization and I would heartily commend them to you. Again, it's not a matter of being upset about something solely. It's also a matter of providing alternatives.

I would also, secondly, encourage you in this way. Consider adopting a child whose parents cannot provide appropriate care. 3/4s of the women who choose an abortion say that the reason is they can't afford another child. That's what they say. Or a child would interfere with work, school, or ability to care for other dependents. Our message, all through this town. All through this state, this country is please allow your baby to live. We'll come along side you and provide whatever resources are necessary in order to help you allow your baby to live. Then, if you would prefer not to keep your baby, we'll be more than happy, we'll line up. Red or yellow, black and white, it does not matter. We are more than happy to adopt your child and allow that baby to live.

I hope that we will celebrate those in this church who have adopted children and do everything that we can to love the fire out of them, as well. Thirdly, I want to encourage you to consider serving as a foster parent. Or to get involved in our Safe Families Ministry that works with moms who are starting to struggle before they get into the legal system. Those are great, great ministries. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with a young man from our church who said that he and his wife just received a child through the foster system this week.

It was sad to hear about some of the things that that little child had gone through, but I'm so glad that this family from our church was loving enough to be there when that child needed them. We celebrate that and we want to do everything that we can to help them. There's also some information in our foyers today about a ministry called Healing Hearts. It provides post abortive counseling and we're interested in serving people at wherever they find themselves on this journey.

I would commend that particular ministry to you as well. Fifthly, I want to encourage you to continue taking the biblical counseling training conference. Say what, take a week off work and go to a conference? Yeah, that's pretty much it. That'd be a whole lot better than Aruba. You say, "You sure about that?" Well, listen, listen. Did you hear what Heath and Christie said? Who was it that helped them come to know Christ? Lee Morrison. One of the laymen in our church who works over at Purdue, but has received training and now serves in the counseling center. You could be that person too. Formally or informally, after you have received some training.

I want to encourage you to consider taking that kind of training, because listen, you realize we're about to pull the cooler keg down? That's right, we're planning a demo party. That's a Baptist do, tear stuff up. We're going, we're pulling the cooler keg down and we're going to have a demo, Lord willing, about a week, I think, from Monday. Then we're going to walk across the street that same day and do a groundbreaking for the Hartford Hub. We want to serve in one of the most challenging areas of this community. Well, the stats are very, very clear that the incidents of abortion are higher in the places like that.

What that means is as you, as we are doing ministry in that area, we may have the opportunity to make more contact with women who are considering an abortion. Think about this. God could use you as the person involved in rescuing a baby in this town. Can you think of anything that you would rather do than that? You might say, "Well, I've already taken that training or I'm not quite in a position to do that." How about this? How about serving during that conference in February so others can take the training?

There are 1900 people coming to that conference. In fact, I ran into a bunch of people in the Dominican Republic who kept saying, "We're coming to the conference. We're coming to the conference." We're in this tropical setting. It's beautiful. 85 degrees. Sunny. "We're coming to the conference. My response to them was, "Do you have a coat?"

Listen, we have some friends that I just met from Cuba who are coming to the conference. I'll tell you more about them next week. Exciting, thrilling opportunities. For you to be willing to serve in order to make it possible, there's a flyer in your bulletin that tells you about some of the needs. Why not do that, why not do that? It's not just a matter of, "Well, we're against this." No, we're for life. We're for those who are trying to help preserve and protect life. Why not be involved in that?

Then I would also say consider long term children's ministries. Listen if we say we celebrate every life, then what that means is we want to be A+ on our nursery. We want to be A+ in our children's ministries. Not just for a few months, but for a long, long time. Why? Because every life that God would bless this church with, we want to serve that child. We want to serve that child well.

Hey, aren't you glad Hannah gets to be still Hannah? After the first service, I talked to one of Hannah's Sunday school teachers. We talked about just what a delight she is to them. I'm glad Hannah gets to be still Hannah, but I hope will want to be just like our Lord who highly values every life, even those who are unborn.

Let's stand together for prayer, shall we? Father in heaven, we're thank you for the opportunity to think about this incredible text. Incredible text. Lord, I pray that we would bring our hearts and our lives in line with what this passage says. Lord thank you for being a God who knows us. Thank you for being a God who knows and loves the unborn and help us to be like you. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

Steve Viars

B.S. - Bible, Baptist Bible College
M.Div. - Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min. - Westminster Theological Seminary

Pastor Steve Viars has served at Faith Church since 1987. He and his wife Kris were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and two grandchildren. Pastor Viars’ gifted teaching ministry, enthusiasm for the Word of God, and organizational skills are instrumental in equipping Faith Church. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith ministries and serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video