I am so thankful to be a part of a church that stands for truth, for life, and God. Abortion is a horrific event each and every time it takes place, regardless of the circumstances. Like most of you, I was challenged by Pastor Marty’s sermon to stand boldly for life, I was moved to take action, and I was made aware of information new to me on the subject.
To the people in the room hurting from this issue in ways I can not fully understand, please know you are LOVED, there is GRACE, and we as the church want to point you to real HOPE.
I was also broken for those in the room who know first hand, the pain and the shame associated with these decisions. Too often, those who feel the most passionate about the issue of life can be the least compassionate to the people walking this road. Immediately after washing His disciples feet, as He is giving them their marching orders, Jesus makes clear,
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus who embraced the afflicted, the shamed, the cast-offs , and the scoundrels, sends His followers out with an entirely radical weapon: love in life-altering ways.
It is not enough for us to love the unborn. We have to love those who are making these decisions and the ones dealing with the consequences.
You may be wrestling with the decision of abortion this very moment, or as Marty brought up, it may be something you have carried with you for years. Maybe it was your decision, someone else’s, or you felt it was pressed upon you. You need to know the Lord Jesus Christ loves us, not because we are good enough, but because His love is extravagant. And this church loves you. We are far from perfect. We will let you down. But we want to show you the Love of Christ in our lives, as well as, our words.
Many of us know people who have experienced this issue first hand, and the shame associated with it (especially in church culture). Please know there is grace to be found in Jesus. 1 John 1:9 states,
”If we CONFESS our sins,
he is FAITHFUL
to FORGIVE us our sins
and to CLEANSE us
from ALL unrighteousness.”
Let me repeat a familiar refrain: God rescues sinners.
Praise God that He does not just condemn, though all of us deserve judgment. Grace and mercy are found in Christ alone. If you are here and are struggling with the guilt and shame of past decisions, afraid of what others might think, I pray you will hear me when I say, all of us are undeserving and grace is found here. May Heritage be a place of healing for you and not a place of condemnation.
There is also hope to be found in the Scriptures.
This is not the story of a sinking ship where we hold hands and tell each other of our love as we drown. This is more than just having the prison doors opened to us only to find we are miles from help and even further from a future. No, this is a story of a great God who loves more than we can comprehend.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
This is the story of a righteous King who sits on a throne of grace.
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
And this is the story of THE Magnificent Redeemer, who makes beauty from ashes.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”
To the hurting in the room… To those who have or are experiencing these pains… To those who may be wrestling with these issues even right now… My prayer is for you to see in our lives what is written in God’s Word: We love and stand with life, those precious babies and yours. You are loved, not because of our agreements, but because of grace and because we too are sinners in desperate need of a Savior.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were WASHED, but you were SANCTIFIED, but you were JUSTIFIED in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11