Sanctity of Life: Cornered

Even When We Feel Cornered, God Calls On Us To Preserve the Life Of Others

Dan Franklin
Jan 22, 2023    39m
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An unplanned pregnancy can leave you feeling cornered and out of options, but even when we feel cornered, God calls on us to preserve the life of others. When we trust in God, we can live in obedience to His word which tells us that all life is sacred, knowing He will never leave any steps of obedience unrewarded. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Intro: [00:00:00] Hey there. Thanks so much for checking out one of our messages here at Life Bible Fellowship Church. And we know there are two great ways you can connect with us. You can visit our website at LBF.church to learn more about all of our ministries and what we believe. And also, you can subscribe to us on YouTube to make sure that you don't miss one of our future videos.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:18] All right, now before we get into the message, I'm actually going to ask you all to stand as I'm going to read our scripture for this morning, which is out of First Samuel chapter 24 verses 1 through 7. And just briefly before I read this, some of you that this might not be weird, you might be used to this, but the reason we stand at this part of the service is because everything else that I'm going to say, I am going to do my best to help us understand this and help us apply this. But when we do this, we are hearing from God, we are hearing from his word.

Dan Franklin: [00:00:52] So I'm going to read for us First, Samuel chapter 24 verses 1 through 7, "After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” 2So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats. 3He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’ ” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 7With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way." This is God's word. Amen. You can grab a seat.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:17] Well, as I mentioned a moment ago, this is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, which means that this morning we are joining in with churches all over the country in celebrating the sanctity of human life. Some of you, on the way in, probably saw a table outside from Assure pregnancy clinic, which is a partner of ours who's on the front lines of this. And for those of you that aren't as familiar with the concept, when we talk about the sanctity of life, what we're talking about is something that's deeply rooted in God's word. We're going all the way back to page one of the Bible, that human beings are made in the image of God, that we bear the divine within ourselves, that everyone does. And this is such a core reality that it speaks to many of the evils that we face and many of the evils that were tempted to participate in. And so when we talk about the evil of racism, and when we think of mistreating somebody because of their skin color or because of their ethnicity, it goes back to this question, the idea that every human being bears God's image and God takes it personally. When we think of the evil of heaping abuse at people physically or verbally in the way that we mistreat people, it goes back to this idea that every human being is created in the image of God. We keep coming back to this reality, and it has a thousand implications for how we live every day and what we see and what we do, and how we treat one another. But as a lot of you know, there's a narrower focus typically when we're talking about the sanctity of life, and that is surrounding the evil of abortion. And I recognize even by me saying those words that I just said, the evil of abortion, some of you are going to have a really hard time listening because that feels like a political statement or sort of a divisive statement.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:11] There are a thousand different evils that strike against this idea that we are made in the image of God and abortion is one of them, and it's one of them because it strikes at the most precious, the youngest, the most vulnerable image bearers that we have.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:31] And so here's what I want to do through this morning. We're going to go through the passage that I read for us a moment ago. But I want to try to do two things at the same time, one is that I want to address abortion in our culture, but we're going to do it sort of through analogy. I see a strong parallel between our passage and how we treat abortion in our culture. Some of you, I'll just tell you, as we're going through the verses, some of you, it's going to be very easy to see the connection. It's going to be screaming at you the whole time, it's like you're watching The Sixth Sense and you're like, I know what's going on. I know the twist at the end, so you're going to see it coming. Some of you are going to be wondering, like, how is this going to tie in? But I promise it will. And so that's the first thing that I want to do.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:13] And the second thing that I want to do is through going through this passage, I want to address all of us because while every single one of us may not directly face a situation where we're going to be highly tempted to either have an abortion or facilitate an abortion or pay for an abortion, all of us are going to, at different times, find ourselves in the same sort of situation that would drive a woman or drive a couple to strongly consider abortion. And that situation is when we feel cornered, and when we feel like we're out of options. I don't know if you watch boxing. I don't. but I do watch boxing movies. And in boxing movies, the trainer is always calling out to the fighter, don't get in the corner, don't get caught in the corner. Because when you're stuck in the corner, your options are very limited. And we all know that that's a reality of life, also, we end up in different situations where we say, I wouldn't normally behave this way; I wouldn't normally think this is okay; I wouldn't normally do this, but I feel cornered and I'm out of options and this is my only way out of the corner. And the vast, vast majority of women and couples who choose abortion don't choose abortion because they're hard-hearted, but because they say, I'm in a corner, I maybe even think that this is wrong, but I see no other way out of this.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:38] So the question that we want to be able to ask this morning is how do we behave when we're in the corner, whether it relates to abortion or any number of other questions where we're tempted to sort of sin our way out of the corner? How do we behave when we feel stuck in a corner? And the beauty of what we're going to get to see in this passage about David and Saul is that we are going to get to see when our trust is in God we are never truly cornered.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:09] Now, here's how we'll do this. We'll walk through these seven verses. So if you have a Bible, definitely open up to First Samuel 24. If you're using your phone, go ahead and type that in and get there. I'll also allude to some things later on and before in First Samuel, so it'll be good to have a Bible open there. We'll go through this passage, but as we go through, there are two questions that I'm going to have us ask and answer not only about David, but about all of us when we find ourselves cornered. And those two questions, I'll tell them to you now, the two questions are. What is my responsibility? And where is my hope? When I'm cornered and I feel like I'm out of options. Number one, what is my responsibility? And number two, where is my hope?

Dan Franklin: [00:07:52] So you've already heard it read, but let's walk through this passage now. And before reading verses one and two, a little bit of catch-up, because some of you are familiar with this story, but Saul is the first king of the nation of Israel. And at this point in the story, it's become clear that Saul is going to be the last king of Israel in his line. The kingship is not going to pass to his son, Jonathan. Instead, it's going to be passed to David, who is secretly anointed to be the next king. This is going to happen because of certain acts of disobedience from Saul, and what's also happening in Israel is David has started to make a name for himself. He's a great warrior, and he's a great man, and people really like him. And people are even starting to talk about like, yeah, I kind of like David a little bit more than Saul. I kind of rather follow David than follow Saul. And because this is happening, Saul is becoming increasingly enraged and deranged, he is losing his sense of what matters. David has never done anything to try to betray Saul, but Saul has a maniacal bent on killing David, and he's already tried multiple times, so David is on the run, he's living like an outlaw, even though he's done nothing wrong.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:06] And that brings us to chapter 24, when the first two verses tell us," After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” 2So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats." So this is pretty straightforward, Saul is going after David, he wants to corner him, he wants to take him out, and he's bringing 3000 men with him. David is not all alone, you're going to see he has some men with him, but it's in the hundreds, and Saul is bringing the thousands. So David is in deep trouble.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:43] And then we move on to verse 3. Verse 3 says, "He, Saul, came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself." So this is exactly what you think it's saying, this is what it's saying. Even in the Bible, if you've got to go, you've got to go. And so Saul was like, I got to go. So he separates himself off from his men, finds a cave for a little bit of privacy, and goes in there. What he doesn't realize is what we find out At the end of verse 3, "David and his men were far back in the cave." Of all the caves to choose, this is the one that Saul ends up in. Saul is about to be as vulnerable as a person can be, he's literally caught with his pants down in a cave, and David and his men are there.

Dan Franklin: [00:10:31] So look what happens in verse 4, just to give us the full sense of this situation. The men now, this is David's men, speaking to him, The men said, “This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.” Now, if you were to have read all of First Samuel up to this point, or if you were to go back later on and say, I'm going to find the passage where God said this to David, you wouldn't find it there. There's no specific passage where we have God saying, I'm going to hand your enemies into your hand, but it seems like what the men are saying is basically this. David, we know you're the next king. We know that you're God's man and that God has anointed you and that he's with you and that he's going to be faithful to you. So if anybody is against you, they're against God, and God is going to give you the victory and give them the loss. So in a sense, they're speaking kind of accurately, but they're like, David, you don't need a Ph.D. to interpret what's going on right here. You eventually will be the king, your enemy is right there, as vulnerable as a person can be. David, you're a man of war, you know how to do this, you've killed before, and with a flick of the knife, your problem is solved. With a flick of the knife, and the person who has been tormenting you is out of there. David, you can finally go back home. You don't have to be on the run. People know that Saul is kind of lost it, so they're probably going to be relieved that he's out of the way and they like you more anyway. So, David, your problems will be over, all of the stress, all of the difficulty, all of the ways that you feel cornered and in darkness, they could be over with the flick of the knife, that's all you need to do.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:10] So here's where we pause, and we’ll ask the first of those two questions that I mentioned earlier. The first question is what is my responsibility? And specifically before God, all right, I'm in a situation where I'm cornered, where I feel like I don't have many options and I have the opportunity to eliminate my problem. Which is all we want when we're in tough times, all we want is to get the problem out of the way. David has a perfect opportunity to get his problem out of the way, let's see what he does.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:46] The end of verse 4 says, "Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off..." And we're all like, his head? No. "And cut off a corner of Saul's robe." Now, this will come up later that there is a specific reason why David does this. But here's what at the very least verse 4 tells us, it tells us David absolutely had opportunity here to kill Saul. He crept up to him, Saul never knew that he was there. He had a knife because he cut off the corner of the robe, and instead of using the knife to slaughter Saul, he uses the knife just to cut off a corner of Saul's robe.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:26] Now, look at verse 5. Verse 5 says, "Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe." I'll be honest, this passage makes me think my conscience is broken. So I'm like, I would not feel bad about this. Like, David felt bad about that. I would not feel bad about that, this guy is trying to kill him, and he didn't really do anything bad against him. David is conscience stricken. Why is he conscience stricken?

Dan Franklin: [00:13:51] Verse 6, "He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” David says, here's why my conscience feels pricked. It's because God gave Saul the kingship, God put him there. I'm not going to do anything against him, I even feel a little bit bad about cutting off the corner of his robe and sneaking up like that. The fact that I even thought about doing something against him, that that's wrong. I'm not going to do anything against him, God is in charge of all this, and I'm not going to do a thing against Saul.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:26] And then in verse 7, he goes even further, because it says, "With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul." So probably what was happening, and David was probably smart in this, he knew that one of the men was going to be like, David doesn't have the stomach for this, I'll take care of it. I'll go up, he's right there, David already proved you can sneak up on this guy. I'll sneak up, I'll take care of it, David won't have to do it himself. And David says, nope, I'm not touching him, nobody's touching him, "And Saul left the cave and went his way." So to answer the question, what is my responsibility? Here's how David basically answers that question, he says, my responsibility is to continue to obey God, even when disobedience to God would seem to be better in the short run, even when sinning myself out of this corner would feel like it solves all my problems. My responsibility is to continue to obey God, even when it seems like a different path would be easier. And we can all embrace this, we can all take this and say, all right, this is not just data, this is all of us. If you find yourself in a corner and all you want is to get out of that corner and there's an opportunity to sin your way out of the corner. What is my responsibility? My responsibility is to continue to obey God and his word to me instead of taking matters into my own hands.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:49] And so we can be like, great, we could almost stop the sermon right here, this is the whole message, the whole message is, do the right thing, don't do the wrong thing. You guys all got that? All right, that's good, do the right thing, don't do the wrong thing. You walk around, you're just like, do the right thing, do the right thing, do the right thing. Don't do the wrong thing, do the right thing. If you're tempted by anger, do the right thing, do the right thing, do the right thing, don't do the wrong thing. Tempted by lust, do the right thing, not the wrong thing. Tempted by revenge, do the right thing, not the wrong thing. We're just going to go through life, alright, just do the right thing and don't do the wrong thing, that's my calling.

Dan Franklin: [00:16:22] Quick question, has anybody here ever known what the right thing to do was and still done the wrong thing? Anybody? I didn't see any hands go up, but I heard something like, yeah. We all have, sadly, this happens all the time, where it's not a lack of knowledge, we get it. We're like, I know this would be right and I know that this would be wrong, but I'm cornered, I got to do this. So if we're going to rely on this, if we're going to say, all right, I'm just going to stop at the question, what is my responsibility? And don't misunderstand me, this is an important question. But if we are going to stop at that question, that will lack the power to help us actually do it. It may tell us what's right, but it will lack the power to have us actually follow through with what's right. Because all we'll be thinking is do the right thing and have my life get harder. Which for David, it did, his life did not get easier after he did this. Two chapters later, you find David in almost exactly the same situation in First Samuel 26, Saul is coming after him again, and once again David decides to spare his life. And the rest of the book of First Samuel, David is still an outlaw on the run. So he can end up in a situation where we're like, do the right thing and have my life still be pretty bad, or do a little bit of compromise and end up out of this situation.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:48] And that's why we need to ask this second question, we need to ask the question, what's my responsibility? But we need to not stop there, we need to ask a second question, which is, where is my hope? David can't do something like this without hope. David can't do something like this, just purely relying on right and wrong. He has to have hope that all right, at some point, and it might be down the line, it might not be as quick as I want it to be, at some point, there's a payoff for this, at some point, there there's a reward for this. At some point, I embrace the teaching of Hebrews Chapter 11, which says to have faith in God means to believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him. So I've got to have hope that at some point that there's some reward coming for all of this, because otherwise I know myself and you know yourself, you won't do the right thing just because it's the right thing, you need hope.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:42] Well before reading for you what David says, because David, later on in the passage, gives away what his hope was. Let me just catch you up on what happens before the statement I'm about to read in verse 12. Saul leaves the cave, and then when Saul returns to his men outside, David exits the cave and from a distance publicly confronts Saul. He says, why are you coming after me? I've done nothing to deserve this. There's nothing that I've done to betray you in any way, why are you coming after me? And then he pulls out his trump card, and pulls out the corner of the robe and says, does this look familiar? Why don't you check your robe real quick? Is our part missing? Does it fit this pattern right here? I could have killed you, I was right there in the cave, and I chose to spare your life.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:34] And then in verse 12, I want you to listen carefully to what David says, in fact, I'm putting it up on the screen. David says, "May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you." So first of all, he makes it clear again, I'm not coming after you, I'm not going to lay a hand on you. But he says there are two things that I'm counting on the Lord to do. Number one, I'm counting on the Lord to judge between me and you. Because David could be saying right now, I look like the guilty one, and you look like the innocent one, God knows that's not the case. At some point in the future, God's judgment will be clear, and I will be vindicated. I'm counting on God to judge between us. And he also says, I'm counting on God to avenge anything that needs to be avenged. What he means here is God is going to be the one to right any wrongs that have happened. I'm not going to strike back and get my own revenge for all that Saul has done for me, I'm going to count on the fact that God will avenge any wrongs that need to be avenged.

Dan Franklin: [00:20:40] David here is not just making a statement of resolve; he's making a statement of hope. He's saying, I'm going to do my responsibility before God, and the reason I'm going to do it is because I'm banking on the fact that God is the judge and he will vindicate me, and that God is the Avenger and that he will make sure that any wrongs that I've suffered will eventually be made right. Every step of obedience to God is ultimately a step of hope. It's a step of hope that even though in the short run, it doesn't seem like it's going to work out for us, that we're banking on the fact that God never leaves any step of obedience unrewarded.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:20] David demonstrates a beautiful truth, one I mentioned at the beginning, and that's when our trust is in God, we are never truly cornered. David seemed like he was cornered in a cave, it seemed like his only option was to take out Saul himself. But David knew he wasn't cornered, David knew that he was serving a God who was more than capable of taking care of it. When our trust is in God, we are never truly cornered, we are never truly out of options because we have an infinite God with an infinite number of options to rescue and make things right.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:20] And we can even think about it, if we were just taking this passage and saying, all right, Dad, David was tempted by revenge, or tempted to take matters into his own hands. What about when we face that? What about when we, as believers in Jesus Christ, what about when we face times that we really feel like we want to strike back against somebody? We have Romans chapter 12 verse 19, "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord." Paul says, all right, sometimes you're going to want to strike back with words, with violence, with rumors, with gossip, with something, you're going to want to strike back at somebody, and maybe it'll be a real legitimate hurt that you have, you're going to want to strike back. And when that happens, I'm going to tell you your responsibility is not to take your own revenge, but your hope is that God will right every wrong. You don't have to take your own revenge; God is the judge. People have said before, God is the judge, and when we take our own revenge, we call him to get off his judgment seat because we're going to get on it for him. I don't want to do that, you don't want to do that, we leave God on the throne as the judge.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:20] But let's be real, as we're talking about the times that we feel cornered, some of those times, it's because we want to sin our way out through revenge. But most of the time, it doesn't necessarily connect to revenge, it could be any number of different situations where we're tempted to sin our way out of it. Some of you right now might be facing financial things, you're facing financial problems, and you're really tempted to say, if I just misrepresent myself on my taxes, if I just skim a little bit off the top of my company, if I just do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, I know it's not normally right, but that would get me out of the corner here. Some of you are in a marriage that you're like, this is just miserable, like, this is just brutal right now. And you see this light at the end of the tunnel where you're like if I just got divorced, if I just got divorced, I would make everything good again. It would just free me from this, and I finally would have freedom from all this difficulty and the good life that I'm longing for, and you're tempted to sin your way out of your difficult marriage. Some of you might be in a situation where you're just like, I am tired of being left out of the group that I want to be a part of at school, or at work. And you're like, I know how to get in, I know how to be a part of that, I know how to be included, I just need to start talking the way that they talk, drinking the way that they drink, doing some of these things. I know it's not perfect, I know it's not ideal, but if I just sin my way out of this corner, I could suddenly be included in the group that I want to be included in. We're all tempted to sin our way out of the corner, and we'd say, I wouldn't normally do it, but this is too much.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:42] I want to go a few chapters earlier in Romans and look at what I think is maybe the greatest verse in the Bible, Romans 8:28 which tells us this, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.". In all things, in whatever corner you're facing. Even when finances are really tight? Yeah, that's included in all things. Even when my marriage is really, really painful? Yes, that's included in all things. Even when I'm in a cave and somebody is coming after me to take my life? Yes, that's included in all things. And even if an abortion feels like it would solve every problem before me? Yes, that's still included in all things. It is because of our hope in God that we can be obedient because we know that when our trust is in God, we're never truly cornered.

Dan Franklin: [00:25:43] Now, as I mentioned, some of you the whole time through the David Passage, you were like, Dan, this isn't hard to figure out, I see what's going on here. Like, all right, so you've got David, he can solve this problem by taking a life, but he chooses not to do it. There's a woman or a couple, and there's an unplanned pregnancy, they can solve their problem by taking the life. I get it, like, I get how this sort of parallels together. But some of you might even be thinking, but it's not the same, like, let's not pretend it's the same, that David's situation is the same as a woman or a couple trying to make the decision about abortion. And you're right, it's not the same. And I want to say a few things, and I hope that they don't come across as harsh, but I hope that they come across as us being willing to be honest about what's going on.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:24] They're not the same situation, first of all, because David didn't sin his way into the corner. And most of our corners, are corners that we've sinned our way into. There's maybe somewhere around 1% or a little bit less than 1% of cases where people are pursuing abortion, where you could say, like, this wasn't really your fault, like, you don't have any responsibility in the fact that you're pregnant. Ninety-Nine percent plus of the cases, we know that people get pregnant through the normal way that they get pregnant, full consent, all of that.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:56] So for us to act like, well, it's a different situation with David. Yeah, it's a different situation, he was more justified than we are because he didn't get himself into that corner, we do get ourselves into our corners. Beyond that, Saul was a murderous person, and David probably could have justified, everybody's going to be better off without this guy, I might be saving lives by killing him. Whereas with abortion, we are killing an innocent unborn child who has done nothing to deserve that sentence. We've got to be honest enough with ourselves to look at the situation and say, actually, you're right, it's not the same situation. If David were to have killed Saul in this situation, it would not have been as bad as what we do when we commit abortions. This is an evil that we don't want to face up to because I think when we do start to face up to it and we realize the magnitude of it and the tens of millions of babies that we've slaughtered, it's almost too much to handle. But let's be honest enough to come face to face with it now.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:56] Now, one thing more before I move on to the main thing that I want to say, and that's this, and this is just a side point of wisdom. We are wise if we avoid as many unnecessary corners as possible. Like this is just wisdom, we all know ourselves well enough to know it's hard to make the right decision in a corner, so avoid unnecessary corners as much as possible. And I know what I'm about to say, it's going to feel like a big ask. I'm going to say this to all of us, but especially to those of you who are a little bit younger, saving sex for marriage right now feels like a wildly countercultural thing to do, and it can feel like a big ask. Some of you are like, is that even still in the Bible? Yeah, those verses are still in there. I want to say this, I get, I get that I'm up here and you're like, all right, easy for you, you're an old guy, and you're married. Which, by the way, I am old, those of you who think I'm not old, you're really old. Just as a side note. But I understand, like, I really do that you're like, all right, it's easy for you to say right now. What I just want to plead with you is this, God knows you and God's wisdom is wiser than the wisdom of the world. God knows you; he made you, God understands sex, he made sex. God understands all of this perfectly, and God is wiser than your friends, wiser than the TV shows, and wiser than the culture. So, for heaven's sake, man, let's be wise enough to as much as we can, avoid unnecessary corners where it's going to be really tough to make those decisions.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:36] But let's also just recognize this, all of us are going to be in corners, all of us. We know ourselves, some of them won't be our fault, but a lot of them are going to be our fault, that's just the way that things are. We're going to end up in those corners, and thank God, and this is one of the beautiful things we're reading through the Psalms right now in our Bible reading plan, one of the beautiful things I love about the Psalms is sometime the psalmist is crying out to God and saying, God save me because I'm innocent, and other times the psalmist is just crying out to God and saying, God save me. And there's no second part, he's not like, because I'm innocent; He's like, this is my fault, but please still save me.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:13] When we talk about the wonder of who God is, when we talk about the beauty of the fact that when our trust is in God we're never truly cornered, we're never truly out of options, that's a reality because God is a master in bringing light out of the darkest caves that anyone has ever been in. Let's take a minute and remember that the darkest, most evil thing that was ever done in human history turned into the salvation of all mankind. God sent his son, we rejected him, and we nailed him to the cross. Some of you right now that have had an abortion in your past, you're feeling this pang of like, oh my gosh, what have I done? All of us have blood on our hands, the blood of the Son of God who we nailed to a cross and out of the darkest, most evil thing that we as human beings ever did. God brought forgiveness and salvation for mankind.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:05] You know, later on, I'm going to be inviting pastors and elders and prayer team members to be upfront to receive anybody who wants to pray afterward. And some of you may be sort of dealing with this whole thing of like, gosh, if abortion really is this evil and if I've done it in the past, how could I possibly show my face? How could I possibly admit this? What I really want you to hear, and what I want you to know is, every single person who's going to be up here afterward, and every single person in this room has been forgiven of things that should never have been forgiven. But by the pure grace of God, where Jesus’ blood covers it all, you are amongst fellow sinners, saved by grace and made new. And if afterwards... Yeah, I appreciate that. If afterwards I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself, but I'll just say this, if afterwards this is triggered in you where you're like, I have an abortion in my past, or I paid for an abortion, or I drove my daughter to the clinic, if you're dealing with this and you're like, this has haunted me for years and it's time to finally tell somebody. What I want to promise you is this, I don't want to promise you that the road is going to be easy, but I want to promise you that you are among fellow sinners saved by grace. And we will be more than glad to walk with you in the grace that we've received. And if right now, some of you, because I don't know everybody in this room, some of you right now might be in a situation where you're like, it's not in the past, right now, abortion is on the table. Right now, I'm not sure, or we're not sure what we're going to do because this pregnancy was not planned, and we're not sure how we're going to handle it. Right now, if you're in a situation where you're like, abortion is on the table, if we're being honest, I'm just going to say, once again, if you come up and you talk to us, we are absolutely going to do everything in our power to look to save you from all of the regrets that you will have from the evil of abortion, but also to save that child, but we will walk with you in grace and patience.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:00] And if you're like, I don't want to come up front and talk to somebody in front of everyone, Here are two suggestions. Number one, go to the Assure table afterwards. Nobody will even notice, you'll just grab some of their literature and call them tomorrow, or just get on our website and set up an appointment through email or phone with one of our pastors tomorrow, and we will walk with you through this. But what I hope for us to see is not only our call to preserve life, but what my hope for us to see is to get a vision where our gut response is to trust that we have hope in God, even in the darkest corners.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:36] I was thinking about this, it was probably at least 15 years ago now, I was a college pastor in Oregon and there was a gal who was on staff with the college ministry, and she was newly married. We all had just been at her wedding, and it was this great, wonderful thing. She just got married, and she was in her early twenties. I can't remember for sure, but it was either one month or two months later, it was real fast after the wedding that she let us all know that she was pregnant, and we were like, wow, you guys didn't waste time at all. You know, we're congratulating her, and she had a smile on her face. And she was honest enough to say this, she had a smile on her face, but she said, I'm smiling now, but when I found out I was pregnant, I cried for two days. And abortion was never on the table with her and her husband, that was a nonstarter, and they definitely wanted kids, but they did not want kids that fast. They were sort of like we had some plans, like, we were going to sort of like be financially stable and get things together and have a couple of years of marriage before we brought kids into the picture. And she had plans with her job, and all of this was being thwarted, all this was getting off track because of this unplanned baby that eventually they wanted. But I love that she was honest enough to say when I first heard about this, that was really hard because it messed up all of these plans.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:56] And you'll hear this. They'll be like what will I do about school? What will do? I don't know if I'm able to be a parent right now, I don't know if I'm able to handle this right now. And one of the beautiful things, especially if you get connected at all to Assure, or if you just hear stories of what Assure pregnancy clinic puts out. Here's the story of almost every person that gives a testimonial about Assure, that the woman says, I was pregnant, and it seemed like the worst possible thing that could happen to me. And then the next part of the story is, and my child is the greatest light in my life that God has ever given me. We get blinded by the trials of the present, and we don't see the beauty of what's just around the corner that God is going to bring to us. Because when our trust is in God, we are never truly cornered.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:44] So here's what I want to do now. If you are a pastor, or elder, or a prayer team member, I want to invite you now, just before I pray, to come up front on the other side of the stage, just because I want folks to see our faces, and see that we're going to be up here. After the service, after I pray, you may want to come up and it may be because you're in a corner that has nothing to do with abortion, that has nothing to do with an unplanned pregnancy, or any of this. You're just like, I just need prayer about this corner that I'm in. And if that's the case, we will be glad to pray with you. But I want to say, if this in some way has struck that you're saying I have some healing that I need to do and I doubt God can forgive me, you don't want to be fighting that battle alone. And if you're saying, hey, right now abortion is on the table and I know I shouldn't, but I kind of think I'm going to, you don't want to fight that battle alone. You want to fight that battle with people who love you and will walk with you every step of the way.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:39] So I'm going to go ahead and pray. We'll talk and we'll scatter afterward and all of that. But don't miss an opportunity to draw near to God and to draw near for prayer so that you can walk with him and the corners that he gets us out of. Let me pray for us now.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:56] Father, thank you so much that you give us life. Thank you, that we get to, even within this church family, that we get to celebrate, that we're different, that we're unique, and that you fearfully and wonderfully made each of us. Thank you for the children that we get to celebrate. Thank you for the people of all ages that we get to be brothers and sisters with. And Father, I pray that you foster in us a deep sense, and instinctive sense of the image of God that dwells in each person, no matter how different from us they are. Father, I pray that you also heal us and heal our nation over the evil of abortion that we've been so much a part of. I pray that by your grace, you will open our eyes, that we won’t be able to turn away. Father, I pray that you raise up men and women to be on the front lines, to partner with Assure, or to partner in other ways, to be on the front lines of advocating for life.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:56] And Father, I want to pray specifically for anyone in here that has regret about a past abortion. Father, I pray that you bring deep healing through Jesus, not denial, not just move on, but deep healing that Jesus' blood covers it all. And Father, I pray if there's anyone in here that right now, abortion is a very real option. Father, I pray that you intervene by your spirit, that you intervene by your grace, and that you save both the child and that you save the parents from all the regret with this, and that you tell stories of your grace and redemption. Father, show us that this really is true, that when we're trusting in you, that we are never truly cornered. We pray this in the name of our great Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. Amen.

Dan Franklin: [00:38:48] Now, I'm just going to ask you to stand. And as a word of benediction, as we leave, I'm just going to read a verse I read a few moments ago. Romans chapter 8:28, as our reminder of this reality, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Amen? Amen. God bless you the rest of this Sunday.



Recorded in Upland, California.
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Life Bible Fellowship Church
2426 N Euclid Ave
Upland, California 91786
(909) 981-4848