Following God into the Unknown

What Does It Mean To Believe In The Sanctity Of Life?

Dan Franklin
Jan 23, 2022    38m
As Christians, God calls us to believe in the sanctity of life; and trust in God's promises to lead us through these scary decisions. When we follow by faith, we can feel safe because God does all things for our good. Video recorded at Upland, California.

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Dan Franklin: [00:00:18] And today, as some of you probably know, and maybe as some of you don't know, is sanctity of life Sunday. And we celebrate this every year here at Life Bible Fellowship Church, and we joined with churches all over the nation who celebrate. And it's always right about this time that we do this, because it was January 22nd, 1973, that the Supreme Court decided a case called Roe v. Wade, where they decided that our Constitution protected the right to abortion, and since that time, over 60 million legal abortions have been performed in our nation. And in some ways, when we celebrate sanctity of life Sunday, it can understandably come across as sort of like we are doing this in order to talk about the negative of abortion, the negative of the evil of abortion, which we are, that that's unashamedly part of what we do, we're a church that's pro-life, not because we're political, but because we believe, as I'll talk about later, that's what scripture teaches and that's where we need to be. But we always want this Sunday not just to be a time that we talk about the negative of abortion, but where we talk about the positive of the fact that each and every one of us has been created in the image of the one true God. So while it's a time of appropriate sobriety and also of even grief, there's a time of celebration of the reason that we see abortion as an evil, is because we see the beauty of God's image and each and every person.

Dan Franklin: [00:01:53] And part of why we do it this Sunday, is we want to have all of us ask the question, how is God calling me to speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves? And Phil mentioned at the beginning of the service, Assure Pregnancy Clinic has a table outside. Some of you are going to be called, some of you are involved with Assure, some of you are going to be called to say, maybe we need to give financially, or we need to pray and get on their prayer team, or maybe even I need to serve in some way to help with these people that are on the front lines of this, helping unborn babies and their mothers. But at the very least, what we believe is that we as a church are called to speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves, and that once a year we take a Sunday to focus in on that.

Dan Franklin: [00:02:39] Now, I recognize also, for some of you, this is a very tough Sunday. Again, if we advertise and we said we're doing sanctity of life Sunday, some of you might not have shown up because you're just like, this is heavy because you've had an abortion, or you facilitated somebody having an abortion, or that there's just a lot of heaviness that comes along with this. And I want to make a couple of things clear before we go into this, and the first thing I want to make clear is this, the central Christian message is not abortion is wrong. Now we believe abortion is wrong, I'm going to talk this Sunday about how abortion is wrong, that is not the center of the Christian message. The center of the Christian message is God saves sinners through Jesus. Amen? God saves sinners through Jesus, he saves sinners who have lied, he saves sinners who have slandered, he saves sinners who have committed adultery, he saves sinners who have committed violence, and he saves sinners who have had an abortion. You are not in some special status if you've had an abortion where you have out sinned God's grace. The central message, even for a day like today, where we're talking about abortion, even for a day like today, the central message that I want us all to walk away from is, through Jesus, God saves sinners.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:05] And as we do that, we're going to go through a passage that's not the most common sanctity of life passage, you heard it read, it's Genesis 13. If you have a Bible, you can make sure that you get there because we're going to walk through this chapter, but I love this story in Genesis 13 about Abram and Lot. And one of the reasons why I love this story is because I think not only in a creative way does it address something that's at the core of abortion, but it addresses each and every one of us for what happens when we find ourselves in a situation where we're tempted to be led by fear instead of by faith.

Dan Franklin: [00:04:41] So we're going to walk through this passage, I'll put the first few verses up here, but just as we do that, I'll give a little bit of background. Abram, who is mentioned in this passage, is Abram, his name is later changed to that. Abram first shows up at the end of Genesis 11, and then really comes onto the scene in Genesis 12. And in Genesis 12, God calls Abram to leave behind his family, and to leave behind his homeland, and to leave behind everything that he's familiar with and follow God to a place that God will later show him.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:14] And Abram leaves, and his nephew Lot comes along with them, and Abram's wife Sarai comes along with them also, and as they go, God sends them off with some promises. And at the core, really three promises that Abram's going out with. Number one, he has promised a land, God's going to give him and his descendants a land. Number two, God has promised him offspring, which is significant because Abram and Sarai are old, and they haven't had any children. And then thirdly, Abram is promised blessing, God will bless, you and God will bless others through you, so Abram, Sarai, and Lot, they go out with these promises.

Dan Franklin: [00:05:56] And then I just do want to mention something that happens at the end of Chapter 12, right before our passage. And that's that there's a famine in the land, and so Abram and everybody, they go down to Egypt. Now in the Old Testament, when you're Jewish, you want to be in the land, not out of the land, so it's a bad sign when you're out of the land. They go down to Egypt, and Abram immediately perceives that there is a danger. And this is the danger he perceives, he says my wife, Sarai, is so beautiful that the Egyptians are going to kill me to get to her. Now, just as a side note, Sarai was sixty-five years old, but she had aged well, apparently, And Abram was like, this is great danger, they're going to kill me in order to get to her. And by the way, he didn't end up being wrong, there were a lot of people that were after Sarai. And so here's what Abram does is a solution to this problem, because he looks at his beautiful wife and he looks at the Egyptians, and he says, I might not end up receiving any of the promises of God because of this threat.

Dan Franklin: [00:06:57] And so in order to deal with the danger, what Abram decides to do is to take his wife and put her right between him and the danger, he tells everybody, she's not my wife, she's my sister. And then all the Egyptians are like, well, we want to get in good with the brother to get to the sister. In fact, the Pharaoh of Egypt brings Sarai into his home and is planning on making her his wife until God strikes all the Egyptians with disease, and then they're like, maybe something's going on here, and Abram and Sarai get discovered and then sent away.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:31] Now here's why I'm spending a little bit of time talking about this as a preview. Abram was faced with the moment where he could have made the decision based on faith, God's made promises, he's going to keep his promises, or based on fear, where he said in order to get those promises, I better grab control and do things my way, and he failed that test of faith. But in Chapter 13, he's going to get another opportunity for a test of faith.

Dan Franklin: [00:07:59] So I won't read through verses 1 through 4, but you can see them up on the screen, Abram and Sarai and Lot, they come back into the land of Canaan, back into the land of promise, which is good. And one of the stops is that they go back to a place called Bethel, and in Chapter 12, Abram had built an altar there as a way of saying I belong to God, I'm dedicating myself to him. Abram goes back there now to that altar, he's back in the land, he's back at the altar, he's worshiping God, it's almost a restart of saying, all right, I had a failure, but now I'm going to follow God.

Dan Franklin: [00:08:32] But a problem arises, and we see that problem starting in verse 5. In verse 5 we read, "Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. 7And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time." So Abram encounters a problem, and it's a problem that if we're honest, a lot of us wouldn't mind having that problem. Like, there's so much stuff, we just have so much stuff, we're so rich, we have so much stuff. Abram has so much stuff, Lot has so much stuff, the stuff is getting mixed up, people are getting mad at each other. And when it says the quarrels arose, it's not just saying like somebody is like, you bumped into me, this is the word used for legal disputes, it like a lawsuit. So this is serious stuff, they cannot stay together any longer, they're going to have to split up.

Dan Franklin: [00:09:38] Now, this is a big deal for a couple of reasons. The first is that Abram already has left everybody behind, his nephew is the only extended family that came along, so it's a big deal that now he's going to be without Lot. But this is also a big deal because Abram was promised this land, and as long as they're together, Abram is still sort of the one guiding where they go. Once they split up, it's going to be sort of like that half is where a Lot is, that half is where Abram is, and Abram relinquishes control at that point of all that's going on. So he's faced with another decision, this conflict could threaten the fulfillment of God's promises. Just like back in Chapter 12, the threat of the Egyptians threatens God's promises, and now we got to look at Abram and say, what's he going to do?

Dan Franklin: [00:10:30] And in verses 8 and 9, we read what he did. Verse 8 says, "So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.” Now, it's hard for us in 2022 to get how utterly shocking this is that Abram does this. He relinquishes control and says to Lot, you choose, I'll go with whatever you don't choose.

Dan Franklin: [00:11:11] Now, this is shocking for at least three reasons. The first is this, Abram is older, he is the elder of the group, he is the uncle, Lot is the nephew. In that culture, it would have been obvious, everybody would have looked to Abram and said clearly, he gets to decide and we all go with his decision. So it's shocking for that reason. It's also shocking because between Abram and Lot, who was the one that God spoke to? It was Abram. Abram could have been like, Lot, glad you're here, but God didn't talk to you, God talked to me, so I'm going to decide and you're just going to do whatever I tell you to do, and nobody would have been surprised by Abram doing that. And the third reason why it's shocking is because, once again, just a chapter before Abram looked at fear and said, I've got to grab control to make sure that this threat doesn't ruin what God has promised. And a chapter later he looks at another threat and he says, I'm going to let Lot choose because whatever Lot chooses, nothing can stand in the way of what God promises. So you go this way, I'll go that way. You go that way; I'll go this way.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:16] He lets Lott choose and does choose. Starting in verse 10, we read about Lot's choice, it says, "Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt." A little side note, this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, so a lot shows for himself the whole plane in the Jordan and set out toward the East.

Dan Franklin: [00:12:42] Now, a quick pause here, in Genesis Lot is not a hero, and he's not a villain. Abram is the man of faith, and what Lot consistently represents is the man who lives by sight, he's not the villain, he's just the normal guy. And if you're a normal guy and you look out and you're like, well, this way it looks well-watered and lush and beautiful, and this way it looks kind of arid and deserty, what are you going to choose? He just does the very obvious choice; he looks at the two options and he makes the choice based on his sight.

Dan Franklin: [00:13:16] In one of the commentaries I'd read in preparation for today, Allen P. Ross said this, "He said those who walked by sight eventually learned that seeing may be misleading." And we get a hint of that at the end of verse 11 and what follows, it says, "The two men parted company: 12Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord." We get this little hint of something that's going to happen six chapters later in Genesis 19 when God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, and when God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot is nearly destroyed along with them. Lot looks out and he says, clearly this is the way to go, and that way led him to utter disaster if God and his mercy hadn't intervened. Those who live by sight, often find that seeing can be misleading.

Dan Franklin: [00:14:21] Now, after this fallout, and after this separation, we get to see God speak to Abram. Starting in verse 14 it says, "The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west." And I'm not an expert on geography, but I'm pretty sure that's everywhere, right, that's all four cardinal directions north, south, east, and west. He says, look everywhere, and then he says, "All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring a forever. 16I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” Abram, despite the fact that you relinquished control, despite the fact that you're on the side of the land that you didn't even choose, I'm going to take care of you. And I don't care where Lot is, east, west, north, south, all of this is going to belong to you and your descendants.

Dan Franklin: [00:15:27] And verse 18 just gives us a note about how Abram responded to all this. Verse 18 says, "So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord." Which is cool, because it really bookends this story. You may remember, at the beginning of this passage, the beginning of this chapter, started with Abram going back to an altar he built and rededicating himself to the Lord. All of these chaotic things have happened, and at the end of it, he's an altar worshiping the Lord. He's made the challenging, difficult decision of faith, of not trying to grab control of his situation, but instead trusting that God is going to take care of him. And Abram's ability to worship here shows that he knows something, and I love this, it shows that he knows something that theoretically he could have known before, but now he knows it in his bones, now he knows it in the deepest part of himself. And here's what Abram knows now, he knows that nothing and no one can thwart God's promises. No one and nothing can thwart the promises of God, not Lot and his choice of which side of the land, not a barren wife who can't have children, not a bunch of bloodthirsty Egyptians, not a dry land, no one and nothing can thwart the promises of God. And throughout the rest of the story of Abram, we see God consistently overcome threats in order to fulfill all the promises he's made.

Dan Franklin: [00:17:14] Now, let's pause now, and let's talk about ourselves. Let's talk about this idea, no one and nothing can thwart God's promises. If you believe this, here's what it allows you to do, it allows you to continue to walk on God's path, it allows you to continue to walk in obedience to God instead of feeling the desperate need to grab control when God's path has some peril on it. When you look on God's path, and you're like on that path, there is a big swamp; and on that path, there's a whole bunch of sharp rocks; and on that path, there is a wild animal. God, I'm looking at the path that you've called me to, it looks scary, so I'm going to carve my own alternate path because walking on God's path looks like it might keep me from getting to God's blessings. It's only when we believe that no one and nothing can thwart God's promises that we can walk in obedience to God's path.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:18] And the fact is, if you're walking on God's path in obedience, there are some things that are going to be harder. Sometimes you're walking on God's path and you're like, this is going to make me less popular, there's just no way around it. Sometimes you're looking at God's path and you're like, that means I'm going to make less money, or have less dispensable income than I would going another way. Sometimes you're on God's path and you're like, that's going to bring extra family conflict, or that's going to make me despised by the people around me. You look on God's path and it's scary, and you're not wrong, you see obstacles on God's path that tempt you to carve your own path.

Dan Franklin: [00:18:53] And the fact is, sometimes we're looking ahead on God's path, and the obstacle that we see to get to God's promises, to get to God's blessings, the obstacle that we see in the way of us getting there is not a sickness, and not a financial crisis, and not an antagonistic person, the threat that we see in the way, the obstacles that we see in the way, is a baby. We say I want a rich life, I want a meaningful life, I want to experience all that I've ever dreamed of, but there's a baby in the way. And all of us would be mortified at the idea of saying, well, if there's a baby in the way, get the baby out of the way. In normal circumstances, we'd say, no, no, no, that's horrible, you can't do that. And yet in our culture, when it comes to abortion, we not only say it's OK to do that, we say, shout your abortion, we say have no shame over getting the baby out of the way.

Dan Franklin: [00:19:55] And I want to pause there, even as I'm talking about this, I don't want to sound callous because I recognize when a woman is pregnant unexpectedly and feels cornered, it's usually not just that she's saying I had grand plans for my life, and this is going to make it a little bit harder. It usually involves abject panic, it usually involves a sense of I might get kicked out of my home, I don't know how I'm going to pay for any of this, my boyfriend or my husband might leave me, I don't have any idea, there's an absolute feeling of being cornered. And you look at that baby, and you say the only thing in the way of me having some sense of knowing what my life is going to be about, is if that baby is no longer there, it's a moment of panic. And at the same time, it's a moment where we've got to ask ourselves that question, are we really going to exercise faith in the God whom no one and nothing can thwart the promises that he makes?

Dan Franklin: [00:20:54] When it comes to abortion, what we're dealing with is the same thing we're dealing with in all other facets of our life, we're dealing with truth and lies, spiritual warfare is all about the truth and about lies. So here's what I want to do for a few moments, I want to walk through what I believe are the three biggest lies in our culture that surround abortion.

Dan Franklin: [00:21:13] Oh, I got something important to say before then, it's a good thing I have slides. Here's what I want to say before then, we are not Abram, which means we don't have all of Abram's promises. We don't just read Genesis 12 and say, hey, that's us, no, no, that's Abram, the land, and the offspring. But what we do have, is we do have promises from God as believers in Jesus. And in the Bible, Romans 8:28, I like to think of it as the king promise, because it's the promise that encapsulates all other promises, it says, "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." All of the promises of God to us are encapsulated in that idea. Is God going to forgive us? He is. Do you know why? Because he's working all things for our good. If you're a believer in Jesus, are you going to end up in heaven? Yeah, because God is working all things together for our good. If you face suffering and difficulty and opposition, is God going to bring good from that? He is, because God works all things together for our good.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:23] And so with that said, let's walk through what I think are the three big lies in our culture surrounding abortion.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:30] The first lie is the most simple one, it's the lie that says, it's not a baby. It's not a baby until it's born, or until it's viable at least to live outside the womb. It's not a baby, it's just a fetus, or it's just a clump of cells. And so it's OK, there's nothing wrong being done here, it's not a baby. Here's where I want to start, if you believe that the Bible is God's word, you've got to go with God's word on this one, and God's word is not silent.

Dan Franklin: [00:22:59] Let me just read a few passages, Psalm 139 verses 13 through 16, speaking to God, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Isaiah 44:24, this is what the Lord says, "Your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb." Jeremiah 1:5, Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart." And all of these Old Testament passages aren't even to mention that the first person to recognize the incarnate son of God was an unborn baby, six months in the womb, John the Baptist, lept in his mother Elizabeth's womb, when newly conceived Jesus entered the room with his mother, Mary. Jesus was a person, and John the Baptist was a person before they were ever born.

Dan Franklin: [00:24:27] Now, here's the deal, some of you in here might say, I'm not sure, I believe the Bible. All right, if you do believe the Bible, we need to stop this silliness of acting like the Bible doesn't speak on this, the Bible does speak on this. I mean, by the way, not only does the Bible speak on this, science speaks on this. Let me just give you a few things that we know about the development of the baby in the womb. At twenty-one days, just three weeks after implantation, the heart of that baby is pumping blood through the entire body. At just 28 days, the baby has budding arms and legs. At just thirty-five days, or just five weeks, the baby has a mouth and ears and the nose, and those are all taking shape. At 40 days, you can detect and record both brain waves and heartbeat. And at 42 days, just six weeks, the skeleton is fully formed, and the brain is controlling the movements of the muscles and the organs. The Bible says this is a baby, science says this is a baby, and by the way, we all know it's a baby. I don't care what anybody says, we all know what we're doing here. I've never met, no matter how pro-choice the person is, I've never met a pro-choice person that goes up to a pregnant woman and says, how's that clump of cells doing? We all know what we're doing, and we just use euphemistic language to try to trick ourselves out of letting our conscience prick us. Don't believe the lie, it's not a baby, it is a baby.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:05] There's a second lie to talk about, the second lie says this, it says no one should be forced to have a baby. Which on the surface, most of us would say, well, yeah, I think I'm on board with that, I don't think the government should come to couples and be like, you must get pregnant, all right, so I think I'm on board here. But here's what this phrase ends up meaning, what it ends up meaning is no woman who becomes pregnant should be forced to carry that baby to term, she should be able to abort that baby.

Dan Franklin: [00:26:34] There's actually a thought experiment that goes along with this, some of you probably have heard it, it's usually called the violinist scenario. And here's how this goes, the violinist scenario says, all right, you wake up and you find out that you've been kidnaped, and you're in a warehouse, and you are hooked up to somebody else. You're hooked up to a famous violinist who has a fatal kidney disease, and your circulatory system is connected up to theirs, and your healthy kidneys are being used to help pump the poison out of their diseased kidneys. And at the end of nine months, you can disconnect, and the violinist will be fine and healthy, but if you disconnect before those nine months are up, the violinist will die. And sort of the scenario is, well, what do you do? Is it OK to make the decision to disconnect? It's an interesting thought experiment, but here's the deal, it doesn't have a strong relationship to almost all abortions, you might say it has a relationship to any abortion or any pregnancy that's a result of rape or incest. In that case, you might say, All right, I see kind of a parallel here, because we have a person that through no choice of her own, but from evil done to her, ends up in this situation.

Dan Franklin: [00:27:53] And so let me just say a couple of words on this briefly, rape and incest are obviously horrific evils. So a woman who finds herself pregnant for one of these reasons, she is the victim of horrific evil. What we believe from scripture is that the solution when we're victims of horrific evil is not then to respond by committing another evil, because we believe in the God who raises the dead and brings beauty out of ashes. But let me also say this, all the talk of rape and incest is a big smokescreen because rape and incest make up about less than two percent of all abortions, it is not the driving factor. The driving factor is men and women willingly choosing to engage in sex, and then being shocked that one of the outcomes of that might be pregnancy. Now, you might say, hey, I signed on for sex, I didn't sign on for a baby. Yes, you did. If you engage in sex, human beings have known this for a long time, this is not a new idea, that if you engage in sex a baby might come from that act. And at the very least, even if you're not planning on having a baby, you take responsibility for any babies that are a result of that choice. It sort of makes the Christian idea of saving sex towards marriage not seem quite as dumb as our culture makes it seem, suddenly. So we have that second lie that nobody should be forced to have a baby.

Dan Franklin: [00:29:27] And here's the third one, and really, it's the big one because it drives almost all abortions, it's the lie that says my life will be ruined if I have this baby. I've talked to a lot of the women who are the frontline workers at Assure, and at other similar ministries, and what they say is this is the big one. They run into women that say, hey, I believe it is a baby, I believe it's wrong. They might even be Christians and say, I believe this is a sin, but I have to do this, I have to abort this baby because my life will be ruined if I have this baby. And you can understand the desperation when you're put in a situation like this.

Dan Franklin: [00:30:09] But here's where we find ourselves with Abram again standing before the land and seeing a threat to the promise and saying I need to grab control and pave my own road to make sure that I don't miss out on the promise. Let's be real, a baby, having a baby can change a lot of things. Amen? Having a baby can change a lot of things, it's going to change your sleep schedule, I can guarantee that, it's going to change your finances, it's going to change your social life and your freedom to make plans. If you're a woman, it's going to change your body, and if you're a super-sensitive guy, it might change your body too. A baby can change a lot of things, but do you know what a baby cannot change? The promises of God, no one and nothing can thwart the promises of God, not Lot, not the Egyptians, not a trial, not a virus, not an unplanned pregnancy with a baby that you weren't sure you wanted. A baby will change your life, a baby will not change the promises of God.

Dan Franklin: [00:31:23] God made promises to Abram, and he fulfilled them to a T.. God has made promises to you and promises to the world, and he sent his beloved Son to be the fulfillment of those promises. He sent his Son, not only at Christmas, to be the one who would come in flesh, but he sent his Son to be the payment for all of our sins through his death, and the surety of all of our victory through his resurrection. And God has promised to you if you're a believer, that he will work all things together for your good and no one and nothing can thwart that promise that God has made.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:01] So let me just say a few things. The first is this, I don't know what's going on with everybody here, there might be a woman in here who you're facing a pregnancy and you're panicked, it was unplanned, you feel cornered. You're looking at lie number three and you're like, I know you're saying it's a lie, but it seems like it's true that having this baby will ruin my life, everything will change. Part of what I want to say is that the beauty of being involved in a fellowship of believers like this, is you get to hear your story after story of how God brings beauty out of desperate situations.

Dan Franklin: [00:32:39] For Karina and I, the first life group that we were a part of here at LBF Church, there was a woman in the life group that she told us her life story, she then even made a testimony video and shared that life story with the church, and it went like this. She got pregnant at 17, still in high school. She was at an abortion clinic waiting for her appointment to abort her baby, and God intervened in a very strange way that led to her running out of the clinic and deciding she couldn't do it. She told her parents, which was terrifying, it was not a good situation. But we got to sit with her all these years later as she has this beautiful teenage daughter. How she now had been led to a husband who was caring for her and her new children. How she got to experience this idea of at the time, there was this tunnel vision of there's no good thing that will happen in my life if I do this. But what I'm saying is, there are men and women on the other side of those moments saying, God will not let anyone or anything thwart his promises. It's not going to be easy, but God will not let anyone or anything thwart his promises, and he brings beauty out of ashes.

Dan Franklin: [00:33:51] And I also want to say, if you're in that situation, or if later on, you find yourself in that situation, where you're like, I'm pregnant, and I'm cornered, I don't know what to do, here's the promise I want to make you. First of all, God will be with you, he will never abandon you. Second of all, this church family will be with you every step of the way.

Dan Franklin: [00:34:12] Maybe a fourth lie that goes around our country is that pro-life people only care about the baby until the baby is born. That is utterly untrue, and if you get involved even a little bit at Assure, you will find out how false that statement is. Now, it may be difficult, but if you find yourself in that situation and you come to your church family about it, I promise you, you will not be shamed, you will not be kicked out, you will not be rejected, you will find all the support and encouragement that you need. And whether that's emotional, whether that's financial, whether that's baby clothes, whether that's the line of grandmas that are going to come to you and trip over each other, taking turns, holding your baby, you will find a church family that's ready to respond and step up and take care of you. Right, church family? This is what we will do.

Dan Franklin: [00:35:03] And I also want to say this, there's some of you in here that might be thinking, I wish I'd heard this 10, 20, 30 years ago, but it's too late for me because I had that abortion. And you might be feeling that sadness, or feeling whether it's guilt or just the regret, of if I could have seen what God would do, but I made the wrong choice. Let me just remind you of something, in Genesis Chapter 12, Abram offered up his wife to protect himself. He made a cowardly decision when he should have been faithful, and was God done with him? God was not done with him. If you, at one point in your life, made a cowardly and sinful decision that you regret, welcome to the club, Jesus Christ saves sinners. And if you've been carrying around baggage from this, Jesus wants to set you free from that because he died for all of our sins.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:03] And so whether you're desperate, and again, maybe this has nothing to do with pregnancy or abortion, but you're like, I'm at that crossroads, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with the decision I shouldn't make because my life will be ruined if I go the other way. If you're in a desperate situation, what I want to say is, there's going to be some of us up here on the sides of the stage afterward, and you may need to just come up and say, I need help. And if you're like, I'm not going up there, all right, well, then email me, or email one of the pastors, or get in touch with somebody and just say, I need help. Because whether you're dealing with an upcoming decision, or whether you're dealing with guilt and shame and regret over something in the past, God wants to fulfill all of His promises to you, and no one and nothing can thwart him from doing that.

Dan Franklin: [00:36:49] And then finally, for all of us, at any point that we're tempted to take the expedient way instead of remaining on God's path, I want us to remember that no one and nothing can thwart the promises of God. Our job is not to carve our own path, our job is to walk in obedience and faithfulness and then sit back and wait to see how God delivers us and works all things for our good.

Dan Franklin: [00:37:19] Let me close our time in prayer. Father, thank you so much that you make promises, that even we in our weakness, and in our cowardice, and in our sin, don't keep you from fulfilling. Thank you that you are faithful, even when we waver in faith, and thank you for the risky faith of Abram that we get to see paying off. Father, I pray for each one of us, they lead us in courage with faith. And Father, I pray especially that we, as a church, would be a beacon of light to women and to men and to desperate people who are tempted by the expediency of abortion. Father, I pray that you bring healing and freedom from those who are carrying around guilt over past abortions, knowing that the blood of Jesus covers it all. And Father, I pray that you lead us to be a church family where children are treasured because of the gifts that they are from you. We pray that's all in the name of our great Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen, amen. And God bless you, the rest of the Sunday.

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