Sermon for October 28, 2012 - How Would Jesus Vote? Matters of Life and Death - Exodus 20:13

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Sermon for October 28, 2012 - How Would Jesus Vote? Matters of Life and Death - Exodus 20:13
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Matthew 6:9-13 - After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.


The Sermon for this week is:  How Would Jesus Vote? Matters of Life and Death - Exodus 20:13 - Thou shalt not murder




This sermon will probably make a few people upset but that in itself makes me sad as I wonder why? How can anyone profess with their mouth that they are Christian then use their votes to support sinful activities. This week’s sermon covers what is tantamount to legalized murder through Abortion. To make it worse the government supports the idea that all citizens should be forced to pay for someone that they don’t even know to have one because they could not control their own lust. In addition the government wants religious organizations to pay for abortions or lose their taxation status. The purpose of the tax status is because most religious organizations spend more than 80% of their income supporting the homeless, food closets, soup kitchens, and evangelical work around the world. By forcing these organizations to pay taxes it will mean that those donations given by the Christian bodies will also not be tax deductable – eventually the Church will close its door and Satan will have won another battle.


The following material for this sermon is drawn from How Would Jesus Vote?: a Christian Perspective on the Issues by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2008). 2 Galaxie Software. (2002; 2002). 10,000 Sermon Illustrations. Biblical Studies Press


“Stop! In the name of Christ, stop!”


Eighty thousand people watched as a man jumped over the railing, ran onto the field, held up his hands, and shouted, “Stop! In the name of Christ, stop!”


He ran in between two combatants, two gladiators who were fighting to the death, and he begged them to stop.


Who was this man? His name was Telemachus.


Telemachus was a monk who lived in a cloistered monastery somewhere in Eastern Europe in the late 4th century. He felt God say to him, “Go to Rome.” And so he put his possessions in a bag and set off for Rome.  When he arrived in the city on January 1, 404, people were thronging in the streets. He asked what all the excitement was about, and was told that this was the day that the gladiators would be fighting to the death in the Roman Coliseum.


He thought to himself, “Four centuries after Christ and they are still killing each other, for enjoyment?” He ran to the Coliseum, and as he arrived, he heard the gladiators say, “Hail to Caesar! We die for Caesar!”  He thought, “This isn’t right.”  That’s when he jumped over the railing and went out into the middle of the field, got between two gladiators, held up his hands, and shouted, “Stop! In the name of Christ, stop!”


How did the crowd respond? The crowd protested and began to shout, “Run him through! Run him through!” A gladiator came over and hit Telemachus in the stomach with the back of his sword. It sent him sprawling in the sand.


Telemachus got up and stood between the gladiators again, and shouted, “Stop! In the name of Christ, stop!” But the crowd chanted louder and louder, ‘Run him through! Run him through! Run him through!” One gladiator came over and thrust his sword through the little monk’s stomach and he fell into the sand, which began to turn crimson with his blood.


One last time he gasped out, “Stop! In the name of Christ, stop!” A hush came over the 80,000 people in the Coliseum. Then, a man stood up and left. Then another. And another. And within minutes all 80,000 people walked out of the Coliseum. It was the last known gladiatorial contest in the Roman Empire. Three days later, the Roman Emperor Honorius declared Telemachus a martyr, and officially ended all gladiatorial contests.


Can one person make a difference? Telemachus was appalled by what he saw in the Roman Coliseum. He could not believe that four centuries after Christ people were still killing each other for pleasure.


In the 21st century we find the gladiatorial contests crude and barbaric. And yet, we have our own modern crude and barbaric killing for pleasure “abortion”. Although there are some medically necessary abortions - such as when the life of the mother is at stake - the facts are that the vast majority of abortions are for the pleasure of the individuals who do not want that child.


As we continue on “How Would Jesus Vote?” I want to examine “Matters of Life and Death.” What does the Bible have to say about matters of life and death? Let us look at a foundational text, Exodus 20:13. This is the sixth of Ten Commandments


Thou shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)


Let’s Begin:


Ever since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 abortion has been a hot political issue in this country. It has not gotten much attention in this upcoming election as it has in previous years due to the war and the economy, and yet, it is still an extremely important issue. The reason abortion is still an important issue is because the moral contrasts are so clear and the stakes so high.


However, abortion is not the only issue that deals with matters of life and death, but it is the best known issue. Other issues include euthanasia, stem-cell research, and suicide. Because the theological issues regarding life and death are so similar with all these issues it is prudent that all be examined, however due to time constraints in this sermon we can only briefly examine the other topics and in order to spend time on abortion.




So, let us then examine how Jesus would vote on matters of life and death. Let me use the following outline to guide us:

1.      What does the Bible say about life and death?

2.      What does the Bible say about euthanasia?

3.      What does the Bible say about stem-cell research?

4.      What does the Bible say about suicide?

5.      What does the Bible say about abortion?


I. What Does the Bible Say about Life and Death?


The predominant view in our culture is that unborn children are simply masses of tissue. However, the biblical view is that God has formed a person from the moment of conception. This is how King David put it in - Psalm 139:13-14 - For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.


Because of modern science we know that a male sperm and a female egg come together to form a new person. That single cell doubles, and then doubles again, and again, until the human body eventually has trillions and trillions of cells.


Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, once said that if we were to compile all the information found in the very simplest cell of the human body into books the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the information contained in that single cell would comprise approximately 30 volumes! 


We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made! hen Jeremiah received his call from God to be a prophet, God told Jeremiah that he knew him before he was even born. Jeremiah said of God in Jeremiah 1:4-5 - Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.


An unborn baby is a person, a human being made in the image of God. We read about a remarkable incident about an unborn baby in Luke 1:39-41 - And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: - Masses of tissue do not leap for joy in the womb.


It is clear from these texts that God has a high view of the life that he has created. From the moment of conception there is a person whom God knows, and who can even leap in the womb. Regarding the destruction of human life God has clearly said in Exodus 20:13, the sixth of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not murder.” Some Bible translations, such as the King James Version and the American Standard Version, say, “Thou shalt not kill,” but that is not a good translation. The Bible does not forbid killing. For example, God sanctions war (Deuteronomy 1:30; 2 Samuel 22:35) and commands capital punishment (Numbers 35:16-21, 30-33). God even provides a refuge for the accidental death of another person (Joshua 20:1-6).


What God is opposed to, however, is the deliberate or unwarranted destruction of life. God is opposed to murder. And that is why the Original Hebrew correctly translated shows Exodus 20:13 as, “Thou shalt not murder.” The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks in Question 67, “Which is the sixth commandment?” And the answer given is, “The sixth commandment is, Thou shall not kill.” As I have already noted, the sixth commandment really says, “Thou shalt not murder,” and not, “You shall not kill.”  Thus “What is required in the sixth commandment?” The answer is, “The sixth commandment requires all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life, and the life of others.”


 “What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?” The answer is, “The sixth commandment forbids the taking of one’s own life or the life of others unjustly, or doing anything that leads to suicide or murder.” And so it is clear from the Bible that God forbids the unjust or unwarranted taking of human life. In fact, God wants life preserved from the moment of conception.


II. What Does the Bible Say about Euthanasia?


Euthanasia is defined as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” We live in a “throw away” society. Things break, and we throw it away. Things don’t work as they used to, and we throw it away. Unfortunately, that attitude is creeping in regarding older people and disabled people. They are no longer “productive” citizens, and so there are those who want to “throw them away.”


Some of you may remember Dr. Jack Kevorkian (a.k.a. “Dr. Death”). He claims to have assisted 130 patients die via euthanasia in the 1990s. He eventually served 8 years in prison, from 1999 to 2007, for second-degree murder.


The Bible is clear that we have no warrant for taking life. We must do all in our power to preserve it. However, there are times when a person cannot be helped (such as when there is no brain activity) and it is appropriate in such circumstances to remove a person from life-support.


III. What Does the Bible Say about Stem-cell Research?


Usually stem-cell research refers to embryonic-stem-cell re-search conducted on the cells of human embryos. This means that babies that are aborted are used in this research. Because of the practice of abortion, the Bible does not support embryonic-stem-cell research. Supporters of embryonic research say that such research is needed in order to find cures for diseases. It is my understanding that to date not one single cure has been produced as a result of embryonic-stem-cell research.


On the other hand, adult-stem-cell research, which raises no ethical issues, has yielded profitable results. Noted scientist Michael Fumento observed, “Adult stem cells cure and treat more than 70 diseases and are involved in almost 1,300 human clinical trials.” So, let research be done with adult-stem-cells but not with embryonic-stem-cells because they are obtained from abortions.


IV. What Does the Bible Say about Suicide?


The Bible records five suicides: Samson (Judges 16:29-30), Saul and his armor-bearer (1 Samuel 31:4-5), Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23), Zimri (1 Kings 16:18), and Judas (Matthew 27:5). Since suicide is the murder of oneself, it is not justified. It is therefore clearly prohibited by the sixth commandment (“Thou shalt not murder,” Exodus 20:13).


II. What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?


So, with that as a general principal about life and death, what does the Bible say about abortion? In the debate about abortion, there are some who cite Exodus 21:22-25 as proof that taking the life of an unborn baby is not the same as taking the life of a human being who has been born. However what is really said in Exodus 21:22-25 - If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe


However, as Kennedy and Newcombe point out in their book titled How Would Jesus Vote?, “the Bible draws a huge distinction between the deliberate and accidental taking of life. In this particular case, justice demands a life (the adult who accidentally caused the injury) for a life (the unborn child). This passage says nothing about the deliberate destruction of the unborn.”  There is simply no passage or text in the Bible that would support abortion at all. Abortion is the deliberate taking of life, for enjoyment. Oh, not the enjoyment of the abortion, but the enjoyment of life unhindered by a child.


There is, however, one instance in which abortion is permitted. And that is when the life of the mother is at stake. In those extremely rare instances when the lives of both the mother and the unborn baby are threatened and only one of them can be saved, then it is appropriate to save the life of the mother. But even in that instance, it is still essentially a choice for life - the life of the mother. It is better to save one life than to lose two lives.


Some pro-choice people argue that this is a common occurrence. The fact is that “less than 1% of all abortions are performed to save the mother’s life.” In fact, while he was Surgeon General of the United States, Dr. C. Everett Koop stated publicly that in his thirty-eight years as a pediatric surgeon, “he was never aware of a single situation in which a preborn child’s life had to be taken in order to save the life of the mother.” He said that the use of this argument to justify abortion in general was a “smoke screen.”

In 2006 the South Dakota legislature proposed a law banning abortion. It did not pass, but the research they conducted involved studying the side effects of abortion since 1973, the year that the U.S. Supreme Court passed Roe v. Wade. The bipartisan task force team consisted of 17 people, including some who were pro-choice. They collected 3,500 pages of scientific research, heard testimony from 58 experts on both sides of the abortion issue, collected thousands of affidavits from women who had had abortions, and then compressed all the data into a 71-page document.


Dr. Allen Unruh, one of the organizers of the information, summarized the findings of the task force to study abortion: We found that there’s basically very little information given to women prior to an abortion, and what is given is false. The “in-formed consent” that they receive is a four-minute cassette, a message by an abortionist on tape. There’s no opportunity to ask questions. And they’re assigned a number, and as long as they have a number, they’ve been “informed of abortion.” And in this message it says, “Your chances of dying are seven times greater, 700% higher, if you have the baby than if we terminate your pregnancy.” And they tell women there are no side effects emotionally. The only emotion you will experience is relief. And the abortion counselor has no training in counseling, no [master’s] in counseling, no doctorate degrees, no psychiatry, or ministerial background. They’re only trained on how to sell abortion.


The task force also found that many women had abortions because of the pressure put on them by boyfriends, husbands, and parents. This is what Dr. Unrah said:  Nobody skips into an abortion clinic. They do not look forward to it like a chocolate sundae. And then they’re forced into an abortion. In fact, one of the women that testified before us said her mother told her she had to have an abortion. When she was in the waiting room, she started crying. She said, “I can’t do it. I change my mind. I can’t do it.” And they called the mother, and she told them, “You have to do this abortion.” So they said, “Come in this other room; we’re gonna calm you down,” and they injected something in her, and when she woke up, they said, “The abortion’s over. Is there anything else you’d like?” She said, “Yes, do you have a gun?” And you can imagine the trauma involved. Indeed I can. And I am sure that you can too.


The task force paid special attention to two thousand women who had had abortions, concluding: “Of those post-abortive women, over 99% of them testified that abortion is destructive of the rights, interests, and health of women and that abortion should not be legal.”


It is clear that the Bible does not sanction abortion. The only possible time that abortion may be permitted is when the life of the mother is at stake.


Partial-Birth Abortion: In partial birth-abortion the baby is actually partially born-live, volatile, and moments away from possessing all the rights of an American citizen. In the past few years, Congress has voted to ban partial-birth abortion three times. President Bill Clinton vetoed the ban twice. President Bush signed the third ban into law. The ACLU has since filed suit, blocking implementation of the law by tying it up in the courts.


Tom Coburn, medical doctor and former U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma, described partial-birth abortion: “It’s a terrible procedure. It’s the worst kind of murder. Even if abortion were justified, this would not be justified, because it is a method of cruelly killing an infant only for the convenience of the abortionist, so he can do it quicker, and so he can do it more. “


Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak (Michigan) asks, “Is there any difference between this and infanticide? No. I don’t believe so. When they snap the back of the neck, when they cut it, the brain stem, the baby’s hands will clutch, so there’s pain, there’s misery, there’s everything in this.”


D&X: (20 to 32+ wks): also known as "partial-birth abortion" this dangerous method of late abortion, termed "bad medicine" by the American Medical Association, involves pulling the baby out feet first into the birth canal while the head remains in the uterus. The abortionist then makes a hole in the back of the skull to remove the brains with a suction catheter. The head collapses, allowing the child to be removed in one piece.


Partial-Birth Abortion Procedure as Described by Nurse Brenda Shafer [Taken verbatim from Lord of All, Dr. D. James Kennedy, p. 81]


He [the doctor] turns the baby in utero to bring the baby’s feet out first and brings them down with the forceps through the cervical canal. He then has both of the baby’s feet on the outside of the mother. He begins to pull out the baby completely until he has everything except the head on the outside of the mother.


If that baby’s head slips out at that point - as the doctor’s holding it back and it comes out - if the doctor would kill it, once the head is delivered, then that doctor goes to prison for murder because at that point, it’s considered a person in this country. But as long as he keeps that head in, by three inches, and then kills it, it doesn’t matter how he kills it, it doesn’t matter how inhumane or anything. Its abortion and it’s legal in this country.


He then takes a pair of scissors and stabs the baby in the back of the neck and opens them up to make a hole in the back of the neck and into this hole, he puts a suction catheter; and he turns the suction machine on and literally suctions out the baby’s brains. At this point the baby goes limp, and it’s dead.  And he brings the head out and cuts the cord and literally throws the baby into a pan. That’s how they do a partial-birth abortion procedure.


Dr. D. James Kennedy’s Assessment of Partial-Birth Abortion: “One of the important points to highlight about partial-birth abortion is that it blows the lid off regular abortion. Even though we don’t see the baby in the womb in non-partial-birth abortions, he or she is still torn apart in an abortion in one grisly form or another. In fact, someone in the clinic has to piece the parts together after each abortion to make sure the womb is completely empty”


Some of the other types of abortions being talked about by Dr. D. James Kennedy include:


Suction Curettage: between 6 to 14 weeks after LMP: This is the most common surgical abortion procedure. Because the baby is larger, the doctor must first stretch open the cervix using metal rods. Opening the cervix may be painful, so local or general anesthesia is typically needed. After the cervix is stretched open, the doctor inserts a hard plastic tube into the uterus, then connects this tube to a suction machine. The suction pulls the fetus' body apart and out of the uterus. The doctor may also use a loop-shaped knife called a curette to scrape the fetus and fetal parts out of the uterus. (The doctor may refer to the fetus and fetal parts as the “products of conception.”).

Late Abortion Methods

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): between 13 to 24 weeks after LMP: This surgical abortion is done during the second trimester of pregnancy. At this point in pregnancy, the fetus is too large to be broken up by suction alone and will not pass through the suction tubing. In this procedure, the cervix must be opened wider than in a first trimester abortion. This is done by inserting numerous thin rods made of seaweed a day or two before the abortion. Once the cervix is stretched open the doctor pulls out the fetal parts with forceps. The fetus' skull is crushed to ease removal. A sharp tool (called a curette) is also used to scrape out the contents of the uterus, removing any remaining tissue.

Prostaglandin: (16 to 38 wks): Also called misoprostol, this chemical which induces premature labor, is given as suppositories or an injection; live births are common. Hazards include convulsions, vomiting, and cardiac arrest.

Digoxin Induction
: (20 to 32 wks): Involves injecting a lethal chemical directly into the baby's heart followed by labor induction with prostaglandin.

Saline Abortion: (16 to 32+ wks): A long needle is inserted into the woman's abdomen, and a salty solution is injected into the amnionic fluid. The salt poisons the child, burning its lungs and skin. A dead baby is then delivered within 24 hours. This method is rarely used any more due to the serious health risks to the woman and in some cases live born babies that are permanently scared for life.

Hysterotomy: :n unborn child (24 to 38 wks) like a c-section, an incision is made in the woman's abdomen. The baby is removed, then allowed to die by neglect. This procedure carries the same health risks as a c-section.  In most states the Doctor can be arrested for murder.

Consider the Risks of Abortion:

         Heavy Bleeding


         Incomplete Abortion



         Damage to the Cervix

         Scarring of the Uterine Lining

         Perforation of the Uterus

         Damage to Internal Organs



Consider Other Risks of Abortion:


Abortion and Preterm Birth: Women who undergo one or more induced abortions carry a significantly increased risk of delivering prematurely in the future. Premature delivery is associated with higher rates of cerebral palsy, as well as other complications of prematurity (brain, respiratory, bowel, and eye problems).


Abortion and Breast Cancer: Medical experts are still researching and debating the linkage between abortion and breast cancer. Here are some important facts:

         Carrying your first pregnancy to full term gives protection against breast cancer. Choosing abortion causes loss of that protection.

         A number of reliable studies have concluded that there may be a link between abortion and the later development of breast cancer.

A 1994 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found: “Among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women.”


Emotional and Psychological Impact: There is evidence that abortion is associated with a decrease in both emotional and physical health. For some women these negative emotions may be very strong, and can appear within days or after many years. This psychological response is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the symptoms are:

         Eating disorders

         Relationship problems



         Flashbacks of abortion

         Suicidal thoughts

         Sexual dysfunction

         Alcohol and drug abuse


Spiritual Consequences: People have different understandings of God. Whatever your present beliefs may be, there is a spiritual side to abortion that deserves to be considered. Having an abortion may affect more than just your body and your mind -- it may have an impact on your relationship with God. What is God's desire for you in this situation? How does God see your unborn child? These are important questions to consider.


God Provides Other Options:


Parenting: Choosing to continue your pregnancy and to parent is very challenging. With the support of caring people, parenting classes, and other resources many women find the help they need to make this choice.


Adoption: You may decide to place your child for adoption. Each year over 60,000 women in America make this choice. This loving decision is often made by women who first thought abortion was their only way out.




So, how would Jesus vote?


Jesus would vote for a candidate who supported and preserved life personally and politically. I don’t believe that he would support a candidate who would support life personally, but politically voted pro-choice.


Let’s say that a candidate is in line with what the Bible says on all the other issues (such as the war, the economy, and so on), but was pro-choice. I don’t believe that Jesus would vote for such a person. This issue trumps all others because the Bible is so clear about the preservation and protection of all life. So, that is how Jesus would vote regarding matters of life and death. Is there a Telemachus who would stand up for life today?




O God, thank you for your Word. Thank you for what we learn about Jesus and politics. As we think about the upcoming general election and our responsibility (and privilege) as citizens to vote, help us to understand how Jesus would vote on each issue. O God, your Word is so clear about matters regarding life and death. You call on us to do all in our power to preserve and protect life, particularly the life of the unborn and the weak. Would you raise up political candidates who support and preserve and protect life, not merely in their personal lives but also in the way in which they vote. And all of this we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.




Go and glorify God in all that you think, do, and say! And as you do, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, now and always. I pray that when you go into the voting booth that you will truly stand up as a Christian and vote against “Murders committed through Abortion.  Amen


[Material for this lesson was taken from Lord of All by Dr. D. James Kennedy. While the material was rearranged to fit the lesson format, we make no claim of originality. Why reinvent the wheel?]


Ephesians 6:23-24 - Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.


This sermon is in the Public Domain - Free for all to use with the only requirement: That it never be used for profit.

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