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Watch 2022 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - God and Life

Tony Evans - God and Life

Tony Evans - God and Life
TOPICS: Abortion

We're talking about kingdom voting and so when we talk about voting, we have to deal with the issue of life, because since that is the role of government to protect life, then when you consider your vote, you have to raise the question about "What is life"? since that is its divinely ordained responsibility. Now, most discussions about the issue of life do not start at the right place, that's because they unfortunately not enough start with scripture. God is the creator of life, therefore we start with God. When God created mankind in Genesis chapter 1, verses 26 to 28, he said, "Let us create man in our own image".

So discussion of life in any human form it finds itself, starts with the Imago Dei, that is, the image of God. When you don't start with the image of God, then you make life what you call it to be, not what God has created it and stamped it to be. The psalmist says in Psalm chapter 8, verses 4 to 6, "What is man that thou art mindful of him and you have crowned him with majesty"? This means that every human being has a divine design. This means that every human being is sacred because they have the stamp of God on them. That means every person created was created for community since God is a triune being, one God composed of three co-equal persons who's one in essence while distinct in personality, so we were created for one another. It means that every person matters, is significant from womb to tomb.

When God created man, he created him with a mind to reflect him in history, and that means that when we fail to give dignity to humanity, in whatever way we fail to do it, we'll talk about that in a moment, we have insulted not only the person, we have insulted the Creator of the person. Whenever life is destroyed illegitimately, whenever life is downgraded illegitimately, we have said to the Creator, "You are a bad manufacturer. You don't know how to produce human products and your image is not worth protecting, and your image is not worth emulating, and to show you, God, how we feel about you since we can't get to you, we gonna get to them and what we do to them will share how we feel about you," because every time life is illegitimately removed or downgraded, you have insulted and attacked God.

So over and over again the Bible is clear, "Thou shall not kill". Whether it's homicide, suicide, patricide, matricide, genocide, whether it's infanticide or fratricide, no matter what kind of -cide it is, it becomes an attack on God, which is why God says in Genesis chapter 9, he says, "When you take a person's life, you have removed your own life because you have attacked the image of God". See, God views it as a personal insult, when life is not given the value he gives it to it because what you said is, "What God did is not worth protecting". So any discussion of life has to start there. Any discussion of life has to start with a divine mark.

And the job of government, the Bible says, is to protect that life. That's why safety is often called by a government the first responsibility that it has to deal with enemies within and without because life is worth living. Why? Because the manufacturer's reputation is worth protecting. You leave God out of government and life and its value gets downgraded, reduced, dishonored and attacked. And so when you think about kingdom voting, you must think about the question of life. What do we mean by life? What are we including in this thing called life? Well, let me give you the big perspective. It includes pre-born life and post-born life, abortion before birth and abortion after birth.

Let me show you what I mean in Psalm 139 verse 13 to 16, let me read it to you. "For formed my inward parts. You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance and in your book were written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them". You had my life in the womb, but you had some stuff planned for me to the tomb, and to get rid of either side, either the existence or cutting short, the extension is an attack on the Creator, and unless you understand that on both sides of the maternity ward, on both sides of the created genius of God, you will not have a biblical view of the role of government. You'll just have a partisan view or a personal view, but you won't be dealing with life as God deals with it.

Let me say a word about in the womb life. In Job chapter 10, verses 8 to 12, and in Job chapter 31, verse 5, Job says that, "You made me in the womb and that I have the qualities of God in my unborn state". Psalm 22, verses 9 and 10, says, "God brings the child out of the womb". So he gets it started 'cause he stitches it together and he brings it out. Matthew chapter 1, verse 20, when Mary the virgin was pregnant with our Lord Jesus Christ, the angel told Joseph that Mary is carrying a child. The Bible is clear that in the womb is life. In fact, it's bigger than that, God is so committed to life in the womb that he prescribes its value before it ever gets into the womb. That's right. Isaiah says in Isaiah chapter 49, verses 1 to 5, "Before I ever entered the womb, you had a plan for me".

Jeremiah 1, verses 4 and 5, says, "You had a purpose for me prior to my entering in". Paul says in Galatians 1:15 to 16, "There is a plan". In other words, when God allows the baby to be in the womb, that's because he had a plan before it got to the womb so that when it entered the womb, it began the process of experiencing its destiny outside of the womb. So whenever you cut that short, you have interfered with the program and purposes of Almighty God. And in Matthew chapter 1, verse 20, he says, "It began when I was conceived, when it was conceived". So there's life in conception, after all, that's why it grows, because it's alive.

So when the government talks about it's okay to abort, it's saying it's okay to attack God, and when you attack him in the womb, you have come against him and he doesn't like it, and that's why he said in Genesis 9, "You attack my life, I'm gonna attack you". So you want the government to keep you safe? Well, they better keep you safe by keeping God happy, and it keeps you safe by keeping God happy by not legislating or legalizing death in the womb. Now, I know one of the arguments is "Well, this is the lady's body". Well, first of all, if you're carrying a boy, there's parts in your body that don't belong to you, okay? You can't equate that with you. Secondly of all, we've established that it is the creation of God. Just because it's your body doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want with it.

See, that's the problem. In fact, the government makes laws all the time that just 'cause it's your body doesn't mean you can do what you want with it. You drive drunk, okay, you gonna be in trouble. It's your body. You can drink what you wanna drink, but they're gonna create boundaries on your freedom, and you can't argue, "Well, it's my body". You can't argue that, "It's my body," so I'm going to abuse somebody else, I'm gonna rape somebody else, I'm gonna do something, no, no, no. Secondly of all, we're talking about a different genetic code. We're not talking about your genetic code. We're talking about a brand-new genetic code.

So it's not just about you, but the selfishness of our world has reduced and dumbed down the dignity of life because it is dumbed down the Imago Dei, the image of God that is involved in the process of birth. And so, you don't give people freedom to do wrong even if they're doing wrong with their own bodies. No, you have laws that structure good and bad, and remember, God says, "I'm the author of what's good and what's bad, what's right and what's wrong. You don't get to choose that, that is, if you want me involved. Now, if you wanna get me outta the picture and see how chaotic your culture become, remove me and then let's watch what happens".

So now you have all manner of chaos because of the attack on God. The government is to protect life, and it is to protect it because it wants God on its side, but leave God out and then it's my body, it's how I feel, it's what I think, and then we have people who say, "Well, I wouldn't do it, but I don't think that I should tell other people what to do". That's a very interesting compromise, particularly when it's done by Christians. There are lot of things you wouldn't do that you would tell other people they shouldn't do either. There are a lot of things you wouldn't be a part of and you would tell them quickly, "Well you shouldn't be a part of that evil, either, because God has spoken on the subject".

You don't run away, you don't just say, "'Cause you wouldn't do it". No, you find out what God says about the issue and that becomes your standard. We wanna talk about saving the life in the womb, but often time disregarding it to the tomb. Removing its longevity through murder, removing its dignity through how people are treated. There are not only to be laws to protect the existence of life. There also must be laws to protect the dignity of life. American slavery was a loss of dignity. Jim Crow was a loss of dignity. Racism in any form is a loss of dignity, whether it's individual, or familial, or structural. It is canceling out the dignity. It is removing the crown that exists on every man and every woman born into the world. Putting your knee on the neck of a helpless victim is not only to destroy their life, it is to attack their dignity.

That's why the Bible says in James chapter 3, verse 9, "How dare you reduce the dignity by cursing"? Not cussing, cursing that is removing the dignity of a person. "Why? Why cannot you take away the dignity of a person"? He says in James 3:9, "Because they have been created in the likeness of God". So we are back to the Imago Dei, that when you take a person's dignity away from them, when you tell them by the color of their skin, they can't go here, do that, participate as an equal, created person.

When you take away their uniqueness by their race, their face, or their place, their station in life. When you treat the homeless as though they have no dignity. When we treat the poor as though they're the leftovers or the refuse of society. When we take the down and outers and we oppress them, or when we create structures in society that reduces them, whether it's gerrymandering of districts and redlining of districts so that there's not equal access. When we allow the poor to have worse education than others because they don't have the same dollar bill. When we don't care about the health wellbeing of people who do not have access to adequate healthcare. When we reduce their dignity, we have attacked God, and when we reduce it by law or by practice, then that's called post-life abortion, because you are aborting either the length of their existence, or the wellbeing of their existence.

So it just depends on which abortion you're talking about, because all of it is to reflect God. Psalms 89:14, God says, "From my throne comes righteousness and justice". You can't have one without the other. These are twin towers they operate simultaneously. We got one group calling for righteousness. We got another group calling for justice as though God can be divided. He says, "From my throne, you got to deal with both. So don't just talk to me about moral laws, talk to me about it, but don't put a period there. Talk to me also about the just application of the law without discrimination. Talk to me not only about what you're gonna do with the poor, but how you gonna handle the rich who are breaking my standard".

But because they have money they can bypass it or eat their way out of it. No, there are two kind of abortions. There's abortion in the womb, but there's abortion on your way to the tomb, so that people don't get to live out there divinely ordained destiny. Yes, we should protest abortion in the womb, but that same number of people or more, are to righteously and peacefully protest abortion outside of the womb. So that means we got the same group protesting for life, the right to all of life not term life, not limited life. A lot of people in our world now have been crumpled up by sin, circumstances, oppression, but what we need to do is remind them of the image that's been put on their lives.

They've been stamped by God and because they've been stamped by God, they have the image of God. They've been tramped on and reduced by others, made to feel like nothing, called outside of their names. They've been not included where they should legitimately have been included. We need some folk to come along, particularly led by Christians across racial and cultural and denominational lines who are kingdom disciples. This thing of life is so important that God says in Matthew chapter 5, verses 21 and 22. If you call somebody by a hateful name, you call them their life is not worth living, which is what the word "fool" means in that context. Your life is worthless. He says, watch this, "You're in jeopardy of hell's fire". Oh no, you didn't. He says, "I will send you to hell", that's what Jesus said, "for reducing a person's humanity".

So you see, this is about God. So government, you better jump in here, and yes, I know we've got sides of somebody emphasizing life in the womb, somebody emphasizing justice to the tomb. Well, you Christians better come out here and say, "Okay, well you know, I know I gotta vote here or there, but where I'm gonna take my stand is on whole life, comprehensive life. I'm gonna take my stand with God. I'm gonna take my stand and fight for all of life". So what do we do? You gonna be a kingdom voter. That means you have to vote for life. And life starts at conception because Jesus was conceived as a child and it goes to death, but between the two should be dignity. Between the two should be protection so that they can maximize their freedom.

Now, they may not do anything with their dignity. They may not do anything with their lifespan, but that shouldn't be because you set up structures, systems, attitudes, or perspectives that got in the way. It should be because they chose to eat the fruit, not because you forced fruit down their throat, no. It is time for Christians to adopt their whole life agenda and vote for government to protect a whole life agenda, and if your government party only is gonna protect one side of it, then you hold them accountable and responsible to not ignore the other side of it, and you do it in a righteous way, because if you try to do it in an unrighteous way, God's not gonna be with you there either.

Remember, kingdom voting is a partnership. So yeah, God's gonna make the final decision, but he still wants your participation, so you don't get to stay home. You get to evaluate the candidates, you get to say, which reflects the best view that you can come up with. By the leading of God, you've been called to the kingdom. There's chaos in our culture, there's chaos in the world, and you are supposed to be a kingdom Christian and a kingdom disciple casting a kingdom vote.

Well, let's be a kingdom voter. Get up out of your chair and go vote, but I got good news 'cause the good news of scripture in 2 Corinthians chapter 3, verses 17 and 18, is, "Jesus Christ available today to conform you to his image". Yeah, that's right. You know he can change your image, your self-image, your image of other people. He can turn a racist into a non-racist. He can turn prejudice into acceptance. He can remove discrimination. He can give you dignity that you don't have to bend over and have other people ride your back. He can give you significance, and for the lady who's had the abortion, he can forgive you, he can let you begin again because you're still in his image.

So the beautiful thing about coming to Christ, is that he can take whatever is messed up and he is the fixer upper. So I invite you now, if you've never come to Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, if you've never recognized he died on the cross for you in your place, for your sins. He rose from the dead to give you eternal life, and that if you'll simply trust him alone as your sin bearer. If you'll go to him right now and say:

Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner. I recognize you want to be my Savior, and I trust you now to come into my life. Forgive me of my sin and give me the eternal life that you promised to give if I came to you for it. I receive it now by faith.

He will forgive your past no matter how bad that past is, and he'll restore your image because that's why you were created.

Life begins with God because it starts with the Imago Dei, that is, the image of God. Life begins in the womb and it is to be protected and valued to the tomb. God makes it clear in Psalm 139, verses 13 to 16, "That he is involved in the creation of life in the womb". So to attack the unborn is to attack God himself since they're being created in his image, but it also relates to the dignity of people once they are born. James 3:9 makes it clear that people are not to be cursed because of the Imago Dei, the image of God. So from womb to tomb, cradle to grave, life must be valued, treasured, impacted and improved, and treated with the high honor God gives it, because life is related to God first, we are the beneficiaries.
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