The Gospel is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. However, the unique situation of sharing the Gospel with an abortion-determined woman can present different challenges than sharing the Gospel when a human life is not about to be extinguished. There are definitely some aspects of the Gospel that can feed into the twisted rationalization of an abortion-determined mother and it is very important that sidewalk counselors be aware of those issues.
Women Claim to be believers as they plan their babies’ death.
Abortion-determined women in the abortion centers in Charlotte overwhelmingly tell us that they believe in God. A majority of them call themselves Christians and proclaim faith in Jesus. It is foolish to accept this proclamation at face value. These women are walking into a place where they will pay someone to dismember their living child. That child is made in the image of God, and the Bible is abundantly clear that God loves and created that child with a plan and purpose. Can we correctly question if the faith these women profess is real?
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
James 2:14-17 ESV
If faith is a SAVING faith, good works will flow out of that faith. James reminds us that even the demons believe God is one, and shudder. But their belief does not result in works that glorify God. Their lives are not submitted to God. Our behavior reflects our heart and our beliefs.
Women claim that it is ok to abort since God is a forgiving God.
We hear over and over again that God forgives, thus it is ok for them to abort their child. They say everyone sins, and no matter how high and holy we appear to be, we too sin. All of us count on God’s forgiveness. Some women will even tell me, “It’s ok, I already prayed and asked God to forgive me” BEFORE the abortion!
“I know it is wrong but I am going to do this because I know God will forgive me.”
When I hear this, I will often share a story of an unfaithful spouse saying the same thing to them to illustrate how twisted this is: A husband tells his wife, “I will go have sex with that hot neighbor next door, but I will be right back and tell you I am sorry, because I know you are a forgiving woman.” Then I ask, “Is that okay?” They always say no! Then I point out that that’s what we do to God!
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
Romans 6:1-2, 6, 12-14 ESV
Women claim that all sin is the same so abortion is not so terrible
Many times, the women I counsel admit that God would prefer that they not abort. However, they frequently deflect by asking if I am sinless. They continue to justify their sin in the following way: if they commit any sin, and of course all of us do, they are under God’s mercy and forgiveness for many things. What is one more sin, like abortion?
Of course Jesus Himself destroys that argument reminding us there is a “greater sin” in John 19. He clarifies that there are various sins with greater or lesser magnitude, and obviously greater or lesser consequences and punishment.
“Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.””
John 19:11 ESV
Women claim that God gave us free will to choose abortion.
God clearly gives us free will, but He also reminds us that His desire is that we follow and obey Him. Granting us the freedom to choose to rebel and break His laws is VERY different from permission or desire that we break His laws. Perhaps one of the clearest verses expressing this concept is Deuteronomy 30:19.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.””
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV
Women claim that Jesus is their Lord since they asked Him into their hearts.
I often present Romans 10:9 when sharing the Gospel and explain what it means. Then I ask them if they have ever done as the verse suggests: proclaim Jesus as Lord. Very often, the abortion-determined woman tells me she indeed has done that and Jesus is her Lord. When I ask her what that means, she frequently cannot answer.
At this point I give an illustration such as “If money is Lord of your life, would you do anything to gain money?” She agrees she would. I ask if the boyfriend is Lord of her life, will she do anything for her boyfriend? She agrees she would. Then I ask again, “What does it mean if Jesus is Lord of your life?”
Most begin to recognize that they would do all He asks of them if He is truly Lord. Then I ask, “Is He Lord of your life if you are planning to kill your baby?” It is surprising how many admit that no, He is not.
“”Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”” Luke 6:46-49
How To Present Gospel With Those Unique Concerns in Mind
Be careful about message of forgiveness
If a woman is still actively considering abortion, now is not the time to call out about God’s love and forgiveness. She is using that as the justification to abort with a twisted understanding of forgiveness.
Be forthright about calling sin what it Is
Do not shy from the truth that Abortion is sin. It is a grievous and serious sin, clearly breaking God’s 6th commandment. It is clearly murder in God’s eyes and that confrontive word is important.
Take time to explain what real repentance means
Cite verses that talk about repentance as turning from evil and not continuing in sin. Hebrews 10:26 is one of my favorite verses about the danger of continuing in sin.
Ask them where they are going, heaven or hell to discern works based theology
Ray Comfort’s framework for sharing the Gospel is very good in helping to understand how to begin the discussion. I was always uncomfortable being blunt with this question but have been shocked to see most people are willing to answer!
Convince them they are a sinner
Again, Ray Comfort goes through several questions that help every person I have ever shared the Gospel with admit they are a sinner. Have you ever lied, stolen, lusted, blasphemed…etc. When they admit that they have done all those things, they recognize almost universally that they are not nearly as good as they initially thought.
Remind them there is a penalty for sin
I ask them, “What would happen if their parents had never disciplined them as children?” They all admit they would have become criminals, or at least brats. From there, it is easy to help them understand sin must be punished. Ray Comfort handles this portion of Gospel sharing quite well with the picture of a judge in a courtroom facing a guilty man of some terrible crime. He would be a terrible judge if he didn’t exact a penalty for the man’s crime. The law requires it and our sense of justice requires it.
God is a God of JUSTICE, not just LOVE. He MUST punish sin and as the creator and law-giver, He has the right to set the penalty. The penalty is death, eternal separation from God, Hell.
Move to the Remedy for Sin
I love using Romans 10:9 to convey this critical section of Gospel sharing. There is so much truth in that single verse to focus on. The truth of the death and resurrection of Jesus coupled with the public pronouncement of submitting a life to His Lordship all in one verse! I spend some time being sure they understand why Jesus HAD to die, and what He proved when He rose from the dead. (That He was indeed God and that He had the power to overcome death once and for all.)
If they understand and agree with all said thus far, extend an invitation
If they are confused or still saying they don’t believe portions of all that has been conveyed thus far, they need further conviction and study and discipleship. If they seem to understand and agree, I will offer an invitation to submit their lives to the Lord. I do not ever do “repeat after me”, but encourage them to speak aloud in prayer what they want to say now to God. I remind them of what Romans 10:9 says and means in saying, “Jesus is Lord.”
Set up Discipleship Mentor
If at all possible, connect them with someone to continue to disciple them. Someone who has made a commitment to Christ but is returning to the same circumstances, bad influences, and situation that brought them to the abortion center in the first place is very vulnerable. Satan’s attacks are real!
Summary of Key Tips
*Calling out Jesus Loves You or God will forgive you as women enter to kill their babies is NOT sharing the Gospel and honestly feeds into their excuses and rationalizations.
*without a true understanding of our personal sin, no one can know why Jesus had to die.
*over my years watching and counseling professing Christians who go to abort their children key truths have emerged: they do NOT understand what Lordship means, they do NOT understand what true repentancemeans, they have a twisted understanding of God’s forgiveness, they have a works based mentality couple with an overabundance of understanding the love of God and an underabundance of understanding the justice of God.
Key verses for me in sharing the Gospel include:
1. Concept of personal sin: Romans 3:23
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23
2. The penalty for sin: Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
3. Repentance is critical and what does true repentance mean: 2 Corinthians: 7:10, Hebrews 10:26
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” Hebrews 10:26-7
4. There is a path back to God through Jesus: Romans 10:9
“because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
5. Focus on Lordship to clear that very common misunderstanding : Luke 6:46 and Matthew 7:21
“”Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Matthew 7:21
6. Then and only then if they truly understand and believe all that has been shared, can I offer an invitation to submit their lives to God. I never have them “repeat after me,” but use their own words and their own profession of faith.