To Live, Move and Have Being

by Reverend Anthony R. Locke Acts 17:24-30 English Standard Version 

24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,

25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,

27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,

28 for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.

30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.[1]

There are three scenarios used to support the act of abortion: incest, rape, and my unique circumstances.

Our society is willing to endorse the murder of an unborn person, if that person is not wanted.

This is a great evil and should be avoided by any civil society and every Christian.

Alice Hoag was a member of Peachtree Corners Presbyterian Church who made the right decision. She had a child by rape when she was a teenager. She gave her little girl up for adoption.

Killing her baby to protect her American dream would have been a great evil and an offense to God. Killing the baby to keep her body from being stretched and matured before she had the sweet joy of marriage and a honeymoon would have been a great evil.

Her husband Alan loves her even more because he knows she is a godly woman who honors God. Her life was blessed by God through these tragedies. She suffered, but overcame.

No one has the moral right to end the life of a baby for personal lifestyle choices.

Acts 17:25 God gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. A man does not open the womb of a woman, and a woman does not give life to her baby. God does.

I think the Bible intentionally makes this very clear in the book of Genesis when reading about the children of Abraham and Jacob.

Is it science? Yes. But God gives life, movement and being to that united sperm and egg.

God begins life at conception. Life has never been an accident.

God made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.

That means that a sovereign God determines who gets born to which parents and on which continent. God makes these determinations.

God begins life inside the womb and God has a purpose for that life.

that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us.

God’s will is that we should seek God. He isn’t playing hide and seek.

God placed within our own soul an empty spot that only He can fill. Stuff, relationships, success cannot fill our need to be connected to God.

We can feel our way to Him. Seeing Jesus in all His glory will, by the work of God’s Spirit, draw you to Him. Embracing Jesus is intuitive when we see Him for who He is.

And God is not very far from those who would kill their own baby to protect their lifestyle. Forgiveness is available.

But we are not just killing our baby, we are killing one of God’s children.

Verse 28 for “ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

This Cretan poet Epimendes was not saying that Christians are God’s offspring. All people on the Earth are here at the good pleasure and determination of God.

LIFE happens because God willed it. Rape was not the determining factor. We have MOVEMENT in God. All of us do. We do not have life by the sinful actions of another.

We live and move and have BEING according to the will of God. We are a PERSON by the creative power of God. All three of these markers of personhood are true at conception.

We are made in the image of God, which is an idea I’ll have to develop at a later sermon.

Before I share first hand experience looking at genocide, let me ask you a question. How do you feel about the people who killed 6 million Jews at death camps during World War 2?

About 15 years ago I toured Auschwitz, the Warsaw Ghettos, numerous places.

Auschwitz and Block 5 affected me most.

Block 5 “houses the personal belongings taken from the victims of the camp. You walk into long, wide rooms that held bunks for prisoners, but today the narrow way down the middle is flanked by a breathtakingly gigantic glass display filled with personal items: dishes, razors, hairbrushes, and suitcases.

Other display cases hold prosthetic limbs, more than you could imagine. There is a pile of eyeglasses that makes your heart break.

Part of the sectioned off display is a room filled with hair, pony tails, that were used for making clothes.

I didn’t take pictures.

For some reason it was the shoes that really got me. The shoes on display in that barracks represent less than one day’s “haul” from the new arrivals. I cannot conceive of it.

There are thousands and thousands of shoes in that room. Walking through the door was like being punched in the chest, like your breath is sucked out of you.

I lost control of my emotions. I couldn’t help it and I wasn’t the only one.

There were holes in some of the soles; you could see the wear patterns on the heels. But it got worse.

In another room in that same barracks is a whole display case explicitly for all kinds of children’s things. Tiny onesies, infant socks, sleeper jammies, little caps and bonnets, toddler-sized shoes and little jackets. Blankets and strollers. Rattles and feeding bottles.

Most of the pictures to help us remember war atrocities are of adults. There are no pictures of the children because they were not kept for work.

They were taken straight from their mother’s arms off the train into the gas chamber. They couldn’t work and would only be a burden, so they were killed the day of arrival.”

So again, how do you feel about fellow human beings who kill the innocent for convenience sake?

That’s easy to answer isn’t it? Anger, resentment, a little prayer for justice goes up to God that they would not fair well when standing before the Judge of all things the Lord Jesus Christ.

I have one more emotion. I have fear. Fear that we as a nation are repeating the same evil. We are killing babies on the day of their arrival because they would be a burden.

And don’t be deceived. This is not an exclusive activity of the un-churched. Christian teenagers are doing the same thing. As a minister, I know these things.

We have much in common with the murderers at the concentration camps. They were not deranged or temporarily insane. They were selfish. It is the default human condition and we are capable of the same atrocities. Sin is the leaven that affects our whole soul. We become unhinged from the righteous laws of God and we become enabled to do evil against our neighbor, our own family, even our own child.

We cannot stay neutral or silent in the national debates. Silence enables the aggressor.

Sadly, the silence of the church has enabled a great evil in our land.

Over the last 100 years over 200 million people have been killed at the hands of evil dictators. A number so big it is hard to get your head around. Six million in the last ten years in the Congo.

But 50 million babies are killed by abortion every year. Half a billion since 911

The Church of Jesus Christ cannot be considered moral if she keeps silent.

Our country is not moral enough to become concerned on our own. We need Christians to speak the truth about God’s commandments and push back the tide of public opinion.

We need to pray for our president to think differently.

Our president is one of a handful of political leaders who has argued to kill a baby if the abortion was botched and the baby was born alive. His thinking on this issue shocked his friends.

Obama also voted that parents don’t need to be notified if their underage daughter gets an out-of-state abortion. He consistently denies parents this right. He has now supported partial birth abortion for future generations with his two pro-abortion nominations to the Supreme Court.

We need to pray for our president to think differently.

Many leading Americans thought that if we could ever get a camera into the uterus and show a baby in extreme duress during an abortion, that the videos would be too much to bear and America would reverse course.

We have those videos now, but people won’t watch them, and like the 911 videos that are mothballed in studio offices, the abortion videos showing in color the horrific killing of a human being are labeled incendiary and unhelpful to the national dialogue.

American courts didn’t have DNA technology when abortion was made legal. Many people on death row have been freed by DNA research which proves that a different person committed the crime.

DNA is the genetic mapping of a person. The claim that a woman should be allowed to do with her body whatever she wants is no longer a valid argument. DNA proves that the tissue inside her body is not her. It is a different person.

Yet, the same despotism that has killed a quarter of a billion people over the last hundred years now enables half a billion to be killed in the last 10 years.

  • 50 million abortions worldwide every year
  • 50 million in American since Roe vs Wade (1973)
  • In America about 4,000 a day,
  • 3 every minute,
  • In America, one baby is killed every 21 seconds. (pause and wait for 21 sec. to pass)

But, “women have a right.” Slave owners had a right to sell and trade people. But it wasn’t morally right and future generations rose up to condemn it.

The German nation carries a heavy burden from their past. America will wake up some day and feel the same about the people of this era.

Our great-grand-children won’t be impressed that we rallied against flag burning or border security. I pray they will be thrilled that we stood up and spoke out against abortion.

We are not talking about a political issue or a single item in a list of topics discussed by the moral majority. We are talking about genocide.

Abortion is genocide.

The genocide isn’t focused on a race or religion. It’s an age based discrimination of the helpless, those without a voice and those without a defender. God is their defender. We need to join with God in the defense of His children.

Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance are past. God is commanding that all people everywhere come to repentance.

May we as the church speak the truth, pray for mercy, and work to see this evil removed from our land. Amen.

[1] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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