Abortion has gained a stigma in the United States that it well deserves. It is both an offense to God and a tragedy for the mother and child. The social disdain for the act reflects the knowledge of the sin and shines a painful spot-light on stinging guilt that often accompanies the horrific act. Although I do not claim to know any part of the pain and emotions that surrounds abortion I do know that God offers full-forgiveness to the hurting mothers grieving from the intentional loss of their child.
As always, using the Bible as the source of the final Truth, we can see that even in the most heinous cases of persecution and murder God does not discriminate with his forgiveness. In fact, in the instance we are about to examine, God turned the self-admitted chief of all sinners to one of the most important, influential, and knowledgeable Christians of all time.
During the early church there was extensive persecution from both the Jewish and Roman quarters. One representative of the Jewish desire to remove Christianity through persecution was Saul of Tarsus. Saul is specifically mentioned in the Bible as one who committed many atrocities against the early Christians by zealously pursuing their death and extinction. He was present at the stoning of Steven and consented to his death (Acts 7:59 – 8:1) and actively pursued the Christians so that he might bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment (Acts 9:1). In his work Saul was “ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” (Act 8:3) Saul was driven by his desires to forcefully single-out Christians and bring them to their death or to the denouncement of Christ. In short, Saul was killing anyone who held to their Christian beliefs.
Saul was indeed a chief of sinners. He had attacked and killed many of the early Christians solely because of their faith. He was partly responsible for the scattering of the church (Acts 8:1) and was zealous about his acts of violence (Acts 9:1). Although we don’t know exactly how many people died under the hand of Saul it was certainly enough to cause panic in the Christian community and to spread his reputation as a Christian killer across the country (Acts 9:21). Saul had directly attacked the chosen of God causing the death of those who believed or the denouncement of Jesus Christ by those who would not die for their convictions. This is a man that was forgiven for all he had done.
Saul, on the road to Damascus, met Jesus Christ and his life changed from that moment forward. God chose the chief of all sinners to be both saved and to save thousands of others. It is through Saul’s leadership that the early Christian church flourished and laid the foundations for Christianity as we know it today. Saul’s previous guilt and sin were washed clean by Jesus taking on his sin.
If Saul, a man of such destruction and death to so many Christians, could be forgiven and used by God how much more can women who have had abortions be welcomed into the Christian family? Abortion is certainly a sin in the eyes of God but it is also certainly forgivable. Through Jesus Christ’s death after a perfect life he is allowed to be our intercessor when we are judged for our all our actions; even those as humanly horrible as abortion.
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