God’s view of life is the same as the majority of the modern medical community: life begins at conception. The Bible refers to conception as the beginning of life approximately 40 times. In the book of Genesis alone, the phrase “conceived and bore,” in reference to children, is found 11 times. The close pairing of these two words clearly emphasizes that conception, and not birth, is the starting point of life.
Scripture also refers to life being passed on through “the seed.” After the fall of man, the promise of redemption came – saying that Eve’s “seed” would ultimately triumph over the “seed” of the Serpent. In Genesis 3:15, God did not refer to a coming child or even a future conception; the promise involved a seed. God even promised King David that an everlasting kingdom would be established “through his seed” (II Samuel 7:12-16).
The angel Gabriel, when revealing the promise of Jesus to Mary, explained, “Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus” (Luke 1:31). Jesus was considered the Messiah from conception, not at the first heartbeat, the first brain wave, or at birth. Jesus did not slowly develop into a person over time, but was recognized as the Redeemer of mankind from conception.
John the Baptist leaped within the womb of Elizabeth when Mary came to visit. Though still a fetus, John was able to recognize and respond to Jesus in the womb of Mary, who had been pregnant only a few weeks. Here we see that God recognizes both the embryo and the fetus. This demonstrates the biblical view of when life begins. A child should be respected as a living being from conception, not during its “evolutionary development.”
God has a special purpose and destiny for each individual from the very beginning and sees each person uniquely created in His image. The Bible has many recorded instances of when God spoke concerning the destiny of individuals, even before they were born. Abraham had the promise of Isaac’s destiny even before he was conceived. Samson’s parents knew of their son’s special life task before he was conceived. Elizabeth and Zechariah were told of the great call on John the Baptist prior to his conception. The messianic purpose of Jesus was not only revealed to Mary before conception, but to Eve at the very beginning of the world.
The prophet Jeremiah was told, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).
The Psalmist stated: “For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes behold my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalms. 139:13-16).
Is Man Just a Link in the Chain of Life?
When a mother decides to abort her child, it is not just the removal of non-living tissue, but rather the elimination of part of God’s plan for mankind. She is directly cancelling God’s purpose and call upon that child. Who are we to say that a child has no worth or value, when in God’s eyes that child may be a modern John the Baptist, Jeremiah, David or Moses?
God’s hatred and judgment against abortion arises from His very character and nature as the Creator of life. God hates abortion because it touches His reflected glory. In Genesis, we read that God decided to make man separate from all the animals, in His image and in His very likeness, reflecting His glory. Man was a very unique act of creation. Animals were formed out of the ground, but in order to make man, God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7, 9).
Man was also set apart from the rest of creation by being made in the image and likeness of God. God has created man “a little lower than Himself” and wants to crown man with glory and majesty. In fact, God had desired that man would partake of His nature and glory and even judge the angels (I Corinthians 6:3). God intended man to reflect His image, not simply to be a little higher than the apes. Man is the crown of creation, and even the most insignificant individual has much more worth and beauty in the eyes of God than any other living thing on the face of the earth.
Not only was man set apart from the rest of creation, but man was also set over the rest of creation. The creation and animals were to serve man, not compete with Him in an evolutionary struggle for existence. God commanded man to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it and rule over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
Man was to be productive and multiply the glory of God over all the earth. God looks to future generations and intends for His glory to fill the earth. Man was given the responsibility to fill the earth and to be a steward of it, not just to compete with other living things and struggle for his existence. In Genesis we find that man is at the center of God’s purpose. Only man had the commission to be fruitful, multiply and subdue the earth. God also created man for His fellowship, and only man has the promise of dwelling with God forever (Revelation 21:3).
What God Feels in an Abortion
God’s heart is broken over the practice of abortion, and His judgment is stirred against a nation that supports the practice. When a baby is aborted, part of God’s glory will never shine on earth; part of God’s image will never be manifested on earth. God will not tolerate mankind touching His very represented glory.
When a baby is aborted, the very first commandment God gave is rebelliously broken. Disobedience is not taken lightly by God, especially when it interferes with the very purpose and plan that God has intended for this earth. Continual disobedience to His commandment by a nation will not go overlooked by the Creator. God has warned us that those who do not bear fruit will be cut off from the life and blessing of God (John 15:2).
When a baby is aborted, God weeps because he can no longer look forward to many days of fellowship and intimate friendship with that individual on earth. God mourns because he has just lost one of His own children – whom he had intended to love and provide for.
The abortion issue is not merely a debate over a mother’s right to preserve her own career or goals by not taking the responsibility to care for a baby. Abortion deals with the sanctity of life, an issue on the very heartbeat of God. God has placed the highest value on human life, whether that life is an embryo or an adult. That price was the cost of His very own Son.
God has placed all of His effort and creativity in bringing forth each individual in His image. But even more so, God was willing to sacrifice the life of His own Son that we might have life. One cannot afford to neglect this great demonstration of God’s love for human life. We should be willing to lay down our needs and desires to fulfill God’s great plan and purpose for this earth – and for every individual for whom Jesus Christ died.