Editor’s Note: Below is a guest post from evangelist, Tony Miano. Tony is a retired twenty-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (1987-2007). From 2008 to mid-2012, Tony served at Living Waters in many capacities and co-hosted almost 400 episodes of Living Waters’ live, web-based program, “On the Box, with Ray Comfort.” Currently, Tony’s writing is featured on the Cross Encounters blog (www.CrossEncounters.us). To learn more about Tony click here.
Some people, especially women, will read the title of this article, see the author is a man, and dismiss it as the insensitive musings of a man who could not possibly understand. Some will go as far as to say I have no right to even ask the question because of my gender. They will make assertions such as:
“You’ve never been pregnant, so how could you possibly know if a woman regrets her abortion enough?”
“How dare you ask if a woman regrets her abortion enough! Do you have a uterus? Have you ever been raped? Have you ever been abused by a husband?
To dismiss the question because it was asked by a man, or a woman who has never had an abortion, or been the victim of a rape or domestic violence, is to commit a genetic fallacy. A genetic fallacy is an attempt “to endorse or disqualify a claim because of the origin or irrelevant history of the claim.”[i]
While I cannot point to any evidentiary data, I suspect that many women regret murdering their unborn child, by way of an abortion. But it would be inaccurate to say that every woman who has an abortion regrets the act. For instance, take the woman who was walking into an abortion clinic who responded when I asked her if she was there to have an abortion. “Number 3!” was her response, while smiling and waving three fingers in the air.
Something else to consider is that Planned Parenthood’s own research shows the vast majority of women who murder their children by way of abortion, are motivated by the mere perceived inconvenience of giving birth to a child.[ii] While certainly some of these women may later regret the decision they made to kill their child, such depravity that leads a woman to slaughter her own child legitimately brings into question either the level of her remorse or her ability to even emote in that way.
However, for the sake of this article, let’s give abortive women the benefit of the doubt and assert that most women later regret killing their unborn children. But do they regret it enough?
The Bible indicates that few women will regret their abortion enough. As is the case with anybody and everybody else, with any and every kind of sin, a woman who does not repent and receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior does not yet feel as bad as she should about having an abortion. Anything short of true repentance and genuine faith in Jesus Christ is nothing more than worldly grief that produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:10 reads: “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
“Godly grief”[iii] is a type and level of sorrow that points a person toward God. It is the realization that sin, every sin—whether in thought, word, or deed—is an offense against God. After being confronted about his egregious sin with Bathsheba, which resulted in the premeditated murder of her husband, King David lamented in prayer with these words: “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment” (Psalm 51:4).
Godly grief produces repentance. Repentance is not merely a changing of one’s mind, as some teach.[iv] Repentance is both a changing of one’s mind about God and sin, as well as a change of direction away from sin, a Holy Spirit-wrought desire not to sin again, and a turning toward God in true love and willing submission.[v]
While repentance doesn’t save a person from the just punishment of God for one’s sins against Him, repentance, which is a gift from God (Romans 2:4), is used by God to lead one to salvation (Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:8-9). This kind of genuine repentance leads to genuine conversion—a conversion about which the recipient will not regret. True Christians do not repent for their repentance. They want a life of spiritual reform; not because such reform will earn them salvation, but they will want a life of reform because they are so grateful for the salvation they have freely received as a gift from God (Romans 6:23b).
Very few post-abortive women feel this kind of regret, this kind of godly grief and sorrow over their sin. How can I say that?
Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).Jesus made it clear that fewer people will come to saving faith in Him than those who will spend eternity in Hell. Sadly, most post-abortive women are on the broad road of destruction and entering through a wide gate of demise that most people enter. The reason is that most of these women will never repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
No, sadly, most post-abortive women’s grief and sorrow is categorized by Scripture as a “worldly grief [that] produces death.” Their grief will never rise to the level of truly seeking God’s forgiveness, which is only given to those who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Their grief will never rise to the level of truly receiving God’s forgiveness, which is possible only by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.
Most women who murder their children by way of abortion will only experience a temporal form of grief—a grief often characterized as remorse felt over experiencing the consequence for past bad acts. The convenience they once sought through the murder of their child has led to the inconvenience of things like emotional and physical trauma, damaged relationships, or the pressure of a secret long-kept or suddenly exposed. Oh, I have no doubt some women regret the death of their child. But more women will regret what the death of their child has caused to happen to them. And it is this kind of self-centered, worldly grief that leads to death—not only a physical death, but a spiritual death as one eventually stands before God to give an account for not only the murder of their unborn child, but also for every other violation of God’s law throughout the course of her life. And since they never repented and believe the gospel, having received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they will receive the wrathful justice of God instead of the loving mercy and grace of God.
If you are a post-abortive woman reading this and you have never truly repented of your sin and have never received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then no matter how much grief and sorrow you feel about your abortion, it is not enough. Your only hope is Jesus Christ. You can never forgive yourself enough to warrant God extending His grace and mercy to you. You can never change your life enough to warrant such love from God, either. And while you may try to put the past behind you, unless you repent and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior that past is attached to you like a ball and chain, never to be removed.
Oh, but there is such great hope (Romans 5:1-5; 1 Peter 1:3-9) and peace (Philippians 4:6-7) in Jesus Christ! While God is opposed to the proud, He gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). And once you have received the gift of eternal life, He will remove your sin as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:11-13) and He will remember them no more (Jeremiah 31:34).
Come to Jesus! Though your sins are like scarlet (Isaiah 1:18), though the blood of your own child is on your hands, He will wash you and make you clean (1 Corinthians 6:11). And He will make you a new creature. The old person who killed her child will be gone (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Once you have received the tender mercy and faithful lovingkindness of God, you will never again have to live with the pain of the unrepentant, unforgiven sin of murdering your child. You will no longer have to hold on to the worldly sorrow, which brings you nothing but spiritual death. Jesus will set you free and you will be free indeed (John 8:36).
Only God can help you regret your abortion enough, to the point you will no longer have to hold on to the pain. Only God, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ can do this. So, please, turn to Christ and live. Turn to Christ and live.
[iii] Barnes wrote: “For godly sorrow – ‘Sorrow according to God’ (Ἡ γὰρ κατὰ Θεὸν λύπη Hē gar kata Theon lupē). That is, such sorrow as has respect to God, or is according to his will, or as leads the soul to him. This is a very important expression in regard to true repentance, and shows the exact nature of that sorrow which is connected with a return to God” (http://biblecommenter.com/2_corinthians/7-10.htm).