The rock-and-roll song “Return to Sender,” recorded by Elvis Presley in 1962, is humorous. What thousands of women do to their unborn babies every day, sometimes with the help of doctors and clinics, is not. Abortion is just that: “return to sender.” There’s nothing funny about it.
God alone gives children. He creates babies, having designed the process in which they’re conceived and grow in their mothers’ wombs for nine months (40 weeks) before birth. Just like Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago, a baby is a love letter – a treasure – from God (Psalm 127:3). It’s royal mail from the Ancient of Days. By his design, we must wait nine months to open this letter.
When a woman kills her unborn baby, by herself or with medical help, she is telling God “return to sender” without opening the letter. It’s not because of a “lovers’ quarrel” either. Women who do such things have no relationship with God. The same is true of those who seek to abort a baby when the woman is not at fault (because of emotional or moral weakness) – the boyfriend, the husband, the parent, or the doctor. Doctors should save lives, not destroy them. They should bring babies into the world, not kill them. All these people are telling God “return to sender.”
Pharaoh in Egypt didn’t like God’s mail in the form of baby Israelite boys, whom they feared would grow up, multiply, join their enemies, and fight them (Exodus 1:9-10). Fifteen hundred years later, King Herod of Israel didn’t like God’s mail in the form of Jesus Christ, the baby “king of the Jews” whom he feared would take his crown (Matthew 2:3-8). Both ungodly kings tried to destroy many babies as a result (Exodus 1:15-19). Only Herod succeeded (Matthew 2:16-18).
Too many people today are just like these two kings. They may not have governmental power, but they believe they have power over life and death in relation to the unborn. Many people today don’t like the inconvenience, the expense, and the time that must be invested in rearing a child. Others don’t like the idea of giving up bad habits – drinking, smoking, partying, or sleeping around. Even after becoming parents some still don’t give up such habits, thereby becoming bad influences on their children. The life of a parent revolves around a child. It requires daily self-sacrifice, not selfishness. Some people cannot handle the concept of a life with someone besides them, someone small and demanding, at the center. So, through abortion, they tell God (and the doctor) “return to sender.”
Those who keep their unexpected mail, their surprise baby, are blessed. They usually become better people for it. Sometimes the best thing for a young woman, the best thing that will improve her moral character and draw her closer to God, is a baby. Moses, a type of Christ, was an unexpected blessing to his parents and they hid him from Pharaoh. Jesus, the anti-type, was an unexpected blessing to Mary and Joseph, once the latter was convinced by an angel. Both babies certainly drew their parents closer to God, even though they were already close enough to discern his will. They gladly opened God’s letter of love, not returned it.
God knows who will keep their babies and who will not. He knows who will open their mail and cherish it, becoming better people in the process, and who will not. I do not know why God chooses to send babies to some people when he knows they will be returned – unopened, unwanted, and unloved – while others want children and cannot have them. I do not know why God chooses to create people who will go to hell after they die either. Still, He knows what he is doing. The word (seed, baby) that leaves God’s mouth will not return to him void (empty), but will accomplish his purpose and prosper in the thing wherein he sent it (Isaiah 55:11).
Only those who say “return to sender” are at fault, not God. He will judge them one day for their wrong choice and for their senseless evil. Forgiveness and cleansing are available to them, but only if they repent of murder and selfishness. God, the center of the universe, should also be at the center of our lives. Abortion tells God that we are at the center and this is idolatry. It also does violence to the imago dei, the image of God, of which a baby is the tiniest representation.
Those who don’t like God’s mail can always let their baby be adopted. A forwarding address is better than “return to sender.” All abortion does is populate heaven. “The spirit” of each aborted baby will “return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). In the end, rejecting Jesus Christ is rejecting divine love. So is rejecting his mail – babies. Eternity in hell is the certain judgment.