I want to talk about an uncomfortable subject for some, lust and adultery.
Or, to put it in the analogy we've spoken about the last two weeks, the fire burning outside the fireplace. Adultery, be it in deed or in your thoughts, is a destructive force in marriage. And today on Connect with Skip Hyten, Pastor Skip brings a powerful message about the consuming fire of lust and how you can defend against it in your marriage. But first we want to tell you about a special resource to help you understand God's design for fatherhood. Men in America need to step up and take responsibility for raising the children they father. Boys growing up without male influence get involved more easily in drugs, crime, and socially destructive behavior.
And they are likely to repeat the cycle of abandoning their children. Dads make a difference. That's the title of a critical issues package that is a must for men of any age or stage of life. As a father and a pastor, I'm deeply concerned for the families in our nation. It's clear that so many destructive trends are related to the lack of a dad's influence in the lives of their children. We need to educate men on what biblical manhood truly means. The Dads Make a Difference package includes seven of Skip Heitzig's most important messages to men, along with the full hour video documentary, Where's Dad?
hosted by Skip. I think it's safe to say that the family is under attack today. I know that's a phrase that you have heard me say. In fact, I'll tell you the truth. I've said that sentence for 40 years and every year it's been true. And today it's truer than ever before.
It is worse than ever before. Get this package in either digital download or on CD and DVD when you support Connect with Skip with your gift of $50 or more. You'll be joining us as we take Skip's Bible teaching into more major cities. Request the Dads Make a Difference package online at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888.
Okay, let's turn to Matthew 5 as Skip kicks off today's teaching. Before I left the house, I saw this once again on my bookshelf and I just thought I would grab it because it proves a point. It's a little book called The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook. It was put out as a novelty a few years ago.
I think I bought it at Starbucks or something. It's actual useful material, perhaps, if you're in a desperate worst case scenario situation. For example, there's a chapter on how to escape from a sinking car, how to fend off a shark, not that any of you today are probably going to get close to one, how to escape from a bear, how to escape from a mountain lion, how to wrestle free from an alligator is part of the book, how to escape killer bees, how to deal with the charging bowl, how to win a sword fight is included. Here's one, how to jump from a building into a dumpster, in case you need to know the information's here, how to deliver a baby in a taxi cab, how to land a plane, but what caught my eye was this one that says how to survive if your parachute fails to open.
I thought, I've got to read that one, and I did. Basically, you have to make sure that somebody else is jumping out of the airplane with you and their parachute does open so that you could tie to them. Otherwise, you're dead meat. Worst case scenario survival handbook.
Now, I pulled this off the shelf for a couple reasons. This illustrates a point I want to make. The information in this book presupposes that in any of these situations, you will already be familiar with the material in advance. See, you're not going to fall from an airplane and go, where's that little yellow book, and pull it out and start reading up. It presupposes that you know it and that it's second nature to you. You practice it, it's quick to the draw, you know it immediately. So, you know the information in the book. Number two, a lot of these presuppose that there's somebody else in the situation involved with you for help. And I thought about what we're dealing with this morning and the information that we talk about is really toward a worst case scenario. And it presupposes that you know what's in place, that you know what's in God's book, and that you're tied to God's people.
That will help you greatly. Several years ago, when Dear Abby was still writing articles for newspapers, Abigail Van Buren, somebody wrote into her and said, Dear Abby, I'm in love and I'm having an affair with two different women. I can't marry them both. Please tell me what to do, but don't give me any of that morality stuff. Listen to Abby's answer. It's classic. Dear sir, the only difference between humans and animals is morality.
Please write to a veterinarian. I want to talk about an uncomfortable subject for some, lust and adultery. Or to put it in the analogy we've spoken about the last two weeks, the fire burning outside the fireplace. Now, last week, we looked at the Song of Solomon, if you recall. And in that book, Solomon describes his marriage as a garden and as his wife as a garden enclosed. But we also know something about Solomon. He was unfaithful to that wife, if indeed that was the first and original wife.
He married 699 others eventually. He had a problem in this area. Now, you might not have a problem in this area. And in even hearing these words, you say this has nothing to do with me. I'd never fall into such sin. We have an ideal marriage. Well, then, great.
Use this as preventative maintenance or information you can share with others who have problems. But don't be so quick on the draw. Because the Bible says to those who think they stand, they should take heed lest they fall. It could be that you're actually having an affair or maybe you're considering having an affair. In fact, I may be addressing someone who is so arrogant as to even think, well, one person alone can't satisfy me. Did you know that several years ago on television, a talk show host had an actor that he was interviewing? The actor was known, well-known for his romantic roles in movies that he was in. And the talk show host asked the actor a typical question that you would imagine. He said, what makes a great lover? And I'm sure the talk show host and the audience expected some macho playboy answer.
What they got they did not expect. This actor said, a great lover is someone who can satisfy one woman all her life and be satisfied with one woman all his life. A great lover is not someone who goes from woman to woman. Any dog can do that.
You could have heard a pin drop on that talk show. Now we look at our text. In Matthew chapter five, the Sermon on the Mount, our Lord Jesus says in verse 27, you have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. For it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish than for your whole body to be cast into hell. There's a word that I want to consider right off the bat.
I want you to consider what I want to consider right off the bat that's in that text. It's the word lust, lust. That's the battle, lust.
But here's what I want you to understand about it. The word translated here, lust is a Greek word, epithumeo, which simply means, get this, a strong desire, a strong desire. Sometimes the Bible uses it as a strong desire for something good, as well as a strong desire for something bad. Example, Luke chapter 17, a group of people wanted or longed to see Jesus.
The word epithumeo is used. That's a good longing. I want to see Jesus.
That's a great craving to have. In Luke chapter 22, the same word is used of Jesus longing to be with his disciples for Passover. In 1 Timothy chapter 3, Paul uses it of a man who desires the office of a bishop or an overseer, that he desires something good. But the word can also be used to crave after something that is bad. Like 1 Corinthians chapter 10, the children of Israel had a desire for evil things.
And here it's translated lust, sinful lust. Now let's be honest. Staying sexually pure in today's society is extremely difficult because virtually every media outlet dishes out this stuff nonstop, 24-7, whether it's late night programming or Viagra commercials or primetime television. In fact, in one media research study, one hour of primetime depicts sex outside of marriage eight times more than any implication of sex in marriage. And there are dirty books, and there are dirty magazines, and there are dirty movies, and there are dirty songs to feed a variety of dirty minds and hearts across this nation.
C.S. Lewis was right when he said chastity is the most unpopular of Christian virtues. When I was in Israel, I was sharing my faith with somebody from England, and he was quite honest about it all.
He wasn't putting on any airs at all. He said, let me just tell you straight. I don't want to become a Christian because I don't want to give up sex. I said, God isn't asking you to give up sex. He's asking you to give sex over to his control. He invented it, my friend.
It was his idea. But that which is God given, as we have said, must also be God guided, that impulse. There's a beautiful blonde senior, true story, beautiful, young, blonde high school senior girl who is giving reasons why she was going to stay sexually pure until marriage.
And this is what she said. When we date, we give flowers and candy. When we get engaged, we give something more personal and valuable like diamonds. When we get married, we give our very selves.
And I want to save my whole self to give away the most precious thing that I have to the man that I'm going to be married to. Now, we have read just four verses in Matthew five, and we're going to look back over them. And I want you to notice four truths, four principles about lust.
The first one is the most obvious. Lust is a considerable problem. Always has been. Look how Jesus puts it. You have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not commit adultery. Now, how many years ago was Jesus saying this?
2000 years. And he's referring back to the commandment from the 10 commandments, the seventh commandment, thou shall not commit adultery, written 1400 BC. So we're dealing with an issue that was a problem 3400 years ago.
You have heard that it was said to those of old, it's always been a major problem. That's why God put it in the top 10 list called the 10 commandments. By the way, do you remember what the punishment was for somebody caught in adultery? Stoning to death. Can you imagine if that penalty were invoked today?
If you laugh because you know that there'd be piles of rocks everywhere on the landscape. But it was a considerable problem. The children of Israel, as they went into the land, faced a sensual religious system, the worship of Baal. Remember Baal from the Old Testament and Ashtoreth, the female counterpart to Baal? And we know that they were worshiped by sexual acts underneath groves of trees that became very popular even around the children of Israel's time. It was an issue for them.
They had to face that. And then if we move even a little closer toward the New Testament, when the Greco-Roman culture took over, Greeks saw sex as merely a biological function without any moral ties whatsoever. A few months ago, I stood in the city of Corinth. And there in the city of Corinth, when you're at ground level, you look up to a hill called the Acro-Corinth, where a temple stood, the temple of Aphrodite. And get this, 1,000 priestesses, they were prostitutes, came down into the city of Corinth every evening to ply their trade to get men to worship with them to this goddess of love.
And they had no problem doing so. It's part of their sexual religious system. In fact, there was even a term coined in the Greek language, korinthiadesesphi, which means to play the Corinthian, because any time anybody played a Corinthian in one of the Greek plays, he was depicted as a sex-driven, drunk, debauched individual. It became a byword. And did you know that the Greeks even invented a word simply to describe sexual, sensual, physical love? It's the word eros. That's a Greek word. We get our term erotic or eroticism from it. And did you know that the word means to grab or to grasp? The idea is to grasp something in order to satisfy myself.
It's all about self-indulgence. It was and is a considerable problem. Men like Samson struggled with it. King David struggled with it.
Absalom struggled with it. Even Joseph was tempted in this area. Because it's a considerable problem, I want to make a few statements. Number one, we're all human beings, created in God's image. We're all human beings. Number one, we're all human beings, created in God's image, but fallen from that image.
With all of the tragedy and glory that comes with that package, we're human beings. Number two, we are sexual beings. Part of our humanity is our sexuality.
God made them, it says in Genesis, male and female. Angels may be sexless. Humans are not. We are human beings. We are sexual beings. Number three, we are all sinful beings.
None of us have arrived. All of us struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. And one of the great doctrines from the Bible is called the doctrine of depravity that says mankind is fallen and every part of our being is tainted with sin, including our sexuality. Dr. Merville Vincent from Harvard Medical School said, and I'm quoting, in God's view, I suspect we are all sexual deviants. I doubt there is anyone who has not had a lustful thought that deviated from God's perfect ideal of sexuality, end quote. No one, no one except Jesus Christ has been sexually sinless, so we can't come here with any holier-than-thou attitudes. But we have to admit it's a considerable problem because the porn industry in our nation is a $10 billion per year industry and lust that leads to adultery is a considerable problem.
One out of nine marriages that broke up, one out of nine said infidelity is the root cause of the breakup of their marriage. It's a considerable problem. It's been going on for a long time.
It continues to this day, turned up to 10. The problem is on steroids now because of all the media outlets we have. Here's the second point to be made.
Not only is it a considerable problem, it is at the beginning a covert problem. You see, nobody sees lust. It takes place in the mind, in the thought life. Thoughts are always the parents of the deeds.
The heart is the soil where the seed is planted. Now notice in verse 28, Jesus said, but I say to you that whoever looks at a woman. You see, his audience had thought, well, we're guiltless.
We never committed the act of adultery. So Jesus goes to a deeper level of the heart. You've heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not commit adultery, but I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Now you'll notice something. Jesus is addressing men here, looking at a woman to lust for her in his heart.
Why would he do that? Because men are the principal offenders. They're not the only offenders. We know that there can be lust by a woman for a woman, by a man for a man, by a man for a woman, and by a woman for a man. That's becoming sort of more vogue these days. There's a book that is the best selling paperback book ever. It has sold so far 40 million copies in 37 different countries.
It has outsold even the Harry Potter series, which took an all-time record. This is a book called Fifty Shades of Gray, an erotic novel for women with explicit sexual scenes, so explicit it has been dubbed mommy porn, targeted at young women. And experts say it is very, very addictive, Fifty Shades of Gray, addressing those lustful thoughts, not just in men, but in women. Now here Jesus is speaking about being tempted. Nobody can avoid being tempted.
He's not condemning the temptation, but what we do with the temptation. Notice the word look in the text. But I say to you that whoever looks, the word doesn't mean glance. It's a present participle that denotes an ongoing look. It's not the first notice. It's the second take. It's not one of these. It's one of these. And locking in, and staying on, and imagining.
That's what the word involves. You see, when King David went out on his rooftop, maybe he was sleepless. It was a warm spring evening, and King David walked out and looked over the city of Jerusalem. It wasn't David's fault that there happened to be a young woman on her rooftop bathing naked. He couldn't avoid the first look, but it wasn't about the first look. It was about what he saw, and what he thought about, and what he imagined, and the lingering look then led to adultery.
That's what ruined him. The fantasizing brought the adultery. It has been widely and mistakenly thought in some psychological circles that sexual fantasies are not damaging.
Ah, it's harmless. It might not lead to anything at all. It's just going on in the mind.
Experts will tell you differently. According to a recent article in Psychology Today, where it matters, the article says, is at the brain chemistry level. That prolonged looking at sexual scenes hard wires the brain, and changes the neuro pathways in a person's thinking to where they get locked in, locked in, locked in.
It's very, very addictive, and it leads to isolation, and frustration, and depression. The mind is the battleground. It's where the battle is fought, and it is won or lost in the mind. So a guy can't say, well, I look, but I don't loss. I'm just admiring God's creation.
I've had guys tell me, I'm just admiring God's creation. I never see a guy look at a tree like that. It's cool leaves. Look at those leaves, man. Look at that bark.
Wow. A wise taxi driver once said, he who looketh upon a woman loses offender. That's not all he'll lose.
He can lose much more, which brings us to our third point. Lost is a consequential problem. Now, if you glance at verse 28, 9, and 30, it says, if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It's more profitable for you than your one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Now, before we unpack those verses, there's an obvious message here. The message is damage.
Get rid of something because that something can do greater damage to you later on is the main larger point. In fact, you could even see a comparison in these verses from the greater damage to the lesser damage. If your right eye causes you to sin, sin being the greater damage, because Jesus said it could eventuate in hell, but it could not. It could eventuate in hell if it's unchecked and unrepentant.
Compare that to the lesser damage of plucking out even your eye. That's Skip Heiting with a message from the series, Keep Calm and Marry On. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and complete teaching series at connectwithskip.com.
Now, here's Skip to tell you about a special resource we have for you this month. We know that families are the foundation of our country, and fathers are the cornerstone of the family. But the trends we're seeing are troubling. When dads are missing, families can crumble, and a series of serious problems are the result.
Teen crime, abortion, depression, and suicide are among the bad fruit. And then young men often repeat the cycle of abandonment. The question is, where's dad? That's the title of an hour-long documentary I produced and host, and it's part of our Dads Make a Difference resource package. The package also includes seven of my most important messages to men, including Seeing God as Father and The Legacy of a Godly Dad. This would make a great gift for any man, and I hope you'll order your Dads Make a Difference package now. To order this Dads Make a Difference package, just call 800-922-1888 or go to connectwithskip.com.
That's connectwithskip.com. Tomorrow on Connect with Skip, Pastor Skip gets down to the heart of the matter with adultery, our hearts. Jesus is speaking about the heart. The sin, He says, takes place in the heart first. You can be smug and say, I've never committed adultery, but it's been committed if you've lost it in your heart. Connect with Skip Hyton is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 05:10:27 / 2023-06-05 05:19:42 / 9