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 lusted in your hearts.
Adultery isn't just a matter of the flesh. The root of the issue lies in our very hearts. And today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip concludes his message, Weeds of Unfaithfulness in the Garden of Love, and shows you the solution for your wandering heart.
It's about building and burning the right bridges. Now, here's an offer that'll help you connect with God's design for fathers and understand why they are such a vital part of a strong family. America is reaping the whirlwind of bad fruit from a generation of young men who lack the influence of a father. We desperately need to educate men of all ages and stages of life to begin to turn this destructive social trend.
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Request the Dads Make a Difference package online at connectwithskip.com or by calling 1-800-922-1888. Now let's join Skip for today's lesson. We're in Matthew 5 today. 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 50 Shades of Grey, 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.
50 Shades of Grey. 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. 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. 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 last. 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. Cool leaves. Look at those leaves, man. Look at that bark.
Wow. A wise taxi driver once said he who looketh upon a woman loseth offender. That's not all he'll lose.
He can lose much more which brings us to our third point. Lust is a consequential problem. Now if you glance at verse 29 and 30 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 if it's unchecked and unrepentant. Compare that to the lesser damage of plucking out even your eye.
So we're talking about damage here. Lust is a consequential problem. It has damaging consequences. What do you mean damaging consequences?
Well let me give you a few. Number one, it can damage you spiritually. You can lose your peace. You can break fellowship with God.
In fact much worse can happen. If that is a lifestyle for you that goes on without repentance it proves that you are not a child of God. And listen to what Paul writes plainly in 1st Corinthians 6. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor sodomites will inherit the kingdom of God. Period.
End quote. That is an unrepentant lifestyle of sin and this proves there is no relationship with God going on. It can damage you spiritually. Second it can damage you physically. They're called sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, AIDS. If you remember our text in Proverbs chapter 5 when Solomon writes to his son, stay away from immorality. And he concludes in that little section saying, when you mourn at last and your flesh and your body are consumed.
I think he's speaking about a sexually transmitted disease that has ravaged the human body. Number three, it can damage you emotionally. You suffer anxiety from all the deception you've been doing the last several months. And then once you are discovered, all the guilt that comes, that's emotional damage that is done. I have talked to people who rationalize their affairs.
They'll say, well, you know what? I'm not really happy in my marriage and I found somebody who makes me really happy so I'm just going to dump my spouse and I'm going to start all over again. I'm going to get a whole new start, a whole new life. And they don't think through what they're saying.
They're saying, I'm going to have a whole new start. I'm going to marry this other person, this new relationship, the affair I've been having. Which means I am basing my new relationship on deception, which has a greater chance for failure even than the first. And that is statistically proven.
Statistically shown. Number four, it can damage you relationally. It can damage your family, your spouse, your children.
It erodes family trust and it's hard to regain that once it's lost. Asking David, after that whole night, that episode of seeing Bathsheba and having an affair with that married woman, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and if that wasn't bad enough, and yes, he was forgiven, and yes, life went on, but David had children. And it's interesting to note that some of David's own children followed the same practice of their father. Those children may never talk about it in front of their parents, but believe me, they talk about it.
And if you read in the scripture, we find out that one of David's sons named Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, and another son of David, Absalom, had sexual encounters with David's concubines, on the roof of the palace overlooking all of Israel. That family was ruined relationally. Number five, it can damage your testimony in the church and out of the church. In the church, if you're a believer, the whole church suffers.
If one member of the body suffers, Paul said, we all suffer together. Every obedient Christian strengthens the church. Every disobedient Christian weakens the church. Not to speak of hindering unbelievers from coming to Christ. An unbeliever would look at a Christian having an affair and go, what's the difference between the world where I'm at and the church where you're at?
There's no difference. That was the prophet Nathan's entire point to David when David broke down and confessed and wept and Nathan said, yes, you have been forgiven. Nevertheless, you have given the enemies of the Lord great opportunity to despise and blaspheme Him. Listen, sin is the most expensive thing in the world. And even though Hollywood loves to portray sexual fantasizing and sin as being freeing, you will pay the rest of your life. Sixth and finally, it displeases the heart of God.
And I should have put this right at the beginning because this is the most important. God is usually the last person considered in an affair. But David, after he committed his sin and he confessed it in Psalm 51, he said, against thee and thee, only have I sinned and confessed and committed this iniquity in your sight. In other words, yes, I've damaged everyone and everything around me, but ultimately the worst is that I've hurt the heart of God. William Barkley writes, sin becomes a crime not against law, but against love. It means breaking not so much God's law as much as breaking God's heart.
Purity begins with loyalty to Him. So lust is a considerable problem. It begins as a covert problem in the heart, in the mind.
It's a consequential problem. But here's the best part. Here's the good news.
It's a conquerable problem. The good news begins in verse 29. I know it doesn't sound like good news, but we'll get there. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. You're going, this is good news and cast it from you for it is more profitable, hug those words for a moment, 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, 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. Now, if in reading that or hearing that, you're thinking, gross, good.
That's the intended effect. Hearing that should make you go gross because that is what sin should do to you. It should have the effect of that is so gross. It might appeal to my flesh, but it is so abhorrent to my spirit that is in tune with God and His holiness.
It is gross. Now, are we to take these verses with an absolute wooden literalness that if your right eye caused you to sin, pluck it out, right hand, cut it off? Because if we to take it literally, then there'll be a lot more blind Christians running around and those without hands. Now, I don't think that is the meaning of it, and here's why. 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 lusted in your heart. So, the solution then isn't just to deal with the flesh, the outward, because if I cut off my right hand, I have a left hand, which will do as much damage as the right hand has done. If I take out my right eye, because I'm looking lustfully, I have a left eye that'll work twice as hard to make up for what I lost from the right eye. And if I lose both eyes, I still have my mind's eye. And I've talked to people who have no sight at all, men who are completely blind, and they say their greatest struggle is lust.
Interesting. It takes place in the heart, so what is Jesus speaking about? Cut off your right hand, pluck out your right eye.
The right side in Judaism was always considered the best. So, He's saying, deal radically with sin and get rid of something, even if it's very, very precious to you, because of the consequences where that sin can lead to. Give it up. Get rid of it. Cut it off. Turn away from it.
Or as Martin Luther once said, you can't stop birds from flying around your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair. How do we do that? Two ways, simply. Burn some bridges and build some bridges.
I know Lenya says she was giving some of that away, but she just gave away the tagline. Burn some bridges, build some bridges. What bridges do you burn?
Burn the bridges of temptation. When you walk into a store and there's the magazine rack, don't even walk near it. Don't walk by and go, huh, huh, wow, pretty bad. Just get away from it. Or don't even turn on the television after a certain time in the evening.
Don't go to those stations. Don't look at those TV shows. Job said, I have made a covenant with my eyes. Have you? I've made a covenant with my eyes that I shouldn't even look at a young woman. When you talk to somebody of the opposite sex, eye contact only.
That will help. There was a couple that was shopping, husband and wife, they were in the mall, and as they were looking at different products, a young woman walked into the view of the husband. A young woman walked into the view of the husband.
She was young and shapely, and the husband's eyes followed her all the way across the store until the wife who didn't even look up said, was it worth the trouble you're now in? Make a covenant with your eyes for your sake and for your spouse's sake. Burn bridges of temptation. If you're married, you're having an emotional affair with someone, you're getting really close to the edge, break it up. Well, what do I do? We're so, we're so compatible. Dump him, dump her today.
You don't even have to explain why. When Joseph was being seduced by Potiphar's wife and she grabbed him and said, come to bed with me, lie with me. You know what Joseph did? He ran. In fact, he streaked out of the house naked. She grabbed his clothes. He just kept running.
He didn't stop and go, well, it's probably not a good witness. I should at least explain why I'm doing it. No, run away from it, walk away from it. Keep appropriate distances between you and people and between you and technology.
If that means you need to sign up for an online accountability that sends what you look at on the internet to other accountability partners, then do that. That's a good thing. That's a healthy thing. Burn bridges of temptation. Don't be a dartboard for the devil. The Bible says, flee temptation. And can I just add, flee temptation and don't give Satan your forwarding address. Well, devil, here's my card.
I'll be there next week between this time and that time. Just run away and keep running. And next time something pops up, run away, run away, run away. It may also help you to have accountability. Don't be afraid to sign up for those things in the foyer that are being offered in terms of help men and women. Don't be afraid. Don't be ashamed to do that. You need good, strong accountability.
Make sure though there are people that can be held in confidence what you're dealing with. You hear about the four preachers that got together because they thought confession was good for the soul. And so they said, let's confess our sins. And the first guy said, I have a problem with smoking cigars. Nobody in my church knows this. I go in, I smoke these cigars. And the second guy said, you know, I have a problem with seeing movies.
It was a very legalistic church system. And nobody in my church knows, but Sunday afternoons I like to just go to the movies and watch a movie and just relax and decompress. And the third guy said, you know what, for me, I'd like to get away and just drink a few beers. The fourth guy was silent. He said, come on, it's your turn. He goes, no, no, no, I don't want to say anything. No, no, go ahead. What is it? Well, my biggest problem, I've always struggled with gossip.
And he smiled and said, and I cannot wait to get out of here. So make sure that there's nobody like that around. Somebody that can hold your issue, your struggle in confidence and give you good, solid biblical friendship, understanding, mercy and accountability. Burn bridges of temptation. Second, and I close with this, build bridges of affection with your mate. Marriages don't collapse immediately.
I discover they're the result of a slow leak over time. Date your mate, reaffirm your vows. Here's something you may want to do. How about writing a letter to your spouse, not an email? Have you ever heard of a pen?
Do you remember those things? Find a pen. And actually, in your handwriting, tell your spouse what you felt like the day you were married and reaffirm your love and commitment and attention and devotion to your spouse. And also, I'll add to that, commit to satisfying one another's needs emotionally, physically. I quote scripture here, 1 Corinthians 7, do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so they can give themselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, they should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt them because of their lack of self-control.
Good, solid, practical, biblical counsel from Paul, 1 Corinthians 7. I close with this illustration. I read an article about a problem going on in Illinois. According to the Department of Natural Resources, every year in Illinois, 17,000 deer are struck and killed by motorists.
17,000. Oh, deer, that's a huge problem, isn't it? They typically are killed, most of them, in the fall, the late fall.
Here's the reason why. The expert said, in November, they, the deer, are concentrating almost exclusively on reproductive activities and are a lot less wary than they normally would be, close quote. When I read that, I thought, you know, deer aren't the only ones who get preoccupied with sex and get broadsided because they're not watching.
Dear Abby was right. The only difference between humans and animals is morality. Why live like an animal when God wants you to live on the level of being his child?
That's the level we're called to. This is all about living as God's children in marriage, and he'll do everything he can to help you do that way, live that way. That's Skip Heintzeig 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 connectwithskipp.com. Now, here's Skip to share how you can keep these messages coming your way. To connect you and many others around the world with God's word. All believers are called to help others encounter the God who is seeking them out. And our goal is to come alongside friends like you to encourage you to help others connect with God through his word. And that's why we share these messages with you and with others. And today, you can take action to ensure these teachings keep reaching more people all around the U.S. and the globe. This year, I'm praying for resources to grow the reach of these broadcasts into more major U.S. cities. And you can help make that possible with your generosity.
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800-922-1888. Thank you for your generosity. Join us again tomorrow on Connect with Skip as Pastor Skip shares his message, short fuse for the long haul about the inevitability of marital conflict and how you can approach it. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection. Connect with Skip Hyten is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-06 05:11:37 / 2023-06-06 05:21:02 / 9