Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, February 24th. Today's message brings a biblical explanation of why any physical relationship outside of marriage is dangerous and destructive. Let's wrap up the series with a warning against the landmine of sexual sin.
What is the truth about sexual sin? I want you to turn to First Thessalonians chapter four and I want us to read these first eight verses together. Finally then, brethren, the request and exhortation you and the Lord Jesus. He says that as you receive from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God, just as you actually do walk and you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification, that is that you abstain from sexual immorality. He says that each of you would know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. And that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man, but the God who gives the Holy Spirit to him. Now let's take a moment to look at this passage and then I want to move on.
Look at this. God saved you and me for the purpose of building an intimate relationship with us, giving of Himself to us, giving of ourselves to Him. Learning who He is, receiving who He is, and that's why He gave us the Holy Spirit to live on the inside of us so that you and I could receive the fullness of who God is in our life. So, sex which created by God for pleasure, for procreation, that is for the right purposes, and so there's nothing wrong with sex the way God created for the purposes for which God created it. It's when it gets out of sorts with the will of God, when it passes a certain line, when it steps over the boundary, when it's a transgression of the law of God, when it's rebellion against God, when it falls into the area of lust, then the whole issue is something totally different.
And so here's what he says. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man, but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. When you talk to one of your friends, for example, they say, well, that's just what you believe, but I don't believe that. You can say to them, according to the Word of God, you are rejecting God. Well, how do you know they'll give you all kind of arguments?
Don't worry about their arguments. You've got two verses of Scripture that make it crystal clear. When somebody says, well, but I have these needs and God created me with these needs and these needs have to be met and therefore it's not my fault, it's God's fault. Well, God's not going to do anything that makes it His fault.
While He's created this desire within our heart, He's created these needs within our life, He's created them, but also He has given within us the right and the power to choose wisely and to obey Him. And what's happened is this. When we do not understand the purpose for which God created us and the awesome pleasure and the fulfillment and the sense of contentment and joy that God intended for sex and that relationship, to be, it just all gets out of sorts. It gets all complex and what happens is it loses everything God intended for it to be. That's why it doesn't work. That's why it doesn't work in people's lives when they're living in sin, disobeying God, messes up their family, their children, you name it, I'm coming to the consequences in just a moment.
There's no such thing as sinning against God without a penalty. There's no such thing. And when you listen to the people who are prominent in their faces on the magazines and they're doing this, that and the other and they're getting this award and accepting this and starring here and half-dressed sometimes and just parading all of this around and you think, well, now look how successful they are. Yes, you just look. But listen, don't just look today.
If you will notice carefully, if you'll notice carefully, this week, there are stars and the world thinks they're great. About two or three years from then, they've grown ugly and they've lost it and they're miserable and they're in rehabilitation and they're on drugs and they're on alcohol. Just follow them. Don't take a glance, just follow them. Because listen, God's wheels of judgment do not grind swiftly, but they grind indeed.
And there's no such thing as living irresponsibly away from God, out of His will, in rebellion, parading yourself around, doing this. When I look at them, you know what, I feel sorry for them. I pray, oh God, open their eyes before it's too late. You know what, so many of them have gone so far, they're not about to listen until they get close to death. And then you pray that they will. Look what your children are growing up in. Look what they're facing. And you and I, we, all of us could ask ourselves the question, what would we be doing today if we were twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen? We bring our children into a jungle of sensuality and expect them to be raised and to live a godly life.
It'll not happen unless you as parents and, listen, grandparents, wise teachers, godly teachers, instruct them in the ways of God. If you do not, they do not have a chance. The pressure is there. And look how colorful and convincing and persuasiving and exciting and thrilling it seems. But see, nobody's talking about the consequences. It's like all the beer ads and all the rest.
You see all these people having a big time and rejoicing. They don't show you the car wreck after it's blood all over the highway, head on collision and three deaths. They don't show you about the deaths of the little children and the father coming or the mother coming with three children and there's their mother or father lying there dead. Why don't they show the truth?
You know why? It's the deception of sin. Satan only shows what appeals, what brings immediate pleasure, but don't think about the consequences because if you do and you consider them honestly, you'll back away.
Every man, every woman needs to think if it's some kind of relationship, wherever you are in that relationship and you feel yourself being enticed, you need. This is one time it's good to be a coward, run like mad. That's what Paul said at Timothy, flee youthful lust.
That's what he said to the Corinthian Christians, flee immorality. Why? Run away from it. Don't allow yourself to think about it.
Don't allow yourself to give it a second thought. Listen, you don't argue with the devil. In other words, there's no arguing with the devil. You don't argue with him. You shut him down.
You turn him off. So, I don't have to listen to that. Listen, if it looks like rebellion, walk away. If it looks like sin, walk away. You say, Well, I can't.
Yes, you can. You can, but it's a choice. And I'm going to talk about that in a moment. Let's think about these consequences. There is guilt, feelings of condemnation, anxiety, for example. All of that's going to be a part of rebelling against God in this area. Your mind's going to be divided.
Listen, watch this carefully. People don't understand the seriousness of sexual sin. It divides your mind.
It diminishes your capacity to operate and to operate at full speed and your mind on what you're doing. Likewise, there is the damage of a person's self-esteem. You can't live in immorality and having this sense of self-esteem. There's a sense of hypocrisy.
You know deep down inside you're saying one thing and living something else. There's a sense of emptiness because sex, apart from genuine love, there is emptiness. There is loneliness. Something's missing.
It's not there. And so, there's disappointment. And oftentimes, that leads, if a person continues, to depression. And what happens? It all begins to look empty.
You suddenly realize it isn't what you thought it was going to be. And how many times have I heard this story over and over and over again? I thought. I planned. He said. She said.
I went. In other words, on and on and on. Because you see, the truth is, it's right or wrong. It's good or bad. It's good or evil. And it is immediate pleasure without thinking in terms of future penalty. And so, what happens?
These are just some of the things. Then, of course, a person does what they began to doubt. They doubt their salvation oftentimes. They doubt that God will listen to their prayers. It diminishes a person's relationship with God.
There's no sense of intimacy. And it fouls up their prayer life for the simple reason how you're going to pray and talk to a holy God about something when you're involved in something that is absolutely disobedient, rebellious toward God. And the things that He's made some of His strongest warnings about, you cannot get on your knees and ask God to bless you and answer your prayer. Listen, the Word of God becomes dull. Prayer life becomes dull. Faith gets short-circuited. What happens? Christian life, it begins to collapse.
Why? Can't have an intimate relationship with God when you're living in absolute rebellion to Him at the very same time. And so, as I think about all of that and think about how it jeopardizes our other relationships in life, and think about the fact that what we're saying is, God, I reject you. That's what Paul said in Thessalonians.
He said, you're rejecting God who has said these things. And, of course, you think about your personal testimony. And people brag about their relationships and how many people they've slept with.
As a Christian, or if somebody, for example, the fear of being found out and the testimony that's jeopardized. And then think about the kind of diseases that are floating around today. Now, I don't mention any of those.
You know what they are. Think about the diseases that are floating around and people think, oh, but I'm an exception. That's not going to happen to me.
That's going to happen to somebody else. There are no exceptions to the laws of God. Listen, the grace of God is plentiful for everyone. But when we choose to disobey Him, we can't choose to disobey Him and say, oh, I'm an exception to that. No, God warns us because He loves us. He warns us because He cares for us.
He warns us because He wants the best for us. And that best is an intimate relationship with Him. Think about, for example, how deeply the husband or wife is hurt when the other person is unfaithful to them. Think about, for example, the addictions that often people find themselves in.
A person can be sexually addicted just as well as a person is addicted to alcohol or drugs or whatever it might be. You see, it's a trap and it's a prison. And what may appear, first of all, to be some wonderful, delightful experience, remember what you've done. You've taken a look without evaluating what are the consequences, because those consequences of devastating. You think about broken homes. You think about children having to grow up in homes where the Father is no longer there.
And one of the most devastating things happening in our nation is the Father is not there any longer. Where is the conscience seared? And after a while, you can become a reprobate, which means you actually lose your potential and your capacity to discern and to know and to feel what is right and what is wrong. And that's why people can commit sin to the degree to which they do and seemingly have no feeling, seemingly have no guilt. They think they're free. What they don't realize is they're behind spiritual bars and they are so imprisoned, they don't even know where they are. The consequences are devastating.
Now, with just those few, let me ask you this question. If that's true, and it is true, is there any experience in life, any pleasure for the moment worth paying that kind of penalty for? And the answer is what? No. Only if you consider the penalty.
And remember that word. The power of all temptation, especially sexual temptation I would say, is the offer of immediate pleasure, no penalty. No penalty. Well, you say, man, this is pretty bad. It is. Is there any hope?
Yes, there is. That's what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the hope.
Because no matter what goes on, there's hope. So let's think about this for a moment. If you want to deal with it, first thing you have to do is to confess it. And you don't say, God forgive, please forgive me for my sin.
No. God forgive me for my adulterous act. God forgive me for my lust for this person. Lust is desire out of control.
Lust is desire that is inflamed toward the wrong object. So first of all, you have to confess it. Acknowledge it. That is, you are willing to not just say, God forgive me, but God forgive me for this particular thing in my life. Then, of course, you have to take responsibility. If you say, now Lord, I want You to forgive me, but you know what she said, you know what she did, you know what he did.
No. When we involve ourselves in sexual immorality, we have to take responsibility. In other words, if you start blaming somebody else, then you know what, you're not going to take the next step. It's confession.
It's assuming a responsibility for what's happening. And it is genuine repentance. And let me tell you what genuine repentance is and what it's not. Genuine repentance says, I agree with God that my sin is against Him, and not only am I sorry, genuine repentance is I do what? I turn and walk away from it.
Now, here's the reason that doesn't work. If I walk away from it and I'm still holding on to say, well, now Lord, I'm really sorry and I don't want to do this anymore, but deep down inside, You're still allowing yourself a little possibility that is not genuine repentance. And that's why people think they've repented when they haven't. If I've repented of something, it's a change of mind, a change of heart.
It's a change of direction. Genuine repentance and asking, listen, praying for God's forgiveness. Will He forgive you? Yes. You may say, but suppose doesn't make any difference. Well, if you genuinely are sorry for the sin, genuinely repentant, will God forgive you?
Yes. So, we ask Him to forgive us. Will He?
Yes, He will. But then comes the difficult part. We have to forgive ourselves.
And sometime that doesn't come very quickly. It depends upon what you've done. Depends upon how long you've done it. Depends upon with whom you've done it. It depends upon the consequences you've suffered, the hurt that you've caused other people.
We have to forgive ourselves. And then I think about, and this sometimes is difficult for people, you have to do what Paul said to Timothy. He said, flee.
That is, in other words, what he's saying is walk away from it, break that relationship, sever that relationship. And then I think if it's really going to be true, here's what you have to do. You have to get in this Word. You have to get in this Word and you have to stay there. Now, there are lots of, lots and lots of verses and I won't, I don't have time to get into all those. But I think about, and the Word of God is so simple in so many ways.
Listen to what He says. How can a young man or young woman keep their way pure? By keeping it according to the Word. If you're going to stay pure, you've got to stay in the Word.
Listen, there are enough things around most all of us every day to cause lust if you're not careful. If you keep your eyes in the Word of God, you'll keep your eyes off what you shouldn't be looking at. It's the Word of God. Listen, He says it's the sword of the Spirit. It goes straight to the heart.
It's a mirror. It shows us what we really are and what we're really thinking about. God's way of warning us.
God's way of comforting us and assuring us that His way is the best way. It doesn't make a difference what your past is. Listen to this. The awesome blood of Jesus is so powerful that when He died, He took your sin, past, present, future, and He paid the debt. So that when He says you're forgiven, you're forgiven. When He says you can be cleansed, you can be cleansed.
When He says you're accepted, you're accepted. Clean up your life, put it back together and listen. God and only God can take those kind of ashes and turn them into gold.
But He'll only turn them into gold if you really and truly mean business in your repentance and turn your life over to God. Thank you for listening to part two of The Landline of Sexual Sin. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or InTouch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of InTouch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-24 04:04:09 / 2023-02-24 04:12:00 / 8