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Hope Beyond Temptation: Staying Clean in a Corrupt Society, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
May 30, 2023 7:05 am

Hope Beyond Temptation: Staying Clean in a Corrupt Society, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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May 30, 2023 7:05 am

Hope Again: When Life Hurts and Dreams Fade


Ever wonder why God chose to leave His children on earth? With so much suffering, temptation and sorrow, why didn't He whisk us away at the point of our salvation? Those are valid questions, and today on Insight for Living, we'll find the answers as Chuck Swindoll continues our study in 1 Peter chapter 1. In this passage, the apostle gives a credible argument for the purpose of our temptations, and he gives a brilliant tutorial on how to resist the lure of sinful choices.

Chuck titled his message, Hope Beyond Temptation. The Bible says you're to be set apart for God's purpose and glory, and you're to conduct your walk in fear, knowing that you will give an account to your judge, who impartially judges. Verses 18 to 21, focusing your mind on Christ, remember what your inheritance cost your savior. I'm fully convinced that the battle with this world is a battle within the mind. Our minds, therefore, are the targets of the enemy's appeal.

So there's some things we're to know. Verse 18, knowing you were not redeemed with perishable things. He didn't pay in silver, he didn't pay in gold, he paid with his blood.

And in doing so, he broke the chains. He opened the door and said, you can get out. You can get away from that slavery. But in order to get out, you have to take his gift. The gift of eternal life. The gift of Christ himself. His death and his resurrection taken personally to pay for your sins. And then you're free to live for him and to serve him. Now that's the point in verse 18. You weren't redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers.

What is life like without Christ? It is a futile way of life. And it's inherited from our forefathers. Anybody who thinks they're going to be saved because they were related to somebody in the past needs only to take a look at verse 18. What you got from your forefathers as far as spiritual life is concerned is a futile way of life.

You inherited it from your father and your grandfather and right on back through your great grandfather. You want to know what that empty way of life is like? Look at 1 Peter 4, 1 to 4. 1 Peter 4, 1. Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.

Now look closely. So as to live the rest of the time in the flesh, no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. What was life like without Christ?

What is it now like? What is this futile life like? For the time already passed is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles. Listen closely. Having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousals, drinking parties, abominable idolatries, and in all this they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation.

And they malign you. Tell me the Bible is not relevant. That's the futile lifestyle of the lost.

Check out any secular campus you wish. That's the lifestyle this very night. One event after another designed to somehow satisfy and bring contentment. It leads only to another hangover and another bout with guilt, if there is enough conscience left for guilt.

It's futile. It's empty. And they're getting an education and all the while they're going down the tubes morally. And not just in the realm of the campus life, but in the business world as well. One drinking party after another, one high after another, one snort after another, one drug after another, one man or one woman after another.

It's so empty. Look at the faces of the businessmen and women. Study the lines. Look at them on the airplanes.

See them in their cars on the freeways. They dread another week. They just live for the highs, which are nothing more than temporary breaks in the lows. Long-standing lows.

It's a futile way of life. We've been redeemed from that. Chapter 1 again.

I love this. Verse 18. You are redeemed from your futile way of life, inherited from your fathers, not by silver and gold, but with precious blood as of a lamb, unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For he, talk about Christ, he was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for what? For the sake of you.

Can't be more clear. He came as a reference to everything from Calvary to his coming again. In these last times, he has had you in mind. Who, through him, are believers in God.

God is the one who raised him from the dead, gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in the living God. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.

No other fount I know. Nothing but the blood of Jesus. There's a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins, and sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains.

Lose all their guilty stains. That's wonderful news. There's nothing futile following that. He realized our totality of emptiness. He knew that we were helpless to buy our way out of the slave market, and he willingly set aside his eternal comforts and deliberately took upon himself the cross on our behalf. So that our hope would rest in God. Being holy, conducting ourselves in fear, and focusing our minds on the Savior.

Those things work in the midst of the cosmos life. Now, let me give you a few techniques that will work. I'm not sure we'll be quizzed on them, but if you are, be ready.

You never can tell. Let me give you four things to remember, and I hope I remember them so that I can pass the quiz the next time. Number one, pay close attention to what you look at. Pay close attention to what you look at.

That takes us back to verse 13, girding our minds for action, keeping sober in spirit, fixing our hope completely on the grace that's to be revealed. Pay attention to what you look at. Your eyes seem to me to be the closest thing to the mind. You bring information in. You bring visual image in. You feed imaginations through the eye gate. You focus upon things that are alluring and attractive. And don't kid yourself, extremely pleasurable for a while.

For a while. Remember it says of Moses, he gave up the passing pleasures of sin to walk with the people of God. There were pleasures, no doubt about it, but they were passing. Pay closer attention to what you look at. In your spare time especially, on your days off, on your easier going weekends, in the after hours, pay close attention to what you look at.

It'll help you. Second, give greater thought to the consequences than to the pleasures of sin. Give greater thought to the consequences rather than the pleasures of sin. You will notice that one of the characteristics of the cosmos is that nobody ever mentions the consequences of an affair. Nobody in the cosmos talks about that.

Or if they do, they'll play them down. If you're thinking about an affair, if you are getting caught in that lustful trap, walk through in your minds in detail with lists that you can form the consequences of that act. I've done it hundreds of times. Believe me, it helps. In a leadership magazine, when the subject was sex, there was an article written by Randy Alcorn called, Strategies to Keep from Falling.

It was excellent. In the article, there was a little section set aside called, Consequences of a Moral Tumble. I'm going to read it simply because it is an example of what ministers need to do when playing with the thought of an affair. And though you may not be a minister, just listen up.

It applies to every one of us. He writes, whenever I feel particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation, I find it helpful to review what effects my action could have and he lists them. Grieving the Lord who redeemed me. Two, dragging his sacred name into the mud. Three, one day having to look Jesus, the righteous judge, in the face and give an account of my actions.

Four, following in the footsteps of these people whose immorality forfeited their ministries and caused me to shudder, list their names. Five, inflicting untold hurt on Nancy, my best friend and loyal wife. Six, losing Nancy's respect and trust. Seven, hurting my beloved daughters and he names them. Eight, destroying my example and credibility with my children and nullifying both present and future efforts to teach them to obey God.

Quote, why listen to a man who betrayed mom and us? Next, if my blindness should continue or my wife be unable to forgive, perhaps losing my wife and my children forever. Next, causing shame to my family.

Why isn't daddy a pastor anymore? Another, losing self-respect. Another, creating a form of guilt awfully hard to shake. Even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?

Another, forming memories and flashbacks that could plague future intimacy with my wife. Next, wasting years of ministry training and experience for a long time, maybe permanently. Another, forfeiting the effect of years of witnessing to my father and reinforcing his distrust for ministers that has only begun to soften by my example, but that would only harden permanently, perhaps because of my immorality. Undermining the faithful example and hard work of other Christians in our community. He goes on, bringing great pleasure to Satan, the enemy of God and all that is good, heaping judgment and endless difficulty on the person with whom I committed adultery, possibly bearing the physical consequences of diseases as gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, AIDS, perhaps infecting Nancy or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death.

Bringing shame and hurt to these fellow pastors and elders, list the names. Possibly causing a pregnancy with the personal and financial implications, including a lifelong reminder of my sin. Causing shame and hurt to the friends, especially those I've led to Christ and discipled.

Invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself. That, my friend, is a list of consequences. A minister should carry these in his briefcase, review them regularly. That's a realistic list of the other side of a moral tumble. Give greater thought to the consequences than to the passing pleasures of sin.

Here's a third one. It'll help you be strong in the cosmos. Start each day by renewing your sense of reverence for God. Start each day by renewing your sense of reverence for God. Don't limit that, by the way, to the church that you attend. The singing of a few hymns or the pastor leading you. As important as that is, don't just do that once a week. Start each new day talking to the Lord.

Sometime my talk with him early in the morning is very brief. Lord, I'm here, I'm yours. As I pour this cup of coffee and as I get started talking to Cynthia for a little while about our day and about our lives, I want you to know that I'm yours. I want you to know that I reverence you. I want you to know that I give you my day, and as frail and fragile as I am, I really need your help.

And I may know what's coming that day, so I'll spell out areas of need. Last Friday we had a real test in our lives, and I knew it was coming. I knew we would have to work through it, and I talked to the Lord about it. I gave him my fragility, and I took his strength in return. I reverenced him as the source of my power. Start each day by renewing that sense of reverence.

Now here's a fourth one. Periodically during each day, focus fully on Christ. That really helps. Periodically during each day, even if it's for 10 seconds, focus fully on Christ alone. I smiled when I read part of Stuart Briscoe's book, Spiritual Stamina.

He begins one of his chapters. It's fun watching young men in love. It can be even more fun when the romance is long distance. You can predict what will happen. There will be hours of late-night, heart-pounding telephone conversations. The postal service will be overrun with love notes crossing each other in the mail. Pillows will be soaked with tears. But the most telling symptom is the glazed, faraway look in Romeo's eyes.

I'm sure you've seen it. When you ask the man a question, you get a blank stare. He's not at home. He's elsewhere. He's in another land.

He's with his sweetheart. You might say his heart is set on things afar where Juliet is seated right by the telephone. That's being focused fully on another person. I challenge you in this new week to deliberately set aside even 10 to 15 seconds every day where your eyes glaze. You don't anymore realize where you are than the man in the moon. The telephone means nothing. And you focus fully on Christ.

Just picture some part of his life, walking with his 12, touching those who were sick, praying for you in John 17, going to the cross, sitting with his disciples at the seashore, having some broiled fish for breakfast, thinking about you, believing in you, praying for you, standing with you, living in you. I've taken time at the end of this talk to address some techniques that will help, not just because I need them and you need to listen in to the things I need to hear, but because I think some of you need them to. I don't believe we will win this battle in a corrupt society. I don't think we'll stay clean in it without deliberate intention.

The only ones who cannot clean themselves up in a society like this are those who have no one living inside them. And it's you I would like to talk with for a few moments. Let's bow our heads, shall we? Perhaps you've listened very closely to some instruction to Christians and you have paid careful attention to those things that sound to you like things that would really work in your life. But remember, there's no other foundation than Jesus Christ. So you must start there. Go back to that place called the cross.

Go back in your mind. It was there he was crucified. It was there he died. Hours later, he rose alive and still lives, victorious over sin and death. He's available to you. He will literally come in your life and forgive you and strengthen you.

He waits for you to say to him, I believe in you with my whole heart, Lord Jesus Christ, I turn to you. And in doing so, I turn from myself to all my ways that I've tried. I turn to you. That's called repentance. I'm changing my mind and I'm coming to you in faith. Thank you for coming into my life.

Do that right now as I pray. Thank you, Father, for truth preserved through the centuries. Thank you for the careful concern of a man like Peter who knew what it was to walk with the Savior, your son, knew the stinging rebuke of failure. He knew what it was to know victory and joy through the power of the Holy Spirit. He walked in this same old world as we, was mistreated and maligned.

So when he speaks of that, he knows where he speaks. Lord, hear our prayer this day as we ask you to bring to our attention those things that will assist us in staying clean in a corrupt world. Give us an intense distaste for things that displease you. And at the same time, a renewed pleasure in things that bring you honor and magnify the truth. And I pray for those without Christ that you'd bring them humbly and deliberately to the cross. And bring them immediately into your own family as they give their lives to you this day. Encourage us on our walk, our Father.

We pray for Jesus' sake and His alone. Amen. Providing what he calls hope beyond temptation, you're listening to a message presented by our Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll. And this is Insight for Living.

To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at Well, if you're wrestling with temptation in ways you never saw coming, you're not alone. In fact, we often hear from your fellow listeners who describe their fight against temptation.

I'm thinking of this comment we received not long ago from a young father that said, Chuck, at age 29, I'd accepted a lucrative position as an attorney. I was too busy to go to church. Plus, I had begun an affair.

About that time, I started listening to your program on my daily drive to work. As I started paying attention, I realized I had never accepted Jesus as my Lord. My life was a mess.

I cried every day as I drove to work. How could a wretch like me be saved? Well, your simple and straightforward presentation of the gospel finally penetrated my mind. I surrendered my heart to Jesus. The rest of his note describes his recovery and his gratitude for clear Bible teaching.

That is so encouraging. And when you partner with Insight for Living, you're playing a significant role in making disciples of Jesus Christ. Chuck, sometimes we mistakenly assume that the Great Commission of Jesus was only for professionals. But Jesus included all of us, didn't he? No one is excluded from the Great Commission of Jesus to make disciples. You've often heard me say that God calls some people to go.

And he calls other people to send. When Jesus gave his final marching orders, he did not discriminate between the two. Preachers, pastors, evangelists, and missionaries are goers.

You might call them boots on the ground. Those who give generously from their personal resources to support the goers are the senders. We cannot have one without the other. At Insight for Living Ministries, we provide opportunities for both, but especially for people like you who are senders. Your gifts are directly applied toward making disciples of men and women all around this great big world, many in languages other than our own. You've likely heard my recent comments about the urgency of our financial needs. Many loyal senders have already responded. We're so grateful for this groundswell of support, yet we must keep our eye on the goal.

We have a long ways to go. The next few days will determine the future of Insight for Living Ministries. So please pick up your phone, or go online, or if you prefer, send a donation in the mail today. Although many of our ministries hang in the balance, I'm not dissuaded nor discouraged. Instead, I'm asking God to meet our needs through friends like you. Thanks so much for hearing my heart and for investing in the Great Commission of Jesus to go and make disciples of all the nations.

Remember, He promised to be with us all along the way, even to the end of the age. This season marks a major deadline here at Insight for Living, and we're asking God to help us close the books on solid ground so we can step forward with boldness. Your support today will make all the difference in reaching this goal. To give a donation today, call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. That number again, 800-772-8888. Or you can give a donation online at slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us next time when Chuck Swindoll describes the biblical way to restore broken relationships on Insight for Living. Commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-29 14:14:46 / 2023-05-29 14:23:21 / 9

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