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Sexual Freedom: The Poisoned Oasis Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
September 22, 2020 1:00 am

Sexual Freedom: The Poisoned Oasis Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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September 22, 2020 1:00 am

Extramarital sex and divorce are choices that can ruin life for all concerned. Too many people, even Christians, ignore the warnings and pay a high price in the long run. The sexual revolution has a very dark side, and we’d better count the cost.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Extra-marital sex and divorce are choices that can ruin life for all concerned. Too many people, even Christians, pay a high price in the long run. The sexual revolution has a dark side, and we'd better count the cost.

Stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, this snare of the enemy is easy in a culture that promotes serial monogamy and has no issue with sexual affairs.

Dave, when I stop to think of it, my heart breaks for this culture, and the ones who are hurt the most are the children. In an age of sexual looseness, in an age in which there's divorce and so many different relationships and affairs, what we need to do as Christians is to stand against this culture, first of all, for ourselves and then for others. I'm holding in my hand a letter that was received here. It's from a woman who says that their marriage was eroding and God's word brought healing. And she commends us for the ministry of Running to Win that talks about these kinds of issues and has been a great help to them. Now my friend, when we receive reports like this, remember it is your report because Running to Win is not the ministry of a man or an organization or a church. It's the ministry of God's people. Would you consider helping us, standing with us with your prayers and your gifts, becoming an endurance partner?

Those are, by the way, the people who do stand with us regularly. Here's what you can do. Go to RTWOffer.com. RTWOffer.com or 1-888-218-9337.

Now when you go to RTWOffer.com, click on the endurance partner button and let me give you that phone number quickly once again, 1-888-218-9337. Now let us go to the pulpit of Moody Church, opening our hearts and our minds to hear a warning, but also hope for those who are ensnared. Several years ago, there was a deacon here at the Moody Church who left his wife and took up with another woman. And many of us tried to help him to understand that this was a bad idea, tried to restore him to God and to his marriage. But I remember he told me, he said, you know, for years I have lived in the desert. And now he said, I have found an oasis and you're telling me to go back to the desert. So he left his wife and he went with the oasis. Eleven years later, he wrote an incredible letter to me. It would be worthwhile reading the whole thing, but I won't read any of it because of lack of time. But what the bottom line was, he told me how God had been disciplining him and all of the problems he had in his second marriage and the difficulties.

And the bottom line was this, that things are so bad, this oasis is so poisoned that I wish I had stayed in the desert. We really do fool ourselves, don't we? We like to fool ourselves. We think that we can break God's commandments without those commandments breaking us. As many of you know, this is a series of messages titled Seven Secret Snares, and today we come to immorality or sexual freedom, however you may want to call it. We've talked about such things as alcoholism and gambling and pornography, but now we come to the temptation that is a possibility for all of us. Thousands of people have said, I will never commit that sin, but they've ended up committing it. Someone has written these words, this is where your game is played. Everything else is warm-ups and practice.

The real game is played on the field and on this field only. The devil is very smart, isn't he? He doesn't come to many of us with all kinds of hideous, terrible things.

He comes with that which is beautiful and fulfilling and that which is going to invigorate us and meet a deep need within us, to satisfy our curiosity and to meet our need for companionship, all those things in short to give us an oasis. The problem is that it's poisoned. A number of years ago Mary Welchel used a story that was sent to her. She's the director of our women's ministries and I'd like to read it to you. A young girl was walking through the woods one day when she almost stepped on a snake. When she saw the snake, she pulled back in horror, but to her amazement, the snake cried out to her, I'm so glad you came along. I'm so cold and I need a friend. Will you please pick me up and put me under your coat so that I can get warm and will you be my friend?

In fear, the girl replied, oh, I can't possibly do that. You're a rattlesnake and you will bite me. I can't pick you up.

No, the rattlesnake answered, that's not true. I promise I won't bite you. I really want to be your friend and after all, I'm not a creature. I am rather a creature of gods just like you and I'm so cold.

Please pick me up, please. She began to feel sorry for the snake and sat down to think it over. As she looked at the snake, it became more beautiful to her with its many colors. She noticed its graceful lines and movement and gradually, it began to look harmless to her.

She thought, well, you know, he's right. After all, of course God created him and just because most rattlesnakes bite, that doesn't mean this one will. It's a very nice snake and shouldn't I be willing to be a friend when someone asks me? So she said to the snake, okay, yes, I'll be your friend and she picked up the snake and put it under her warm coat. Immediately the snake bit her. Pain and poison flooded her body. She cried out in pain, why did you do that? Why did you bite me?

You said you wanted to be my friend. As the snake wiggled away from her, it turned and said with a smirk, you knew what I was when you picked me up. Yes, we know what it is, but oh, how we would like to believe the devil's lies. We want to believe and the more you look at it, the better it appears.

Maybe it's not a rattlesnake after all, we say. What I'd like to do today is to give us a quick biblical survey regarding sexuality to understand ourselves, to understand the way in which God created us, to better understand our temptations, and then we shall also end with words of warning to those who have never been involved in sexual sin, but also hope for those who have. That's the agenda. Now, you know, when I preach, I always want you to listen, obviously, but I can't think of any message I've ever prepared where it's so important to listen to the whole thing. This is a difficult message to be able to receive in bits and pieces. So remember, it's my responsibility to speak, it's your responsibility to listen, and I hope to God we end at the same time.

All right? First of all, take your Bibles and turn to Genesis chapter 1 and 2. Genesis chapter 1 and 2, where we have sexuality and creation.

We're going to hurry over this very quickly. But you know that when God created man and he created all the beautiful things, he said, it is not good for man to be alone. And many of us second that and say, oh God, thank you for knowing that. It is not good for man to be alone. Now, when he created man, he created him from the dust of the ground. He made a mud man.

Ladies, when you're disappointed with us, never forget our origins, okay? He made a mud man. And he breathed into his nostrils and the man became a living being. Now, when he created woman, you remember, of course, it says in whatever we're reading, chapter 2, verse 21, the Lord God caused the man to fall in a deep sleep and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed it up and the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man and he brought her to the man.

She came from his rib. Don't you admire me for avoiding all jokes about this that come to my mind? We shall bypass them all. I want you to understand that when God created woman, he separated femininity from masculinity and after that, the desire to be together, the desire for companionship and for sexuality will be strong and unrelenting. That's the way he created us. Obviously, sexual desire therefore is God-given. It is involuntary. It's not something you choose. You don't say, well, I want to have these feelings and these desires.

You are born with them. Now, what you do with them is another subject but we cannot get out of the fact that God created us as sexual beings and may I hurry to say, therefore, there is no shame that is involved in this properly understood. You know, I've seen parents who shame their young people regarding their children regarding sexual matters and the parents are doing it because they think I'm going to try to teach him that it's evil and he's going to stay away from sexual sin and the opposite happens, the opposite because not knowing what to do with these desires and being shamed, the child falls into sexual sin and we've already learned that the roots of addiction are always secrecy and shame.

Therefore, those parents who have a healthy understanding of sexuality are in the best position to help their children have a healthy understanding and to keep them morally pure. So that's sexuality in creation. Now let's talk about sexuality and marriage for just a moment. You'll notice that God brings the woman to the man and he says in verse 23, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

She shall be called a woman for she was taken out of the man. That's the marriage ceremony right there. Now marriage involves two things. First of all, it involves a covenant, an agreement to live together and I take it that those words are the covenant. She shall be in effect my wife is what Adam is saying. But it also involves something else. It involves, you see, the sexual relationship and God goes on to say for this cause a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. They will become one body, soul, and spirit.

I have to put in a parenthesis here. Marriage involves both the covenant and the sexual intimacy. You can have one without the other and you really don't have a marriage. Sometimes young people feel this tremendous obligation to marry the person with whom they have had their first relationship and there are reasons for that as we'll explain in a moment but it's a bad idea, may be a bad idea. And so what we need to do is to counsel people correctly on these matters. Then you find in today's society people say, well, you know, we live together but we don't have a marriage relationship.

In fact, we don't need a wedding. And then they always ask that question with such a sense of self-confidence. Well, what's a piece of paper anyway?

They always ask that. Years ago my wife and I sold a home that we owned and people decided to buy it and they said we're going to give you so much money and we agreed that that was a good thing. Why didn't we just shake hands and say it's a deal?

That's all. We're reputable people. You're reputable people. Let's just shake hands. Why all this business of signing all of these documents?

And God only knows how many we ended up signing. It's a secret and he's not telling. But why sign all these documents? Because what's a piece of paper anyway? Can't you just hear it?

The answer is look. I want you to know that we had an attorney, they had an attorney, we signed documents, they signed documents. Why? Because what we're saying in so many words is look, friends, you might be reputable people, but we want you to know that if tomorrow you're driving down the street and you see a house for sale that you like better than this one, tough news, because you're stuck with this one, thank you. That's what's happening in a marriage ceremony. Isn't it? Tomorrow you see somebody else.

Tough news, buddy. We were there. We saw it happen.

We've got a piece of paper. Now, when the Bible says that they became one flesh, they became one flesh just like in a metaphysical sense. Same word that is used in Hebrew when it says hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. God the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit one in the very same way. They shall become one flesh.

That's what marriage is all about. Now let's move on and talk about sexuality and alien bonds. What is an alien bond?

An alien, you know, is a foreigner. An alien bond is a bond that is not sanctioned by God. It is a bond that breaks into that God-given relationship, breaking the boundaries and smashing the intention of God. Now I'm going to ask you to turn to a passage of Scripture. It's found in the New Testament in the book of Corinthians. It sheds more light on sexuality than all the secular books you will ever read. No matter how many have been written, no matter how many have been analyzed, no matter how much sexuality is talked about, you will never find a better understanding than in the Creator who made us than this passage of Scripture.

You'll notice Paul says, and I'm going to pick up 1 Corinthians chapter 6, and I shall begin in verse 15. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute?

Never. Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her? For it is said, and here's what shocks us, the two will become one flesh.

But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. The Apostle Paul takes an alien bond, a relationship with a prostitute, in a sense of one of the most degrading alien bonds because there's no pretense of love. Nobody's saying that this somehow is a loving relationship. It is raw lust based on money.

It is in its most degrading form a relationship where there's no pretense. And notice the Apostle Paul says they become one flesh. For God says the two shall become one flesh.

Wow. That doesn't mean they're married. It's like I mentioned a moment ago, very important to understand because there's no covenant. They have the relationship without the protection of the covenant, but that's an alien bond, you see. An alien bond may be a homosexual bond.

It may be molestation. It is any bond that actually is outside of the realm of a man-woman relationship with a covenant in marriage. That's an alien bond, and God says that when there's a relationship outside of that, it is still true that they become one flesh. Now when you stop to think of it, what that means is that this intruder, this alien bond has some incredible consequences.

May I give you a few very quickly? First of all, imagine now, imagine the power of the first bond. Imagine the power of the first bond. Because you see, you have the image of the man, and you have the image of the woman, and they are being joined together in this relationship, and therefore it is powerful. I didn't bring it with me deliberately because this message would get too long, but I received a letter which I dictated a reply to this past Friday from a woman who heard me speak on this over the radio.

Amazing letter. All that she can think about in her present marriage is the first man with whom she was bonded. He was not a Christian and so she broke the relationship and now she's in a relationship where her heart actually is somewhere else and she says it is on the verge of destroying our marriage.

Wow. I think of a young woman who came to me, tears running down her cheeks and dropping onto her lap, telling me a story of how she was seduced by an older man in a church and the church acquitted him and called her the one that was responsible, the terrible situation, the kind of unfairness that often exists. And there she is weeping, but she says to me, even though he did me so much dirt, if I saw him today on a street corner and he said, let's run off and be married, I'd marry him. Why was her first bond so much power in that first bond? Now what if that first bond is not at all even a consensual relationship? What if it's molestation? I think for example of Roger whom some of you know about who died of AIDS many, many years ago and his story was so remarkable that I actually had it taped. But he said the way he got into homosexuality is an older man introducing him to it, molesting him as a child and you begin to think that that's the way you are, that's the imprint that is left on your soul and therefore that's the direction in which you go.

It has that kind of power. Any one of us could have ended up in that lifestyle if we had been molested by someone who was trying to bring us into it. When I was at Exodus International, a great work by the way, working with those who struggle at various levels of homosexuality, I discovered that 80 percent of all lesbians were molested by their father, an uncle, a babysitter or whatever. Do you understand why? Not why it was done but do you understand the consequences?

Because now all parameters are taken away. All of God's protections for this relationship have been removed and now the child hating men understandably so begins to gravitate toward the same sex and try to recreate the same experience and able to do so in some measure and therefore thinking that they can find fulfillment in this relationship all because of the fact that they were violated as children. That's why it's so important. I mentioned a moment ago when we talked about children.

It is so very, very important. Jesus said that he who causes one of these little ones to stumble, it were better for him that a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea. And today I speak to some of you who are abusing children, whether sexually or otherwise, and I've said this before from this pulpit but I need to say it again. Stop it.

Stop it. The power of those first bonds. There's another consequence and that is the tendency to promiscuity. I remember a young woman, 26 years old, tired of being a virgin, saying it's my turn, everybody else is doing it, I might as well. She said that when it was over she could almost hear the words in her mind just as clear as anything say, well, now that you're defiled, anything is possible. Began a whole system of immorality that when she became pregnant she did not know who the father was. One alien bond causing her to spin out of control because, see, all the boundaries are gone now.

I think of a man wanting to get even with his wife, visiting a prostitute, ending up in that whole lifestyle for years and years and years until he was exposed. The power of these alien bonds. My dear friend, this is Pastor Lutzer. I'm sure that you understand that these messages are incredibly important.

I hope that they are transforming for many. I hope that you do all that you can to share with others what you are learning and to encourage them to listen to the ministry of running to win. These messages actually have been compiled into a book. I've written a book entitled Seven Snares of the Enemy, Breaking Free from the Devil's Grip. Very critical. For a gift of any amount, this book can be yours.

Here's what you do. Go to rtwoffer.com. That's rtwoffer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. In an age in which we have lost our way, in an age in which sexual brokenness is everywhere because we have broken God's laws and we need both instruction and hope, I believe these messages and this book is vitally important. Seven Snares of the Enemy, Breaking Free from the Devil's Grip.

For a gift of any amount, go to rtwoffer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337. And be sure to pray for us. Pray that the ministry of running to win will continue in more than 20 countries of the world. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life. God designed sex for a covenant marriage relationship, not for a succession of one night stands. Free love is not so free when you count the cost of its consequences. Next time on Running to Win, Pastor Lutzer does just that, looking at promiscuity, addiction and guilt. Thanks for listening. For Dr. Erwin Lutzer, this is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-29 15:02:28 / 2024-02-29 15:11:15 / 9

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