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Oh Be Careful Little Eyes Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
April 22, 2024 12:00 am

Oh Be Careful Little Eyes Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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April 22, 2024 12:00 am

Our modern culture bombards us with messages that distort God's design for sexuality. This can leave us feeling confused, trapped, and even ashamed. But the Bible offers a clear path to freedom. This episode explores the biblical teaching on sexual morality in a non-judgmental and compassionate way. Discover the physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences of sexual sin, and importantly, the hope and transformation found in God’s grace. Learn practical steps to resist temptation, pursue purity, and experience true freedom.

Key Points Covered:

  • The Culture Clash: Why purity seems like an outdated concept and the harmful impact of society's message on our hearts.

  • The Consequences of Sin: Understanding the real-world risks of sexual immorality, from disease to broken relationships.

  • The Path to Purity: How the Bible provides a roadmap to overcoming temptation and living a life honoring to God.

  • Grace and Forgiveness: The transformative power of God's love and His ability to heal and restore.

If you're struggling with sexual sin, longing for a life of purity, or simply seeking to understand God's plan for your sexuality, this episode is for you. Discover how to combat the cultural chaos with biblical clarity and find the freedom you desire.

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You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

See, here's the shocking news to his culture and ours. Fantasy immorality is as sinful as physical immorality. The consequences might be different, but sins of the heart and sins of the hands are both sin. Welcome to Wisdom for the Heart. This is the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey.

Stephen is the president of Wisdom International. You know that the battle for holiness is a difficult one. The sin of lust is one of those particularly troublesome areas. There seems to be temptation everywhere, but even if there wasn't an external temptation, we'd still face the battle in our heart.

Today, Stephen has a lesson for you that he's calling, Oh Be Careful Little Eyes. We're continuing through a series looking at different sins that can grip our hearts. In a chapter entitled, The Discipline of the Mind, author Kent Hughes kind of ruminates on the amazing complexity of the human brain. He writes, The complex capacity of the human brain is the subject of ever widening scientific wonder. Its 12 to 14 billion cells are only a shadow of its complexity. For each cell sends out thousands of connecting fibers so that one single cell may be connected with 10,000 neighboring cells, each of which is constantly exchanging data impulses.

Put another way, there is more electronic equivalent in one human brain than in all of the radio and television stations of the entire world put together. The potential then for communion with God, okay, let's think about that way. Growth in his word, the development of pure and holy, a living. The ability to have our minds transformed by the renewing of those brain cells, our thinking according to Godly wisdom is gonna be the greatest challenge in your life and mine.

The fact that these billions of cells can actually be trained to fire off Godly impulses which lead to Godly actions is one of the greatest miracles in the work of any believer's life and heart as God is allowed to reign. Paul refers to it as the laying aside of the old self which is being corrupted in accordance with its lusts. Peter puts it this way that we escape then with proper thinking which leads to proper action.

We escape the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1.4. I've referenced John Bunyan a couple of times.

One of his lesser known works is called The Holy War. In the book he personifies the soul of a Christian as a city and this city has five gates, the ear gate, the eye gate, the nose gate, the field gate, and the mouth gate. The enemy of man's soul is sin and in this allegory sin comes on a daily basis to attack man's soul at one of those five gates. Some days Bunyan writes sin will whisper through the ear gate some alluring message hoping to open that gate and gain entrance. Some days sin would paint some alluring portrait to the eye gate and it never ever lets up.

Now in Bunyan's allegory it's interesting to discover that man's soul can never be toppled by an outside attack. The only way sin can win is if it gains entrance through one of the senses where from the inside it is opened up and the enemy is allowed in. This is the idea of both the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter.

In fact to the Roman believers Paul gets in their face frankly and he says stop presenting your members to sin. That's your body parts. In fact he actually uses a military term there which is used in the transferring of arms. In other words stop handing over your weapons to the enemy.

Stop opening the gate and letting the enemy simply parade in and set up shop. Any man who wants to battle impurity but watches the average movie or television show which unapologetically depicts sexual content has effectively handed over the members of his body that is his eyes to the enemy as if to say here I'm swinging wide the eye gate come on through. A woman who wants to be a holy woman for God but listens all day to music at her desk or on her iPod or whatever with lyrics that depict the sensuality and the selfish pervasiveness of our culture. She's actually saying to the enemy here let me give you my ears today come on in and set up shop.

One author I was researching recorded in one of his writings that sociologists have estimated the average person in America by the age of 21 has been exposed to nearly 500,000 commercial messages predominantly promoting the assumption that personal gratification is the dominant goal in life. Can you summarize by the way in his chapter on the Christian mind by warning us he said this Christians cannot leave their 12 billion cells unguarded and unthinking and undisciplined and frankly there's never been a time where the believers lived such a day like like these where our mind is literally lured and and pulled and invited by so many sources at the same time. Now I'm not implying that the Christian you know hasn't really battled sin until the 21st century I'm not I'm not saying that the battle is as old as the devil and mankind in fact the objective hasn't changed the weapons have. In fact I find it very interesting that the very first temptation was one where Satan used the eye gate and Eve saw that and it looked good. It looked like it would gratify a need that she felt was legitimate.

That particular gate of man's soul the eye gate is being assaulted like never before. In a word we can call this assault pornography. The word pornography comes from the Greek word we've referred to in our last session porneia which refers to any kind of sexual activity outside the bond of marriage. The English word pornography I think is really the perfect transliteration of porneia in all of its understanding because pornography is basically the industry that effectively publishes and promotes sexual activity, sexual immorality, sexual images like nothing else and of course thanks to the internet with all of its wonderful resources and benefits so grateful for it. Pornography however has been able to go stratospheric.

It is every person's battle. Just this week the Christian Post reviewed a recent conference on apologetics where one of the speakers whose ministry is to combat internet pornography in the lives of children reported this, the average age at which children first view pornography is 11. 93% of boys and 91% of girls have viewed pornography before they turn 18.

The speaker added because of the technological advances of smartphones and devices the average teenager now carries the equivalent of x-rated theaters in their pockets. Now while that is obviously alarming and I'm not going to spend a lot of time on statistics we kind of know they're out there. The most alarming news to me that came out of this research shared at this particular symposium was the polling research that found that 68% of males of all ages who consider themselves Christians by the way watch pornographic material regularly.

68%. 36% of 18 to 30 year old men admitted to viewing it daily. The demographics by the way are changing have changed quite dramatically just in the last four or five years. The vice president of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals wrote as I researched I found this particular quote and I quote where it used to be 40 to 50 year old men seeking counseling now there are more females, adolescents, and senior citizens. I continue the quote grandfathers are getting caught with pornography on their computers by their grandkids and grandkids are sexting at the age of 12. In other words this is reaching all ages and it's readily available. It is promoting itself as private. It is anonymous even when you're not looking for it. It shows up you have to constantly be on guard. I remember one Saturday afternoon a few years ago while I was sitting at my computer in my office at home which is where I spend the latter half of my week I have a large flat screen computer screen for a monitor.

If you saw it you would just envy me so I won't describe it too much more but at any rate when I write or type I actually enlarge the font 150% which means I hardly need to use my glasses but it really helps the eyes and I spend about 30 hours a week writing or reading typically writing every week and it's a blessing. At any rate one particular Saturday after researching which I do a lot of online I was just typing away you know on my sermon notes and all of a sudden a picture came up on that screen and I mean it it mean it it went from margin to margin. I won't solely you with the details I'll suffice it to say that they were obviously on their honeymoon they'd just been married the way I could figure it. There it was and I couldn't believe it. I moved my mouse up to the X box and I clicked and it disappeared. I'm working on a sermon and now I'm sitting there with this image full color in my mind. I waged war and asked the Lord I don't know how but please wipe that image off my mind so I can get back to my sermon.

I think we're in the book of Titus. After a few moments I reengaged and began typing on my sermon again suddenly another picture another recently married couple flashes up on my screen margin to margin I haven't clicked anything I haven't done anything there it is. I reached up move my mouse up and clicked X disappeared. I did that at least four times that afternoon. In fact I had to leave my office at one point so I called Marsha in and I said honey I have no idea what's going on here but while I'm away if you happen to walk by the screen and you see a newly married couple they didn't send that to me I don't want that I just want you to be aware of what's going on so you'll click it off. While I was away it happened and she clicked the X box.

Eventually our IT director here at Colonial who can get on my computer remotely actually came over and put on some stronger filters and took care of it. I can tell you though that was the worst afternoon of sermon preparation in my life. Pictures that sent 12 billion brain cells to join in the attack at the eye gate of my soul. Clicking those X boxes became my battle.

It was worth battling. Before we go much further let me deal quickly with one particular misconception. Some data that I have come across I've heard about this and as I researched it found it to be true. It deals with the rise and sale of pornographic material including novels and books with erotic subjects. The author of one particular book addressing this issue for believers her name is Helen Thorn and she's written a book called Purity is Possible How to Live Free of the Fantasy Trap and she deals with the material that is now being consumed by women.

That percentage is growing. She recorded in her book that fantasy, erotica, and pornography are becoming more and more part of the battle for Christian women. She writes and I quote there is a rumor going around that women don't watch pornography online. There's a school of thought that says that women's fantasies are romantic rather than explicit. Some argue that we don't think as visually as men so pornography is rarely appealing to us. A few believe that we are by nature more pure and innocent. I wish these rumors were right.

They're not. She goes on to add findings from her research and personal counseling ministry and then she adds these words. There's another rumor going around that there is a way out that in Jesus Christ God offers forgiveness.

I'm glad that rumor is true. Purity is possible. Beloved pornography is one of the most dangerous creators of stony ground which has been our theme. A heart that becomes calloused and resistant to the seed of the word and the Spirit of God. It's little wonder to me that pornography has become the epidemic it has. It's got to be in fact one of Satan's favorite tools in attacking man's soul. The heart of the Christian who wants to walk in purity and holiness before the Lord. It isn't a new battle by the way.

The technology changes. The temptation doesn't. In fact I want you to take your New Testament and turn to Matthew's Gospel and chapter 5. Let's look at what Jesus Christ has to say about lust which is at the core of pornography.

Matthew's Gospel chapter 5, Jesus is preaching his classic sermon on the hillside and I want to actually back up to verse 21. Matthew 5 21, you have heard that it was said to those of old you shall not murder and whoever murders will be liable to judgment. In other words Jesus is going to ratchet up the bar of holy living by defining it as a matter of the heart where we would really like to view it as simply a matter of the hand. He's going to climb inside our soul and define purity by what we think where we're all alone. The Pharisee would say look my hands are clean.

My resume is spotless. I've never killed anybody and Jesus says let's take a look at the hatred in your heart. Notice verse 27. You have heard that it was said you shall not commit adultery but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

See here's the shocking news to his culture and ours. Fantasy immorality is as sinful as physical immorality. The consequences might be different but they're both sinful. In other words sins of the heart and sins of the hands are both sin.

We don't get a free pass because it stayed in here and never came out here at this point. They both spiral downward. They both enslave. They both deceive. They both destroy.

They both represent a myth. I'm going to reach for something with my hand. It's a mirage by the way. I'm going to think about something in my heart. It's a myth.

It's not real. They both demand repentance. A person who says look I don't need to repent of fantasy or mental lust or seething anger that wishes that other person was dead. There's nothing wrong with it as long as it stays in my heart is a person who is perhaps deceived enough to be deceived in their relationship with God and not even belong to him because they justify what God calls sinful. That truth by the way is reinforced throughout the New Testament. One of the defining characteristics in fact that distinguishes a believer from an unbeliever is that unbelievers long to sin. Believers long to be holy. Unbelievers wish they had more time, more money, more opportunity to sin, and they'll fight you over the fact that it's wrong. Believers wish they didn't have the time to sin, wish they didn't have the money to invest in sin, long not to sin, and are troubled by the corrupt and sinful depravity of their heart.

Back to the main point. Jesus now moves on to give two ways to think about lust. That is those thoughts where nobody sees but God. First, we should view lust with uncompromising reality. We should view it with uncompromising reality. Notice just the first phrase of verse 29.

Just the first phrase. If your right eye causes you to sin, stop there. In other words, if you're looking at something or someone to lust after that or them, you need to know that your eye is causing you to, what? Sin. Sin. Look down at verse 30.

And if your right hand causes you to... Well, there it is again. What? Sin. Lust isn't some sinless fantasy. It's wrong. It isn't just admiring the beauty of the way God created women. I've actually had that told to me in my office more than once. I've heard individuals say, this is what God created.

Let's bring it out in the open. Well, God the creator, Jesus Christ, just called it sin. It isn't a rite of passage. It isn't boys will be boys. It isn't anymore now, girls will be girls.

It isn't a need that must be fulfilled. It is a sin to avoid. I can remember being told by a man in my office not too long ago that I was far too black and white in my perspective on pornography. In fact, he told me in my office that the reason I had such a narrow view of this was because I spent way too much time in my study and not enough time out there in the real world. If I get out there in the real world, I'd change my perspective.

Look, even in my study he should have seen the pictures on my computer. That isn't a safe place. Is that what it is though? The real world? The real world is coming. The real world is pure. The real world is God's reign and righteousness.

Everything else is a passing myth. Jesus says first, treat lust with uncompromising reality. It's sin. Secondly, we should treat lust with uncompromising severity.

Look at verse 29 again. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. Now let me clear up some potential misunderstandings here before anybody reaches for a chainsaw.

So just hang tight for just a moment. First, Jesus is not saying that people who've committed lustful or even physically immoral acts are destined for hell. The point isn't that they are doing them and they're going to hell. The point is they want to keep doing them and don't think they're sinful. He says you're deceived. You want to justify it and defend it and continue it. You're actually headed for hell. Secondly, Jesus is not suggesting that you get out a literal knife and perform some kind of amputation.

Now watch this now. If the problem is our heart, what good will it do to pluck out an eye or cut off a hand? The right eye. I mean, can't the left eye lust if you have one left? Can't the left hand commit sin if that's the one left?

Listen, beloved, you can be blind, deaf, mute, paralyzed, on a deserted island, and lust because we bring our hearts with us. Jesus is speaking figuratively here. In fact, one of the clues that he is is his reference to the right eye and the right hand.

Did you notice that? Well, in the days of Christ within the Jewish culture, the right hand was considered to represent power or a person's authority. Think about the fact that we're told that Jesus stands at which hand? The right hand of God the Father. That doesn't mean there's a little piece of tape on the floor and he stands right there because that's at its right hand.

No. What that means is he is standing in the place of divine power and authority. In fact, he represents embodiment in himself of all divine power and authority.

So that's what it means. In fact, it's wonderful to think of this in terms of what David said in Psalm 139 where he talked about his thrill for the way God holds onto him. He says, If I take the wings of the morning, if I dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, behold, you are there.

Your right hand shall hold me. Well, we're going to stop right here. Because of the length of this lesson, we've decided to divide it into two parts. When we come back next time, we'll bring you the conclusion to this message. You're listening to Wisdom for the Heart with Stephen Davey.

What you heard today is part one of a message Stephen called, Oh, be careful little eyes. Between now and the next message, there are several ways that you can interact with our ministry. Wisdom International is on social media. Be sure and like our Facebook page. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter or Instagram, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. On YouTube, you can watch the videos of Stephen's teaching ministry. We also have an app that you can install on your phone and take this teaching ministry wherever you go. You'll find the Wisdom International app in the iTunes or the Google Play stores. Join us next time right here on Wisdom for the Heart.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-22 00:07:31 / 2024-04-22 00:16:07 / 9

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