Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

2 hot 4 church? Week 2 - Sexual Immorality and the Believer

Hebrews 13:4 commands us “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

God is the author and creator of marriage and in Genesis 2:19-25 we see God's blessing upon man through marriage by giving Adam a wife, Eve, to be a helpmate, soul-mate, and play-mate. From the very beginning God's plan for marriage is for one man and one woman to come together as one flesh to be blessed by God.

The plan is for two individuals to share one life together filled with love, trust, communication, and intimacy. Genesis 2:25 says that the man and woman were "both naked and they felt no shame." Lot's of nakedness and all of this the Bible says was very good in God's eyes (Genesis 1:31).

Yet it did not stay this way for long. In Genesis 3:1-7 both Adam and Eve sinned against God bringing a curse over all creation. Not only was creation cursed because of their sin but their marriage was cursed as well. Where there was unity now there is separation between them and God and between them and each other because of their sin. Where there was love, there is now doubt. Where there was trust, there is now distrust. Where there was communication and unity there is now silence and isolation and where there was intimacy and nakedness without shame there is now a lack of intimacy and they are filled with shame as they clothe themselves and hide themselves from each other.

The Bible says that God's adversary, Satan, was there disguised as a serpent with the intent on dividing, destroying, and killing the marriage of Adam and Eve and separating them from God.

The Bibles says that Satan:
Is a schemer (Ephesians 6:11). Disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Lays traps for us (1 Timothy 3:7), is a liar and a murderer (John 8:44) and is opposed to God and tries to destroy every work of God including the church, men, and marriage.

Satan's arsenal for dividing, destroying, and killing is packed with sexual temptation that leads to sexual immorality.

The Bible speaks against sexual immorality and the believer on many occasions:

1 Corinthians 6:18 says we should flee it
1 Thessalonians 4:5 says it is God’s will that we abstain from it
Colossians 3:5 says we should put sexual immorality to death
1 Corinthians 6:13 says that our bodies are not meant for sexual immorality but are meant for God.
1 Corinthians 10:8 says we must not indulge in sexual immorality and 1 Corinthians 6:9 says that the sexually immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God

The Bible has some very stern warning against sexual immorality….so what is sexual immorality?

The Greek word the Bible uses over and over again and again is “porneia” it is where we derive the word pornography from and it is a junk drawer word used to include all forms of sexual immorality. While God gives us His law (Leviticus/Deuteronomy) pertaining to of sexual sins to never commit – homosexuality, sex with animals, relatives, etc – in His wisdom God does not gives us a list knowing that someone somewhere would come up with some crazy kinky sin and would justify their sin because it was not in the Bible.

Porneia is a catch all that includes any sexual sin conducted outside of marriage. Where God’s plan is for our marriages to be the perfect setting for intimacy, Satan’s plans are to lure us outside of our marriages to destroy us and to destroy our marriages.

Some examples of sexual sin within our own culture today would include but not be limited to: Homosexuality, Lesbianism, sex with animals, sexting, sex chatting, reading steamy letters for arousal, viewing photos or videos for the specific purpose of sexual arousal.

You and I are part of a culture that spends more money each year on pornography than the revenues of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, Netflix, and EarthLink combined.

Some recent statistics show that:

Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography.
Every second 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography.
Every 39 minutes a new pornographic video is being created in the United States.
Currently there are over 4.2 million pornographic sites on the web.
Of the total population of those who use the Internet 42.7% view porn.
72 million visitors go to pornographic sites each month.

What's worse is that this is not isolated to the "world" or to non-believers/non-Christians.
47% of Christians polled said pornography is a major problem in the home and statistically 53% of men who are "Promise Keepers" will view porn this week alone.
**Statistics taken from Family Safe Media [link].

Sexual immorality in the form of pornography is at epidemic proportions and the statistics say that most of you have either:

1. Dealt with the issue of pornography in your home/marriage.
2. Are currently dealing with pornography in your home/marriage.
3. Or at some time will deal with pornography in your home/marriage.

The use of porn is a secret sin that no one wants to talk about, the issue that most struggle with and that everyone wants to sweep under the rug, to forget about, to ignore and deny hoping that it will go away that it will somehow cure itself.

The statistics show that he average age of the first Internet exposure to porn is 11 and the largest consumers of porn are men in the 25-49 age group. I realize that women are also subject to this disease but for the most part I will be speaking to you as a man to men from a man’s point of view.

Why is porn so potent against men?

1. Men are visual
2. Men are on a 72 hour cycle
3. Men are created by God this way…it is good and natural when it is in the context of marriage.

So why, if many men are struggling with porn, is everyone being so quiet about it?

1. It is shameful to those who are in bondage
2. It is embarrassing to those who are in bondage and to those whose loved ones are struggling
3. There is a fear of rejection
4. Men don’t naturally share
5. Men think they can fix anything
6. We have the capacity to justify our sin

a. I am a guy…and you know guys just love the ladies.
b. I am not hurting anyone else.
c. My wife isn’t available or won’t sleep with me or won’t do what I want her to do – blame shifting
d. My wife doesn’t like sex.
e. I am not attracted to my wife.
f. I only do it once in a while.
g. I keep it in a secret place .

Those trapped in secret sin often go through vicious cycles of highs and lows.

Sexual sin always begins in the mind(James 1:14-15) – you see something on TV, a magazine, hear something on the radio, come across something in the paper or the mail and immediately your minds begins to feed your flesh.

Soon your thoughts give way to sin and you find yourself running into doing that which you do not want to do…viewing porn and masturbating.

While engaged in the sin you experience a “high” your heart races, your flesh feeds and you try to prolong this high as long as you can.

Soon your high gives way to great guilt. You feel unholy, unlovable, sinful, disgusting, desperate, and may at times question your own salvation. You may at this time go to the altar, rededicate yourself and make promises like you will never do this again.

You begin to isolate yourself from your wife. You don’t talk to her, you don’t spend time with her, you don’t pursue her and you tend to avoid her. You also tend to withdraw from friends, church, prayer, and God’s word…just like Satan wants.

This period of isolation and withdrawal lasts until the guilt has worn off and you begin to feel better about yourself. You begin to come out of your shell, begin talking with your wife and friends again and may even begin to attend church more frequently, read your Bible more, and pray…until something snaps, the wife won’t give in to your advances, work is stressful, you are bored and just need a fix and then the cycle begins all over again and you are trapped and hopeless and miserable.

My goal today isn’t to tell you how much of a sinner you are and how great a sin pornography is…you already know that don’t you?

My goal today is to let you know that you are not alone –
That there are ways to protect your home-
You can be free of sexual sin-

Simple ways you can protect your home:
1. Realize you are in a battle.
2. Put a filter on your Internet - safe eyes, trend micro, etc
3. Cancel Cosmo, Sports Illustrated, and any other soft core magazines
4. Cancel Cable, cut back to the basic package, use the VChip to filter channels

You can be free of sexual sin- turn to Jesus sexual immorality is idolatry!

Some of you women are here this morning and you are saying…”I know my husband struggles with this, I have tried to talk to him but he is in denial...what can I do?

1. Pray for your husband
2. Speak to a pastor – depending on the severity you may have reason to leave your husband
3. Be the gatekeeper of your house. Your husband may not be strong enough to make the tough decisions and while you may read Cosmo for the articles your husband also reads Cosmo for the articles!
4. Give your husband an environment where he can come clean and share with you.

Jesus died on the cross in our place for our sins and you and I turn to Jesus for salvation from our sins, salvation from stress, we turn to Jesus to rescue us not pornography, not our wives. You and I can remove all the things that trap us and still sin. We can follow godly advice and still not overcome our temptations…why?

You and I will never be free until we turn everything over to Jesus, until we change our minds about our sin, repentance, until we begin to see our sin as God sees it, until we fear the Lord and gain His wisdom, and until we stop trying to save ourselves and turn to Jesus for salvation.

Will you stop denying your sins and openly confess them to Jesus today?
Will you drop the mask and come clean to your wife/husband?
Will you share your struggles with your spouse?
Wives will you give your spouse the freedom to come clean?

Additional Resources:
1. Every Man’s Battle Book
2. Free Book - Porn Again Christian - see below for free e-book download
3. http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/ - great free website to help anyone addicted to food, sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling, tobacco
4. Text your questions - text any question on today's lesson to 99503 - be sure to place 96840 somewhere in the body of your text.
Example: "96840 If God didn't want me to eat cows why did He make them out of meat?"

Porn Again Christian

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2 hot 4 church? Week 2 - Sexual Immorality and the Believer


Week 2 into our study 2 hot 4 church? and many of you are asking..."What is our topic for Sunday?"

Join us this Sunday as we address the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about... Sexual Immorality and the Believer.

See you Sunday

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2 hot 4 church? - Week 1 - Alcohol

Should Christians drink and if so, how much is permissible? One glass, one beer, two sips?

On what do you base your answers?

What does the Bible say about alcohol, it's uses, and the believer? Did Jesus drink?

This morning we want to tackle this question not by looking at the historical contents of Biblical wine or discussing the culture of the day or by pulling out one verse to either support drinking or to condemn drinking. Instead let's take a systematic approach to this question by looking at many verses throughout the Bible to see what God's word has to say about this hotly debated issue.

First let's understand that when the Bible talks about alcohol it is primarily speaking about wine (just a simple word search on wine in the Bible results in 238 verses [link]) and not fuzzy navels, screw drivers, or those wimpy drinks with fruit and umbrellas in them (proverbs mentions beer). During the time of Jesus distillation had not been invented so there were "hard drinks" to speak of. What we are discussing here is wine with the alcohol content of no more than 11-14% very similar to what is found in stores today.

The first time wine appears in the Bible is in Genesis 9:20-24. God has just destroyed everyone and everything on the planet with the exception of Noah, his family, the animals on board, and the fish that survived in the sea. In chapter 9 Noah plants the first vineyard, makes the first wine, and is the first in history to party like it is 1999 B.C. Sound like a good time? Not so much as we learn that when Noah drank, he passed out naked in his tent and while he was out his son Ham came in and did something not so nice. Strike one against alcohol.

So that's purely an isolated event right? The next "incident" with wine is found in Genesis 19:30-38. Lot and his two daughters are living in a cave "down by the river!" and the daughters have the bright idea to get their dad drunk, to sleep with their dad, with the overall plan to get pregnant by their dad. I am sure at the time it all looked great on paper but not for me. You drink, get drunk, sleep with your daughters and now your grandson is also your son. Strike two against alcohol.

Again these are just two instances out of hundreds where wine is mentioned in the Bible.

Some verses talk about what a blessing wine is - Proverbs 3:9-10

Isaac prayed that God would bless with wine - Genesis 27:28

1 Timothy 5:23 Paul commands Timothy to drink wine for medicinal purposes.

And wine is used as a "drink offering" as part of the worship of God - Genesis 35:15, Exodus 29:40, Leviticus 23:13, Numbers 4:7, and so on.

Yet in other places the Bible warns us to abstain, stay away, or avoid wine, strong drink, alcohol.

Leviticus 10:9 warns the priest of God to not drink when going before God or they will die.

Psalm 75:8 says that wine is used by God to be poured out on all the wicked of the earth.

Proverbs 20:1 says that anyone led astray by alcohol is unwise, proverbs 21:17 says that anyone who loves wine will be broke and proverbs 23:29-35 is a very strong warning to not drink.

So what did Jesus think about wine and drinking wine?

First Jesus turned water into wine John 2:1-3. Jesus drank wine and was often accused of being a drunkard and a glutton, Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34. Jesus stated that it isn't what we eat or drink that makes us clean or unclean, Matthew 15:11, but what comes out of our mouths.

And in Matthew 26:27-29 Jesus states that He will not drink wine again until He drinks it with us in His Father's kingdom.

Jesus made wine, Jesus drank wine, and Jesus is abstaining from wine until He can drink it with us in the new Kingdom.

Confused yet? Good!

So what is it? Can we drink or can't we? Is it sinful to drink or isn't it?

Is drinking a sin? Yes....

If you:

1. Are under 21 - 1 Peter 2:13-14 says to submit to government and it's laws.
2. If your pastor asks you not to drink and you do -
3. If you cause others to sin - Romans 14:20-21
4. If you do so in an uncontrolled manner - The Bible commands us to be sober so that our
thoughts and our prayers are not hindered - Romans 12:3, 2 Timothy 4:5, 1 Peter 1:13, 1
Peter 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8
5. If you do so and become drunk - The Bible has very harsh words for getting drunk and for
drunkards - 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that drunkards won't inherit God's kingdom. Ephesians
5:18 says "do not get drunk on wine" an proverbs 23:29-35
6. If you drink to relax, have peace, escape because in doing so you are setting up alcohol as a
functioning savior, replacing Jesus. Alcohol to you is a god, and idol. Exodus 20:3 commands
us to have no other Gods and Exodus 20:44-5 says we aren't to worship anything else other
than God.
7. If you drink and are convicted of it. Romans 14:22-23

I personally like dark beer but have made the decision to not drink based on the following reasons:

1. I am cheap - $12.00 for a glass of beer? Are you kidding me?
2. Noah - I am not down for the tent party.
3. Abraham - It's not going down like that with me.
4. I am incapable of drinking to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31
5. I love my pastor. Brother Holie has been called to lead us by God. He is assigned to be over
us, we are assigned to be lead by him. The Bible says that one day he will give an account for
us. In joining the church I agreed to be under his spiritual authority and the Bible commands
me to submit to spiritual authority.
6. I have promised not to as a leader and as a Seminary student.
7. I have my wife and three beautiful children to think about.
8. I love you and I don't want to be a stumbling block to anyone.

The real question isn't can we drink? Sinful people are always by nature looking for a loophole...the question is for you to ask.....Can I drink? And if you drink...why do you drink?

Each of us saved by Jesus are now adopted into the family of God, we are now citizens of the Kingdom of God, and God has offered us a new way to live.

Romans 14:20-23 says that as children of God, as brothers and sisters of each other and Christ we each need to make the decision today to not hinder anyone (Romans 14:13). Wine or food in and of itself is not unclean - it is not what we eat or drink that saves us as there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Salvation comes by faith in Jesus, believing that He is God, that He died on the cross in our place for our sins and confessing Him as Lord with our mouths. Yet wine is unclean to those who believe that it is (Romans 14:14).

Therefore each of us are commanded not to grieve our brothers in Christ, not to destroy them (Romans 14:15.) This means that if you are convinced that drinking is OK that you still, willfully abstain so as not to destroy your brother who struggles with this hot issue.

Romans 14:17 "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of easting and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

There are primary issues that you and I will never budge on, will fight to the death over like Jesus as the only way to heaven, the Bible as God's word, the virgin birth, etc. Then there are secondary issues, matters of opinion that we may disagree over but with not break fellowship over.

You and I must not destroy the work that God is doing in our church, in our families, in our friendships, in our circles of influence over a Bud Light! Romans 14:20.

It is very wrong to make others stumble, Romans 14:20 and it is good for us to abstain for the benefit of others Romans 14:21. If you and I are going to serve Jesus it will always cost us something...time, money, comfort, a beer. Jesus said He would not drink until we are all together in His Father's kingdom....if He is waiting why can't we?

The gospel isn't about us seeing how close we can get to sin without crossing the line. The gospel is an invitation to a new way of life with Jesus. A life of love for each other where we are now citizens of God's kingdom where God has placed His Holy Spirit inside of us which is way more powerful than granddad's hooch.

Our command is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18.

The real question isn't can Christians drink...it is in light of God's word and His Holy Spirit can I drink?

Romans 14:14 - I personally am persuaded, like Paul, that nothing in and of itself is unclean but because I love Jesus, and I love you I have made the decision that I will not do anything to destroy God's work!

Will you make that decision today?

Additional resources:

1. http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com/ - free online resource for anyone struggling with alcohol, food, sex or tobacco addictions.

2. Got questions about today's lesson? Text them to 99503 - be sure to put 96840 in the body of the text.

Monday, January 4, 2010

2 hot 4 Church? Week 1 - Alcohol


So we begin our first week of 2 hot 4 Church? by addressing your questions regarding alcohol.


Here are just a few of the questions you provided in our survey....


"How does drinking affect a Christian's life?...is just having a drink sin?


"Why is it a stumbling block for others to see you drink alcohol?"


"....what does the Bible say about alcohol consumption and the believer?"


Come to class with your Bible, grace, and love.


See you Sunday.