MESSAGE DELIVERED: SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
The fourth on this list of seven deadly sins is called ‘IMPURITY’ in some older versions, but we know it best as ‘LUST’, because it encompasses so many aspects of the OTHER sins.
And I choose this familiar story about King David’s tragic sin with Bathsheba…mainly because it IS so well-known, and also because it is a prime example of the many different levels involved with lust AND because it is an excellent example of the final outcome of lust.
Almost all of the seven deadly sins are demonstrated in this one little story. And FIRST of all, it says that this took place “at the time of year when kings went forth to battle”…but, DAVID didn’t GO! Instead he sent his commander in his place. WHY?
Had he grown too lazy and complacent, with his high station, to even bother with things like that…with protecting the borders of his nation? That’s SLOTH, the sixth of seven deadly sins.
And then, because he was NOT where he should have been, he chanced to see Bathsheba, in what should have been a private moment for her. And when he saw her, he should have immediately turned away, and granted her her privacy. But he didn’t. He continued to watch her (which is voyeurism, but that didn’t make the ‘seven’ list) and as he watched, he gave in to lust…the fourth deadly sin.
And then he determined to have her, in spite of the fact that he had a whole house-full of wives and concubines…and that’s GREED, the seventh sin. And he sent servants to fetch her, to ORDER her to come, just because he WAS the king, and COULD do that…and that’s PRIDE, the first of the sins.
And later he will have her husband killed, so he can have her for himself, and that’s ENVY, or covetousness, the third deadly sin. So there are MOST of those sins, played out in only five verses.
In the letter written by James, the half-brother of the Lord, and the head of the first Christian Church, there in Jerusalem…in that short letter, this whole process is outlined. James wrote…”But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. And when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
And that is exactly what happened in this incident with David. He was tempted, when he saw her. He gave in to lust, and he followed that lust into sin, and when that sin had been accomplished, it led to death…the death of Uriah, the legal husband of Bathsheba. AND it led to the death of the child that was born out of this sin. That innocent child was in no way responsible for that sin, but still had to suffer for it, as he died slowly from sickness.
And lust is always like that. It only brings HARM to the one that gave in to it. And it also brings harm to some who are completely innocent of the sin.
I gave you several synonyms for PRIDE, when we talked about that. And I mentioned several synonyms for ANGER, when we talked about that. And there were even a couple synonyms for ENVY, when we talked about that last week. But there are NO synonyms for LUST! Lust stands completely alone. You could call it ‘impurity’ as some of the ancients did, or we can call it ‘immorality’, as it is sometimes referred to.
But those don’t really begin to describe this VISCERAL thing that is best described as a NEGATIVE emotion. Simply its name, ‘LUST’, best brings that emotion to mind. Even the WORD, ‘lust’, sounds DIRTY!
The Scripture says, in Proverbs 6:31…that GIVING IN to these things indicates a lack of judgement, and whosoever engages IN these things, will destroy himself. Unfortunately, the world that we live in doesn’t share that sentiment.
In the WORLD, those things are seen as simply DEVIATIONS, or ALTERNATE LIFESTYLES. Even some so-called Christians have been duped into accepting WORLDLY wisdom, at the expense of GODLY wisdom.
Most of us now have in our homes, this thing called ‘cable TV’, and if any of you remember, as I do, watching TV in its early days, like what I put in last week’s bulletin, when the picture was SNOWY, and constantly ROLLED, either up and down, or side to side…and if you remember that, then you probably really appreciate the clear, crisp images we have today.
While we lived in Florida, we had some friends from London, England come to visit us. And there were a lot of things about American society that really fascinated them. The drive-thru window at McDonalds was one of those things. They were AMAZED that you stayed right in your car, and they handed the food to you. That was amazing. Fish stick sandwiches were another thing they’d never heard of.
But what really AMAZED them, was the CLARITY of the PICTURE on the TV. THAT was amazing to them as well. But we Americans love to be entertained, and cable TV can do a pretty good job of that. But it also has a DARK side…and that is the OPTION you have of being connected to PORONGRAPHY, and having FILTH pumped right into your living room. It’s just like having a GARBAGE truck back up and dumping its whole load, right in your home!
I read a national report on the habits of American households that said…of all cable subscribers, 28% ALSO subscribe to PORNO channels. That’s one out of every four homes, voluntarily bringing TRASH into their homes, and PAYING to receive it!
But there was something even MORE disturbing than THAT, and that was that, among CHRISTIAN subscribers, the percentage that was hooked up to porno channels, was EXACTLY the same as the country at large. 28% of respondents that claimed to be BORN-AGAIN, also admitted to subscribing to porno channels on cable TV.
And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning TV. I enjoy watching it myself. There are a couple shows that I don’t like to miss. Some of it is entertaining, some is relaxing, some inspiring. But you have to be careful in what you select. And that’s because LUST has become so PERVASIVE in our society, that there’s hardly any place you can go, to get away from it. Even something as simple as opening a NEWSPAPER, can subject you to images that, just a short while ago, would have been condemned as pornographic. And some of the things that they advertise on TV, is just plain EMBARASSING. Things that USED to be discussed in the privacy of your doctor’s office, are now broadcast on prime-time TV shows!
And ad executives will tell you that “sex sells”, by way of trying to excuse that sort of practice. And maybe it does. But I’d be willing to bet they’d make just as many sales by using WHOLESOMENESS!
So they now make TV shows that are more and more RISQUE in nature. And no matter how popular those shows become, they won’t begin to match the popularity of such shows as “I Love Lucy”, or “Happy Days”. Today’s shows don’t begin to capture the audience that shows like that did, and they were WHOLESOME.
And the same thing is true of Hollywood. The highest-grossing films of the past several years, have all been “G”-rated movies, suitable for all ages. Things like MINIONS, or ICE AGE, or BEAUTY and the BEAST. Those were films you could take your family to…and they all made MILLIONS.
So what do Hollywood producers insist on making? “R”-rated films. But the TERMINOLOGY they use is hilarious. They call them ‘adult movies’. And they label them ‘For Mature Audiences Only’. But what those films contain, is SOPHMORIC, ADOLESCENT FANTASY!
I’d really like the opportunity to ask one of those guys “If this is what you consider ‘MATURE’, what do you consider “IMMATURE”…because LUST is built on FANTASY, not REALITY. King David was able to OBTAIN that which he lusted after, only because he WAS the king, and his word HAD to be obeyed. But for just about everybody else, the things or the people they allow themselves to lust after, are almost always FORBIDDEN, or UNOBTAINIBLE!
And the fulfillment of those lustful fantasies HAVE to involve either DISREGARDING, or completely MISUSING, the rights of someone else. And put THAT way, lust becomes SELFISHNESS, in its LOWEST form.
And we also have to say this…LUST is NOT just the ADMIRATION of physical beauty.
God has made for us to enjoy, some truly beautiful sights…some BREATHtaking views, like a Vermont countryside, when all the maples have turned CRIMSON and GOLD. Or the sky at sunset in Key West Florida, when clouds look like they’re catching FIRE! Or the current “Miss America”, I don’t even know who that IS this year, but I’m certain she MUST be beautiful, to have been chosen FOR that honor.
And NO one FAULTS you, when you admire a beautiful landscape, or a beautiful SKYscape…so why should it be any different to admire an attractive PERSON that God has created?
Folks, it’s NOT!…”IF” you can admire that beauty, without being drawn to LUST after it. Beloved, God made men and women to BE attracted to one another. If He hadn’t, the race would have died out way back there in the Garden of Eden.
For instance, I can look at every woman in this room, and find SOMETHING beautiful about ALL of them, and I can DO that, without LUSTING after ANY of them!
BUT, you CAN allow ADMIRATION to turn INTO LUST…if you’re not careful. And THEN it WILL bring forth SIN, and sin, when it is finished, brings DEATH! LUST is a single step away from SIN, and SIN is a single step away from DEATH!
So doesn’t that sound like something that you should go to just about ANY lengths to AVOID? And I mean AVOID it like it was a RABID SKUNK or something!
It is perfectly natural to admire a good-looking person. But Spiritual maturity will KEEP that admiration from turning to OBSESSION or “LUST”.
There’s another aspect of lust we have to look at. Proverbs 6:31 so clearly states that those who commit sexual sins, “lack Judgement”. And obsession with pornography…or fornication…or incest…or rape…ANY sexual sin, demonstrates a LACK of WISDOM or MATURITY. People who commit such actions are NOT thinking ahead to the ultimate CONSEQUENCES to that action. They are only thinking about the HERE and NOW!…like an INFANT!
But if there is someone who DOES understand those consequences, and continues to commit them ANYWAY, then that is a person completely DEVOID of JUDGEMENT!
One of the decades that shaped the world we are living in today, was the 1960s…when people began wearing beads and sandals, flowers and beards, and talking about “FREE LOVE”, as if they had become intellectually ENLIGHTENED, and had discovered something that everyone ELSE had overlooked. And they began chanting “if it feels good, do it”! They may have been hiding behind a mask of intellectualism, but what they were engaging in was INFANTILE behavior…people acting as though they were MONKEYS in the ZOO!
Tiny BABIES demonstrate TOTAL selfishness. They are ONLY concerned with their OWN, IMMEDIATE needs. So when they’re hungry, they’ll scream until they get the attention they need…knowing that attention will get them whatever they NEED. And when that baby is WET, they’ll scream, until they get the attention they need.
And that type of behavior is necessary for their development, and nobody expects a BABY to act any OTHER way. They CRY to get attention, they throw temper tantrums to express their frustration. And while they are not really AWARE of the world around them, they kinda SENSE that it is there, simply to MEET their NEEDS.
But folks, eventually BABIES grow up! And they discover they are NOT exact center of the universe…that there are OTHER people out there, and those OTHERS have needs that are JUST as valid as their OWN…and they finally begin to ADJUST their thinking, to ACCOMODATE the needs of others.
Babies eventually grow up…but NOT lustful people. THEY resent any RESTRICTIONS placed on their behavior. They resent any attempts to tell them that, what they want to do, is not GOOD…not for THEM, and not for SOCIETY. But they lack the necessary JUDGEMENT to UNDERSTAND that they CAN’T always HAVE what they WANT…WHEN they WANT it!
The absolute HORROR of that is, lately THEY seem to be WINNING! And ‘sexual deviancy’, which used to be limited to psychologists and psychiatrists, is NOW a COMMON topic at parties, and is generally accepted, as a VIABLE lifestyle.
I told you back at the start of this, that ‘lust’, or ‘impurity’, takes many different forms…such as obsessions with pornography, or prostitution, or pedophilia…which the Catholic Church seems to have just recently discovered, makes the priesthood highly attractive to child molesters. But just about everybody, these days, knows at least one person, who is involved in SOME such activity…and NO one CONDEMNS it anymore.
Right now, homosexuality has become a hot-button topic, and they have become a socially acceptable people-set, engaged in what we are supposed to call ‘just an alternative lifestyle…and they have EVEN been given the right to MARRY!…and in some CHURCHES they have been allowed to become ministers.
Personally, “I” am OPPOSED to BOTH of those things. I do NOT believe that a man whose actions fly straight in the FACE of God’s Commands, should have any right to MINISTER to God’s people.
And I am totally opposed to granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. I understand that there are same-sex couples living together in loving, monogamous relationships, and those people should be allowed to have some kind of CONTRACT, that would allow them certain rights, like the right of inheritance, or the right of hospital visitation. But do NOT call that a MARRIAGE license. And I understand that is a COMPROMISE on my part.
But the very THOUGHT that some people will demand special privileges from society, based on NOTHING more than SEXUAL ORIENTATION, is too ridiculous to even IMAGINE! And yet that is exactly what is happening in America today.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote that God Himself has given such people up to a REPROBATE MIND, as the King James puts it. And that is an old English word that means someone who has already been TRIED, and found GUILTY, and SENTENCTED to DEATH…and are now only awaiting that sentence to be carried out. And it WILL be carried out, and you can quote me on that.
Listen, what two willing people do in the privacy of their own homes is NO business of MINE…whether it’s two people of the same sex, or one person and a LIVE CHICKEN, it’s none of MY business.
What my business IS, is to simply point out what is right and what is wrong, according to GOD’S WORD! And IF God says IN that Word, that I am supposed to just LEAVE them to it, and HE will deal WITH them, in HIS Time…then that is good enough for me.
What really SCARES me about this big push to make homosexuality acceptable in society is, after they SUCCEED, and they certainly SEEM to have ACHIEVED that acceptance…is NOW WHAT?
What is the NEXT deviant group that will push for acceptance to DEMAND that THEIR perversion now become accepted? Pedophiles? Child molesters? Bestials? And believe me that push is ALREADY getting under way.
These things will never end, as American society unravels and disintegrates. Marriage used to be SACRED. Today, it isn’t even COMMON anymore. Homosexuality used to be considered as “SICK” and “DIRTY”. Today it’s an acceptable “alternative lifestyle”.
So, what’s NEXT? It is FRIGHTENING to even CONSIDER what the NEXT step into depravity might be, as LUST continues to spread its tentacles over society. And WHAT is the SOLUTION?
Once again, I’ll quote Proverbs 6:32, that says “Whoever commits a sexual perversion”…and that means to CONTINUALLY commit, as a LIFEstyle…whoever does THAT, “destroys himself”…or HERSELF. I ain’t letting you LADIES off the hook, just because you’re all BEAUTIFUL!
But there are so MANY ways that proves itself to be true. Sexual sins cause GRIEF…the LOSS of TRUST…the loss of AFFECTION. It leads to ANGER, and FRUSTRATION…JEALOUSY…DIVORCE…PHYSICAL INJURIES, and sometimes even MURDER!…as it did with King David and Uriah, the legal husband of Bathsheba.
But today, people demand to be allowed to live ANY way they WANT to live, and guys like ME have no right to say ANYthing about it. They claim that what they do doesn’t harm ANYone! But that claim is RIDICULOUS!
Right now we are seeing the Catholic Church having been nearly DESTROYED by the revelation of all the PREDATORY priests. Whole parishes have been bankrupted by PAYOFFS to children that have been scarred for LIFE by those priests.
So, should they be allowed to CONTINUE their perversions, without restraints? And what about the children that are the Victims of INCEST? Aren’t they INNOCENT victims, whose lives have been FOREVER damaged, because ONE PERSON couldn’t control his LUST?
Those who think they can violate God’s Laws without bringing JUDGEMENT down on their heads, are KIDDING themselves.
And the Bible says “Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever man sows, so shall he also REAP.” (Galatians 6:7)
Are maybe YOU considering allowing your CHILDISH emotions to lead you to do something that, at least on some level, YOU KNOW is wrong? Then you better remember…you are not only demonstrating a lack of JUDGEMENT…it will also guarantee a time of reckoning, when Almighty God will hold you accountable for allowing your CHILDISH emotions to tell you what to do.
And believe me, you DON’T need that! You don’t WANT that! And you can’t AFFORD that! FLEE from childish lusts, we’re told…before it leads you to DEATH!!!
Human beings have a sexual appetite. It was a gift to us from God, to guarantee the perpetuation of the race. But it is necessary for us to view that sexual nature from a Godly perspective.
HONOR God. Exercise maturity…and contribute to a RESPONSIBLE society. Doing so just MIGHT lead us back to the America of 1958, that I so WANT to return to…but FAILING to do so will contribute to the further DISINTIGRATION of society…which we are seeing happen right now.
ONLY turning America back to God will STOP this downward spiral we’re in now.