Tag: sexual immorality

The judgment of Babylon

Scripture reading for December 24th:  Zephaniah 1-3, Haggai 1, Revelation 18

Key Scriptures: Revelation 18:2-3 “And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!  She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.  For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.””

John saw another bright and shining angel come from heaven with an announcement for the earth.  This angel announced the fall of the world system of religion, government and business under the control of Satan through Babylon.  This corrupt counterfeit system was marked by God for destruction.  It had corrupted the earth and all of its inhabitants.  It was a home for demonic spirits of rebellion.  It enslaved people in luxury, sensuality  and materialism blinding them from knowledge of God Almighty, the Creator.

Zephaniah 1:17-18 “I will bring distress on mankind, so that they shall walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the Lord; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the Lord.”

Prayer:  Lord, I rely on Your mercy through Jesus Christ for deliverance from Your wrath, which I deserve.  Help me to faithfully tell others of Your great mercy through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Tags : , , , , , ,

Called to Holiness!

Scripture reading for September 17th:  Proverbs 29-31; Ecclesiastes 1; 1st Thessalonians 4

Key Scriptures:  1st Thessalonians 4:3-7  “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;  that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.”  

The idols that the Thessalonians once served promoted sexual immorality.  Their culture was very permissive.  But Paul’s pastoral warning stood against this pervading sin in the culture.  He was proactive and now reinforcing what he had earlier taught them.  God would avenge all wrong of sisters and brothers through immorality!  God calls all to holiness.

Proverbs 29:1  “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.”  

Proverbs 30:20 “This is the way of an adulteress:  she eats and wipes her mouth and says, “I have done no wrong.”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for Your loving reproof and solemn warnings against this sin of immorality.  May I live to truly love You and as a result, my brothers and sisters, never violating them.  Amen.

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Thankful for Scripture Examples!

Scripture reading for November 24th:  1st Corinthians 7-11

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 10:6-10  “Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.  Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written:  “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.”  We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did–and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.  We should not test the Lord, as some of them did–and were killed by snakes.  And do not grumble, as some of them did–and were killed by the destroying angel.”  

Paul stated that all the past writings and examples recorded in Old Testament Scripture was there as examples for New Testament believers.  These negative examples teach us the consequences of rebellion and unbelief.  They stand as warning and encouragement to live a righteous and holy life and avoid the death and destruction that come from practicing known sin!

Thankful for Scripture examples:  “They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom.  But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert?  There is no bread!  There is no water!  And we detest this miserable food!”  Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.”  

Tags : , , , , , ,

Overcomers rewards!

Scripture reading for December 1st:  Revelation 2

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Revelation 2:4-7 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent, and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.  But you have this in your favor:  You hate the practices of the Nicolatians, which I also hate.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

These short letters to the seven churches of Asia, written at the instruction of  the glorified Jesus Christ, contain a greeting, a word from Jesus concerning the deeds of the church, and a warning and promise to those who hear and heed.  Jesus Christ knows all that goes on in His body.  He loves His Church and commends them for the good but warns them about evil.  The Nicolatians were involved in sexual immorality and continued sin would result in judgment.  Repentance promised the reward of access to the fruit of the tree of life in the paradise of God!

Observations for over-comers:  Our Lord reveals our strengths, good works, and needed changes to those who are teachable!  “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.  A loving doe, a graceful deer–may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.”  (Proverbs 5:18-19)

Tags : , , , , ,

Holiness is key to seeing the Lord!

Scripture reading for October 28th:  Hebrews 12

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Hebrews 12:14-16  “Make every effort to live at peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.”

Being a Christ-follower in a hostile world requires effort and focus.  The enemy of our soul, Satan, is always at work to distract or destroy believers.  A common tactic is through conflict and the failure to forgive others.  Unforgiveness can lead to a bitter root that divides people from each other and ultimately from God.  Sexual immorality is another common trap of the flesh that leads to defilement and possible loss of inheritance in God’s kingdom.  Esau is mentioned because of his failure to value spiritual inheritance.  He lost it through his careless appetite!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers are focused on seeing the Lord when He comes and rely on God’s grace to keep them in holiness.  “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who may stand in His holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure hear, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. . . .Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob.”  (Psalm 24:4,6)

Tags : , , , , ,

Learn to control your body!

Scripture reading for September 16th:  1st Thessalonians 4

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  1st Thessalonians 4:3-8  “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:  that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you His Holy Spirit.” 

God has designed men and women with sexual desire and drive.  This is to be fulfilled in a marriage commitment with a spouse of the opposite gender.  God has also given us all a will and control over our appetites and bodies.  After salvation, we can and must learn to control our bodies and their appetites.  Sexual immorality is to be avoided in all its forms.  We are set apart for God and are to love our brothers and sisters and not wrong them by sexual sins.  Paul warned the church that God would punish men for all sexual sin and that rejection of this teaching and failure to apply it was rejection of God!

Observations for over-comers:  Sexual sin is a favorite temptation and trap of Satan through our flesh.  Over-comers learn to control their bodies and live by the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.  “For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths.  The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the chords of his sin hold him fast.  He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly.”  (Proverbs 5:21-23)

Tags : , , , , , ,

Called to live a holy life!

Scripture reading for September 17th:  1st Thessalonians 4

Believers can’t please God except to live by faith in His holy word.  The word of God must be read, memorized, and acted upon day by day in order to grow spiritually and to be ready for Christ’s soon return. Paul, a loving pastor, continued to remind the believers about God’s will for their daily conduct.

 “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified:  that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who give you His Holy Spirit.”  (1st Thessalonians 4:3-8)

Sexual sin and temptation has been a stumbling block for many believers of every age and culture.  The Roman culture was strikingly similar to what believers live in today in America.  Sexual contact was frequent and lust was cultivated by the media and entertainment of their times.  Paul warned and instructed the church, as pastors must today, about the dangers and the call of God to live a holy life.  Believers must separate themselves from sexual sins because God will judge and punish men for these sins if not repented of.  Grace will not cover those living in known sin!

Remember, if we reject these simple instructions, we are rejecting God’s word!  This will not help us when Jesus returns for His holy Bride!

 

 

Tags : , , , , , , ,

Grace? or added law?

Scripture reading for June 23rd: Acts 15:1-31

The church today is sometimes affected by legalism.  Well-meaning Christians, pastors, and leaders try to define holiness by developing rules or traditions that help them summarize what pleases God.  In early days, this confused people and often caused conflict and division.  Most of the early church members were Jews and had a history of keeping the Law of God.  These new believers struggled to know how to balance keeping the law with salvation by faith through grace!

“Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1)  This teaching brought sharp debate in the early church and Paul and Barnabas were appointed to go to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders to discuss this question.  They had seen God pour out His Spirit on uncircumcised Gentiles in many places where they were sent by the Holy Spirit to preach and disagreed with this teaching.

At Jerusalem, this conflict was found to be simmering as well.  There were believers who came from the party of the Pharisees who agreed that the Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses.  (Acts 15:5)  The apostles and elders gathered for discussion and Paul got up and addressed them.  He noted that God accepted the Gentiles and poured out the Holy Spirit on them without their keeping of the Law.  God purified their hearts by faith, not by law-keeping!  In fact, no Jew was ever able to keep the Law and be justified by that work!  (Acts 15:8-12)

James spoke up in agreement, citing the Old Testament prophet Amos as confirming Paul’s word to them.  “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.  Instead we should write to them telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality,  from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” (Acts 15:19-20)    This seemed good to the elders and apostles and the Holy Spirit, so they sent Paul and Barnabas back to Antioch to share the ruling.

Salvation by grace alone was then taught by the early church.  Adding law would not be allowed to hinder people from coming to Christ from a Gentile background.  Are you trusting in Christ alone for salvation?

Tags : , , , , , ,

God gave them over!

Scripture reading for November 16th: Romans 1-3

My wife and I have raised 5 children and discipline has not been easy.  Children are born with a sin-nature and self-will.  Part of the job of parenting is to set boundaries and instruct them in wise choices.   We wanted them to enjoy God’s blessing and favor and avoid the traps of sin and destruction that fill our world.

Initially, God makes Himself known to all men through nature.  (Romans 1:20)  The truth about God as creator is evident to all who will pay attention to the marvelous detail and order of our earth and universe.   But godlessness and wickedness cause men to suppress the truth about God as creator and God’s wrath against their willful ignorance is set in motion.

As a result of suppressing the truth about God that was made clear to them by God through nature, men become darkened in their hearts and their thinking becomes futile and empty.  They imagine themselves as the center of all things and think they are wise and intelligent.  This foolish thinking leaves God out and puts man at the center of everything.  When man chooses this route,  God’s response is to give them over to what they desire in their darkened hearts.  “Have it your way!” might be another way to say it!

As a result of being given over, men exchange the truth of God for a lie and begin to worship created things rather than the creator.  (Romans 1:25)  They pursue sexual immorality and sin.  Their immorality takes the form of homosexuality and lesbian activity.  Every kind of sin and wickedness flows from God simply withdrawing His light from their minds because they chose to ignore truth!  Those who are  ‘given over’ not only participate in this wickedness but honor others who also practice this same kind of wickedness!  (Romans 1:32)

As we look at our nation, we can understand why we are in such sad shape.  Because many have suppressed the knowledge of God, He has given them over to their own lusts and darkness.  Sexual sins are off the charts and many do not blush at their own participation.  Their consciences are seared.  They encourage others to join them and vote into office those who will make their sins legal.     Lord, have mercy on our nation!  How we need the power of the Gospel to break the chains of selfishness and sin!

Tags : , , , , ,

Jesus warns the Church!

Scripture reading for December 10th: Revelation 2:1-17

As John has been assured by Jesus Christ not to fear, but to write what he heard and saw, John was given a word for each of the seven churches under his oversight.   We read, listen, and prepare to heed the words John wrote!

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:   . . .”You have persevered and have endured hardships for My Name, and have not grown weary.  Yet I hold this against you:  You have forsaken your first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”” (Revelation 2:1a, 3-5)   This first prophetic word was written to a church founded by the apostle Paul.  (Acts 19-20)  Paul had left this church warning them about an invasion of false teachers that would try and destroy them.  John received this warning from Jesus Christ to further remind this church of their need to keep love for God and Jesus Christ foremost in their agenda.  They had stood against false teachers, but loving Jesus was their primary duty and that was being neglected!  Jesus would remove them from their place of bearing His light if they failed to repent!

To the church at Smyrna, Jesus gave a word of encouragement.  He told them of a time of suffering and testing that would come through Satan.  They were to remain faithful, even to the point of death, and Jesus would reward them with the crown of life!  How thoughtful of our Lord to remind suffering believers of their reward!

The church at Pergamum existed in a dangerous place.  This was a city where Satan had his throne and believers were maintaining their faith.  Yet Jesus gave them a warning because He loved them and wanted them to overcome!  “You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.  Likewise, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.  Repent therefore!” (Revelation 2:14b-16a)   These false teachers were going to lead this church astray.  They must take action immediately to avoid Christ’s intervention!  These words are life-giving rebukes to those with ears to hear!

Tags : , , , ,