Thursday, February 28, 2019

SEX - What's the big deal?

I heard a story about a small village where vicious crocodiles inhabited a nearby lake. The people of this village were terrified of the crocodiles and would not dare to speak of them. There were regular crocodile attacks causing severe injuries to the villagers. The crocodiles would approach the land and drag babies and children into the water. They would rip off limbs and leave women as widows and men as single dads. Daily the crocodiles claimed the lives of children, adults and destroyed families but no one wanted to talk about the crocodiles. A man visiting this village noticed the mass destruction and yelled out that “the crocodiles are killing and destroying your village.” The villagers silenced the man and said, “We don’t speak about the crocodiles.”
Just as the crocodiles were destroying this village so too is sex destroying our society. Sex is killing our babies, destroying marriages and taking lives daily. Why have we allowed this to happen? Sex is talked about in the movies we watch, the television shows that entertain us, the commercials, on Netflix, Hulu and You-tube, the books we read, our magazines, newspaper articles, music videos, songs, raps, billboards and advertisements, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Tik Tok, the actions of our friends, our parents, our teachers, our coaches, politicians, and even our celebrity heroes. Sex is talked about all day long in every situation but the church for the most part has remained silent on the subject for fear of offending people with the word “sex.” My oldest son took a stand for purity from the stage of a church and his words were shocking even though his message was truth and biblically sound. It ruffled a few feathers, but I would argue that it is time to ruffle feathers within our world. When millions of babies are being killed because parents didn’t count the cost before gratifying the cravings of their sinful nature, when adults are abandoning their spouses and children after they took a vow to be a family, when parents are teaching their children to be people of their word yet they lie, cheat and sleep around, when teachers, coaches and even some pastors call you to a code of ethics and a life of responsibility yet their very actions defy their teaching, when celebrities claim to be worthy of the title of role model yet the branches of their offspring outweigh the stability of their trunk and the spelling of their diseases are beyond their education it is TIME to ruffle some feathers by speaking out on the subject of sex.
Statistics tell us that students have had their first kiss by the age of 12. Only 13% of 20 year olds are still virgins. Men will have an average of 14.14 sexual partners in their lifetime and women will have an average of 7.12 sexual partners in their lifetime. In the year 2018 60% of marriages ended in divorce and 2 out of every 5 couples that walk through the doors of the church every Sunday end up in divorce court.
As a high school teacher, I have students that tell me, “Having sex before marriage is not wrong. It used to be wrong back in the Bible days but that doesn’t apply anymore.” This philosophy follows suit with our society’s actions. They believe this to be true because it falls in line with what they see. We tell our children and our teenagers, “Do as I say, not as I do,” when we know the reality is children mimic what they see. Watch your young toddler or child and you will see that they mimic phrases, expressions and the behaviors of those around them. We must set the standard before our children that we expect them to follow and that standard must be formed according to the truth of scripture. Too often we allow our culture and our circumstances to determine our standards instead of allowing the Word of God to be our standard and lining our cultural exposure and our convictions up with that standard.
If the rules, standards and convictions of your family are thought of as strange, REJOICE, you are probably doing something right. If you blend in, look like every other family, can compare notes or fall into one of the statistics categories then it is time to ask why?
We see so many who are having children out of wedlock, women aborting babies because “that” wasn’t the plan and children who are being torn between the homes of two parents because someone else looked more appealing or differences couldn’t be overcome. I recently heard a young person say, “I have 14 siblings on my dad’s side but they have 5 moms and I have 10 siblings on my mom’s side and they have 5 dads.” Think about that for just a moment and ask yourself the question, “When did we lose the sanctity of the marriage bed?” Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
Who is teaching our young people the truth about love, sex and relationships?  Do you want the cold, hard truth? WE ARE! We are allowing the world to speak louder than the Word. As our world desensitizes us to sexual sins, even we as believers have ceased to be shocked unless we hear it mentioned in church. It is less shocking to find out that a family member is having a baby out of wedlock than it is to hear a young believer address sexual sins from the pulpit. This is a heart breaking and a disgusting reality. Even within the church we find appalling statistics of youth who have engaged in sexual behaviors. Even those who claim the name of Christ try to see how far they can go without falling off the ledge.
My oldest son reminded me of an analogy that puts this into perspective. You are in need of transportation down a very steep mountain. These roads have no guardrails and the streets are very near the mountain’s edge. As you interview taxi drivers to see who you will entrust your dangerous route to you ask this question, “How close to the edge do you drive?” Driver one says, “I like to drive fast and as close to the edge as I can so I can have a good view of all the scenery.” Driver two says, “I drive pretty fast and try to keep it somewhere in the middle occasionally looking over the edge for a quick glance.” Driver three confesses, “I don’t drive real fast and I stay as close to the mountainside as I can but I assure you I will deliver you safely and the view of this majestic mountain will be worth it once you reach your destination.” Now tell me, which driver would you choose to take you to the bottom of the mountain? When the loss of your life is at stake, staying far away from the edge seems like the only reasonable option. The misuse of sex is just as deadly. Our society is dying. We lose lives to sexually transmitted diseases and abortions but we also experience the death of families, friendships and the ultimate joy that a life lived according to the Word of God can bring. So many exchange the pleasure of the moment for the heartache of a life lived outside of the will of God.
In a world where we have exchanged the truth of God for a lie and the devil is working at every turn to blind our eyes from the truth even those who claim to be believers in the Lord Jesus take scripture out of context to make it fit their situations. To say that you “know” Jesus and you are going to Heaven because you warm a section of the pew on Sunday yet you reject the truth of His word and live according to your own standards only confirms that you are deceived and the truth does not live within you. This is not said in hate or judgement but spoken out of the truth of scripture. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness” This verse of scripture is not meant to evoke fear in the heart of believers but instead it is meant as a heart examination. Do you claim His name by your words only or is your heart surrendered to Him? When our hearts truly belong to Him we will DO THE WILL OF OUR FATHER and His will is found in His word. Study His word and do what it says out of an overflow of the love you have for Him in your heart and life.
  So, what will we do with Sex? How can we make this gift a sacred act between one man and one woman within the bond of marriage? The first step is total and complete surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. When He has total control of your life and you are seeking to obey and please Him in all things your life and convictions will line up with the truth of scripture. When this happens, you learn to die to selfish desires and say yes to holiness and live according to the standards of the Word of God. When our hearts are surrendered to Jesus we are convicted and sorrowful when we are tempted to sin or involved in sin. Second, if you claim the name of Jesus then set your standards according to His Word. Don’t see how close to the mountain’s edge you can get but seek how you can please your Savior and obey Him with a heart of love. Lastly, be bold and courageous in your teaching and in your rebuke. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ should speak loudly and stand clear on this topic. Don’t shy away from the truth. Don’t live in fear of being different but embrace the difference that comes from scripture and in love go to your brothers and sisters in Christ and show them the truth of scripture. Young people, write down your convictions according to scripture and ask 2 or 3 people you trust to hold you accountable and ask you regularly if you are living according to biblical convictions in your relationships.
If indeed crocodiles were invading our communities, killing children and destroying families we would be bold and courageous in warning others, in containing the danger and in seeing that the crocodiles were stopped. Let’s shut the mouths of this dangerous crocodile we call sex and keep it caged within the safety of marriage where it can be enjoyed and appreciated just the way God designed it to be.
I would be amiss if I didn’t end with grace. We are all sinners and we make mistakes. We are all in need of the forgiveness of our Savior. The gift of grace means that when we confess our sins to our Savior he forgives us and remembers our sins no longer. True repentance means we turn and go in the opposite direction. When we sin and we are convicted of that sin we ask for forgiveness and we walk in the opposite direction of our sin. To abuse grace is to continually commit the same sin over and over again asking for and expecting forgiveness with no desire to ever change that behavior. At this point you need to examine your heart and ask yourself if indeed you have ever surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus. I John 3:6 “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” We go on to read in I John 3:9 “Anyone born of God refuses to practice sin, because God’s seed abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.” Scripture makes it clear that if we truly know Him and Jesus is truly our Savior, we will not purposefully choose sin and we will recognize within our spirit’s the conviction of that sin and desire to turn from it and seek forgiveness. Yes, my friend, there is forgiveness of sin and we are all in need of the amazing grace that only Jesus can provide but a life that is truly surrendered to Jesus will be the life that thankfully and humbly receives that grace and allows the spirit of God to change you from within so that your words, attitudes and actions are an overflow of the sweet spirit that dwells within the heart of every true believer.
When we decide to live a life that follows the one we claim to know, we will begin to slay those crocodiles one at a time and take back our babies, our children, our teenagers, our marriages and ultimately our villages in the name of Jesus Christ and claim purity in His name living victoriously according to His word.

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