Friday, January 06, 2012

Help! I am being tempted toward sexual sin!

The real threat of sexual sin is not a disease. It is what will happen to you if you do not repent of it and seek God's forgiveness in Christ.

For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
(Ephesians 5:5-6 ESV)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one 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. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
(1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 ESV)

And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:6-8 ESV)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Learning from the Old Men First: Driscoll, Keller, and Marriage Books

Having read parts of Tim Keller’s and Mark Driscoll’s new books on marriage, I have been struck by one thought.  A man ought usually to wait until he is older before he offers his wisdom to others.

When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, began his reign, the Scriptures tell of how he consulted first with the old men, then with “the young men who had grown up with him” on how he ought to rule. This was a matter of wisdom – the application of truth to a certain situation. There were specific principles for the kings of Israel to follow, but Rehoboam’s question was more in the line of ethos or style. What would his reign feel and look like. 1 Kings 12 goes to rather extensive pains to show that Rehoboam’s folly was in listening to the young men, rather than the old men. And this notion holds true in general.

I recall an old pastor telling me once, “You may want to wait a few years before you preach on parenting.” That was good advice since my kids were 5 and 2 I pretty much thought I knew all there was to raising children – everybody’s children! I also tended to think the Bible had much more to say about parenting than it really does. Thankfully, I mostly kept my mouth shut other than to say specifically what the Bible said on the topic.  That has enabled a few less regrets at this stage of my ministry.

This has been one of my fears for Pastor Driscoll through the years. I think he has tended to write “too close to the lesson.” Even this latest book, if I read the chronology right, seems to say that all the good things he is directing us to do are things he has really only applied in his marriage in the last 3-4 years. I am glad where Biblical truth is changing any marriage, but I think it is not wise to speak of seeing huge long-term results so close to their application.

In comparison, Pastor Keller purposefully waited until he was older in years and experience to write a book on marriage. Frankly, I think he has a lot more to say not only because of the manner in which he approaches the subject, but because he has lived through 37 years of applying this Truth in marriage. His own and others.

In a fast-paced culture like ours, we do well to remember that God has created things in such a way that our older folks ought to be sought out for their opinions first. And if you are a young man, you do well to work out your salvation in fear and trembling and a certain level of quietness now. Your day to impart wisdom to others will come soon enough, and you may find that the humbling of years gives you far less to say.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Be Quick to Seek Forgiveness - Really Quick

“Let me be very personal and ask about your relationship with Christ. Has any cloud come between your soul and your Saviour? An incident is told of Spurgeon who suddenly stopped in the middle of the street he was crossing and prayed. [These were the days when streets were somewhat safer, populated with horses rather than automobiles.] When he reached the other side, his companion asked him, ‘Why did you stop to pray in the middle of the street?’ Spurgeon's reply was something like this, ‘A cloud came between my soul and Christ, and I could not let it remain there even long enough to reach the other side of the street.’” – J. Vernon McGee