Once upon a time there was a young man whose purity was virtuous and true. For no other man in the whole land had made a vow to hold onto his purity until marriage, as he had. All the young women coveted this precious gift he had left, because they had all given up their rights of virtue and the keys to their kingdoms long ago. When they saw such a young man who was so valiant and pure, they wept loudly and mourned openly. For who else would make such a wonderful husband as this man? Who would take them as wives now, that they had given away the most precious gift of all? Only a man with no integrity and no honor would, yet they gave up their purity for greed and lust, and now must pay the consequences of it.
This is not a story you would ever hear in this day and age. As a matter of fact, it is unheard of to see a man’s purity being talked about as a virtue. In the year 2015, there is little virtue or valor in waiting until you are married to have sex. It is now looked down upon and mocked, in a world that flaunts sexuality. It is commonplace to drive down a main road and see giant billboards with pictures of half-naked men or women. It is normal to go to any high school and see the girls wearing enough clothes to barely cover their private parts. Indeed, these parts are no longer private, but more like a show that needs to be seen by all.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27
In our world, it is no longer a sin to have sex before marriage, or to have sex openly or even with the same-sex. It is no longer a sin to take the life of your unborn child, because it was a mistake you never chose to make. It just happened on accident when you were in the heat of a passionate moment. And more and more women are taking the driver’s seat in the sexual explosion, wanting to harness the power of their sexuality to use it to their personal advantages. Women want it all – the career, the power, and the ability to treat men like a toy to be played with. More and more men are taking the backseat and becoming passive, or worse yet, claiming a new right into femininity.
What has brought all this into the world at this time? Is it the sexual revolution, or women’s liberation, or progress of a modern society? Are things just getting worse and the end is getting nearer? I propose to you that none of these are true. If you take a good look back at the world over the course of the last 2000 years or so, you will see that things in the world had not really changed so much. Sacrificial rituals of children have become abortion. Ancient phallic processions and sex worship have replaced our modern open sexuality. So I ask you, are you horrified by all this? Do the times we live in really seem so much worse than the things that have gone on thousands of years ago?
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Romans 1:21-23
The reason that our society is and has always been wrought with sex, murder, lust, greed and evil is because of one reason, and one reason only. Sin. Our hearts our full of sin from the time we our born. Our hearts are turned away from the one and true living God who created us, and turned inwards, toward ourselves. We see something we like, and it feels good, so we want it. We find reasons why it is ok to do it, and then we proceed to make it happen. Because if it feels good, how can it be wrong? We are basically good people anyway right? As long as we are not hurting anyone else, then why shouldn’t we do things that feel good? We want attention, we want to be attractive, we want to have fun and we want the life we deserve to have. Right now.
That is why sin has become an evil word. We do not want to hear that we are basically bad. It all goes back to the Garden of Eden, when the serpent came to Eve and convinced her that it was OK to go against God’s command. He lied to her, and to justify it, she in turn lied to herself. Because the fruit looked good, and she wanted it. Right now. So it became very easy to forsake the God that gave her life, and paradise, for that one moment of instant gratification. I imagine she really savored that bite as best as she could, shutting out that voice in her head screaming at her that she was doing something horribly wrong.
“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5
But let’s be real here. That was no serpent; that was Satan, the deceiver. He came posed as a snake because Adam and Eve loved the animals and had charge over them. The snake was small and seemingly harmless. How could something so small possibly do anything bad to them? And if it was normal for Eve to talk to a snake, we can assume that it was normal for them to talk to the animals. So Satan knew that Adam and Eve had a loving relationship with the animals in the Garden, and he used that as a weakness to get to them. To sneak into their home and their lives without much notice and begin to paint a picture of innocence to them. That their inmost desires were perfectly acceptable and could not hurt them. And they fell for it, because they wanted to believe the lie. In that moment Adam gave up the keys of the kingdom to Satan. And we all fell with him.
Here again, it is so easy to lay blame on Adam and Eve. They had one job, and they couldn’t even handle that! But the truth is, that it is simply the nature of man and there is no getting around it. People want to do what pleases them, and will often suffer the consequences to get it. No matter how high the price. Even when it means you lose all your privileges to Paradise.
So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:23-24
So often I find myself in this same position. I have a choice to make – one is right and one is wrong. Yet it is so easy to blur the lines of what is right and wrong because I bring my emotions and desires into play. For instance, I really want to eat healthy, yet I often go to a Bible study or church event where something unhealthy is being served (i.e. dessert). I know the Holy Spirit is moving me to refrain from dessert, but it is a dessert I really love (like all of them, right?). So I find little reasons why it is OK. I really want it, I have been good so I deserve it, it is my favorite dessert, everyone else is having it. See how easy it is? I blow myself away even with how quickly I can go from wanting to follow the convictions of the Holy Spirit to complete disobedience. Why is it so easy to fall away from what God desires for us?
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15
Which brings us right back to sin. Why then do we sin? If we have been saved by the grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ, why is it that we continue to do sin and do what we know we ought not do? It is simple. We are not holy, only God is holy. We are simply human and we fall short of the Glory of God. We are incapable of becoming completely incapable of being totally without sin. That is why Jesus came to earth to die for us. Because there was no other way that a sinful people such as ourselves could come before a holy and righteous God. Even though Jesus washes us clean by His blood, that does not make us sinless, it just makes us clean in the eyes of our Creator God.
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19
So what do you do in the face of our sin in a depraved and wicked world? Do we give up and join the crowd? Do we put our heads down and just try to get through until we get our ticket to heaven? Never. We never give up or give in, otherwise Jesus will have died in vain for us. We must keep running the race set before us, preserving through all trials and tribulations of life, keeping our focus on God’s leading in our life. Jesus has given us new life and He has so much more to offer us than the world ever can. The world makes so many promises to us, that it simply cannot keep. Yet God has given us His promises in abundance, and He keeps every single one of them!
Life as a believer in Jesus Christ should not resemble the life of the average Joe you meet. It should be exciting, interesting and engaging! We as Christians have the duty to go out into the world (even if it is just your own city) and help the homeless, pray for strangers, witness to the lost, heal the sick, give deliverance to those who are plagued by demons and let God use us in whatever way He would please! This is an amazing life to live and it is available to anyone who would just reach out and take it! Believe me, I have witnessed all these things, and the gifts of healing and deliverance are real for us this very day and age! The world would like us to believe otherwise, but I have seen it for myself time and time again.
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. Mark 6:12-13