Thursday, March 31, 2016

Shake Off the Dust of Your Feet


June 5, 2015

Now, in Matthew chapter 10, this is where Jesus Christ is sending out his 12 disciples. Just before this at the end of chapter nine, he had said the famous words if you look down there in your Bible, verse 36. “When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, the harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”

He says the harvest is plenteous. The laborers are few. We need to pray that God will send laborers. Then in the next breath, what’s he doing? Sending laborers. Then, in the next breath, the Mathew 10, he sends out his 12 disciples and he sends them out to preach and to say the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He gives them this big, long list of elaborate instructions. One of the things he tells them is, he says, “Just for now, just go to Israel. Just go to the cities of Israel,” because that’s the country that they’re in.

He tells them, “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans yet. Just go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” He gives detailed instructions about what to say, where to go, what to do. Later of course in Matthew 28, he expands this and says, “Hey, go and teach all nations.” He wanted to start first talking to those of Israel and his nation that the Scripture will be fulfilled where it said, “He came unto his own and his own received him not.”

Even in this Scripture where they’re going throughout Israel preaching in all the different towns and villages and cities, one thing that he tells them is he says, “Look, if you come into a town that’s not worthy, if you come into a town that’s basically not interested in what you have to say,” he says, “Just shake the dust off your feet of that town. Go to the next town and it’s going to be worse for Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment. It will be worse for that town than it will be for Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Later on, look what he says in verse number 23 of chapter 10. “But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man become.” Earlier in the passage in verse 14, he says, “Whosoever shall not receive you nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” Then, later he say, “Hey, if they persecute you in that city, then just go somewhere else.”

What’s he teaching here in regard to soul winning, in regard to evangelizing? He’s saying go to the people that want to hear it. That’s where you should focus your efforts. Find the house where they’re worthy. That’s where you want to spend time and abide and preach to those people. When you get to the house that’s not worthy, just leave. When you get to the town that doesn’t want to hear the gospel, just leave. Move on. Go somewhere else.

Now, this principle is carried throughout the New Testament in many places but let’s go right now to Luke chapter 10 quickly. Flip over to Luke chapter 10 and in Luke 10, we have a parallel passage where he sends them out two and two. I just want to quickly show you in this place, verse 10 of chapter 10, “But into whatsoever city ye enter and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same and say, even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”

The unreceptive city, God says, give them a warning. Make sure that they know, “Look, the kingdom of God has come nigh unto you. I’m leaving you with one verse here. I’m just letting you know that salvation’s available, that the word of God’s here but I’m going to shake off the dust and go somewhere else that’s more receptive.” Look at Luke chapter 14 just a few pages to the right in your Bible, Luke chapter number 14.

It says in verse 12, “Then said he also to him that bade him, when thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee but when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind and thou shalt be blessed for they cannot recompense thee, for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.

“And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, a certain man made a great supper and bade many and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, come, for all things are now ready and they all, with one consent, began to make excuse. The first said unto him, “I have bought a piece of ground and I must needs go and see it. I pray thee have me excused.” And another said, “I bought five yoke of oxen and I go to prove them. I pray thee have me excused.” And another said, “I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come so that servant came.”

All right, the wind blew my page here. It’s a good thing I’m preaching out of the waterproof Bible. “So, that servant came and showed his lord these things. Then, the master of the house being angry said to his servants, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” And the servant said, “Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded and yet there is room.” And the lord said unto the servant, “Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be filled for I say unto you that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.”

Now, of course this is a parable. It’s a story that has a spiritual application, the earthly story with a spiritual meaning. What he’s saying is a guy invited a bunch of people to dinner and they made excuses and they wouldn’t show up until he put all the work into this nice dinner. He gets angry about it and he tells his servants to go out and find the poor, the maimed, the blind, the crippled, those kind of people. He says, “Invite them in.” They go out and they invite all of them. Then, once they’re done inviting all of them, then he says, “Okay, now go out and just into the highways and hedges and just compel them to come in that my house may be filled. Just invite everybody. Get everybody in here.”

This is a picture of us inviting people to be saved because of the fact that right before this, he says blessed are they that eat and drink in the kingdom of heaven. He says it’s like unto the supper. What the Bible is teaching again is that when we go out and preach the gospel to every creature, we should focus our efforts on the poor, the maimed, the blind, the halt. He says after you’ve talked to those people, then go to everybody but why is he saying start with the poor, start with the maimed, the blind, the halt?

Here’s why, because of the fact that they are the most receptive to the message. If you go to a poor person or a handicapped person, they’re going to be more likely to want to come to this free meal than some of these rich people that refuse to come to the meal because they just didn’t really think it was that cool or whatever. It’s the same way when you go out soul winning. You and I know that people that are very rich or well to do type people, sometimes because of pride and they feel like they have it all together, they don’t really need salvation in their mind. They don’t need the gospel. They don’t need church. They don’t want to change anything about the way they’re living their life to join a church and be a part of God’s house.

God is saying here go to the people first that are the most receptive which is similar to what he taught back in Matthew. Now, go to the book of Acts because Acts is where a lot of soul winning is going on in the Bible. Acts is a book where they’re just constantly out winning people to Christ. The church is growing. Things are happening. They’re going out and making something happen and working hard, just a lot of great … That’s why it’s called Acts. What does acts mean? It’s what you do. It’s what you accomplish. It’s action. It’s the works that you perform.

A lot of people today want to de-emphasize the works that we do. Now, hey, by all means de-emphasize it in regard to salvation because that’s nothing to do with salvation. It has zero emphasis on salvation, salvation by faith alone, not of works [inaudible 00:08:25] but after we’re saved, God wants us to do some acts, some works, some action. Look at Acts chapter 13 and see how this principle plays out in the book of Acts.

Acts chapter 13, verse 44, it says, “The next Sabbath day came also the whole city together to hear the word of God but when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul contradicting and blaspheming. Then, Paul and Barnabas waxed bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you but seeing ye put it from you and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.””

Why are they turning to the Gentiles? Because the Jews aren’t interested. He says, “Look, you guys have judged yourselves unworthy of the kingdom of God? Fine. We’ll just go to the Gentiles. You don’t want to hear what we have to say? That’s no problem. We’ll just go onto the next person whether that be a house or a city or a nation or a group of people.” He’s saying move on to the people who want to hear it. Look what it says in verse 47. “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”

Watch this. “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed, and the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region.” Why in the world would you want to just beat your head against the wall trying to reach people who don’t want to be reached, trying to get the gospel to people who don’t want to hear it?

Look, of course we want to just give everyone a warning, at least just say, “Hey, look. The kingdom of God’s come nigh unto you,” or just say, “Hey, look. Let me just leave you with one verse,” but I’m not going to spend hours and hours of my time preaching to people that don’t want to hear the gospel. You say, “Well, you know, you just need to keep preaching it to them anyway. Don’t give up on anybody.” Here’s Paul giving up on people.

All throughout the New Testament, it’s taught. Move on. Shake off the dust of your feet. Why? Because we’re living on a planet with seven billion people. There are plenty of fish in the sea. Why would you beat your head against the wall with people who aren’t interested when there are plenty of people who are interested? There are a lot of people in this world who want to hear the gospel, who are ready for you to knock their door and they’re interested in what the word of God has.

There are nations in this world that are more receptive than other, certain countries, certain languages where the people are more hungry for the word of God. That’s where the effort should be focused biblically speaking. People who just don’t want to hear it, time to move on. Why? Because we only have so much time and energy and breath and if we want to achieve the most that we can for the kingdom of God, it should be with those that are receptive. You say, “Oh, but there’s already been a bunch of people saved amongst that neighborhood or that group.” Yeah, but the Bible says, “Unto him that hath more shall be given and he shall have more abundance but for him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”

Look what the Bible says in Acts chapter 18. Look at verse four. “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ, and when they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook his raiment and said unto them, “Your blood be upon your own heads. I am clean. From henceforth, I will go unto the Gentiles.” Why? Because they weren’t listening, they weren’t receptive, they didn’t want to hear it. He said, “I’m going on to somebody else.”

It says in verse seven, “And he departed thence and entered into a certain man's house named Justus, one that worshipped God whose house joined hard to the synagogue and Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue believed on the Lord with all his house and many of the Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized. Then, spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, “Be not afraid but speak and hold not thy peace for I am with thee and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee for I have much people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

In this story, again, he tries to give the gospel to Jews. They don’t want to hear it. He says, “Okay, well, from now on, I’m just going to focus on the Gentiles in Corinth. I’m going to preach to the Gentiles.” He preaches to them and he’s getting a lot of the Corinthians saved but he’s also getting a lot of persecution and heat from the Jews. God didn’t want him to move on to the next town yet because they were so receptive there in Corinth.

God’s given him an assurance by saying to him, “Look, I’m going to protect you. I’m going to keep you safe. Don’t worry about it. Just boldly preach and let me protect you,” because he’s saying, “I have much people on this city. There are a lot of people on this city,” he’s saying, “that I know are going to get saved through your work so don’t leave. Stay here because you’re going to get a lot of Corinthians saved.” That’s worth it to live in the shadow of that persecution if a whole bunch of people are getting saved.

The implication is that if a whole bunch of people weren’t getting saved, you’d move onto somewhere where you are going to get more people saved. That’s what he’s teaching here. Go to Acts 28 and notice this isn’t just one isolated Scripture that we’re looking at. We’re going to a lot of Scriptures that are all reinforcing this principle of focusing our efforts on those who are receptive. Now, how can we apply this practically speaking?

First of all, when I go out soul winning, I go into it with this philosophy that we’re reading right here where I’m looking for that house that is worthy. When he says worthy there, what does he mean? He just means somebody who wants to listen, somebody who’s willing to listen as opposed to a person that is hardened and has no interest. When I go out soul winning, I go into it with a philosophy of finding that house that’s worthy, finding that person that wants to hear the gospel.

That’s why when I first started out soul winning, I never ask people, “Hey, can I show you from the Bible how you can know for sure if you die today?” I just go right into it. I would basically just walk up to them and say, “Hey, do you know for sure you’re going to heaven?” If they said no, I’d say, “Okay, well, here’s how you can know.” I would just start showing them.

Now, a lot of people are just too polite to where they just won’t stop you even though they have zero interest. My philosophy was, “Why don’t I just want to give the gospel to everybody I can?” I’m not going to ask them whether they want to hear it because everybody needs to hear it. That makes sense. I’ve known people who do that method and that’s how I used to do it but you know what I realized though? I realized I was wasting a lot of time and breath and energy on people who had zero interest in the gospel when there are other people down the street who do want to hear it. I’d rather go find those people.

Now, everybody deserves a warning. Everybody deserves to hear something. That’s why I started asking them. I find out they’re saved and then I would say to them, “Can I take five minutes and just show you from the Bible how you can be saved, how you can know for sure you’re going to heaven?” If they say, “No, no. No, thanks,” then what I would do is just leave them with one verse because I don’t want to just leave them with nothing. I’d usually quote one Scripture to them, something like John 3:16, First John 5:13.

Then, I’ll say this, “Now, are you sure you don’t have a few …” After I’ve given them that verse, sometimes I’ll give another chance of just, “You know, if you just got a few minutes, I can show you a little more,” in case that first verse got their attention but honestly, if they say, “No. No, thanks,” I’d rather just move on anyway. I’d rather just give them that one verse because you’re planting a seed with that one verse and move onto the guy who wants to hear the gospel.

I’ve spent time giving somebody the gospel and they’re just looking around. You know what I’m talking about? They’re zoned out and they’re not even paying attention. Then, you’ll ask him a question like you’ll be going over it. You’ll show him. “Hey, right here it says what must I do to be saved? They said believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved. What does that verse say that you have to do to be saved?” “Oh, what? What’s that?” We’ve all been there. “Hey, well, so what do we have to do to be saved?” Then, they’ll just say something that’s not even in that verse because they’re not even listening.

I just realized my time is valuable. God wants to redeem the time. It’s a precious gift of God to have time and energy and breath and the word to go preach. We don’t want to squander it beating our head against the wall especially not just arguing with people that are clearly hardened to the gospel, arguing with Mormons, arguing with Jehovah’s Witnesses that have zero interest instead of just shaking the dust off our feet and moving on to the next house, the next town. That’s one of the ways that this could be applied in our lives.

It’s not just that. Even when I choose an area to go soul winning, I’m going to choose the poor areas because let’s face it, if we go soul winning whether it’s in Phoenix or Prescott, if we go to the mobile home parks that are the more low income or the apartment complexes that are a little low income or older neighborhoods, we’re going to get more people saved. Why would we go to the neighborhood where we’re not going to get people saved when we can go to the neighborhood where we will get people saved?

Now, yes, it’s the mission to preach the gospel to every creature but he said, first go to the poor, didn’t he? First, go to the poor, the maimed, the blind, the halt. He said then go out and just invite everybody you can into [inaudible 00:18:19] but start with the people that are going to be receptive. Start with the poor for theirs is the kingdom of God and then do the rest. Here’s the thing, where we go in Phoenix, the areas that are receptive areas, we’ve knocked those doors four or five times. The areas that are unreceptive, we’ll go there pretty much once, shade that … It’s like, “Hey, be sure to shade that in on the map because we don’t want to accidentally do this again.”

I’m sure 10 years, 20 years down the road, we’ll go through and do everything a second time but I’d rather go five times to the area where people are being saved. Yes, we want to go everywhere. Yes, we want to give everyone a chance but we need to focus our efforts on the people that are more receptive. If there’s a certain nationality that’s more receptive, focus on them. If there’s a certain demographic, certain area, certain part of the town, it just makes sense and it’s biblical. That’s what the Bible teaches.

There’s no glory in just saying, “Well, you know what, I know that the Jews are the most unreceptive people on the planet but you know what, I’m just going to dedicate my life to just only giving them the gospel and just beating my head against the wall with that.” You know what I mean, or you know what, I’m just going to go to the most dyed-in-the-wool of diehard Mormon town and that’s where I’m going to minister. None of them want to hear the gospel. It’s like, “What are you doing?” I’ll tell you what. If I were pastoring in Utah, I’d probably focus more my time on the non-Mormons just because they’re more receptive. I mean whoever is receptive, whoever wants to hear the gospel. It just makes sense to go to them.

Look at Acts chapter number 28. In Acts chapter 28, we find something similar. It says in verse 25, “And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias, the prophet unto our fathers saying, “Go unto this people and say hearing, ye shall hear.”” He’s talking about the people of the Jews.

He says, “Hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive for the heart of this people is waxed gross and their ears are dull of hearing and their eyes have they closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and should be converted, and I should heal them. Be it known therefore unto you that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles and that they will hear it. And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.”

Now, I find it interesting that there are three different passages we looked at in Acts where he says that. “I’m going to the Gentiles. I’m not going to give you guys the gospel anymore because you guys don’t want to get saved.” It’s interesting because one of the times he said it earlier in the book, it says that when he said that, the Gentiles were real glad when they heard that. When he said, “Well, I’m going to the Gentiles because they’re receptive,” it says the Gentiles were really glad when he said that to them. They were flattered like, “Hey, thanks. Glad you like us. We’re better. Yeah, great.”

Here’s what’s interesting though. In this case, he says pretty much the same thing. In this case, he gives the Jews’ reaction when they hear it. What does it say the reaction was? When they heard these words, the Jews departed and had great reasoning among themselves. I mean that’s not a bad reaction because at least they’re thinking about it. At least, they had great reasoning among themselves. At least, they didn’t just blow it off and just reject it. At least, there’s a faction amongst them if they’re having reasoning amongst themselves. There’s a faction amongst them that’s still open to it at that point.

What I’m trying to show you there is that by Paul saying, “Look, I’m going to go to the people that are receptive. If the Gentiles are receptive, that’s where I’m going. If you don’t want to hear it, fine. I’ll move on,” it actually had a good effect on both groups where it made the Gentiles happy that they’re going to the Gentiles and respecting them and that they’re not second class in the kingdom of God because they’re not because there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek but also, it provoked the Jews onto jealousy to where they basically said, “Well, maybe we should think about this.” They actually were having some interest at the end.

A lot of people will try to tell you that if you say stuff like this like, “Oh, now the Jews will never get saved because you said they’re not receptive. You said that they blasphemed Jesus. Now, they’ll never get saved, right?” Is that what happened here? Did it say, and so the Jews went away and they were never going to get saved because that’s it? No. Actually, it made them think. It made them stop and think like, “Oh, wow. We need to reason this out. We need to think about this.” It caused great discussion and dispute amongst the Jews when these statements were made.

What does that show us? It shows us that basically, going to people that are receptive is a win-win because basically, beating your head against the wall with the people who don’t want to hear it isn’t helping them get saved anyway. They don’t want to hear it. You might as well go to the receptive people. You’re going to get more of them saved and then sometimes, the unreceptive people will see the other people getting saved and it can provoke them to jealousy where they basically want to get in on that. “Hey, you know, come talk to me too. I want to hear this too.”

This is very practical in a lot of aspects of our life. First of all, soul winning obviously when we go out door knocking, what areas are we picking? Then, when we’re in that area, who do we spend the time with and who do we just move on to the next door? What is the Bible teaching when it comes to even just nationalities, of just … They’re missionaries who go to places. They’re just the most unreceptive possible place.

It’s like, “Well, why are you going there?” They’ll go to a place where they’re like it’s totally illegal to preach the gospel here but we’re going and we’re going to go there. We’ll just hide and basically they’ll go there and not really do real soul winning. What they’ll do is just like, “We’ll just have people over to dinner and stuff ad we’ll give the gospel to five people on the course of the year or something. It’s a real slow work but it’s worth it.”

It’s like, “Wait a minute. There are seven billion people on the planet. People are going to hell.” Jesus didn’t say, “Hey, if they persecute you in this city, go underground and start doing lifestyle evangelism if soul winning’s illegal.” Look. It’s illegal in Iran to go soul winning. You can’t go to Iran and just start going down the streets soul winning. They’ll kill you. I don't know if they would do that to a foreigner but if their people do it, they’ll hang you. I’ve talked to people in Iran that confirm, yes, they will kill you if you do soul winning. You’re allowed to be a Christian there if you’re already a Christian but you can’t do soul winning and you can’t convert to Christianity.

Here’s the thing. I’m not going to say, “Well, I’m going to go be a missionary to Iran and I’m going to go there and just hide and just secretly barely give the gospel to somebody every once in a while hiding.” It would make way more sense when there are all these people dying and going to hell in areas where it’s legal and where it’s receptive just to go there and get a bunch of people saved. You’ll end up getting Iranians saved anyway no matter where you go.

I’ve won an Iranian to the Lord because guess what, they are people who come and go from Iran. I mean the fields are wide in the harvest in Phoenix, Prescott wherever you are. You’ll find people of all nations everywhere. It just makes sense to do it where it’s legal where you can just do it freely or you can just give the gospel just door after door after door, just give the gospel to 10 people in one day, give the gospel to 20 people in one day and just preach and just do everything.

There are other ministries and things where they say, “Oh, we’re going to go into the public schools and preach but the only thing is we can’t use the name Jesus. We can’t say the word Jesus. We can say God but we can’t say Jesus.” You know what, then I refuse to go there because that is the name above all names. There’s none other name given under heaven whereby we must be saved. You would never see Peter and John abstaining from using the word Jesus. They were told, “Hey, don’t preach in that name of Jesus.” They said, “You know what, we ought to obey God rather than men. We will preach in that name.”

You say, “Well, but then you’re going to go to prison.” Then, go somewhere else but use the name Jesus and preach it boldly, loudly. Proclaim the word of God. Hide it under a bushel, no. We have a great opportunity for us in the United States because compared to a lot of places in the world, even if we might complain about certain areas being unreceptive, compared to the rest of the world, America’s pretty receptive.

There are a lot of countries where if we were soul winning right now, we’d get a lot less people saved than we do in America and we’d have a lot less people listening to us. Even if you’re in an unreceptive town or an unreceptive neighborhood here, if you look at the big picture, it’s actually pretty receptive when you’re getting people saved every week. We have a great opportunity. Look, there’s no laws against what we’re doing here in America. We just have this wide open door, this opportunity, relatively receptive people especially if you go to the poor. We need to just take advantage of it.

The time is short. The kingdom of God is at hand. Let’s redeem the time because the days are evil and let’s make the most of it and get out there and just get as many people saved as we can and just preach the gospel to people who want to hear it. Hey, it’s a lot more fun to give the gospel to somebody who wants to hear it than somebody who doesn’t want to hear it. Then, if you just go to the unreceptive, you just get frustrated. Then, you want to quit soul winning because you’re just like, “Man, what am I doing? I’m beating my head against the wall.”

When you go out and get results, it actually makes you like soul winning more. Then, actually when you go out and get results, also it inspires other people to want to do more soul winning too when you’re getting people saved. When I say results, I’m saying getting people saved. They’re not necessarily going to join the church. People would say, “Well, if they don’t join the church, they’re not really saved.” Go join Church of Christ thing because that’s what they believe that you have to get baptized and join the church but we’re Baptists. We believe salvation by faith alone and that believing in Jesus is enough to be saved.

I was just talking to, I think it was Brother Romero, he had a visitor come to his church and it was the visitor’s third time coming because the visitor had two times driven all the way from across town like a long distance to get there and just chickened out and didn’t come to church. I’ve had people tell me that. I’ve had people say, “You know, this is actually my second time coming because the first time I showed up for church and I saw the big crowd and I just got scared and left.”

Honestly, if you’re an un-church person, it takes guts to just go to a church that you’ve never been to and you don’t know anybody and just walk in. You don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know, people are just going to stare at you. Just because people don’t come to church doesn’t mean that they’re not saved. A lot of times, you’ll win people to the Lord and they’ll go to church with somebody else that they already know, friends that are Christians and they’ll go to the watered down church. Honestly, we want to go out and win people to Christ and reap a great harvest. That’s the goal. I don’t go soul losing. I want to go soul winning. Seriously, I want to be winning. I want to succeed and so let’s do it. We have the opportunity.

Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much Lord for just blessing us by letting us live in Arizona. It’s a great place, Lord, a lot of great soul winning that’s just right there. The door’s wide open, Lord. Help us to just walk through that door and help us to win people to the Lord. I know that you said about Corinth that you had much people in that city but I feel the same way about all of Arizona, Lord, that it’s a place that’s wide into harvest. Please just help us to do our best, Lord and to spend time on that house that’s worthy and on that town that’s worthy. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Avoiding Adultery


July 19, 2015

Part of the chapter that I wanted to focus on is verse number four where the Bible reads marriage is honorable and all and the bed undefiled but whoremongers and adulterers, God will judge. Then, I don’t want to preach on the subject of adultery.

Now, if you would flip back to Leviticus chapter number 20, Leviticus is the third book of the Bible. Leviticus chapter number 20, the book that many people in 2015 love to hate unfortunately although it contains one of the most famous statements in the entire Bible, Leviticus 19 says, “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” One of the most famous passages and the one that Jesus said is the second greatest commandment and the law and it’s only found in one place, Leviticus 19.

Of course, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. It is profitable for doctrine. The Bible says in Leviticus chapter 20, verse 10, “If the man that committed adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committed adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” The reason that I take you to that verse in Leviticus is just to show you the seriousness of the sin of adultery. That verse right there shows you how serious this is.

Flip over if you would to Revelation chapter two. You say, “Well, that’s how God felt about it in the Old Testament,” but look how serious it is in the New Testament. Of course, God said marriage is honorable and all and the bed undefiled but whoremongers and adulterers, God will judge. Here was the situation of adultery in a church in Revelation chapter two beginning in verse 20 where the Bible reads, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel which calleth herself a prophetess to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

“I gave her space to repent over fornication and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation except they repent of their deeds and I will kill her children with death and all of the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts and I will give unto every one of you according to your work.” Here, we see God talking about the fact that He’s going to come down hard upon those that commit adultery. He’s going to send great punishment into their lives and is even going to kill people as a result of it. He says, “I’ll kill her children with death as a punishment.” It’s a very serious sin.

Now, go to Matthew chapter five because I want to make sure and differentiate what we’re talking about here because there’s adultery as defined in the Bible, literal adultery which would be basically someone who goes in onto his neighbor’s wife, someone who basically commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife. We’re talking about someone who actually has a physical relationship with someone other than his wife or a woman who has a physical relationship with someone other than their husband. That’s what we’re talking about here.

Now, the Bible also talks about the fact that it’s possible for a person to commit adultery in their heart. There are other ways that you can commit adultery that we’re going to see here in Matthew chapter five. I just want to emphasize that tonight’s sermon is going to focus on literal adultery. Actually going out and literally committing full blown adultery is what I want to preach about tonight because some people, sometimes when they’re reading the Bible, they get so into the secondary meanings, the metaphorical meanings, the other things that they lose sight of the main teaching of what God’s warning about.

All of these teachings are important. It’s important to teach on what we’re about to see in Matthew five about looking on a woman with lust. It’s important to look at teachings on divorce and remarriage but also, we need a sermon sometimes just warning us about the danger of actual adultery itself which is a real danger. It is a major sin and it is something that happens. Even Christians have fallen into this sin. Even King David himself committed this sin.

Now, look what the Bible says in Matthew chapter five, verse 27. It says, “You’ve heard that it was it was said by them of all time thou shall not commit adultery but I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her have committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Now, what is Jesus teaching here? He’s clearly teaching here that it’s not just a seen to go out and actually commit adultery but that it’s actually a sin to look upon a woman with lust in your heart. That’s the context.

Now, a lot of people will try to twist this though and try to use this to negate the Bible’s teachings on adultery. For example, when the Bible says in Leviticus 20, hey, adulterers should be put to death, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death, here’s what they’ll say. “Oh, but wait a minute but if you’ve ever looked on a woman with lust, are you going to be put to death too?” They’ll try to use it to negate what the Bible’s saying here.

Look. Get the context of what Jesus is saying here. Obviously, it is a wicked seen to look on a woman and lust after on your heart. It would also be a violation of the Ten Commandments where it says thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife but wait a minute. It is not the same to literally commit adultery as it is to commit adultery in your heart. These are two different things. This whole teaching that all sin is equal is an insane doctrine and it’s not biblical.

When the Bible says that the adulterer shall be put to death, we’re talking about someone who literally commits adultery, not somebody who has a bad thought.

See, David went up on the rooftop and he looked upon a woman to lust after. That was a big sin but if it would have stopped there, he wouldn’t have gone through all the punishments that he went through by actually taking it a step further and actually acting upon it. Part of the reason why it’s such a dangerous doctrine to teach that all sin is equal is that people think to themselves, “Oh, if I’ve already looked with lust, I might as well … I mean it’s all the same anyway, right?”

That’s a retarded doctrine. I don't know what else to call it. It’s nonsense. It’s crazy. Think about it. To say that it’s the same to lust after a woman in your heart as to actually go out and commit adultery like that’s the same thing … Now, look. I’m not condoning of sin. I’m not condoning of looking with lust but it’s not the same. Jesus is not saying, “Hey, these things are equal, same sin.” No. What is he saying in the contest because this is a passage a lot of people misunderstand and let me show you why this misunderstand because look at the next verse.

It says, “Whosoever looketh at on a woman to lust after had committed adultery with her already in his heart and if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and not that they whole body should be cast into hell.” What people will do is they’ll take this passage out of its context, not understand it and then they’ll say this. “Hey, if you look on a woman to lust after, you’re going to burn in hell.” They’re teaching that you can lose your salvation basically even if you’re saying you knew you believe in Jesus but see, they don’t understand what the passage is teaching.

See, in Matthew five, Jesus’s goal here is to get people to understand their sinful condition that they cannot be saved by their own righteousness. That’s why even just right before that, he says in Matthew five, verse 22, let me get there myself, he says, “But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council but whosoever shall say thou fool,” watch this, “shall be in danger of hell fire.”

What’s he saying here? He’s saying that even if you commit a minor sin, you’re in danger of hell fire. You say, “Well, you know, I’ve never murdered anybody.” He says, “But wait a minute. If you’re angry with your brother without a cause, if you’re provoking people by saying, hey, thou fool,” he says you’re in danger of hell fire. “Oh, I’ve never committed adultery” but wait a minute. He says if you’ve looked on a woman with lust, you have committed adultery in your heart and that’s a sin.

What Jesus is trying teach in this passage is that any sin will send us to hell. No matter whether it’s a big sin or a little sin, it’s all going to send us to hell. Even if we haven’t committed murder, even if we haven’t committed adultery, we’re still sinful. That’s what he’s saying. That’s what he’s teaching in this passage. This is also summed up when he says that, “Except your righteousness shall the righteousness of this scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Those are people that they would have looked to and thought of as very righteous, Godly people. He says, “Look, your righteousness would have to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees in order for you to make it into heaven.” Then in fact, the last verse of the chapter, he says, “Be therefore perfect even as your father which is in heaven is perfect.”

What’s he doing? He’s raising the bar and setting the standard real high and saying, “Look, if your righteousness is going to get you into heaven, it better be perfect, you can’t even think a bad thought, let alone going out and committing all of this sin.” What is he doing? He’s preparing people in their minds to be able to accept the free gift of salvation by first understanding that they’re a sinner and that they’re condemned to hell. That’s what being thought in this passage. He’s not warning Christians and saying, “Hey, if you think a bad thought, you’re going to go to hell,” or, “Hey, if you say the wrong thing, you’re going to go to hell.”

Once you’re saved, you have eternal life and Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” The Bible says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already because he had not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” The Bible clearly says that, “Verily, I say to you, “He that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me has everlasting life,” present tense, “and shall not come into condemnation but has passed from death unto life.””

Don’t let anybody twist these passages to do one of two things, either to downplay literal adultery and say that it shouldn’t be against the law or to try to say, “Hey, if you commit a sin, you’re going to go to hell so you have to live sinlessly to be saved.” Look, if you have to live sinlessly to be saved, then nobody’s going to heaven because the Bible says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

The whole point Jesus is making is by saying, “Look, even a more minor sin will send you to hell than you think. Even all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is second death.” You don’t have to be a murderer or a literal adulterer to do that. You just have to commit adultery in your heart. You just have to hate your brother in your heart. That’s what’s being taught here.

Let’s just quickly touch on this. This is now what the sermon’s about but just to quickly touch on, adultery in your heart. What is committing adultery in your heart? It’s basically looking on a woman to lust after her. This is also known as coveting your neighbor’s wife. This is when you look and basically desire your neighbor’s wife is another way that the Bible puts this. You’ve committed adultery in your mind. You’ve committed adultery in your heart. That is sin.

He also goes on to say in verse 31, it had been said, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement but I say unto you that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committed adultery.” Mark chapter 10 teaches the same thing. Go ahead and turn to Mark 10. While you’re turning to Mark 10, I’ll read for you from Luke 16:18, “Whosoever puteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.”

Mark chapter 10, verse 11, “And he said to them, “Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another committeth adultery against her and if a woman shall put away her husband and be married to another, she committed adultery.” Now, you say, “Pastor Anderson, you keep reading the same statement over and over again.” I’m really not because each of these are all slightly different from one another because one of them talks about the woman putting away her husband, the other one talks about the husband putting away his wife, the one talks about him putting her away and marrying someone else or him putting her away and somebody marries her. It’s basically giving us every possible scenario explaining it from every angle saying, “Look, it’s adultery. Don’t do it.”

When you get married, it’s till death do us part and it’s supposed to be a lifelong commitment for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, the good, the bad and the ugly. You stay with it all the way to the end. That’s what the Bible teaches. If you just say, “Well, you know what, I may get divorced and marry someone else,” that’s considered adultery. That’s what the Bible says. That’s the teaching here but that’s not what the sermon’s about tonight. I just wanted to cover that and touch on that before we get into the real meat of the sermon tonight which is about adultery in the sense that we all know of adultery as basically cheating on your wife, cheating on your husband is what we’re talking about when we talk about adultery.

Go if you would to Second Samuel chapter number 11 first of all because I want to talk about how to avoid adultery according to the Bible, some tips based on biblical principles on how we could stay away from this. This is such a horrible sin. It’s so harmful unto your spouse if you were to commit this sin. It’s a very grievous, major, major sin. We want to avoid this at all cost. We don’t want to just have this attitude that says, “Well, I would never do that. I could never.” The Bible says, “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

We don’t want to get real close to sin and play around with sin because we basically think to ourselves, “You know what, I’m never going to go all the way and commit adultery so I can basically fool around with it and so forth.” No. We need to realize that none of us is immune from sin. Therefore, we need to take steps to make sure that this horrible sin does not enter our lives. The Bible has some tips for us to avoid adultery.

The Bible says in Second Samuel chapter 11, verse one, this is the most famous story about adultery in the Bible, “And it came to pass after the year was expired at the time when kings go forth the battle that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel and they destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah but David tarried still at Jerusalem and it came to pass at an eveningtide that David arose from off his bed and walked upon the roof of the king’s house and from the roof, he saw a woman washing herself and the woman was very beautiful to look upon, and David sent and inquired after the woman, and one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?””

Right away, he sees a beautiful woman and lusts after her and he asks people who is this woman because he wants that relationship with her. Keep in mind, David’s already married and he even asked more than one wife, not even just one and even had concubines as a king which is already wrong. He’s already doing wrong in that sense but when it’s told unto him this is the wife of Uriah the Hittite, the first thing that should have come into his mind is, “Hey, this is off limits. This is somebody else’s wife.” In fact, it’s a wife of a friend of his and one of his loyal servants.

What did David do in verse four? David sent messengers and took her and she came in unto him. He lay with her and she was purified from her uncleanness and she returned under her house. Go to Jeremiah chapter five. The first thing that we need to do in order to avoid this sin of adultery is we need to avoid idleness and laziness. Now, this is something that over and over again the Bible warns about in connection with adultery.

David, it says, at the time when kings go forth the battle, what does he do? He stays home doing nothing. Then, he goes to bed at night and he gets up off his bed in the middle of the night. Why would anyone get off their bed in the middle of the night? Because they’re lazy and can’t sleep. Why? He’s not doing anything. He’s supposed to be out battling and doing his job as a king. He’s sitting around idle so guess what, when you’re idle and don’t do anything, you can’t sleep at night. It’s hard to go to sleep when you haven’t worked and so he’s just laying there on his bed bored because he didn’t work hard.

The Bible says the sleep of a laboring man is sweet whether he eat little or whether he eat much. When you go out and work hard, you want to get on that pillow and you don’t want to get off it again. You’re tired. This guy’s idle. He’s being lazy. He’s not doing the battling and fighting the fight that he needs to fight. He’s just sitting around bored and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

Look what it says in Jeremiah chapter five, verse seven. “How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me and sworn by them that are no gods when I had fed them to the full,” pay attention to that phrase, “When I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlot’s houses. They were as fed horses in the morning. Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife. Shall I not visit for these things saith the Lord and should not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?”

What’s he saying? When they were full, when they’re like fed horses in the barn that don’t have any work to do, they don’t even have to go out and get their own food, it’s all just being delivered to them and they’re sitting there bored, full of food and idle, what do they do? They begin to neigh after their neighbor’s wives comparing them to animals. Animals don’t have any loyalty to their spouse. The Bible’s saying that’s what people are like sometimes when they get idle. They can be like that.

Now, we’re not going to turn there for the sake of time. You go to Jeremiah 13 but of course the famous passage in Ezekiel that talks about Sodom and how they got into fornication and abomination. Of course, they went into way worse things but it mentions that it started out with idleness and fullness of bread, exact same thing here. See, when people are idle and full of bread, then what do they do? They get bored and they start dabbling into sin instead of staying busy on the right thing.

See, if we as Christians would fight the good fight like David should have been at war, if we as Christians would fight the good fight, we would not have the same temptation to go off into sin and everything. It’s when we stop fighting, when we stop serving God and being excited about doing something with our lives and we’re just sitting around bored that the lust of the flesh really enters in and causes us to even consider committing sins like this.

Look at Jeremiah chapter 13, verse 23. “Can an Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then, may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil. Therefore will I scatter them as the stubble that passeth away by the wind of the wilderness. This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me saith the Lord because thou hast forgotten me and trusted in falsehood. Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear. I’ve seen thine adulteries.” and then watch this, “and thy neighings.”

Remember the horses, the fed horses neighing after their neighbor’s wife? What does neighing mean? “The lewdness of thy whoredom and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, oh Jerusalem, wilt thou not be made clean? When shall it once be?” Look at Jeremiah 23, verse 14. Jeremiah talks a lot about adultery as being one of the sins that was the downfall of the children of Israel at this time. It says in Jeremiah chapter 23, verse 14, “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing. They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen also the hands of evildoers that none doth return from his wickedness. They are all of them unto me as Sodom and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.”

Here, he talks about even preachers, prophets doing a horrible thing by committing adultery. Now, look. David was a prophet. David was a man of God but when he stopped fighting, adultery was there waiting for him. That’s why we need to make sure that we don’t let idleness and laziness enter in. As a preacher, we got to keep fighting and keep on standing strong and preaching hard, not strengthening the hands of the evildoers. You see, a lot of preachers, they have no fight in them and so they’re not going to war, the spiritual warfare that we should.

Therefore, they basically are sitting around real comfortable and then basically, they’re looking for something to do. They’re looking for some excitement because we as human beings especially as men, we like excitement, don’t we? As men, we’re looking for a challenge. We’re looking for excitement. We’re looking for some new frontiers, some new conquest. It’s in our nature. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s who we are as men unless you smoke pot or something and you just sit around and you’re apathetic and you don’t care.

We as men are ambitious and we have certain driving, passions and everything but here’s the thing. We need to direct those toward doing something for the Lord and fighting the good fight rather than just having all this energy and passion inside of us and instead of fighting the Lord’s battles, instead of going to war, basically, it just becomes about some conquest of adultery which is what David ended up doing with all that energy that he had. That’s where the sin is. The first thing we need to do to avoid adultery is that we need to avoid laziness and idleness. Get out there. Work hard. Do something with your life and stay busy with other things. Don’t just sit around bored because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

Secondly, go to Proverbs chapter six. In order to avoid adultery, we need to avoid evil women or we could talk to the women and say you need to avoid evil men. There are evil people out there who are ready to commit adultery with you because it takes two people to commit adultery, right? Guess what, there are evil people who are out there who want to commit adultery with you and you need to stay away from these people and avoid these people who like to play if you’re going to avoid adultery itself.

Now, the proof is found right here in Proverbs six, verse 26. Look what the Bible says. “For by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread,” watch this, “and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” Do you see that? The adulteress, I mean there are women out there who are hunting for a man to commit adultery with. They want to take a married man and commit adultery with them. That’s what the Bible says.

Now, you might look at that and say, “Well, how can this be? How can such a creature exist?” It’s out there. The Bible talks about adulterers and the Bible talks about adulteresses, people who by nature, they’re evil people. This is a game to them. This is a sport to them. This is something that they are out looking for and hunting for, not something that’s just going to accidentally happen. There are actually people who are seeking out this type of relationships. It’s wicked. The Bible warns us about it.

Look at verse 23. Let’s get the full warning. “For the commandment is a lamp and the law is light and reproofs of instruction are the way of life to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart.” It goes back to what we’re talking about earlier. Don’t even go down that route, he’s saying. Don’t even think about it. “Neither let her take thee with her eyelids for by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbor's wife whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

“Men do not despise a thief if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry but if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold. He shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding. He that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonor shall he get and his reproach shall not be wiped away for jealousy is the rage of a man. Therefore, he will not spare in the day of vengeance.”

What’s the Bible saying? It’s saying, “Look, if you commit adultery with somebody’s wife, they’re going to be so mad that they might even kill you.” He’s saying jealousy is the rage of a man and he’s not going to spare in the day of vengeance. There are many people who’ve been killed because they committed adultery with somebody’s wife and basically, somebody even just took it into their own hands to just take care of it which you say, “Well, that’s not right.” It still happens though. Is that what you’re going to tell the guy that you committed adultery with his wife? “Hey, this is legal.”

You still might be killed. In fact, a friend of mine in the alarm business back many years ago, he caught his wife with another man and he came this close to killing the guy. He grabbed the guy and threw the guy through a window. The guy didn’t have any clothes on. The guy was seriously injured all cut up and went to the intensive care unit and everything like that because he just threw the guy through the window. The guy barely survived which otherwise, my friend could have been in serious trouble for manslaughter or second degree murder or whatever. Anyway, it definitely is rage that you’re going to face there when you don’t respect people’s wife.

The Bible says in verse 35, “He will not regard any ransom.” You can’t pay this guy off to placate him. “Neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.” There are wicked people out there that you need to just stay away from. Now, go to First Corinthians chapter 7. I’ve come across people where I got the feeling that they were this type of person and these are the type of people that we should avoid. The Bible says go not the way to her house and basically, the adulteress is hunting for the precious life. God gave us that warning for a reason, to tell us to avoid this type of person.

I’ve gotten around women where I’ve noticed them basically acting flirtatious with men other than their husband. You see that going on and you just have to think to yourself, “I need to stay away from this. This is a bad person.” Even if it’s to the point where you don’t really necessarily want to say anything but just put it in your mind and say, “You know what, she’s acting inappropriately toward that guy or she’s acting inappropriately toward me or whatever, I just need to stay away from her.”

I’ve seen people like that in church. I’m not saying at this church but I’ve been in other churches where I saw women that were like that. I would make a point to literally walk a different way and just not even come into contact with that person because you don’t want to be ensnared. The Bible also warns, it says, “To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.”

Basically, what this woman’s going to do when she’s hunting the precious life is going to give a lot of compliments and make you feel real good and macho about yourself. It’s basically just her way to manipulate you into committing adultery with her. Obviously, there are men who know how to push the right buttons psychologically too. They go hunting for women to commit adultery with and tell that woman things that her husband wouldn’t tell her and whatever and get her to commit adultery which leads me to my next point. This is the most important point.

If this is the only thing you get tonight, this is the most important point because what are we talking about tonight? The sin of adultery, major sin in the Bible but how do we avoid it? How do we stay away from it? Number one is we avoid idleness and laziness. Those are sins that could lead us toward adultery. Number two, we stay away from and avoid evil women and evil men, the people that are prone to this kind of behavior but thirdly and most importantly, if you want to avoid adultery, you must have a right relationship with your spouse. This is the number one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine, top nine ways to not commit adultery is have the right relationship with your spouse.

In fact, I would say that virtually all adultery is pretty much a result of not having the right relationship with your spouse. Now, that’s not to obviously give people an excuse for adultery if they have a bad marriage. There’s no excuse for adultery but the best way to avoid adultery is to have the right relationship with your spouse because if you have the right relationship with your spouse, why would you be looking elsewhere? You wouldn’t. The reason that people are looking elsewhere is because they have a bad relationship with their spouse.

Look at David himself, bad relationship with his wives. That’s a whole another sermon in and of itself that I’d preach other times but here’s a guy who did not have a right relationship with his wife, part of the reason because he didn’t have one wife. That’s one of the big problems right there. Look what the Bible teaches in First Corinthians seven, verse 1 because I’m not making this stuff up. I’m throwing this stuff from the Bible. It says in verse 1, “Now, concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

He says, “Look, to avoid fornication, be married,” because expecting people to be celibate is too much to ask in most people. He says to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, let every wife have her own husband and says, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body but the husband and likewise, also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” It says, “Defraud ye not one the other except it be with consent for a time that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer and come together again,” watch this phrase, “that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.”

What’s he saying? If you don’t have the right relationship with your spouse, Satan will tempt you and to avoid adultery, you need to have that relationship with your spouse. That’s what the Bible says. Now, what’s he saying in verse three and four, he says, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body but the husband and likewise, also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

What he’s saying is that when you get married, you’re no longer your own person anymore, where it’s just, “Well, I’m my own person, my body, my choice.” Is that what the Bible says? No. The Bible says the husband hath not power of his own body but the wife. The woman hath not power of her own body but the husband. Basically, as a man, when I’m married, my body belongs to my wife and her body belongs to me. That’s what the Bible says. He’s saying, “Look, don’t defraud the other by withholding from them what is rightfully theirs.”

When you get married, part of even the vows that we say in our American style wedding in 2015, what do we say? To have and to hold from this day forward. Part of what you’re bargaining for when you get married is a physical relationship. Now, there are so many weird teachings out there today. We live in such a weird time, don’t we? You’d think that this stuff is just common sense. You grow up and you’re a man and a woman grows up and you start thinking about these things as you get older. The girls start looking good to you and everything like that. You end up getting married and you both enjoy that physical relationship that’s just reserved for within marriage and so forth and you live … People now have all these weird, creepy ideas about everything.

Part of it is because there are so many wicked people in our world and there are so many people who are being molested today or being exposed to really weird stuff at a really young age or being exposed to pornography at a really young age or just being exposed to all the sin and filth of our world. Kids are watching this stuff on TV even as a little child way before they’re old enough to even process it or understand it. What you have is a generation growing up today that is perverted in their mind or that just has weird ideas instead of just normal, you grow up and “Hey, all these girls look beautiful. I think I’m going to pick the one I want and marry her and be physical with her. It sounds great. Let’s do it,” and looking forward to getting married.

Now, you have these weird people that people contacted me and saying, “Well, you know, what if I just want to get married but I just don’t want to have that physical relationship with anyone? I just have an aversion toward that physical relationship but I just want to get married to have a life companion.” What? Where does this even come from? Where did I get … Look. If you’re a man and you’re supposed to be attracted toward women and you’re a woman, you’re supposed to be attracted toward men and here’s the thing. If you’re not, then don’t get married. If you’re this rare bird that just you’re a man and you just don’t have any interest in that, then save us all and don’t get married.

You say, “Well, I want that companion.” It’s called having a friend. Hello, people. It’s called friends when you have buddies that you hang out with and do stuff with but there’s no physical component, that’s called a friend. That’s not a wife. That’s not a husband. Here’s the thing. If you’re like, “Well, I don’t want to have a physical relationship,” then don’t get married because if you get married, guess what you’re signing up for, a big, long physical relationship that’s going to last for decades and that’s going to happen all the time. That’s going to frequently be taking place.

If you don’t want that, then what are you doing getting married? “Well, but I just …” Shut up and quit being an idiot and understand what the Bible says about marriage that the woman hath not power over her own body but the man and that the husband hath not power of his body but the woman. Today, we live in such a warped society. Here’s what I’ll say. “Oh, I was raped by my husband.” What? He’s your husband. He owns you. Look. It goes the other way too because guess what, your wife owns you guys. You can’t tell your wife, “No, I don’t want that physical …”

Look. You think I may be crying about my wife raped me? What kind of stupidity is this? This is the society that we’re living in today. “Oh, I got molested by my spouse.” What? You’re married. This is the kind of garbage today that we have in the world that we’re living in. What does the Bible teach? The Bible teaches, “Hey, look. If you’re married, you signed up for it. You know what, you just consented to decades of you know what.”

I don’t ask my wife’s permission every time I touch my wife like, “Honey, may I touch?” No. We’re married. We already got that permission slips signed a long time ago. It’s called a marriage certificate. It’s in a frame on the wall. She doesn’t have to ask my permission. It’s like, “Get your hands off. I didn’t give you permission to touch me. What are you doing? You pervert.”

I feel stupid even preaching about this but you have to because it’s Bible and we’re living in this crazy, twilight zone of 2015 America. We actually have to tell people this stuff that should be common sense. It should be just common sense. There’s no, “Hey, when you get married, you’re consenting to a lifetime of physical … because that’s what marriage is.” Hello. People are crazy though today.

It says here, look, if you defraud each other because look, there’s nothing new under the son. God knows that even though it should be common sense, “Hey, when we get married, we’re getting married so that we can be physical with each other. Otherwise, we would just be friends,” then there are still going to be people out there who withhold this relationship from their spouse. It’s not just women who do it. It’s even men that would do it.

In fact, Islam even teaches this. Islam teaches this is a way to punish your wife. Refuse to have this relationship with here. It’s right there in the Quran. Look it up. The Quran says, “Hey, if your wife won’t obey you, then withhold this relationship from her.” That’s not biblical. That’s not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that the man has not power of his own body but the wife and vice versa. What the Bible is teaching here is that if we have a right physical relationship with our spouse, then basically, we’re not opening ourselves up to temptation.

Here’s why because the Bible says, “The full soul loadeth an honeycomb but to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.” Every bitter thing is sweet to the hungry soul. Let me ask you this. Do you want your wife being a hungry wife in that area? No, because then it’s open to temptation. You don’t want your husband to be hungry in this area because then it’s an opening to temptation again.

If you’re smart, you’ll understand, “Hey, wait a minute. If we’re going to keep ourselves purer and exclusive to each other and keep away from adultery, we need to make sure that we regularly partake of this relationship within marriage so that we are satisfied within marriage and that one or both parties don’t start going and looking elsewhere for satisfaction because they’re not getting what they need out of that relationship.”

It goes beyond just a physical relationship. I don’t want you to misunderstand me and think that that’s all that marriage is about. It goes beyond that because we as human beings, we don’t just have a physical need in this area. Human beings also have a need for love and closeness and bonding with their spouse on an emotional, spiritual, mental type level and not just a carnal level.

Think about it. When you got married, you weren’t just marrying a concubine. You’re actually getting married because you actually love, I hope so, that you actually love that person and you wanted to have that closeness and relationship and communion. We need to provide that for our spouse in order to avoid adultery. We need to provide that friendship, that companionship and that relationship because when people go out and commit adultery, that’s sometimes what they’re looking for.

Now, listen. There are two types of adultery that I’ve seen and that you see in the Bible. Number one, there’s adultery with a stranger. We see that in the Bible. That’s David and Bathsheba. Was he buddies with Bathsheba? No, stranger to him. “Who is this woman? Bring her to me,” or the one where it says that they assemble at the harlot’s houses. What’s that talking about? Stranger.

Then, there’s also adultery with someone that you know. In all of the cases of adultery that I’ve seen in my life, it was always with someone that they knew very well. If you look at adultery, in most cases when I’ve known men who committed adultery, usually the woman that they committed adultery with was not as good looking as their own wife. They often would commit adultery with a much lesser appearing woman. You’re like, “What in the world? What are you doing?”

Here’s why, because they’re not just looking for a physical, carnal relationship. They’re actually looking for someone who appreciates them or praises them or gives their ego a boost or that they like being around and have companionship with. This is dangerous when people go down this road. Now, go to Romans chapter 13 because the next thing that I want to say about avoiding adultery, first of all, we talked about, hey, you need to make sure that you’re not idle and lazy.

Number two, we need to make sure we avoid loose women or men who are this type that would be an adulterer and women that are adulteresses. We need to stay away from these evil people. Thirdly and most importantly, we need to have a right relationship with our spouse because if we have a right relationship with our spouse, we’re not going to need to go look somewhere else, not that anyone would need to or that it would ever be condoned but the Bible says that Satan would tempt in that situation.

Fourthly, this, we need to not even start down the road toward adultery and even put ourselves in situations that could lead to adultery. Now, look what the Bible says in Romans 13:12. “The night is far spent. The day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

Now, listen. The Bible says in Job 24, verse 15, “The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight saying no eye shall see me and disguiseth his face.” What's the Bible talking about? Those who walk in darkness and those who are making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof, they’re putting themselves in a situation where sin can happen versus people who walk honestly in the daylight and they are just not making provision for the flesh.

What am I saying? I’m saying this. You’ll never convince me that anybody is just living a godly Christian life, having a great relationship with their spouse and then just, “Whoops, I committed adultery.” You’ll never convince me of that because committing adultery is such a major sin and it’s such a big leap. It doesn’t happen by accident. The reason that I’m preaching this sermon is because I believe that if you actually follow these steps, you’re not going to commit adultery and your spouse is not going to commit adultery because I believe it’s preventable.

I don't think that people just slip and do, “Whoops, I accidentally committed adultery.” That’s not real because the vast majority of people who I’ve known that committed adultery, it was with people that they knew and it was people that they had a relationship with and people that they had known for a long time. It’s not just something that just boom, it happened. You say, “Well, with David, it just happened. Boom.”

No, because David had already been living a life of take another wife, take another concubine, stay home from the war, sit around and do nothing, walk around on the roof at night checking out babes. No, it didn’t just go from David’s doing everything right in his life and then boom, he’s committing adultery. No. He made all these mistakes leading up to it, taking on multiple wives, taking on concubines, being lazy, being idle, X, Y and Z. It’s not something that happened by accident.

You see, there’s a road that leads you down a path to adultery and if you’re smart, you won’t even start going down that road and you’ll stay far away from it because it doesn’t happen by accident. You’ll flee from it. Remember when Joseph was tempted to commit adultery where Potiphar’s wife, she was that adulteress that’s hunting for the precious life and she kept saying to him, “Lie with me. Lie with me,” to Joseph.

Then, finally she waits till everybody’s out of the house. None of the servants are in the house. It’s just her and Joseph. She grabs hold of him and says, “Lie with me.” What does he do? He runs away to the point where she literally rips his coat right off him because he runs away. What does the Bible say? Flee fornication. That’s how we have to be. We have to not even get close to it and we need to run screaming in the other direction like Joseph did.

What is this path that leads us to adultery? What is this making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof? Now, I’m going to focus on the adultery with someone that you know because that seems to be the most common type of adultery that happens. You need to be careful not to form close friendships with people of the opposite gender that you’re not married to when you’re married. Now, look. You single guys, you need to make some close relationships with the opposite gender. I’m not talking about the singles here. I’m talking about when you’re married or when they’re married. You don’t need to be buddy-buddy with people that you’re not married to because you’re on the path to adultery.

Now, look. There’s nothing wrong with interacting with people that you’re not married to. It’s not like, “Well, I’m married so I’m never going to interact with a woman again. I’m never going to talk to a woman at church again or I’m never going to have any kind of dealings with any women.” Obviously, we’re going to talk to people and deal with people but we need to make sure not to build these close relationships with people of the opposite gender or cross certain lines.

Here are some good rules of thumb when you’re crossing the line. These are some major crossing the line red flags. Number one, because remember we’re talking about walking honestly as in the day, not walking in darkness, when you’re basically talking to someone other than your spouse and you’re basically deleting the history of that e-mail or deleting the history of that phone call even if it’s totally innocent at this point, even if nothing’s happening at this point and it’s in the real embryonic stages of talking to that person, when you’re deleting phone calls or deleting e-mails and basically hiding the fact that you spent time with that person from your spouse, something’s wrong with that picture.

Here’s the thing. If your relationship is legit in the sense of, “Oh, yeah. It’s a business contact that I have to go talk to,” like for example, I’ve got a job where I was talking to different women in different offices. You go talk to this person, talk to that person. In the course of business, that’s the world we live in but I didn’t have to sit there and delete those e-mails and delete those phone calls of like, “Well, you know, I don’t want my wife to see how much I’m talking to this.”

That right there, when you start hiding stuff, it’s like they say about gambling. When you know that you have a problem, when you start gambling, you have a problem the first time you do it but anyway, they say you’re having a serious gambling problem when you’re doing what, when you start lying about it to people and saying that you went somewhere else when you really went to the casino.

When you’re sitting there and hiding it by saying, “Oh, wow. I don’t want my wife to see,” or, “I don’t want my husband to see that I’m talking to this person that much or maybe talking about stuff that’s real unrelated with business or just going over the line,” when you’re hiding stuff, that right there is a red flag because now what you’re doing is you’re sharing a secret with someone else and you’re building a wall between you and your spouse. Where you’re hiding stuff form her or hiding stuff from him, that’s a red flag that you’ve gone over the line right there. You need to get away from that person and stop having that friend or whatever association when you’re sneaking around, when you’re deleting e-mails, texts, calls and stuff to try to hide that.

Here’s another way over the line. When you’re talking to someone that’s not your spouse of the opposite gender and you actually say something negative about your spouse to that person even if it’s just minor, that’s a huge red flag. When you’re basically talking to another woman and you say, “Oh, well, my wife doesn’t really like it when I do X, Y and Z or whatever,” just saying something negative, complaining about your wife.

Look, this is stuff that people do. Don’t just sit there and think that I’m just coming up with all these crazy scenarios and just making up fairy tales. No. This is how it starts, friend. I could tell you about churches I’ve been in where people commit adultery. I could tell you the stories about it and it starts with this type of just getting a little too close with people and then next thing you know, you start letting your guard down.

Next thing you know, I’m whining about my wife to her and she understands because she would never be like that. John down at the office, when I talk to him, he understands me. My husband, I can’t talk to him. She starts complaining to John about her husband and what a barbarian he is at home. John’s at the office with his lavender tie and he’s real understanding and he’s telling her everything’s okay. These are just signs that you’re crossing the line.

Now, here’s another sign that you’re crossing the line. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly to people, being nice to people and look, this could happen at work, this could happen at church, this could happen at any association where you’re around people. There’s nothing wrong with being friendly, happy to see someone, nice to someone but here’s the thing. If you show up at church or you show up at work or you show up at some other social function and you’re like real disappointed that that person’s not there, you’re not looking forward to go on to work, you’re looking forward to seeing her or you’re looking forward to seeing him, there’s something seriously wrong in your mind.

When you’re not going to church to go to church, you’re not going to work to go to work, you’re not going to this social function to go to the social function, you’re going to see him, you’re going to see her in your mind and it’s a slippery slope. You’ve got to stay away from it. You got to just realize that, look, once you’re married, you’re supposed to keep yourself only unto them so long as you both shall live. You say, “Well, it’s nothing physical.” You know what? It doesn’t start physical most of the time. It starts emotional. It starts in your hearts.

See, this is what Jesus said in Mark seven, verse 20. It says, “For from within out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries.” Where do adulteries proceed from? From within out of the heart of men, starts up here. When you start thinking to yourself, “You know, my wife is this, that and the other. Oh, but she on the other hand is nothing like my wife. I like her better,” that, when you start making negative comparisons about your wife with other women or you start making negative comparisons about your husband with other men, look, this is where adultery begins, in the mind, in the heart.

When you are getting real close with other people that you’re to married to, you’re really looking forward to seeing them even though you have a legitimate reason to get together with them, whatever business or whatever, you’re deleting call history and e-mails to try how much time you’ve been … You start criticizing your spouse to that person, these are dangerous things to play around with. You need to hear this every once in a while just so you don’t let your guard down and just basically indulge in these type of relationships and think it’s fun to fool around with this. “As long as, well, you know, I’m never going to go all the way and commit adultery or anything.” Don’t even go down that road. Don’t even make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof.

Here’s another thing. Do not … Here’s another thing that’s over the line. Don’t get together with someone of the opposite gender alone. Now, remember with Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. That’s where she’s ready to strike because they’re alone. This is why if you have to interact with someone that is of the other gender that you’re not married to, and again, we’re talking about married people here especially, you need to be in a public place. If you have to get together and talk to somebody about business or you’re talking to somebody about church, about this and that, always make sure that somebody else is there with you.

For example, women will constantly say to me, “Oh, Pastor Anderson, may I speak with you about …” “Okay.” “Oh, well I need to talk to you in private.” Here’s what I always say, “This is as private as I get. We can step a few feet away from the crowd. That’s as private as I get.” Why? Because I’m not going to take some woman that I’m not married to into my office and just be alone in my office for some counseling session for 20, 30, 45 minutes where she tells me all about how her husband is this and her husband … Think about it.

She’s going to criticize her husband to me in the privacy of my office? This is where pastors get into adultery. This is where other types of professions get into adultery. We need to make sure that we’re not alone with the opposite gender but to be in a public place. If you need to talk to someone, talk to them in a restaurant, talk to them in church, talk to them outside. Don’t go into a room with them. “Oh, yeah. Come over to my house.” It’s just you and them or, “Hey, go over to their house.”

Think about this. You’re making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof. Not only that, but your reputation could be harmed because even if you are spiritually strong and you’re not going to commit any of these types of sins, what about the accusations that could be hurled against you when you go and lock yourself in that room for an hour to just talk and do some counseling? What are people going to say though? Even that person them self could lie about you and say, “Yeah, you know, this is what he tried or whatever.” Think about Joseph. These are things that you need to be real careful.

Now, listen. How can you commit adultery? Just stop and think about it. How can you or your spouse commit adultery when you’re in love with each other, you’re working on the relationship, you have a vibrant physical relationship and romantic relationship and emotional relationship and you’re not building close relationships with anyone else outside the marriage and you’re never alone with a woman that’s not your wife in a situation where you could even commit adultery? Then, how are you going to commit adultery? It’s never going to happen, is it, because you’re not even making provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof. You’re not even putting yourself in that scenario where adultery could happen.

Instead of just saying, “Well, I hope my spouse doesn’t commit adultery,” why don’t you have a good relationship with your spouse and why don’t you make sure that you keep yourself above reproach and keep yourself away from these temptations and things and not even play with fire. The Bible said, “Can you take hot coals into your bosom and not be burned?” No. Don’t play with fire and keep yourself pure because listen, I’m not just speaking theoretically here because I’ve seen people do this stuff and this is where tit starts.

You need to start thinking about what can I do to make sure that my marriage lasts and that it doesn’t end in divorce and that it doesn’t end, even worse, in adultery happening? Basically, you need to put work and effort into your marriage. You might think to yourself, “Well, you know, my marriage, this isn’t really that important to me and I just don’t really have a need for this real deep relationship with my spouse.”

Here’s the thing. Your spouse might not feel the same way. You need to make sure not only that you’re getting what you need from the relationship but you need to make sure that your wife is getting what she needs or that your husband is getting what he needs so that everybody is getting satisfied in the relationship and that people are not then looking elsewhere, looking in the wrong places and going into sin. We need to make sure that our wife is happy in all areas. We want to make sure that she’s physically happy, want to make sure that she’s emotionally happy. Women need to make sure that their husband is happy.

They can sit there and get all pried, “Well, that’s his problem. I don’t care what he thinks he needs or what.” It’s like no. If you’re smart, you’ll keep your husband happy. If you’re smart, you’ll keep your wife happy because people go looking elsewhere for a reason because they’re not getting what they need at home. Man is a monogamous creature. God made us to be monogamous. God made us to be married for life, two people for life. It’s how God created us but then why are so many people wanting something else? It’s because we fail to follow God’s design. Honestly, if you have the right relationship with your spouse, you can be happy in that relationship and not need anything else. You can actually just be satisfied within marriage and that’s what God wants for our lives.

Let’s bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much Lord for these warnings and just pray that we’d heed these warnings, Lord. Please help people not to play games with this and get real buddy-buddy with somebody else’s wife or real buddy-buddy with anybody that they’re not married to, Lord. I just pray that you’d just help us to instead focus our efforts toward building a relationship with our own wife, building a relationship with our own husband, Lord. Help us to work on what you’ve given us and not covet some other relationship, some other unicorn that we think is because the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, Lord. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.



Saturday, March 12, 2016

Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost


July 26, 2015

Let's start in verse number 15 where the bible reads there in 1 Corinthians 6, "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh, but he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

What I want to preach about tonight is the subject of your body being the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said something similar when he said on to the Pharisees, "Destroy this temple, and in three days, I will raise it up." The bible says, "He spake of the temple of his body." Jesus referred to his body as a temple and he says to us that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in us and that we are not our own, but that we have been bought with a price and that we should therefore glorify God in our body and in our spirit which are God.

Both our body and our spirit belong to God and we should honor God with our spirit, yes, but we should also honor God with our body, and not to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit which is what our body is. This body is not something that we own and contrast in any way, that we see fit. Rather, we should treat it like it belongs to the Lord.

It's like when you rent a car. You don't rent a car and just put a bunch of bumper stickers on it and just start trashing it and messing it up and being really rough with it, because you know that it doesn't really belong to you and you're going to have to return it and give an account for how you treated it when you turn it back in to enterprise or whoever. We should treat our bodies as if they belong to God, not unto ourselves. My body, my choice isn't really cut it because the bible says it's the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in us.

Now, one of the things, first of all, that would defile the body, I'm going to give you several things tonight but number one, the thing that the bible talks about that would defile our body as the temple of the Holy Ghost is fornication. That's what this passage mentions right away.

Now, it says in verse 18, "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body," or outside of the body, it's saying, "but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body," the bible says. It says in verse 15, "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid."

The bible is teaching us not to defile our bodies by engaging in fornication. The bible says, "Look, I'm not going to take the body that belongs to Christ. I'm not going to take them the members of Christ here and make it the members of a harlot because two saith ye, shall be one flesh." We don't want to defile the temple of the Holy Ghost by committing fornication.

Now, one of the many verses we could go to, we could go to all kinds of verses in the New Testament about fornication, but one that I would point out is Revelation 17:4, and if you want, turn over to 2 Corinthians 7. You flip over to 2 Corinthians 7. In Revelation 17:4, when it talks about the great whore, it says, "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations," watch this, "and filthiness of her fornication." Notice that phrase, "filthiness of her fornication".

The bible refers to fornication as filthiness. It refers to it as uncleanness. It refers to it as abomination. It's a sin and it's something that we should abstain from and we should have some respect for our bodies. You say, "Well, why would commanding fornication be a sin against your own body?" Because of the fact that going out and committing a bunch of fornication is harmful to your health. You say, "Well, how is it harmful to my health?" Look at all the disease that's out there, and it's always been out there. There's nothing new under the sun. The bible talks about people being diseased as a result of their sin.

I'm telling you, today, the level of STDs in America has skyrocketed as we've thrown out Christian morality, as we've thrown out the idea of remaining pure and abstinent until you get married STDs about. Today, in certain areas, one-fourth of the population has an STD in a lot of urban areas. The statistics are through the roof. Also, because of the fact that our land has become filled with sodomites. This has has caused the disease to spread at a rate that is just rampant, because a lot of these sodomites go both ways, and spread it to the straight population.

When you go out to some bar or some nightclub or hook up with whoever off the internet, there's a pretty good chance that that person could be someone who's a sodomite or they've been with a sodomite or whatever, and you could pick up all manner of disgusting diseases. I'm telling you, there are people out there who are spreading these diseases like wildfire. If you think it's far-fetched for you to go out and get a disease, if you're living a fornicating lifestyle, you're wrong.

You know what? The bible says, "Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Therefore, a saved person who goes out and commits a grievous sin like fornication is more likely to be punished than an unsaved person, because whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. See, a lot of unsaved people can go out and sin and get away with it, but when we're saved, we know God will judge his people. God will judge his children and punish his children as a loving father will punish their children.

We don't want to commit this grievous sin of fornication. It's morally wrong. It is spiritually filthy and it also is physically unsanitary and harmful to your health. We need to flee fornication. We need to run away from it and not get involved in it. That's the number one way that we should not defile the body. The bible says in 2 Corinthians 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit." Notice, he differentiates between filthiness of the flesh and filthiness of the spirit. They both need to be avoided. He says, "Cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

Here's another famous verse about our bodies. The bible says in Romans 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Listen, you're going out and fornicating and being a whoremonger or a whore, that's not a body that's holy and acceptable unto the Lord. When you're going out and taking the members of Christ and making them members with the harlot, or when you as a woman go out and commit fornication before you're married, you're defiling the temple of the Holy Ghost. You're bringing the Holy Ghost along for that physical debauchery. That's what the bible is saying.

Number two, go to Leviticus 19. Remember, we're not our own. We're bought with a price. We need to glorify God in our body and in our spirit which are God's. We need to present our body a living sacrifice unto God, holy and acceptable. Number one, we do that by abstaining from fornication. Number two, we need to stay away from tattoos and other mutilations of our body.

The bible says in Leviticus 19:27, "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor ..." watch this, "nor print any marks upon you: I am the Lord." Verse 29, " Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness." He's listing off here in Leviticus 19 some ways that people would defile their body.

Now, of course, some people just want to throw out the teachings of Leviticus, but let's not forget that this very chapter, Leviticus 19 contains the second greatest commandment in the law, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." That's right in this chapter. All scriptures given by inspiration of God and his profitable for doctrine, there is nothing in the New Testament that says, "Hey, there's been a change. Now God likes tattoos." If he said in the Old Testament, "don't print any marks upon your body," then we shouldn't be printing any marks on our body in the New Testament. There's no change in the New Testament where he says, "Hey, I've changed my mind. Now, it's okay."

Cuttings in the flesh, tattoos upon the body, these are permanent mutilations to your body. Now, look. You say, "Well, pastor's mad at me because I have tattoos." Look, if you've had tattoos in the past, there's nothing you can do to change it and this is a big reason why you shouldn't get a tattoo. If you talk to the people who have tattoos, they would get rid of them if they could but you can't. This isn't to try to rip on people who have tattoos because you know what? There are a lot of godly Christians who have tattoos. They got them in the past, and they're permanent. They got them before they were saved or they got them after they were saved but they just weren't as strong in the Lord. Maybe they didn't know this scripture.

This is nothing good, to judge people, to look at people and judge them that they are weak Christian. It's not for that at all. You know what it's for? It's to warn people who haven't gotten a tattoo yet. It's not to make people feel bad who already got one because there's nothing they could do to get rid of it. If they could push a button and get rid of it, if they could spend money and get rid of it, they would but you say, "Oh, tattoo removal." Yeah, it sounds great, go look into it. It's not that easy. Talk to people who've tried it. It's extremely painful, expensive and doesn't really fully get rid of it.

I mean, there's varying levels of success. It obviously depends upon the person and what kind of skin they have, and what kind of tattoo they have. It's not just that easy of just walk in to the tattoo removal and just get erased. Listen, if you get a tattoo, just plan on having it for the rest of your life because you're going to.

Here's the thing. I look at it this way. Tattoos on your body is like bumper stickers on a car. It doesn't make the car look like a nicer, fancier car when you put bumper stickers on it. I mean, think about it. If you put a bunch of bumper stickers on a car, that doesn't really make it a nicer car, does it? It doesn't really add to the value or make it look cooler. You know, some people go real overboard with bumper stickers. Some people go real overboard with tattoos. It's kind of similar.

Here's the thing, and I'm not ripping on you. There's no provision in the bible against bumper stickers. Go ahead and put all the bumper stickers you want on your car, because it's just a car, but don't do that to your body. The bible says right here, "Thou shalt not print any marks upon thee." Case closed. People say, "Well, I'm not sure what God thinks about tattoos." To my knowledge, I think this is the only mention of tattoos in the bible, and it's telling you not to do it. Case closed.

Then he also talks about cuttings in your flesh for the dead. He also talks about rounding the corners of your heads and marring the corners of your beards. Now, some people would twist this scripture and try to say that this is telling you, you could never trim your beard. That's ridiculous. You should keep yourself neat and tidy. Now, some people go clean shaven. I don't believe that there's anything wrong with being clean shaven, and I don't believe there's anything wrong with having a beard. Some people have a longer beard, a shorter beard, whatever.

I think when the bible says ... Here's the thing. The word "mar", if you look at the word "mar", that has to do with damaging something. When something is marred, it's like there's a chunk taken out of it. It's been gouged or damaged. This is basically talking about in my opinion carving strange shapes into your beard or into your haircut. Instead of going with a natural look of your hair and a natural look of a beard, carving out this real creative, weird shapes where it looks marred, it's messed up, there's something wrong with it. I believe that that's what he's saying here.

You see people who do these just crazy hairdos. It all goes in the same genre of let's say, shaving your hair and do a mohawk, for example or then making the gauges in your ears when you have the big, giant earlobes hanging down, or the disk in your lower lip, or just all the different piercings.

Here's the thing. The bible does speak positively about earrings in a woman's ear as being something that's normal. My wife doesn't have her ears pierced. I'm not really into piercing my daughter's ears. I don't think there's anything wrong with it because biblically, there is a positive mention of earrings on women. I will say this, some of the piercings that we're seeing now are more like a cutting in your flesh and just a mutilation than just a normal pierce in your ears.

Piercing ears is one thing, but what I'm seeing now is like where somebody will just have a metal rod in the back of their neck. Who knows what I'm talking about? What do they call that thing? Does anybody know what it's called, the official name of these metal rods that are just like a post or ...? I don't know what they call it, but putting a hole in your tongue and putting a metal rod through it or just putting a rod through random parts of your lower back, your neck. I mean, I've seen people have just a big chunk of metal on the back of their neck and it looked inflamed. You could tell the skin around it wasn't happy. It was like, "What is this? What is this on the back of my neck?"

Then also, I one time literally saw a guy who instead of a mohawk, he had these metal spikes, but they literally screwed into his head, like the sockets were installed in his head. He could change them out for different occasions, different spikes because they could screw in and out. These type of mutilations are the things that God is saying, "You're defiling your body." Don't permanently disfigure yourself in any way, shape or form. Don't burn yourself, cut yourself, tattoo yourself, mutilate yourself. Look like a normal person the way that God made you.

We're living in a day where these body modifications and body culture is becoming more and more popular as we get more away from the word of God and Christian culture. We get into heathen culture of mutilating. Everybody wants to just look different or standout. Why don't you standout like the bible says by your good works? Why don't you let that light shine? If you want to get attention so bad, why don't you get some attention by being a great person for God that does great exploits for God, and your adorning will be not the outward adorning of the way that you do your hair and the clothes you put on, but that outward adorning of good works, the bible says. That's what's a great price, and so this whole mutilation thing.

Number one, fornication. Number two, tattoos and other mutilations. Number three would be slothfulness. Go to Proverbs 19. You say, "Well, why would slothfulness defile my body?" Well, because it's unhealthy, because you're not treating your body in a healthy way. You see, God wants us to be healthy. Here's a verse from the bible, 3 John 2, " Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

Basically, in 3 John, the letters being written to a man named Gaius, and John says to Gaius, "Basically, it's great that you're prospering spiritually, but I also want you to be in health even as thy soul prospereth." God does desire for us to be healthy. Why? Well, if you had somebody working for you, wouldn't you want them to be healthy, if you had an employee or a worker? Guess what? We've been bought with a price and we are the servants of the Lord and God wants us to take care of the body that he owns, and that we would not defile the body.

One of the ways that we defile our body is by being slothful or idle. Now, the bible says, where did I have you turn? Go to Proverbs 19. Proverbs 19. Here's one of the things that slothfulness does to you. Slothfulness is an archaic word. Our modern word would be what? Laziness. We say laziness. The bible calls this being a sluggard or being slothful which comes from the names of two animals: a slug. What is a slug like? It's like this little blob of an animal.

Basically, it's a snail with no shell. In fact, in Germany, it's called a naked snail, "Nacktschnecke". That's how you say it in German. Basically, it's just this blob of an animal that moves very slowly. It's as slow as a snail. It basically is a snail with no shell. That's the slug where we get the word "sluggard" in the bible. Then slothful comes from the sloth which is an animal that lives up in the trees, and doesn't move around very much or very fast. We have these two animals as an illustration of this.

Look what the bible says in Proverbs 19:15, "Slothfulness," or laziness as what we would say today, "Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger." Now, there are a couple of things that we get from this scripture. First of all, we see that people who are lazy lack energy. See, the bible says, "Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep." Ironically, not working makes you more tired because you'd think, "Oh, man, if I went out and did a bunch of physical activity, I'm going to get tired," but actually, it's the opposite. If you go out and do physical activity, you end up with more energy than the person who sits around. Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep. They get tired and drowsy from sitting around and doing nothing.

I remember when I used to work in the fire alarm business, it was a lot easier to work all night if I were actually pulling wire and installing electrical, but driving all night was hard. Why? Because you're idle. You're just getting really tired because you're just sitting there, and the vibration gently lows you to sleep because you're idle. You're not really doing anything.

It's bad for your body to be sedentary, to be idle, to be slothful. It actually makes you have no energy because it's a vicious cycle of being lazy, then you get no energy, and then you get lazier and then you sit around even more, and it gets worse. Then notice what it says also, "An idle soul shall suffer hunger." People who sit around and are inactive, also have a greater appetite. This is also ironic because you'd think, "Oh, yeah." You go out and use a lot of calories, you're going to be really hungry to refuel. Actually, it's people who sit around doing nothing that get the hungriest.

Again, back to the illustration of my job. When I would sit in the car driving, you want to snack while you drive. You're bored, there's nothing else to do, you're channeling down. You're stopping and picking up a Ben & Jerry's tub and that's what I would pick up. You get one of those Ben & Jerry's tubs. What was the one that I get? The chocolate peanut butter cup, whatever. I forget what it was called or the Häagen-Dazs chocolate peanut butter.

I'd kill one of those things like it was nothing on a drive or I'd get those Häagen-Dazs bars with the almonds on it. I get four of them. Yes, I did, because you're driving down the road and it's just one after another, after another. This has become the American culture today of being real sedentary, idle, slothful, and then that leads to gluttony also, which is a later point in the sermon.

Look at Proverbs 24:5. Proverbs 24:5, the bible says, "A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength." According to the bible, strength in a man is a virtue, being strong, not being weak. Now, obviously, the verse that pops into everybody's mind when you preach about stuff like this is they'll say, "Hey, exercise thyself rather unto godliness, for bodily exercise profiteth little but godliness is profitable unto all things having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." Of course, this is the life verse of many people that are way out of shape. "Hey, bodily exercise profiteth little. Amen." Just like every winos favorite bible story is when Jesus turned the water into wine or "Hey, use a little wine for your stomach's sake."

Basically, these are the type of verse that people latch on to. You know what? That is true that we should exercise ourselves rather unto godliness. Godliness is far more important than bodily exercise. Bodily exercise profiteth little. Godliness is profitable unto all things. We don't want to take that and just trash and neglect our body, "Well, you know, bodily exercise profiteth little," just plop down and lay around and do nothing. No, because of the fact that the people in the bible live lives that were completely different than the life we live with all the technology that makes us sedentary.

See, the reason the bible is not telling you, "Hey, you need to get out and do some exercise," is because here's what the bible says, "Go work." Back then, their work was strenuous. When the bible is telling you to go out and work hard, that's your fitness program. When you're on a farm, when you're dealing with cattle, when you're living in those days, they worked hard.

Now, if we look at the people in the bible, because even though there aren't a bunch of verses telling you, "Hey, you need to exercise," but look at the lifestyles that the people in the bible live. First of all, let's look at Jesus and his disciples. Jesus Christ, the pattern man, he went everywhere on foot. That alone is great exercise. You never see him riding a horse, except one time when he rides into Jerusalem on the triumphal entry. He rides upon a colt, the foal of an ass. That's where you see him on an animal. The whole rest of his ministry, what's he doing? Walking, walking around to all of the villages. Then whenever he's going to go pray, where does he go to pray? He goes up into a mountain to pray.

See, even just the act of walking from village to village, walking up a mountain to pray, these are all things that are going to keep you physically fit. I guarantee the disciples were in great shape just by walking through the villages every single day. They're walking over here, walking over here, going up the mountain. See, walking is actually a great exercise. It's actually very good for you. It's a full body type exercise too, especially if you're carrying stuff. I'm sure that they carried a few basic things. Therefore, they were getting plenty of exercise through doing that.

We look at the man of the Old Testament. We look at first of all, Elijah was a man who ... he ran like 20 something miles and outran a chariot. We see other prophets in the bible going on major hikes of hundreds of miles. We see them walking, running, getting all kinds of exercise. Elisha, when he was first found by Elijah, the prophet, was plowing with oxen. He was in the yolk with an ox pulling a plow like an animal. He was obviously a very strong man.

Jacob, when we see Jacob show up at the home of his future wife, and he goes to the well. There was a great stone on the well. They said, "We have to wait until all the shepherds get here because then we'll be able to life the stone off the well." He said basically, "Hey, baby. I got this. Let me just do this real quick." He walked up and lifted the stone up the well, single handedly. That's the one that preachers will call the Mama's Boy, Jacob. Esau was the tough guy, and Jacob was the mama's boy. Yeah, such a mama's boy that he lifts the stone off the well's mouth by himself that usually took a whole bunch of guys to lift.

Not only that, but later, he's wrestling with the angel all night. I mean, try wresting for a while, and you'll see how strenuous activity that is. See, the men in the bible worked physical jobs, carpenters, fishermen. I mean, they're fishing with nets, so they're hauling in in great nets. They didn't have to go hit the gym when they're hauling in a great net of fishes. They're going to be really strong just from doing that physical work of farming, fishing, whatever.

We have to understand that although we have to be careful that this doesn't just become a God to us, and that this doesn't become idolatry where it replaces godliness and where we just get so into body building and making our bodies perfect and we're staring at ourselves in the mirror and whatever. Obviously, it can go to sinful extremes. That's why God warns and says, "Hey, exercise yourself rather unto godliness. Make that the priority." At the same time, let's not go to the other extreme, and just completely neglect the body and become a physical weakling, because the bible never teaches that being weak is a virtue.

The bible tells us to be strong, and the bible says, "A wise man is strong a man of understanding increaseth strength." The bible gives us the example of all the men of God in the bible and all the prophets where constantly, he's telling us about them performing great feats of strength or great feats of endurance, and we see them walking, running, climbing, lifting great objects. So we need to make sure that if we have a sedentary job that we get out there and get some exercise.

A great place to start out too is going out soul-winning. I mean, at least that's getting you some exercise when you go soul-winning. Go to your apartment complex soul-winning and go up those stairs ... I mean, there's your stair master right there. You're going up and down the stairs, soul-winning. At least you're walking a few miles in the course of going soul-winning. That's good for you.

Also, if you work a physical job, you're going to be healthier than somebody who's working a sedentary job. Those who work a sedentary job can make up for that by getting some exercise in their life. I recommend, if you have an office type job, a computer-based job, getting out and getting some exercise or honestly, you're temple is going to go to pot because our bodies are not designed to just sit in front of a computer all day.

Look, there's nothing wrong with having a job like that, but if you have a job like that, make sure that your hobbies aren't sitting around hobbies. You need to get some hobbies that get you outside walking, running, swimming, bicycling, whatever it is that you do, but you need to take care of your body because our nation today has become very unhealthy, very out-of-shape, sedentary, slothful, gluttonous, and therefore, disease bounce and people have all kinds of heart disease, type two diabetes.

A lot of this stuff is preventable by your lifestyle, but people are just trashing their body with junk food, not getting any exercise and they're just quoting "Bodily exercise profiteth little" all day long as their memory verse. There's more to the bible than that. Read the whole bible and get a complete picture of what a biblical man looks like. He's strong, he's a worker, he's laboring by the sweat of his face. So we need to make sure that we get some physical activities in our lives so that we don't become a slug.

Now, you say, "Well, what about as women?" In the bible, in Proverbs 31, when it describes the virtuous woman, the ideal woman in Proverbs 31, what does it say? "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms." It talks about how she seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Now, look. It talks about her going out and planting a vineyard, working with her hands, girding her loins with strength, strengthening her arms.

See, throughout history, women have not been sedentary either. You know why? They didn't have a dishwasher. They were the dishwasher. They didn't have a washing machine. They were the washing machine. I mean, they had the washboard. I mean, think of it. That's exercise, right? When the bible says of the Proverbs 31 woman, "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms." This isn't saying, she's at the gym looking into a mirror doing bicep curls. What's it saying? I mean, she's strengthening her arms, washing the laundry, making the clothes, carrying water. I mean, they'd have to go down to the river and get buckets of water.

Today, we have all these wonderful machines that make our lives easier, the washing machine, the dryer, so you don't have to hang laundry or anything. You got the dryer, you got the washing machine, you got the dishwasher, you got the car to take you anywhere, you got indoor plumbing, but these things also have a negative side of making you slothful to where you sit around and get lazy and idle and then you get more idle and you get more lazy.

This is something that women need to make sure that they take care too, that they get out there and physically move around and get some activity, get some exercise to not defile the temple of the Holy Ghost through slothfulness, through sluggardness, and idleness, which leads to the next point which is gluttony.

Are you still there in Proverbs? Go to Proverbs 23. The bible says in Proverbs 23:20, "Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags." Right here, we see, God warning about drunkenness, but he also warns about gluttony. He warns about the winebibber, but then he also warns about riotous eaters of flesh. What does that mean riotous eaters of flesh? It's saying people who are just gorging themselves indiscriminately with food. What else could it mean? Riotous eaters of flesh, it's to chow down with no thought of the quantity or the quality of what you're eating.

Now, today in churches, you usually don't really hear preaching about riotous eating of flesh or gluttony just because you don't want to offend people. I don't want to offend people, but honestly, it's important that we all stop and think about this. I don't preach about this stuff very often because it's not a major emphasis on the bible but it is there, so it doesn't need to be preached. God does warn about riotous eating of flesh, and he does warn about gluttony.

Go to Ecclesiastes 10. Ecclesiastes 10. Really, the message tonight is simple. That is to understand that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. We're not our own. We're both with a price. We need to glorify God in our body and in our spirit which are God. We need to take care of the body. Don't defile it with fornication. Don't defile it by damaging it, mutilating it, tattooing it, doing all these permanent modifications to our bodies.

We need to also make sure that we don't become sluggish and lazy and tired. Then when God wants us to work for him, we can't do the work. You try to preach a sermon, you get out of breath. Listen, preaching is a cardiovascular workout when I do it because my hands are moving around. I mean, it's like aerobics workout up here. I'm waving my hands around, I'm yelling. It's cardio. You got to be in shape to be able to get up and yell for an hour and preach loud.

You know what? When you go out soul-winning, that takes some strength, that takes some endurance. If you can't even walk down the street, you can't even walk a few miles to go soul-winning,, that's going to slow you down in your service for God. You know what? That's not what God wants out of us. He wants us to render him a living sacrifice of our body that's ready to serve, that's ready to work, and not to just abuse our bodies by just putting whatever trash food in our body, no thought for the health value of what we're eating, and then be sedentary and lazy and slothful, and just let our body go to pot and then we can't serve him because of poor health.

By the way, the body, the soul and the spirit are all connected. The bible says, "A merry heart doeth good like medicine, but a broken spirit dryeth the bones." We see that the body, the soul and the spirit are connected. So if you are physically unhealthy, that will affect your spirit, and that will affect your soul. Having a bad spirit will affect your health. People will even tell you. One of the worst things you can do if you're ill or have cancer or other diseases is to have stress in your life, because they say, "Hey, stress is going to make it worse," because our mentality and our spirit is tied in with our health.

Sometimes, people will become depressed and have heaviness in their spirit and have mental problems because they're not eating right and taking care of their body, literally. Look what the bible says in Ecclesiastes 10:16, "Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!"

Why should we eat? For strength, not for drunkenness. "By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through." The building being described there is the temple of our body. He says, "By much slothfulness the building," meaning our body, this tabernacle, "decayeth and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through."

We should eat for strength and not for drunkenness. Look, eating junk food can even mess with your mind. There are certain food that are known as brain foods. What are they? Foods that are high in healthy kinds of fats. These will be bananas, coconuts, tree nuts, avocados. These are all known as brain food because they're giving you good fat for your brain, fish oil, et cetera.

Then there are other foods that actually harm your thinking power and your brain power. It's been shown that drinking Coca-Cola and these junk sweets and your Little Debbie's and Ho-Hos and Svenhard's and junk McDonald's and drinking the soda, these stuff will actually not only affect your body poorly, but actually affect your brain. Why? Because your brain is part of your body. Think about it. Your brain is part of your body. It has blood flowing to it, blood flowing out of it. What's in that blood? Nutrition. What you've been eating, what you've been drinking goes to your brain.

Therefore, you will not be able to think clearly if you're not exercising and eating a good diet. You can get depressed if you're not doing these things, and get sick and depressed and lazy. Look, I've known people who've gone through depression, who've been suicidal and there are certain common denominators that I've seen amongst the depressed. I don't really understand this is much with women, but I've known more men that were dealing with depression than women.

I don't understand as much obviously the female experience because I'm a man, but I know this: the men that I've known who've been depressed and men who I've known who actually went through with suicide, they actually killed themselves, they're dead, some common denominators that you'll see, first of all, there's often an involvement of drugs and alcohol. When people actually kill themselves, that's usually something that is part of the issue, drugs or alcohol.

Other than that, when you see people that are depressed and down, here's some certain denominators, they're usually people who don't have a job, they're very inactive, not getting out and doing anything physically, they're usually not married, they don't ... Basically, you see these things and you cannot understand why they're depressed because they're spending a lot of time idle, they're not getting out there physically and working and doing anything.

Honestly, when I deal with people that are depressed, I don't just tell them, "Hey, read the bible. That's going to fix everything." You know what I tell people that are depressed? "Get a job." I mean, that's a man, because as a man, you need the value and the worth of going out and getting a job. That's what we were born to do as men to work by the sweat of our face all the days of our life, the bible says.

When people are depressed, when men are depressed, I say, "Get a job. Get married. Get exercise. Go do something." That helps. It's people who sit around, listening to music, idle, no girlfriend, no wife, no prospect. That's why they're depressed. I'm not joking. I'm dead serious right now. Here's the formula for ending depression. Get married, get a job and get physically active, and start eating better food.

Now obviously, of course, reading the bible, prayer, going to church, soul-winning, of course, but you know what? If you're going to church, and then eating a bunch of junk, and sitting around listening to music all day, and not doing anything, you might still get depressed even though you read the bible. It's just reality. So we need to take care of ourselves, and we need to understand that when we eat, we should not be a glutton. The bible says that we should eat for strength and not for drunkenness.

Now, drunkenness, we would usually associate with alcohol. What's this eating for drunkenness? What's the bible talking about here? Obviously, food is not really going to make you drunk, but he's speaking figuratively here, and saying, "You know, you're not eating just to have a party in your mouth and to feel good." That's not why you eat. You eat for strength. Food should be looked at according to the bible here as fuel for your body to give you strength. You're putting fuel into the system that's going to be used for strength, not just, "Ooh! Let me tickle and tantalize my taste buds once again with a party in my mouth at every meal and even between meals." That's gluttony, that's eating for drunkenness.

Now, it's interesting when you look at this verse in verse 16, because it says, "Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning!" Now, it's interesting because we think to ourselves, "Wait a minute, breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper." Who's ever heard that before? No one. All right. No, a couple of you have.

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper, and we're always told, "Hey, eat that huge breakfast. Eat a real big breakfast, and it's going to make you lose weight. It's going to make you ..." Who's heard that before? To lose weight, be sure you always eat a big breakfast. Here's the thing. Just because you hear something a lot, doesn't necessarily make it true.

In fact, now, a lot of the studies that are coming out are starting to reverse this, and say, "Hey, actually, eating a huge breakfast is not what it was cracked up to be. It's actually not making you any thinner or losing weight to eat some gigantic breakfast," and it really doesn't matter.

Now, here's the thing. The bible never changes, and the bible here is seeming to indicate that eating a lot in the morning is not a good thing, according to this scripture because he says, "Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!" Perhaps, it's better not to just roll out of bed and start eating but rather, maybe to get up and start doing something first, and then eat a little bit later on.

Now, I know this that sometimes, and I know I'm getting a little off topic here, but I want to just expound this verse because I think a lot of people get confused by this verse because they look at it and they say, "Wait a minute. I've been my whole life to eat a big breakfast," but if the bible says something different, we need to look at what the bible is saying here.

When I look at this, I know that sometimes what I've done is let's say I eat a big giant meal for dinner which I've been known to do, real big dinner. Eat a lot of food at the end of the day. Then sometimes, I'll just skip breakfast. Eat a big meal before dinner and then go like 16 hours without eating or something, and then just go all the way until lunch. There's really nothing wrong with doing that, and it's really not bad for you at all.

In fact, sometimes, by just eating a big breakfast, big lunch, big dinner or whatever, the more meals you eat, is just the more chances to eat too much food if you're a sedentary person. Now, if you're a real active person, and you're burning a ton of calories, then yeah, you need to take a lot of food in to maintain that. If you're a sedentary person who's getting very little exercise, it's easy to overeat and to gain weight and to get overweight.

Therefore, maybe just rolling out of bed and eating a big breakfast isn't the best option. Maybe it's better to wait until later, closer to lunch to eat something, and then just eat lunch and dinner and then call it good. Then just go to sleep and then wake up. Look, how much you eat ... I'm not going to get up here and tell you, "Hey, this is how much you should eat," because it's different for everybody.

If you have a real physical active job, and I personally, I'm real active, and so I really try to get enough calories because I don't want to become a skinny weakling, so I have to eat a lot of calories just to try to maintain my body weight. Other people are trying to make sure they don't eat too much to basically get overweight. It depends on your lifestyle, it depends on your metabolism.

Here's what the bible is teaching. You eat for strength and not for drunkenness. Basically, you eat what you need. You eat what's good for you that's going to make you stronger, healthier, faster and not just what's going to give you a party in your mouth. Sometimes, if you roll out of bed, it might be good to go out and be active and do something and get to work, and then maybe eat a little later. Something to consider based on this verse of maybe skipping the big breakfast. Maybe that is not all the describe have to be.

See, the world is always changing its health advice. They'll come out with all the, "Oh, eggs are bad for you," then, "Oh, give eggs a break." "Oh, salt is bad." No, the bible says, salt is good, especially if you live in Arizona, you need to eat a lot of salt because you sweat so much here.

Anyway, I don't want to get off on some big health sermon, but I just want to throw that out there that you know what? We, as Christians should not just say, "Well, it doesn't matter what I eat. It doesn't matter how overweight I get or how skinny I get." Some guys need to work on this. Some of these guys that are just so twiggy, and skinny, and weak need to get some meat on their bones and build some strength. Basically, then they're judging girls by their outward appearance when they're a skinny weakling. That's not cool.

We, as men and also the ladies need to not just have this attitude of just trash our body, drive it until the wheels fall off, bodily exercise profiteth little, it's what's inside that counts, pass the extra large diet Coke, pass the dozen Krispy Kremes and let's eat, drink and be merry because tomorrow we die. No. If our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, number one, we need to not defile it with fornication. Number two, we need to not mutilate it, tattoo it, put a metal post in it. Number three, we need to make sure that we don't get lazy, sluggish, slothful that we get out and get exercise, and get moving.

I'm not saying that you necessarily have to go to a gym because honestly, a lot of people, they just want to throw money at problems when they're out-of-shape and unhealthy. They want to just sign up for some expensive gym or buy some expensive piece of equipment. You don't need a piece of equipment to get in shape, my friend, because the best way to get a half size is to go out and walk, go out and run, jump up and down, get a jump rope. A jump rope is $10. You say, "Well, you know, I got to work my ..."

Look, here's how you work your upper body, like this. You do push-ups. Everybody wants to go out and get an expensive gym membership, buy a bunch of barbels. Do some push-ups. Before you go out and spend a bunch of money, walk over to the playground and start doing some pull-ups, drop to the ground and do some push-ups, sit-ups, jump rope, run, do something. You don't need to spend a bunch of money and join a gym, but even ... Look, if you have a job that's physical, great, but if you don't have a job that's physical, you need to get active somehow.

Maybe you can even work around your house and maybe do some improvement that involves you swinging a hammer or something that will get you active, whatever. I'm not telling you what to do, I'm just saying that God doesn't want us to become physically slothful and sedentary, and it will make you depressed and mess with your mind also.

We are living in a time that is unlike any other time that anyone has lived in history. It used to be that being overweight was not a big problem with people. Unless you're like Kublai Khan or something, who was real overweight. Why? Because he's being carried around by slaves all the time because he's the king. He's some great emperor. Your average guy had to go out and work so hard. Your average woman had to work so hard. It just wasn't an issue and people were healthy as a result.

Beyond gluttony, beyond being sedentary, number five, another way that people defile their body, go to Proverbs 23. Another way that people defile the body is through alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Now, the bible does not mention cigarettes. The bible has not mentioned smoking, but I don't think anybody here would argue that smoking is good for your health. Nobody here is going to stand up and say, "No, I think smoking is actually good for you. I think it actually reduces your chances of lung cancer. I think it actually makes you a better runner, and it actually makes you healthier." No one would claim that. Everybody knows that smoking is bad for you.

Therefore, is it really right for you to first of all, take the money that God gave you to the tune of six bucks a day? Just think about it. Do you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day? Doesn't it cost about five or six bucks? Help me out. Who knows how much cigarettes cost? Five bucks?


Seven? Man alive. You need to go to the Indian Reservation. How much? If you buy a carton, how cheap can you get it?

Forty bucks.

Forty bucks, and how many packs come in a carton?


Ten. So you can get it down if you're real economical, you're getting a carton, you're going to the Indian Reservation, whatever. Maybe you can get it down to four bucks a pack. Other people are paying seven. Let's just say five bucks. That's $150 a month. I mean, that could be a cheap car payment. You could do a lot with $150 a month. You could buy a lot of healthy organic food for $150 a month. You could do a lot with that.

Here's the thing. Not only are you throwing away, and I'm not going to do it tonight because I don't have a $5 bill on my wallet, but usually, when I preach on this, I take a $5 bill and tear it up and throw it on the ground, and everybody's horrified like, "Oh! You just destroyed $5." Think about it. I just destroyed $5 and I'm just as healthy as I was. Pretend I did it here. Pretend I did it. Later will come in the graphics on the video and we'll add the dollar, special effects.

Anyway, pretend that I tore it up. It's like, "Okay. I destroyed $5 but I'm just as healthy as I was five seconds ago." Yet, nobody bats an eye at throwing away $5 everyday and destroying your health. See, if you woke up every morning and tore up a $5 bill and put it in the trash every morning, people would think you are nuts, wouldn't they? What if you just walk in to your job every morning and just ... every day, people would think you're a psycho. Yet, that would be way smarter than smoking a pack of cigarettes everyday because yeah, you'd lose the money, but you'd be just as healthy.

You're tearing up five bucks and destroying your health. So that's something to think about with cigarettes. Even though the bible does not say, "Hey, smoking cigarettes is a sin." It's still stupid. You say, "Well, is it really a sin to smoke cigarettes?" No, but it's stupid and the bible says, "The thought of foolishness is sin." The thought of, "Hey, let's go buy cigarettes," is a stupid thought and just thinking that is sin.

Then also, drugs. There are all kinds of obviously drugs that are harmful, street drugs, people are abusing prescription drugs, and taking all kinds of harmful ... The doctor will tell them, "Hey, you can either change your diet and exercise or take these pills." "Oh, give me the pills." That's what people would choose, the pills instead of changing their lifestyle.

I've known people where that's exactly what the doctor said, "Hey, do you want pills or do you want to start exercising?" "Give me the pills." It's like, "Okay. Here's the list of side effects on the pills," and it's like pages of death, blood in the urine, whatever. It's like, "Whoa! What in the world these horrible side effects?" It's like, "Well, God forbid, you'd actually eat right and exercise." "Give me the pills." Okay? So drugs.

Here's another one that a lot of people don't think of, alcohol. Alcohol is bad for your health. Now, people are trying to lie to you and tell you that alcohol is good for you. They'll even point to scripture where Paul says, "Take a little wine for thy stomach's sake." They'll say, "See, alcohol is good for you. Take a little wine for your stomach's sake."

In reality, when he says wine there, he's talking about juice. Throughout the bible, the word "wine" is often referring to juice, like when it talks in Isaiah 65 about wine being in the cluster, that's like in the grapes. That shows that it's juice right there. When he says, "Use no longer water but drink a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." Notice the contrasts between water, drinking water only and using a little wine.

What's he saying? He's saying, "Go from just water to water and a little bit of juice." He's not saying, "Hey, you know, you need to drink liquor for your stomach's sake," because alcohol is not beneficial to your stomach. It's harmful to your stomach.

Now, when they say, "Oh, but yeah, but you know, a glass of wine will prevent heart disease." Yeah, a glass of grape juice will also prevent heart disease. It's not the alcohol that's doing it, it's the stuff in the grape juice that's doing it for you, that's helping you.

By the way, there are trace amounts of alcohol in any sweet beverage. Any sweet beverage has trace amounts of alcohol, but it's nothing that could ever get you drunk. If you're drinking orange juice or even a Coca-Cola, anything, has trace amounts of alcohol, but that doesn't make it an alcoholic beverage.

If you need those trace bits of alcohol, you're getting it anyway in whatever you drink, just by drinking juice, drinking tea, kombucha. Kombucha or apple cider vinegar is a great way to get the health benefits of a fermented beverage without the harmful intoxication of alcohol. You can drink kombucha or apple cider vinegar to get that fermented healthfulness, and so forth.

Here's one of the things that a lot of people don't think of about alcohol and its harmful health effects. First, I'm going to read the scripture here in Proverbs 23. The bible says in verse 29, "Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder."

Here, he's saying there's a type of wine that you don't look at. There's a type of wine that's good for you, juice, and then there's a type of wine that you should not look at, the one that is fermented, the one that causes your eyes to be hold strange women and your mouth to utter perverse things. It's interesting, I was talking to a lady who's visited our church a few times, Dr. Rita, and she said, and I've never heard this but she talked about how beer makes men actually develop feminine body characteristics. It actually increases their levels of estrogen and reduces their levels of testosterone, because she's a doctor and she talked about how she would test men that would come to her clinic for their testosterone levels.

She said that the vast of majority of American men, their testosterone levels are in the dumps. In fact, I read a study that said that men's testosterone levels today are 25% of what they were in the '80s. A 25-year-old guy today has 25% less testosterone than a 25-year-old guy in the '80s or a 40-year-old man today has 25% less than a 40-year-old guy back in the '80s.

The testosterone levels are dropping in men. What is this caused? All kinds of harmful things. Listen to this. Hops. Beer is made from hops. First of all, alcohol in general, any alcohol is harmful to your testosterone levels and it will raise your estrogen, but especially beer. Now, beer is made from hops. Listen to this, hops are the female flowers of the hop plant and have high levels of phytoestrogen or estrogen for plants.

Long ago, German beer makers made the startling discovery that the women who harvested hops actually experienced early menstrual periods. It also seemed to reduce the libido and contribute to feminizing the bodies of men. Did you hear that? Feminizing the bodies of men. The reason for all this is now known. Hops is one of the more powerful phytoestrogens in the world, and all of this extra hops is causing havoc in our bodies. Today, hops is far and away the most used plant-based estrogen primarily being consumed through beer.

The results of all this extra hops is that your body will exhibit the characteristics of a woman. Specifically, hops contribute to the build up of extra fatty tissue in the chest giving many men the appearance of breasts. I'm going to change some of the wording here to use a more biblical wording in the next few. It also leads to atrophy of your stones, to use the biblical term. That is, your stones will shrink and harden as the estrogen in your body overwhelms the testosterone.

Further, you will experience body hair loss, loss of libido and others, some that I'm not going to mention that you don't want to have as a man. Look, we're talking about a drink that makes you feminine. Yet, what do the world and the commercials and TV tell us? "It's manly to drink beer. Yeah! Get that dark ail and be big tough man." You're going to get man breasts. That's what the studies are saying. You're going to get feminine.

You see, men aren't getting them just because they're gaining weight. No. They're specifically gaining weight in their chest because of the estrogen through drinking the beer. That's not cool. I mean, who wants that? Who here says, "You know, I really want to get more fatty tissue on my chest. I really want to have lower testosterone. I really want to have the body of a woman." Nobody wants unless you're some freak like Bruce Jenner or something. I mean, I guess with him it's like, "Drink up, buddy." You freak.

Here's the thing. We need to not defile the temple of our body and beer is defiling your body, men, and it's harmful for women too in other ways because it messes up their balance of hormones as well, getting too much of that phytoestrogen and so forth. Also, soy, soy, low-fat diets and too many beers are the things that are reducing the testosterone. Also, laziness, idleness, making men become more feminine.

In the very chapter that taught us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 6. You know what else is said in that same chapter? Don't be a feminine, in the same chapter that said, "Hey, your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost."

These are some things to think about, and I know that this is not a big emphasis in our lives. We're not trying to become body builders. We're not trying to make some kind of a religion out of exercise and healthy eating. Obviously, it's not a big emphasis of this ministry. Obviously, it's not the most important thing in our lives, but you know what? It is something we should think about because the bible does address it.

Honestly, we should walk away from this sermon saying, "Hey, I need to take some care of my body. I need to not indulge in sin with it, obviously," and fornication is a horrific sin, but not only that, we need to realize that tattooing it, mutilating it, putting junk food into it, being a slob with it, eating junk, drinking beer, taking drugs, smoking cigarettes, it's all showing disrespect and disregard for the body that God gave us to serve him with.

We need to keep our bodies tuned up within reason, not the big focus of our lives but within reason, let's keep our bodies tuned up so that we can serve God to the uttermost, and we could live long, healthy, productive lives, not for our own glory to go pose in front of the mirror somewhere, but rather, for his glory so we can get out, go soul-winning, preach, so that we can take care of our bodies, be productive, be able to reproduce healthfully and live godly lives that would benefit the kingdom of God and benefit others by taking care of the body God gave us and not just trashing it like some rental car that we're not even worried about getting the deposit back or whatever.

Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much, Lord, for the bodies that you've given us, Lord. There are people here, I know, that struggle with health problems, but Lord, there are also many people here who you blessed with a very healthy body. Lord, whatever you've given us, we're thankful for it. Help us to take care of it and make the best of it, and not trash the bodies that you've given us or mutilate them to look ridiculous to the world. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

We broke the record again? How many? Hundred and forty-eight tonight. What was our old Sunday night record? Hundred and forty. We smashed it. All right. Do we still have ice cream left or no? All right. Your body is the temple. You guys ready for ice cream? Are we having ice cream? Do we have it? It's organic ice cream. Listen, everybody. Hey, the healthy eating and the exercise starts tomorrow, all right? Deal? All right.