1. Illus. of flu epidemic
• Few years back a particularly potent strain of flu made its way here.
• Seems like everybody in our church had it. Just when one family member would start getting over it, another would contract it.
• It really was of epidemic proportions.
• As bad as it was, want to talk today about an epidemic even more destructive that that one.
2. There is moral epidemic sweeping America today. This epidemic is attacking the home, with incredibly destructive results. Christians are not exempt, even those who truly love the Lord and have sound and conservative beliefs. This epidemic is called by many names, but perhaps the best name for it is the name the Bible gives it: adultery.
3. In our morally bankrupt society, rare indeed is the adult who will not be brought face to face with this temptation at some point. The difference between being a victor and a victim may very well lie in knowing what the Bible says about the subject.
4. We need to distinguish between two different types of adulterers.
One is the serial adulterer. This person is a sexual predator whose life is a string of illicit relationships. For this person it is not a question of if, but just a question of when. They are simply waiting for the next opportunity.
The other is the person like David. They didn’t go looking for an affair, it’s almost like it came looking for them. Once the relationship ends, it’s likely they will never repeat this sin again.
5. Look at David’s sin. I believe that most illicit relationships of this second type will pass through the same stages that David’s did.
1. Like most Christians, David didn’t set out to dishonor God by committing adultery. David was, “a man after God’s own heart…” Why would godly David fall into this trap? Because prior events in his life had made him vulnerable. When we read 2 Samuel 6-10, we find out that David:
had a troubled marriage (chapter 6)
found out he wouldn’t get to fulfill lifelong ambition of building the temple (chapter 7)
emotionally battered by the death of his best friend (chapter 9)
2. Over the last quarter century of ministry, I have seen dozens of devout Christians fall into adultery. All of them had experienced some common factors that had made them susceptible to adultery.
Unmet expectations (some realistic, some unrealistic)
drastic life-changes (age, upheaval, etc)
Feeding minds with wrong material (porn for the husband, low self esteem for the wife).
3. This all led to a general feeling of “lack” within their marriage. Not that it was bad, just that something is missing. And this is important: there is a diminishing respect for the other person.
4. What generally happens at this point is that a friendship or acquaintance develops with a member of the opposite sex. At this stage, the relationship with this other person is innocent and innocuous. However, we start to see some qualities in this person that we do not see in our spouse. At this point, we move to stage two!
3. See 11:1-3 David couldn’t sleep one night, so he took a walk on the roof of his mansion. While he was there, he glanced toward one of the neighboring houses. Imagine his surprise when he was able to see into the bathing room of the home of one of his soldiers. There he could see a beautiful 19-year-old woman taking a bath.
4. Instead of turning away, he just kept watching. And in his mind he began to play the, “what if” game. “What would it be like if she and I got together? Wait a minute! She is the wife of one of my most trusted and loyal soldiers! But, he wouldn’t have to know. Nobody would have to know. What if...”
5. Mark this: sexual sin happens in the mind long before it ever happens in the flesh. See Matthew 5:28. There is a definite article before woman, and the word looks is a progressive present tense verb, meaning an ongoing situation. The literal sense of the verse is this: “if any man continues to lust after a particular woman…" Let me tell you how this plays out in the real world. Remember that innocent relationship with a member of the opposite sex we talked about just a minute ago? We start focusing on this person in a less than innocent way. We start playing the “what if” game that David played. Next, we start giving little “innocent” signals to this person, to let them know we might think of them as more than just a friend. When we get to this point, we are teetering on the edge of adultery.
6. The problem is that we are masters at self-deception. We can be living in Matthew 5:28, and yet convince ourselves that nothing of the sort is true. Let me give you some warning signs that indicate otherwise:
• Do you find yourself thinking about this person when you are not around them?
• Do you find reasons to be around this person?
• Do you find yourself asking, “What will this person think about this outfit” when you are deciding what to wear?
• Do you find yourself talking about things with this person that you haven’t talked about with your spouse?
• Do you withhold from your spouse conversations or events involving this person?
• Do you think of this person instead of your spouse when watching a romantic movie?
• Do you find yourself thinking of this person when doing something romantic with your spouse?
7. Summary statement here.
1. See Vs 4 Having failed to resist temptation on the battlefield of the mind, the inevitable happens. David steps over the line, and commits a sin that God warns about over 80 times.
2. If you flirt with temptation long enough, it will result in sin! See James 1:14-15 We want to imagine that we are strong enough to flirt with the idea of immorality without giving in to immorality. That is a lie! Flirt with any temptation long enough, and you will eventually give in!
1. Sam. 12. When Nathan tells him story about man stealing sheep, David is indignant. David had so rationalized what he was doing with Bathsheba that he didn’t recognize himself in Nathan’s parable. He didn’t equate what he was doing with sin.
2. You see, when a child of God is engaged in an illicit relationship with the opposite sex, they have to come up with a reason why in their particular case it is ok to do this.
3. Illus. of man (page 9, Myth of Greener Grass)
• “We’ve discovered what real love is all about. We have a right to be happy, don’t we?”
• “I have sincerely prayed for God to take away the feelings I have for this woman, and since He hasn’t He must intend for us to be together!”
• This man was a classic case of rationalizing sin!
4. Will rationalize sin in relation to God by saying
• So unusual the may we met, it has to be of God
• God is author of love, what I feel is real love.
• God wants me to be happy, and this makes me so happy.
5. Will rationalize in relation to spouse
• Never really loved spouse, or have “fallen out of love” with spouse
• Made a mistake when married spouse, and I knew it
• My spouse does so and so, so its ok for me to have this other person.
6. Christians who enter this type of sin will try to rationalize it.
1. In chapter 12, Gods sends Nathan to speak about David’s sin. Result is found in vs 13. Not the whole picture. Psalms 51:
• Vs 3- “my sin is always before me”
• Vs 4a
• Vs 8- Bones that had been broken might rejoice again
• Vs 12- “Restore to me the joy of my salvation
2. When you are a child of God, God will always send a Nathan into your life. May be friend, sermon, magazine article etc.
3. This Nathan will produce deep and intense conviction in your life. ALWAYS! The thing that you claim makes you so happy will actually produce the deepest anguish you’ve ever experienced.
4. A child of God cannot tolerate that kind of pressure for long. The whole sordid mess has to be resolved one way or the other. Really only three choices:
• Continue in the illicit relationship, trying to manage the conviction. As we have already seen, this will not work.
• Leave the marriage partner for the affair partner. Doesn’t work either. New wears off, have to prowl again to find something new and different. Will constantly be aware that you failed God, spouse, children, self.
• Repent and break of illicit relationship. This is what David chose. Psalms 51:1-3
1. I didn’t teach you these things this morning to be lurid or to sensationalize. If you are going to have a passion for purity, you have to know how sexual sin happens.
2. Did you see yourself somewhere in look at David’s sin? Maybe you are at the temptation stage, or even further along? Run! Bring it to Jesus!