Pleasures of Sin for a Season
Everything in this world revolves in seasons; some seasons long, some short, some exciting, some boring. Seasons seem so hard to keep up with and many times expensive. Take a look at clothing, the style of clothing changes every year; short pants, long pants, tight pants, baggy. We have four seasons a year, winter, spring, summer and fall. Within these four seasons we have a season of football, basketball, and baseball. In football we had a season when the Dallas cowboys were in the Superbowl every year, in baseball it was the Yankees in the World Series and who can forget Jordan and the Bulls? We could even go back to Muhammud Ali. So many people in this world have got caught up in a season with the world, falling into its pleasures, buying huge homes, expensive cars and designer clothing. We have gotten so caught up with being in season with the world that we are missing all that God has in store for us. You?re so pleasured by the things of this world - drinking, smoking, sex before marriage, that you?re missing God.
A man who knew about seasons was a man you may have heard of?his name is Paul. When Paul was first introduced in the Bible he was called Saul, and was a man that hated and persecuted Christians. He was living a very prosperous life as a Pharisee, and in that role he received favoritism and perks. Thinking about this in today?s terms, he was in the right place at the right time, he was hanging with the head honcho, the chief, the big cheese. He got to go to all the sporting events: baseball, sitting on the third baseline; football, on the fifty-yard line; and boxing, sitting ringside. He had his schooling paid for, extended vacations, and a sizable Christmas bonus every year. But one day while he was busy doing what he thought was right, at an all time high in self-righteousness, God got a hold of him and made a change. A new season just began in his willingness to follow God. God began to transform Paul because of his willingness to give up the things of the world, all of those benefits that he once received.
From tonight?s text I only have two points:
1.Are you being conformed by the world?
Or 2. Are you being transformed by God?
Now, before you kick back in your chair, get comfortable, and say that this sermon is not for you because you think that there is nothing wrong with being in the world Monday through Saturday, then showing up for church on Sunday and thinking everything?s okay. Be assured that this is NOT the case, because sinful pleasure is a result of being conformed by the world. So before you get that smile on your face and that gleam in your eye, let me share with you what God?s relationship is to the world. 1 John 2:15, ?Love not the world neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him.? Let me ask you here tonight; is your pursuit after sinful pleasure? That is ? lust, hatred, pride, cursing, lying, stealing, and adultery. Have these sinful pleasures led you to be conformed by the world? You see, when Paul was doing everything right in the eyes of the world, he was wrong with God. And the same with us, God is clear ? He says ?You adulterers! Don?t you realize that friendship with this world makes you an enemy of God? I?ll say it again, if your aim is to enjoy this world, you can?t be a friend of God.? It is clear you cannot have a relationship with the world and a relationship with God. In Mathew, Jesus says you can?t serve two masters.
Further separation takes place when you no longer seek God. 2Chronicles 15:2 says, ? the Lord be with you while you are with Him, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.? Now let me ask you a question, if you only come to church on Sunday and are of the world Monday through Saturday, how much are you with Him and how much have you forsaken Him? Let me read that verse to you again (slowly) ?the Lord be with you while you are with him, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.?
Now my first point was: Are you being conformed by the world?
and now, My second point is: Are you being transformed by God?
Let me tell you the results of chasing after the world or in other words the results of being involved in worldly pleasures:
False security ? Isaiah 47:8,9
Poverty ? Proverbs 21:17
Spiritual bareness ? Luke 8:14
Assumption/arrogance (which could also be pride) ? Luke 12:19
Spiritual death ? 1 Timothy 5:6
Desire for timeless amusement ? 2 Peter 2:13
But there is hope for those of us that have been conformed to the world. That hope hung on the cross over 2000 years ago, his name is? JESUS. It is a two-step process, first you have to take a bold step in coming to Christ and surrendering ALL to him. Allow God to be the potter and you the clay. And the second step is to trust in him. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved. Trust him - trust him. No longer trust in the things of the world. Trust him who died for you. No longer trust in yourself because you will always fall short. Trust in Christ! ?Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.? Trust him!
If I may, I would like to give you an illustration of true trust. I love illustrations; they always bring light to the point trying to be made.
About six months ago my son Caleb began to walk. He quickly went from a staggering walk to a run. Now he is twenty months old and anyone who has kids knows at that age they become pretty brave, so now he is jumping off of anything that elevates him, whether it is jumping off of books or stools or anything of that nature. In my house I have a split foyer, being that when you walk in the front door you either have to walk upstairs to the living room or downstairs to the basement. Well, every night when he is going to bed, I wait for him on the third step from the top. I say to him ?Ready? Set? GO!? At that time he begins his travel towards me. It is almost like slow motion. When I look at his face I can see anticipation as well as excitement as he is getting closer. As he nears the end of his runway, he leaps without reservation into my arms! Trusting that I will catch him? the same way we need to just LEAP into God?s arms and he will catch you, because the same way that I would never let my son drop, because of the love I have for him, is the same way God is. He will not let you fall. Trust in him without reservation. No second thoughts, just JUMP!
Remember the introduction ? the clothes, the sports, and the seasons? Which one is still the same? That?s right none. All seasons must come to an end. The Bible is clear about seasons it says there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
To be born ? to die
To plan ? to uproot
To kill ? to heal
To tear down ? to build
To weep ? to laugh
To mourn ? to dance
To scatter stones ? then to gather them
To embrace ? to refrain
To search ? to give up
To keep ? and to throw away
To tear ? to mend
To be silent ? to speak
To love ? to hate
For war and for peace.
Even Paul realized that the pleasures of the world would only be for a short time. Don?t be conformed by a season of pleasure in the world. You don?t need partying or clubs. No more drugs, sex or alcohol. But you need JESUS! When you have Christ you no longer are in a season to sin but in a season to service. And when you have Jesus you now have a desire to fill your life with a season of:
Living for Christ
Marching toward the mark
Being molded and shaped for His use
Grace and mercy
And ETERNAL LIFE!
Don?t act the way the world wants you to. Don?t talk the way the world talks. But be transformed by God!
The choice is yours; either give up a season of pleasure for Christ or it will come to an end, but only to start a new season of everlasting fire and damnation. May I ask you a question? What season are you in?