Summary: This sermon addresses how even a "good" Christian can fall away from God
Many people this spring have been flocking to the theatres to see the new Star Wars movie, Attack of the Clones. These new movies in the Star Wars epic follow the story of how Anakin Skywalker turns to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader. In the new hit TV show, Smallville, we see how Lex Luther is a best friend to Clark Kent, but we know eventually he will become his greatest enemy.
How is it that one can go from being “good” to the extreme of becoming outright rotten? Unfortunately, the Bible has several examples of men who were devoted to God and fell into horrible sin. Even today we hear of ministers devoted to the gospel who end up falling into sexual sin or some other shameful inequity. Of all the godly men in scripture who fell into a terrible sin the one we are most familiar with is David. We see how he fell in 2 Samuel 11
I. David is in the wrong place
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. –2 Samuel 11:1
We fall in danger of falling into sin whenever we are somewhere outside the will of God. David’s place was with his men, not lounging around in the palace.
18 If a man is lazy, the rafters sag;
if his hands are idle, the house leaks.
14And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
Many people fall into sin because of spiritual idleness. When we are idle is when we are most susceptible to temptation. Isolation and idleness can cause us to be vulnerable to temptation. Consider the traveling evangelist who is alone in a hotel room channel surfing and finds a pornographic television channel. We must remember that we are in a spiritual war and that we can never let down our guard. We must be as vigilant as a post-911 security officer at an airport. Consider what is written in 1 Peter 5:8:
“ Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
II. David ponders over the menu of temptation
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful.
Many times people place themselves in tempting situations. To David it started by just looking out from the rooftop. Some Christians justify their lust by saying they are just looking. “There’s nothing wrong with looking at the menu, as long I don’t order,” they say. Is it bad to just look at the menu of sin? Jesus made it clear that lust is a sin. As we see, David’s lust led him to sin by watching Bathsheba and then led him to greater sin by sleeping with her.
I heard the story of one young man who would go to the altar Sunday after Sunday praying that God would clear up the cobwebs out of his life. One Sunday the pastor came to him and prayed: Lord, kill the spider! We have to kill the root of sin in our lives if we are going to be free. The very source of sin must be cut off in our lives. Consider the resilience of the dandelion. Many consider it an irritating weed that keeps appearing in their yards. You can easily mow them down, but they keep popping up because they have a deep rooted system. The only way to kill the dandelions is to dig up their roots.
Often times what is needed to help us to tear out a stronghold in our lives is accountability. For David his problem was a spirit of lust. When David saw a beautiful woman bathing, he should have turned away, but he chose to indulge his senses and so he became hooked.
If you have a weakness for chocolate and are trying to go on a diet, you don’t look at dessert menus. Remember that when you look at a dessert menu, you will usually end up ordering from it. Here are some verses to keep in mind:
But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.
Remember Lot’s wife!
We must avoid tempting circumstances!
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
We must set boundaries for ourselves like Job. We must make a choice not to give in to lust!