Summary: The second of six sermons addressing sexual sin. This message focuses on pornography.
A. If you have your Bible, please turn to Jeremiah 2. For several weeks now, I’ve had this very strong sense that there are a number of things about which God wants to speak to us from this book.
1. It really is an amazing book. Now while there isn’t really any chronological or thematic order to the overall book, there is something very significant that happens in chapters 2-4 which lays a very important foundation to everything else God wants to speak to us about.
2. The issue in chapters 2-4 is sin. God speaks very passionately and directly about our sin. Now a few weeks ago, I was planning on looking at these chapters from that broad perspective--what does God say about sin in general.
B. But as I was praying about this, I felt that the Lord was wanting us to look more specifically at a particular sin that the people of Judah were wrestling with. It’s not the only sin mentioned in this passage but it is the predominate one.
1. What is it? Sexual sin. Throughout these chapters, it is very clear that God’s people are struggling with sexual immorality.
C. The people in Jeremiah’s time were living in a very sexually promiscuous and sexually obsessed culture.
1. Everywhere you looked there were these ’temples’ where a person could act out their sexual fantasies and desires with a temple prostitute any time they wanted.
2. These temples were a part of the accepted practices of the culture in which they lived and the people of God began to indulge in this stuff. And didn’t think it was that big of a deal.
3. Now the similarities between their culture and ours are striking. We too live in a culture that has become increasingly obsessed with sex and has made sexual sin incredibly accessible--through the internet or pay per view tv, a person can indulge in most any sexual fantasy imaginable.
4. The stats on porn usage are staggering. 12% of all web sites are pornographic in nature. 42% of all internet users view porn. Every month, there are 72 million visitors to porn sites. 1 out of 3 of those visitors are women. The revenue from the porn industry exceeds the combined revenue of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, ebay, Yahoo, apple, and Netflix combined.
3. And that’s just porn. That’s not including all the other avenues for sexual immorality in our culture.
D. And here’s what’s really scary: Statistics reveal that the sexual practices of Christians and non-Christians are virtually identical in terms of porn usage, premarital sex, adultery, you name it.
1. A survey a few years ago of Christian men who attended Promise Keepers revealed that 53% had viewed porn in the previous week.
2. While God’s people have never stood for or encouraged this in our culture, what is happening is that we are increasingly allowing this into our lives.
3. Now I know that, especially for women, there is often a difficulty in seeing the relevance of this. But I want to encourage you to listen with an open heart because this is relevant to you.
4. It’s a struggle to probably 95% of the men you know. The other 5% are probably lying. It is relevant in the huge self esteem issues that women often struggle with--feeling like they have to look and dress a particular way in order to feel valued. It is relevant if you have experienced the trauma of being touched inappropriately or gawked at.
5. That’s where this stuff leads. This issue is incredibly relevant to all of us and to those we love, which is why God talks so frankly about it.
F. Last week, we looked at the first part of chapter 2 and discovered what sexual sin looks like from God’s perspective--and what we saw was a bit unnerving.
1. God’s word to us, His people, is not the ranting of a school principal over some broken rules, but rather is the words of a lover whose heart is broken over the unfaithfulness of His spouse.
2. Well today we are going to look at the next part of chapter 2 in which we see what I think is one of the most profound descriptions of sin contained in the entire Bible.
3. It is an incredibly powerful picture of what the experience of sin entails. Why is this important? It’s important because sin’s MO is this idea that somehow our life will be better if we indulge.
4. But is that the case? Let’s look together beginning in vs 13 of Jeremiah chapter 2.
G. My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder? Lions have roared; they have growled at him. They have laid waste his land; his towns are burned and deserted. Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved the crown of your head. Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord your God when He led you in the way? Now why go to Egypt to drink water from the Shihor? And why go to Assyria to drink water from the River? This is God’s Word.