Summary: How do you respond to those who alsely accuse? How do you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." This sermon addresses those questions.
Lay Down Your Stones
-Show Love and Acceptance-
The saying goes that confession is good for the soul. I regret to tell that in my younger years I got very mad at my sister who is 4 years older than I. I got so mad at her that I picked up a rock and threw it at her from across the street and it hit her in the ankle. Tears came to her eyes from the pain and her ankle swelled up and caused her to limp. I wish I had laid down my stone like the religious leaders Jesus spoke about in John 8:
Jesus was teaching in the temple courts. Scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in the act of adultery. We are not told a lot about this woman. Evidently she was married and was caught being unfaithful to her marriage vows. We don’t know much about the woman’s husband or the man she was having an affair with.
The sin of adultery usually begins with small compromises. Someone give a listening ear. The line of sin is crossed. This woman deceived her husband and her children.
The first time she went to the synagogue and heard the scriptures read concerning God’s law she felt sure that people would see guilt written all over her face. She thought they would find out. She thought God would strike her dead with a bolt of lightening. She vowed she would never see the man again.
No one found out. There was no lightening bold from heaven. She felt free to continue your illicit relationship even through some nights she would wake up in a cold sweat of guilt.
Today as Christians we too often have the flippant attitude that people are only human and immorality is something you have to live with.
The Gallup Organization asked the question is it wrong for a man and a woman to have sexual relations before marriage? In 1969, 68% of Americans said it was wrong, in 2001, only 38 % said that premarital sex was wrong.
We live in a society where immorality is becoming more and more acceptable, for the first time we’re handing our children a world where we’ve communicated that we don’t expect them to make it morally. Our schools and colleges distribute condoms like they were #2 pencils.
High-schoolers on the pill and in some cases, Christian parents pay for their daughters to be on the pill. They say it beats the alternative of unwanted pregnancy or of an abortion. The standard is lowered, and in parenting you will always get what you’re willing to settle for.
How about extramarital affairs, this is a very interesting statistic and quite telling about life in these United States. With data over the course of each year, since 1973, 69% of people said that it’s always wrong to have an affair if you’re married. Surprisingly in the past 28 years, that percentage has increased, and the past 3 years it has held, that 79% say that sexual relations with a person other than your spouse is always wrong.
At the same time the number of affairs has increased, the conclusion seems to be that people know that it’s wrong, they just don’t care.
Several years ago Ann Landers received the following letter.
I have a problem. I’m happily married to a wonderful wife, we have two children. I also have been seeing a young woman for the past 6 months. My problem is that I love both of them. What should I do? Signed, Confused – PS Don’t give me any of that morality stuff.
I loved Ann Landers’ response, she wrote:
The only difference between animals and humans IS morality. I suggest you consult your local veterinarian.
James Dobson, a family counselor, did a study that showed that couples that live together before marriage have a 50% greater chance of divorce than those who don’t. He adds, "That’s based upon 50 years of data and information." They also have found that those who cohabit also tend to have less satisfying and unstable marriages. I’m sure there are some exceptions to that, but it certainly underscores why God set up certain hedges of protection. Dobson also notes that the chance of being physically abused spousal skyrockets when the couple lived together prior to the marriage covenant.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of this Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body.