Summary: Part 6 of 6 in series Every Thought Captive. Dr. Joe Hendricks bring this series to a close examining the idea, "I Miss My Old Life." He covers why this happens to people and how to take that thought captive and keep living for God.
“I’m Missing Out”
Every Thought Captive, part 6
Wildwind Community Church
February 25, 2007
Today I want to bring our Every Thought Captive series to a close. As most of you know, every week we have looked at a different lie people believe that causes various types of spiritual problems. Today we’re gonna look at “I’m Missing Out,” only that’s not a lie – it’s just a thought people have that they need to know how to take captive and deal with. See the first step in following Christ is what’s called repentance – turning around and going the opposite direction from the way you have been going previously. In doing so, we leave behind certain patterns of thinking, certain ways of behaving, probably even certain ways of talking, and we decide to learn new ways of thinking, new ways of behaving, and new ways of talking. This is good. It’s an essential part of the act of turning one’s life over to Christ to become one of his students, one of his followers.
But here’s the problem. Sin is fun. For a season. Sin is always fun for a season. Nobody would ever sin if it weren’t fun. When people use drugs they don’t say, “Give me the dang straw. You know I don’t like being high, but I’m still going to force myself to get high ten times a day.” “Pass the Penthouse. I get nothing whatsoever out of looking at these pictures, but I promised myself several years ago that I would discipline myself to look at these magazines regularly.” “Okay, I’m going to hit you now. I really don’t want to, it’s just that I have made a commitment to indulge my anger anytime I get a chance.” “Why don’t you come to my place tonight – my spouse is out of town. Don’t get me wrong – I completely have no desire to have an affair with you, but when I was a kid I promised myself I’d grow up to be an adulterer, and that’s a promise I intend to keep.”
That’s not how sin happens, is it? Doesn’t sin always happen because sin is fun for a season? Ever seen Goodfellas? Or The Godfather? Or Leaving Las Vegas? Or Lord of War? Or 80% of all other Hollywood dramas? So many stories about people who got involved in sin because it was fun, and lived the high life for a while, until the life began living them. Stories about people who were ultimately undone by the fun, and found themselves enslaved by what had been merely an interest, a hobby, a pastime, a vocation.
So sin is fun for a season. It always gets its pound of flesh, but that doesn’t make the fun any less fun, when there is still fun left to be had. And it’s precisely here that we run into our problem. If it wasn’t so fun, we’d have no trouble with it, but because it is fun, we struggle greatly with it. If you genuinely like alcohol and decide that your drinking lifestyle is not compatible with following Christ, then you give it up, but you miss it, because it was fun. If you like looking at porno, and decide you can’t do that as a Christ-follower anymore, you might give it up, but you’re gonna miss it. You get the point.
Now comes another truth we must be aware of. Sin is fun, but eventually the wages of sin is death, scripture says.
Romans 6:23 (NIV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When we repent, turn our lives over to God, leave the sin of our past life and embrace a new way of living, we receive the gift of God. Eternal life. And we escape spiritual death, which is always the wages of sin (remember the movies we talked about?). This is good. The problem is, sin might lead to death, but it continues to be fun for quite a while. The death part doesn’t come ‘til later. And that’s what lands us into trouble. There’s no certain number of times we can look at porno before death comes. There’s no certain number of times we can cheat on a spouse, or drink ourselves sick, or lie, or cheat, or harbor bitterness in our hearts. There’s no formula that says we can do each of these one hundred times and then death comes, or one hundred twelve times and then death comes. If it were that easy, most of us would stop at one hundred eleven. But you know it doesn’t work like that. Sin kills you slowly, a little bit more every time you engage in it. And one of the first things sin kills is your conscience – in other words sin gradually kills that part of you that wants to stop sinning, not just the part of you that knows you are sinning, but the part that actually cares.