Summary: 4 benefits of remaining single (Outline and material adapted from a booklet by Chuck Swindoll entitled, "Singleness")
Cherry Hill, NJ- It’s been 20 years since a group of friends made a bet among themselves, going so far as to have a written charter and start a savings account to hold the pot. The pot has grown to several thousand dollars and John Cheney is the winner- because he’s the groups last remaining bachelor. He plans to claim the prize at a weekend party. Let’s face it most people would not want to be John Cheney.
To alleviate loneliness and to avoid the trap of people saying “there must be something wrong with him/her”, some single Christians resort to extreme measures. For example, some Christian man may pray, “Lord, I have a great young lady I’ve fallen in love with. She comes from a good family, she’s attractive and she really loves me. Furthermore, we see most things eye to eye. There’s only one little problem- she doesn’t know you as her Lord and Savior. She’s not a Christian. But I’m confident we can work that out. What do you think, Lord?”
According to Scripture God will say, “No, my answer for you is this: Do not marry her.”
God’s answers are often unexpected. According to human reasoning, God’s answers at times are illogical. They fail to make good worldly sense, but they are always right.
Talked about this morning but want to talk about again tonight, the unmarried. Before begin, must say that the Bible says that being married is good and being single is good. Neither is exalted more than the other. However, What counsel does God give for those who are unmarried whether through divorce, widowhood, or never been married before.
Go again to 1 Cor. 7. One main point is communicated in these verses. Remaining unmarried is desirable, but it isn’t demanded. Rather than singleness being considered an undesirable life style, God offers different counsel. Married and singles can bring honor to God.
Thesis: 4 benefits of remaining single
Less Distress from a hostile world (Vs. 25-27)
Before dive into this point, vs. 25. This means that the Lord Jesus Christ, while on the earth, gave few instructions on this. In setting up the church by being an Apostle, God is giving Paul some new truths never before revealed. What Paul calls his opinion is actually just as inspired as statements from Jesus Christ, because, in the passing of time, these words are in the Bible through the HS. This is not just Paul’s opinion, but rather new truth never before revealed but equally authoritative and reliable. It is trustworthy.
Vs. 26- What present crisis is Paul talking about? Many different theories, but here is the one that makes sense to me. “Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated-- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.” Hebrews 11:35-38, NIV. Bad times of persecution will be upon the church (Nero).
A single person will undergo this kind of persecution alone. What kind of comfort, benefit is that? Well, think about what people do today to the families of their enemies. \If we remain single in such circumstances, we can face persecution with less trauma, but if we marry and even have children, we may live to witness them being tortured unmercifully.
“Well, what does that have to do with our day? Such terrible things do not happen here.” Pray that it does not happen but getting closer every day. A more modern example is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was German and he moved away a few years before Hitler came to power. When Hitler was firmly established in Germany, Bonhoeffer chose to return to Nazi Germany to lead opposition to Hitler. Bonhoeffer never married. When he went back to Germany he devoted all of his efforts against Hitler. While in Germany he wrote books like Life Together and the Cost of Discipleship which are classics. He wrote that when Christ called a man He bid him come and die. After his arrest by the Gestapo, prison became a community in which he could practice his ministry. In 1945, Bonhoeffer comforted his fellow prisoners during the Allied bombings. He did some of his best ministry in prison. Finally, Bonhoeffer was hanged by the Nazis. He gave his life to a costly discipleship. He could have cursed his unmarried state; fought to be married (many women wanted to be Mrs. Bonhoeffer); but he did not. Now, 7 decades after his death, he is better known than when he lived. This world would not be the same without this German single adult. How different things would be if Bonhoeffer would have married. Probably never gone back to Germany because of the increased pressure of family life.