Summary: This sermon is a continuation of the theme from sermon #2 and deals with Matt. 5:27-37 in the Sermon on the Mount series. This section deals with adultery, divorce, and swearing.
The Sermon on the Mount #3
Kingdom of the Heart - Respect( part 2)
CHCC: September 23, 2007
Last week we saw the first point Jesus made about the Kingdom Heart. He taught that if we hold Anger in our hearts, it will grow to Contempt and Malice. No one with a Heart full of Anger can fit into the Kingdom of God.
After he talked about Murder and Anger, Jesus moves on to 3 more topics that most preachers might try to avoid --- Adultery, Divorce, and Swearing. Jesus did not avoid these thorny issues of life, so we won’t avoid them either.
Randy Travis came out with a country song a while back called “Why I Cheat.” Here are some of the lyrics:
A workin’ day too long, when everything goes wrong
And a boss who don’t know I’m alive.
I once had a notion I’d get that promotion,
But now I barely survive.
My children keep growin’ my age keeps a’showin’
Just like the old friends that I meet.
My wife’s too demandin’ with no understandin’
Of why I stay dead on my feet.
Now I’m getting’ older, my life’s getting’ colder
… Just some of the reasons I cheat.
It’s amazing how many excuses people can come up with for cheatin’. But Jesus taught that if we want to live Right, we have to do a lot more than just avoid the act of “Cheat’n." Jesus went right to the Heart of the matter in Matthew 5:27-28: "You have heard that it was said, ’Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Jesus was well aware that many men who had a Righteous Reputation were hiding hearts full of lust. Since the Heart is what really matters in the Kingdom of God, Jesus said that looking at a woman for the purpose of lusting is fundamentally an act of adultery.
When a person indulges in lust but doesn’t act on it, the reason is usually that they simply haven’t had the right kind of opportunity. Just as a thief will steal if the circumstances are right --- an adulterer is a person who WOULD sin if they could … especially if they could be sure they would never get caught.
I’ve heard people who’ve been unfaithful to their spouse claim, “I didn’t mean to do it. It just happened.” But this kind of sin NEVER “just happens” to a person with a pure heart. It “happens” to someone who cultivates the deadly habit of lusting … by choosing to indulge their desires time after time after time.
Listen to the words of a Minister who ended up with a ruined marriage and a ruined ministry after a one night stand: "Adultery isn’t something that happens with the act -- it happens months beforehand. It’s an attitude. You disconnect yourself from the person you’ve said you’re spending the rest of your life with." Contributed by Denn Guptill
I don’t want to leave this topic without homing in on what I think is the biggest threat to Christian homes today. A family counselor named Jill Manning says, “I can unequivocally tell you pornography, especially Internet pornography with its violent, demeaning, or highly explicit messages, is damaging, not only for youths, but for many adults as well. It has lasting affect on social and sexual attitude and development.”
Statistics in 2006 say there are over 4.2 million porn websites tapped by 68 million Internet searches each day. Over 68 million pornographic emails are sent every day. That does not even count the Chat Rooms and Instant Messages where inappropriate conversations are taking place between strangers. (CP80 Foundation 4/06)
A survey in 2004 showed that 1 out of 2 men admitted a problem with internet pornography. 40% of pastors admitted struggling with it. The same survey showed that women are the fastest growing consumers of it and that the median age of first exposure to porn is 11. (mymax.biz 7/04)
Internet Pornography is uniquely dangerous for Christians because it invades our own homes. You don’t have to go anywhere or to buy anything to access it. All it takes is a weak moment … just long enough to click the mouse button. Besides that, you can easily tell yourself that no one needs to know … and that it’s not hurting anyone. It’s just fantasy … kind of a harmless second life. Don’t believe that lie. It may take a long time, but eventually that fantasy life will destroy your real life.
Let me tell you two examples I’ve seen recently. Both couples are young with little children. In both families the wife discovered the husband was accessing Internet Pornography. In both instances the couple confronted the problem head on and got some counseling.