Summary: In this sermon, we learn what God's will is - that we are sanctified, which includes avoiding sexual immorality.
A. It always disturbs me to see road kill along the highway (maybe except for opossums), how about you?
1. It is sad when the lives of beautiful, innocent animals are unintentionally extinguished by passing cars and trucks.
2. The consequences of these collisions can be severe for both the motorists and the animals.
3. Did you know that the most dangerous time for collisions with the deer population is during mating season?
4. These otherwise cautious creatures throw caution to the wind when they have another thing on their minds.
B. Unfortunately, deer aren’t the only creatures destroyed by a preoccupation with the opposite sex.
1. Likely, all of us know people whose lives have been ravaged by sexual immorality.
2. Unlike the unintentional passing motorist, Satan knows exactly what he is doing when he lures people into danger, catches them in his immoral traps, and then runs them over.
C. As we return to our sermon series on 1 & 2 Thessalonians, we come to the beginning of chapter 4.
1. As we do so, we see that Paul now moves into the very practical section of this letter.
2. In 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12, Paul instructs the Thessalonians and us about living in a way that pleases God.
3. Rather than trying to address everything Paul says in this section in one sermon, I’m going to break it into two sermons.
4. Because Paul gives more space to the first subject, we will give attention to this subject today, and then address the other two aspects of living in a way that pleases God next week.
D. Before I get into the message, let me say that I don’t intend to be graphic as I address this subject, and yet there may be some who feel that this is too mature a subject for their young children.
1. If that is a concern for you, then please feel free to move out of the auditorium at this time, or at any time you feel like you need to.
2. It is ironic that our society is completely surrounded by sexual images, sexual talk, sexual humor, and sexual education, yet nobody wants to talk about it.
3. If the church remains silent about this subject, then it’s more than ironic – it’s dangerous!
4. If all that our adults, teens and children hear about sex is what they get from Hollywood, magazines, music, and their schools, then what they learn is not going to be God’s truth.
E. As you are well aware, since the 1960s, when the modern sexual revolution really accelerated, Western society has had fewer and fewer rules governing sexual attitudes and behaviors.
1. Freedom of sexual expression has in many ways become the cultural god that rules over all the other idolatrous gods of postmodern culture.
2. People want the right, for themselves and others, to express their sexual desires at any cost.
3. Several obvious tenets constitute the world’s immoral, unscriptural outlook regarding sex.
4. Here are some of our culture’s basic beliefs about sex:
a. First, virtually any kind of consensual sexual activity is good.
b. Second, since sexual activity is only a biological function, it is normal and necessary to engage in it without placing on it any moral restrictions.
c. Third, since “casual” sex is just another form of fun and pleasure, it is permissible to enjoy sexual activity recreationally, any time with any consenting partner – “friends with benefits.”
d. Fourth, instant gratification is more important than delayed satisfaction.
e. Fifth, since sexual satisfaction is an important aspect of marriage, a couple should live together or engage in sex before marriage to determine sexual compatibility.
5. As you can see, in our present culture, there are almost no restrictions or parameters – literally “anything goes.”
6. With this in mind, I was not surprised when I learned about a book on Amazon.com titled Affair! How to Manage Every Aspect of Your Extramarital Relationship with Passion, Discretion and Dignity, by H. Cameron Barnes.
a. It was first published in 1999 and the second edition came out in 2001.
b. It is dedicated to former President Bill Clinton.
c. It sold for $19.95, but is now out of print and is only available as a used book.
d. The five used copies available on Amazon ranged in price from $124 to $259.
e. All I can say is “UNBELIEVABLE!”
F. Certainly, these prevailing ideas have not always been practiced in our country or in every culture.
1. However, what we need to realize is that the culture of 1st century Thessalonica tolerated more sexual immorality than even our own.
2. First Century Greco-Roman culture embraced all forms of sinful, sexual behavior.
3. First Century Greco-Roman culture tolerated and encouraged fornication, adultery, homosexuality (including pedophilia), transvestism, and a wide variety of erotic perversions.