Summary: I. A peek at the past -----II. Get a picture of the present ---------III. A fight in the future
As an introduction to my message this morning I want to get you thinking in a certain direction! Consider with me this morning, these questions related to sexual purity out of Kent Hughes’ book “Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome:”
1. Are we being desensitized by the present evil world? Do things that once shocked us now pass us by with little notice? Have our sexual ethics deteriorated?
2. Where do our minds wander when we have no duties to perform? “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop”
3. What are we reading? Are there books or magazines or files in our libraries or on our computers that we want no one else to see?
4. What are we renting at the local video stores? How many hours do you spend watching TV? How many adulteries did you watch last week on T.V? How many murders? How many did we watch with our children?
5. How many chapters of the Bible did we read last week?
Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, p. 120-121.
I. A peek at the past -----II. Get a picture of the present ---------III. A fight in the future
1. A peek at the past
In this 10th chapter of I Corinthians, Paul the writer, the apostle draws his listener into a conversation that goes back hundreds of years. He starts out chapter 10 by admonishing these Corinthian Christians to take a look at their heritage. Take a look at what happened to those who were saved under Moses’ ministry. Those who were baptized under his ministry.... He says, in verse 1 “brethren, I do not want you to be unaware”.....v. 5 “that God was not well pleased with most of them, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.” These saved, baptized, Christians were scattered in the wilderness. Now, when I look at a word like scattered I want to know what the big deal is about being scattered. Well, I pulled out a commentary to find out exactly what scattered meant in this chapter and I found something that I believe will be helpful! Scattered, in this context, according to John Wesley, was a punishment for their disobedience against God. In spite of all that God had done for them, vs’1-4, all were baptized, all ate the same spiritual food, all ate the same spiritual drink, these Israelites were scattered in the wilderness due to the fact that they did not obey God! What was it that they were doing that caused God to be angry with them?
V. 6 —they were lusting after things
v. 7 ---- they were idol worshipers, they sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play, they were partying hard....
v. 8---- they committed sexual immorality, sex outside of marriage, they were adulterers,
v.9----they tempted God, they tested HIM, to see how much they could get by with
v.9 ----they were complainers,
Paul says.....take a peek at the past, see what happened to these who knew God, see what happened to these who were baptized, they were scattered! But that is not all that happened to them--- some of them, according to vs. 8 to the tune of 23,000 died because of their disobedience to the Lord.....
This message is about temptation! The next time you are tempted to be sexually active outside of marriage, next time you are tempted to complain, the next time you are tempted to test God, to see how much you can get away with, the next time you are tempted to lust after things, remember the message of Paul in I Corinthians 10----take a peek at the past!
1. Take a peek at the past
2. Get a picture of the present
Now that we have taken a peek at the past we need to get a picture of the present by looking at what is the practical application for this message this morning. Let’s go to verse 11 to apply this truth in a very practical manner! V.11 “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written, in the O.T. —for our admonition! Paul was admonishing the Corinthians concerning temptation....and that is what I want to do as well. Temptation will come but we must be careful of where we go because it can make all the difference in the world.
Doc Campbell, on the show "Hee Haw," was confronted by a patient who said he had broken his arm in two places. So Doc Campbell replied in this manner, "Well then, stay out of them places!"
You know, he may have something there. We cannot regularly put ourselves in the face of temptation and not be affected. When faced with the problem of temptation, we need to take the good doctor’s advice and "stay out of them places." Source Unknown.