Summary: Ahhhh .... The "gray areas" of morality. So tempting. So easy to justify. Should we be going there? What do you think???
To Do or Not To Do the Dubious
Please stand with me as we go over our current memory Scripture:
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
And our memory Scripture “refresher” verse is:
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Today we will be reading from 2 Timothy 2:22 - 3:5
Dubious - fraught with uncertainty or doubt …
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to conduct their lives without any doubt or uncertainty? It seems as if they have everything figured out. It is as if their life shouts, “This is right and that is wrong and if you had any brains you would agree with me.”
In their lives there are no gray areas only pure certainty about each and every situation.
Is life really that simple?
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read 2 Timothy 2:22 - 3:5
(Prayer for help)
In last Sunday’s SS Class, part of the lesson that Carol was teaching had to do with gray areas of morality in a Christian person’s life.
We all know that it is righteous to love others in a self sacrificially way, and, we all know that it is wrong to murder someone. But, what about a gray area of morality? If I’m not murdering the person, is it OK to kick someone in the shin “out of love” once in a while?
I realize that is a silly example
In the Scripture we read this morning we saw a pretty definite line of how we, as devoted followers of Jesus Christ should behave.
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
So, what does that first phrase say?
“FLEE THE EVIL DESIRES OF YOUTH …”
Flee: “to run away often from danger or evil”
Do you think the Holy Spirit prompted Paul to use the word “flee” for a reason? Yes, He did. That’s why it is there!
Have you ever noticed how the “gray areas” of morality are often the first tiny steps in the wrong direction?
Suppose you are standing in the end zone of a football field. That end zone is salvation. That end zone is the security of living in fellowship with God Himself and with others who love Him.
In the end zone on the far end of the football field is the world, those enslaved in sin, those who are “free to do whatever they want to do”, those who are “blazing their own trail”, those who are living “the good life.”
From the end zone of salvation you start glancing toward the end zone of sin. It looks so appealing. They are having such fun. After a while you are not just glancing at the end zone of sin but you are desiring what they have.
It certainly wouldn’t hurt for you to get a little closer so you could get a better look. Perhaps you could get close enough so you could be a witness to those who are heading that way.
Perhaps it would be OK to flirt with that guy at work a little bit, he probably doesn’t know Jesus and his wife is not treating him right.
Perhaps it would be OK for me to have just a little sip of wine each night before I go to bed. What could it hurt?
Perhaps I could watch a movie where there is only partial nudity and I can fast forward through the “love” scenes even though I know the movie is glamorizing the “romance” of an unwed couple.
Perhaps I don’t really need to report the money I made from the job I did on the side to the IRS.
They’ll never know …
And then the “perhaps” starts taking on a different perspective …
Perhaps I don’t really need to read the Bible and pray every day.
Perhaps I don’t really need to gather for worship every Sunday.
Eventually, the “perhaps” disappear …
Gathering to worship Jesus turns into “going to church”.
There IS a big difference between the two …
If I go to church once or twice a month that’s plenty. It’s a lot more than most people do.