Thought for the Week - 21st January
The Church is living in a society in the middle of sexual revolution. When people say Sexual Revolution, we can think of the 1960s but it is something that is ongoing. The battle grounds we face today include what Christians watch on TV or the internet, in our thoughts and minds and around marriage and the church’s attitude to marriage. The Bible is clear that sexual activity is meant solely for within marriage between a man and a woman.
Since the 1960s, people have been fed a very popular lie: people can do what they like, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. But we as Christians know that there’s nothing we can do that doesn’t affect anyone else. We also know that the blessing of God is essential. Without it, anything we do is flawed, sinful and destructive. And that is true for sex: something which He gave us as something pure and as a blessing within marriage – becomes very dangerous without it.
We need to be mindful that the devil wants to pervert and destroy anything of God. He has a hatred of children and their innocence, and so we must be careful with our youngsters, protecting them.
In Genesis 19 we read the sad story of Lot, who lived in the city of Sodom with his family, in the midst of gross sin.
There are three points I wanted to note:
The violent reaction of people of Sodom when Lot tries
When Lot tried to defend the angels, the people were outraged that Lot dared to tell them what to do and how to live. Where people have a standard around these things, people get very angry and uncomfortable. It can be easy to feel embarrassed about our beliefs; especially when we are called hateful and intolerant. But we must remember that we follow Christ who loves us. Yes, He condemns our sins but it is because of His deep love for us He seeks to free us from them.
Even though Lot didn’t indulge in the sin of Sodom, he was destroyed
We don’t read Lot took part in their sin, but he lived in the middle of it. And when God told him to leave, he lingered. He didn’t leave at his choosing, he had to be taken out. Even when he did leave, he compromised: he asked to stay in a smaller city, instead of following the angels all the way. Lot tolerated the sin and he couldn’t let it go.
In Lot, we see a man who is totally destroyed. The sin rips through his family: he loses his wife and his daughters commit abominations. Everything he touches fall apart. He is left with nothing but a curse. It tells us how damaging compromise is.
And the danger of sin, and here sexual sin is why God will not tolerate it in His church. God calls us to be in the world but not of it (John 15:19): we cannot tolerate or live with it in our lives.
Comparison with Abraham
Lot eventually ends up in a place called Zoar, which means “insignificance”. Compare this to Abraham, a man who gave himself over to God and didn’t compromise. He found a joy that Lot was laid desolate from. And in giving himself over to God, Abraham found a fruitfulness that took longer, but was far richer, far more eternal and came with the love and friendship of God.
Where we have such sin in our lives, we cannot be used fully by God. If we can’t deal with our own sins, we can’t have his power, for the Holy Spirit has to come on clean ground.
While there is warning, even more so is there hope. God has called us to something far more joyous! God has such a plan and purpose for each of us. He wants us in a place of freedom; without guilt or shame, which is indescribably better and as it did for Abraham, comes with the love and friendship of Christ. And there is absolute freedom in Christ.