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  • I’m dealing with these matters because there are

  • some of God’s true children that seriously are struggling

  • with the areas that I’m going to deal with today.

  • And so,

  • I do want to, I want to visit these things.

  • The first one is a revisit.

  • 2 weeks ago, we had this question come up,

  • and I want to, I need to deal with this again.

  • And, I just want to emphasize once again,

  • what I’m about to talk to is taboo for many,

  • but we have many people looking for Biblical answers in this very area.

  • I’m not trying to be unnecessarily graphic.

  • But the question that I fielded 2 weeks ago that I want to return to is this one.

  • A man by the name of Dan asked this question:

  • Is masturbating a sin?

  • I sought to answer that, and we got so much response.

  • And we got folks who felt that it wasn’t clear,

  • that maybe I was being dogmatic about things that

  • maybe weren’t really so much biblical.

  • There have been a number of responses that

  • just led me to believe that we probably needed to revisit this one.

  • You know, based on the feedback that I saw,

  • based on some of the things that I have heard,

  • I am quite convinced that probably every man in this room has struggled with masturbation.

  • I am quite convinced that almost as many girls, at one time or another.

  • What I want to do is... you know the question is, ‘is it sin?’

  • That’s the first question.

  • And what I don’t want to... look, I realize this...

  • this is a realistic issue

  • that we need to deal with;

  • the church needs to deal with, Christians need to deal with;

  • myself as a pastor, I need to address.

  • And I don’t want to do it in a way where I just beat everybody over the head,

  • I just dismiss you as, “well, if youve got a problem with this, youre not a Christian.”

  • That’s not the case.

  • Weve got true Christians that have struggles in this very area.

  • Now the fact is, if youre over your head in bondage to it,

  • there may be a very likelihood

  • that a person in that situation, may still be under the power of sin, and may not be converted.

  • And that’s a very realistic possibility

  • that each one of us needs to evaluate

  • anytime any kind of sin gets a hold on us where we suffer defeat.

  • Now you see right there I’m making an assumption that it’s sin.

  • Well let me just show you some things about this

  • that I want you folks to take away with you.

  • What I want to try to do first here is just inform you a little bit.

  • The first thing, if you have your Bibles there, I’d like you all to turn to Matthew 5,

  • and verse 28.

  • You see, folks, one of my pastoral concerns is this:

  • We have a whole movement.

  • Really this has been a movement

  • on the move for 2000 years.

  • Because you can go back all the way to the time of the Scriptures,

  • and youve got the apostles themselves

  • saying, “Do not be deceived.”

  • Basically, if you are in bondage to sin,

  • if you are in bondage to unrighteousness,

  • theyre sayingdon’t be deceived, youre not a true believer.”

  • And we have false prophets rising up on every hand today

  • that would basically teach us

  • you can be a true Christian, and you can run and be a slave to all sorts of sin.

  • And that’s just not biblical and it’s just not true.

  • And that’s a pastoral concern, because I don’t want people to be deceived.

  • And you see one of the things is,

  • weve got folks, and probably some of you sitting in this room: you profess to be Christians,

  • and yet you are in such bondage to pride,

  • to lust, to your idols, to money, to some appetite, to something in life,

  • that, it’s a big waving red flag

  • that things are not well with your soul.

  • But because of false teaching, because of ignorance on your part,

  • youve been led to believe that, ‘once saved, always saved,’

  • and basically you said some prayer,

  • you basically went up to some altar somewhere, you raised your hand at some point.

  • Whatever it is. There’s a whole lot of this thinking today.

  • And yet, people do those things, and theyre quite convinced that theyre on their way to Heaven.

  • And then, the fact is, they are slaves of sin, and true Christians are not slaves to sin.

  • Theyre slaves of righteousness the Bible tells us.

  • Theyre slaves of God.

  • And here’s this big red flag waving, and yet you don’t have the eyes to even see it.

  • And what I don’t want, is I don’t want any of you waking up on judgment day to find out

  • “I was dead wrong.

  • The indicator was there the whole time and I missed it.”

  • Well the reason I had you turn to Matthew 5:28 is this:

  • Jesus Christ is teaching,

  • “I say to you, that everyone who looks at a woman...”

  • And obviously this could be a woman looking at a man.

  • Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

  • Now let me tell... I want to make several observations about that text.

  • Fornicators and adulterers do not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • The Bible teaches that.

  • You find that over in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9.

  • Fornicators and adulterers do not--you can find it in a number of other areas as well in the Scriptures--

  • but they don’t inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • That is an indication- to be under the power of that,

  • that is and indication that a person is lost.

  • And if theyre a slave to that type of thing...

  • Now look, don’t think I’m making this up here, because, just go on and read the next verse.

  • Jesus Christ is not saying that this is a minor issue,

  • it’s a small matter, and something that you don’t have to give a whole lot of concern about.

  • If your right eye causes you to sin...”

  • Now notice, notice the context.

  • Jesus isn’t just coming out of the blue with this teaching,

  • He’s dealing with what He just talked about.

  • He just talked about not specifically the sinful act of adultery, but adultery in the mind.

  • And on that note, He says this:

  • If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.

  • It is better that you lose one of your members

  • than that your whole body be thrown into hell.”

  • Now I’m going to tell you something here.

  • Jesus Christ is teaching us that there needs to be repentance,

  • there needs to be evidence of true regeneration

  • in the life of somebody if they are going to escape hell.

  • That’s a reality.

  • He’s not saying this is a matter of whether youre going to have greater or lesser rewards,

  • He’s saying this is a matter of life and death.

  • If you don’t tear out these eyes, and if you don’t lose these members,

  • youre going to be thrown into hell, that’s what He’s saying.

  • You say, “Wait! Do I get to Heaven by my works, by being pure?”

  • Let me tell you this,

  • a person gets to Heaven by nothing less than faith in Jesus Christ,

  • but where there is genuine faith in Jesus Christ,

  • there is also genuine transformation of the heart.

  • God said, “A new heart also will I give them

  • He said, “I’m going to write my law on them,

  • I’m going to put my Spirit within them.”

  • That Holy Spirit puts to death sin in those in whom He dwells.

  • If that’s not the case, then youre not a true Christian.

  • That’s like Romans 8, what is it, verse 9?

  • If you don’t have the Spirit of Christ, youre none of His.

  • You don’t belong to Him.

  • This is a matter of life and death.

  • Now lets come back to the masturbation thing.

  • Folks,

  • I’ve heard this week and last week about people insisting

  • that they can masturbate with nothing happening in the mind.

  • Now folks, I don’t think those people are being honest with themselves.

  • I have a hard time imagining orgasm of the body without pictures in the mind.

  • And if there are pictures in the mind...

  • and I heard somebody just recently say,

  • well, ya they get them, but they try to fight them off.

  • Well the fact is, they are involved in something that’s bringing them in.

  • Theyre involved in something that’s bringing them in that would even force them to have to fight it off.

  • Theyre opening the door to invite these things to come in.

  • Now let me just ask you guys something because I know this is especially a problem there.

  • You start taking images of a lady,

  • some young lady in your mind, what are you going to do?

  • Walk out the door here and go evangelizing?

  • How are you going to respect people of the opposite sex when you use them that way?

  • And youre... that’s what it is,

  • even if it’s just an image of them that you have in your mind.

  • Youre going to use people of the opposite sex that way?

  • I’m... folks, this idea that people can be involved in this kind of activity

  • and theyre not sinning in thought...

  • I’m not going to say, I’m not going to be here and say,

  • “I’ve been in all your minds, and I know every circumstance,

  • and I’m going to say it’s impossible.” I’m not going to say that, I can’t dogmatically say that,

  • but I know, and you know that to be involved in that type of thing

  • without images in your mind...

  • And Jesus Christ says this is a matter of life and death.

  • And people can try to justify, but I’m telling you, this is a matter of life and death.

  • If youre going to try to justify this, I would tread very, very carefully.

  • Because Christ is talking about lustful intent in the mind,

  • and being thrown into hell.

  • Don’t play with this thing.

  • And just on that note,

  • I’ve heard some guys try to say

  • this is how they try to cope with sexual temptation.

  • Wait a second, 1 Corinthians 6:18 says,

  • Flee from sexual immorality.”

  • Flee from it.

  • And even the guys that say they try to use masturbation

  • to kind of take the edge off

  • so that they won’t fall into sexual temptation...

  • Look, if the same guys admit

  • that theyre also being attacked by images in their mind that they have to fight off,

  • I would just ask the question,

  • is masturbation running from sexual immorality,

  • or is it running into it?

  • Are you fighting against it, or are you inviting it?

  • That’s just something to ask.

  • Now, turn in your Bibles to Hebrews 13:4.

  • Because I also want you to see this passage.

  • Hebrews 13:4.

  • Again, this is another text I think we really, really need to take seriously.

  • Hebrews 13:4.

  • Let marriage be held in honor among all,

  • and let the marriage bed be undefiled.

  • For God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

  • You know what’s so interesting about this passage?

  • You have one thing that God honors, which is what?

  • What is honorable?

  • The marriage bed.

  • And the writer of Hebrews

  • runs right from what is honorable, to what it dishonorable.

  • And it’s as though there’s no middle ground here.

  • The marriage bed is honorable.

  • And then right after that isn’t it amazing that he jumps right into

  • God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

  • Now I’m not going to be dogmatic here,

  • but it’s as though the writer is implying... what?

  • Everything aside from the marriage bed

  • as far as sexual outlet goes,

  • falls into the category of sexual immorality and adultery.

  • And if youre going to say youve found some secret little middle ground that isn’t covered there,

  • again, I tell you, you’d better tread carefully.

  • Because just like in the other one we had hell threatened,

  • we have God’s judgment threatened.

  • This is not a small matter folks.

  • Don’t think you can toy with this and be wrong,

  • without it costing you much.

  • Lets go futher.

  • I want you folks to turn to 1 Corinthians 6:12.

  • And again, I think it’s so interesting here, here’s Paul’s words to the Corinthians,

  • it’s so interesting, his context.

  • I mean, its almost as though it’s written just for us to give consideration to,

  • just these kind of things.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:12.

  • All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.”

  • Now watch this.

  • All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything.

  • Food is meant for the stomach, and the stomach for food,

  • and God will destroy both one and the other.

  • The body is not meant for sexual immorality,

  • but for the Lord. And the Lord for the body.

  • And God raised the Lord, and will raise us up by His power.

  • Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?

  • Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?

  • Never!

  • Or do you not know, that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her?

  • For as it is written, “the two will become one flesh.”

  • But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with Him.

  • Flee from sexual immorality.”

  • Isn’t it interesting,

  • where Paul’s saying “I won’t be enslaved to anything

  • it’s right in this context of fleeing sexual immorality.

  • Let me tell you this:

  • When Paul tells us how he lives,

  • you are under commandment of God to imitate him as he imitates Christ.

  • Have you ever heard him say that?

  • Paul calls us to imitate his example repeatedly.

  • Now listen,

  • being brought under the power of anything, is basically what?

  • I mean, we might look at it as idolatry .