Title: CLEARING OUR MINDS ABOUT SEX
God invented sex…not Hugh Hefner. God’s original design for sex is beautiful. What Hugh Hefner did to it made it degrading. When we stay within the original design for sex, and by that I mean sex between a husband and a wife…it is a pure and enjoyable experience. But what Hugh Hefner has done with sex has crippled many a soul. The problem is that our society has clouded our thinking about sex. Though this is a difficult subject, my heart’s desire is to clear our minds and lead us back to a pure heart.
Let me share with you why we need some godly guidance about sex. According to James Dobson, 60% of all husbands have had an affair by age 40 (50% of all wives). Cohabiting couples has grown 2,000% in the US since 1960. Two thirds of Americans age 35-39 have lived with someone outside of marriage. 1/3 of born-again Christians say cohabiting is OK. You can’t watch TV without being assaulted with sex. Internet pornography is the highest moneymaking market on the web. Fidelity and marriage have been wrongly redefined. People are now asking, “Is it cheating if you have virtual sex with another person.” Marriage has now been redefined to include same-sex partners.
On top of all that, many of us have grown up with some faulty ideas about sex. Many of you here may have hidden hurts because of sex. You may be living with unresolved guilt, or resentment for your purity being robbed, or you sinned in this area. You may forget what happened yesterday, but there are sexual memories that are 20, 40 years old and you can’t get rid of them. If you made some wrong decisions related to sex, you have come to the right place this morning! You’re not here by mistake…God brought you here today so He could say to you, “I’m sorry for your hurt, but I want you to know My grace and righteousness will set you free!”
I. GETTING BACK TO GOD’S DESIGN
A. If you have a swimming pool, you can either enjoy it or drown in it. If you have a fireplace, you can enjoy its warmth or burn the house down. Anything “good” that has been given to us by God can be misused. And that includes sex.
B. God made us with a sex drive. When we fulfill it between a husband and a wife, it bonds us together physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Gen. 2:24-25
C. I want to say unashamedly that God’s design for sex is pure in its original design!
D. The first step in clearing our thinking about sex, regardless of our past, is to tell God, “I want a new me. I want to live by Your design for me, God. Make me a pure again in Your eyes…and in my heart!” (Pray)
E. If you are married, make the decision to be faithful to your spouse regardless of the response you get from them. Your commitment is based on God’s will for your marriage and that you want His blessing on it! Gloria and I have been faithful to each other for 36 years come this August 5th…and by God’s grace, we will be until we are parted by death!
II. DISCIPLINE YOUR MIND
A. The battle of any temptation begins and ends in the heart. Prov. 4:23 Our media is lying to us when they convey its OK to fantasize whatever your heart desires. They are on prime time TV because they count on people nourishing that fantasy.
B. But God says over and over that what we think about affects our destiny. Matt. 5:27-28
C. We can’t control the fact that we are attracted to other people. But we CAN control what we DO with those feelings. When you fantasize about someone, you are making an emotional investment…and given the right circumstance, you can fall into the quicksand of an affair!
D. Here’s how to bring those fantasies to an end. Phil. 4:8
E. If you ignore this, your next downward step is that you will rationalize your actions. We are all experts at pulling the wool over our own eyes…justifying our actions. Listen to this warning: Jer. 17:9. (BM)
F. Rationalizing…pull that word apart…you are feeding yourself rational lies! Any time you justify what is wrong, we are only lying to ourselves…and the cost is way too high!
III. MINIMIZE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SATAN TO TRIP YOU UP
A. Once you acknowledge that you’re vulnerable, you’ve started the return to recovery. Take an honest look at situations that leave you open to failure.
B. Let me suggest some areas to guard. (1) Trips out of town. A false sense of anonymity can set you up for doing something you normally wouldn’t do at home. So put a picture of your family or Jesus in your car or in the motel room. Steer away from opportunities that lead to failure.
C. (2) Carefully choose your friends. By the way…peer pressure doesn’t end when acne goes away.
1 Cor. 15:33 Choose friends that have the same values that you share.
D. (3) Monitor your media intake. Garbage into your soul will result in throwing your soul into the garbage.
IV. MAGNIFY THE CONSEQUENCES
A. If you are headed in the wrong direction concerning sex, you need something that’s going to turn you around. What can do that? Answering this question may help turn you around: What will I be giving up if I give in to this? Family? Reputation? Friends? Job? Church? What my kids will think?
B. Hollywood has desensitized and romanticized the glamour of impure sex.
C. The truth is…nothing destroys like failure in this area. The scars it etches into your soul are deep.
D. I can’t tell you how many people have told me, “If only I could rewind the tape. It’s like I took my brains and put them on the shelf for a minute. What was I thinking?” Listen to those words folks! They are the words of someone who has been there and they now realize they threw away their family and reputation…all for a moment of passion that robbed more than it gave.
E. Do you remember the story of Esau? He gave up his entire family inheritance for a bowl of soup. He allowed a moment’s hunger to give up what could never be replaced!
F. Listen to these words. Prov. 6:26; 5:3-6, 11-14 Pretty sobering, huh?! It’s pretty foolish to trade everything that is most dear to you for a moment of passion.
G. But here is something worse. I’ve had people say to me, “I know it’s wrong, but I know God will forgive me. So I’m going to go ahead and do it.” They have the worst understanding of grace I’ve ever heard. The Bible says this: Whatever you sow, you will reap. It also says this: Heb. 10:26 For if we go on...
H. Here’s God’s standard for sex: Sex inside the marriage of a man & woman is wonderful, beautiful, and it’s pure. Sex outside the marriage of a man and woman is unacceptable to God. That includes promiscuity, living together outside of marriage, adultery, pornography, and homosexuality. He’s never changed that standard!
I. But if you have fallen in any of these activities, you’ve come to the right place! You’re sitting right next to a bunch of people who’ve blown it! You are sitting next to a whole bunch of sinners who have found GRACE! You see, all of us have sinned. That’s why we all need a Savior!
Would you like to be pure again? (long pause)
That path has four steps:
1) Agree with God that you are a sinner. Don’t make excuses. It’s called repentance.
2) Receive the forgiveness He has to offer. It’s time to let go of the shame and guilt of your past.
3) Refocus your mind by memorizing Scripture.
4) Commit your life to Jesus and ask Him to help you manage the most powerful drive in your life.
1 Cor. 10:13 (BM) That Scripture has 3 wonderful insights:
He’s seen it before; He’s not shocked by what you have done.
Believe God will limit temptation’s intensity…call on Him to do so.
Look for the way out that He is going to provide.
Let’s Pray (Draw Me Close)