Deceit and Sexual Sin
By: The John Ankerberg Show
We live in a time when we do not like to speak about sin. But have you considered how often the Bible warns about the deceitfulness of sin? Recently a major news program did a survey of college campuses in the United States. The poll taken stated that 86% of unmarried students are sexually active. The voice of temptation declares that you can not fully experience adulthood unless you are sexually active. Common sense from the human perspective would tell you that it is better to live with someone for awhile to see if you are compatible. The mores of the United States and other countries have, at this point in time, determined that it is not only permissible but also beneficial to sexually experiment outside marriage.
The Bible tells us that sin is deceitful. “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Sin deceives the mind into thinking that something is good. Once the mind is convinced that something is to our benefit the will makes its choice. Fishing is a helpful picture of temptation. The lure is cast and jiggled and it looks good. The thought occurs that it is pleasing to the eye and it will be good to taste and nourishing to the body. But with mankind it requires the decision of the will to take action. In the end all sin brings death. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
In the Garden of Eden, Eve was first convinced that it would be good if she ate the fruit before she chose to disobey God. Paul said that Eve was utterly deceived when she fell into transgression (1 Timothy 2:14). After all she was told that she would be like God, and that is good. She was told that she would know good and evil and also that seemed good. The lure was cast and it was moving the right way so Eve’s mind convinced her will to choose that which was contrary to God’s word—she was deceived! The Bible says, “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and it was desirable to make one wise, so she took the fruit from it and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her and he ate” (Genesis 3:6).
Eve did not violate reason when she chose to eat the fruit of the tree. If you are amongst the astounding majority of persons that have chosen immorality as a lifestyle you are not an unreasonable person either. But, are you deceived? Will our present mores bring us long lasting satisfaction and peace and will we have stronger families and deeper joy? Or are we in truth being lured into captivity and ultimately into self-destruction? We are instructed to “…. flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” (2 Tim 2:22)
Although the final word has not been spoken on the matter, one does not have to consider the issue long before concluding that misery frequently follows sexual pleasure outside of marriage. Recent reports have determined that there are over 15 million new sexually transmitted diseases each year and that one in three persons will contract a sexually transmitted disease in their lifetime. When we add to this the social problems of unwanted pregnancies, abortion, and broken homes, it becomes even more reasonable to believe that we have been deceived. A reasonable person can conclude this apart from what the Bible says.
A good fisherman with an effective lure can be very enticing for a fish. The temporal pleasures of sexual sin are also very enticing. Sin beguiles the mind when it presents something in such a way that the present condition or the future results are hidden from the person. The person becomes convinced that he will receive pleasure and satisfaction from a sexual encounter when in reality he receives disease and perhaps death. No doubt Moses and others in Scripture understood “….the passing pleasures of sin ….” (Hebrews 11:25a), but he chose to follow God at all costs.
The real question behind this whole matter involves God’s character. Does God know what is best for people? Does God love us and really want us to experience joy in life? Jesus said that the things He spoke were spoken that His joy might be in us and that our joy would be full (John 15:11). Present trends indicate that we do not believe God’s word. Eve was deceived into making a choice that called into question the character of God. Either God does not know what is best for me or He does not love me enough to give me what is best.
The good news is that Jesus does want for us to experience abundant joy in life. He knows how we can attain it. It requires trust on our part. We must believe God’s word and trust in His love and wisdom.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”Psalm 119: 105
Written by Jim Davis for The John Ankerberg Show, ©1999.
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