Madeline Crabb
April 19, 2017
Obedience to Christ is NOT an option! Part four
By Madeline Crabb

"Love is not just a sentiment. Love is a great controlling passion and it always expresses itself in terms of obedience." (Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

If we are truly Christians, we are servants of Christ, and children of the Father; and as servants and children, the most important act we can perform is obedience. In fact, as we have been learning, obedience to Christ is NOT an option!

For weeks we have discussed in detail our Father's expectations regarding His Commandments. We've also discussed how our lack of obedience has caused sin to be rampant not just in unregenerate world, but within the Church itself. How can this be? Again, the unbelieving world is going to do what it does – rebel against God and continue to sin. The Church is supposed to demonstrate how to properly live for God and His Son Jesus, which means refraining from deliberate sin.

We are supposed to be salt and light (Jn. 8:12) in a dying world, but instead, we have adopted the customs of, and become almost indistinguishable from, the world – even though Scripture tells us to come out from among them (the world) and be separate (2 Cor. 6:17), and to love not the world or the things of the world (1 Jn. 2:15). All the while we pretend to love Jesus. Oh yes, we say we appreciate that He died for our sins, but then continue in these sins. Scripture says, "No one who lives in Him (Jesus) keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. (1 Jn. 3: 6 NIV) Such mocking behavior, according to Jesus, means that we honor Him with our lips but our hearts are far from Him, and that we worship Him in vain. (Matt. 15:8)

Professing Christian: Where is your heart? Are we just paying Him lip service? Is our worship in vain – empty, hollow, useless? Or do we genuinely love, respect, honor, and obey Him? Remember, God said that if we love Him, we will obey Him. (Jn. 14:15) If we truly love God, we will also honor and respect Him. As Christians, allowed to live here on earth, our main purpose is to draw people to God through His Son, Jesus.

Contrary to modern church teachings, we are not here just to be happy, nor have we been granted the freedom to live like unsaved heathens. God is not down with our open disregard for His commandments. Salvation through Jesus is not permission to sin; in fact, the Apostle Paul warns, "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (Php. 2:12 NIV) So if some pastor or teacher is saying you can continue to party like it's 1999, you had better think twice. Grace from God is not a game. There's a place called hell reserved for sinners, and sadly, many so-called Christians are headed there. Don't be one of them!

In the first part of this discussion, we addressed major sins being committed by professing Christians. Among these transgressions was pornography viewed by church pastors and leaders. We also addressed how 35 percent of all Christian men who view pornography have committed adultery with at least one extra-marital affair. Apparently, we are not quite done with these matters. We need to consider some additional information I just discovered regarding pornography and adultery.

Charisma News reports that 68 percent of Christian men view pornography on a "regular basis." Also, Josh McDowell has done studies that show 76 percent of young Christian men between the ages of 18-24 "actively seek out porn." Now, let's consider the adultery aspect.

Statistics on adultery within the Church are much harder to document. Since adultery is understood as having an extra-marital affair with someone of the opposite sex, most people don't want these affairs on the evening news. According to Barna Research, four out of ten Americans, and one of ten Christians believe adultery is morally acceptable. Even so, Christianity Today has reported that 45 percent of professing Christians "indicate having done something sexually inappropriate," and that 23 percent admitted to having "extra-marital intercourse." (Source: Dr. Kelly James Bonewell, Ada Bible Church.) Even though we know it is wrong, that it is sin, that it is specifically addressed in the Ten Commandments, we still do it. Sadly, this isn't the whole story about pornography and adultery.

Pastor Charles Stanley says that "Whatever we focus on is what we become... pornography takes us where our eyes have been." Scripture teaches, "For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world." (1 Jn. 2:16 NIV) All of our sins originate from these three areas. The New Living Translation calls them "craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions." The aforementioned figure that 35 percent of Christian men actually have affairs is proof of Dr. Stanley's statement – it's the physical acting out on what they have seen. Again, pornography takes us to where our eyes have been. First we look, and then we touch.

Pornography originates from two of the world's temptations – lust of the flesh and eyes. And I submit, according to God's Word, that every time we view pornography, we commit adultery. Jesus said, "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28 NIV) In today's society, women have become more sexually aggressive. So then, when women look at men with lust in their hearts, haven't they too committed adultery?

Marital infidelity is a breaking of the marriage covenant with our spouse, and with God. As previously discussed, adultery is the only grounds the Bible gives for divorce. But let's examine this even further...

So a man has viewed pornography, then followed his eyes into action contrary to his marriage vows. Now the man chooses to follow his lusts elsewhere and divorces his wife. When the man marries again, he commits adultery. Jesus said,"But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matt. 5:32 NIV) Then the Apostle Paul teaches, that a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive... So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. (Rom. 7: 2-3 NIV) Also, women are addressed in the divorce issue. Unless we divorce our husband for adultery, Jesus said, "And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." (Mark 10:12 NIV) God takes the marriage covenant very seriously.

Again, according to Dr. Stanley, whatever we focus on is what we become. Pornography is just one of many temptations that lead us to places we perhaps didn't intend to go. How many lewd thoughts have become imbedded in our minds by what we've seen on just TV, in movies, or magazines? In fact, much of this is actually soft porn. Yes it is! Even many commercials produced today would make our parents and grandparents blush! But we have become desensitized to these "everyday" lewd images, and seek the harder stuff. Like alcoholics and drug addicts, it takes more and more to achieve the desired result. With pornography, which can lead into physical unfaithfulness through adultery, families and society are ruined from the resulting divorces. While we previously discussed divorce and how it is the breaking of covenant relationship, hopefully we now understand how continued re-marrying and divorcing perpetuates not just heartache and messed-up families, but perpetuates the sin of adultery.

What could be even worse than ruined lives, fractured families, and disintegrating society? What about adultery against God? Could it be that every time we sin, lusting after the flesh, eyes, or the pride of life, we commit adultery against our Lord? Nonsense you say! Really?

The Church is called the Bride of Christ. He will one day return for His bride, a church without spot or wrinkle. Eph. 5: 27) Knowing this, how can we continually betray Him, and soil our garments by lusting after all the world's trappings? Every time we sin, every time we disobey His Word, don't we really commit spiritual adultery?

Our opening quote says that love always expresses itself in obedience. Of course, we have been learning that obedience to Christ is NOT an option.

Friends, all these behaviors we have been discussing are intentional sin. Life is about choices. By choice, we view pornography; or flirt with, then climb into bed with someone besides our spouse; or indulge in perversions like homosexuality; and yes, even kill our children. Dr. Stanley said that now we are killing babies, but soon we will be killing one another. By choice we also serve and obey God. What choices will you make? God is watching. To anyone willing to hear....

© Madeline Crabb

 

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Madeline Crabb

Madeline Crabb is a Christian, a Constitutional Conservative, and a patriot. Holding a degree in journalism and public relations, and training from the Leadership Institute, she has been a columnist since 2000, and has written for various Christian newspapers around the country. As a “watchwoman” on the wall (Is.62:67), Madeline calls all citizens to awaken, arise, and act in restoring one nation under God.

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