This a sermon transcript preached by Timothy Williams. These were preached many years back, some decades ago. Preacher Timothy Williams is not associated with any church, denomination, or ministry. Blessed are those who love the honey of God’s Word!

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119:103)

This sermons transcript is located at www.luke1425.org


Sermon Area Basic Introduction

Not Even Death

Not even death can keep a preacher from preaching. A godly preachers words come from fire in the bones. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)



On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.

Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12)

The sermons normally lasted 45 to 60 but do not grumble that my sermons were long. True by today’s milk toast entertain me Christian standards they are lengthy. But not long when one considers the days are evil and that ignorance floods the church. …making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)


Preach The Word
www.luke1425.org


I never preached about the Word of God. Rather I was led by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word.

What I Mean By Sound Doctrine

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season;
correct, rebuke and encourage
with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Timothy 4:2)

Audio Sermon Files


 

Sexual Sin, Part 5

Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage should be honored by all. And the marriage bed kept pure for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Today we want to talk about what a pure marriage bed is and what a marriage should look like in terms of being pure and being clean. And we want to see that many people are committing sexual sin or committing adultery even in a Christian marriage. Again, look at Hebrews 13:4. It says,

Hebrews 13:4 – Marriage should be honored by all.

The first thing is that it should be respected by everybody in the body, it’s nothing that we look down upon or to be taken lightly. It’s something that God has made and put together and so it’s good. It says,

Hebrews 13:4 – The marriage bed should be kept pure for God will judge the adulterer . . .

And notice this;

Hebrews 13:4 – . . . and all the sexually immoral.

It’s like he draws a distinction. Why wouldn’t he just write and say, “God will judge the sexually immoral”? Because that would include adulterers and everybody else but it’s like he makes a break. He says God will judge the adulterer, and by the way, he will also judge all the sexually immoral. It’s like he’s stopping and making a point and saying that God will judge the adulterer. What did he mean by that? Why does God’s word seem to stop there?

Well let’s look at the vilest kind of adulterer there is. Look at Hosea 1:2. Because the vilest kind of adultery is first of all a spiritual adultery. And that’s why I said that many marriage beds aren’t clean. They may be sexually clean in what they’re doing but they’re still committing the vilest form adultery that a person can commit because they’re not in that first relationship with God.

Hosea 1:2 – When the Lord began to speak to Hosea . . .

It was like when God first began to speak, these are the first words that came out of God’s mouth.

Hosea 1:2 – When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, “Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD.”

A pure marriage bed is not just talking about a physical contact with what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate. The first thing we have to talk about is what kind of hearts are in that bed. What kind of commitment to God is there? Because the vilest form of adultery that any of us can commit is departing from the Lord our God. That is what constitutes adultery. That’s what Solomon did.

Look at 1 Kings 11:1. There are a lot of Christian marriages that are departing from the Lord and they think they’re clean in terms of physical adultery or clean in terms of lust or clean in terms of what they do, and yet they fail to look at the first thing that is important and that is what’s in the heart. What kind of commitment does each person have in that family?

In 1 Kings 11:1 we look at a man who had more wisdom than anybody else. Who had more glory, more splendor, who got poured out riches, and yet he turned away from the Lord toward the end of his life because he listened to his wives.

1 Kings 11:1 – King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. They were from nations from about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them because they will surely turn your hearts after other gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love.

He’s going to commit the vilest form of adultery that a man can commit and that is to turn away from God. And what draws him away from the Lord is his wives.

So you need to ask yourself as a husband or a wife, where are you leading your spouse to? Where are you leading your mate to? Are you drawing them closer to God or away from God? Solomon was drawn to idols and to worshipping other gods because of his wives. Let’s read on. Verse 3, again,

1 Kings 11:3 – He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

The marriage bed was unclean. They were drawing the heart of the person away. Not just in terms of physical conduct, that comes later on. Not in terms of lust, that comes after the heart is turned away from its God.

1 Kings 11:5 – He followed Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.

Now Ashtoreth is the goddess, her male counterpart was the male god Baal. And Baal was the god of the dung heap. He’s the god of the flies, that’s another term. And that’s the kind of god he turned toward. So here’s a man full of wisdom and knowledge and understanding. He’s had a relationship with God and he turns to a god who is king of the dung heap. Who is known as the god of flies, or at least that’s the male counterpart of this god. And of course, there were orgies involved and all kinds of sexual immorality.

It says that, “He turned to the detestable gods of the Ammonites, which is Molech, and they had gruesome orgies.” Not just fleshly in terms of that, but in terms of violence. They would take their children and slaughter their children to the god of those idols. But then they would heat the arms of these idols up and lay the dead bodies of the dead babies in the idols’ arms. Those are the kind of gods he turned toward. He turned away from the living God to those kinds of gods.

1 Kings 11:6 – So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely as David his father had done.

That’s almost an understatement. To say that he worshipped a god where they sacrificed their children, where they participated in orgies, where all the things that go on that we don’t even want to talk about, and to say that he did not follow as completely as David did, it’s almost an understatement of the man’s heart.

1 Kings 11:7 – On a hill east of Jerusalem . . .

You remember Jesus returns to the east gate. Right there in that message it says,

1 Kings 11:7 – On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.

He built up idols there so that they could worship right there in Jerusalem.

1 Kings 11:8 – He did the same for all of his foreign wives, who burnt incense and offered sacrifices to their god.

The marriage bed was unclean because they first drew his heart way from God. And how many marriages do that? You may not be out here sacrificing your children on a burning altar but you sacrifice to your god of pleasure, convenience, whatever. A lot of marriages are unclean. Not because of what they commit in the bed, but because of where their hearts are, first of all.

1 Kings 11:9 – The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel . . .

And look at this,

1 Kings 11:9 – . . . who had appeared to him twice.

It’s like God’s reminding him that he’s a privileged man. That God appeared to him and they fellowshipped in a way that a lot of us would love to fellowship with God. He’s saying, “You turned to those kinds of idols even though I appeared to you twice.” Any couple that has wholly given themselves to God and has a relationship with God knows the blessings of God in their lives. And yet years later how many marriages depart from the Lord their God and turn to other things, whether it be money, or pleasure, or whatever it is they want to do. For it says . . .

1 Kings 11:10-13 – Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

Why would God even bother to tell Solomon this? Why would He not just kind of rebuke him or even just get quiet? I mean God does that a lot of times. People turn from Him and He stops convicting, He stops bringing us into the light. Because God is trying to bring us all into conviction, to brokenness, to minding him. He’s saying, “Look, I appeared to you twice. David followed Me with all his heart.” He’s trying to get him to repent without turning to him and saying, “You must repent or go to hell.” Without just spelling it out in all kind of fine details and saying, “This is wrong. This is what you need to do. You will burn in hell if you don’t.” He just simply lays out the good things that are in God and hopes that the man’s heart will turn soft and break. And God doesn’t say anything with us. He’s not just going to come to us in the marriage bed and say, “Okay guys. Your hearts are really bad,” and bring some kind of a heavy conviction. He just brings the good things of the Lord and if we love God, and if we love who He is then we turn toward Him. And the marriage bed is kept clean.

In Malachi 2:15 we need to realize that the sexual act is really a spiritual act. And you need to think of having sexual intercourse with your husband or your wife as an act of worship. You are one with the Lord not only in flesh but also in spirit. So when you come together, when there’s that time to be with each other, it really is an act of worshipping before God. And that ought to bring to conclusion any debates about what’s clean and what isn’t clean. If what we do we do before the Lord and what’s in our hearts and in our minds at the time, whether it’s passion or love or lust, if we know that we’re coming before the Lord in that process and that everything belongs to the Lord whether we’re in flesh or in spirit, that will clean up a lot of hearts and a lot of activities.

Malachi 2:15 – Has not the Lord made them one?

It’s not whether you decide you’re one. It says that God has made us one. Not one just in terms of flesh, but also in spirit. It says,

Malachi 2:15 – In flesh and spirit they are his.

When we come together, when there’s physical contact it’s not just fulfilling a physical thing about your body. Or that somehow God made you with a time clock and you have to release this kind of pressure so you come together physically. It is both a spiritual and a physical thing that takes place. Just as much as it would be ridiculous to say, “I worship God in my heart but I don’t go to church.” The body is in line with what’s in the spirit and what’s in the heart.

It’s the same way when a husband and wife are in a sexual relationship it’s a reflection of what’s in their heart or what is in their spirit. It is a spiritual act of worship. And it is to be approached with honor, with awe, with reverence.

Malachi 2:15 – Hath not the Lord made them one in flesh and spirit? So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

They are His and why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in what? Your spirit. Not just in terms of flesh. You’ve got to guard yourself and keep yourself from committing adultery, but make sure that you don’t physically abuse your body over here or that you masturbate. No, guard yourself first of all in your spirit. And then the flesh will take care of itself in terms of keeping it under discipline. We realize that it is an act of worship. That’s why I say so many people are committing adultery, people committing idolatry in a marriage. The marriage bed is not clean because their hearts are not right before God. They come together as physical contact but it’s out of passion, it’s out of lust. And there’s a big different between the two.

In Luke 14:26 we know it well, but some people don’t and it wouldn’t hurt us to look at it again. Let me tell you as you grow in the Lord you’re going to begin, those of you that are married, to experience the difference between passion and love. And between lust and really loving and coming before the Lord. I know there was a time when I walked in passion more than love or really caring for Carla. And as God changes all of that the passion begins to die out and it may be something that you can’t even imagine how that would be different. How can you come together and have sexual relations without there being passion? But you can and it’s totally different than what the world has. That shouldn’t surprise you at all.

Luke 14:26 – If anyone comes to me and does not hate . . .

I like what the Spanish version says. It says, “utterly abhor.”

Luke 14:26 – . . . his father and mother, his wife and children and his brother and sister, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

That has to be first in the heart of every husband or wife before the marriage bed is ever going to be considered clean.

There must be within the heart of a father, of a husband, that says, “I hate my wife and live totally for God.” And it must be within the heart of every mother, in every wife, to say, “I hate my husband and I worship God only. I seek to please Him above everything else.” Without that don’t even try. Don’t even think about cleaning up anything else on the outward. You guard yourself first in your spirit and then the flesh will be in line with where you need to be.

Again, when you come together you’re coming in a spiritual act. And if both of you are there to please your flesh, what kind of spiritual worship do you have there? How easily we condemn churches that come together on Sunday and we know they’re just indulging their flesh, don’t we? And we condemn them for that. We condemn them for the Christmas trees and all the things that they do to indulge themselves just to please their flesh, and yet how many husbands and wives come together and it’s nothing more than to please the flesh. It is not a spiritual act of worship before God. It’s no different. It begins in the heart.

In 1 Corinthians 7:29 Paul says,

1 Corinthians 7:29 – From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none. . .

You live your life in such a way of utter devotion to God. You don’t seek to get anything from your wife to please your flesh. You live only in a relationship with God. That is, God will meet your needs when He sees fit in meeting those needs. You pick up that cross and when God so arranges it for you to come together, you come together. You seek first His will and His kingdom and everything else is provided for in His timing.

1 Corinthians 7:30 – . . . those who mourn as if they did not; those who are happy as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

Jesus said there would be no marriage in heaven. This world in its present form, husband and wife, is passing away.

He goes on to say this world in its happiness and its pleasure and its passions and all those things are going to eventually die out and be gone. But understand and know this that there will eventually come a time when you will be not married to your husband or your wife. That will not exist. That will no longer be. Because that is passing away. All that will stand in the end is what? One thing. Your relationship with God. You won’t stand there with your wife. You won’t stand there with your husband. You will stand there, between you and Jesus Christ, each of you looking at each other and giving an account. And surely Jesus will turn and give an account. He’ll say, “I did these things in your life and what was your response?” And certainly we will give an account also.

Let me tell you, the passion we have is so temporary. Eventually we’re not even going to remember we had those things. Ten years into eternity they’ll be forgotten. They’re not even going to be worth remembering. There are things now you don’t even consider worth remembering. That’s not to say relationships won’t be there. That’s not to say the love won’t be there. Surely the love that Carla and I have for each other will not die and disappear. It will be something far deeper and more grand than this physical marriage that we have. It will be centered even more around Jesus Christ. Do you even begin to grasp what that is about? You’re going to have to get to a place where you hate your husband and you hate your wife and experience that in your own marriage now.

1 Corinthians 7:31-32 – . . . those who use the things of the world as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away. I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife.

What is he trying to get you to say? He’s trying to get you to stand up say, “Okay, Paul, I won’t try to please my wife” and “I won’t try to please my husband.” That’s what he’s trying to get them to say. He says, “I want you to be free from concern.” What concern does he want us to be free from? Trying to please each other. And if a husband would do that there would indeed be a holy marriage and the marriage bed will be pure. Not in terms of physical contact, not in terms of what you do, but in terms of the heart. Each would be living in total commitment to God. Because not being concerned with pleasing me and what my needs are and her only concern is what the will of God is, then she’ll know when to please me, how to please me, and how to love me according to the word of the Lord.

When a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world, what is he calling the world? And how we talk about hating loneliness and how we condemn other people for being worldly, don’t we? He says, “A man that is concerned about meeting the needs of his wife is…” what? “Worldly.” How different a contrast that message is to what we usually hear.

And a wife who is concerned about meeting the needs of her husband becomes worldly. Her eyes are off Jesus Christ, off what his will is and what other people want. You become worldly.

1 Corinthians 7:34 – . . . and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affair. Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.

Some of you that are single or divorced or may never be married, you need to realize that you’re in a grand opportunity to serve the Lord both in terms of body and in spirit. A total devotion. You’ve got the freedom to do it. We’ll look at this more in a moment.

1 Corinthians 7:34 – But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.

We need to quit worrying about pleasing each other. I said it before, you need to get up in the morning and ask who the person is next to you in bed. When you get up, come before God and say, “God, what is Your will for me today?”

And God will say, “Spend time with your wife. Spend time with your husband. Go do this over here. Don’t worry about this.” You need to seek first the will of God in everything. And He’ll see to every need. If He brought that marriage together and He’s working that marriage, He knows how much time you need together and He knows the exact line where He needs to stop at. And of course, there are just other higher priorities than sitting down to lunch with your husband or your wife. There are the needs of the work of Jesus Christ because the world in its present form is passing away. We have a very short time period to work.

1 Corinthians 7:35 – I am saying this for your own good . . .

This is not some heavy law. This is not some legalism, this is not something that is going to put a doubt in a marriage, this really does bring life. The only reason Carla and I have the love for each other that we do have and the joys that we do have is because we seek to please only God. And yet our marriage is one of those marriages where we spend most of the time together. We’re almost inseparable in terms of what we do. And yet the only reason God can work any good in that is simply because we learn not to please each other. See this is not some legalistic rule that says “Okay, I can only spend fifteen minutes together with my wife or husband.” Somehow we have this legalistic rule that “Oh, if you spent more than two days together, you must be in sin.” It is an attitude of the heart. It is a devotion unto God. And then whether you spend twenty-four hours together or not together, or whether you only get to see each other one time during a whole week or a whole month, there’s that total devotion to God knowing this is God’s will and this is what needs to be done.

The heart has to be clean for the marriage bed to be clean.

1 Corinthians 7:35 – I am saying this for your own good . . .

This is just a blessing and don’t we say that we want to love God as our first love and Jesus as our first love? This is for our own good. These are blessings. It’s like God is saying, “Here’s your marriage and here’s Me, which are you going to choose?” I choose God any day, not the marriage. I mean compared to Jesus Christ, Carla is nothing. And compared to Jesus Christ, I certainly am nothing. I can probably get most of you to agree with that. Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, He’s the only thing worth loving and worshiping.

In Acts 24:16 it talks about the conscience, and that’s such an area that is so avoided within the church any more. Because I’m not going to lay down a bunch of legalistic rules for you today. I’m not going to say, “Okay, these are the ten things that you can do in a sexual relationship with your husband or your wife. And these are three things over here that you can’t do.” I’m just going to commend your conscience to God. If it is a spiritual act of worship and if it is a matter of coming before God not in terms of flesh but also in spirit then what should your conduct be like? What attitude of the heart should you have? What should be in your mind at the time? That takes care of any legalistic rule that I might attempt to set down. In Acts 24:16 Paul says;

Acts 24:16 – So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.

That really sums up the Christian life. That sums up the gospel call. It says I seek to do what is right in the eyes of God and I seek to do what’s right in the eyes of men. No matter where I’m at whether in word or in deed, no matter what it might be, there must be that purity there. Because I’m not going to lay down a bunch of rules for you today and say these things are all bad. You ought to know. Your conscience ought to be touched by the Spirit to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. To begin to first look at the heart and then to worry about the actions. Obviously, group sex is wrong. Having sex with your wife while she’s on her menstrual cycle is wrong. The Scripture is clear about that.

Thinking about somebody else or just doing it for pleasure certainly is wrong. I mean it’s just a matter of your conscience before God, not a bunch of rules. Lots of things we looked at last week: having sex with animals. I mean does God have to spell out every fine detail? Having anal sex is wrong. Those things are very clear in Scripture and they have to do with passion and they have to do with lust. They don’t have to do with a clear conscience. You want to know what’s proper? You want some idea? Read Song of Songs sometimes; the Song of Solomon.

Look at 1 Corinthians 7:2. Paul gives some directions for a pure marriage and he says that the husband and the wife are not to deny each other physical contact.

1 Corinthians 7:2 – But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

That takes care of the Mormons right there. It doesn’t say wives and it doesn’t say husbands. You get one. And you get that one for life.

1 Corinthians 7:3 – The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.

The first thing I want you to realize is that duty. I can remember when I first got married my dad was sitting down talking to me about the facts of life. Not the total facts, I knew a little bit before then. But he was explaining to me that sex would become a problem. And I looked at him kind of strange like, “How could that possibly become a problem?” How could it possibly be considered a duty? That’s not the way he worded it. He was wording it in terms of worldly ways. But there’s a duty, there’s a responsibility. There’s an obligation, the scripture is saying, to be sure that you fulfill that physical contact. You know why? Not because of physical contact. I know that’s why, that’s the implication of what he’s saying but that’s not the real deep purpose of it. I mean if that’s all we see, we haven’t seen much. Because it is a spiritual worship. It’s a coming together as a communication, as becoming one before God. It is not just for pleasing of the flesh and a release of some energy. It is supposed to be a time of renewing your commitment to each other and to God. And you do that not only in the physical sense but also in the spiritual sense.

Now obviously Paul was talking just about immorality and sexual minds and he said, “Look, fulfill your duties.” But you have got to get past that stage where it just becomes passionate, just becomes duty, just becomes something to be done to keep from falling into other sin. Not “I got married so I wouldn’t commit lust” or “I got married so that I wouldn’t go to an orgy.” I mean, that’s what he’s almost saying. “Look, there’s so much immorality, go get married. I mean, you got no choice and can’t control yourself, then go do it.” I think there’s almost an indication of a little bit of shame here. If that’s the level of your relationship physically with each other you have nothing hardly in Jesus Christ at all. Because that’s not what it’s intended to be.

1 Corinthians 7:4 – The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.

Again we get just a glimpse of the service toward each other and the love toward each other, but also he is saying there is an obligation and a duty to fulfill that aspect of marriage. How do marriages end up not fulfilling that with each other? Because what happens over a period of time each person begins to use that as a tool. Each person becomes so self centered that they no longer begin to give to each other. You know what happens over time, that just eventually dies out. And there is no longer a marriage there. Not because they’re not having physical contact, but because there’s not the physical and the spiritual contact there. There’s not the renewing of the covenant. There’s not the coming together to be one before God. And so eventually that marriage dies out and they sleep in separate rooms or they just do their own separate thing.

So he’s saying, “You belong to each other and you come together to renew that kind of covenant. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone. But it also belongs to the husband. In the same way the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.”

1 Corinthians 7:5 – Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time. . .

An agreement between both of you. And for a time so that you may what?

1 Corinthians 7:5 – . . . devote yourselves to prayer.

How little have I ever heard this passage talked about. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it discussed.

1 Corinthians 7:5 – Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

You know there’s a subtle rebuke here. A grinding in and saying “Pay attention. You guys, there’s so much immorality, you’re so weak, you don’t have any self-control. I mean deny yourself for a while and devote yourself to prayer but then come together again before you’re just overcome.” But Paul is saying, “Get past all that.” We’ll see here in a moment where he says it’s better to be single anyway.

In Exodus 19:1 it talks about a married couple deciding to go to prayer and not come together. You can even set aside some time by mutual consent. You can come together and say, “Look, let’s not come together sexually so we can devote ourselves just to prayer and God for the next three or four days.” Or there are those times when you can’t come together physically because God has so arranged your life to do His work and you don’t have that chance, that opportunity isn’t there. And you can either let that passion build up, you can let your thoughts begin to run wild and you can let that lust in, or use that as an opportunity to come before God. You may not be able to mutually come together, because you both have gone before God and He’s arranged the circumstances and so you can’t come together. So there’s a mutual consent.

Exodus 19:1-4 – In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on the very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God and the Lord and called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you ought to say to the house of Jacob, what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourself have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.’”

How often God has to remind us of who He is. How slow we are to remember. No wonder our hearts get drawn toward the things of the world.

Remember how God had to speak to Solomon and say, “I appeared to you twice and I gave you wisdom and remember what I did with David?” But we begin to forget who God is and what He has done and what His mercy is like. We buy that lie that says “Don’t ever remember your sins and where you were at.” That’s a bunch of baloney. You remember Egypt and your slavery and your bondage so that you can appreciate where God has delivered you. May we never forget the sin we were in. Then we’ll appreciate the grace that has been given to us.

Exodus 19:4 – You yourself have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.

How God longs to bring us to Him. He’s going to tell the people to purify themselves and to prepare themselves to come before Him.

Exodus 19:5 – Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all the nations you will be my treasured possession.

Sometimes I just sit down and think about the fact that I am God’s child. Not on a prideful trip. I know we’ve heard that before in terms of “Well, I’m a child of the King.” Not that kind of nonsense. I mean on your face. “I really belong to a living God. I praise You that I don’t bow down to a wooden Buddha. That I don’t follow the teachings of Confucius, that I don’t follow any idols in India, that I’m not bowing down to demons right now.” The Christian life may be difficult, it may be hard, it may be purifying, all those things may be there. But I’m thankful that I worship a living God and a living God who is love and desires that no man go to hell and no man perish. Out of all the people of the earth you will be My treasured possession. He says,

Exodus 19:5-6 – “Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.

Words of encouragement. Just who we are and who we belong to. That ought to cause all the places of this world to vanish like the morning mist. They ought to just evaporate. What real desire remains to go to a movie or to watch a certain show or just indulge yourself. What are they compared to knowing that we belong to God? How little we have a vision of just who it is we worship. We want to get so much from Him and gain from Him, that we don’t appreciate who He is because self is being fed.

Exodus 19:7-11 – So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, “I’m going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you.” Then Moses told the Lord what the people had said. And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day.”

Well, of course, the third day, we would have known He would have said that.

Exodus 19:11-12 – . . . because on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, “Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.”

Now I want you to understand the introduction God is giving here. He’s saying, “In three days I’m going to meet with you. Purify yourselves, consecrate yourselves, come before the holy mountain and let Me tell you, if anybody touches it, if an animal touches it, they’re to be put to death.” This is the introduction of what it’s going to be like to fellowship with God on that day.

Exodus 19:13 – He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows, not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal he shall not be permitted to live. Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain.

There are whole sermons in this whole thing. But it tells us not to be presumptuous when we’re coming before God. Not to be arrogant. Yes, by the blood of Jesus we can come into the holy of holies, but I get so tired of people acting like they just march in and demand things of God and say, “We have a right to these things.” You don’t go until that horn sounds until there’s permission from God. You’re entering the King’s palace and He’s worthy of our respect. You wouldn’t walk into the governor’s house and just walk in and say, “Here I am, Gov. These are the things I want.” You go in with respect, you go at His appointment. He is God after all.

Exodus 19:14 – After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people he consecrated them and they washed their clothes. Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”

How do you prepare yourself for the third day? Abstain from sexual relations. What did Corinthians say? By mutual consent. Agree not to come near each other so that you can devote yourself to prayer. So there can be that beating of the body, that discipline of the flesh. There can be that time of saying, “I’ll just give myself as a commitment to God during that time.” Of all the things Moses could say, who would expect him to say that? I mean, you couldn’t have guessed it if you were standing there. I mean here it is, God talks about anybody who touches the mountain gets stoned or shot with arrows, no one should touch his body, he’s unclean. You can’t come up to the mountain until the ram horn sounds. And then Moses comes back to the mountain and says, “This is how you prepare yourselves. You wash your clothes and you abstain from sexual relations.” I’d have never guessed it. Maybe to fast from food, but not to fast from sexual relations. Again, it can be mutual consent. It can be God arranging the day. It can be God laying down the schedule. You’re not able to come together, there’s not that opportunity. Your wife is pregnant. Her monthly period is the time to be seeking God, to be disciplining the body. All those things are there. Those are opportunities to seek God and to see how much we really are controlled by our flesh. Especially, if nothing else, when that passion is there and that lust is there you certainly could be using that time to pray to God to purify the marriage, can’t you? You can say, “God, teach me what more things there are in You in terms of a sexual relation. How should the marriage bed be? I don’t even understand what this is about. You have to put it into my heart.” And He will.

Exodus 19:16-17 – On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightening, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

They consecrated themselves. They prepared their hearts; they realized who they were coming in before. They knew He was an awesome and a holy God. They washed their clothes, that is, they cleaned everything up outwardly. They checked their lives and they abstained from sexual relations. That is no other commitment, no other unity except God. No other looking toward anything, no other pleasing of the flesh, no other pleasing of each other, just a looking toward pleasing God.

Abstain for a time by mutual consent so that you can devote yourself to prayer. Don’t ever, though, don’t ever use that scripture to justify not giving to your wife or to your husband. Don’t ever use God’s word for that. This is by mutual consent. It’s by love, and it’s by real holiness of really seeking God.

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 it tells us another way to keep the marriage bed clean and that is that a person should only marry a believer. There is no choice in this matter. You know that’s a ridiculous statement. There is no choice in this matter. This is a law, it’s laid down. This is a legalistic rule. You cannot marry anybody who is not in the faith. That’s ridiculous to come with that kind of law at any Christian. What true Christian who loves God would want to marry somebody who doesn’t know God in the first place? I mean, first of all, if you understand that a wife is to be submissive to her husband, why would she go marry somebody in the world? It’s difficult enough for women who are in the Lord to submit to their Christian husband who is not quite as mature as he should be. It’s hard enough to do it there. Why would we marry someone who is following demons? Why would we go to bed with someone when we know that Satan controls their life? How could a woman or a man ever think of marrying somebody whom they know is controlled by Satan, who worships demons, who seeks to please the flesh, and have a honeymoon night that’s supposed to be exciting in the Lord? Or somehow God has called that marriage to be. It’s almost an unthinkable thought. It’s too bad God had to even write it down.

2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

There isn’t any. There’s only warfare. If there is a Christian getting along with a non-Christian and they’re contemplating marriage then that person has already surrendered to Satan. The day that I get along with somebody that doesn’t love the Lord is the day I’m in trouble. The day I have something, anything, in common with them I’m in trouble. I may love them, I may serve them, but let me tell you something, there is always a wall. I might give my money to charity and they might do the same thing, but we did something totally different. I have nothing in common with the people of the world except that we’re at war, that we have in common. They oppose me and I oppose them. And unless they repent there is no common ground. How could it ever be that a Christian or anybody would dare think or even want to marry somebody who is not in the Lord?

2 Corinthians 6:14-15 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or fellowship and light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.

That’s why I said that having sexual relations is a spiritual act. We are that temple. And we unite ourselves with somebody else who is a temple of whatever. Whether it be demons or whether it be a god.

2 Corinthians 6:15 – As God has said, “I will live with them and walk among them and I will be their God and they will be my people.”

Does that ring to us of some other things that were maybe told to Solomon? That was maybe told to the people of Israel before they went to the holy mountain. Do we not see again God telling us, “I will be your God. I will love you. I will pour out grace. You’ll be My treasured possession. You will belong to Me.” What then are the pleasures of this world, the pleasures of a person, or the pleasing of the flesh, compared to the fact that we can honestly say with conviction and with confidence, “The Lord is my God.” “I will be their God.” It’s not like God lays down a law. And it’s not like God lays down all these blessings where you gain all these things. He just says, “I’ll be your God and that will be sufficient.” That ought to cause everybody that claims to be a Christian to just despise even the thought or even the consideration of it, or know where it comes from when you do get the thought of marrying somebody who does not belong to God or who is not a strong Christian or somebody who claims to be a Christian but is lying.

2 Corinthians 6:17 – “Therefore come out from them and be separate” says the Lord. “Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you.”

I don’t have time to get into it today but you can read sometimes where scripture talks about what happens if you become a Christian after you’ve already gotten married and the spouse doesn’t become a Christian. God says your children are clean. God works grace there. He doesn’t call you to separate at that point. But to deliberately set out, I mean just deliberately set out and say, “I’ve been convicted by God to marry this person,” is a blasphemy of God’s word, it’s an abomination unto God. First of all, you’re right there in a church because no doubt a Christian is going to demand a church wedding. Right? So you stand there before God and say, “God, sanctify this marriage. I’m in total disobedience to Your word, but I know that I’ve been convicted.”

And granted, there are people who didn’t know this teaching or they were blind to it or they were hard at the time, then let everyone of them at least stand up and say, “I sinned, it was wrong. Nobody else should commit the same sin.” If we know someone who has done that and we didn’t know them in the past and they did it in ignorance and they realize it now, then they need to acknowledge their sin. They may not need to separate, then again they may need to. But if I know somebody who is a Christian and I tell them they should not marry the other person because of unbelief and they do, then that is total ground for disfellowship and nothing but complete disfellowship. Because that is deliberate disobedience to God. And no pastor, in the first place, should ever marry them.

In 1 Corinthians 7:39 it says that a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives but if her husband dies she is free to marry anyone she wishes. But he must belong to the Lord. No one is permitted to marry those that aren’t in the Lord. They are only permitted to marry those in the Lord.

You know I get this feeling in Scripture, especially when Paul writes and says “You’re free to marry anybody you wish.” I get that feeling that there are just some things God can’t legislate us to do. That he just can’t get us to do. In other words, how few people really get before God and say, “God, I only want to marry if You want me to marry. And I only want to marry the person that You called me to marry.” It’s just like we can’t bring ourselves to surrender. It reminds me of when Jesus said, “It wasn’t that way in the beginning. I tell you Moses allowed you to do that because of the hardness of your hearts.” It’s like I get the implication here why would I ever go, “God, I want to decide who I want to marry.” That would be an absurd thing in Jesus Christ for me to do. Even if the person was a believer. I’d want to know, “God, is that the person You have in mind?”

God knows that some of us are so weak in our sinful passion that we just have to get married. And that person is so cute, and they’re so spiritual and they pray such good prayers that we’ve just got to marry them, and there’s no choice in it. God couldn’t get us to carry the cross in that area if He tried, because of the hardness of our hearts. I guess it’s like our own children. We let them do certain things that we know are not best. I mean, not totally wicked and they’re not totally stealing or beating up a neighbor, but it’s just not the best thing to do. And you just know if you sit down to talk to them and say, “Look, this is the best thing to do.” And they go, “Yeah, yeah,” and you know they’re not going to do it. And you can either destroy the relationship, you can make it such a legalistic thing that there’s just no attempt at all to keep anything together or you can hope in time the person will mature and realize, “Yeah, that really was a stupid thing.”

You get the same thing in Genesis where it isn’t until later on, I think it was after Noah, that God said man could eat meat. It was never God’s will to kill animals and eat but I think if God would have come along and said, “Okay, nobody can go to heaven who eats meat,” there’s just no way that any of us could obey it. There would be very few people. I don’t know. You just get that, it’s almost like God is exasperated: “Marry anybody you wish, but they do have to be in the Lord.” You know? I wouldn’t want to marry anybody I wish. That’s not the message of the cross. And who said I gained that kind of perfect wisdom? I can’t see the heart of that person that I would choose.

In Ezra 10:7 the people had committed the sin, they had intermarried. They married with people who were not believers.

Ezra 10:7 – A proclamation was then issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem from all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem. Anyone who failed to appear within three days . . .

Of course, we knew it would be three days, right?

Ezra 10:7 – Would forfeit all his property in accordance with the decision the officials and the elders, and would himself be expelled from the assembly of the exiles.

“Don’t show up and you’re out. This is a mandatory church service, got it? Wednesday night, the most inconvenient time.”

Ezra 10:9 – Within the three days, all the men of Judah and Benjamin had gathered in Jerusalem. And on the twentieth day of the ninth month all the people were sitting in the square before the house of God, greatly distressed by the occasion and because of the rain.

Of course, you knew there had to be rain. Some was for baptism and purification and washing of the clothes, the whole business of being purified.

Ezra 10:10 – And then Ezra the priest stood up and said, “You have been unfaithful, you have married foreign women, adding to Israel’s guilt.”

Kind of steps on some toes, doesn’t he? Now look at verse 11. There are certain people I know that are Christians, at least one person is, or whatever all the different combinations you can come up with, that have married unbelievers, have married people they shouldn’t. And you need to come to them and you need to say, “You’ve married, you’ve been unfaithful to God. You married someone you should not marry.” And verse 11 says,

Ezra 10:11 – Now make confession to the Lord . . .

There must at least be that acknowledgment that says you’re wrong.

Now I want you to think about the repentance and revival that is taking place here. And I’m not even standing up here saying that everybody who is married to somebody they shouldn’t have should automatically separate. Now again, I’m not saying they shouldn’t, either. I reserve the right to listen to the Spirit on each occasion. There is no option here. We are talking about people who have been married for years. They’ve got children, and I don’t know if they’ve got grandchildren or not. But Ezra the priest is standing before the whole assembly and in a loud voice he’s telling them “You have to separate, that you have to send your wife, you have to send your children away from your home. And anyone who doesn’t do this will be cut off from God. Make confession that you sinned and then do what is right.”

There are people who are divorced and remarried and they need to divorce again and separate. There are others that God’s grace works on them. They’ve been married for a long period of time and you have to look at in terms of love and how God would show it so they don’t divorce. But everybody that is in that situation needs to have this heart. Even if I turned to somebody and said, “No, God isn’t saying you should divorce,” the person should say, “Are you sure? You’re right. Maybe I need to, in spite of the fact that my children are teenagers,” or whatever.

Ezra 10:12 – The whole assembly responded with a loud voice; “You are right!”

Let me tell you this is one of the few revivals you really see in the Old Testament. Very, very seldom do you ever hear the people say, “You are right” to a prophet, to a priest, to a teacher. Very few times.

Ezra 10:12-13 – We must do as you say. But there are many people here and it is the rainy season; so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing.

They saw their sin and they saw it to the death and they knew that it just couldn’t be taken care of in a day or two.

Let me tell you, any person who marries somebody they shouldn’t, it’s never taken care of. Not until you die is it taken care of. There will always be that connection. There will always be the family. There will always be the obligations. There will always be the concern. There will always be the damage that has been done. But there will always be a God who works good for those who love him. But you always carry around that reminder. Every woman who has had an abortion, you can’t go back and change that. There’s nothing that can be done except to throw yourself on the throne of grace and know that He works good. If something has been committed that should not have been committed, all we can do is confess it before God and know that it takes more than a day or two to get everything squared away.

Ezra 10:13 – . . . because we have sinned greatly in this thing.

Let’s be truthful. Let’s be truthful.

In 1 Corinthians 7:1, talking about a pure marriage bed it tells us it’s better to be single. In the Old Testament what was exalted but the family? Be sure you multiply. Don’t stop having children. There’s one man who was killed because he wouldn’t fulfill his obligation and God struck him dead. The New Testament tells us it’s better to be single. Every Christian ought to have the goal to be single, first of all. That’s where you start, not the other way around. The assumption is that everybody marries unless God calls you not to marry. No. It is that everybody desires to be single. Then if God calls you to be married you’ll pick up that cross and go do it.

1 Corinthians 7:1 – Now for the matters you wrote about. It is good for a man not to marry. . .

I mean it’s a good thing in the Lord. That’s how he begins his whole discussion. Exalt the thing. Even though we honor marriage it’s still better to say it’s better to be single. That way you can serve Jesus Christ with a full heart.

1 Corinthians 7:7 – I wish that all men were as I am.

You know, it strikes me funny how the “tongue people” who say everybody should speak in tongues quotes Paul where he says, “I wish that everybody spoke in tongues like I did.” But they never come back over here to 1 Corinthians 7:7, where Paul wishes that all men were like him and lay out a rule that everybody is supposed to be single. I haven’t heard it yet.

1 Corinthians 7:7 – I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

He’s saying, first of all, let your desire be that’s it’s better not to marry and you seek the throne of God, and you seek his will. Then you receive from God joyfully whatever gift. If the gift is to be married then you marry. If the gift is to be single then you be single and you accept from God’s hand what his will is. He goes on to say, “Look, if you’re going to burn with passion, then marry.”

Let’s read on in verse 36 of chapter 7. It says,

1 Corinthians 7:36 – If anyone thinks he’s acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she’s getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married.

It is not a sin to get married.

1 Corinthians 7:37-38 – But that man who has settled the matter in his own mind who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will and who has made up in his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. So then he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.

As Christians we can stand up and say it is better to be single. There are a lot of reasons for that. Of course, the obvious one is that you can spend full time worshipping God. You don’t have to worry about pleasing somebody else, what the needs are of the family. You can be concerned only about the needs of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 7:39 – A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. In my judgment she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

I don’t think for a moment he’s giving his opinion here. He’s not laying down a command or a law. We’re talking about a man who wrote scripture, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit writing and saying this is what’s best. You know scripture says that we may discern what is best in the Lord. Some things aren’t simple, it’s just a matter of what’s best and the most proper thing at the time. Of course, it would be best to be single but each man has his own gift. But let everyone’s heart be such either if you’re married to live as though you’re not married, or if you’re single you hope that’s how you stay.

1 Corinthians 7:25-29 – Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are. Are you married? Don’t seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife. But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. What I mean, brothers . . .

And then he goes on to explain it. And the reason I wanted to read you verse 29 is because we don’t need to go back into verse 26 and immediately say the present crisis was obviously there was an economic problem, a war going on and Paul says don’t marry. Paul is giving a general discussion and to take that one little section of scripture and to justify and to throw out everything he just said is absurd and ridiculous. It’s like he’s trying to make a point.

Say you’re talking to someone who is a Christian and you’re trying to convince them that they shouldn’t marry or it’s best not to marry, that should be in their heart. And you’re going through all the reasons you can think of. At the present time look at how the world is; pollution, ecology, the beast is coming, I mean you start laying out all the things that are there just to get them to see, “Don’t you see that it’s best not to marry?” It doesn’t have to be World War III before that applies. We can say that now, things are more wicked now than ever before. Let me tell you, there may not be war and there may not be the beast on the scene, but raising your children right now is a very grievous thing to do. On that basis alone you can make a case. Because of the present crisis, it really is a grave situation. Verse 29 again says,

1 Corinthians 7:29 – What I mean, brothers, is the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none.

Paul’s making a point: “What I’m saying by all this, is that it’s just best to be single. And even if you’re married you’ve got to live as though you’re not married. That’s my point.” And that’s what he’s trying to drive home.

1 Corinthians 7:28 – But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

That applies to anybody whether there’s a present crisis or a future crisis. If you are married you will face more troubles and trials than if you’re single. Who of us, first of all, don’t have a fear deep within our heart that our children will grow up not to serve God? I think that’s the greatest fear that I have. That somehow my three sons would grow up and decide they don’t want to follow God. And to know also that Satan’s prime catch is preachers’ sons and to know that he more actively pursues them than anybody else. Those are grievous things to consider. Not to mention all the struggles and trials that are there. Suppose my children are strong and they’re being persecuted for the faith. Or as you can read in The Book of Martyrs about a father that they were trying to get to deny Jesus Christ. They brought in the head of his son and showed it to him, just to ridicule and to mock. Of course, he reached over and he kissed that head and he said, “It was worth everything.”

Those of us who marry will face many trials and there is no way around it and it’s one of the sure promises of Jesus just as much as God being with us. And those of you who have children who don’t love God, what a pain that is. That will be something that will not disappear until you’re in glory. There’s no way you can get rid of it, there’s no way you can run from it. Those who have left children for God, you can’t ever forget that child, you can’t ever forget that concern. There are those constant battles that are there. “Those who marry will face many struggles and I want to spare you this. I want to give you grace.” That’s what he’s saying. It’s better to be single, then at least the troubles you face are your troubles. How many husbands or fathers would endure the beatings for the children if it were for them? At least it’s your own. You don’t have to helplessly sit there and watch somebody else. Again, God can work a lot of good through that. We can certainly identify with the heart of God as he watched us beat his son. But to think about having a daughter, a daughter that is going to be tormented by other men because she professes God, those are tough things to face. And sure it is by far better to be single than to face those.

1 Corinthians 7:7-9 – I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another that. To the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves . . .

And here’s the clincher,

1 Corinthians 7:9 – . . . they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

“If there is just no way around the flesh and its control, they should marry.” Now, you can marry under those circumstances and it’s not going to cost you your salvation. You can come before God and you can say, “God, I’ve got to marry otherwise I’ll burn with passion.” You can marry and not lose your salvation, but what a way to start a marriage. What a way to begin your marriage. You know if we walk in the light, we’d know that. We could stand up before the whole congregation and say, “I’m going to marry because there’s no way I can control my passions.” And if you’re in that place that’s the kind of life you need to walk in, it’s better to admit it and get it out in the light. At least turn to the other person that you’re marrying and tell them that. You’re going to deal with it, aren’t you? Surely you’re going to go back and humble yourself before God to get it dealt with.

I know a couple that are married and that’s the main reason they came together, because they burned with passion. I wish they had walked in the light and stood up and said that was their main motivation. Better to be humbled and broken before God and to admit that and to let God work good than it is to deny that fact and to call down and say, “Well, the Holy Spirit called us to be together,” when that wasn’t even God’s will in the first place.

1 Corinthians 7:9 – But if they cannot control themselves they should marry because it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

That’s why Paul will write in Timothy and he’ll say, “I counsel younger widows to marry,” so they don’t fall into that sin of denying Jesus at that point he’s talking about.

And finally, I just need to mention in passing, we don’t have time to get into it today, but to divorce and remarry is adultery. It makes the marriage bed unclean. Look at 1 Corinthians 7:10 again. Paul says,

1 Corinthians 7:10 – To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord):

This is the Lord’s command. You know how God hates adultery. How many times in Scripture God will say, “If you commit adultery you will burn in hell”? And Paul says, “This is the command that comes from Jesus Christ.” And he’s talking to Christian marriages.

1 Corinthians 7:10 – A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband.

There are no exceptions, there are no ways out of it, there’s no way to go around it except to twist the scripture. This is a commandment from Jesus Christ. Anyone who divorces their husband or their wife and marries somebody else commits sexual immorality, they commit idolatry, they commit adultery. It is an utter sin. And I wish the churches would stand up and take 1 Corinthians 5 and disfellowship everyone who is in sexual immorality. Anybody who has been divorced and remarried is out. There would be a lot of things cleaned up, wouldn’t there? No wonder preachers don’t preach the gospel, you’d lose a lot of people. You’d lose a lot of pastors.

1 Corinthians 7:11 – But if she does she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband and a husband must not divorce his wife.

It is a covenant agreement, it is a spiritual agreement, it is a commitment of saying I will stand by you and I will pray for you and I will love you as long as you live. And I swear this before God.

Again the vilest form of adultery that anybody can commit is spiritual adultery.

The second thing is I’m not going to lay down a bunch of laws on what’s proper in bed and what isn’t. I commend your conscience before God and before the word of the Lord. I’m not going to preach a sermon and lay down ten things. The important thing is they can only marry a believer. That’s only who you can marry.

And lastly, of course, is it is better to be single. Let that be your goal.

Let’s go ahead and pray.

Father, we do pray that You work within all of our hearts a love for You, Father, a first love that if we’re married, Father, we still live as though we’re not married. That in our hearts there’s just a total devotion to You. And, Father, those that find themselves single, never been married or a widow, Father, may they come before Your throne saying it is better to be single. But then, Father, knowing that You have a will for each man and each man has a gift and those that don’t have that gift shouldn’t seek to be married. And, Father, we know that there are those that are divorced, those, Father, that have little room or opportunity to be married again Father, give them the grace to stand firm that their passions will not overcome, Father, their devotion to You. And, Father, that every marriage that is in this body may be pure, may be clean. May marriage be honored in this body. May it be honored enough, Father, that all of us will be sure that the marriage bed is clean and it is pure. That Your name might be fully glorified. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.

 


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Psalm 119:102

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