“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears."Hebrews 12:14-17 (NIV)
I’ve been enjoying Christmas break spending time with my family, eating Christmas dinners, catching up on my writing, doing fun home improvement projects for my wife, and watching movies with the kids. Last night we plopped on couches eating buttered pop corn eager to watch the movie version of Jules Vern’s Voyage to the Center of the Earth. My kids have read the book for home-school and persuaded me to read it also. We were looking forward to watching the movie version. The movie followed the book closely for the first hour to a large lake in the center of the earth.
In the effort to obey verses like the one above we are careful about the movies we watch. I was enjoying this one so far and was beginning to think to myself it was a keeper… until the movie plot quickly diverged from the book and moved from the center of the earth to the center of sexual immorality.
I made the mistake of thinking that this was an older film and free from trash. I should have sought out a Christian movie review first.
Warnings against sexual immorality and wonder over the gift of sexuality to mankind are major themes in Scripture. God has destroyed whole cities for their sexual immorality in the past. Isaiah and his prophets preached against it. Jesus accused the Pharisees of being sinners equal with adulterers. The first church counsel agreed that new Christians must repent of sexual immorality before they could even participate in church fellowship. Paul urged Timothy to be pure. The sexually immoral are listed among those sentenced to the Lake of Fire. And on the positive side the Holy Spirit dedicated a whole Bible book to romantic marital love. God is serious that we would protect sexual expression for the marriage of a man and a woman as he intended. And in the Scripture above we are commanded above to... SEE TO IT!
And how are we to see to it? First, God’s 100% grace must be preached that even the worst sexual sins of God’s people are already forgiven at the cross, Ephesians 2:1-5. Furthermore, sexual immorality is not to be tolerated among God’s people so new Christians must cease immoral behavior before participating in church fellowship, Acts 15:20. We are also commanded to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another holding one another accountable, James 5:16. Godly counselors are to gently instruct others in the hope that God will grant repentance to those fallen into sin, II Timothy 2:25-26. Godly leaders are to preach the truth in love opposing Satan’s lies with great patience and careful instruction, II Timothy 4:2. And Christians who remain unrepentant are to be expelled from fellowship in order to bring them to their senses, I Corinthians 5:13. No doubt all hearts would be broken to be in such a terrible situation yet we would be in the good company of the broken heart of Christ. We also ought to remind each other that all sin is already forgiven, but there is still sin that leads to death, I John 5:16-17.
This is only a sampling of Scripture that will help us SEE TO IT that we do not fall into sin while surrounded by the sexual immorality of those with a defiant finger in God’s eye.