Sin is never acceptable to God! Putting ourselves first is wrong for in so doing sin is always a disregard for God and others. While we justify the public expression of such sins as anger, gossip, malice, enmity, strife, jealousy, slander, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, and lying, the Word of God is very clear: “You must put them all away . . . “ (Col. 3:8, 9; Gal. 5:19-21). Consider the warning “that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:21). Paul’s point is that those who make a practice of doing such things are showing a pattern of life and giving clear indication of their inward, hidden, spiritual status. Simply put, they are not born of God; they are not children of God. True believers do not habitually violate what is planted on the inside.
Realize that such public sins are always exposed; obviously to God, but also everyone who cares about a breach of righteousness. Sins are committed in the open, we don’t care who sees. We don’t care if God sees and hears it all, nor do we seriously consider what people think. This is supreme arrogance! Without question, your sins have found you out. What is in the heart has been revealed.
Secret sins are no different. This sexual sinner is just more foolish. He or she knows that the sin, if discovered, will be denounced by all: a marriage could be lost, a family destroyed, a career ended, health ruined, finances decimated, and some will be incarcerated. We shouldn’t be surprised by the lies and level of deception used to hide the sin. After all, sinful arrogant logic dictates a cover up. The stupidity in this type of sin is not the harmful lying in and of itself, but the level of foolishness that is indicated by the cover up. No one said it more directly than the Apostle John, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil (public or secret sin), the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
Enter the technological age of the Internet, cell phone, and digital camera. In the dark ages of pornography−not that long ago−you could throw the porn away after looking at it or succeed hiding your stash. Those days are gone. Once the Internet became the primary means of accessing pornography, discovery went up dramatically. It wasn’t long before wives found the evidence of cybersex, children stumbled on to their parent’s problem, and employers got wise to the misuse of time. God, in His providential knowledge and sovereign oversight, uses technology to let others know what he knows. God wants to expose sin. With arrogance we foolishly respond with the new “porn mode.” On August 25, 2008, Microsoft officials confirmed that the company would provide private browsing, a k a “porn mode,” with Internet Explorer (IE) 8 Beta 2. With its private browsing feature called “InPrivate,” Microsoft is allowing users to cover their online tracks. Don’t be fooled; God is bigger than Microsoft. Your sins will still be found out because God is full of grace and mercy toward the sexual sinner.
Teenagers are now “sexting” with their cell phones. I can’t imagine teens in my day taking indecent Polaroid pictures of themselves or of one another and passing the photos out at school. This is child pornography and a crime, and now teens are being arrested for such activity. Be sure your sins will find you out.
Street View isn’t as good as God’s surveillance of our secret lives. Nevertheless, you have to be impressed with how God uses technology to expose sin. A wife filed for divorce after spotting her husband’s car parked outside another woman’s house. In and of itself this is not new, but with Google’s Street View the wife was able to confirm her suspicions by the surveillance of a friend’s home and seeing her husband’s car there. Watch out; God sees everything. While we have a long way to go before we match His ability, other sinners are now catching sinners on camera. The motives and intentions of the heart are definitely at work for both the sinner and the suspicious spouse. No telling who is watching what!
“You have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). The actual rendering is “you will suffer for your sin.” God reigns, not chance. He is visional; He sees all! Be careful what you do; “there’s a Father up above looking down in tender love,” as the children’s chorus goes. He knows whether you are faithful and He doesn’t tolerate unfaithfulness from anyone. This is not a human judge who determines the merit of the evidence collected by a third party and renders a guilty verdict if evidence is admissible. This is a Judge who sees the crime himself and sits in final judgment. The verdict is never in doubt. The marvelous wonder is that Christ himself has borne the penalty of our guilt!
If we know Christ, it is an all-out war against all sin, because it is an all-out war against the devil; therefore a fight against the practice of all sinning. There is no neutrality. Which side are you on? “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Col. 3:5, 6). You can’t run; you can’t hide. Be decisive and make a break from the practice of sinning. Your life depends upon it.
Coming in September−Undefiled: Redemption From Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships, by Harry Schaumburg, bestselling author of False Intimacy.
Amid the chaos of cybersex, impersonal sex, adultery, homosexuality, and sexual dissatisfaction in marriage, Undefiled calls readers toward a new kind of sexual revolution. Sexual impurity creates a vicious circle, one that springs from misconceptions about Christ and further taints our understanding of Him. Yet another circle is available to men and women trapped in sin, a circle of sexual redemption.
When practiced as God intends, spirituality and sexuality both draw us closer to Christ. Spiritual maturity and sexual maturity go hand-in-hand, and together they hold out the promise of redemption and restoration needed by everyone who has been damaged by sexual sin.
There is hope. Real change is possible; true intimacy is available. To the person who has failed time and time again sexually, God’s message is simple: You, too, can be undefiled.