At The Well last night I answered the next question in our “You Asked For It!” series: “How far is too far?”
It was the first PG-13 sermon I’ve ever delivered (on purpose) and it was an interesting experience and the first time I’ve ever spoken about sexual matters in such great detail from “the pulpit.”
Here were some of my main points (in a nut-shell):
- “How far is too far?” is the wrong question. I call it the “Prodigal’s Question.” The prodigal son wanted to get his inheritance and get as far away from his father as possible to live a wild life and squander his father’s wealth in a distant land. In essence the prodigal son wanted to know, “How far can I wander from home (God) and not be lost?” The proper question is, “How much do we really love God?” If we really love God then we’ll want to be close to Him–not out on the edge indulging in sin in a distant land.
That being said, I gave 2 answers to the question: “How Far is Too Far?”
1. When It Leads Us Into Sin–Matthew 5:27-30
- In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus teaches that–when it relates to issues of sexual purity–a thought is as good as a deed and we need to do whatever we can to guard our minds and our bodies from indulgence in sexual sin.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”
2. When It Leads Us Away From God–Hebrews 10:19-25
God’s desire is to be near to us. Think about it: To God heaven is going to be having us near to Him for all eternity. He wants us to stay close to Him on this earth maintaining moral purity. Knowing this truth, the writer of Hebrews urges . . .
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
In this passage the writer of Hebrews teaches us how to stay close to God
1) Through Moral Purity v.22
2) Through Strength v.23 (hold “unswervingly” to the hope)
3) Through Accountability v.24
4) And Through Faithfulness v. 25 (don’t give up meeting together)