October 30

1 Corinthians 5-6, Psalm 143

Recently, I saw a young patient in her teens. Prior to my seeing her, she had multiple bouts of sexually transmitted infections, the last two being one called Chlamydia. She had pain and we performed an ultrasound. Both of her fallopian tubes looked severely damaged. So, unfortunately, when this young woman meets the man she will one day marry, she will most likely be unable to have children naturally (can use IVF) all due to an interaction with a young man whose name she will probably not remember, a mere footnote in her life. Sexual immorality is rampant in every form, from pornography, fornication, adultery and homosexuality. The question is how serious are we taking it. When I speak abstinence with a teen and her mother, oddly enough it is usually the mother who throws in the towel and says that I have to be more realistic. In 2012, over 40,000 ultra-orthodox Jewish men met in Citi Field to confront the problem they were witnessing within their communities. The meeting discussed the evils of the internet, the influence of pornography, along with the problem with Smart phones. I can tell you from working within their Lakewood community that the overwhelming number of individuals there carry flip-phones and I believe they do not possess a home computer.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, "Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." Though many would prefer to consider themselves responsible for themselves and that their actions don't really affect anyone, even if no one else on earth sees, when involved in sexual immorality we are inviting the Holy Spirit to participate in and view every action we are involved in. Paul says it clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:15, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!" Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." We who are in Christ can not remove Him when we want to. In Jesus' beautiful prayer in John 17, He prays to the Father and speaks of us future believers in verses 20-26, and in many ways He speaks that we are one with each other, and one with Him as He is one with the Father.

It has been said that 60% of evangelical Christians are involved in internet pornography. What is available now is not what was available when I (I'm 57) was growing up. Not that it was right or acceptable, but the most that a youth would get away with in those days was a quick glance at a Playboy magazine before being chased out of a store. This is no longer the case and to minimize it is wrong. If 60% are involved, that means that many in our church are involved. I know that accountability software exists where if one were to sign on to a site another person would be alerted which would serve as a deterrent and also make a friend available to help, like exists in AA for those who struggle for alcohol; would be wonderful if this concept was made available in the church. In a couple of months millions will be sitting down to watch the Super Bowl. Someone told me that this single event brings in more sex slaves from all over the world to the city which is hosting the event. We can shake our heads and point our fingers outside at others, but Paul's warnings made so long ago are as real today within the church. As Joseph did with Potiphar's wife in Genesis 39, when confronted with sexual sin, he did not debate her, consider it, defend his position, etc., he fled from her. Paul issues the same warning, "Flee sexual immorality".

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster