One Nation Given Up by God
By Bobby Blakey on July 10, 2022
One Nation Given Up by God
By Bobby Blakey on July 10, 2022
Does anybody here believe that Jesus has the power to save our souls? All right, well praise the Lord for the baptisms, for the testimony. Now, I just want to give a little disclaimer right here at the beginning of this sermon, this is going to be a hot sermon. All right. And you'll see when we open up to Romans 1, what I'm talking about, but also our air condition units, at least a couple of them are failing. So, I mean, like literal heat. I mean, if you're in the overflow, you might want to thank the Lord that there's airflow over there, because it's going to get hot in this room. So, I just want to be honest, and I would just want to let anybody who's new, that you're here for the first time, like, we don't intentionally make it hot, so people feel the scripture, or something like that. I just want to make that clear. Okay, we're going to put some sweat equity into this sermon together today. Are you with me, everybody? All right. So, if you're watching this at home, I need you to turn off your air conditioning right now so you can really share this moment with us, okay. And I want to invite everyone to open the Bible to Romans 1:21-32. I'm going to read for us. And this is a hot, intense passage of Scripture, because this is talking about God giving people over. And we're going to dive into what that means together, we're going to see how that is even happening in our country. And so, I really do hope that even if it is hot, or you're in the overflow, or you're outside, you're online, whatever it is, I hope that you can really hear what God has to say. And out of respect for God's word. I'm going to ask if you would all stand up for the public reading of Scripture. This is Romans chapter 1; we're going to go from 21 to the end of the chapter. This is the word of God and it's worth our full and undivided attention.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
That's the reading of God's word. Please have your seat. You can pull out the bulletin. This part you can use as a fan if you need to, that's fine. If you get hot, you can go grab some water out there in the lobby. But this part you might want to take some notes on. And you'll notice we printed out that entire passage because I just want to look at the passage as a whole, and let you see a flow of thought that Paul is giving us, because he uses this word “exchanged” three times. So, pick it up with me in verse 23. And if you're taking notes, I want you to circle the word “exchanged” there in verse 23. Now, if you are new, and you're just joining us here at Compass HB, what we do is we're just preaching through books of the Bible. So, our preaching through the book of Romans right now, we're just getting going in chapter one. We finished it at verse 23 last week, so we're picking it up in verses 24 and 25 this week. And where we left off is, “they exchanged the glory of the immortal god for images resembling mortal man.” So, the exchange that happened is, God is immortal, and they exchanged God for what is mortal. That may not be super clear in the English but God, he's incorruptible, he's imperishable. But they decided, instead of trying to find God in his immortality, they would find life in another way. And so, they're trying to find life in what is only going to lead to perishable corruptible death. And so, they're making an exchange. It also says this in verse 25. You can circle “exchanged” there because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie. They're not here to worship God, the one who made us. No, we're going to worship and serve the creation rather than the Creator. And then you can also circle “exchanged” in verse 26, where they exchange what is natural for what is unnatural.
So, he's showing us here three different exchanges that are being made by “they”. Okay, so it's important as we go through Romans, chapter 1, this is not talking about someone you know, it's not talking about a specific person or individual. This is talking about what happens in a group of people, group of people who are the world, as the Bible might call them. Like, in our case, our country, America, we can clearly see this progression has taken place in the last hundred years of American history. And so, it's like this is what's happening in our culture as a whole. We're not really worshiping God, no, we're turning away from him, and we're making these exchanges. Instead of believing this about God, we're looking for it now down here in His creation. And so, in response to these three exchanges, that's where we get three times this phrase I want you to underline now, the first one is in verse 24, “therefore, God gave them up.” So, underline that there. God gave them over, is the idea. You want to exchange God for something else, okay, then God gives you over to do that. And you can see it also in verse 26. For this reason, underline it, God gave them up. So, in the English, the paragraph breaks are actually at the lines where God gave them up. But it's important for us to see that God is giving them up because they exchanged God for something else. So, God is responding to what they are doing. And then it says in verse 28, because they did not see fit to acknowledge God. Underline it there for the third time, “God gave them up.” So, anytime in the Bible, you read something three times, it's using that repetition to make a point. People are exchanging who God is. And they're trying to find life just in what's created, without acknowledging the Creator. And so, they're choosing idolatry and sin over God. And so therefore, God is giving them over to their sin, and the consequences that come with their sin. And this all goes back to Romans 1:18. Look back up at that verse, where it says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” So, Paul is now giving us three different times, and this is how it works. When you turn away from God, and you exchange the truth about God for a lie that you're going to find life and creation without God, well, then God gives you over to that sin. Now, Romans 1 has become a well-known passage in the Christian church in America, because Romans 1 describes what has happened in America. So, you might be familiar with Paul writing this, that there is an exchange, and God gives it up. But this is not an idea that Paul came up with. This is an idea that is throughout the Bible, and I want to show it to you.
If you've got your Bible, turn with me to Psalm 106. And let's go back to the history of the nation of Israel, which is given to us here in Psalm 106. It's a long chapter, and it goes through the history and how God has been good to his people. And it takes us back to Exodus 32, when God delivered his people out of Egypt. Remember he sent Moses to Pharaoh. Moses said, “Let my people go on behalf of God.” God did ten plagues, maybe you're familiar with this, how they got delivered out of slavery from Egypt, and he even parted the Red Sea. And he led them through on dry ground before the water fell upon the Egyptian army. And there was a pillar of cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night, and God leads them to Mount Sinai where, with thunder and lightning, he gives them the ten commandments. Now after that, Moses goes up on the mountain. And this is what the people do. This is Psalm 106:19: “They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image.” So, while Moses is up there talking to God, what are the people do down here? They get all their gold together and they make it in the image of a calf, and they create an idol, and they begin to worship it. Look what it says in verse 20: “They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass.” So, you could circle that right there. This is an example of the exchange. This is what Paul is writing about in Romans 1. Moses is going to come down from this mountain with the law, with a way that God wants us to live. The reason we would build a golden calf, the reason that people have turned to idols throughout human history is, this idol doesn't tell us what to do. And therefore, we can do what we want to do. And so, it doesn't take long for the people to make the exchange where, instead of finding life in our Creator, we're going to make up this idol. We're going to worship it. And it says in verse 21, “They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.” And so, therefore, verse 23, “he said he would destroy them.” So, when people turn away from God, and they choose someone else to worship, or some sin they want to have besides God, well, then God's ready to give them up. And Moses came in and interceded on behalf of the people there in Exodus 32. But here, Psalm 106, is making it clear about this exchange that happened, same thing we're studying in Romans 1.
And Paul, remember before he's the apostle Paul, he's the Pharisees Saul. And so, he was familiar with the history of Israel. So, he would have already studied what the Hebrew Bible had to say about the exchange that they make when instead of worshipping God, we decided to worship something else. Go to Acts chapter 7, let me show you this exchange. And God giving over as Steven talks about it in Acts chapter 7. Maybe you remember that Steven gave the history of Israel here when he was on trial, making his defense. He talked about how Israel and particularly the religious leaders of the Jewish people, they had always been rejecting God, and what God was saying, and hardening their hearts against God. And he's rebuking the religious leaders of the Jews for hardening their hearts against God, once again. And at the end of this speech, they kill Stephen. And he's the first martyr of the Christian church. And look what he is saying, this is Acts 7:39-41: “Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.” They, they set up an idol. So now we can do what we want to do. Now, let's just keep in mind that when Steven says this, he's going to be killed at the end of this, and who is the person who oversees his murder? The guy who's writing Romans 1. Before he's known as Paul, he goes by Saul, and he is the Pharisee that oversaw the killing of Stephen. So, it's possible that Saul is standing there, hearing Stephen say this. It's possible that perhaps Stephen might even be the one who inspired Paul to write Romans 1, because look what he says in Acts 7:42: “But God turned away and” – here it is, underline it: “God gave them over to worship the host of heaven.” So, when people make the exchange, instead of worshiping God, I'm going to worship, fill in the blank, and I'm going to sin, fill in the blank. Well, when people decide to exchange God for something he has created, well, then what God does is He says that that's what you want, you want that sin? Well, I'm now going to give you over to that sin, and you're going to face all the consequences that come with that sin. So, this is the theme throughout Romans 1. And it's also a theme throughout Scripture that this is a way the wrath of God is revealed. When people exchange him for sin, God then gives them up to that sin.
Now go back with me to Romans chapter 1, and let's get into our two verses, specifically here verses 24 and 25. Because we had the exchange in verse 23: Instead of wanting the life, the immortality of God, they exchanged it for the things that have been made, that are going to die. They're not trying to find life in the Creator, they're trying to find life in the creation. So, God gave them up. Okay. And specifically, look what it says in verse 24. Two things that God gave them up to. Number one, the lusts of their hearts to impurity. And number two, the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. In the inside of them, in their soul, they have an evil desire for impure things. And then with their body, they do things that are dishonorable. That's what God is giving them up to. See, the reason that people don't want to worship the Creator and get it, and instead they get into the creation idolatry, we're going to see, it leads to sexual immorality; that is, anything that has to do with sex that is outside of marriage. The Bible could not be more clear that God created them male and female. And he said that the man is going to leave his father and mother, the man is going to be joined to his wife, and the two of them will become one. And what people do is they take the fire, and they take it outside of the fireplace. And then God says, you want to play with that fire? Well, you're going to get burned. And God gives them over to this evil lust of their heart that leads to impurity in their soul. And even they do things with their bodies that actually dishonor the bodies that God has made.
So, let's get this down, if you're taking notes: They take fire out of the fireplace, okay? They take the fire out of the fireplace, they take what God has created, and they use it in a way that God told them not to, that he never intended. And so, because they do that, they're given over then to this impurity, and the dishonoring of their bodies, and they're going to now face all the consequences that come with sexual immorality. Okay. And that's what it's describing here. So next to God, you can put God delivers them over to punishment; that's his response, okay? You want to be impure, you want to do things with your bodies that are not honorable, okay, then I'm going to give you over to that. And in the sin there are consequences that come along with that sin. There are many, many issues that people are going to face, when they take sex outside of marriage. It's going to lead to all kinds of problems. And God says, you want that more than me? Then he gives them over. Now, it's tough to talk about this in America in the summer of 2022, at the time you and I are living, because basically what I'm saying is that people should not do anything sexual outside of marriage. And as soon as I say that out loud, it makes me sound really old-school, really antiquated. Like, who is this guy? Does he know the America we're living in anymore? Right? Like it is just now accepted? It is just now commonplace? Do you want to do something with sex outside of marriage, go for it, do whatever you want to do, be whoever you want to be? It's now being encouraged. It's now being celebrated. And the Scripture is saying, no, you're exchanging what God said for a lie. You're into the creation rather than the Creator, and God's giving you over to the sin we have been given over in America. We are not one nation under God. We are one nation given up by God.
I mean, there's a raging debate going on right now in our country about what a pregnant woman should be able to do with the life that God has given inside of her. And I don't hear anybody saying, hey, hey, timeout, before we all rage and debate about this, women don't just get pregnant by themselves. Like timeout? Like timeout. People are having sex outside of marriage. That's something that the Bible has a lot to say about. That's not God's intention. That's never been God's plan. That's not how God designed it to be. Like, see, just bringing up that issue, it's like, how dare you bring that up; we're so over that, we've already talked about that. That's not the issue anymore. Everybody has the right to do whatever they want to do. We're past that now. No, we're giving up to that now. And we're seeing the impurity and we're seeing the dishonored bodies, and a lot of people have broken homes, and a lot of people have broken hearts, and a lot of people are looking for life in a place they're never ever going to find it. That's where we're at. I mean, since it became okay to do whatever you want sexually in the history of America, has our country gotten better or has our country gotten worse? The day that I heard the United States of America, our government say that the best way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies was to use a condom. I will never forget that day, because I'm pretty sure that the sure way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancies is to not have sex outside of marriage. That's going to be the best way. But we gave up on that as a nation. And so God gave us over to sexual immorality.
Turn with me to 1 Thessalonians 4 and look how it says, we're supposed to think about that here in this passage. This is 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8. And what this passage says is something that is so powerful, so helpful, because as people come to church, if they hear the word of God, people want to do God's will for their life, people who are seeking God, they start thinking through, like, what does God want me to do? What did God make me to do? What did God save me, he sent his son Jesus to die for me, so that I can have a new life through his resurrection. Okay, so what does God want me to do with my life? And people ask questions like, does God want me to be in a relationship with this person and marry them? Or does God want me to have this job and pursue this career path? Or does God want my family to live here in this house? Or does he want us to move over there and get that house? And we're always asking questions. What is God's will for my life? What I'm about to read to you, is hundred percent God's will for every single man and woman who can hear my voice right now, I can tell you with hundred percent confidence. This is what God wants for your life. 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.” Here's what God wants you to do today and every day for the rest of your life. Don't do anything sexual outside of marriage, that's God's will for everybody's life here today. Your sanctification. See, this is an important concept. Sanctification means, to be set apart from sin and for God's purpose. So, I'm not doing what they do out there. I'm not even doing what I used to do myself, I'm set apart from that. I'm set apart from the sin of the world, and I'm set apart for the holiness of God.
So, sanctification is the ongoing process in a Christian’s life of becoming less like who you used to be, and more like Jesus. Now it begins with justification. We're going to learn a lot about justification in Romans 1, as soon as you believe in Jesus, as soon as God opens your eyes to see that Jesus is his son, and he really did die on that cross to pay for your sin. And he rose again so that you can have a new life. And as soon as your eyes are open to see that and you put your trust in Jesus, you are justified. That means God declares you righteous in heaven once and for all. God gives you the gift of righteousness. Jesus pays for your sin. You believe that you see that God gives you his righteousness. So, sanctification then is now practicing that righteousness. It's starting to put off your old ways. And it's starting to put on new ways that God wants you to live. And God wants everybody here, he wants you to put off sexual immorality. He doesn't want you to be like the rest of America. He doesn't want you to be like that, if that's how you used to live your life. He wants you to be set apart from that. Look at what it says in verse 4, “that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.” So, God gave them up to dishonor their bodies. We, all of us who believe in Jesus, we are now it says here that each one of us we need to control our bodies in “holiness and honor.” One of the things that people don't really think about these days is that when you commit sexual immorality, you are one flesh with someone outside of marriage. 1 Corinthians 6 says that is a sin that you do against your own body. There is a way that affects you as a human being, as someone who has flesh and bones. Like, when you join yourself together with someone, something is happening there, where you are dishonoring your own body. And all of us who believe in Jesus, we now have a new way to conduct ourselves; we need to control our bodies and act in an honorable way that God made us for. Look what it says in 1 Thessalonians 4:5: We should not conduct ourselves here in the “passion of lust, like the Gentiles.” And then this is a key phrase here, “who do not know God.” And let me read what it says next, “that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” Anybody want to give holiness an Amen here today? Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards, not man, this is not what I think, this is not what our church thinks, this is the word of God. You disregard not man, but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you. So, God has called everybody here who's going to follow Jesus. You're called not to impurity, but to holiness. So, God has given over America to impurity and dishonoring their bodies. All of us in Christ, were now to control our bodies in a way that is honorable, and we're now called not to be impure, but to be holy. And what is the difference? Why should you and I expect to be acting a different way than our fellow Americans? Go back to verse 5? Because this is really the key. Where does this passion of lust come from among the Gentiles among the nations? They do not know God.
Let's get this down for point number one, take note: Idolatry equals impurity. This should be automatic in our mind. This should become the way Scripture is teaching us to think. If people don't worship God, and they set up an idol, idolatry, and we could see this throughout the history of the Scripture. Idolatry equals impurity. Once people aren't worshiping the God who actually created them, and made their bodies, when they're worshipping an idol, they will start to do things, “they” as a group will start to do things with their bodies that God never intended for them to do. That's how it works as soon as you can exchange God for something else. What you will see among that group of people, is impurities, sex outside of marriage, people dishonoring their bodies. So really, the answer to the issue of what do we think about sex in America in the summer of 2022? The answer is what do we think about God in America? People who know God learn the right way to think about sex. That's how it works. And we need to say that here today at the church, because I've heard people at this church say, well, as soon as I get married, that won't be a problem in my life anymore. I've heard people at this church say things like, if my spouse was just different, I wouldn't struggle with this. I've heard people say, well, this is just the way that I am. I, personally, I just have a real drive for this. I just really think this kind of a way. I've just always been like this in my life. No, no, here's the thing. Your impurity in your life, the dishonoring of your bodies in your life, it isn't about any earthly relationship, it's about your relationship with God. The day that you will be able to say no to sexual immorality is the day that you are ready to worship God and believe that life comes from him, not from any of that. That's the difference. You will find the answer that you are looking for, what you are seeking, what you are lusting for, what you are craving will not be found in sex outside of marriage, it will be found in a relationship with God through his son, Jesus Christ.
Why is this lust taking over our nation? Because we don't know God. We've exchanged God, the truth and this lie is now so prevalent in our culture; this lie is now so pervasive, that it's in some of our minds. Here as I speak right now, it's in some of our hearts here today. There are people sitting in this room right now, hearing my voice right now, and you do not believe that you can live life without sexual immorality. And you think if you did try to do it, you wouldn't be satisfied, you wouldn't be happy. You don't really believe that the way God designed you to live, to know him, to worship him, that he can put a life in your soul that will satisfy you, so you don't have to go looking for love in all the wrong places, because you found love in the Father through his son, Jesus Christ. Some of us, we believe the lie and not the truth of God. Go back to Romans chapter 1, because that's exactly what it says, why have we been given over to impurity and to the dishonoring of our bodies? Well, the reason is verse 25: “because they exchange the truth about God.” And we've exchanged it for the lie, and now we're worshipping and serving the creature. We think we're going to find life and our bodies or other people's bodies or are looking even with lustful intent and people in a sexual way. We think that's going to lead to some kind of life when really look what it says that we should sit there serving “the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” So, he puts that line in there about the Creator blessed forever. That means there are so many good things we could say about God. Can I get an Amen from anybody who here today believes that God is good? And when I say that, let me just clarify before you … raise your hand, I mean that I can find satisfaction in life through my relationship with God. He is that good. As long as I've got a relationship with him, I will experience in my soul, love and joy and peace, and I don't need what the world has to offer. As long as I know that God is good, I will find satisfaction in my soul in him. Who here really believes that? Okay. People who really believe that turn away from sex outside of marriage. And the answer is not they got married, they have this great relationship. They just got over it. No, the answer is I found God and he satisfies my heart’s desires. That's the answer. Okay, but the lie. No, people don't think God's going to do that. People think that's how prudish people think, that's boring. People do not see the lie is outside of marriage, that there's something happening there, that if you don't know what it is, you're missing out. That's the lie that America has been given over. And even people here today believe the lie, rather than the truth, that we have a Creator. And if you worship and serve him, you will bless him forever, you will never run out of the goodness of God to experience in your life, you will find fullness of joy in his presence, and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. That's what you'll find if you see God. But a lot of us don't believe that.
So, we're still seeking something else. So, we have to rethink the exchange that America has made, where they've said, no, we're not going to go for the truth of God, we're going to go for the lie that life is found in the creation, rather than the Creator. We have to unlearn that here today. We have to unthink that, and we have to say, no, the lie is that you're going to find life and sex outside of marriage. And the truth is you're going to find life, and find it abundantly and freely, and your cup is going to overflow when you really have a relationship with God, and you know him. That's the truth. And so, it comes down to you; it comes down to me. Do we believe the truth that our souls can be genuinely satisfied in a relationship with the Creator through our Savior Jesus? Or do we think we need something else down here among the creation? America, they've been given over to seeking life in the creation? But what about you? What do you believe? Are you seeking life in God?
I need everybody to turn to Jeremiah chapter 2. This is my favorite passage about this exchange that people make about God. Jeremiah, chapter 2, hopefully we can all find it's right after Isaiah there among the prophets in the Scriptures. If you have never turned in your Bible to Jeremiah 2 before, you're welcome, okay. You can thank me after the service. If you know Jeremiah 2, you're already excited. We're turning there right now, because this is God speaking to us in the first person. This is God's view, Paul's writing about it. Stephen’s talking about it, the Psalmists are giving the history of it, but here's what God thinks about this exchange here. Now, let's get it from God's perspective. And in the first person here. Jeremiah 2:11, he asked a question, and it's supposed to come across as a ridiculous question, “has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods?” So, you got it in the context here. Every nation, at this time in world history, they all had idols, they all had gods that they worshipped. The nations of the world were polytheistic; they all worship multiple gods. Israel was unique, because they only had one God, Yahweh. And he's like, can you think of any other nation that changed their gods? They said, no, these gods aren't working for us anymore. We're going to go to these gods. And the answer to that is supposed to be, no, that doesn't happen. Well, then the second part of the verse, “But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.” Look at the change my people have made. Instead of coming to me, when I can show them glory, when I can fill their life with good things, when I can satisfy their soul because I know I'm the creator. I design life. I know how to live from maximum goodness, I know the way of human flourishing. I'm over here promising life to everybody who listens to me, but they don't want that. They've changed instead of experiencing the glory, they've changed for something. And look what God says, it's not even working for them. They're getting no benefit out of it. There's no reward in what they're doing. They could be having glory, and they change glory for something that gives them no profit.
And here's how he says it in verses 12 and 13: “Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” God is saying they've done two things: One, they haven't come to me when I'm a fountain of life for their soul; two, they're over here with a shovel, digging in the dirt. And they're pouring their water into this well that they've dug, this broken cistern, and their water is just running out of the bottom of the well. It doesn't even hold the water that they're pouring into it. There's a fountain of life over here. And not only are they rejecting the fountain of life, they're over here trying to dig their own well, and the water is just disappearing. They're finding no life where they're looking for it. Now, I love verse 12. Because he says, “Be appalled, Oh, heavens.” And that's a reference that goes over a lot of our heads, what has already happened in the book of Deuteronomy, which was the second telling of God's law to the people. And in the book of Deuteronomy, you could look it up in Deuteronomy 4:26, Deuteronomy 30:19. God calls heaven and earth to be his witnesses. And he says, hey, I want to call two witnesses, I want to call the heavens and I want to call the earth because I'm telling my people, if you live the way that I tell you, you will find life. You should choose life. The way I'm telling you to live is the best possible, the best way to enjoy the fire is in the fireplace. When one man and one woman are committed to love one another, till death do us part, that is the best possible way to do this. That is maximum goodness. That is enjoyment that I have designed for you. So, choose life. Do it the way that I say, because I'm calling heaven and earth. If you don't listen to me, and you go another way, you will suffer the consequences of that other way. Please, don't choose death, choose life. And that's why he's now saying heaven. Can you believe it? I told them, I told them, this is the way of life, and this is the way of death. And are you shocked heavens? Can you even believe this evidence? they forsook life, and they looked for life where there was no life to be found.
Now, when I was preparing to preach this, I didn't know we would be one or two AC units down. All right. So I didn't realize how great a fountain of living water was going to sound about this time in the service. I don't know why I'm like this. Maybe you can help me out later. And let me know if I'm weird or not. But I think I'm a normal person, I don't know. But when I see fountains that are flowing streams of clear water flowing, I think that looks nice. I'd like to get in that fountain. Now, I don't know if anybody else ever feels that way. I think, why are we wasting all the water for show? Someone should go get refreshed in that fountain. Right? That's what I think anyways, so there's a fountain of living water like and you got to understand it when everything is basically we're raising animals or we're growing crops. Water is life. I mean water, that is where life comes from. And here, water is bursting forth. Here we've got more water, and we've gotten away cysts in the desert. Like here's an abundance, a stream, a river, and then, no, instead of going to where I can see the life, I'm going to get my little shovel and I'm going to go over here and start digging in the dirt. And I'm going to pour the water I've got into this little hole in the ground, this cistern, in this well, and the water that I pour into it is going to seep out the bottom of it. So, all the life I'm even trying to find just dissipates, it just goes away. That's what seeking life in sex outside of marriage is. It is emptiness. It is brokenness. It is people ending up alone, bitter, upset, given over to impurity with their body, dishonor.
Some of us, that's where we were before we met our Lord Jesus Christ. And God is saying to everyone who can hear his voice today, that he is a fountain of living waters, and he wants to put life in your soul forevermore, and you don't need to go looking for it. You can look to him, and you will find a river, a fountain of living water in your soul. In fact, turn with me to John chapter 4, where Jesus identifies with this same picture here in John chapter 4. This idea of living waters that God is giving away life for free, that anyone who comes to him will not be thirsty, and a dry and weary land where there is no water, you can find life in a relationship with God. A relationship with God can satisfy who you are on the inside in your soul in a way that sexual immorality will never satisfy anyone. So, that is the claim of the Scripture.
And so, Jesus goes and he talks to this Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4. And it's become a famous conversation because it's so awesome what Jesus says to her, but it's a very unlikely conversation. Jews didn't talk to Samaritans in public like this, and men didn't talk to women in public like this. And this woman is going to the well, like right around now, around noontime, in the middle of the day in the heat of the day. You don't go to the well in the middle of the day. You go in the morning before the heat to get your water for the day. Why is she coming in the middle of the day to get the water? Because she doesn't want to be around other people. Because she's got shame. And she's got guilt. So, she's trying to come and get her water by herself. And Jesus seeks this woman out to talk with her. And this is what Jesus says in John 4:13: “Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” Here's Jesus owning Jeremiah 2. And he said, hey, I can put a fountain of living water, a spring, spring up O well, in my soul, I can put life inside of you. And you can write down John 7:37, where he explains; this is a reference to the Holy Spirit. When God does his work of salvation in your life, he gives you a new heart, and God puts his life, his Spirit in you. And this spirit now brings forth love and joy and peace, things you were always looking for, but had a hard time ever finding. The pleasure passes so quickly, that good things you find, oh, it goes away so fast. But now God would put within you this love, like you've never known, this joy that transcends circumstances, this peace that surpasses all understanding. It's a fountain of life in your soul is what Jesus is saying to this lady. And look what they're talking about. Look at the issue, the woman is like, oh, I love that: “The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come here.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, I have no husband; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.” I mean, what Jesus does in this conversation is amazing to me, because he reveals that he knows everybody's history. He knows what everybody's done with their body. He knows whatever impurity has taken place, you think it's secret, you think it's hidden, if you think it's in the privacy of a bedroom or someplace, you think, oh, this, nobody knows about this. Jesus, he just says to the woman, look, I know who you really are. And when the first time you realize that Jesus knows everything about you, and he's going to judge you, it's a terrifying thought until you realize that the one who knows you and is going to judge you is also offering you living water for your soul. Like he knows everything about you. And he still wants to give you his eternal life. He wants to wash away all that impurity. He wants to cleanse you from all of that sin. And he wants to give you living water, so you don't thirst anymore. He wants to finally satisfy who you really are on the inside. And this woman, she goes from someone who is ashamed in the middle of the day and doesn't want to talk to anybody, and she runs back into town. And guess what she says to everybody in town? She says, come and see a man who told me everything I've ever done. Could he be the one? Could he be? Can you realize how she goes from wanting it all to be hidden in secret to now she's like, he knows it all. And he's still offering me living water. Everybody, you’ve got to come and see this guy. So, one of the things that happens at church, when we talk about sexual immorality is people think, well, I’ve just got to act like I have it together and I can't get real. This lady found out she could get real with her life with Jesus. And it's set her free. It says the shame was gone. The guilt was gone. She's running and inviting the whole town. Like, look, there is living water for your soul. He knows what I did, and he wants to save me.
Let's get this down for point number two: We need to turn from immorality to immortality. We need to turn from immorality, from seeking life in sex outside of marriage, to immortality, knowing that life is found, living water is found, through faith in Jesus Christ. What's the difference between a life of immorality and a life of immortality? Just one small letter in the shape of a cross. That's the difference right there. You are realizing that you're guilty for the sin that you have done, and then realizing that Jesus already died on the cross, to take your guilt, to pay for that sin. And Jesus now is offering you, instead of always being empty and thinking that believing the lie, that sex outside of marriage is going to fill you up, Jesus says, I can make your cup overflow. I can lead you by the peaceful streams, by the still waters. You need life? I can put a fountain bursting forth life in your soul. That's the offer. And so, you’ve got to make sure that you have an exchange, the truth of God for a lie. You’ve got to make sure here today that you are in no way thinking that sex outside of marriage is where you're going to find life. And we are so surrounded by the lie, it's impacted all of us, and we’ve got to have some clarity. As we walk out, we put some sweat equity into this sermon, let's get something out of it here together. We’ve got to realize, I am not going to believe the lie that there is any life to be found, except in my relationship with Jesus Christ because he is the one who gives living water to my soul. And I tell you what. I've talked to who knows how many people at this point about sexual immorality. Okay? So, there are people outside at Compass Connect ready to talk to you. I'll be here up front, ready to talk to you like we understand this is America. Impurity dishonored bodies, we've been given over to that of you if you want to come and talk about that, nobody's here to judge you. But we are here to tell you that Jesus got judged for you, and he can change your life. And you can find as many of us had real satisfaction for your soul, we find satisfaction in God, not in the American way of sexual freedom. We find it in real freedom in knowing God. There is satisfaction. We would love to help you experience the living waters so that you're thinking that God is good. And you bless our Creator, let his name be blessed forever. Amen. Let me pray for us right now.
Father in heaven, we really need to hear this word today because this is not what we are hearing even from our own government. In our country, people think that life is found in doing whatever they want with their bodies. And so, we have seen what it looks like to be given up to impurity. And Father, it's affected all of us. There's a lie that life is found in the creation rather than in the Creator. And many of us have dug wells. And we've poured our heart and soul and life into these wells. And we have found nothing. And so, Father, I pray that, instead of exchanging you for the lie, that today, we would all turn away from the lie. And we would seek you with all of our hearts, that we would find you to be the fountain of living waters, that we would find what we've always been looking for, to be loved, to be known, to be cared for. That we would find all that you have done for us through your son Jesus, Father, that you don't want to give us over to our sin. No, you gave your one and only son over for us. And if you gave Jesus for us, surely you will graciously give us all the things that we're going to need. Surely your goodness will flow like a stream in our lives. And surely we'll be able to say that you are blessed forever, because look how good you have been to us. Father, we confess that we have believed the lie that there is life to be found somewhere else, besides you. And we turn to you today with all of our hearts. And we come before you now to worship, we come before you now to say that you are the life, that at your right hand is pleasure forevermore, that in your presence is fullness of joy. And we are sorry for looking for it anywhere else, and we come now to you and you alone, and we believe that you are the fountain of living water. And we believe that in Jesus we will never thirst again. And so, we come to you now, not to change you for anyone else, but to worship you for who you really are, the soul satisfying God who made us to enjoy life through worshiping you. We come to you in Jesus name, Amen.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.