Lust Will Condemn The Participant
January 30, 2016
While witnessing downtown yesterday, a young man approached me, asking about how to live righteously. After several minutes of encouraging and exhorting him, through which he listened earnestly and asked more questions, he then asked me how he could defeat his problem with lust. Since I’d already spoken about the spiritual tools and weapons that God’s Word tells us have been provided for followers of Christ, I brought up that one initial, basic step is to stop watching most of what is on T.V. He agreed that this (supposedly) acceptable activity was definitely an avenue of inciting lust.
Since the sin of lust is a huge factor in bringing one’s fellowship with the Holy God to a screeching halt, and is often the main hindrance to one’s ability to even begin to approach Christ or follow Him, lust needs to be renounced and rejected, even in its slightest forms. God’s Word commands that we not participate in coarse joking (Eph. 5:4) nor in any hint of impurity (v. 3), including in our own homes. (Ps. 101:2) This involves not setting before our eyes any vile thing (v. 3) and holding to a contract with our eyes not to look at any other person lustfully. (Job 31:1 // Mt. 5:28,29) (I am not talking about appropriate, loving desire for one’s spouse.)
Jesus has strong words concerning those who engage in lust. He says it is adultery and that if it is not completely rooted out from the heart, it will send a person to Hell. (Mt. 5:27-30) This is plain language from Jesus, and we do everyone an enormous disservice if we not often reiterate His warning, especially to young people before they become adapted to the culture’s portrayal that lust is normal.
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Jesus’ warning in Mt. 5:28) This lust can happen and grow as one walks in stores or on a sidewalk, conducts business, listens to certain music, or watches anything unapproved by God. Therefore, as Jesus continues, “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away, for it is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into Hell.” (v. 29)
Fundamental steps in gouging out lust may very well be to unplug the T.V. and put it in a closet to be used only for special family viewings that enrich the mind of Christ we are to have, guard, and maintain. (1 Cor. 2:16 // Col. 3:2) This we will want to do if we fill our minds with God’s Holy Word which, if taken to heart, enables us to discern between good and evil (Heb. 5:13,14) and in how to utilize the freedom and power we’ve been given (Rom. 1:16 // 2 Pe. 1:3,4) in making the continued, deliberate choice to reject everything that could trip us up in our walk of fellowship with the Lord. (Heb. 12:1 // John 15:1-10 // 1 John 1:5-7)
God in no way tolerates the sin of lust –in any form. It is to be eradicated from our lives forever, or it will send the participant to Hell. All Christ-followers need to acknowledge this, teach this, and themselves, while also expecting others to do so, live accordingly.