1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (1Tim 4:)
In school good kids were clean, well behaved, didn't smoke or drink, and they didn't "play around." Those kids who indulged in any of these activities were considered "bad" no matter what other good qualities they may have possessed.
This image was presented to us on the Television and in the movies as well. The good guys wore white (except Hopalong Cassidy and Tim McCoy, but they were so good in other ways we forgave them their indiscretion). Bad guys were mean, smoked, drank and they wore black. It was easy to spot the good guy and the bad guy. Good guys were good, and bad guys were bad.
We had programs like The Nelsons, so squeaky clean that Ozzie wore a tie even when he mowed the lawn. That's what good men did in those days, at least in the media.
Then came movies that began to stretch the boundaries a bit. The bad guy became a little good, and the good guy started showing just a little bit of bad. Eventually we had movies such as The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly where the hero good guy was so much like the bad guy that it was hard to tell which he was. He killed more people then the killers he was after, and he smoked and drank more than did the ones he was supposedly so much better then. After this it became a free-for-all with the worst of the bad being the out 'n out hero, and it was his badness that made him so heroic.
Of course there was always the ancient art books depicting an occasional nude where the model appeared to weigh more than my obese aunt Tilly. They might have sufficed this young searcher, if only they hadn't been carefully cut out of the page, or torn out roughly by some other young seeker who had beaten me to the book.
It was always an embarrassing occasion when I departed the library. I was sure the librarian knew exactly what I had been doing, if for no other reason than that my adolescent face was beet red and burning like fire.
When I was lucky I would come across a Sears catalogue, containing a section advertising women's underwear. But unfortunately, when I did find myself so fortunate, someone had beaten me to that as well, and those several pages were nothing but a rippled tinge at the binding.
It was easy for me to tell that I was not alone in my frustration.
My father was a mechanic. On occasion I was given the privilege of accompanying him to his garage (I think my mother forced him to take me off her hands). In the bath room where the lockers were there hung a calender depicting a Vargas girl. If you've never seen a Vargas girl, she was a nude (or in a small swim suit) again showing very little. But she was nude, and that's all it took in those days. I found myself having to go to the bathroom quite frequently when I was with my father at work. Perhaps I had an oversized prostrate at the tender age of ten, do you think?
With the sexual revolution of the 70's, and the beginning of abandonment of anything decent in the 80s, came the thong and the "G" string, continuing on to what we have today.
Although the excitement of the search, the sneaking a peek, is gone because everything is thrust in our face, new problems arise from the gray zone having been demolished.
The gray zone has disappeared, and the White hats are now the Black hats, and vice versa.
The computer has made the search for pornography easy and unavoidable. One might browse the web for the most innocent of item, and be confronted with the most outrageous of sexplicit material. And once such material has crept on to the screen, there is nothing to stop a parade of such, growing worse and worse, in the form of pop-ups, taking over the computer.
The Gray area is gone. What was good is now bad, and what was bad is now acceptable and normal. Where the boundary was once well defined, it is now all too easy to find one's self slipping over to the dark side without even being aware of it. Like eating too much chocolate, the realization that the danger point has long been passed is not recognized until the zits envelope the face, and then it's too late. The damage has already been done, and there's the devil to pay. This is not only true in the area of sexual incitement, but in all areas of our life. We have TV addiction, eating disorders, junk food and nicotine to contend with, fashion to keep up with, not to mention the Joneses to outdo. The world has become a trap designed to ensnare us from every angle. And instead of recognizing the traps, and being warned against them by our parents, by our schools, by our government and our churches, we're told it's ok to fall into the traps, and to be ensnared in them. Those who should be our instructors of righteousness are instead showing by example that the world of worldliness is acceptable and normal.
The conscience of the world has been compromised, seared as with a hot iron. And there's no one to yell "foul play."
What about in the churches? Surely the churches have held a firm line in resistance to this madness. Wouldn't you think the churches, the preachers, the radio and television evangelist would speak out against this outrage, and do so loud and clear?
This isn't happening. The churches invite those who are participating in such behavior into their ranks, and call them brothers. Am I talking about reformed sinners? No, they are blatantly sitting with their arms around their adulterous partner, holding hands, and not a word is said to them. The churches tell those who violate the rules as laid down in the Bible that they are accepted by God just they way they are. God loves everybody, and forgives everybody, no matter how filthy and unrepentant they may be. The church has become a part of the world, and thereby, a part of the problem.
What will God say when He returns for His faithful and pure virgin bride do you suppose? Will He find any virgins with their lamp still lit? Or will they all be hiding as did Adam, with beet red faces?
The gray zone is no more, not even in the church, the sanctuary for those seeking relief from the things of the world.
41Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 42And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:)
6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 7As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. 8They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. 9And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings (Hosea 4:)
1It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person. (1Cor 5:)
15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev 3:)
7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 8And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. (Gen 3:)
15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:)
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (Eph 6:)
I'm afraid that a lot of people who are standing behind pulpits today, are going to be hiding behind rocks and fig leaves when the Lord comes. Little by little the churches have drifted into the world. It seemed like such a small thing, the biting into the apple. But when the Lord presented Himself, the full realization of what they had done, and what they had become, suddenly was all too clear to them.
9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:)
I have a lot to answer for personally. I dread having to do so. How much more dread I would feel if I knew I had been pointing people the wrong way in their search for God. Yet I see no shame in those who are doing just that. The realization hasn't hit them....yet.
6But whoso shall OFFENd one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mat 18:)
OFFEND - G4624 skandalizo skan-dal-id'-zo - To "scandalize"; from G4625; to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): - (make to) offend.
9But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (1Cor 8:)
13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. (Rom 14:)
8And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, BEING DISOBEDIENT: WHEREUNTO ALSO THEY WERE APPOINTED. (1Peter 2:)
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