Jesus said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28). I think of these verses when I hear the word lust, but the Bible also says do not lust after evil things.
So does evil things include more than sexual immorality? Yes it does. Please listen to these words of the apostle Paul found in 1 Corinthians 10:1-10: Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Paul points out that even though all the Israelites were rescued from bondage in Egypt at that time, they all weren’t obedient to God. I’m bringing this up because we run into people all the time while we are out street witnessing that profess to be Christians, who believe they worship God, but they are lost. They have a very low view of grace. They believe that since they said a little one time prayer they are sealed and delivered. But they don’t realize that Jesus delivers us from bondage. He delivers us from God’s wrath, but He also delivers us from sin.
Their words and their actions betray them. They have never repented and put their trust in Jesus. They honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him and many times they turn right around and blaspheme or curse God with those same lips. Sadly, they rarely see the irony of their words and their actions. These professing Christians remind me of the Israelites that murmured against God; the ones that died in the wilderness before they could enter the promise land.
God graciously provided manna for the Israelites after the crossed the Red Sea and they complained about it. They lusted after meat. They weren’t satisfied with the food of angels. They weren’t satisfied with God’s miraculous provisions. Are you ever guilty of this? Do you take God’s provisions for granted? Do you complain against God? Do you murmur against Him?
Later on, the Israelites were thirsty and again they murmured against Moses and said “Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” Then God provided them water to drink that came out of the rock in Horeb. Jesus is the Rock. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
Jesus is the Rock. He is the only way of salvation. Jesus said that you will either fall broken on the Rock or the Rock will crush you; it will grind you to powder (Luke 20:18). Are you saved? Are you a follower of Jesus?
Jesus is also the living water. Come, all who are thirsty and drink freely. Are you thirsty for a change? Are you tired of doing the same old thing and getting the same old results? Are you tired of hangovers and one night stands? Are you tired of running from God? Are you worn out and just plain tired? Are you tired of fighting against God?
Paul also warns the Corinthians that they should not be idolaters. Neither be ye idolaters (1 Corinthians 10:7). What is idolatry? Idolatry is idol worship. An idol is anything that you put above God. Do you love God with all your heart, soul and mind? If not, what do you love? What has your heart?
What are you still lusting after? What evil things have you bowed down to? Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold (Matthew 24:12). He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Don’t love evil. Don’t love sin. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
Lusting also means – sexual lusting. Please notice that 23,000 Israelites died because they committed fornication (Numbers 25:9). Twenty three thousand people died from a plague because of their sexual sin. Lust also means sexual lusting and again, Jesus said that when you lust, it is the same thing as committing adultery.
God does not play games; don’t try playing games with God. Many people in Springfield, MO claim to be a Christian. Yet they are OK with homosexuality. They are OK with other sexual sins. They are OK with drinking alcohol. They are OK with evolution. They are OK with not believing the Bible is the inspired word of God. They are OK with playing games, but God does not play games.
God is a God of mercy, grace and love. But He is also Just, Holy and Righteous. He is not all one or the other, but He perfectly is all these things. Do not take His mercy for granted. Do not take His grace for granted. Do not take His love for granted. If you try to play games with God, you will receive His wrath and His justice. You do not want God’s wrath. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord (Romans 12:19).
Oh, you do not want God’s wrath, you want His mercy. But His wrath is what we deserve. We deserve to be punished for our sins. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We deserve everlasting punishment.
But God is merciful. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Even though God is not willing for you to perish in your sins, He will allow you to do so. He will allow you to rebel against Him until you take your very last breath and then you will wind up in Hell the very next second. He will allow you to die in your sins. He will allow you to die as an unrepentant sinner. He will allow you to suffer the flames of Hell forever and ever to pay the sin debt that you owe.
You don’t have to foolishly die in your sins and end up in Hell. You can be saved. You can be redeemed. Oh, don’t continue murmuring against God. Don’t continue worshiping false idols. Don’t continue lusting after evil things.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence (which means lusting or longing for something that is forbidden), and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them (Colossians 3:5-7).
When I was 16 years old I drove a 1976 Chevy Camaro (that was in 1979). I loved that car. It was my idol. Then I moved on to alcohol and fornication. Then I moved on to the love of money and after that pride. Worse than all of these sins was my sin of idolatry.
I had created a god in my mind that was alright with my sinful ways, because I had said a little prayer when I was 11 years old. I sinned like there was no tomorrow. I professed Jesus as my Savior and I used to cuss my kids out on the way to church many a Sunday mornings and then be all smiles and handshakes once we were at church. But you see, I would ask my god to forgive me and he did. You see he didn’t require any type of repentance. He didn’t require anything of me because he wasn’t real. He was merely a false god that I had created.
But the God of the Bible demands everyone to repent . And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).
His word tells us that godly sorrow works repentance unto salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). If you are not a new creature in Christ, if there has been no change in your life after you professed Jesus as your Savior, then you are just as lost as I used to be (2 Corinthians 5:17). You don’t have to remain that way. I am no better than you. I am no better than anybody else. I am just a sinner saved by grace. You too can be saved.
Don’t continue with God’s wrath abiding upon you. You can surrender your life to Jesus. You can be saved tonight. Trust the Rock – Jesus Christ. On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand. Fall broken on the Rock tonight. Confess and forsake your sins. Trust Jesus. Turn away from your sins and turn to Jesus. Don’t be crushed by the Rock on Judgment Day. Surrender your life to Him and be saved.
Come, you who are thirsty. Come, you who are hungry. Come you who are tired and weary. Jesus said: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Come to Jesus and be saved. Find rest in Christ Jesus. Find rest for your soul. Repent and put your faith in Jesus. Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
Remember the apostle said that we should not lust after evil things. He also said: Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Numbers 21:5-6 says: And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
Do not die in your sins. Do not die murmuring against God. Do not die rejecting God. Numbers 21:7-9 continues Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Please listen to what Jesus said in John 3:14-16: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Come to Jesus tonight. Behold now is the accepted time. Behold now is the day of salvation. Believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved. Surrender your life completely to Him.
(This message was proclaimed in the open-air in downtown Springfield, MO on September 11, 2015)