In Judges 16 we have the familiar story of Samson. It's really a great story. It's one of my favorite Bible stories. There's a lot that we can learn just from this chapter. We see the downfall of a great man of God, a man that had been mightily used by God. The man about whom it is said more than any other in the Old Testament that the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He was a prophet. He was a judge. He was a man of God. His birth was even miraculous. His mother was barren, and the angel had promised his parents that they would have a child. They thought them exactly how they should raise that child.
Samson, the great man that he was, fails in this chapter. He goes in unto a harlot. It's where it all starts, at the beginning of chapter 16 here. Then later on we see him messing around with another woman named Delilah. This was a downfall that he had. The Bible keeps telling us how he would see a woman and he'd fall in love and end up committing fornication, getting into this problems. Well, at the end of the chapter, he's completely been reduced to a blinded prisoner. In the end though, God still uses him one last time. The one thing that we can learn from the chapter is that God is never through with us. If we're saved and we're on this earth, no matter what we've done in the past to mess up our lives, God can still use us. We should always try to get back on the horse and try to get back to serving God no matter where we are in our lives.
It's a sad chapter, and in verse number 19, the Bible starts telling us exactly where he loses his strength and the Spirit of God departs from him. It says in Judges 16:19, "And she made him sleep upon her knees; (talking about Delilah) and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house."
Now, verses 20 and 21, we see very clearly the effect that sin will have on our life. No matter how godly we are, no matter how righteous of a person we are. Of course, being saved does not stop us from destroying our lives. A lot of people mix up being saved and living a Christian life. Being saved is easy. You just have to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and though shalt be saved. The Bible says, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." Being saved is a free gift of God. Once you're saved, you have everlasting life. Meaning, you can never lose your salvation. Jesus said, "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Just because your saved, that doesn't mean that you're living a godly life.
It's possible for a person to believe on Jesus Christ, but then to just continue to live in the flesh, continue to live a life that is according to this world instead of according to the Word of God, or it's possible for someone to get saved, start living for God, start growing in the Lord, and then become backslidden and go back to their old ways, and go back into a life of sin, which is the case with Samson. He was a godly man at one point of his life, now he's gone backward and started getting into fornication and other sin. It's possible for us today to do the same thing, to become backslidden, to get into sin. When we as God's people get into sin, the effect that sin will have on our life is the same effect that it had on the life of Samson.
Now, the first thing we see in verse number 20, at the end of the verse there, it says, "He wist not that the Lord was departed from him." Now, we know that we as believers are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. We know that Jesus has said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," and we know that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is permanent because the Bible says that we've been sealed with that Spirit of Promise unto the Day of Redemption. In addition to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there's another concept in the Bible of having the Spirit of the Lord upon you.
Remember in Acts chapter 2, they had already been indwelled by the Holy Spirit back in John chapter 20, but they did not have the Spirit of the Lord upon them. This is also called the fullness of the Spirit. The Bible commands us, be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. That is not automatic. We're automatically indwelled by the Spirit when we believe on Jesus Christ, but we are not necessarily filled with the Spirit. We don't necessarily have the power of the Holy Spirit resting upon us as they did in Acts chapter 2, Acts chapter 4, and repeatedly throughout the book of Acts.
Now, when we read the Old Testament, the Spirit of the Lord will come upon someone temporarily that would give them great ability to preach or to fight a battle or to do something for God. When they went into sin, when they got away from God that would be removed. That's what we see in the life of Saul. Saul had God's Spirit resting upon him mightily, but when he began to sin against the Lord, God's Spirit was removed from Saul, and then the Spirit was upon David, okay? Then when David committed sin with Bathsheba, he's saying to God, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from me."
Again, not talking about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which is a New Testament doctrine, but rather just the Holy Spirit upon you. We, today, as believers, when we begin to live a life of sin, when we begin to get away from the Lord and live a worldly sinful life, we will also lose that power of the Holy Spirit upon us. We will no longer be filled with the Holy Spirit. Yes, we still have the Holy Spirit in our hearts, but we're not empowered by the Holy Spirit, we're not filled with the Spirit as we should be. That's the first effect of getting into sin in our lives.
A lot of preachers who once preach great sermons, and they preach with great power and conviction, and they saw a lot of people saved, and they saw a lot of people's lives changed, they begin to get into sin, and you can notice that their preaching goes downhill. All of the sudden, they'll preach the same type of sermon, the same type of an outline, but it's empty. Something is missing. It's the power of God that's missing. It's the power of the Holy Spirit that is not longer upon the man because he's allowed a lot of sin to come into his life. We've seen that phenomenon many times. I have seen it many times in my life with preachers who begin to get backslidden, and they start letting a lot of sin into their life.
In verse number 21, we see 3 things here, and these are the 3 points of my sermon this morning of the effects of sin in your life. The Bible says, "But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house." There are 3 things in that verse and they all rhyme. You see in that verse that there is blinding, binding, and grinding, because first it says, "They put out his eyes." That's the blinding effect of sin. Then they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with fetters of brass. That's the binding, and then it says, "He did grind in the prison house." That's the grinding.
Now, obviously these things literally happened to Samson. He was literally blinded. They took hot pokers and burned out his eyes, and they literally put fetters of brass and locked in his wrists and his ankles. He was literally bound, and then he literally ground in the prison house. What does that mean to grind? Well, they took him and they attached him like they would to an animal to a millstone, because if you think about where flour comes from, it comes from the wheat berries, the corn of the wheat being ground down into flour. Now, throughout history, people have done this various ways. We have an electric grain mill in our kitchen. Now, you probably just buy flour at the store but some of you might grind your own flour. We have a grain mill in our kitchen. It's a machine where you dump in the wheat berries and the wheat grind into flour just using a machine. It's pretty easy.
Throughout history, women have sometimes just ground it by hand. I mean, they'd have a mortar and pestle, and they'd sit there with a round stone and a little ball and they grind out whatever kind of grain they were using into flour, whether it's corn or wheat or whatever it was. They grind it down into flour. Back in these days, in the bible, and also just throughout history, they would have a person who's called a miller. These are Richard Miller's ancestors, okay? A lot of people's last name come from their occupation. The miller was a guy who he had a mill and you'd take your grain to him and he'd grind it down into flour for you. He had the equipment to do that. A lot of times, what they would have, is they would have a wheel. A huge stone wheel, and they would have animals that would just walk in a circle, that would turn that mill and grind that stone together, and then they could put the wheat in and use that to grind out the flour.
Samson, because they figure, "Oh, you're a really strong guy, we're going to use your strength to grind flour for us." They put him like they would do with an animal, like an ox or some other very strong animal, and they yoked him up into this apparatus for grinding wheat, and he ground in the mill. Think about that. You're blind, you can't see anything, and you spend your day attached, hooked up to a yoke where you just push all day, just (moan). He just has to push that thing. Man, you could picture, the Bible doesn't say this, but you could picture that they're probably ... I'm sure they're beating him if he stops doing it, to enforce him that he has to keep grinding.
This is a very painful situation. Imagine being completely bind, you can't see anything, and you're having to exert all your physical strength on this very tiring, very rigorous job of pushing this wheel around in a circle, and then if you stop, they'll probably going to beat you and crack the whip on you to make sure that you just keep going, keep going. It's torture. It's physical pain. It's suffering, and we're going to get to that in a moment, but let's start with the blinding. Go to Revelations chapter 3. You see, sin in your life will do these 3 things to you. Number 1, it will blind you. Number 2, it will bind you, and number 3, it will grind you. These things literally happened to Samson, they will figuratively happen in our lives. God is using the literal story of Samson to show us an illustration or to symbolize for us what sin will do in our lives.
Look at Revelations chapter 3 verse 17, the Bible reads, "Because 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: I 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. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
You see, God was angry with the church at Laodicea because they were lukewarm. The thing that made him so angry according to verse 17 is because they said, "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. These are people that are in sin, that are not right with God, that God is not pleased with, but they don't even know that they are doing anything wrong. Do you see that? They think they're fine. They think everything is great. They say, "Oh yeah, we're doing well. We can see. We're rich. We're increased with goods. We have need of nothing." He says, "You don't even know how wretched you are. You don't even know how blind and miserable and poor and naked you are." What sin will do to you, it will blind you to the problem that you have in your life. It will blind you to the condition of your soul. You'll become blind to it.
The Bible says in Proverbs 30 verse 12, you don't have to turn there, "There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness." Do you see that? There are people out there who could think that they are pure, that they're clean, that they're living God life. It says they're not washed from their filthiness, and they're blind to it. Sin has this effect on you. Now, if you've ever known someone who told a lot of lies, who has known someone who was just a pathological liar. Pretty much every hand in the building is going up, and I'm thinking of a few people right now, people who are just habitual liars. I mean, people who just continually, just as a way of life will lie to you, and you know how you can tell people like this? They'll lie when it doesn't even matter.
Now, all of us have lied before. There's nobody in here who could say, "I've never lied." We've all lied before. Usually, when we lie, and I'm not justifying any lying of course, a lot of times we'll get into a jam. We'll get into a bad situation. We'll get into trouble, and we have to try to get ourselves out of a sticky situation, and so we'll tell a lie. I'm not condoning it. It's sin. It's ungodly. It's a major sin, but when you run into these people that are just habitual liars, who are just pathological liars, they'll lie about things that don't even matter. They'll lie just for no reason. They just lie because they're just used to lying.
The thing about a pathological liar is that eventually they'll get so used to lying that they start to have trouble distinguishing between the truth and lies. They will start to believe their own lies. They will actually tell you a lie and they actually think it's true. No joke. They're not even conscious of the fact, "Oh, I'm in a lie here." No, they just say it, and to them it just becomes true. That's a definition of a pathological liar. They're blind to the fact that they're even sinning. They've gotten so used to committing that sin that they can't even see that it's sin anymore. They're just completely blind to it. When we become blind, other people around us can see the sin in our lives. Other people around us could look at us and see that there's a problem, but we don't even sometime see that there's a problem, because we're blinded to it.
Sin has a way of blinding you, and we can get desensitized to sin and just get so used to sinning that we don't even realize it's sin anymore. A lot of times the people around us can see it. They understand it, but we've become blinded to it. Sin has that blinding effect on us where we don't even know how wretched we are. We don't even know how filthy we are. Go to Second Peter chapter 1. I think one of the biggest examples to becoming desensitized to sin is the television, because television is something that people watch so often, they get so used to it that they become desensitized to it.
I remember, I was challenged before by a preacher. I remember when I was a lot younger, I heard a sermon that just said, "Get rid of your TV for 1 month, and then come back to it and you'll be shocked by it." Because, they say, you get so desensitized, you get so used to it when you just watch it every day, you watch it every day, and it start to become normal to you, the way that the people are dressed, the way that the people talk, the type of messages that are being put forth on it. You just get used to it. The first time you see things on TV that are wicked, you're shocked by it. Then over time, you get used to it.
The devil has a plan to desensitize America to the worst type of sins, the worst type, the filthiest, most disgusting type of sin. The first time they show it to you on TV, everybody's horrified by it, but then the second time they show it to you, you're a little less horrified, and then the third time. Pretty soon you get so used to it, you're completely blind to the fact that there's anything wrong with it. You just can't see it anymore. Other people are, "Whoa, good night," and you, "What? What is it? What? Oh that?" You're used to that. You get desensitized to it.
If you remember, that's what happened to Lot. Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom, and so every day he'd wake up in the morning, go outside his tent door, and what does he see? Sodom. Initially, he did not dwell in Sodom, he just dwelt near Sodom. He pitched his tent towards Sodom, and probably ... Well, I know for fact, according to the Bible that Lot was disgusted by what he saw in Sodom, because the Bible says that that righteous man dwelling among them vexed his righteous soul daily in seeing and hearing their unlawful deeds. See, he was vexed by it. He was bothered by it. He didn't like it, but somehow, he was able to turn a blind eye to it. He began to become desensitized to it because he kept looking at it every day.
That's what the agenda is with the television. It's to show you sinful things over and over again, and to get you to slowly begin to accept them and to think that they are normal. Obviously, the big example is homosexuality. It's such filth, it's so ungodly, it's so unnatural and disgusting. That's what everybody throughout history has thought about it. That's what Christians have always thought. That's what preachers have always said about it. That's what everybody believed about it in this country, but through an agenda that's been planned carefully orchestrated, to just slowly get you used to it, even going all the way back to the 1940s and 50s, they just slowly start to expose you to it. Even in the Merrie Melodies cartoons with Bugs Bunny, right? Bugs Bunny would put on makeup, dress up like a woman, and he would start coming on to Elmer Fudd. Who remembers that?
Look, have of the auditorium have seen it. Those that are younger, maybe it's before their time. It was definitely before my time, but I saw it on the reruns. I wasn't living in the 50s and 60s but I saw the reruns when I was a kid. It wasn't a 1-episode thing. It was a frequent theme on Merrie Melodies, where Bugs Bunny would dress up in drag, put on lipstick, and he's kissing Elmer Fudd is turning all purple and green, and he's trying to get away from this freak. He's all nervous about it. You look at that and you say, "It's innocent. It's funny. Haha." It's to desensitize you, and just to get you used to that, and it's to program you that it's fun. It's funny. It's a joke. It's not a big deal. It's something that we laugh at. Little kids watch that and they don't realize they're being programmed.
If you could probably think of the show that would be the most innocent show ever, you would say, "Come on, Bugs Bunny cartoons. It's so innocent." Yet, there are so much in those cartoons that is designed to program you. Growing up and having all the wrong beliefs, just like they programmed you to have the wrong belief about what hell is like. Remember on Merrie Melodies when they would die and go to hell? Sometimes they'd go to heaven and they float. Sometimes they die and then they float up and they got a halo and they're playing a harp up in the clouds and everything, but then a lot of times they die and go to hell. When they died and went to hell on Merrie Melodies, Porky Pig would be down in hell and he was Satan. He had horns and a tail and a pitch fork, and he'd be like, (laugh). He'd be down and up.
It's to teach you that the devil is ruling and reigning in hell, which by the way, is a satanic doctrine, because the Bible teaches that Satan will be defeated and cast into hell. Satan will be tormented in hell. He will not be ruling and reigning at all. God rules and reigns over hell. God is the creator of hell. The devil ... By the way the motto of Satanism, the motto of Satanism is that it's better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven. That is the satanic motto. Let me tell you something, it's a fraud. No one is reigning in hell except the Lord Jesus Christ, and those who are in hell along with Satan and his minions will be tormented with fire and brimstone. They have no rest day nor night. The Bible says, "The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever."
That is what the devil is going to be doing in hell. It's not like Porky Pig portrayed in Merrie Melodies. Look, they tried to get you used to it back then with humor, get you to laugh at it. Then throughout the 70s and 80s, again, every once in a while on a movie or something they'd throw in some queer character just to get you to laugh at it and think it's funny, just to get you desensitized to it. In the 90s, they'd have movies and things where people would dress up in drag, and it's funny and we laugh at it. What was that movie? Mrs. Doubtfire or whatever. Robin Williams dressing like a woman, which seems to be a pattern with him by the way, your favorite little actor.
Let me say this. It all really came to ahead, I think, in the late 90s, because I remember, I graduated from high school in 1999. I remember, when I was in my junior year of high school, so it must've been 1997, 1998, they came out with a TV character that was a Sodomite on prime time television, Ellen Degenerate. Right? When Ellen Degenerate came out people flipped out and they pulled it off the air. People couldn't handle it. They weren't ready for it, so they actually pulled it from the air. They put it out there and it shocked, and then they, whoa, pull it back, right? 1 year later, every sitcom had a homosexual character. I mean, that's how fast it happened.
First, they shock you with it to desensitize you, and then next season everybody ... I remember when I was a junior in high school, there was no on in the whole school that I could've pointed to and said, "That person is a Sodomite," but yet, by the time I was a senior in high school, just 1 year later, there was a little faggot in every single class in that high school. I had 4 classes, because I had a lighter load in my senior, and each of those 4 classes there was a homo, in each of the 4 classes. I went from I don't know any in the whole school to there's one in every class. It just keeps on continuing. Now they're trying to get you used to stuff that's even weirder than that, if that's even possible, for there to be anything weirder than that.
They're trying to get you used to just the worst kind of filth, the worst kind of perversion, and the television is a tool that they use to show you all these sin and wickedness and filth so that you eventually, you'll just completely be blinded, completely turn a blind eye to it, and just completely be used to it and not think anything of it. It's an agenda. It's been planned. They do it slowly like the frog in the hot water. If you're offended by what I preached in the last 10 minutes, you're just proving my point right now, if you're offended by it.
"Oh, how dare you talk about them that way?" The programming is working very well with you, right? Doesn't the Bible talk about stoning people and burning them? Again, today though, it's like, "No, no." If you haven't heard it, all right, you need to listen to my sermon, the truth about the Sodomites. I mean, I have all the scientific, statistics. You need to hear that sermon if you haven't heard it. We can become blinded to sin through getting into sin ourselves, to constant exposure to sin. Sin has a blinding effect on, where we can't really see things for what they really are anymore because we're so deep into sin we get desensitized to sin.
Look at Second Peter chapter 1 verse 8. The Bible says, "For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."
You see, those who become blind to sin, through sin, through lacking godliness and virtue and righteousness and the things that are mentioned earlier in the chapter, it says that those people can become blind to where they can't see afar off, and they have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins. Seeing afar off has to do with seeing the consequences of sin in your life. When we get into sin, we become blind to the long term consequences of our actions.
When you're taking drugs, when you're drinking, you become blind to the fact that you're destroying your body, that you're destroying your life, that you're messing up your life. Think about how blind Samson was. Here he is with this woman Delilah that he doesn't know that well, but yet he is in a fornicating relationship with her, and she's asking him where in his great strength lieth. He keeps telling her these fraudulent answers. He tells her, "Oh, well, if you bind me with green withs that have never been dried, that's going to work. Notice, every time he gives her a lying answer, she does it to him.
Okay, so why is he so stupid not to realize that if he tells her, "Well, if you shave my head, I'm going to lose my strength," that she's not going to try it when she did every ... I mean, we look at this story, we're like, "Are you an idiot? She just tied you up, sowed your hair into the web. She did everything that you told her to do to take away your strength. She tried it on you. Obviously, she's going to shave your hair off if you tell her that," but he was just blind to it. We become blind to the lie.
I mean, you look at people who are taking drugs and somehow everybody else around them can see what it's doing to their bodies, but it's like they can't see it, whatever those drugs are. There are a lot of drugs today to be abused. It's not just the street drugs that you think of. There are a lot of drugs that people abuse that destroy their bodies, destroy their minds, destroy their lives. Obviously, we think of marijuana and methamphetamine. A lot of people today want you to believe that marijuana is not that bad. Marijuana is not a big deal, and marijuana is actually good for you, I've even heard people say. Marijuana, it does the body good, apparently. It doesn't.
Sucking marijuana smoke into your lungs is bad for your lungs, just like cigarette smoke is bad for your lungs. More than that, every one that I've ever known who smoked marijuana had an apathetic, I don't care, I don't give a rip type attitude. Have you known people?
It mellows you out. Hey, I don't want to be mellow. I want to get something done with my life. I want to have ambition and goals and zeal and drive. I don't want to just stop caring. I want to care. I want to be excited. I want to be motivated. People who smoke marijuana become unmotivated. Plus, it's a gateway drug because once you're smoking marijuana, you're probably much more likely to try the next drug, and the next drug, and the next drug, drugs like methamphetamine, drugs like ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, heroin, whatever the drugs. Not only are those type of street drugs that we think of so harmful and we could see people that we've known who've taken those drugs the effects they had on their lives. Not only that, obviously alcohol, it pretty much does the same thing to your body in the sense that some of these drugs will do, and when people drink alcohol they mess up their lives. They mess up their bodies and so forth.
Also prescription drugs, prescription drugs are substances that are often more harmful and more addictive than street drugs. People will take these drugs at the drop of a hat. For example, my wife had surgery just several weeks ago. When she had surgery, they wanted to give her, after the surgery, they wanted to give her a sleeping drug called Ambien. They just give this out to everybody. I mean, they just buy [inaudible 00:29:03]. The nurse that we were talking to from the doctor's office that we worked with, she said that some of these nurses at the hospital were so ridiculous, they literally woke someone up to give them Ambien. No joke. She said, I mean, this is a true story, she said, "Last week, there was a lady in here that was asleep and the nurse woke her up and said, 'Wake up. Time to take your Ambien. Time to take your sleeping pill."
Now, the sleeping drug Ambien does not help you stay asleep. It's not like, "Oh, let's just give her this to keep her asleep." No, no. Ambien makes you go to sleep, but it doesn't keep you asleep. If the woman is already asleep, why would you wake her up to give her a sleeping pill? I mean, it doesn't make any sense. This drug Ambien is part of a group of drugs called halu- ... What's it called? Hypnotics. This classification of drugs that Ambien belongs to is called a hypnotic. What it does, it makes you go to sleep, but it has a warning right on the label that if you take Ambien, you might get out by the bed and still be asleep but start performing tasks that you don't know you're performing and that you have no memory of.
There are all kinds of stories about people who took Ambien and they're driving cars. They're going to bed with strangers. They're going out and harming people and doing all kind of just crazy things under the influence of this drug Ambien, because it's this mind altering hypnotic drug that people use recreationally, by the way. A lot of famous people have been busted using Ambien recreationally, because they take it and then they stay up. They take it to make them go to sleep, but then they stay up and then they have some weird tripped out experience.
I mean, you go to the hospital and they're just, "Here, take your Ambien." I mean, they tried to give my wife Ambien. She might've woke up in the middle of the night and grab a butcher knife and stood over by back or something. No, I'm just kidding. Anyway, I'm just saying, the doctors often will give out these drugs like they're nothing. You think they sat down with us and said, "Let us explain to you the side effects of Ambien, the risks of Ambien." No, they just hand you like a 500-page document, "Here sign this." You're signing that everything they do to you could kill you and make you a psycho. You don't read the whole thing. Thankfully, we were familiar with these things enough to say, like, "Hold the Ambien." She fell asleep just fine on her own.
By the way, if you really have insomnia, and I'm not saying that some people don't legitimately have insomnia, because I'm sure that there are, but I think 90-some percent of insomnia would probably be cured by working harder, number 1. Number 2, it'll be cured by not watching TV or being on the computer right before bed. A lot of insomnia is due to those 2 things. I know when I was a kid I had serious insomnia, when I was a teenager. Guess what, I wasn't doing any work. I was watching TV for 7 hours a day or something, and playing video games all day. Then you go to bed and close your eyes and you could still see the video game on the back of your eyelids.
That's where insomnia is coming from in many cases. Now, I'm not saying that aren't legitimate illnesses that could lead to insomnia, but a lot of people are just, "Oh, I have insomnia. I can't sleep. Take a sleeping pill." Okay, it's just because of your lifestyle. I know that every once in a while, sometimes I don't feel like going to sleep at night. I'll tell you what I do. I start reading a book. Get out the Bible start reading it, read another book, and you will go to sleep if you read before bed 9 times out of 10. Instead of reading, we're watching TV. The flickering light affects the chemicals in our body that cause us to go to sleep. One of the best things you could do, if you work on a computer or if you do stuff on a computer, just turn it off 2 hours before bedtime, and you're much more likely to fall asleep on time. If you have a TV, well, just throw it out the window from a really high building. No, I'm just kidding. Don't do that.
Sin can blind you. It can have a blinding effect. Oh yeah, here's another drug. There's alcohol, there's street drugs, there are prescription drugs like Ambien and other, Soma, a muscle relax- ... I hurt my neck and they said, "Here, take Soma." Turns out it's a mind-altering drug. It's an antidepressant. It's funny. Every antidepressant have a side effect depression, every single one, side effects, suicide, psychotic behavior, other things I don't even want to mention, all kinds of crazy side effects. By the way, here's another drug that people abuse. I know someone just recently found out that they had been abusing steroids.
By the way, you think, oh, steroids, that's just Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and by the way, they do use steroids. All these Hollywood guys, these huge muscle guys on TV, they're taking steroids folks. Didn't you tell me Sylvester Stallone was busted in, what, Cambodia or something? He was busted with human growth hormone and everything. Listen to this. It's estimated that over 1 million people in the United States are taking steroids, a million, isn't that cra- ... That means when you go to the gym, I mean, there's probably a few people there that are on steroids. Brother Gareth told me when he was in high school, he knew a guy that was injecting that bovine growth hormone. The stuff that they put in cows at the dairy, wasn't it? He was injecting that into himself to get bigger.
I mean, you can't even imagine the effects that this stuff has on your body. Number 1, steroids will have mind-altering effects, roid rage. Steroids will cause people to become very angry and aggressive and just get into fights a lot more easily. Not only that but they destroy your male reproductive anatomy. They actually cause it to degenerate. They can cause you to have all these other horrible effects with your body that I'm not even going to go into. They're very, very bad drugs. Yet, over a million people in america are taking it, shortcut to getting big muscles or whatever they're trying to do, even though it has horrible, horrible side effects.
Rule of thumb, put food and water in your mouth and that's it. You know what I mean? If you have a legitimate illness and you need to take medication, don't just take stuff at the drop of a hat, every supplement that's out there, and every drug that's out there, and don't experiment with this stuff. I like what David said about Saul's army, he said, "I cannot use them because I have not proved them." We need to make sure that we know what's going into our body. Stay away from drugs. Stay away from steroids. Stay away from sleeping medication. Stay away from all these things. Alcohol is damaging your body and your mind and so forth.
Number 2, go to John chapter 8. We see that sin has a blinding effect, where people don't see that they're even in sin anymore. They don't even see how bad it is, but also, in Second Peter chapter 1 we learned that they can't see afar off. They don't see the long-term effect of what the steroids are doing to their body, or what the cocaine is doing to their body, or the methamphetamine is doing to their teeth and their skin and their body.
A famous guy who took a lot of steroids is Lance Armstrong. Who has ever heard of him, the Tour de France cyclist? By the way, he got cancer and he was this big hero because he beat cancer, but guess why he got cancer? He was taking a drug called EPO to increase his red blood cell count. By the way, that drug was later found out to be, quote from a doctor, "Miracle-Gro for cancer." He said, "Epo was like Miracle-Gro for cancer." Lance Armstrong was taking EPO. He was taking steroids. He was taking human growth hormone. He end up losing part of his male reproductive anatomy. He ended up throwing up blood, getting all kinds of sickness, illness, and almost dying of cancer, and then eventually is exposed to the world as a fraud, that he did not win Tour de France fairly, that every single time he won he was taking tons of performance enhancing drugs.
Look, that's example of a guy who can't see afar off. In the short-term ... Of course, he is not even saved, but still, we as Christians could learn from this. In the short-term, he is popular, everybody loves him. He's making money. He's at the top of the world. He's doing great, but in the long-term, he's destroying his body. He's destroying his reputation. He's destroying his family. He's destroying everything. It's not worth it folks. When you're in the midst of in, you don't see afar off. You don't see the long-term consequences to these sins in your life, but number 2, it has a binding effect.
John chapter 8 verse 30, "As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?"
They're saying, "What kind of bondage are we in Jesus?" He says, verse 34, "Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." The Bible here is saying that sins brings you into bondage. If you commit sin you become the servant to sin. Flip over to Romans 6. Romans chapter 6, we'll see something similar in Romans 6. I think bondage to sin will probably best described in our modern vernacular by the word addiction. Addiction, you're in bondage to sin. You're a slave to the bottle. Have you ever heard that term?
Being a slave to the bottle. Bbeing addicted to alcohol. That's a great example of a very addictive sin, drinking. Smoking is an addiction. Drugs are an addiction. When you talk to people that smoke, they don't smoke because they want to, they don't even smoke because they enjoy it. They only smoke because of how bad they feel when they don't smoke. They don't even enjoy the smoking. They just feel really bad if they don't do it. Those kind of addictions can enslave us and bind us.
You say, "Well, I don't think smoking is a sin. The Bible doesn't mention smoking." You're right. The Bible does not mention smoking, but I will say this. If you're spending 5 bucks a day, 7 bucks a day on that, you're throwing away 200 and some dollar a month on that, you're shaving years off your life, you're destroying your health now and shortening your lifespan, and putting money into something that's just ... You might as well just take a $5 bill every morning and just throw it away. You'd be better off. You'd be better off. You'd be healthier. Just get up every morning, take a $5 bill and just shred it every morning.
What if you just do that every morning, just pile them up, pile them up. Pretty soon, you should have a whole mattress of the shredded $5 bills. You say, "What are you doing? You're wasting all these money?" At least you'd have your health, whereas when you smoke, you're doing both. You're shredding that money and you're destroying your health. You know what? You say, "Well, but the Bible doesn't say it's a sin." Yeah, but the thought of foolishness is a sin. It's foolish to spend a bunch of money on something you know is destroying your body, destroying your health. By the way, your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you. You're not your own. You're bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your Spirit which are God's. That teach us we should take care of the body.
In Romans chapter 6 verse 15 it says, "What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?" Because of course, in Romans, God had just finished explaining to us that we're saved by grace. We're not saved by the law. We're not saved by keeping the law. We're saved by grace through faith in Christ. He says, "Okay, well, should we just sin then?" He says, "God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness."
The Bible is teaching us that we're all going to be servants. We can either serve God or we can serve sin. You say, "Well, I just want to be free. I just want to be my own person. I just want to do my own thing. Therefore, I'm going to disregard the commandments of God. I don't want God to tell me what to do. I want to have freedom and do what I want to do," but what you're actually doing is becoming even more of a servant. You're becoming a servant of sin now. You're going into bondage of sin. You can either serve Jesus Christ who says, "Well, I don't call you a servant. I call you a friend." You can be the friend of God and serve God out of love and out of your volition, or you can choose to go into sin and become the servant of sin and get embondaged to sin and get addicted to sin. Most sin is addictive. A lot of sins are addictive. There are people who get addicted to stealing? What are they called?
A kleptomaniac. Someone who's addicted to stealing, they can't stop stealing. People get addicted to alcohol, addicted to drugs, addicted to gambling, and they are compulsive gambler, they can't stop gambling, addicted to lying, a pathological liar, addicted to pornography, addicted to television, addicted to whatever. The Bible says in First Corinthians 6 that we shouldn't be addicted to anything. You don't have to turn there. You can if you like, but First Corinthians 6:12 says, "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
The Apostle Paul said, "Just because something is lawful for me, just because something is allowed, it doesn't mean that I want to under the power of anything. He says not all things are expedient. What does expedient mean? It means that it's a factor to get us to our goal, right? Expedient means it's something that is helping us achieve our goals. Let me give you an example. Video games, video games are not a sin per se, although there are some video games that are inherently sinful. If you're playing a video game that has a bunch of weird ... You're murdering and massacring people. You're committing fornication. I mean, there are video games like that. Obviously, those video games are sinful in and of itself.
Let's just take a game like Pac-Man, right? I don't think there's anything inherently sinful about Pac-Man or about Millipede or about Tetris. Those were the good old days of video games, Missile Command, Pong. I don't know. Anyway, you play these video games, there's nothing sinful about it but what if you're just spending several hours a day on that. Is that expedient? Is that helping you achieve anything for the Lord Jesus Christ? Is that making you a better person? Is that making you a better husband?
I saw somebody sent me a comic that said ... it showed a girl and it said, "I want to grow up and be married to a man who spends this many hours playing video games very weekend," said no little girl ever, or whatever. Today, men are losing the respect of their wives by spending several hours a day playing a video game. They lose respect of their wives. Their wives are shaking their head saying, "What in the world? Am I married to a 12-year old? He's spending hours and hours playing video games. Grow up." The Bible says, "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
I am not saying that video games are a sin, but what are you doing as a grown man getting all into a video game and playing video games for hours and hours and hours and hours, you're wasting your life. You could be reading your Bible. You could be soul winning. You could be praying. If you're looking for recreation, good night, find something you could do that would bring you closer to your family, or bring you closer to people at church, not to something that's bringing you closer to some internet person that you're playing a video game with on a headset. People go overboard.
Look, when I was kid, I was addicted to video games. I'll confess it right now. I can tell you right now, there were days when I woke up in the morning and I played video games all the way until I went to bed at night. The only breaks were just a quick bathroom break, and just a quick break to just run and grab some food that I could eat while playing the video game. Who has had a day like that? Put up your hand if you had that. Every man in the room. I've had days like that. I'm telling you. I've had days like that. Just an entire day, and at the end of the day, your eyes are red. You go to bed at night and then you're like, "I have insomnia. Where's my Ambien." It's an addiction.
Let me tell you something, the games back then weren't that cool, and yet we still got addicted to them. I mean, we got addicted to Super Mario. We got addicted to Legend of Zelda. We got addicted to Contra. I mean, I beat Contra without even getting hit 1 time. That's almost impossible. It took days. Look, what I'm saying is, everybody up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, start. Can I get a witness?
All right, look, we played video games, but the video games weren't even that cool. Nowadays, the video games are so much more advanced and so much more addictive. If you could get addicted to Tetris and Mario Kart, and every- ... I mean, the stuff today is so much more advanced. People, literally, they spend more time into it than they even do in their real life. Their real life is like taking a break from the game. The game is life. I'm not kidding. Beware of it. It's probably best to just stay away from it, especially if you have an addictive personality like I do, where I've already been there once as a kid where I would just (makes sounds), video games all day. It can be addictive it can bind you. Not only will it blind you, it will bind you, but then, lastly, I got to hurry. It will grind you.
Turn if you would to Proverbs chapter 5. While you're turning to Proverbs 5, let me read you a couple more scriptures on binding. The Bible says in Second Peter 2:19, "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." Sin puts us into bondage. It binds us. Not only does it bind us, it grinds us. What does that mean? Well, the grinding is the physical pain and suffering and sorrow and ruined life that sin brings us. Not only does it blind us where we can't see afar off, we don't see that we're in sin, we don't see the long-term consequences, not only does it bind us to where now we're addicted, we're stuck in these patterns that are sinful, we can't seize from sin, we can't straighten our lives out, but thirdly, it grinds us, it puts us through pain and suffering and misery.
Look, sin is fun, otherwise no one would be doing it, but the Bible says that the pleasure are for a season. Sin has it's pleasure for a season. You see, if sin had no fun and no pleasure, then no one would do it, but there is fun in it. There is pleasure in it, but it's a temporary pleasure. I mean, look, do you think Samson enjoyed going to that harlot? Do you think Samson enjoyed his time with Delilah? I'm sure he had some pleasure involved, but was it worth it when he's grinding? He was a young man. He was not an old man. He was probably ... I wasn't prepared for this, but I want to see he was about 39 years old, because I just preached a big sermon on Samson where I went through the timeline of his life, and I believe that he is about 39 years old at this time.
Your life is not over when you're 39, but his was. His life ended at that time. The reason I say that is because they were in bondage to the Philistines 40 years, I believe that he delivered them from the Philistines by killing their entire government and destroying thousands of Philistines. If his birth was promised at the time they went into bondage, maybe he's born a year later, 9 months pregnancy and so forth. That's why I say he was about 39, which means that if he judged Israel 20 years, he probably started judging when he was around 19. That would be my guess that that's what took place.
I don't want my life to be over at age 39. I don't want to just have a little bit of fun in my youth, pleasure for a moment, pain for a lifetime. The pain inflicted, the grinding of sin is always worse than whatever pleasure you get out of it in the short-term. I mean, think about it kids, young people, teenagers, young adults, you go out and commit fornication, and you enjoy that pleasure of fornication, but now you've messed up your life and you're going to suffer consequences for that for the rest of your life, whereas if you will wait and be patient, you can get married, enjoy the same pleasure within marriage without the grinding. You can enjoy it for much longer. Pleasure for a season is what sin offers, grinding and suffering is the end result.
Look at Proverbs 5. Here is a scripture about going in unto the strange women. This is written to young men to warn young men about fornication. Of course, obviously, young ladies should be warned about fornication as well, but it says in Proverbs 5:8, "Remove thy way far from her," talking about promiscuous women. It says, "Come not nigh the door of her house: Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel: Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger; And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed, And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly."
Look, here's a guy who is in church, congregation and assembly. Here is a Christian young person who gets sucked in by the strange woman, the promiscuous woman that flattered with her lips, and how does he end up? With his flesh and body consumed. How does he end up? Losing all his money. How does he end up? A failure, miserable, crying, mourning. Was it worth it?
Of course not, but at the time, you're blinded so you think it's worth it. Then when you start to realize, "Oh man, I need to stop doing this," then you realize you're binded. You can't stop, and then you get grinded. This is the pattern with sin. We've got to beware my friends. You need a sermon like this just to warn you of the danger of sin. Don't play with fire. Don't get into sin. Don't go the way to her house. Do not commit fornication. Do not get into drinking or drugs. Do not take these substances. Do not start looking at pornography. Do not start stealing.
Once you start stealing, once you've stolen one thing, you might as well steal another. That's the warped mind of the kleptomaniac. Once you start lying and you lose all integrity, it's not going to bother you to tell 7 lies instead of 6. It just gets worse and worse and worse. We need to understand that sin will grind us in the end. The grinding is what ought to warn us why we shouldn't even be involved in sin. It's not worth it. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:15, "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard." Have you ever looked at someone and said, "Wow, they look like they've lived a hard life."?
What does that usually mean? They've been into sin. They've been into drugs. Why? The way of transgressors, meaning sinners, is hard. It's a hard life. The Bible tells us ... Go to Proverbs 23, I'll close with this. While you're turning there, remember that God said, "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." You're not going to, as a Christian, commit sin and not get grinded. You will be ground. You will do the grinding phase if you commit sin. Look, Samson endure physical pain for his sin. He tried to push that mill and probably took a beating. Look, was it painful when they put hot pokers in his eyes?
That sounds pretty painful. You're going to go through it as a Christian because the Bible says, "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." What does it mean to be scourged? It means to be whipped. God will whip you. You will be punished for your sins. Now, is God going to send you to hell after you've been saved? No. Once you've been saved, once you believe on Jesus Christ, there's nothing you could do that would send you to hell because you have eternal life. You know what? God can punish you severely on this earth.
A lot of people misunderstand the Gospel. When you say that if you commit sin you're not going to lose your salvation, they think that we're giving people a license to sin. No, because you are going to get punished on this earth. No, you will not go to hell. God will not send his own children to hell, but he will scourge you, and that hurts. Samson paid for his sin in this life. King Saul paid for his sin in this life. He was miserable. He hated his life. King Solomon hated his life because he started going into a sinful life. He hated life.
Proverbs 23:29, notice the grinding of sin, the grinding from alcohol, "Who hath woe?" Now, who wants to have woe in your life? Anybody?, "Who hath sorrow?" We all want sorrow, right? They say, "Oh, drown your sorrows." No, you're bringing on sorrow. "Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions?" What does that mean? Fighting with everyone around you, can't get along with people. "Who hath babbling?" Who wants to be a person known for their babbling and saying stupid things, babbling. "Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes?" Who has it folks?
"They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright." That is a description of the fermentation process. When he tells you, "Don't look on the wine when it is this," doesn't that mean that there's a type of wine that's not like that? The Bible used the word wine to talk about Jews and the alcoholic beverage both. For example, in Isaiah 65, it talks about the wine being in the cluster of the grape. That's not an alcoholic beverage, otherwise you'd be carded every time you bought grapes at the grocery store.
Yet he says here, "Look not on the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright," because the fact that in the fermentation process, there is carbonate ... Natural carbonation is the result because of the fact that when things are fermented, they're either fermented by bacteria or yeast. In the case of wine, I believe it would be yeast. In the case of other beverages, it could be bacteria like vinegar is made with bacteria, and they produce a byproduct of carbon dioxide just like we breath out carbon dioxide.
Yeast and bacteria also produce carbon dioxide as a byproduct. That's why if you make real root beer, not an alcoholic beverage but you just make root beer out of roots, fermented root beer, it will be naturally carbonated. You don't have to put ... I mean, nowadays, you buy a soda and they just put carbon dioxide into it, and it's just high fructose, corn syrup, and food color. Back when they used to make real ginger ale, real root beer, real Coca-Cola, it will be naturally fermented, and will be naturally carbonated.
The bible is telling us stay away from the wine that moveth itself aright, that's what it's referring to, fermented beverage. Opening a bottle of bubbly, right? Fermentation there. Obviously, I don't know much about wine. I couldn't tell you the first thing about wine. I don't know how to sniff the cork and slosh it around and spit it out and all that stupid stuff. I'm not claiming to be an expert on wine, but I look at this passage and it's pretty clear. It's just telling me there's a certain type of wine that I should drink, and there's a certain type that I shouldn't even look at. The type that I shouldn't look at is one that it's become a certain color. It's become reddened. It gives it color in the cup and it moves itself aright. Obviously, you don't have to be an expert to realize, "Okay, obviously, the drink I'm not supposed to be drinking is fermented wine."
He's not saying, "Only drink white wine. Don't drink red wine." He's saying, "Don't drink it when it's fermented," because of the fact that he says in verse 32, "At the last it biteth like a serpent." See the grinding? "At the last it stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things." You want to start saying perverted things? You want to start beholding strange women? You want to have woe and wounds and contention and babbling and pain and sorrow and suffering in your life? That is the grinding of sin. We as God's people need to beware of sin. Even a godly, righteous man like Samson could go down that road, we can go down that road too. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much for your word. We thank you for the example of Solomon that we ... I'm sorry, Samson that we could learn from, because Samson went through this blinding and binding and grinding, we don't have to. We can just learn from his experience. It has been said that experience is the best teacher, but Lord help us to learn from the experience of other and not from our experience. Help us not to get into this blinding, binding, grinding cycle, in Jesus' name we pray, amen.