Now the part of the chapter that I'd like to focus on is beginning in verse number 18 there, where it reads, "And he saith unto them, 'Are ye so without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him, because it entereth not into his heart but into the belly, and goeth out into the draft purging all meats,' and he said, 'That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man, for from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.'"
What I want to preach about this morning is the subject of evil thoughts, or that which comes out of the heart of man and defiles the man. When we look at this list of sins that Jesus gives, it pretty much runs the gamut of sins. We see fornication and adultery, but we also see things like theft and murder, we see covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lying is covered under deceit, blasphemy, pride, I mean what isn't covered in this list? There are 13 sins here that he lists that run the spectrum of major sins that people commit, and Jesus said all of these things come from the heart of man. What I want to show you this morning through the scripture is that sin begins in our heart, and it begins with evil thoughts in our mind that then lead us to evil actions.
He says in verse number 21, "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thought," and then he lists all those other actions that those evil thoughts lead to. Go, if you would, to Proverbs chapter four, in the Old Testament, right after Psalms, the book of Proverbs. Look at Proverbs, chapter four. I'll start reading at verse 20 while you turn there. "My son, attend to my words. Incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes. Keep them in the midst of thine heart, for they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh." Look at verse 23 of Proverbs 4. "Keep thy heart, with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."
Again, the Bible is teaching us here to guard our heart, to make sure that our heart is right, because out of the heart are the issues of life. Jesus said that all sin is originating in the heart. It comes out of the heart. He says in verse 24, "Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left. Remove thy foot from evil." Here, when God is teaching us that we need to guard our heart, and keep our heart with all diligence, he talks about hearing the wrong things, listening to the wrong things, and looking at the wrong things, seeing the wrong things.
Now, go over, if you would, to Proverbs 23, because back in the original list in Mark 7, Jesus said that, "From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness," and then listen to this one, "an evil eye." One of the sins that's listed there is an evil eye. It's interesting, if you look up every time that that term is used, "an evil eye," you'll kind of get an idea for what that term means. Look at Proverbs 23, first of all, in verse four. It says, "Labor not to be rich. Cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine own eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings. They fly away as an eagle toward heaven. Eat not, thou, the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire, thou, his dainty meats, for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. Eat and drink, sayeth he to thee, but his heart is not with thee. The morsel that thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up and lose thy sweet words."
Now flip over to chapter 28 ... Passage, the one who has an evil eye, is one who is greedy. Even when they give you something, even when they offer you something, they don't really want you to have it. They're a greedy, covetous person. He talks about in that passage also the desire to be rich. Those who covet wealth for themselves. Look at chapter 28, verse 22. "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him." Flip back to Deuteronomy chapter 15. So far in these passages about an evil eye, they both had to do with wanting to be rich. Desiring something that does not belong to you. Look back at Deuteronomy 15:9. This is actually the first time the term "an evil eye" is ever used. It says in Deuteronomy 15:9, "Beware that there be no thought in thy wicked heart," notice that phrase, "a thought in your wicked heart saying, 'the seventh year, the year of release is at hand,' and thine eye be evil against they poor brother, and thou givest him not, and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee."
If we look at an evil eye in this scripture here, it has to do with a greedy person, who doesn't want to help out the poor, he wants to hang on to all of his money. In Proverbs, it was somebody who really wanted to be rich, it was somebody who, even when they give you something, they begrudge it, because they want to keep it all for themselves. That is what it means to have an evil eye.
Go to Matthew 6, and I'm going to show you why this is so important to what we're talking about today. This is all kind of the foundation for the sermon. Go to Matthew 6 and we'll see another mention of the evil eye in Matthew 6. Look at verse 20 of Matthew 6, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Again, all these scriptures talk a lot about the heart. What we think in our heart, our attitude, what we believe. It says in verse 22, "The light of the body is the eye. If, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body will be full of light, but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Now do you think it's a coincidence that every passage about the evil eye that we looked at there, they all have to do with something about money? Something about wanting to be rich? Something about being greedy? Do you notice that? Every single one of them. That's what it means to have an evil eye. It's the eye that looks at that which does not belong to you, and desires to have that. You look at the fancy house, and you wish that you lived in a fancy house. It's covetousness. You look at the fancy car, you look at wealth and riches, and you desire to be rich. You desire to have those things. God says that if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. Do you see how this sin is one that can destroy the whole body? This one sin of just having an evil eye is enough to destroy your life and to lead you into all other sin.
That's why the Bible said, "For the love of money is the root of all evil." It's funny because the modern Bible versions all change that. The New King James ... I don't know if the New King James changed it, but the NIV for sure changes it, the ESV, the New Living, you look it up in these versions and they change it to "It's a root of many types of evil." In fact, the modern version crowd has often mocked the King James for saying that "the love of money is the root of all evil." They say, "Come on, how could that possibly be true? How could it be the root of all evil?" Yet, they're so many other scriptures that teach the exact same thing. It's not like that verse in the King James just stands alone by itself. In fact, there's all this supporting material saying, "Look, if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness," which supports the fact that if you love money, if you covet possessions that don't belong to you, that will be the root of other evils in your life. In fact, all manner of evil. It is the root of all evil. It's where it all begins. It's where it starts. That's what root means.
Now, I'm going to skip the last one for sake of time, but if you would, flip over to Joshua, chapter seven. I'll just tell you the last mention of evil eye that I wanted to turn to, while you're turning to Joshua 7, was in Matthew 20. For sake of time, I'll just quickly tell you that in Matthew 20, there's a parable about a man who hires day laborers. At the beginning of the day, he hires some day laborers. You know sometimes you'll see guys standing outside Home Depot or whatever, and they're just there to be hired for the day. They just want to work and make a living, or at a temp agency, or there's even a day laborer place in this parking lot where people show up and they get hired for the day.
He needs more laborers, so he goes out at the third hour, he goes out at the sixth hour, he goes out at the ninth hour. He keeps hiring more workers. Finally, at the eleventh hour, there's only one hour of the work day left, he hires these guys, and the guys at the beginning of the day, he had made a deal with them for one penny for the whole days work. You know, you got to factor inflation, folks. He agreed with them for a penny. The other people that came at the third, sixth, ninth, and eleventh hour, he made no agreement with them. He just said I'll give you what's right. I'll give you a fair wage.
What he ends up doing is he gives the guys from the beginning of the day the penny that they earned and deserved and had agreed upon, but then he just gives everyone else a penny also. Even the guy who only worked one hour was paid the same amount as the guy who worked all day. This made them very upset, okay? God is trying to teach us with that, there's a lot in that story, but what he's trying to teach, part of it is just that we shouldn't worry so much about what other people are receiving. God's treating us fairly. God's been good to us. If we agreed to a price, we were willing to work for that price, we worked all day and that's what we got, we shouldn't be looking at, "Well, what's he getting?" That's' how kids are, aren't they? You know, children? You could give them a slice of cake and they're really happy to have that piece of cake, and they got a glass of milk and they're really happy, but then give their brother twice as much. Now all of a sudden, "I got this tiny piece." It's the sinful nature that wants to begrudge other people from receiving a bonus, or receiving extra, or receiving more than we've received. God's trying to teach us just to worry about ourselves.
The householder is rebuking the ones who complained, even though they got exactly what they bargained for. He says to them, "Is thine eye evil because I am good?" Again, they're looking at somebody else and murmuring. They're greedy. They wish they had something more. They're coveting these people who worked one hour and got paid. The evil eye is pretty consistent throughout scripture. It's always about money. It pretty much always has to do with covetousness, or greed, or wanting something that doesn't belong to you.
Let me show you the formula for how sin happens in our lives. Where do these 13 sins come from that Jesus listed? He said they all come from the heart. They all come out of the heart of man. He listed off everything from adultery, to murder, to robbery. Look down at Joshua 7:21. It says, "When I saw," this is Achan speaking, "When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and 200 shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of 50 shekels weight, then I coveted them and took them, and behold they are hid in the earth, in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it." In this one verse, we have the formula here of sin. He saw, he coveted, he took. First, it started with his eye, his thought, his heart coveting, then he committed the act of taking, then the next thing that happens? He dies. He's killed.
This is exactly what the Bible says in James 1. You don't have to turn there, but in James 1 it says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man, but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death." That's exactly what we see in the story about Achan. The Bible's real consistent on this, that all sin begins in our heart, and it all begins with evil thoughts or wrong thoughts proceeding out of our heart. He said, "Lust conceives and brings forth sin, sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death." The word lust is synonymous is synonymous with the word covetousness, because the apostle Paul said, in Romans 7, "I had not known lust, except that the scripture had said, 'Thou shalt not covet.'" He defined lust as being the committing of the sin of covetousness. That's what it is.
Over and over again, the Bible warns us about having evil thoughts, about thinking the wrong thing, about looking at the wrong thing. We need to keep our heart with all diligence. You see, a lot of people think that because their actions are right, it doesn't matter what they think about. It doesn't matter what's going on in their mind, and yet God tells us that the thoughts of our heart are eventually going to destroy us and lead us into sin if we have a corrupt eye. If we have an evil eye, our whole body's going to be filled with darkness. If we lust in our heart, lust will bring forth sin. If we are covetous, that will be the root of all evil in our life. These are sins that take place in the mind.
What are the main sins today that take place in people's minds? Well, first of all, we already talked about it, covetousness. Covetousness is a major sin that it's not really an action, because if we look at the ten commandments, or typical lists of sins, a lot of them are something that you physically do. "Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image." You're actually doing some work there. You're building something. "Thou shall not take the name of the Lord thy god in vain." That's a physical act. Even the Old Testament command of "remember the Sabbath to keep it holy." There is an action of resting there. You're actually doing something, or rather not doing something. Then he says, "Honor thy father and mother." That command to honor father and mother is always coupled with actions that we should and should not do. "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." "Honor they father and mother." There's an action there of obeying your parents. There's an action when you steal. There's an action when you commit murder. You're actually committing an act. When you commit adultery, obviously you're committing a physical act there.
Covetousness, the tenth of the ten commandments, covetousness is the one that takes place in your mind. It takes place in your heart when you just wish that you had something that you don't have. Now, it seems innocent upon the surface. So what if I just wish that I had something? Well, I just wish I was married to somebody else. Well, I just wish I had a different job. Well, I just wish I had a car that I can't afford. Some people literally would listen to this and say, "Is that even a sin? Really?" Our society is so covetous, and that's why we see so much other evil in our society, because the thoughts of men's hearts have become evil. Remember when God destroyed the earth with a flood? Why did he do it? He looked down upon the earth and he said the thoughts of men's hearts were only evil continually, and because the thoughts of their hearts were evil, because their minds were evil, next thing you know, the whole earth is filled with violence as a result of the evil heart and the evil thought.
How do we get evil thoughts and how do we get this wicked heart where all these sins come? If we want to live a clean life, if we want to live a christian life, me must first cleans that which is within the cup and the platter, that the outside may be clean also. Isn't that what Jesus said? I mean, if we're going to clean up our life, if we're going to live a life that's pure and right and godly, the first thing that has to be cleaned up is our mind. The first thing that has to be cleaned up is our heart. The first thing that has to be cleaned is what's on the inside. We must get control of our thoughts and our heart, because that is what's going to defile us. The heart of man. Our external circumstances can't destroy us. It's not the devil that can just destroy us. He can try to get into our heart, and he can try to show us things, and teach us things, and influence us to commit these sins, but really when we commit sin, we can't really blame anyone but ourself in the end. The sin came from our own lust. We can't say, "Well, God tempted me." "Well, it was the devil that made me do it." No, it says that from within your heart, that these things come from. That's' where sin originates. In the mind. In the heart.
That's why covetousness is so dangerous. That's' why I preach so much against covetousness and people sometimes think, "you're just splitting hairs. You're making a big deal out of nothing." Yet, this is the starting point. You need to learn ... What's the opposite of covetousness? Contentment. Being happy with what you have. You need to learn, in whatsoever state you're in, therewith to be content. You cannot live a godly life, you cannot live a clean life, when you are constantly wanting things that don't belong to you. You can't do it. You will go into sin if that's your mentality. You need to every day, the Bible says, give thanks unto the Lord, and in everything give thanks, and bless the Lord, and be thankful for what you have, and be content with what you have. The apostle Paul said, you know, he's in a prison cell, or he's thriving, but he says, "In whatsoever state I'm in, therewith to be content."
You see, when we go to the list of sins, let's go back to the list now, now that we kind of understand the formula a little bit of where sin comes from, because we've seen the formula over and over haven't we? Evil thoughts, a wicked heart, thinking covetous thoughts, they lead us into all other sins, according to the Bible. We must keep our heart with all diligence. We must clean up the inside of the cup in order to have an outside that is clean. Let's look at the list now in Mark 7:20. He said, "That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts," and then what's the next thing on the list? Adulteries.
We can kind of group that in with the third thing, fornication. Adultery and fornication are two very similar sins. The difference between the two is that adultery is one that's committed by someone who is married. Someone who is married who basically goes to bed with someone who is not their spouse, that is called adultery. One who is unmarried, but has a physical relationship, goes to bed with someone they're not married to, that is called fornication. Those two sins are similar. God is telling us here that both adultery and fornication start out in the heart of man. You don't just one day just find yourself in a situation where boom, you're just committing adultery, you're just committing fornication. No. There's a process that leads you to commit adultery. There's a process that leads you to commit fornication. If you look at men in the Bible who committed adultery, you could see all the things that lead up to them committing adultery. They weren't just living a godly, righteous life, and had a great relationship with their spouse, and then one day they just were tempted and they just committed adultery. I don't believe that for one second. People who commit adultery have had a wicked thought life for a very long time before they just go out and commit adultery. They've already had covetousness in their heart. They've already had evil thoughts long before they go out and commit adultery.
Lust conceives, and if you think about a typical pregnancy, how long does a typical pregnancy last? My wife and I are asking ourselves that. Okay? How long does a typical pregnancy last? Nine months. It's not just instantaneous. There's just conception, birth. No. "When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin." Does it bring it forth immediately? Not necessarily. The evil thoughts can germinate and gestate, and then eventually it brings forth sin, "and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
Think about this, in order to commit adultery, first you have to start being discontented with your spouse. That's' where it starts. If we look at David, who committed adultery, was he content with his wife? Was he content with his thoughts? Well, if he were, he wouldn't have added a second one. Right? If you look at Abraham, who committed adultery with Hagar, you know? What did he covet that he didn't have? He really wanted a son. God already promised him you're going to have a son. God already told him to wait on him and to trust him and to have faith in him, but he coveted that which did not belong to him. He wanted a son, and then that eventually led him to commit adultery with Hagar. We look at other men in the Bible who committed adultery. You're going to see similar patterns. You're going to see things that lead up to it. You can see it coming a mile away. It doesn't just happen overnight.
If we're going to live a clean life, we need to straighten out our thought life. If we're going to avoid the first few things on the list here, we see a couple sins on the list here, adultery and fornication, if we're going to avoid those sins, we need to get our thoughts right. Number one, we need to realize, of course, that lust and covetousness is the root of all evil. That's where everything starts. That's the beginning point of sin.
First of all, you must decide, adultery for example, that you are content with the spouse that you have. You must love your wife. You must love your husband and be satisfied with your wife, or be satisfied with your husband, and not even have the evil thought that says, "I wish my husband were more like so-and-so," or "I wish I was married to someone more like her." You know, you might sit there and think, "Lust, that's looking at a dirty magazine." That's true. That is lust. "That's looking at a filthy movie."
You know what? It's just as much lust when you have these kind of evil thoughts in your mind toward your wife that says, "I just wish I was married to a woman that would nag me less, more like so-and-so." "I'd rather be married to someone a little more like so-and-so." "I'd rather be married to someone who appreciated me a little more." "My wife is this ..." When we get bitter toward our wife, that is also a seed in our mind that could lead us to go looking somewhere else when we ought to be content with what we have at home. Same thing, we could flip around the gender. Say, a woman that wishes she were married to a guy who made more money. You don't think a woman has ever had that thought? I wish I were married to a man who made more money because this stupid house I live in, and this stupid car, and we don't even have a car, and we don't even have a house ... You know what? That is a wicked thought.
You say, "What's wrong with wanting to live in a nicer house? It's a sin! That's what's wrong with it. What's wrong with wishing we drove a bigger car, or fancier car? What's wrong with wishing I was married to a man who made more money? It's sin. It will lead you to a bigger sin when you start thinking those kind of evil thoughts. We need to take heed unto our thought life. If you just let your mind just wander, you're going to think stupid thoughts. Think about it. We are sinners. We have a sinful flesh. The Bible says every day we must put on the new man. We must deny self and take up the cross daily and follow him. If we just wake up in the morning and walk in the flesh, we're going to think the wrong types of things, especially because the world around us leads us into a lot of bad thought life. They put a lot of ideas into our head that are the wrong ideas.
We need to make sure that when we get up in the morning, we take control of our thoughts and we make sure that the thoughts that we have toward our spouse are not evil thoughts. The Bible says "Husbands love your wives." It says wives should love their husbands. We shouldn't even let these thoughts come in of just thinking, "Oh, I just hate such-and-such about my wife." "Oh, I'm just sick of her doing this. I'm so sick of her doing that. Oh, I'm just so sick of him doing this, and I just hate it when he does that." Just sitting and thinking about the things you don't like about your spouse, that right there, is where adultery begins. Believe it or not, that's where adultery begins. If you're in love with your spouse, and you're happy with them, and you have good feeling toward the, you're not out looking for someone else because your love is directed towards them. Your desire is unto them. This is something that we need to be aware of.
Also, let's get off adultery now, okay. Fornication. We can talk about the other aspect of lust, which would be picking up the magazine. Today, probably would be more surfing the internet. Now, somebody recently said to me, "I never hear you preach about internet pornography. It's so bad, and you need to preach about internet pornography." Honestly, the reason that you don't hear me preaching a lot about internet pornography is because of the fact that it's just not a very wholesome subject to talk about. I don't like ... I try to keep my preaching as clean as the Bible is, so I don't want to go into details, or be graphic about things that aren't really covered in the Bible, because I don't want to defile those that are pure. There are so many people here, children and even adults, who are pure in many areas. I don't want to ever expose people to things that would defile them. I don't want to be the one who puts an idea into their mind, through their ears, or through their eyes, that would cause them to have evil thoughts, or that would cause their heart to be defiled.
I always want to keep my preaching clean, but at the same time, I do have to peach against sin, so where I draw the line is I preach in words that the Bible uses, and I use terminology ... I know that the Bible is clean and right, and I know that the Bible will lead no one astray. We read our children the Bible from the time they're born, and when they're two, three, four, we read them the Bible. We don't skip certain parts of the Bible and say, "This part isn't for kids." It's all good for kids. God's word is clean, and pure.
The Bible says every word of God is pure, so that's why you're not going to hear me going into great detail about the evils of internet pornography, but the Bible makes it clear. It says that "Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." There is an abundance of pornography on the internet today, and it is a major problem. You can look up statistics on this and see, I think 30% pf all internet traffic goes to pornographic websites. I mean, that's just a pretty staggering number. There are all kinds of statistics about 25% of people who have a work computer use it to look at ... This is a big problem. It is a major problem. It does need to be preached against.
Let me just say it to you this way. If you're married and you're going on the computer and looking at internet pornography, that is such a hurtful thing to your spouse. I mean, and you have to remember that Jesus said, "All things, whatsoever you would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets, known as the golden rule." You wouldn't want your spouse on the internet lusting after someone else. Why would you do that then? It's a two-way street. You need to be respectful of your spouse, and keep yourself only unto her, or only unto him, so long as you both shall live. When it comes to internet pornography, it's probably more men that fall into this trap, or are guilty of this sin, I don't know. That would seem to ... you'd seem to think so. Women have their own sins that they have a tendency to fall into. This is one that maybe is a little more targeted toward men.
Let me say this, it is something that will easily destroy your marriage. I know people. I could tell you about people ... I'm not going to, of course, but I could tell you people who, the man went on the computer, looked at internet pornography, and as soon as his wife found out, she divorced him and never wanted anything to do with him ever again, no matter how much he apologized, no matter how much he said he was sorry, no matter how much he repented, she just said, "No, I want nothing ... " Now, look, that isn't right. Obviously, the Bible teaches that we should forgive and so forth, and she should have forgiven him. I'm just telling you the realities of how hurtful this can be to a relationship. I could give you specific examples of people that I know, multiple examples, of where a wife found her husband looking at pornography, and just could never forgive that. Never get over that. The wife was wrong to do that, because we should forgive our spouse, we should be with our spouse until death, but that shows you how damaging this can be. It's not a little thing. It's not a small thing.
Today, in our society, it has become acceptable in our culture for men to just put posters up in the garage of women in bikinis, and that is so hurtful. Even wives might say, "Oh, it doesn't bother me. I'm okay with that." She's lying. No wife is okay with that. No wife wants to think that her husband gets more enjoyment out of looking at someone else than her. It's wicked. It's ungodly. If you have that type of poster in your garage, go home and tear it off the wall. Get rid of all the magazines. Even the so-called milder ... The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition needs to go in the trash. You don't need that stuff. You need to make sure that you're not lusting ... You say, "Well, I can handle it. It doesn't affect me." You know what? You're playing with fire, and that lust is going to conceive and it's going to bring forth sin. Out of a wicked heart, proceeds adultery.
Listen to the single man as well. Internet pornography is also very dangerous. The magazines, all the same preaching applies to fornication. The single young man is even more, is even more likely to commit fornication than the married man is to commit adultery if you think about it. The Bible even says, to avoid fornication let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband. The single man, because he is not active in that area, because he is, hopefully, as the Bible commands him to be virgin, and clean, and pure. He is at an even greater temptation, and is even more likely to commit fornication, and to go into that grievous sin.
You say, "What's the big deal about fornication?" Fornication is a major sin. God killed 23,000 people in one day because of fornication according to 1 Corinthians 10. Fornication is a sin. The Bible tells us to flee it. Almost every chapter that the apostle Paul wrote, he's preaching against fornication, almost more than any other sin. It's a huge sin. A lot of young men get sucked into this. It starts out milder, but sin always takes you further than you wanted to go. It always keeps you longer than you wanted to stay. It always costs you more than you were willing to pay.
You know what it reminds me of? A guy that I knew who smoked pot. Just smoking pot, no big deal. Except one day, the pot that he was given from his dealer was laced with something other than pot. He ended up being on some kind of crazy trip for days and days from some hardcore drugs that were put into his pot. That's not what he signed on for when he decided to smoke pot, did he? He decided to smoke pot. He just wanted to smoke a little pot, whatever. You know what? He ended up frying his brain majorly with something else. You know what? God is not going to bless you when you're committing sin, and when you commit a small sin, it always leads to a bigger sin, and it escalates.
You start out just looking at the lingerie add, or you start out just looking at the swimsuit edition, or whatever. You're just curious. Your a young man. Pretty soon, you're going to look at more, you're going to look at more, you're going to justify it more and more, and you're going to get into worse and worse and worse things. This is the way internet pornography is set up. You go to look at one thing, and then all of a sudden it hits you with a bunch of other stuff. I mean, think about it, do you think the people who run internet pornography sites are godly people? Do you think that they're honest businessmen? Do you think that they have any integrity whatsoever?
Therefore, again I don't want to spend too much time on this, because it's not a very wholesome subject, you'll go on there expecting to look at something that you're comfortable with. You know, just a little sin. You're just going to play around with a little sin. You just want to look at the bikini babe, or the underwear, or whatever. What happens is they'll escalate it for you. Other stuff will start popping up. Other windows will start opening. They'll start e-mailing you, whatever. You'll start getting into stuff that's way worse, and way weirder than you ever bargained ... Just talk to anybody who's been involved in it. That's what they'll tell you. It gets you sucked into worse and bigger sins. This is why we need to just nip it in the bud, and just not even have the covetousness and the evil thoughts in the first place. Not even look upon the woman to lust after her in the first place.
Look, I know that it's hard in the day that we live in for a young man. I was a teenager once. I know what it's like. You know why it's so hard for teenagers? Because of the fact that it's everywhere you go, it's being crammed down your throat. Out of sight, out of mind. Back in the old days, if you were a teenage boy, you weren't constantly having these images, and having scantily clad women around you in billboards, and magazines, and TV, and movies. Just bombarding you with it. Obviously, it's going to be hard to keep yourself pure when you're being bombarded with all this stuff, but God demands you to be pure. Your life depends upon it. It will destroy your life if you commit fornication. There will be consequences that you will live with for the rest of your life.
Obviously, you should try to limit your exposure to this garbage as much as you can. Some of it you can't escape because we live in a society where, in the summertime, women are going to dress scantily clad. There's nothing you can do about that. Okay? You can avoid watching it on TV, by not having a TV, by not watching TV. You know what? Think about this. Let me just explain it to you this way. If you were fasting from food, right? Where do you think the best place would be to be fasting from food? In a kitchen? In a restaurant? I remember one time, I was a teenager, I was fasting. I worked at Round Table Pizza. I'm cooking food, and I was fasting. That doesn't work very well. You're smelling the food. You're looking ... It would be a lot easier if you weren't around food. If you're busy with other things.
Obviously, if you're just going to sit there, just watch TV, and what's TV going to constantly bring up to you? The bedroom, the bedroom, the bedroom, the bedroom. Indecently dressed women, indecently dressed women. Showing you, showing you, showing you, showing you, showing you. It's going to be harder to stay pure than if you had hobbies and work to do, and things to do with your time that were not constantly reminding you of something that is unavailable to you. That act is unavailable to you until you get married. Then you can enjoy it legitimately. Until then, you want to try to not just be bombarded with it by looking at TV, and movies, and advertising that's just constantly pushing that on you. Doesn't that just make sense. Common sense.
That's why the Bible says, "Make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof." You can't just surround yourself with all this stuff and hope to keep a pure mind. That's why you shouldn't live in Las Vegas, Nevada. Good night, it's impossible to keep a pure mind in that place. Everywhere you look, it's just filth and smut and wickedness. Thank God, Phoenix isn't as bad. Still, there is a lot of sin, there is a lot of wickedness, and we need to try to limit our exposure, and keep our mind as pure as we can. Otherwise, it's just going to be harder to stay pure. We need to keep a pure mind. If a man is going to keep himself pure until he's married, or is a woman is going to keep herself pure until she's married, it starts with the thought life. You need to realize that God expects you not only to abstain from fornication, but to abstain from thinking about committing fornication, and looking upon a woman to lust after her in your heart. God says you've committed the act in your heart. You're guilty before God just for having those thoughts. Just for looking. The Bible calls It the lust of the eyes. He talks about having an evil eye.
Turn, if you would, to 2 Peter 2. 2 Peter 2, toward the end of the New Testament. You know, this is the thing that's dangerous about the internet too. It's anonymous, meaning that, it used to be, if you're a teenager and you wanted to be curious about things that you need to not be curious about, you'd have to go somewhere and go find this stuff. You're probably not going to find it, or it's going to be difficult to find. Now, with computers and internet, people can just, in the privacy of their home, just completely anonymously, they can just go on the computer and just look at this stuff. This is why, listen to me now, you should not give your teenagers, or children, unfettered access to the internet. Think about it. You understand that a child is foolish. The Bible says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child." We all started out simple, and foolish, and ignorant. Nobody was just born with wisdom, and knowledge, and understanding. We all started out foolish, and as we get older, we learn things. As we get older, we get smarter, we get more intelligent, we get wiser, hopefully. A child cannot be expected to have the same level of wisdom and knowledge and restraint about the internet as an adult.
I've heard some people say, "The internet is evil. Don't even use the internet." There are legitimate uses for the internet. I do my banking on the internet. You can research things on the internet. You can get a lot of great knowledge. You can listen to preaching off the internet. You can go to Bible software on the internet. There's a lot of business use. There's a lot of communication you can do through e-mails and thorough going to legitimate websites and godly websites. A lot of people, they protect their computer with anti-virus software. I'm not against it. I'm not really a super-duper computer expert, but I do know something about computers. People are going to correct me about this after the service, I'm sure. My thought was, usually you get computer viruses, usually from going to sites that are questionable. Now, I'm sure that you can go to normal sites, and do perfectly normal activities and pick up a virus. I'm sure people will tell me that after the service. I'll tell you this, though. Going to questionable sites is where most viruses are going to be. I mean, when you go to ungodly websites, that's where you're going to get ... The people who are running a site like that, they don't have integrity. See what I mean? That's where a lot of the viruses and things get picked up is through a lot of wicked websites.
Let me say this, and I want to teach you something about computers. Like I said, I'm not a super-duper computer expert, but there are many computer experts in the room today that could probably verify that what I'm about to say is true, because I do know something about computers. Most people don't know what I'm about to tell you, and what I'm about to tell you is a very interesting piece of information, that I would say 99% of people don't know. That is this: Every image that you ever look at on your computer ... Are you listening? I'm not saying you downloaded it. I'm not saying you saved it to your hard drive. I'm saying every image that you've ever seen on your computer is stored on your computer. You say, "That's not true, pastor Anderson. That's wrong. My computer doesn't even have enough memory for that. You're wrong. Your wrong." I'm right, and I'll prove it to you.
Who here is a computer professional? Put up your hand if you are a computer professional, meaning your job is a computer job. Who have we got here? Sean Fairchild, we got Brother Tom, we got the Jordans over here. We got four or five computer guys. The reason I know this for a fact is because I have retrieved, successfully, every picture that anyone has ever looked at from a computer. Here's why. I'm going to use this whiteboard as an illustration. It would probably be even more of an illustration if we were to use a chalkboard, right? When you write something on the chalkboard, and then you erase it, it's gone right? You can still kind of see it, right? You know with a chalkboard, you can kind of see everything that's ever been written a little bit, even though it's been erased. It's sort of like when you used to have a cassette tape, back in the olden days, and you'd record over, but didn't you kind of still hear what used to be on it? Real quiet? Who's had that experience?
This is how I learned this. I had a computer hard drive that failed. Computer hard drives always fail. Every computer I've ever had that broke was because the hard drive failed. Then I bought a computer that didn't have a hard drive. It had a solid state memory, and then if failed. What in the world? It's always the memory that fails. I had a hard drive, and this thing had failed, and I wanted to retrieve the data off this thing. It wouldn't mount with the operating system, so I got one of those external plug-in kits where you can just take the hard drive, and just plug it in, and wire it through to the USB. I hook it up to the thing, and it's not being recognized by the computer. The computer just can't see it. It won't respond.
I bought a software called Disc Drill. I think it was like $60 or $100, but I bought this software called Disc Drill, and it said you could do a scan of the hard drive, or you could do a deep scan. This Disc Drill, even if it's not seeing the hard drive, it could still go in and see it. I hooked this thing up to Disc Drill Pro, and I did a deep scan. It's like 57 hours remaining. I just left. Days and days went by doing the deep scan, and all of a sudden, it comes back, "Okay, we've scanned your hard drive. These are the files we've found." It was more files than could even fit on my computer. Let's say the hard drive is 100 GB hard drive, and there's 10 times that much data on that hard drive. I'm thinking to myself, how does that work? This thing has a capacity of X, and yet there's 10 times as much on this hard drive.
I went to photos, and it was like, instead of just showing me the typical photos that I would have had on my computer, it was just tens of thousands of photos. I hooked it up to a bigger hard drive and I dumped everything that it had found through drilling it. I dumped it all onto the big hard drive. I have this folder of 10,000-some photos, and I'm like, "What are these photos?" I did not have 10,000 photos on my computer. I started just looking though them, just clicking on them. Just going through them, going through them going through them. It was just every picture that you'd ever seen on the internet. A lot of that stuff goes temporarily onto your machine.
If you think about it, in order for you to see a picture on the screen, it really it downloads that picture into a temporary folder, where it displays it for you to look at it, right? Then when you click out of it, it deletes it out of that temporary folder. For you to be looking at it, it has to be on your computer, or else how are you looking at it? Does everybody understand? This folder of pictures was like every picture that had ever been on your computer, including images you just looked at on the internet. This is why you'll sometimes hear people say, "Hey, the FBI got this guys computer, and it was his work computer, and they found 5,000 pictures of indecency, or 5,000 pictures of pornography." You're thinking to yourself, why is this guy storing 5,000 filthy pictures on his work computer at a Christian school. What in the world? Now do you understand where they got those 5,000 pictures? Who already knew that?
Put up your hand if you already knew that. Can you verify that what I'm saying is true? Yeah, for the most part. What do you disagree with me? I'm just telling you there's more on your hard drive than you think is on that hard drive, because of the fact that when you erase the chalk board, when you write over it, you erase it, if you really did a deep scan of that chalkboard, you're going to find everything that's ever been written on that chalkboard. What I'm trying to say is ... What am I trying to say? Don't look at weird stuff on your computer. You might get busted for stuff that you thought you could get away with. The Bible says, "Be sure, your sin will find you out." That should just be a sobering thought, where you think, "Oh yeah, I can look at all this stuff and get away with it." You might not even get away with it, because of the fact that stuff's being stored on your computer that you don't even know about. That should make you think twice before looking at this filth.
Not only that, God knows. Even if you never get caught. Even if nobody ever takes a Disc Drill Pro to your computer and figures out what you've been doing, God knows what you're doing. By the way, your mind, here's where it ties in with the sermon. Your mind is the same as that hard drive. Right? You see stuff, you hear stuff, and then you forget about it, right? It's still there, though. Have you ever forgot about something for years and years and years, but then someone will remind you of it. "Hey, remember that?" It was something you had forgotten. You had deleted from your mental hard drive. "Hey, remember that?" You're like, "Oh, yeah." Boom. The whole image comes back. The whole story comes back. All the details come back. Why? Because everything that goes into your mind remains. Things go in, but they don't go out. That should be a sobering thought.
That's why God says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." When we just are constantly allowing bad things to come in, and when he said nothing coming into the man can defile him, he's talking about food. What can defile the man is what comes into the eyes, what comes into the ears. That's' what he brings up as being the things that defile your heart. Once wicked things come into your eyes and ears, they go into your heart, and then, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh." "Out of the heart come the issues of life." "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts." "Out of the heart proceed adulteries, fornications ... "
If you're a young man, and you want to stay pure, and you don't want to commit fornication, you need to stop looking at this garbage, you need to stop getting as close to sin as you can without going all the way over the cliff. You're just making it harder on yourself. You're just making it more difficult to abstain from that. You just need to get it out of sight, out of mind. That's the best way to abstain from that. Get yourself busy with other things. Other productive work to do than to just sit there and watch the world's filth, which is going to remind you of that. There's statistics about every seven seconds, not seven second, every seven minutes, there's a reference to it on TV. You can find the statistics on that.
We need to realize that we need to get our thoughts under control if we're going to live a clean life. We need to get the lust out of our heart. Get the covetousness out of our heart. Not look at pornography, whether it's on the television, or on the internet. Not look at it, not think about it, not ponder it, and to be content with such things as we have, and to be happy with what we have, and not always wishing we had something we don't have.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, please just help this message to sink down into our ears, Lord. Please just help us to stay as far away from sin as we can. We don't want to go into these things like theft, and murder, and robbery, and adultery, and fornication, blasphemy. Lord, help us not to even start the decline toward these things by having a filthy mind. Help us to keep our minds pure. Help us to read your word every day, and think about your word, meditate on it. Help us to think good positive thoughts toward our wives or husbands, Lord. Help us to think godly thoughts. Help us to fill our minds with scripture and good things, so that we don't just have this cesspool of iniquity in our mind that will lead us into all manner of sin. If not sooner, then later, Lord. Please just help us to take this message to heart, in Jesus' name we pray ...