Now this morning, I want to preach on the subject of temptation. Go, if you would to Luke, chapter number 11. We just read there, in Matthew chapter 6, what's commonly called The Lord's Prayer. This is when the disciples had asked Jesus how to pray and he teaches them how to pray. He also covers it in The Sermon on the Mount. He says, "when you pray, this is the way that you should pray."
Now, he's very careful to say right before that then when you pray you should not use "vain repetitions the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them." The Bible is clear that we should not vainly repeat things or chant prayers. What's funny is that just right when he finishes saying, "do not use vain repetitions," he says "after this manner, therefore, pray ye." He gives a sample prayer. People will say "oh, let's chant that." I mean, there are churches that will chant The Lord's Prayer when he just finished saying, "don't use vain repetition." That's what we just read.
I want to point out to you a specific part of The Lord's Prayer, because The Lord's Prayer is not something to be chanted or vainly repeated over and over again. It is a pattern prayer. It is a sample prayer so that we can understand how we should pray. When we look at The Lord's Prayer, we see different elements that are there that we should incorporate into our own prayer life. When we pray, we should say these types of things and make these type of requests.
Look at Luke chapter 11 and verse 4. I want to show you the part that I want to emphasize. It says in Luke 11:4, "and forgive us our sins for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil." That's what I want to preach on this morning, "lead us not into temptation." Flip over to Luke 22, you're in chapter 11.
The prayer says in Matthew 6, "Our father which art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen."
Look at Luke 22, verse 40, the same thing. It says, "and when he was at the place he said unto them 'pray that ye enter not into temptation'" so in the sample Lord's Prayer, we have the statement "Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil" but then Jesus later, in a separate instance says to his disciples "pray that you do not enter into temptation."
Let me ask you this. When was the last time that you prayed to God that you would not be led into temptation. When was the last time you prayed to God and said, "God, lead me not into temptation. Don't lead me into temptation. Please just deliver me from evil." Yet this is something that we're supposed to be praying. Let me give you some reasons why we should be praying this. Turn over to James, chapter 1. James, chapter number 1.
There are two main reasons why we should be praying that God will not lead us into temptation. Number 1, if we pray that God will not lead us into temptation, he will answer that prayer. He will answer that. If we pray according to His will, He'd hear us, and we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him. The Bible says in 2 Peter 2:9 ... you're turning to James 1, but in 2 Peter 2:9, "the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations." God is able and willing and ready to answer that prayer when you say "God, lead me not into temptation." God knows how to deliver us from temptation.
Now it says in James chapter 1, verse 12, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of light which the Lord has promised them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, 'I'm 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 has conceived and bringith forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bringith forth death."
The second thing that that prayer does for us ... not only will God hear us and answer that prayer and keep us from temptation, but also praying that God will not lead you into temptation will put you in a frame of mind where you will not lead yourself into temptation. If you're constantly praying to God, "Oh God, lead me not into temptation," then you're not going to just turn around and just say, "Hey, let's just walk right into temptation." Now, when we are tempted, The Bible says we are drawn away of our own lust and enticed. The Bible says, "Let no man say when he is tempted, 'I'm tempted of God," for God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempteth He any man, every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed."
We are the ones who lead ourselves into temptation through the lust of our own hearts. We pray to God and say "Oh God, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil." We want God to help us stay away from temptation and not to allow things to come into our path that would be a temptation to us. We also want to make sure that we don't lead ourselves into temptation.
Flip over to Romans 13. Romans, chapter 13. Now let me say this, there's a little bit of confusion about the word "temptation" because of the fact that the word "temptation" can mean more than one thing. When words have two meanings, sometimes people become confused. The word "tempt" ... sometimes in The Bible just means "to test or to try." For example, in Genesis chapter 22, it says in verse 1 that the Lord did tempt Abraham ... but see, the Lord was not putting something sinful in front of Abraham, trying to allure him. That's what we would think of as this type of temptation and that's why The Bible says, "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." Okay?
God does not tempt us to sin. He doesn't put things in front of us that are sinful to try to entice us or tempt us. That's our own lust that does that. When God tempted Abraham, he was not tempting him to sin whatsoever, what he was doing was he was testing his obedience. He told him to do something and he was seeing if he would do it.
We have a modern word, "attempt" and if I make an attempt at something it means I'm trying something. That's what the word "tempt" sometimes means. Other times it means "to entice." Okay? That's what God is saying that he never does. He's not going to entice us to do evil. We're drawn away of our own lust and enticed.
Look at Romans 13:14. It says this: "but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof." What's that saying? Don't put yourself in a situation or give yourself the capability to be able to fulfill the lusts thereof. Don't make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof. Don't make an allowance or an opportunity for your flesh to fulfill the lust thereof.
Flip over to 1 Corinthians 6, just a few pages to the right in your bible. 1 Corinthians chapter 6. Number 1, we need to pray that God will not lead us into temptation but that he will deliver us from evil. We need to pray that we will not enter into temptation and number 2, we need to be sure that we don't lead ourselves into temptation or put ourselves in tempting situations.
The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:18, just in these two words, "flee fornication." What is that saying? Don't get anywhere near fornication. Don't put yourself in a situation where you're tempted to commit fornication. Don't see how close to fornication you can get without committing fornication is what he's saying there. Flee fornication. Stay far from it. Don't make provisions for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.
See a lot of people, they focus on resisting temptation. In reality, instead of focusing on resisting temptation, what we ought to do is focus on avoiding temptation in the first place. We don't even want to be led into temptation. Why? Jesus said this in Matthew 26:41 ... you don't have to turn there, "Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Did you hear that? He said pray that you don't enter temptation because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. See, we don't want to just rely all the time on our willpower and say, "Well, I can handle the temptation. I have the willpower to withstand the temptation." We are far better off to just not enter into temptation. That's what we ought to be praying.
The Bible says that sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We are all made of sinful flesh. We all have the capability to sin and to fall. Therefore, we need to avoid temptation. We need to pray that we'll avoid temptation and we need to make a concerted effort in our lives not to go into temptation. To avoid it, to flee from it, and not to make provision for it.
Go to 1 Timothy, chapter number 6. Don't just resist the temptation, avoid it in the first place. 1 Timothy, chapter 6. Let's look at another scripture about fleeing temptation. It says in verse 9, "but they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare." Notice ... they fall into temptation and because of that temptation they're going to end up sinning.
It says, "they will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, which while some coveted after they have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows but thou, Oh man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." He's saying flee fornication. Flee the love of money. Flee youthful lusts, The Bible says in another scripture. Flee covetousness. Just stay away from these temptations in the first place.
Now let me give you some examples of some temptations that just need to be avoided. We should pray that we don't get into these types of situations and we need to make sure that we don't lead ourselves into these types of situations. Some examples could be, you know, going to the bar. You say, "well, I'm going to the bar but I'm not going to do any drinking," but what are you doing? You're just leading yourself into temptation by going to a bar because a bar is a place where you're going to be tempted to commit a lot of various sin.
Now you say, "Well, Pastor Anderson, why would anyone ever go to a bar if they don't drink" but there are people who go to bars and they don't drink. For example, because it's karaoke night and they love karaoke. You know I know somebody personally who was not a drinker and got really into karaoke, started going to bars and singing karaoke, and became a drunk. Why? He's going to the bar and there's so much temptation there. The spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak. It's just going to be one drink and then how about one more and ah, whatever it's okay, it's not a big deal and you're led to [inaudible 00:11:11].
Another reason why people could go to bars is because their friends are going to the bar. They go with their friends and they say, "well, I'm just going to drink a Coke. I'm just going to drink water" but they're going and they're hanging out at a bar where simpleness abounds and surrounds you there in the bar. Here's another temptation. How about having close ... let's say you're married and you start making close friendships with people of the opposite gender. You know, so I'm married and let's say I start having a close female friend. That is a major, major leading into temptation and today, this abounds especially because men and women work together on the job.
Now it used to be that most women would stay home and men would go to work, so if you went to your job usually you'd work mainly with other men. Today, there are so many women in the workforce and this is a huge cause of adultery. Look, this is not just some fanatical, fundamental Baptist preaching. Even the world ... even secular sources will tell you that adultery is on the rise due to women being in the workforce and the most common person that they're going to commit adultery with is someone that they work with.
Why else would you even have these types of relationships outside of marriage? I mean think about it. Why would I have some kind of a close friendship with some woman outside of my marriage unless it was someone that I was working with all the time or spending a lot of time with in some capacity. This can lead to huge temptation. You ought not have close friendships outside of your marriage with the opposite gender.
I, Pastor Steven L. Anderson, only need one female friend in my life and that is my wife. That's it. Now, that doesn't mean I don't have just acquaintances of, "Hi, how are you doing?" but I'm not going to go out to lunch with a woman other than my wife. I'm not going to go out to dinner with a woman other than my wife. I'm not going to get on the phone and just hang on the phone for a long time with a woman that's not my ... unless it's my mother or my sister, okay? I will hang on the phone with them but I'm not going to sit there and hang on the phone with single women that are not my wife and go out to lunch with them and go out to dinner with them and hang out with them and say, "Oh, it's just platonic." Plato was a fag. Okay?
You know, I don't want to do anything platonic, okay? He was ungodly, he was a pagan, he was not a Christian, he was not a believer. You know, don't tell me about your platonic relationship, okay? You are leading yourself into temptation there when you start ... look, you're not just going to commit adultery by accident.
If you read the statistics today on adultery, it'll blow your mind. It's sad. I mean, it'll bring tears to your eyes just to read about what percentage of people commit adultery. It's so depressing because it's such a hurtful thing to do to your spouse when you commit adultery. It's such a hateful, hurtful, harmful thing to do to your spouse and today it's abounding. It's very prevalent in the United States and elsewhere.
We need to make sure that we don't get this attitude that says, "Well, I'm above that. I would never do that." Guess what? That's what a lot of people think before they commit adultery, "Oh I would never do that. I'm above that. I know where to draw the line" but what happens is the line just keeps slowly getting moved and slowly getting moved and just very, very slowly, you're let into sin and so forth because of that temptation ... but here's the thing. If you don't have close friendships with the opposite gender, you're not going to have this temptation in your life.
I'm going to get to another way that's important for avoiding adultery later on, but I just want to say if you are forced to work around the opposite gender ... let's say you do go to a job where you have to work closely with someone that is not your spouse. You need to be very careful about that temptation. It's not an ideal situation and if you're in that situation, you need to keep things very professional. You need to not socialize with that person.
Here's some things that you should never, ever do with that person. Never talk to that person about your marriage and start, "Oh my wife this ... " and start criticizing your spouse to that person. Okay, you start criticizing your spouse to some woman at work, you are just literally just on a bobsled toward adultery when you get to that point, okay? When you're getting in these really deep, personal conversations with someone of the opposite gender ... you need to keep it professional.
Here's another sign that you've crossed the line. When you try to conceal that relationship from your spouse. Okay? See if you are doing something that's completely above board and honest ... let's say you have to work with somebody of the opposite gender and you have to deal with someone of the opposite gender, then there'd be nothing to hide. You would tell your spouse, "hey, this is someone that I work with" and whatever.
Again, the best thing is to try as much as possible not to work closely with people of the opposite gender and if you have to work with somebody of the opposite gender, not to build some close friendship with that person, not to start talking about intimate details about your life and going into the dynamics of your marriage with that person, and not concealing talking to that person or getting together with that person from your spouse. You are on the way to committing adultery if you do that.
Look, people commit adultery every day and we need to not think we're above that. David committed adultery. Other men in The Bible committed adultery. We need to keep ourselves far from it and not say, "well, I'll resist the temptation to commit adultery." No, don't resist temptation, avoid the temptation. Don't even lead yourself into the temptation. Don't even have that close female friend that you could commit adultery with. Don't even have that close male friend that you could commit adultery with because your mind will slowly make excuses and you'll slowly drift into, "oh, my husband is this and he doesn't under ... but you know Bob at work, he understands. Bob is such a good listener. My husband just tunes me out." You start making these comparisons and ... look, it happens all the time.
You need to beware and take heed and flee from it and you ought not have close friends ... you say, "well, but I was really friends with this person closely before we got married. I want to continue that friendship." Eh, your close female friend from before you got married ... it's time to kiss her goodbye, figuratively speaking. All right? Your close male friend that you had if you're a woman before you got married ... time to cut him ... you don't need him in your life. You need female companionship or male companionship just from your spouse alone.
Look, if I need friends in my life they're going to be men. Not going to have close female friends. You say, "why not, Pastor Anderson?" ... because I don't want to be led into temptation. I don't want to develop relationships that could go the wrong way. Do not be so prideful and arrogant to think that you are above sin and that you can handle playing with fire when in reality, you can't.
Here's another thing that can lead you into temptation ... hanging around with a lot of unsaved friends, a lot of ungodly friends. The Bible says, "ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? Obviously, we're going to have acquaintances in our life that are unsaved and we're going to have coworkers and we should be friendly with them. We should have lunch with them. We should try to give them the gospel, but we should not get too close in our friendships with people that are not saved.
If we just are really buddy buddy with unsaved people, hanging around with unsaved people all the time, they are going to lead us into temptations. The type of things that they're going to want to do are the type of things that scripture forbids and they're going to be constantly tempting us, "Hey, let's go to the bar. Hey, let's go party. Let's go do this. Let's go do that. Let's drink. Let's watch this filthy movie" and we need to be careful with people like that in our life.
Go to 1 John, chapter 5. 1 John ... why did I write 1 John ... 1st Timothy 5, I'm sorry I wrote down the wrong ... I'm like 1 John 5, what does that say about temptation? Go to 1 Timothy chapter 5. We're talking this morning about how we don't want to be led into temptation. We want to pray to God that we'll avoid temptation and we want to make sure we don't lead ourselves into temptation. Some of the ways that we could be tempted could be having really close friends at work or outside of work that are of the opposite gender and we don't want to make excuses and say, "well, this is a work relationship." Well, okay, let's keep it that way then and not get real close with people from work or people from church where you cross the line, okay? Going to bars, hanging around with unsaved friends.
Another major thing that will lead you into temptation is idleness. Idleness means doing nothing. Look, if you would, at 1 Timothy chapter 5. It says in verse 13, "And withal they learned to be idle." This is specifically talking about women, "withal they learned to be idle, wandering about from house to house and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully for some are already turned aside after Satan."
You say, "what in the world does that have to do with getting married and having kids." Guess what? When you're married and when you have kids, you're not idle because you have a lot to do. Think about it. If you're married and you're having kids, you're busy if you're actually doing what you're supposed to be doing. If you're cooking the meals, if you're taking care of the children, if you're cleaning the house, you've got plenty to do.
My wife doesn't just sit around saying, "you know, I just don't have anything to do today. I just don't know what to do" because there's so much work that she has to do just to take care of the family and take care of the children. It keeps her busy and you know what? God wants us all to busy doing good things because idleness will lead us into these other sins ... being a tattler, being a gossip, being a busybody, and these type of things.
When you get idle, sometimes, you'll do things like turning on a TV and just surfing though the TV. That's just saying, "Devil, lead me into temptation." There's so much wickedness on television. There's so much sin and filth and iniquity on TV. In fact, you should just get rid of your TV. That would be the best thing to do. Just get rid ... it's all garbage, it's all filth, okay? When you're just going to sit there and be idle ... you're sitting around the house, you've got nothing to do, you're bored. What do you do? Sit in front of the TV and just start flipping channels, "Okay, devil, what do you want to show me?" and you're just asking to be led into temptation.
The main temptations that you're going to run into in your life are categorized in 1 John chapter 2. Flip over there if you would. 1 John chapter 2 ... and not only just channel surfing the TV. Aimlessly surfing the internet is another one. You just get on the internet and just start aimlessly surfing. If you go to YouTube, you can go to YouTube and there's a tab that says "what to watch" and then they're just going to show you a bunch of just random stuff, "what to watch", whatever is popular. It's all a bunch of garbage. It's filth. It's dirty. It's worldly stuff. If you just go there and you're just going to surf through a bunch of random ... you know whatever is popular now, whatever is trending now, what to watch now, then obviously you're just opening yourself up to temptation when you just aimlessly surf the internet.
You know, you go to these kind of gateway sites, there are these sites that just ... there's a million things on the screen. You know what I'm talking about? You go to a site where ... I'm trying to think about how to describe this. I guess ... I don't aimlessly surf the internet, okay, I don't know. Correct me if I'm wrong, it used to be this way ... if you just went to Yahoo.com, aren't there just like a million things on the screen? There's like entertainment, news ... am I right? That's what I mean by a gateway site ... like a homepage.
That's one thing I like about Google is that it's just a blank white screen, you know? I can just search what I need to search for ... whereas some of these gateway sites, I guess like MSN.com, Yahoo.com ... the problem with these is that if you go to that site, there's just all that stuff on the page. You're just aimlessly ... you don't have a purpose for getting on the internet. You're not getting on the internet saying, "Hey, I'm going to go download a sermon by Pastor Anderson" or "Hey, I'm going to go to my banking website and pay some bills" or "Hey, I'm going to go research a subject on science or history that I'm interested in" or "Hey, I'm going to get on email and correspond with a friend" or "I'm going to..."
When you just go on there aimlessly ... let's just see what's on Yahoo.com. Let's just see what's on MSN.com, let's just check it out. Then there's all this celebrity gossip and you know, just weird stories and weird ads and all kinds of stuff. There's a lot of stuff that could tempt you to waste a lot of time, read a bunch of sinful stuff, look at images that are inappropriate. Look, there are a lot of wicked things on the internet. Listen, do not give your children unfettered access to the internet. Talk about lead us into temptation. Children are not smart and mature enough to just be given unfettered access to the internet and know how to use it properly.
Now, some people will say that we should just completely throw out the internet, but honestly I think that the internet does have a lot of legitimate uses and helpful uses. To me, there's a big difference between the television and the internet. Here's the big difference. TV, you're not really controlling the content. TV, you turn it on and they're showing it to you.
The thing about TV is that I don't know about any content on TV that's legitimate, or very little. I mean, it'd be very little legitimate content on TV. I don't think you can go on TV and watch a lot of great preaching or even the educational stuff, even if you go to the history channel it's teaching you about aliens. It's teaching you about why The Bible is not true and stuff like that.
With the internet, I would compare the internet unto a library. If you went down to the library, there's a lot of sinful stuff that you could find at the library. I mean if you walked into the public library with the intent of finding something sinful, you will be able to find some very wicked things at that library. You could go there and just wander aimlessly and end up reading something very wicked if you just aimlessly wander the library, but if you go to the library and specifically go looking for certain things and certain books and certain educational things, then the library can be a great source of information.
We go to the library probably every week and we check out literally more books from the Tempe Public Library than any other person living in Tempe. We've been told that by the people at the Tempe Public Library, that we check out more books than anyone else. We're infamous down there. They have pictures of us behind the counter with a circle and a line through it like, "These are bad people. They check out too many books and they rack up fines" you know what I'm saying? We have literally a library card in every kid's name so that we can just max them all out.
We check out so many books and read so ... we have whole shelves in our house that are just the library books that are checked out right now. I'm not going to say "Hey, stay away from the library, there's bad books down there" because we go in there and we go and we get the good books from the library. We get educational things, good things.
It's the same with the internet. You can't just aimlessly get on the internet and just start surfing the net. You need to use the internet for a purpose or don't use it at all, you know? If you don't have a reason to get on there, then just don't get on there just because you're bored. You're surfing ... you know, you need to find some ways to stay busy in your life with something legitimate because idleness ... you know, the old saying goes "an idle mind is the devil's workshop" and we need to think about that when we just have all these huge slabs of idle time, doing nothing. That's where you get into trouble. When you're working six days a week it keeps you out of trouble.
When you get on the internet, it should be, "Hey, I'm going to check my banking" or "Hey, I'm going to send an email" or "Hey, I'm going to go on there and research a particular subject, I'm going to listen to some preaching, I'm going to do something good." I'm not going to just get on there and just ... I'm bored, I'm just going to go to these websites, entertainment sites and just surf them, see what's going on. That can lead you into sin and temptation.
Look at 1 John chapter 2, I'll show you what I mean. Verse 14 says, "I've written unto you fathers because you've known Him that is from the beginning. I've written unto you young men because you are strong and the word of God abideth in you and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world."
What's interesting about that statement is that he categorizes all worldliness, all which is not of the Father and that which is of the world, he categorized it into three categories. He says all that's in the world, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life. Those are the three primary examples of what you find in the world. Those are the type of temptations that you're going to be tempted with. One of them is the lust of the eyes. Now do you see how television and internet could easily satisfy that lust of the eyes, of looking at something that's ungodly?
Here's another tip. Often when I surf the internet, I turn off the images. Now I don't know if people know how to do this or how technical you are, but a lot of web browsers in the preferences ... you just go to preferences and there's a box that says "display images" and I just uncheck that. Unless I need to go on the internet to look at some kind of an image of something, I just turn off the images because then whatever ads are coming up or whatever weird pictures, I just don't see any of it.
Who knew that there's a feature like that? Did anybody ... yeah a couple of people have used that. You know, I noticed that Firefox did not have that feature. I added that to Firefox as a plugin. It just makes things go faster ... I do it on my phone, just turn off images. It just makes things load up faster because you're not loading up a bunch of images, and it just protects you from seeing a bunch of stupid images. There are other things that people do like an ad blocker or whatever ... you know, things that I'm not as familiar with. Other ways to just go on there and do what you need to do ... run your business, get your education that you're trying to get, whatever you're trying to do, without just opening yourself up to temptation of just seeing a lot of bad things that can lead you down a lot of bad roads. Those are just some things to consider with that.
If you would, turn to Matthew chapter 4. Now besides ... there are three aspects to this sermon. First of all, we talked about God. We pray to God that he will not lead us into temptation and that he will deliver us from evil and when we pray to God, he'll answer us and he will protect us and shield us and keep us out of temptation. That's the first step. Pray to God that you'll be delivered from evil and that you will not fall into temptation, that you will not be exposed to temptations.
Frankly, it's just a lot easier to live a clean life without all the temptation. I mean, think about it. What do you think would be easier to live a Christian life ... living in downtown Las Vegas or just kind of living out in the middle of nowhere somewhere? I mean, where are you going to see more temptation? Just think about it. If you go to a place like Las Vegas, you're just walking right into temptation.
My opinion is that no Christian should ever go to Las Vegas for any reason. All right? Don't go there. You cannot go ... and I'm not saying, you know, some outskirt of Las Vegas to do business or something, but you cannot go to downtown Las Vegas or the strip or whatever it's called ... you cannot go there without being exposed to a lot of sin and filth. It's just not possible. You can't go there legitimately and say, "well, we're just going to go to Las Vegas on a family vacation." Eh, wrong idea for a family vacation. "Oh but they even gear some of toward children." They do gear some of the casinos and things toward children ... but look.
I've been to downtown Las Vegas, I made that mistake one time, okay? One time I made that mistake and I went there because I had been driving though the desert. I'd driven from northern Nevada. I'd been driving for hours and hours and hours and I had not eaten all day. I had not eaten lunch, I just couldn't really find anything good to eat. I called my wife and said, "Honey, find me something. I'm coming up to Las Vegas. Find me a Chipotle or something that's just right by the freeway" and she found me ... "oh this one was closed" it was late at night. "Oh, here's a Chipotle that's open and it's right by the freeway. Great ... but it turned out it was in that epicenter of Satan of Las Vegas.
I went ahead, I pull off the freeway, I park my car and I walk over to this Chipotle. On my way to the Chipotle, I notice that the whole ground, the whole sidewalk, is littered with these little playing cards, like a baseball size card, okay, except it didn't have Babe Ruth on it. It didn't have ... whatever, the baseball player. It's covered in pornographic images. These things were so dense upon the sidewalk that literally you could not take one step without stepping on one. There was not even a gap in them large enough to place the sole of your foot. I am not exaggerating. It was just the entire sidewalk was just covered and there was no gap big enough to even put your foot down without stepping on these things.
You're just walking on them and there are people just handing them out, just people walking up to you, handing them out, and the pictures have nude images. That's what they are, I mean, just filthy images advertising all kinds of wicked services and wicked places and so forth. They're just handing them up and people are picking them up off the ground and they're handing them out ... but see a lot of people, they're handing them out and then they just look at it and throw it on the ground. Look at it and throw it on the ground. It's just everywhere.
Then, there are just these huge video screens just showing you all kinds of sinful things. I mean it is ... unless you're a blind person ... I will say, okay, if you're a Christian you can eat at that Chipotle if you're blind and you'll be fine. You know, if you're just completely blind, you know your dog is going to be led into ... the seeing eye dog is going to ... but what I'm saying is you can't go there and not be defiled. It just isn't possible. It's everywhere and the temptation is so strong and it's such a great temptation. It's just not a place that you should go. That's the type of thing that I'm talking about.
Besides God, who we pray to and ask him, "Hey, lead us not into temptation," then there's ourselves. We don't want to lead ourselves into temptation, but thirdly then there's the devil. He is leading us into temptation. In fact, did you know that the devil is called the tempter? It says in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 3, verse 5, "For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain." The Bible talks about the tempter, or Satan, tempting us.
Look at Matthew, chapter 4, verse 1, "Then was Jesus led up with the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil and when he had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, he was afterward in hunger and when the tempter came to him, he said 'if thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread'". Look, he's called the tempter. The tempter came to him and said, "if thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread" but he answered, "it is written that man should not live by bread alone but be every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Go to 1 Corinthians 7. The Bible also calls out Satan out as being a tempter, one who tempts us. First of all, number one, we pray to the Lord that he'll shield us and guard us and deliver us and protect us and not lead us into temptation. Number two, we need to guard ourselves and say, "Hey, I don't want to lead myself into temptation. I don't want to have that close friend of the opposite gender when I'm already married. I don't want to just sit around idle and surf the net aimlessly, flip channels on a television. I don't want to go to bars and go to downtown Las Vegas and places that are just epicenters of temptation and places that are just designed to tempt me and lead me into sin."
Thirdly this. Satan is also out to tempt us. Now, what do we do about that. Well notice, Satan wants to tempt you when you're the most vulnerable because Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and what did Satan tempt him with? "If thou be the son of God" he said, "command that these stones be made bread." Now, if you're going to tempt Jesus to turn the stones into bread, when's the best time in that fast? When he just ate three hours ago, or are you going to tempt him when he's hungry? The Bible says after 40 days and 40 nights, he was hungry. He wanted food. He desired food. That's when the devil's going to come to him and tempt him. You see that?
"The devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." What's he looking for? The easy target. What's he looking for? The person who is vulnerable. The person who is weak. The person who is in a situation where he can easily be tempted. Now of course we know Jesus Christ resisted that temptation. He did not fall for that temptation, but the devil chose to attack him at his most vulnerable point, at his hungriest. He's going to tempt him with that.
Now look at 1 Corinthians chapter 7. It says in verse 1, "Now concerning the things whereof you wrote unto me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband. Now look, this is a major temptation in people's lives to commit fornication.
Today, it's something that very few people resist because our society in America has decided that fornication is okay. That's what they've decided, but let me tell you this. It's not okay. The world can act like it's normal, it's not a big deal. Even Christians today act like fornication is not a big deal. "Hey, we're all sinners. Nobody is perfect." Look, fornication is a major, major sin in The Bible. Don't get this attitude that says, "well, everybody is doing it. It's just not realistic to expect me not to commit fornication as a young single person." You know what? That is what God expects. Throughout history, that is what society has expected. That's what The Bible expects.
We ought to make a commitment to be pure until we get married as young people and not just sit there and have these ... "Oh, everybody is doing it." No, everybody is not doing it. There are some people who haven't bowed the knee to Baal and there are still some people who actually remain virgin and pure until they get married. Sadly, it's the exception, but amongst God's people it should be the rule not the exception.
These children who are growing up today in Faithful Word Baptist Church, "unto who much is given of them shall much be required." My children and the other children growing up in this church better realize that God demands and expects you to be pure. Let me tell you something. These kids, as long as I am the pastor and as long as I have the chance and the ability to get up here three times a week and preach, these kids are going to hear me rail on this hundreds of times by the time they get to that age. I hope that by the time they get to the age of temptation, when they're in their teenage and young adult years, I hope they've heard me tell them a thousand times how much God hates fornication and how God killed people in The Bible when they committed fornication and how fornication is a wicked sin that can ruin your life.
I hope that they're heard it over and over again so that they're not brainwashed by the world that says it's not a big deal. You know what? Even Christianity today says it's not a big deal. They teach this garbage of "well, all sin is equal" so then it just kind of makes people feel like "well, committing fornication ... well, we're all sinners. We're all going to do something." No, it's a big deal. It's a major sin. That's why when you read what the apostle Paul teaches in the New Testament, he talks about fornication almost every chapter sometimes it feels like. The apostle Paul is just constantly warning and bringing it up.
Jesus Christ brings is up quite a bit. Here he says, look, "It's good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband." Now, what's being taught here in verse 2? It's not saying "Hey, resist the temptation to commit fornication." He's saying "You know what, a good way to avoid fornication is to get married because then you're not being let into temptation." The hungrier you are, the more likely Satan is going to be able to tempt you. Jesus was really hungry for that bread and that's when the devil is going to come to him and try to tempt him with that.
The Bible is saying that a way to deal with this specific temptation of fornication would be to get married so that you can legitimately be satisfied and fulfilled within marriage, the way that God planned. That's what The Bible teaches. Now obviously, you have to be old enough to get married. You have to find the right person to get married to. Obviously, those things have to take place, so there's going to be time where you do have to resist that temptation and you have to be strong.
Listen, you got your whole life ahead of you. Don't screw up your life, children and young people and and teenagers. You got your whole life ahead of you to enjoy that. You need to wait until you get married. It might seem like a long time now, but before you know it you'll be married and you'll be glad that you did. Okay? That's what The Bible's teaching here to avoid fornication.
Now, here's the thing. If you are not married, the best place for you to be is living at home with your parents. Why? If you're living at home with your parents, you are less likely to be led into temptation. I mean, just stop and think about it. The Bible says, "make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof." If you're living by yourself ... think about it. You are one that is single, you're living by yourself, you have all these temptations. It's very easy for you to have somebody ... you have the girl come over and you know what? You're just opened up to temptation right there. At least if you're living with parents, there's some kind of a checks and balances there. Some kind of accountability of where you are and being home at a certain time, and who you're with.
People say, "Oh, I don't want all those rules. I don't want all those restrictions." Look, that stuff is there ... God designed it that way for a reason. You know what? If you want to go out and be your own man and do your own thing and live on your own, that's great, but you need to wait until you get married to go out and be on your own and do your own thing.
Today, kids think, "Hey, when I'm 18 I'm just going to move out. I'm 18, I move out and move in with a buddy and move out by myself." That is not what The Bible teaches. The Bible says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they too shall be one flesh." You are vulnerable unto Satan's attack when you are living by yourself. You're vulnerable. When you're living with your parents or living with your spouse, you are less vulnerable to the devil's attack.
Those of you that are single guys and single gals living alone, you better be very careful and you better take heed. Let me tell you something. You are just a prime target for Satan. You know, somebody that can be devoured. The family helps protect us from temptation. That's why God gave us the family and that's why Satan wants to destroy the family. A lot of things in America today are designed to tear apart the family because the family is a great safeguard against temptation.
I mean, think about it. When you've got the house and you've got kids and you've got a wife, you're less likely to just turn on whatever on the TV and turn on whatever on the computer and bring home whoever. You see what I'm saying? "To avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife and let every woman have her own husband." If you're a single person that lives on your own, I'm not just attacking you or railing on you, but I'm telling you this. If you fall into sin and quit the church because you fall into sin and you get into fornication, you won't be the first one ... and you won't be the last one.
That is a demographic that is vulnerable unto Satan. The people who have moved out from their parents but they're not yet married. You are in the danger zone, okay? Honestly, if you're a young person today [inaudible 00:45:22] the sound of my voice that is 17, 18, 19, 20, if you're living with mom and dad, stay with mom and dad. Stay with mom and dad until you get married. That's the smartest thing for you to do.
If you're in a hurry to get out of that home, then you know what? You need to start looking for someone to get married to. I'm not saying to marry the first person that comes along, but that's the right way to do it. I'm not, look ... I'm not telling people, "Hey, run out and get married right when you turn 18" but I'm also not telling people like the world says "wait until you're 30." My belief, based on scripture, is that you should get married as soon as possible, but again ... only as soon as is possible, meaning that you're mature enough, you can do it financially, and you find the right person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, that is a godly spouse. This thing of just waiting for the sake of waiting ... I don't believe in it.
If there is a reason to wait ... because you don't have a job, you don't have any way to support a family, because you're immature and childish, or because you haven't found the right person to get married to, those are legitimate reasons to wait. Just "Hey, just wait because you're young, just wait until you're 25, wait until you're 30 for no reason," I don't believe in that. It's not biblical.
The Bible here is teaching to avoid fornication, have a wife. If there's a wife available and you find the right wife, you find the right husband, then get married and do it right. I think that's one of the things that kept me on track as a young person was getting married at age 19. My friend Roger Jimenez, a pastor in California, he got married when he was 18. That helped us as young people to avoid temptation, to stay on track, and to remain pure, not to go down that wicked road.
You can give me all your worldly philosophies that you want, but this is actually biblical doctrine here, okay? These are biblical philosophies. I'm teaching these to my children. I want our church to understand these truths, but I'm telling you what The Bible says. It says, "Let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband." Verse 4 of 1 Corinthians 7. "The wife hath not power of her own body but the husband, and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other except it be with consent for a time that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer" watch this "That Satan tempt you not for your incontinency."
See that? Satan wants to tempt you when you're vulnerable. He's going to find you when you're hungry and tempt you with the wrong food. He's going to find you when you're bored and tempt you with the wrong entertainment. He's going to find you when you're single and when you're not yet married and he's going to tempt you with fornication. He's going to find you when you're married and you're not having a proper relationship with your spouse and he's going to tempt you with adultery.
If we're going to pray on our knees and say, "God, lead us not into temptation" and if we're going to live our lives in such a way that we don't lead ourselves into temptation, we need to realize two things. Number one, we should try not to make ourselves vulnerable to the devil's attack, number one. Number two, when we are vulnerable, we need to realize that we're vulnerable and we need to take extra heed and be extra careful knowing, "Hey, I'm vulnerable right now" and beware of that.
Flip over to Proverbs, chapter 4. You see, I learned a long time ago that if you pack yourself a good lunch, you're less likely to buy something off the roach coach. You're less likely to buy something from Burger King and McDonald's and Jack in the Box. And look, I remember ... and I'm not tempted by that stuff anymore. I'm at the point ... if you eat healthy for awhile, you'll get to where you crave healthy things. You've just got to change your appetite.
I used to eat a lot of junk food. I grew up eating a lot of junk food. When I first got married, I still ate a lot of junk food. I remember when my wife was in Germany, I was eating off the roach coach every day and everything, you know. I've been there, I've done it, all right? I remember just the temptation. It was a financial thing. Back then, we were really poor, we had very little money and it costs more to eat out than it does at home. I remember just being so tempted, because every guy I work with, they're all going to Burger King. They're all going to Arby's, they're all going to Long John's and it's a major temptation.
I had to make sure that I had a lunch and that it was a good lunch. I didn't want to just have something that's too small, something that isn't that good. If you had a good lunch and if you had enough lunch, it was a lot easier to walk away from the Burger King and the McDonald's and Arby's. Now, if I eat that stuff it makes me want to throw up. I haven't eaten any fast food in many years.
I remember one time I broke down and went to Taco Bell in Montana. There was just no other warm food available, I was out in the middle of no where, and I hadn't eaten this way in years. I'd quit eating fast food for years and I just said, "You know, whatever. I'm just going to do Taco Bell." I hadn't been there in years, so I went and got my standard order at Taco Bell that I ate every week for years when I'd be traveling, working.
This is what I would order. Two chicken nacho cheese Chalupas. Then I would get three orders of nachos, you know the 79 cent nachos ... they're probably more now. I'd get three orders of nachos and one crunchy taco. I would get two chicken nacho cheese Chalupas, three orders of nachos, and one basic King James version taco. I would get that every time and I loved it, but then I didn't eat that way for years and I went to the Taco Bell in Montana ... and this is like, five, six years ago. I just broke down and went to the Taco Bell and I couldn't even finish it. I mean, I threw half of it in the trash. I ended up going to the grocery store and making myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I just couldn't even get it to go down. You know, because I ...
Look, back in the days when it was a temptation, you had to bring the right lunch. The Bible says, "The full loatheth in honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." If you are full ... if you're already satisfied, then you're not out looking for something different. You can say whatever you want, and you know what a lot of people will say, "well, I disagree with that." You disagree with The Bible because the bible has clearly said if you want to avoid fornication, get married, avoid adultery by having a physical relationship with your spouse. That is The Bible's plan for not being involved in temptation.
You know what? The world teaches something totally different. See, 1 Corinthians 7 is a scripture that the whole world denies. Most Christians won't even teach 1 Corinthians 7 because it's so offensive to the world that we live in. The world teaches this garbage of, "Oh, it's okay ... if you just don't feel like it then just don't do it." You know ... but that's not what The Bible ... there are people literally that are married that go months without having a relationship with their spouse. They go months. They go years.
You know, it's like "I don't feel like it." Well, you know what though? The Bible teaches that if one person feels like it, it needs to happen. Otherwise, you're opening yourself up to temptation. That's why The Bible says that the man does not have power of his own body, it belongs to the wife and that the wife does not have power of her own body but the husband. Do you know what that's saying? She doesn't have the power or the right to say no and neither does he have the power or the right to say, "no, I'm not going to give you that."
That's what The Bible says. You can call me whatever you want, attack me for saying that, but that's what I believe and that's what I preach, because that's what The Bible says. I don't care whether people like it or not, it's true. It is a sin, listen to me now. It is a sin to refuse your spouse in the bedroom, whether you're a man or woman. That is a sin according to 1 Corinthians 7. It is called fraud. It is called sin and it is opening you up to the devil's temptation.
I've got to hurry up and finish, but look at Proverbs 4, verse 14. It says, "Enter not into the path of the wicked and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it. Pass not by it. Turn from it and pass away." He's saying, look, just stay away from it. Just get away from these bad things.
Look at Proverbs chapter 7. This talks about a young man who is enticed by this strange woman into fornication. It says in verse 6 of Proverbs 7, "For at the window of my house I looked through my casement and beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths a young man void of understanding passing through the street near her corner" ... watch this, "and he went the way to her house. In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night and behold there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot and subtle of heart. She is loud and stubborn. Her feet abide not in her house. Now is she without, now in the streets and lieth in wait [inaudible 00:54:30]."
Look, this guy's biggest mistake was just going home that way. He knew there was a temptation there. He knew that there was a strange woman there. He knew that there was a temptress there and a wicked woman. She's loud, stubborn ... she's not a keeper at home, she's not a godly, virtuous woman. He knows she's there and he goes the way to her house. He might think to himself, "You know what? I'm not going to commit sin. I'm not going to commit fornication. I'm not going to commit adultery, but I just want to kind of go and maybe look at her or maybe just go near it and just kind of see."
We need to be careful that we don't see how close we can get to sin without actually committing it, is what I'm saying. When you're just constantly bombarded with temptation, you are going to give in to it sometimes, because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. The best way to not sin is just to avoid the temptation itself. Instead of just saying, "Well, I'm going to resist temptation" ... no. Lead us not into temptation.
Let me tell you something. Willpower, it's been proven, even scientifically, that willpower is something that people have just a finite capacity of on a daily basis. It's interesting. I read a book about this where they did all these scientific experiments about willpower and people's ability to resist temptations. They'd put people in a room and tell them, "Here's a cookie, but don't eat that cookie" and these people haven't had anything to eat. They give them a cookie and milk and they say, "Don't eat the cookie. If you don't eat this cookie in x amount of minutes then we'll give you 10 dollars" or something. You know what I mean ... or whatever.
They tested them and they would do all these experiments and what they proved with these experiments was that people have a limited amount of willpower each day. If you've basically used up ... if you've already resisted temptation over and over again, it's like your resistor gets tired or your resistor runs out of steam and you get to a point where you just start giving into temptation which is why a lot of times people will give into a lot more temptation at night than they do in the daytime. Which is why staying up real late and going out places at night is more dangerous than going places in the daytime. You've already resisted temptations, so you start ... your willpower starts getting weaker.
Actually, it's been scientifically proven that willpower is like a muscle that can be trained to get stronger but also it's a muscle in the sense of ... you run out of steam. If you think about it, you do a bench press or something if you're lifting weights, right? Here's the thing. At first you're like, "one, two, three" and maybe you have a light weight and it feels pretty easy, but eventually you'll get to the point where you're tired. No matter how light the weight is, it's just, "ahhhhh....". You know. [inaudible 00:57:26] tomorrow, you'll be stronger because you resisted today. You resisted today, tomorrow you're stronger, but here's the thing, today you're not stronger. Today, you're out of steam, "ughhh." You'll get stronger tomorrow.
Here's what I'm saying. If that's true, that scientific study ... if that really is true, then that would mean that if we're hit with too many temptations in one day, we're going to be more likely toward the end to start giving into stuff. If we just pray, "God, lead us not into temptation. Deliver us from evil" then we don't make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. Then, we make sure we're not vulnerable unto Satan and if we are vulnerable at least we're aware of it and beware of, okay? Then, we're minimizing the temptation.
I'm not saying you're never going to be tempted. Every single person is going to be put in a tempting situation, but the more we can minimize that, the better we're going to be and the more likely we are to live a clean and righteous life. Going to Las Vegas, you're maximizing temptation. Going to the bar, hanging around with women besides your wife, going months without having a physical relationship with your wife, going weeks without having that relationship, just whatever.
You know, going to work without a lunch, you're going to go to Burger King. You're eating GMOs for lunch, okay? You're eating partially hydrogenated soybean oil for lunch, okay? You're drinking sodium benzoate with your lunch. Why? You didn't pack a lunch.
Let's pray this ... I want every person, if you don't take anything else away from the sermon take this one thing away. When you pray, say, "lead us not into temptation." That's what The Bible commands us to pray. Honestly, make is a part of your prayer life. Write it down. If you have a prayer list, write it on your prayer list, that I won't be tempted, that I won't be led into temptation. Isn't that a good thing to put on the list? It's biblical.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for your word, Lord, and for your promises. Please help us to take heed to these warnings and Lord, help us to lead a clean and godly life. Help us not to sin and mess up our lives with fornication, adultery, with drunkenness, with stealing. Whatever the temptation, Lord, help us to stay strong, but Father more than anything I pray that you would just lead us not into temptation, Lord. Help us to just go through our life without constantly having sinful temptations stuck in front of us all the time that will cause us to eventually fall.