Know the Stakes

Such a shameThis morning, I had the pleasure of sitting in my office with a cup of coffee in hand reading over the sermons my interns preached to our youth while I was out of town.

My conclusion? I think I am working myself out of a job. These guys are gifted, sincere, and powerful preachers. I hope to be like them when I grow up.

One of the sermons I read was preached by our high school intern, Jeff Sholar, on Acts 15 (we are currently going through the book of Acts). In his sermon, when covering James’ word about abstaining from sexual immorality (Acts 15:20), Jeff took some time to speak about sexual immorality to our students. In this section, he gave a picture (inspired by John Piper) about the importance of knowing the stakes of sexual immorality that struck me deeply. I thought it was helpful and hope you do too.

You can say no to porn and you will say no, if you know what is at stake.

Let’s say you are in your room alone with your computer, about to click on a bad website. Then, all of a sudden a man with a big bag walks in and says, “Don’t click! If you don’t click I will give you one million dollars cash free! Right now!” I bet you won’t click.

Or, let’s say a black-hooded man walks in to the room with your best friend in a headlock and a knife in his hand. And he says, “Don’t click! If you click I will hurt your best friend!” I bet you won’t click.

The idea is this: You will click or not click based on what you will believe will happen. If you believe you will gain a million dollars or lose your best friend, you won’t click. If you correctly evaluate what is at stake, you won’t click.

So what is it that you need to believe to keep you from clicking, to keep you from giving in to sexual immorality? You need to believe that the beauty of Christ is better than sexual immorality.You need to see what you could gain! Not a million dollars, but the all-satisfying beauties of Christ with endless joy! You need to see what you could lose! By clicking you are giving up communion with the only source of true joy, the beautiful Christ. You are choosing an infinitely weaker pleasure.

I promise you: You can say no to sexual immorality. You can say no to porn. You simply need to believe in the beauties of Christ; that they could be lost forever by giving in or that they could be enjoyed forever by resisting temptation.

May we always see the ugliness of sin for what it is and may we always know the stakes that are involved. Christ is always better than sin’s deceitful allure and sin is always worst than it presents itself.

About Dana Dill

I'm a Christian, husband, daddy, pastor, professor, and hope to be a friend to pilgrims on their way home.
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