Archive for October, 2014
We live in a society that seems saturated in sex. Movies, books, commercials, songs, YouTube videos and more seem to face us at every turn with sensuality and sexuality. As this is being written, the trailer for a film based on a popular pornographic novel series has been released. The books sold millions upon millions of copies and were read by many women who claim the name of Christ. Many who claim the name of Jesus live with boyfriends or girlfriends outside of marriage. Teens explore sexuality based on what has been learned in movies and videos.
Fact #1: Sex Used Wrongly Destroys
Rampant consensual behaviors do not even take into account situations for forcible sexual encounters like rape or incest. In rape and incest, sex is used as a weapon to harm a weaker person. In all cases, sex has the power to destroy. Sometimes the destruction is overt, while other times it is insidious. But, used wrongly, it always has the power to destroy.
Fact #2: Sexual Purity in Marriage is only Between a Man and a Woman
Paul warned the followers of Jesus, “Know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolator, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God.”1 Sexual immorality is an offense to God. Sexual purity is known only in the realm of marriage between a man and a woman.
In American society today, homosexual relationships are deemed to be as normal as heterosexual relationships. We are told loving relationships are available between any two people who love each other–man with man or woman with woman. This may be popular in our society, but it simply does not square with scripture.
Scripture, however, indicates God’s wrath will fall on those who live in disobedience, including sexual sins. Paul continues, “Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient because of these things. Therefore, do not become their partners. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light–”2
Fact #3: Sexual Conversation should only be Between Spouses
Interestingly, Paul makes sure we know that our language is also involved. Sexual degradation is not merely a physical act between two people. Dirty jokes, off-color comments, improper discussions with someone not a spouse, and flirtatious emails or text messages also hold inherent destructive potential. Sexually charged communication should be between spouses, while off-color comments or jokes have no place in the conversation of the righteous. If we pattern our speech after that of Jesus, His character and holiness will be seen and heard in us.
In Bible Studies for Life, Chip Ingram writes, “God designed sex to provide physical pleasure, for procreation, for relational intimacy, and to be a spiritual object lesson of Christ and the church.”3 The only way for all four of these to be accomplished righteously is through a sexual relationship between a husband and wife.
Within the bounds of heterosexual marriage, sex is blessed and bountiful. That is where it should stay to avoid the destructiveness it can bring.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd
1– Ephesians 5:5 (HCSB)
2– Ephesians 5:6-8 (HCSB)
3– Bible Studies for Life, Ready, Chip Ingram
I have been serving as President of the Southern Baptist Convention for 138 days. When I look at what has occurred in our world in these past 138 days, I am absolutely astounded.
Review with me what has happened in these past four months in our nation and world:
- Texas border crisis: Crisis reached new heights in June. I was able to visit the Texas border with Russell Moore on July 22.
- Hobby Lobby court decision: Released on June 30, giving us an encouraging message about religious liberty.
- Conflict between Gaza and Israel: This major conflict from July 8 through August 26 is still resulting in many challenges in this part of the world.
- Rise of ISIS: Began to emerge in July in unprecedented ways and is escalating beyond our imagination; resulting in massive killings, multiple beheadings, human trafficking, and other malicious actions, all due to a desire for religious cleansing and to destroy Christianity.
- Unprecedented refugee crisis in both Iraq and Syria: This massive refugee crisis occurring in Iraq and Syria due to fear of ISIS and others has now resulted in one of the most unprecedented humanitarian crises in our generation. Millions have needs for clothing, shelter, and food.
- Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri: This shooting occurred on August 9, leading to racial unrest that is still occurring.
- Moore, Oklahoma terrorist: He was fired, leading to an attack on his workplace and beheading of a former co-worker on September 27.
- Ebola outbreak: At the end of September and the beginning of October, an Ebola virus outbreak begins to be known internationally, bringing great fear around the world, even in our own nation in places like Dallas and New York City.
- Same sex marriage unleashed: The Supreme Court decides not to address the issue on October 8, appearing at this time to become a tremendous boost for the cause of same sex marriage in America.
- Vatican divided on same sex marriage: On October 15, the Vatican began to send an unclear signal on the issue of same sex marriage, debating amongst themselves their long term commitment to recognizing marriage as being only between a man and a woman.
The list could continue with things like the ongoing investigation of Benghazi, the Secret Service situation, the Ottawa, Canada shooting on October 22, and the most recent tragic high school shooting on October 24 at Marysville High School near Seattle, Washington.
Is this enough, or shall I continue with other major crises that have occurred in these past 138 days? These are just some of the global crises happening today and do not even include the countless crises people have experienced personally in family, business, or finance.
We Need Spiritual Awakening and to Reach the World for Christ
Do we really think there is any other answer at this time in our world than spiritual awakening in our nation and reaching the world for Christ? This is why we must pray, and I mean pray like never before. We need to pray personally, in our churches, and in gatherings with other Christ-followers.
The time is now for us to rise up and:
- Pray for Spiritual Awakening
- Reach the World for Christ
I have said over and over again these past 138 days that when we talk about praying for spiritual awakening, we accompany that with an aggressive strategy to reach our towns, villages, cities, our nation, and other nations with the gospel of Christ.
Prayer is Not Inaction, but Our Greatest Action
Prayer is not inaction, but our greatest action. Prayer empowers us to believe God for great things and it moves us into taking aggressive action in reaching our towns, villages, cities, nation, and other nations with the gospel of Christ.
This is God’s will for my life and my church and every church in the world: Presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in the world and making disciples of all the nations.
This starts with me personally…
This continues with my church collectively…
This influences my region miraculously…
This awakens my nation supernaturally…
This reaches the entire world globally…
I ask for your prayers this week as I preach at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the Chapel service at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and lead a luncheon at the seminary with Dr. Chuck Kelley, focusing on prayer and awakening.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
President, Southern Baptist Convention
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is currently serving as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.7 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide.
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