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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Deal Radically with Impure Thoughts by Zac Poonen

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 Deal Radically with Impure Thoughts by Zac Poonen

Jesus told His disciples in the sermon on the mount that any man, who looked on a woman to lust after her, was committing adultery with her. He went on to say that it was better for such a man to pluck out his eye than to go to Hell with both eyes (Matthew 5:27-29). He taught thereby that constantly lusting after women sexually with one's eyes was enough to finally send a man to Hell.

The fire of lust in a man's heart today is the same hellfire that has burned in every man's heart, since the time of Adam. Only the fire of the Holy Spirit can destroy it. Your heart will either burn with lust to sin or burn with love for Jesus. Your choice has to be one of these two: Either the refiner's fire now or hellfire in the future. There is no third alternative.

The Jewish people, to whom the Lord spoke, already had a very high moral standard through the Law. They lived by a strict moral code, where sex outside of marriage was always punished by death. There were no pornographic books or magazines or television programmes in that day, to tempt people to immorality. Every woman in that society was decently dressed, and men and women hardly ever spoke to each other. Yet, even in such a society, with all its restrictions, the Lord knew that men lusted after women, and He had to warn His disciples against it. If it was so in such a strict society, how much more He would warn young men about this in the lewd society that we live in today.

Today's society throws fuel into our minds through every possible means, to feed our sexual passions. This is why we all have to be more careful in our day. If you are serious about putting out this fire of lust, then you must be serious about cutting off the supply of fuel. And you must cut off the source of that fuel, fiercely and radically, without any mercy. This is what it means to pluck out the eye and to cut off the hand. Jesus was commanding us to destroy the thing that causes us to sin. Jesus was more aware than anyone else of the danger of sin and the reality of hell-fire - and that was why He urged such radical spiritual surgery, in order to be saved from sin.

The application of the Lord's command to us today is, "If your television-set causes you to sin in your mind, get rid of it immediately." It is better to go to Heaven, having missed out on TV, than to go to Hell along with the TV stars whom you have watched on the screen. Or if it is some magazine, or a particular type of music or internet website that stimulates you and causes you to sin, do the same thing with those magazines, videos and websites. Surely there can be nothing on earth that is so precious to you, that you must keep holding on to it, even if as a result, you finally miss Heaven and go to Hell.

Even as you read this, Satan will be quick to whisper to you, "You will surely not die (go to Hell) for something so small as that." And he will cleverly tell you that lusting after a picture in a magazine or after someone you see on the TV, or the internet is not really adultery. Don't listen to him - for Jesus has warned us that Satan has been a liar from the beginning.

Don't just say concerning this sin, "I'll try to do it better in future", or "I'll try to give it up". The Bible warns us to abstain from even the appearance of evil. Believe that God will help you in every possible way to give up this sin immediately and permanently. Take up the battle from today, and don't give up until you have cut off the head of this Goliath that has defied you who are a soldier in the army of the living God.

1 Corinthians 7:1 warns us to avoid physical contact with girls. When the Holy Spirit says something is "not good" (as He says there), that should be enough for any disciple to avoid it altogether. Legalists live by the letter, whereas disciples live by the spirit of the commandment. For example: Jesus knew that it was adultery to lust after a woman in one's heart, because He sought to understand the spirit of the seventh commandment. In the same way, if you are wholehearted, you will see what lies at the root of all of God's commandments. See what Paul tells Timothy: "Flee from anything that will give you the temptations that young men often have" (2 Timothy 2:22-Living). You must flee from all such possibilities of temptation.

The Lord is cleansing His temple once again. His temple now is your physical body. Allow Him to do a thorough job in it at once.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2022/7/29 19:01Profile
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 Re: Deal Radically with Impure Thoughts by Zac Poonen


The Lord has taught me through the years that whenever we are exposed to any temptation, to flee that thing, any impure thought, deal with it immediately. The Lord always gives us a way of escape. If we do give in to lustful thoughts, immediately confess that sin and put it under the blood.


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Mike

 2022/7/30 10:23Profile
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Joined: 2006/8/10
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 Re:

And the Lord showed me that in spite of whatever impure thoughts, feelings or desires that the enemy might serve up to us and try to get us to identify with as being "who we are deep down" that we need to radically resist and reject everything that does not align with who we are in Christ. In other words, those tempting thoughts do trigger old thought patterns that perhaps did at one time, especially before we were saved, really get our attention and move us to act on them. But because in our spirits we truly are new creatures in Christ, all that old junk the enemy tries to tempt us with comes from outside of us and not from within us and so it is important for us to know that. If we identify with it when it shows up, we are goners sooner or later. We will only consistently act according to how we see ourselves in who we are (identity). Identify with the old life (flesh) and then just TRY resisting what you actually think you are deep inside is going to fail ultimately. Call out that junk for what it is and actively resist and reject any sympathy or acceptance of the very thoughts, feelings or desires attached to it. Stand fast in the victory Jesus already won at the cross for you. So we resist from a place of victory already achieved and not something we have to attain ourselves.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:7,8a

-Daniel

 2022/7/30 12:54Profile





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