Years ago, I would make reference about Ananias and Sapphira. As some of you may recall the story in Acts 5, they conspired to lie to the Holy Spirit. There were wealthy people in the church and they sold land to give money to the church.
It appears that everyone of them gave all of the proceeds of what was sold to the church.
Ananias and Sapphira did the same.
Except, they kept back part of the proceeds.
At any time, they could have told the apostles.
“We sold the property but we decided only to give you a portion.”
That would have saved their lives.
They intentionally conspired to tell a lie and it cost them their lives.
Death came for both of them because they lie about how much money they gave.
In the Bible, we do see that consequential judgment is serious.
However, we know that God is a God of mercy and endless compassion.
The end result of this incidence was that the fear of the Lord came upon them all.
In fact, verse 11 said,
“So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these sayings.”
The NIV said,
“Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”
The Amplified Bible said,
“And the whole church and all others who heard of these things were appalled [great awe and strange terror and dread seized them].”
Today, we are not as fearful to walk into the house dedicated for the service of the Lord. I was in sin myself and I had no fear of dying. I thought that I could quickly “repent,” sort of mean it, and thought that God was pleased that I quickly got right with God.
It was like playing chicken with a train on the railroad tracks. It was like truth or dare.
Almost four years ago, the gig was up.
Not that God tolerated my stupidity, but He had mercy on me. Mercy prevents that which you rightfully deserve. And God had every right to fire me by way of death.
Every week, I brought my perverted self to the house of the Lord. Stood before the people to “preach.” Before Sunday, Monday through Saturday would be my time to occasionally watch porn (from 1998 to 2008), masturbate and then ask for forgiveness.
But it was more than that.
I would fill my mind with watching women lustfully. Committing adultery with my heart by watching flesh as I strolled the streets or ride in the car (see Proverbs 27:20, Matthew 5:28, and Job 31:1). I would get up Sunday morning, pray and preach, and return to business as usual.
1 John 1:9 meant little more to me than a “get out of sin and judgment” verse.
I deceived myself into thinking that God was pleased when I “confessed” my sin. All I was doing was lying to Him because I never really meant it. I loved my sin more than I loved my God and His Word.
Those promises. Empty promises to quit became the epitaph of my dead life. The calculated coldness of how I treated God with utter contempt didn’t mean nothing to me. And the complete disdain for my wife who faithfully prayed for my deliverance every night.
A sex addict is one that cannot control, stop, or manage his sexual urges and impulses.
In my one bedroom apartment, while my wife would be praying, I would gratify myself.
Such perversion was a regular thing in my life prior to God’s deliverance.
The utter disrespect of women and my daughter was nothing to me.
One night while watch porn and masturbating, the Lord said to me, “You know, you could be watching your daughter?”
I ignored Him, suppressed His warning and continued. Talk about running a red light.
At age 14, my daughter checked the history on my Directv receiver and discovered my porn addiction. The year was 1999. A year after I first started watching porn.
At any time, my greatest fear would destroy me. Thankfully, the Lord did my wife a favor because when you are in sin, your prayers are not heard according to Psalm 66:18.
I’m sharing this because all over the church world, we know that there are many pastors, music ministers, singers, preachers, bishops, and deacons, elders, apostles. You name it. We blatantly sin and bring our morally corrupt attitude with us before the presence of the Lord as if God didn’t mind at all.
We bring our Secret Sexual Sins as idols right into the temple. We bow down in obeisant worship to our Secret Sexual Sins and we disrespect God.
It would be a matter of time before the last measure of warning would come.
God said this to me.
“Come Clean or be exposed.”
That was no imagination. He was the voice of the Lord.
As a result, the Lord set me on a path towards the intersection of destiny.
Either come clean or you will not come this way alive again.
While I will never know what would have happened if I persisted, it is clear to me that I know that something dramatic would have happened.
Looking back at those days about four years ago, I should have resigned the ministry. At that time, I wasn’t thinking about resigning. But it would have been good if I would have taken time away to get my bearing straight.
However, a friend of mine, Pastor Roger Jamson, after I came clean about sexual sins, he recommended several places on the Internet to delve into to fortify my walk of sanctification in the Lord.
These last few years were very challenging to say the least but well worth the effort to be free forever. And like all men, we have our moments where relapse occurs. No, not into porn. No relapse there, I praise God to report. You really do not need porn to do masturbate. Just imagination.
But the Lord warned me again.
If you ever know what it is like to clearly hear God’s voice in sin, and to hear His voice after you come out, the difference in His sternness and volume is incredible. The grieving of the Holy Spirit is more intense. The holy attitude of God is more pronounced. The failure you experience, overwhelming. But His love is incredible. He doesn’t want to condemn us with the world and that’s why His consequential judgment varies.
And after all that, when you disappoint God, it’s kills you.
You begin to weigh the fact that you crossed God and He never tolerated it. Then He began to teach me all over again.
“Son, what are you doing with your moments.”
So that became uncoded. There was something that God was doing in me.
Do you want to be the same or do you want to be changed forever?
Several weeks ago the Lord shared this song with me. A song that led me to a song that set the pace for the next level was “Give Me You.”
Then the Lord shared this song…..
“I’ll Never Be The Same.” From the album “I Love You (Live),” by Shana Wilson.
It became the new level of challenge in my life. I no longer want to be the same.
Another song, prior to this one was…
“I Won’t Go Back” From the album “Arise,” by William McDowell.
Then the Lord brought something else that changed my life.
“Do you desire to sin?
You see, you cannot be for something that God is against.
So I had to decide that I no longer desire to sin against God. That meant controlling my urges and impulses to the degree that I no longer desire to cross God. To love the world is to be an enemy of God according to James 4:4.
There was something that the Lord was doing within me. Hence the next level.
Check sin at the door of the facility of Prevailing Word Ministries.
As I am led by the Spirit of God, those that serve with me will be challenged and confronted. Not to do them harm by embarrassment but to show the seriousness of approaching the things of the Lord with the level of holiness required to serve Him. It is not just to sit them down, but to get them help. The Lord was gracious to me and in that same graciousness, I desire to help as many as need His help (see Hebrews 4:12-16).
We’ve been playing church too long.
It starts with me, the pastor.
If I ever go down the path of porn and masturbation, I will resign the ministry on the spot.
The worst kind of preacher is a hypocrite (see Matthew 23).
It is not fair to God, His Word, and the people God entrusts in our care. We are a small congregation. Only 16 persons.
Been that size for the last 18 years. But it is still the work of the Lord. It is that serious. God and His people expect their pastor to be an example in word (speech), conduct, love, faith, and purity. If we can’t live right, we cannot expect people to live right.
This is not an “incentive” to keep me holy because it’s not about that. To please the Lord overrides any wild pomposity edict.
It’s about approaching the holy things of the Lord with the level of gravity required for the service that God deserves. If we are not prepared to do this church service on the same level, we are lying and we do not the truth, as John, the eyewitness apostle of the Lamb said.
The reason why LGBT don’t believe some of what we say is because we are great liars when we want to keep on sinning.
The time for lying and Secret Sexual Sins ceased with me.
WIll you choose to cease and desist in your operations to sin against God?
In Isaiah 52:11, the captivity prophet Isaiah said,
“Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from the midst of her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.”
I mentioned Ananias and Sapphira, because we will see this. When you take communion in sin, many are sickly among you and some fall asleep.
Whenever you take the next communion, in mockery to God, it might be your last.
Judgment is already in the house of the Lord but the degree and severity of the judgment of the Lord all depends on where you stand in your relationship with the Lord.
People will come to church a lie to the Holy Spirit about their sins. The Lord was warning me and because I know, first hand, what His warning to me is like, there is no question that pastors need to be put on notice.
Will you join me in checking sin in your heart first?
There is a difference between making a mistake and intentionally sinning against the Lord.
You can stop sinning because Jesus told that to the man at the pool of Bethesda and to the woman caught in adultery.
You can stop sinning.
If you dare to serve the Lord while habitually sinning, I admonish you to stop and think about what you are doing. If you are falling into temptation, it’s because, according to the parable of the sower in Luke 8, that you are not giving the Word place in your heart. You are on stony ground and the Word cannot penetrate a stony heart.
You need to change the texture of your heart from stoney to good ground where the Word could penetrate and produce fruit.
Oh. By the way. You will notice that AF followed LGBT.
The AF is for adulterers and fornicators.