by Albert N. Martin
Edited transcript of message preached July 6, 1983
Our study in the Word of God this evening will be in reality a further continuation of that word we began to consider on the first evening of our conference: God's word to our nation. In our previous studies I thought to set the subject in a Biblical context, disclaiming any direct revelation from God; disclaiming any direct equation between Israel and the church, and then setting before you from the Scriptures a justification for taking up such a theme. And that justification resides basically in what we would call a Biblical theology of God's relationship to the nations. And then last evening I suggested that if there is any text in all of Scripture which constitutes the essence of the word of God to our nation at this time, it is that text found in Proverbs 14:34 in which the writer of the Proverbs declares, "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." And having looked briefly at the meaning of those words, I deduced this principle: that if sin is a reproach to any people, then surely the word of God to our nation at this time is the word on the one hand of scathing rebuke and denunciation for our national sins and a summons, a regal call to repentance and reformation, on the other hand. And then as we began to open up this theme, I sought to use the analogy of a mountain range with its foothills, its main major Peaks, and then those high mountain peaks that jut above the others. And any nation has sins like a mountain range. And it is my concern and burden to address the Word of God to those great high peak sins of our nation, which I suggested can be ranged under two very simple headings: our sins of putrid moral degeneration and our sins of horrible religious apostasy. And under that first heading last night, we only had time to direct your attention to the first aspect of our putrid sins of moral degeneracy, namely the unrequited blood of the murdered multitudes. And I've been encouraged with a number of you who have come to me and expressed perhaps for the first time you have seen from the Word of God its accumulative testimony how indeed our nation is guilty of blood, and how the unrequited blood of the multitudes of the murdered literally cries to heaven, pierces through to the ear of God upon the throne of God that that blood may be requited either with the proper, just taking of the life of murderers or by the direct judgment of Almighty God.
Tonight I want to look at the second aspect of this great first mountain of our sins of putrid moral degeneracy, namely our unrestrained and unashamed abandonment to sensuality and sexual perversion. Along with the unrequited blood of the multitudes of the murdered, I submit to you that a sensitivity of Biblical teaching leads to this conclusion: that another of our greatest national sins is our unrestrained and unashamed abandonment to sensuality and sexual perversion. There are many in our day who say something like this:
"If there is indeed a God, and if that God does indeed take any cognizance of the affairs of man upon the face of the Earth, then surely that God is concerned with larger issues than what goes on in people's bedrooms; what goes on in the fertod meetings of individuals in motel rooms. If there is a God, and if He is aware of what goes on, and if He is concerned, surely He is concerned with larger issues than someone's sexual preferences and sexual activities."
Well, is that so? Is that perspective in anyway reflective of the teaching of the Word of God? What I want to attempt to prove to you from Scripture is that any city, any nation, any large segment of humanity which abandons itself with shamelessness to sensuality and sexual perversion, that city, those cities, that nation, those groups of people call down upon themselves the frightening judgment of Almighty God.
We saw in our study of innocent blood and how it affects God, that God used for the first time in His Word the vivid imagery of the innocent blood of Abel turning into an eloquent voice which cries to God Himself. In Genesis chapter 4, God says to Cain, "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." As we read on in the book of Genesis, we read the tragic account of the degeneracy of the human race, a degeneracy that reaches the place recorded in Genesis 6 where God says, "And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart." And God commits Himself to blot out the entire existing human race with the exception of the family of Noah. But in all of the record of all the degeneracy which brought about the universal flood which blotted out the entire race, the language of sin crying to heaven is never once used. For the next time it occurs, it occurs in Genesis chapter 18. And I want you to turn to that passage with me. What is it that once again constitutes a voice that pierces the ear of God upon His throne and brings God down out of heaven in order to deal with the occasion of that crime? In Genesis chapter 18 the answer is given to us in very clear language. Three angels have visited Abraham, the father of the faithful. By a careful reading of the entire 18th chapter of Genesis, it becomes clear that one of those angels is the angel of Jehovah; that is, Jehovah Himself who comes in visible form and appearance. He receives the worship of Abraham; he speaks in the first person in the name of Jehovah, and as He speaks to Abraham, He says these words (Genesis 18:20):
"And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto Me; and if not, I will know."
Here Jehovah informs Abraham that a cry has once more reached His ear. And it is this cry that has brought God down from heaven in the person of the angel of Jehovah, Jehovah Himself, to see if indeed the cry accords with reality. Now granted, all of this is figurative language in the sense that God doesn't need to come down to see. He fills heaven and earth. God is omniscient--He knows all things concerning all there is to know at one given point in time. And yet to speak to us and to communicate the realities in a manner that we can understand and grasp, God accomodates Himself and says to Abraham,
"Abraham, I have heard a cry from My throne in heaven. The cry has come up from the cities of the plain, Sodom and Gomorrah. And Abraham, I am now come down to see if indeed the facts accord with the measure of this cry. The cry is great. It is a grievous cry of grievious sin. But I will come and establish by My own visual presence whether or not the cry accords with reality."
Then we read on in chapter 19 the experience of the angels as they come:
"And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; and he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night. And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them" (verses 1-5).
That knowing was not the knowledge of social introduction. It was an appeal that they might have these men to enter into illicit, abominable homosexual practices with them. How do we know that? Read on in the subsequent context: "And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, and said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly" (verses 6-7). What they desired was wickedness, and the precise nature was indicated in verse 8: "Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing...." Then we read the sad history of the resolute determination of these men inflamed with their aggresive, beastly lust. They are not satisfied with even these two virgins, and to abuse them and make them their playthings for the night. They would have fain laid hold on these two visitors forcefully had not the angels struck them with blindness. Then you know the subsequent history how God forcefully removes Lot and his family from those cities. And after He reiterates this in verse 13: "For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it." Then God did something He had never before done in human history. God literally rained hell down from heaven and destroyed the cities of the plain.
Now, what was the most aggravated sin of Sodom and Gomorrah? There are some clever manipulators of the Bible who say, "Well, if you think it was abandonment to sensuality and sexual perversion, you're all wrong." Then they quote in a cavalier way the remark of the prophet Ezekiel in chapter 16 verses 46 and 48 in which certain other of the sins of Sodom are underscored in another context: pride and fulness of bread and indifference to the needy. And then they proceed to say that these were the great sins: inhospitableness, not homosexuality. My friends, that is a perversion of the Word of God. For when we turn to the inspired comment on this in the book of Jude, it is very clear what the crowning sin of Sodom was. According to the inspired penman of the New Testament, here we read in the book of Jude and verse 7: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." That which caused Almighty God to bring down fire and brimstone and literally to rain hell out of heaven upon the cities of the plain was this unashamed, this unrestrained, this unembarrassed abandonment to sensuality and to sexual perversion. The cities of the plain had come through the various stages of this abandonment and this commitment to perversion. They had passed through the stage in which these sins were mearly tolerated, while it was known that they were, to use contemporary jargon, carried on in the closet. And from the state of toleration, they had become an acceptable form of behavior. And it's at the point they become an acceptable form of behavior, that they become a contagious form of behavior. For in that evening it was not only men, but it says men and boys, and not from just one pocket of the city--from every single quarter of the city. From toleration to acceptance to militant aggressive propagation of their perverted lifestyle until now they were so evangelistic about it they would impose it upon two wayfaring men. And when the sin reached that point, God says, "Enough. The cry that has come to heaven is indeed worthy of My response of frightening judgment." And so God performs this strange judgment and rains down what in Scripture is used as the very symbol of eternal fire. Hell is described as the lake of fire and brimstone. And God rains hell out of heaven upon the cities of the plain to make it manifest to all mankind from that point onward the holy hatred of His soul to this kind of abandonment to sensuality and sexual perversion.
Now you may ask the question, "Why is this so, Pastor Martin?" Well, you remember yesterday when we asked the question, "Why does God hate innocent blood?" The answer was found in Genesis 1: "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him...." Well, this is the same answer to this question. Why is there that in God which is so violently provoked in His holy nature when there is this abandonment to sensuality and in particular to perversion in which sexual distinctions are blurred and ignored and blatantly rejected in the most intimate expression of that sexual distinction, namely sexual intimacy. The doctrine of the image of God is again the answer. When we read in Genesis 1: "Let Us make man in our image," do you remember what the Scripture says? "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them." Mankind created in the image of God is created male and female. And in a way that I confess I'm not prepared to expound, this much is true: there is something in the distinctiveness of maleness and femaleness, masculinity and femininity that answers to that which is in God Himself. He is one God. We believe in the great truth: there is but one true and living God. And yet our Bibles teach us within that one God there is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit so that the Spirit can commune with Father and Son, and Son with Spirit and Father, and Father with Spirit and Son. One God, and yet within the one there is three. And in a way that I would not dare to unravel with precision, surely there is some perspective in God making man in His image male and female so that anything that obliterates that distinction, and in particular that which obliterates it at its citadel, the sexual union, is the highest affront to Almighty God! It is, in a sense, to march up to the throne of God and re-dictate the very structure of God creating man in His own image.
This holy antipathy of God to sexual perversion and licentiousness again is picked up and expanded and underscored in the Mosaic legislation. And I asked you to turn now to Leviticus 18 as a specimen passage. The great concern of God as articulated in verses 2 and 3:
"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God. After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances."
And then in verses 6-18, God gives specific directions that all fall within the realm of laws against incest, laws against certain marriages within certain blood relationships. In verse 19, God gives a prohibition of what we would call an unnatural sexual activity. In verse 20, He speaks against adultery. In verse 21, He speaks against the sin of offering up children to heathen idols as blood and burnt sacrafices. And then in verses 22 and 23, notice the clear prohibition:
"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion."
God is very explicit in prohibiting all forms of sexual perversion, all forms of sensuality, all forms of adopting the policy, "My sexual appetites and preferences are my business. I shall fulfill them according to my own passions and my own inclinations." God says, "You shall not do so." Now why is He concerned about these matters? Why is this legislation hammered out in such detail, which is almost embarrassing to read in a mixed public gathering? God gives the reason in the following verses:
"Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you" (verses 24-28).
O, dear people, hear the Word of God. The nations in the land of Canaan were pagan non-covenanted nations. The law they had was the law inscribed upon their moral consciousness as creatures made in the image of God. And yet from that law, they were to know that these activities were sin. And when they defied that law of their own moral constitution, God uses graphic language. He says that Israel's conquest of the land was but the feather in God's hand to tickle the throat of the land of Canaan that it might wrench and vomit out the inhabitants of the land. That's the gross, sickening language of Jehovah. The lands of Canaan, the nations of Canaan--that's the language of the passage--had become defiled and polluted for these sins. National sins that provoked God to bring national judgments, as then, so it is now, even though our nation has the light of special revelation in the possession of the Word of God and in the preaching of that Word. Even if we did not have the light of special revelation--when a nation gives itself to the kind of sexual perversion, the kind of sensuality forbidden in this chapter: adultery, indifference to proper laws concerning incest, insensitivity to the sanctity of the one marriage sanctuary of a husband and a wife--when a people give themselves to homosexuality, the passage says the land becomes defiled; the nation becomes defiled. And mark it well, God will have a feather in His hand to tickle the throat of this nation until it vomits out the inhabitants of this land. Whether He causes us to be vomited into a grave of atomic dust, whether He causes us to be vomited into the hand of a foreign totalitarian power, whether He causes us to be vomited out into the disruption and disintegration of civil and racial war, I do not know. I am no prophet. But I am a preacher of this book, and this book says these sins defile the land. We have gone beyond the stage of toleration. We are now at the stage of acceptance. Legislation is being pushed to give self-confessed, practicing homosexuals full acceptance at every level of social, economic, educational life, and even religious life. So the great debate in many denominations centers around the ordination of homosexuals. And already in some places, we have proceeded beyond mere toleration and acceptance to aggressive propagation and forced seduction. How long will it be till the feather touches the throat of this nation?
Add to the testimony of Genesis 18 and 19, Leviticus 18, the clear teaching of Romans 1. We move out of the Old Testament into the New. The great theme of this epistle is the exposition of the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, a Gospel which sets forth a righteousness of God to be received by faith. And a dark backdrop of the righteousness of God is the filth and the unrighteousness of man. Most of you, I'm sure, are familiar with the basic thread of argument in Romans 1. Beginning with Verse 18, the Apostle declares that the wrath of God is (present tense). There is a coming wrath. (He talks about it in chapter 2.) There is a coming day of wrath, but there is a present manifestation of divine wrath: "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven." And it's revealed against all ungodliness and that which inevitably follows from ungodliness: all unrighteousness of men who hinder the truth in unrighteousness. And then he goes on to declare in this context the situation in which men have only the light of general revelation: what they could know of God by looking at His handiwork. "The heavens declare His glory; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge" (Psalm 19:1-2). And what has man done with that revelation God has made of Himself? Paul says he has turned away from it, and he is turned instead to silly idols and beasts. And as a result, God has acted in judgment. Verses 24-27:
"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them [marvelous insights with respect to total sexual liberation. That's what we're being told our day has received. We are the day of great enlightenment. We have now received light that has chased away the dark shadows of the terrible Victorian mentality with regard to sex. We've received the light of true benevolence and compassion that invites all of the perverts to come out of the closets and to declare openly there alternate lifestyle. And we are told even in evangelical circles by certain so-called evangelical leaders, such as Mullencock and Hardesty and her ilk, that it is a matter of Christian enlightenment to recognize homosexuality whether between men or women as a viable Christian lifestyle, because we have now become enlightened by God to see that all of this homophobia is but a dark shadow of the prejudice of our past perspectives and influences.]"
Is that what the Word of God says? Look at the language:
"For this cause God gave them unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."
Where is the AIDS problem coming from? This text has the answer. Where is that new strain of venereal disease coming from? No longer can a few shots of penicillin fix everyone up. And the medical world is baffled and wringing its hands. I'll tell you where it comes from--Romans 1:27: "...receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet." Wrath is already being revealed. And the tragedy is verse 32 says they know such conduct deserves the Judgment of God. "Who knowing the Judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, [and this is why I use the word 'shameless'] not only do the same, but had pleasure in them that do them." In other words, when perversity becomes public and shameless, that's the height of degeneracy.
You'll find this theme, though time will not permit us to trace it out, in the Prophets, particularly with Jeremiah. One sample is Jeremiah 6:15 where the prophet says, "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed...." God says, "Thou hast a whore's forehead. Thou refuseth to be ashamed." What is it like when a woman takes her most noble faculty of sexuality and dares to parade it and sell it on 42nd Street in New York City? Something has died in that poor soul of native natural shame. Surely if she's going to do that, she'll do it in the dead of night; she'll do it in the shades and shadows, not in broad daylight before the rude stare of anyone who can look upon her. When a woman has come to that place, God says she has a whore's forehead that refuses to be ashamed. And I say, my dear fellow believers, our nation has a whore's forehead. And we've lost the ability to be ashamed. And the testimony of the Word of God from Genesis clean through into this passage and on into the Epistles is: For these things the wrath of God comes on the sons of disobedience. And surely, then, God's word to our nation is this: Sin is a reproach to any people. And not only is the sin of the unrequited blood of the multitudes of the slain our national reproach, but this unashamed, this abandonment to sensuality and perversion is our national sin and ought to be our national shame, and brings us as a nation to the very brink of even further judgments from the Almighty.
I will not pollute your ears by speaking in great detail of the clear indications that we have come to this position of unrestrained and unashamed abandonment to sensuality and perversion. Suffice but a few clear examples. When men who are supposedly intelligent and trained in our so-called best universities can write and have published books advocating constructed incest, and when they are given prime time to sit on national talk shows to give a justification for their books and a polemic for the possibility that a father may be indeed the best man to introduce to his daughter the realities and joys of sex--and there is no shame. Men and women ought to run to turn off their televisions sets; march to the studios and demand a retraction. I say, our sin is a national sin for which we are to hang our heads and blush. When perverts lose all shame and brag that this is come out of the closet time, and not only openly identify themselves by name but gather together in groups and causes and march through our streets no longer in shame for their perversion, I say, dear people, we must hang our heads and blush. Don't let the word "gay" ever be used on the lips of a Christian. It is a euphemism to take off the horrendous nature of the perversion of homosexuality. Call it sodomy, perversion. Don't ever refer to gays. They are not gay. They have the misery of a tortured conscience within, and the fires of hell await them. When fornication and adultery are a way of life in all of the avenues of so-called entertainment (the movies, the theater, the TV, the theme of the lyrics of popular songs), I say, this is our national sin. When male and female virginity are laughed upon and mocked; when skin magazines are a multi-billion-dollar business, both those appealing to women as well as to men; when the TV becomes the personal X-rated movie screen (no sooner does the video cassette become a marketable thing when the number one item is X-rated movies); when our schools take upon themselves to show pornographic movies and slides and give pornographic literature to preteens; when verbal titillation and double innuendo have become part and parcel of almost every social context; when a man who seeks to keep a pure mind must almost live with his eyes upon the pavement because of all of the bared titillating flesh paraded before his eyes, I say, dear fellow believers, our sin cries to God for national judgment. And you cannot opt out and say, "But Pastor Martin, I don't indulge in these things; I do not approve of these things." Remember the principle of solidarity: you and I are a part of a nation that has sold itself to sensuality and to perversion.
But you asked the question, "What can I do?" Well, I want to give a little more attention in closing tonight than I did last night to the remedy. If this is our state, what can we do? Let me first of all answer that question for boys and girls and men and women in this building who have been sucked into the whirlpool of our national sensuality and perversion. I would be willing to make the statement without claiming prophetic insight that there are more than a few within the sound of my voice tonight (boys, girls, men, women, even preachers) who have not been able to withstand this climate, that whirlpool of sensuality and perversion that swhirls around you with ever increasing fierceness and power. At first, you just came to the edge of it to look in out of innocent curiosity--you called it. Some of you who are preachers, you began to look into it under the guise: how can I denounce it if I don't know what it is? That was your first contact with pornographic movies; your first contact with pornographic literature. And I would not be surprised if I'm speaking to more than one adult and possibly more than one preacher who is an addict to pornography. You're an addict to pornographic movies. You've spent the last two, three, four years constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure no one sees you slip in and pay your $3 or $5, whatever it cost. You're constantly looking this way and that way when you go to that haunt where you look at your girly magazines. You're constantly living that fearful, frightening experience of wondering whose going to see me: when will the lid be blown off? Perhaps I'm talking to teenagers who have been sucked into the idea that it's all right to fool around with girls if you're a girl as long as you still have an interest in boys and vice versa. Am I speaking to boys and girls and men and women who now sitting here tonight, known only to God and to yourself and if others are involved by way of sexual dalliance--only they know that you sit here tonight in the frightening chains of sexual perversion? And next to heroin and to alcohol, there are no chains that I've ever had to deal with in a pastoral setting like the chains of sensuality. My friend, is there any word for you? There is a word for you. That word comes through so clearly in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. In verse 9, Paul says,
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived [the first word of God is this: Don't listen to what you're being told by the so-called experts in America]: neither fornicators [and there he uses the Greek word 'pornia' for all kinds of sexual impurity from which we get our English word 'pornography'], nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
What is the word to you sitting here tonight with all the symblance of a liberated Christian, but you know you're in bondage? Perhaps even a day or two before you came to this conference, not knowing what might be available in this area, you went on a binge with your girly magazines, and you're here in your chains. What's the first word of God to you? It's this: Either those chains are broken or you'll go to hell. And you better take that seriously. Don't you listen to what the world says, that your chains are the symbols of your liberty. They are chains that will chain you now and into hell forever. Don't listen to the so-called evangelical experts who tell you that self-abuse is a viable Christian activity; who tell you that responsible, committed, loving homosexual or lesbian practice is a viable Christian expression of lifestyle. The Word of God says, "Don't be deceived." You won't go to heaven with those chains of uncleanness and perversion. You'll sink into hell! O, dear young people who've been spared, when the temptation comes and when you're bombarded by the radio and the TV and in the school and by your peers--try this a little bit and try that--and you're tempted to go the first step in the direction of sensuality and perversion--hear the Word of God: "Be not deceived." That path will chain you and take you to hell!
And now the second word of God to you is in the verse that follows: "And such were some of you...." "You mean there's hope? Why, Pastor Martin, you said there's no hope." That's right, no hope while the chains are there; no hope while you defy God's norms of sexual purity as a single person, as a married person. I don't care what your psychological orientation may be. If you are not heterosexual oriented; if you are giving yourself man with man, woman with woman--be not deceived--those patterns of life are utterly inconsistent with being an heir of the kingdom. "And such were some of you...." Something has happened--they're no longer like that. What's happened? Look at the text. A combination of two mighty influences impinged upon many of these Corinthians: "...ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." What had happened? There in Corinth, this sink of iniquity; this center of commerce and pagan thought and pagan worship where as a very part of your worship of the heathen deities one would commit acts of sexual impurity and fornication. What had happened? A humble hook-nosed Jew came and began to preach about Jesus of Nazareth who authenticated His claims by His life and by His works; who was impaled upon a Roman cross by the decree and purpose of God; who there upon that cross bore the sins of His people; bore sins of every kind and strip; who went from that cross into a grave; who broke the bars of death and came out from that grave and ascended to the right hand of the Father and received of the Father the promise of the Spirit and sent Him forth upon men. He says such were some of you, but having come into contact with the message concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, you've been washed; you've been justified. And furthermore, you've heard that He gives the gift of His Spirit to all who believe upon Him. Yes, He sovereignly regenerates by the Spirit unto faith. But the Bible everywhere teaches that it is to the regenerate, believing sinner that the gift of the Spirit is given when he believes on the Lord Jesus. And in the power of the indwelling Spirit, he can now see his chains broken and fall at his feet and rise a free man, a free woman. If you're here tonight bound by various dimensions of our national sin of abandonment to sensuality and sexual perversion, there is hope for you. And that hope is not in trying to sell your conscience a bill of goods that your sins are not really sins--they are! But it's to flee to the fountain that's open for sin and uncleanness. Fall down before the Son of God like blind Bartimaeus and cry, "Son of David, have mercy upon me. What wilt thou that I should do unto you? Lord, that I may be free of my chains?" to which He will say, "I will, be thou free."
And what can we do as a people? I've tried to answer the question to the individual, but what can we the people of God do? Well, ultimately, dear people, the greatest thing you can do is stop playing games with free time and ask God at any cost to make you a Jacob, an Israel, who knows how to wrestle with God. The greatest thing you can do is to become a wrestler with God for the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon our poor, bound, hell-deserving nation. And I don't say that as something pious to get on to something more practical. The greatest thing you can do is cry mightily to the God who alone can turn away this terrible tidal wave of uncleanness. But then, if your prayer is sincere when you rise from your knees, you must rise determined to do what the Scripture says. In Ephesians 5:11: "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." You are light. Walk as children of light. I'm sick of hearing Christians saying of this movie or that movie, "Well, it wasn't too bad--only had one steamy love scene. It wasn't too bad--only had a half a dozen curse words." What in the name of God has happened to our consciences? How can you sigh and cry for the abominations of our nation, much of which flow to the conscience of our nation through a movie theater, while you sit in the midst of it? I'm appalled at what so-called reformed Christians watch and allow their children to watch on TV in which their consciences are made dull to the high standards of morality, the high standards of sanctity and purity touching the sexual relationship and touching our identity as males and females in the image of God. Determine as a Christian father in light of the challenge of this morning to say, "As for me and my house, I don't care if my kids whimper; I don't care if they complain that their ignorant of this program and that program and the other program. I will not cooperate with the devil to send them to hell in this sea of sensuality." Have the fortitude to rear back upon your hind legs. And if you cannot exercise Godly control over the TV so that you can face the Day of Judgment with a good conscience, then get rid of the thing and determine never to have it in your home again.
And then the third thing we as the people of God can do is to exercise every legitimate influence consistent with our civil liberties on the one hand and our Gospel priorities on the other. And don't detach what I say from those two qualifications. You see, the devil loves to get people using up all their time in a good cause to keep them from the best cause. And it's much easier to spend an hour agitating in some organized movement against pornography than it is to spend an hour on your knees crying to God for the Holy Spirit to come down upon the preachers in this land and make the Word effective to purge the sea of pornography. Do you see my point? Do everything you can do consistent with your civil liberties and responsibilities and Gospel priorities. And then ultimately, let's touch what is the softest spot in the heart of God, His glory. When you pray say, "Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name." And O what glory would come to God if when the perveyors of filth have as it were come to the position where they sit back and fold their arms with glee and look over the sea of our national life and gloat that they have won the day--what glory it would be to God to raise up His mighty arm, and when the enemy has come in like a flood, to see the Spirit of our God raise a standard against him and pray,
"O God, for the glory of Thy name, Your name that is sanctified and hallowed when men repect Your laws of sexual purity; when men regard your standards of purity and uprightness in every facet of male/female relationships. O God, can You stand to see Your glory stained? O God can You bear to see Your glory completely besmirched by our national life? O God, vindicate Your glory."
May we thus cry to God.
What is God's word to our nation? I say it is essentially a word of denunciation of our national sins: the sin of unrequited blood, the sin of unashamed abandonment to sensuality and sexual perversion. Dear people, that's my nation. Some of you children don't know what this is like. I lived during the Second World War. I was old enough to read the papers. And we used to sit about the table and wonder: will God allow the Japanese to come to the West Coast; will be bombed? I can remember my sister crying the day when President Roosevelt made the announcement of the invasion of Pearl Harbor. She sat upon my dad's knee, and I sat next to her, and she broke into convulsive weeping and said, "Daddy are we going to be bombed?" Some of us remember the mighty deliverances God brought to us in that war. We thank God for His grace and kindness. But you dear young people, listen, this isn't going to go on forever unless something changes, and it can start with you. Some of you precious teenagers can determine by the grace of God to be a Daniel. You will not defile yourself with the sins of your companions at school and on the block and wherever you may associate with them. You can begin to go off into your closet and pray for those teenage friends of yours. You know many of them--their heads blown half the time on their pills and on their pot and on their booze. And girls who are hardly into their teens brag about their affairs with the fellows. O, may God touch the hearts of you dear young ones. May He touch the hearts of you parents. And dear pastor friend, let me ask you in closing: can you preach on this sin with a clear conscience, or does that very question cause a little redness to creep up the back of your neck? Your wife doesn't know the stuff you look at when she's gone to bed. O yes, you got that cable service TV ostensibly to get the good educational programs, but God knows and you know what you've been using it for. My friend, come out of that wall of hypocrisy and have dealings with God. The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God. Some of you precious Christian women, your bearing is the essence of purity, and yet your eyes soak up the sorded filthy soap operas hours everyday, and you fantasize and by proxy enter into the sexual escapades of heroines on the boob tube. You say, "Pastor Martin, not amongst reformed Christians." Yes, amongst reformed Christians, because when iniquity abounds, the love of the many waxes cold. Righteous Lot, his righteous soul vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. Poor Lot was stained and crippled by the context in which he lived. O, may we hear the call to repentance and thorough dealings with God. And may we yet see God bare His arm and purge away the filth from our land.
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