This message will obviously be uncomfortable to some – especially for Christians [or, so-called “Christians"] who have little (proper and priority) regard for the Triune God’s revelation Scriptures. This message concerns our very "bodies." And, I know that when it comes to talking about peoples' very bodies, some people become personally offended. However, I make no apologies. (If, you are offended, it is because you have personally taken [on] needless and illegitimate offense).
If I say some things and bluntly say them, and if I support what I say, by preaching and teaching the Scripture Bible faithfully; and if what I preach and teach is disturbing to you, then, it ought to disturb. And if you, the hearer are upset, then what you might be feeling is your conscience being stirred and / or bludgeoned by the influence force of God's "Hammer." [Jeremiah 23:29] I might also add, the Scripture, also claims of itself, to be a "two edged sword," "piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and, is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12-13
Our present masquerading Christian culture
What constitutes an ignorant and fallen Christian? Regretfully, our present culture is anything but "Christian." And, I contend, that most of what is passed around as "Christian," is no more "Christian" than the proverbial "Man in the moon." In other words, what is "Christian" much of the time is only "masquerading Christian behavior" and spoken platitudes. It is quite genuinely different than the actual teachings of Jesus - His actual recorded Words in the Gospels and His Words elsewhere in the remainder of the Scriptures.
We are told in the Holy Scriptures, that in the "last days" there will be people acting wickedly and that they will have "the form of godliness," but in reality, they will be "denying its power." Moffatt's translation states: "for though they keep up a form of religion, they will have nothing to do with it as a force." The New English Bible translation well states: "They will be men who put pleasure in the place of God, men who preserve the outward form of religion, but are a standing denial of its reality." 2 Timothy 3:1-5
And the Scripture says that this will be the case with people in general. It does not say that this "form of religiosity" and the "denial of its reality" [its power; authority] will only take place in the lives of the ungodly:
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!" II Timothy 3:1-5
"Having a form of godliness; preserving the outward form of religion, but, denying its power; denying its reality." That is the "Masquerade." That is the grand and glaring "Deception."
Charles and Camilla -- A public example of “Having a form of godliness,” yet, “Denying its power”
The news media widely reported about England's Prince Charles and his "for years" mistress, Camilla. According to the media, they had some civil marriage ceremony, and then afterwards, they received the Church's blessing from one of England's clergy.
Where did Charles and Camilla go wrong? Obviously, they went wrong when they both engaged in their own fornicating affairs with each other, which had been common knowledge for years. But then, they opted for a legalized marriage and sought to make something holy of which had been unholy. Where was the admission of any guilt on their part for their past fornication and adultery? Perhaps we had all missed that part in the news, but I think not. And then, Charles and Camilla were presented by the old mainstream liberal media, to be worldwide role models! Not that what they had been doing, for years, was anything new or innovative -- the cheating and the adultery. But I suppose Prince Charles and his former mistress, Camilla, exemplified the changing cultural drift of misplaced sinful attitudes and values.
Prince Charles and Camilla's actions, along with scores of couples throughout the world today, take the following route:
After having trashed traditional values, morality and marriage, by their continued lifestyle of fornicating [type of cohabiting] behavior, they then turn around and desire the blessing of the Christian Faith -- the Christian Church, by attempting to embrace the traditional values and vows of the Christian institution of marriage, they had thus, previously trashed!
The "Masquerade" - The "'Form' Of Godliness" II Timothy 3:1-5
So, with Charles and Camilla, we have a somewhat, recent example of taking upon themselves the "form of godliness" (religion) when in actuality they were "masquerading" and denying its "power (reality) of godliness!"
They could have exercised the "power (reality) of godliness" and confessed their past and present sins and rebellion against God and His Commandments. They could have, after true contrition and repentance [then] began to live their lives in accordance with "God's Program" of faith in Christ and "exercise" themselves "unto godliness." And then, God could have been a reality (a power) in their lives. But the huge problem (all along), being -- is that they had to do things their way! And they are now obviously continuing to do things their way and not God's way!
Christians fall into the same trap
Christians who fall into this same type of lifestyle trap, and if they continue in this type of lifestyle - doing things their way with their own bodies, rather than God's way, they will never rise to the level of realizing their true identity with (and in) Christ! In fact, they are, in reality, living their whole lives, desecrating God's Image and their own bodies, of which God calls, His "temple!" They are, in a very genuine spiritual sense, playing "Russian Roulette."
The New Testament Christian Scripture which I have based this topical message, speaks very directly concerning the individual Christian's physical body. It says:
"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are." 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
The Christian’s Physical Body Belongs to God
Years ago there was a song popularized by Frank Sinatra: "I Did It My Way." Hell will be littered with the souls of the damned and they will screech out in agonizing forever torment, gnashing their teeth, regretting that they did things in their life upon earth, "their way."
It was against this pagan and vile immoral "backdrop," in which the First Corinthian Bible letter was written to the Corinthian Christians. The Corinthian assembly of Christians had many problems to be addressed - and that they were, with two Scriptural letters from the Apostle Paul. But the most challenging problem to the Corinthian body of Christian believers, was to keep themselves clean and clear from all the moral defilements that were part and parcel of the morally corrupt Roman Empire.
No “Right to privacy”
When the Lord says in His Scripture that our bodies are His temples, He means that we don't have a "right of privacy." God will not afford us that so-called and ill-conceived Supreme Court concept. We don't have a right to our own bodies - they belong to the Lord. They are His temples.
A military story
A friend of mine related to me some of his military experiences. One story was an incident that took place at the DMZ at the border of North and South Korea. A couple of drunken U.S. military soldiers wandered across the demilitarized zone and cut down, what was regarded to be a sacred North Korean tree. The two drunken soldiers never made their way back. They paid for their desecration and destruction of the sacred tree, by having their heads chopped off.
The self desecration and destruction of one’s body
The Lord says that the Christian's body is His temple and that if the Christian defiles it, the Christiaian will pay with dire and sorry consequences. The desecration of one's body isn't restricted to sexual immorality. It includes anything and everything that we may do to our own body that may hurt, harm or shorten its life. And the grave sin against the defilement of God's temple, a person's body, is that there is the added offense and crime of sinning against the First Commandment -- "Thou shall have no other gods before me!" [Exodus 20:1f] When we make ourselves and our own preferences, options, to take the place of God's Will and His Commandments in our lives and bodies, we are then sinning against the First Commandment and defiling His "body temple."
The 5th Commandment [Exodus 20:13] can also be sinned against in that we can set in motion the eventual "murder" of our own bodies with destructive behaviors such as overeating; drunkenness; smoking; and, an excessive reliance upon prescription drugs. Also, we can sin against God's temple, by not receiving enough exercise and securing enough sleep. Added to these self destructive [slow suicide, life shortening lifestyles] are also other ill-advised lifestyle behaviors.
The continued desecration and destruction of God's "body building" without contrition and repentance [godly sorrow; decision and change] -- and faith in the Lord Jesus, will lead the soul straight down the road to death [hell] everlasting. Galatians 5:19-21 ; Luke 18:9-14 ; Luke 19:1-10
This has been a very long message and I will say no more except to end with the reading of Hebrews, 13:4 and 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. The good, gracious, loving and just Lord can sum up, far better and beyond, some of the divine revelation reality truths that I have attempted to relate to you:
"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge." Hebrews 13:4
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For the "two," He says shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or, do you not know, that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Please note some of the following Gospel Scriptures [below] as their is forgiveness and reconciliation with God for having desecrated his body temple.
Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] -- Intended to be utilized in a simpleworship format:
Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins
Related Scriptures To the Above Message
Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
The Order of Morning Service
The Order of Matins
Related Scriptures To the Above Message
Psalm 51:1f -- A Psalm of forgiveness and cleansing
Isaiah 64:1-9 -- The humble soul will recognize the Triune God as father and master potter maker
Luke 15:1-10 -- Heaven has much joy over one sinner's repentance
Luke 15:11-32 -- Christ's Parable of the Prodigal [Lost] Son
Luke 18:9-14 -- God has mercy upon the soul that confesses his sin
Luke 19:1-10 -- The appropriate corresponding response of a sinner who sought Christ
2 Corinthians 4:1f -- The grateful and spiritually alive Christian will recognize his person and body as being a humble "earthen vessel" of which the Lord uses for His Glory.
Please note: The Following Scriptures are clear instructions for Christians on dealing [living] with sin within the "Christian 'camp:'"
1 Corinthians 5:9-10 -- "The Corinthians mistook Paul's letter to mean that, on separating from sin, they should disassociate themselves from all immoral persons, including non-Christian people. Instead, Paul meant that they should separate from immoral persons in the church who claimed to be Christian brothers." 1 Corinthians 5:10-11
1 Corinthians 5:11 -- "With such a one do not even eat......"
"Calling oneself a Christian while continuing to live an immoral life is reprehensible and degrading, and gives a false testimony to Christ. If the true Christian has intimate association with someone who does this, the non-Christian world may assume that the church approves such immoral, ungodly living and thus the name of Christ would be dishonored. Questions could arise concerning the true character of the Christians own testimony." Romans 16:17-18 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:6 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
Also note: Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14:26 -- "'hate' his father".....a vivid hyperbole meaning that one must love Jesus even more than his immediate family Malachi 1:2-3
[Above 1st Corinthian and Gospel Scripture notes, quoted from the 1984 c. NIV Study Bible]
Finally -- The Holy Scriptures are replete with examples of what God regards as sin and what He has done in the past to keep his people free from sin's contaminations. A few [among many] Scriptures are: Exodus 32 ; Joshua 7 ; Numbers 12:1f
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak" -- by Victor Buksbazen -- Isaiah 53:1-12 -- an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Please note: Topical Messages, by subject
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel
Please also note:
The "Words in Season" topical messages and related worship format are not intended to discourage or replace the Christian worship and assembly of Christians at their particular places of church worship. As this website's author, it is my prayer and hope, that many souls will find the topical messages, related worship format and other material, a useful and valuable Christian resource.