Don't Be Double-Minded

....Choose you this day whom you will serve;......
but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15

Many people try to compromise their religion with their old way of life. They look for a religion that will basically allow them all their "freedoms"; one that doesn't require much of them. They are like the compromising churches at Pergamos, and Thyatira, in the book of Revelation, making compromises they think are good enough to allow themselves to still be called Christians. They may not embrace sin whole-heartedly, but think it's okay to play "footsies" with it. They want to continue with their wicked, sinful lifestyles, and want a religion that tells them that's okay! One that gives them the okay to do whatever they wanted to do in the first place.

The Scriptures warn us against such an attitude, however. Just as the churches in Revelation were warned, we have a clear warning, too. Jesus said, in Matt. 16:24, "If any man will come after me, let him take up his cross and follow me." We cannot serve God and continue in our old sinful ways. The Bible says in James 1:8 that "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." If we believe that we are serving God, but still follow after sinfulness, then we are being double-minded!

The problem with sin is that it's always growing and getting worse. It's like driving down a steep mountain with no brakes----pretty soon, you are out of control, and it's almost impossible to stop without a terrible crash. Sin never stops itself, it just keeps growing and getting worse, like a cancer. And sin is like a narcotic---once is never enough. We try it, we like it, and we keep coming back to it; but each time we go a little farther and a little farther. At first we may try to hide our sins, but as we become more and more addicted to them, we become more and brazen, until we embrace them publicly, and expect others to allow us our little "indulgences". Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil...".

Let me give you just one example: Back in the late 1950's and early 60's, if Lucy and Ricky Ricardo were ever shown in a bedroom scene, they were always fully covered, and they were never even allowed in the same bed--- one of them always had to have at least one foot on the floor! And they were legally married, both on the show and off! Censors were really tough in those days!

Now, however, anything goes, and not just in sleazy, backstreet porn theaters, but in our own living rooms, during daytime soaps and talk shows, and prime time evening shows! We have nudity, sex, homosexuality, and more that I don't even want to mention here. A soon to be released movie (and no, I will NOT say the name of these, but this was reported in Entertainment Weekly Magazine) brags about being the first non-porn,  (yeah, right!)  English speaking movie to feature real actors engaged in real fellatio! Lucy and Ricky's censors would all be having apoplexy if they ever saw any of this on screen!

Much of this material is first presented jokingly, in a very unthreatening manner. A little snickering remark here, a little joke there, a funny skit or two; it often doesn't seem like anything to get upset about at first. But soon, it becomes a very real part of our culture, part of our lives and those of our families.

That's the encroaching nature of sin. It is often attractive in it's early stages, but leads only to grief, heartache, pain, and misery. Ask anyone who has been caught in the aftermath of sinfulness, either their own of that of someone they love. Ask anyone whose life has been ruined by an adulterous affair, anyone whose life has been destroyed by alcoholism or drug abuse. Remember the Bible says in John 10:10 "The thief cometh not but to steal, kill and destroy." Doesn't sound quite so funny when you look at it in the light of God's word, does it?

Let's not get into any pseudo-intellectual discussions, pretending that these shows have any significant social value. I've heard all the arguments about freedom of speech and artistic expression; but let's be really honest with ourselve: these shows serve one purpose, and one purpose only: they titilate, tease, and tempt the mind to go farther and farther into forbidden fantasies.

Thoughts, left unchecked, lead to actions, make no mistake about it! We are told in Matt. 15:19: "For out of the heart proceeds evils thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness {lies}, blasphemies;" James 1:14-15 tells us: "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lusts, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death."

Sin also has an addictive nature. It's like a narcotic, also leading us to seek more and more. And pretty soon, we are accepting and actively taking part in things that deep down in our hearts we know are wrong. There was a time, not so long ago, when things like drugs, homosexuality, abortion, assisted suicide, were NOT a part of our everyday lives, but that time is long past. The misery and destruction caused by these and other unchecked iniquities is impossible to calculate. They have destroyed more lives and more families than all the wars ever fought.

The Bible tells us quite clearly "The wages of sin is death....(Romans 6:23). Remember also, "The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy."(John 10:10) Sin steals, corrupts, and destroys our money, our families, our peace of mind, and our souls. We can't "play around" with sin, and think God will overlook our "little sin"; James 2:10 tell us: "For whoever keeps the whole law, but offends in ONE point, is guilty of all." Sin always leads to more sin, and ultimately to death and destruction.

And we can't hide our "little sin" from the Almighty and omniscient God. The Bible says in Ecclesiases 12:14 that whatever we do in secret will judged openly. We cannot continue in our sinfulness and claim that we are children of God. I John 1:6 says "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." Do not be deceived into thinking one or two little "pet" sins are okay with God. If we are walking in the darkness of sin, we are not a child of God.

Let's get it right, dear friends. Let's stop allowing ourselves to be deceived. Let's not be "double-minded". Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go, and cost you far more than you ever wanted to pay. If we give Satan so much as an inch, he will end up owning us, body and soul. And when we face that final day of reckoning, we don't want our souls owned by Satan!