Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Legalism Vs. Freedom & Love


Legalism Vs. Freedom & Love (Part One of Two)

Well, praise Jesus today, everyone. It's a blessing to be part of the body of Christ and to be in the Lord's love to be following Him. Because He first loved us and He gave His life for us, that we could be part of His new covenant. What I wanted to speak about today is having love in our hearts to follow the Lord out of love and out of diligence rather than out of obligation and legalism.

There are some Christians that follow God out of legalism, and some Christians actually want legalism in their life because it puts certain boundaries, they feel in their life that if they stay behind those boundaries then they will somehow achieve salvation. In other words, they go to church, they read the bible, and they apply certain rules and principles to their life because they feel like if they keep those principles and they attend that church, it gives them the structure that they need in their life. And within the confines of that religious principle or those religious principles, then they will be giving their diligence to God. So you have some Christians that religiously choose to not eat meat? They religiously do not drink alcohol. They religiously go to church every Sunday. They religiously read their bible once a day for an hour. They religiously pray for one hour in solitude. And they have these rituals and these rights that they believe that they have to do to please God. Now, there are other people that any sort of legalism seems to put this boundary on us that we want to push against, like a rebellion. And some things God does put in our life to keep us in check, to keep us in His love and there are people that see all of the things that God does put as a limit just as a limitation to us achieving the most we can as a man, and that is what Satan told Adam and Eve, he was telling them that God had limited them, that he did not want them to know the difference between good and evil, that they shouldn't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and if they didn't want to be limited then they would eat of that fruit and become like God. And, of course, they fell into this trap. And they ate the fruit. But as we know, they did not come like God, they just fell into sin. Not only were they tempted, but they fell out of the garden of Eden. They received a punishment for doing what was wrong.

So we need to be able to divide rightfully. The difference between what is staying in God's love and what is just religious principles, what are just those things that religion says we have to do. I want to give a few examples. I’ve been around people of different religions, and I mean, I’m sure you have too. But I noticed they're very religious about food, about their dress, about their church and especially about alcohol related things. An example of this would be pork. There are some religions, including Christians and Jews, who believe you cannot eat any pig meat. And they will take that to the extreme to say that any part of the pig that could have been involved in some kind of food you can't eat. So there are some religious groups that say you can't even eat candies because skittles and some other candies had a part of pig feet in them, and so they believe that it's sinning to eat candies like skittles or it's a sin to eat any kind of thing that was related to pork. Now, Jesus never said that you are not falling into sin by eating pork or candy or any other kind of food. Now, obviously, if there's a health reason there, skittles are not a healthy choice and eating pork all the time is not a healthy choice. But eating pork itself or having skittles is not sin itself. There are also things that religious men and women do to try to achieve perfection before their god or merit eternal life, such as not drinking alcohol, abstaining from sexual things. For example, there are some religions that don't even allow you to have, say, mouthwash, because there's alcohol in mouthwash. And even though you're not drinking that alcohol, the alcohol is going into your body, in your mouth, and they believe that to be a sin to have mouthwash, to be cleaning your mouth out, which is ridiculous. There are some people that refrain from drinking beer or from wine or hard liquor for purity reasons. And this would be good because we are called as Christians to have self-control. However, Alcohol itself is not a sin. There are a lot of foods that have alcohol in it, and if you're trying to be religious, you would have to avoid all of those kinds of foods. Actually, almost every single soft drink, every kind of soda to some extent has alcohol in it due to the fermentation. And guys, I’m not saying it's healthy to be drinking soda or anything like that, but I’m just saying, if you're trying to religiously avoid something due to alcohol, there's more than just wine and beer and hard liquor that you would have to avoid. Even, for example, vanilla, which is put in cookies and cereal and many other things have alcohol in it. Vanilla extract, for example, has 35% alcohol content that's like seventy proof vodka. So we have things like that in our everyday life that are food, but if we're trying to be religious like the religious crowd that thinks that they're earning their way to heaven by abstaining from alcohol and never looking at a woman. Then you would have to abstain from all of that stuff.

So where is the line? Where is the line between truly keeping ourselves pure and then falling into dead religion or falling into legalism? Because there's some people that will say you can't eat these foods, there's no amount of alcohol that should ever touch you, even including soft drinks and mouthwash and whatever else may have alcohol in it, and you should never even your wife look at her in a way that is sexual. There are people that think that you should never get married, that you should become a monk because they believe that just sexuality itself is impure before God. Jesus Christ loves us, and He demonstrated to His disciples and to all people, what it means to have love and what it means to have self-control. And if we follow His steps, then we will learn to love as Jesus Christ loved. And we won't be following these rules of dead religion. We won't be becoming religious.

Now, let's talk for a minute just about sexuality. God created sexuality. He created male and female. But He also created us to have self-control to overcome lust, to overcome adultery and fornication, pornography, all of those things that are sexual perversions. But sexuality in a holy marriage between a husband and a wife is to be cherished. We shouldn't be refraining from one another or calling sex dirty or impure or putting ourselves into the regulations of men in marriage saying that you can only have sex in one particular way. A lot of people become very legalistic even in marriage about their sexuality, which should be just between the husband and the wife, not the husband and the wife and some other guy somewhere in the church. So because many people have become religious about their own sexuality in their own marriage, they have started to fall into a bunch of other sins. Their marriages become broken because they are refraining from giving themselves fully to their husband or fully to their wife. And now they feel very restricted and even rebellious in their marriage because they have put these false religious restrictions on their marriage. That they can only have sex maybe one time a month, that they have to do it in such, in such and such a way. And it makes for a lot of problems in the marriage and instead of the husband and the wife making the rules for themselves out of love, now they're letting other people in the church make rules for their marriage bed, which is absolutely wicked. God put it between a husband and a wife to have each other, that they would become one flesh and one spirit.

So I would want to encourage you if you are married and if you truly are right before God, don't let other people be making religious rules for your marriage bed. But bring everything before the Lord and make sure that your marriage bed is undefiled. That you're not falling into fantasies, that you're not thinking about other men or other women, but that truly you have the love of Jesus in your marriage. 

Legalism Vs. Freedom & Love (Part Two of Two)


Okay, secondly, let's talk about alcohol. Alcohol comes down to self-control. We know Jesus' first miracle turning the water into wine. There is no evidence guys that the wine was non-alcoholic as many Christians say. There is no evidence that the wine that Jesus would drink or that the other disciples would drink, was non-alcoholic. There are some Christians that like to say it was just grape juice, but we have no evidence for that. So the fact that Jesus in His first miracle, turned water into wine and they would use it mixing wine with their drinking water to help purify the water, says in itself that God is not against alcohol, but what God is against is a lack of self-control against getting drunk against drunkenness. And so it comes down to the intent of someone's heart. Are we as Christians and as disciples using alcohol to get drunk and to lose self-control to give us an alter-ego? Or are we using alcohol in cooking and are we using it in foods and in such a way where it is made pure? Because alcohol itself is certainly not sin, but to get drunk is sin. So in regards to alcohol, it is not a sin to use mouthwash that has alcohol in it. It is not a sin to drink some kind of drink that has an amount of alcohol in it if you're not getting drunk. If you enjoy wine with your meal, there's nothing condemnable about that. No one's going to hell for drinking red wine. But people do go to hell for rejecting the Holy Spirit with a lack of self-control. So that is the difference, guys, between being in the love of Jesus Christ, having the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life, versus just trying to be religious, trying to be religious, you're trying to put yourselves between these laws of religion. And you think that if you just keep these laws of religion, you're going to merit everlasting life by keeping yourself in between those ds and those don’ts. But true love and a relationship with Jesus says if I stay with Him and if the fruit of the Holy Spirit is in my life, if I abide with Him, then I have my freedoms in Christ that I will not abuse because I will use them for the glory of God. And the Lord shows us the difference between what our freedoms are in Him versus what abuse is and what perversions of His spiritual gifts and the talents and abilities and the resources He gives us, He shows us the difference between that.

Now, in regards to clothing, there are some people who are very religious about clothing. Some people on the internet have told me that it is very sinful to wear a wedding ring. They say that jewellery in itself is absolutely sinful, and they think that people are going to hell because they're wearing an earring or because they have a wedding ring on or they have a necklace or they're wearing some form of jewellery. That is ridiculous, guys. No one is going to hell for wearing a bracelet or a necklace or wearing earrings or anything like that. However, if you're trying to make yourself appear more sensual, if you are trying to bring attention to yourself in a way that's ungodly, then you're falling into vanity, which is against the Holy Spirit. And a lot of people are very immodest. They're wearing immodest clothes, which is a reflection of their heart. And they are exposing themselves, which is a reflection of their heart. And so we have to dress, obviously, in modesty. And if our heart is right before God, we will know the difference between wearing jewellery for the sake of righteousness versus wearing it to attract the opposite sex in a way that is impure. I wear a wedding band most of the time, guys, because it signifies that I am married and loyal to my wife. If I were going around without my wedding band on, that could signify that I don't want other people to know that I’m married, which I am blessed to be married, and I am glad that I am married, and I am contently married. So for a man to be wearing his wedding band proudly, or whatever word you want to use for that, joyfully, without any embarrassment of being married, then that is a Godly thing and that is a righteous thing. But if a man goes around being embarrassed to be married and he's taking off his wedding band because he wants to be flirtatious at work, that is an indication of sin. So all of this comes back to love and back to a relationship with our Lord. It doesn't come back to keeping religious principles.

 So we need to get away from thinking that we can earn our salvation by just dos and don’ts. If some people think if I just don't wear any jewellery, if I just make sure that I’m wearing a lot of clothes, as long as I’m modest and not wearing jewellery, as long as I’m eating plain food, then I’m going to heaven. And that is just simply not true. It always comes down to our heart condition before God. And how we're doing with Jesus Christ. Do we hear His voice? Are we following His commandments? Do we have His love in our heart? Or are we just becoming religious, thinking that if we keep all these legalistic principles in our life, then we will be saved? So anyways, I want to pray for the body of Christ, for those of you who do want to hear the Lord's voice and who want to live according to His love and not to religion and regulations heaped up by men to burden you.

So, ‘Lord Jesus, I pray for the body of Christ, for brothers and sisters in the Lord who want to truly be led by you and not led into confusion and distraction. I pray that we can dress in purity, that we could keep ourselves unstained from the world, that we could be holy and pure before you, but not distracted by the religious crowd, by people who are trying to bring us down by telling us we have to do all these things that you have not commanded us to do. I pray we don't get distracted by the world or worldly Christians or dead religion, but that we would truly have your love in us, Lord Jesus, and that we would abide in you and hear your voice and carry out your commandments in our life. Give us the courage to overcome and let us continue to stand fast in our faith with you and walk the straight and narrow path with you, Lord. We pray in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Your life isn't set in stone by God

 Your Life Isn't Set In Stone By God (Part one of two)

Praise Jesus today everyone. I wanted to speak about something that is important to us as men and as disciples of Jesus. And that is that God did not create us to make all our decisions for us. God could have created us as robots that only choose good or only choose to go the right way, the way to the right. But He made us that we have free will, that we could be like God. The problem came when Adam and Eve sinned and the devil lied to them, saying that in order to really become like God, you have to know good from evil. And that is when men and women chose to do evil so that they could become like God. And actually, they did not become like God. They just became damned like the devil is damned. And unless we repent of that thinking, we will not be the children of the kingdom of God. But with inside the kingdom of God, we also have choices to make. And God will not force us within the kingdom of God to choose one right way or the other right way. He doesn't just call His children to the right path and then make every single decision for you. Why would He create you to be a child of His kingdom just to be like a robot in His kingdom? He doesn't do that. He created each of us with the ability to choose which way we go as long as we are surrendered to the Holy Spirit. You can choose basic things and more sophisticated things, for example, you go out and you want to buy a pair of shoes, you can choose a black pair of shoes, or a white pair of shoes and it doesn't really matter, it's your preference. And God has given you those small things to choose.

I know there are some Christians that get very superstitious over everything. They think that they can't choose the black pair of shoes because maybe that represents sin. Well, that is ridiculous, guys. God created black people, He created white people and everything in between. And it doesn't mean that someone is sinful due to their color of their skin. So the color of your shoes or your shirt or your pants doesn't matter either, unless, of course, you're trying to wear all black to symbolize the color of your heart. But whether you wear black socks or a black shirt, black shoes or white shoes or whatever color you choose is your choice and your preference. Around the place I live, for example, I like to drive a lighter color vehicle that would just be my preference because it is hot and black colors or dark blue or whatever it tends to show up the dirt more and also it becomes hotter in your cab. So it would be my preference to drive a lighter color blue vehicle or a white color or something like that, but it is simply my preference. And as a child of God, we can make those small choices for our life.

But there are also more sophisticated and more intense decisions that we have to make. And sometimes we are not sure. But the Lord allows us to make those decisions in life as we seek His presence. For example, say you are twenty years old and you're seriously considering getting married and there is a certain girl that you like. You're really wondering if she is the right one to marry. Well, truth be told, God has given you the choice 100% to stay single or to be married. But that is a very big decision, which way you go, if you choose to be married, then you take on all the responsibilities of a man in marriage. You take on the responsibility of another soul. The two of you become one flesh. You might have children and now you're responsible as a parent. You become as a father to those children. You raise them for the glory of God, and you're responsible for all of that. But we cannot think that God will force us to get married or force us to have children or force us to do anything. We are given a free will. And first off, we have to surrender that to the Lord to choose good over evil. But once we are surrendered to the Lord's purpose and for His glory, He gives us all these decisions to choose. And there are some young men who follow the Lord that desperately want to know the Lord's voice, but they feel that God is going to micromanage their life. They think that God is going to give them a sign and just tell them this is the job I want you to work, this is the woman I want you to marry, this is how many kids I want you to have, I want you to have two kids and then I want you to adopt one. They think that God is going to micromanage every aspect of their life. That is ridiculous, guys. Jesus Christ will not do your work for you. He will not micromanage your life. He expects you as a man to make decisions. Remember there was one time there were a couple of people bickering and one guy eventually comes to Jesus or maybe it was a lady and basically says, “Lord tell this person to give me my portion and tell this person to do that for me.” And Jesus basically says, “that's not my business. It's not my business to force anyone to do something.” And basically, the message is you can work out your own relationship with people. Jesus is not responsible for your decisions. You can ask them about things that you feel are important, of course, and it's very important to ask the Lord about who you should marry and where you should live and where you should work. But most of the time, Jesus is going to tell you that you have options. Every time in my life where I was looking for a new job, the Lord didn't just lead me to one job or place a job in my lap without me choosing to walk through that door. I had to do the work to get off of my couch, to get out of my chair, and to go put in applications to different workplaces. I had to do the work to go to college. I had to do the work of writing down transcripts and writing down the things that I have done in my life so that other people can see my skill level. So all those things the Lord requires us to do, and if we don't educate ourselves and then communicate with others the things that we're thinking, then we're not going to be able to effectively communicate and grow as a man should.

And it seems that many people in the body of Christ, I’m talking to men in particular have started to get this idea that following Jesus means you let God do everything, that God will just place the wife in your life that you need, He'll show you what color car to drive and what kind it is. And suddenly you're just looking for a sign for God to place something in your lap and that is not how life works with Jesus. Guys, Jesus calls us to go out and to conquer the world so to speak. He gives us the ability and the discernment and the wisdom to choose right over wrong. He allows us to make the decisions of where we will work. And when we are not sure and we pray and we say, “Lord, I’m not sure if this is the right job, but I want you to guide me by your Holy Spirit in this.” Then He certainly will be by your side, and He will certainly guide you and He has given each of us an amount of discernment. But where we lack discernment, we pray and we say “Lord we lack discernment and understanding. I'm not sure which way to go. I don't have the resources to accomplish getting this job or I don't have the skill level.” Or whatever you're trying to accomplish and you're not sure you bring your lack of wisdom before the Lord and you say “guide me”. We don't have to know everything. We don't have to know what our life will look like in a year. But if we trust the Lord and trust that He is a good teacher, then we will know that the amount of resource that He has given us is sufficient for us to walk forward by faith. But faith doesn't mean just sitting on your chair at home and believing that God will give you some money, believing that God will put clothes on you and put a job in your lap. You have to do the work as a man to go and pursue a godly woman in a godly way. You have to do the work to put out your application for your job. You have to do the work to research which kind of truck will work for your career. You have to find the people with resources to be able to go the way that the Lord would have you go.

Your Life Isn't Set In Stone By God (Part two of two)

But if you just sit back and think God's going to do it all for you, that is where many men go very wrong. They take a very passive seat to their manhood and instead of becoming the man God wants them to be, making choices from the wisdom God has given them, they toss their own wisdom out the door and they say, “well, God is going to do it all for me. He will decide if I walk to the left or the right, He will decide what kind of cereal I pull off the shelf. He will decide my diet. God will decide everything.” And they totally dismiss that God himself is the one that gives wisdom and understanding and discernment. And He is the one that guides our path as we as men choose to make Godly decisions in our life. Every day you're going to have decisions. You can't escape that. As soon as you walk out the door in the morning, you're going to have decisions on how you approach people. You're going to have decisions, what you eat, what you wear, where you sleep, who you're going to communicate with, what you're going to say, your attitude, all of those things are your choices in your decisions. And if you go around with your head down in sorrow, then you're going to just be allowing the devil to kick you around. But if you can lift up your head and say, “Lord, please bless my path, bless my life, let me be surrendered to you and I will be a man of God and I will take charge of my life and I will choose to make godly decisions.” Then the Lord will bless your faith. That is true faith. Faith is not saying, “I believe God has done it all. I'll just sit back and relax”. But faith is saying, “I will go out and I will conquer the world and overcome in Jesus’s name, because I know Jesus is with me. I know God has put it in the power, has put His power in me to be a man. I know that because the Holy Spirit is in me. I know the Lord will put the right woman in my life to be married to, but I’m not going to sit back and wait for a woman to pursue me.” I’m saying if you are a single man. So all of these things we have to be responsible men for.

And sadly, a lot of men lack true responsibility and true faith. And as they walk down the road of life, they stumble over every little stone. They are concerned on every little corner, and they're asking God about things that are very unimportant. They're distracted by things of the world. Every little rock and stone, everything trips them up. The Lord wants us to walk confidently in our faith. He wants us to be able to quickly make decisions in a godly manner if there's someone who's trying to barge his or her way into your life, and you know that they are only adding turmoil to your life and strife, then you be quick to take the reins of your own life or your own career, and make sure that they are not in your life. Make sure that the people that are in your life are people that are godly and influencing you the right way. And if there's people in your life, maybe a brother or sister who is distracting you from the faith, but they are someone who lives in your same household, just ask the Lord for wisdom and what to do. All of us have lived or do live with someone who is not truly part of the body of Christ. Maybe they say they're a Christian, but they're hypocrites. Maybe they're in our own house and they're watching movies or reading books or doing things that are vulgar. So someone else's actions aren't going to just pollute us because they are in our physical location. But we do have to ask the Lord about that and say how can I keep myself unstained from the world, even though I have to live with this roommate or live with my parents who are ungodly, or live with this brother or sister who is always in sin? How can I live in the world but not be part of the world in other words? And if we choose to separate ourselves from ungodliness, the Lord will certainly lead us in the righteous way, even if we have an ungodly roommate and that's the only way we can pay our bills is by having this other roommate. Wherever we are in life, the Lord is going to help us if we have faith. But we as men certainly can't just sit back and say, “God has done it all. There's nothing I can do except pray. But I don't have to do anything more.”

 Jesus certainly expects that we pray and we ask for the guidance of His Holy Spirit. But we also have to obey Him. We have to take charge of the life He's given us and that is where a lot of men are still lacking. They can pray, they have learned to be disciplined in what they eat and their wives are modest and they're modest. But they haven't learned to take charge of their life as godly men. They let every wave of new doctrine and every new thought push them around, and they're constantly looking for a sign in the world instead of just taking charge of the things that God has given them dominion over. So how are you doing as a man? Are you taking charge of the things God has given you that dominion over? Are you leading your wife in a godly way? Are you taking charge of your business, your career, your education? Whatever you're doing in life, are you doing it for the glory of God or are you letting other people make decisions for you? Are you waiting for another brother or sister to tell you what to do? God has given you the ability to choose, and you better choose to do what is right over evil. And then are we making quick decisions in a godly manner for the things that we know are right? Or are we just looking for a sign, sitting back just hoping that God or someone else will do all our work for us?

I hope this encourages someone to step forward as a man or as a husband, as a brother, and start taking charge of the things that God has given us. He has given us life; He has given us breath; He has given us the ability to choose righteousness. Are we using the resources, the ability, our talents and all of our creativity to bring glory to our creator? Or are we sitting back and burying all those things, just waiting for the return of the Lord to just say, “here it all is, Lord, I couldn't do anything more, I waited for my son and I never got it”? I want to pray for the body of Christ, I want to pray for brothers and sisters in the Lord who want to follow the Lord and who want to take responsibility as a Christian and as a disciple for their own spiritual journey with the Lord and who want to hear from the Holy Spirit themselves. “Lord Jesus, I do pray for brothers and sisters in the Lord who do want to hear from you, who are hoping to be guided by you. I pray that you give them with the wisdom and understanding that they need, but that they would have faith to walk forward in faith and not be stunted, that they could trust you and obey you and not just pray but be diligent to obey you in their life every day, making the hard decisions and the small decisions, making decisions efficiently for you and that they would love the Lord their God with all their heart and not let other people, whether they are a brother or a sister or someone that says they are an elder or a leader in the church, push them around. We don't want to be moved by men and men's ideas or our own imagination, but we want to be moved along by the Spirit of God. So I pray for your true church, Lord, that we truly would be led by your Holy Spirit, and that as you've given to each of us to have gifts from the Holy Spirit, that we would utilize those gifts for your glory and that we truly would be pleasing to our father in heaven. In your name we pray, Lord Jesus, amen.”

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

America's church ornamental ceremonial lies

 America's Church Ornamental Ceremonial Lies

One big problem that I found in the American Church, the organized Church is that she makes everything ornamental and ceremonial. So all the things that you should be doing in your life for Jesus out of your heart, the church takes those things and they say, “Oh no, you shouldn't be doing those on your own. You have to do corporate worship. You have to tithe your ten percent of money to the church. Oh no, you can't worship at home. You need to Worship in corporate worship during the time we're playing the piano and singing on stage. You can't do mission trips on your own. Do it through the church.” So everything becomes this ornamental sort of faith that you compartmentalize apart from your normal life. So you got your normal life, that's your home life, your vacation life, your work life and everything you do apart from church. But then you have that church culture that thinks that they are the Christian Life as long as you're doing those ornamental and ceremonial practices. So they have literally compartmentalized what Jesus wants to be every single part of your life.

Your mission is your life itself. Are you a missionary to your wife, to your children, to your neighbor, to the people right around you? Or have you bought the church lie that missionaries and mission trips are about going over to China and to other areas of the world? Have you bought the lie that communion with God which should be happening every day in your life, is just once a month in church when you take bread and when you take that cup? Have you bought the lie that hearing from God, hearing from the word of God is only happening on Sunday from 8 to noon when you hear the pastor reading from the Bible? See all of these things in organized religion become ornamental and ceremonial and it loses its true meaning. If we really are the true church, we're not going to church. Jesus Christ is in us, and we are His church wherever we go. So, I want to encourage you not to buy into the American Church lie, the organized Church lie that makes everything just ornamental and fake. Put your faith in Jesus and serve Him every day in real life. May the grace of Jesus be with you.


Thursday, July 6, 2023

Male and Female Relationships


Male And Female Relationships

Praise Jesus today, everyone. I wanted to speak in regards to male and female relationships and how we can keep ourselves pure, and I wanted to just speak out of my own experience of things that I’ve learned over the years that have been able to keep myself from falling into sin and temptation or putting myself in an area for failure.

And actually, one of the things that I learned in regards to male and female relationships and keeping yourselves pure is when I was actually in church. Because when I was a pastor, I worked with junior high and high school students of both genders, of course. And the church had to set some rules that were just rules to keep us all safe and keep us from falling into any kind of sin. Because all of us have known or known about situations in churches where a lot of sexual immorality did happen, or the pastor had an adulterous affair. So when I was working with junior high and high school students oftentimes on a Wednesday night after a program, the students wouldn't all have a ride home, so inevitably they would be asking someone for a ride home, and I would be asked to give someone a ride home no problem with that. The only issue would be is if it was a single girl, say sixteen years old, that wanted a ride home from me, being say twenty years old or 25, and the issue of that obviously is there can be a sexual attraction there and even though I am as a mentor or as a pastor or a youth leader. It would be inappropriate for me to be taking a sixteen-year-old girl home. It could end up being a situation that she said this, I said that, and because there's no other witness, it would be my word against hers, even if absolutely nothing happened. Now, what if something happened? Then it would just be an absolute nightmare. And that kind of thing happens all the time within the Christian community. A pastor brings home a young girl and the young girl tries to make a move even on him and then says the pastor tried to molest her and then suddenly it's a huge lawsuit and that pastor is losing his job. Or the pastor can start having an emotional affair with a young lady because he has not kept himself pure and himself away from these kinds of relationships. So then he falls into adultery. Maybe he's married or he falls into fornication. He shouldn't be messing around with another woman, but he does. And so if we put rules in place in our own life, we will keep ourselves from a great amount of sin and a huge amount of harm.

One of those things is, the church actually taught me never take any girl home unless there is another person with you. If there's another adult with you, if there's two or three adults in the car and then you're taking one sixteen-year-old girl home, that's okay. Because there's multiple witnesses in the car and nothing is going to happen, but never be alone with the opposite sex one-on-one, that will lead to disaster. So if you make a rule for yourself, just as a man, that you will never be in your truck, in your car, or in your home alone with another woman, unless that is your wife. You will be in a much more secure position in your life. But if you don't have that rule for yourself, even if it's just you trying to do a good deed, take somebody home, gives a hitchhiker a ride, but it ends up being a young lady, you could find yourself in a huge lawsuit or worse, you yourself could fall into sin and you could be in a world of hurt. So protect yourself, protect your family, protect the body of Christ, and set rules up for your own life and for your own family, that you keep yourself unstained from the world and falling into this. Guys, all of us probably know personally or we have heard of a pastor that has fallen into sexual temptation. And this whole mentoring thing, trying to be a witness to people that can all be a front for sin. And a lot of pastors, because they are looked up to by young ladies, are also looking up to them, and they abuse their power and because they don't have protection in place. All of that's abused and they just fall into the sin again and again. So set up rules for yourself that are appropriate rules, rules that will protect you, don't ever be alone with a woman in your car, in your truck, in your house, or on your property, without someone else there to be a witness and to hold you accountable.

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that you should not, as a man or a woman, be really mentoring the opposite sex ever. There is a time where a pastor or a preacher can be speaking to, of course, opposite genders, but you should be very leery of entering into a relationship where you're mentoring a young lady if you are a man one-on-one, whether that is over the phone, whether that is through text, whether that is on the internet, through Facebook or through some chat, or whether that is in person, because those kind of relationships, mentor and mentee, almost always lead to some kind of disaster. And I’m telling you, I've seen this often in the church. And so as the true body of Christ, we want to make sure that we don't fall into any kind of immorality, any kind of adultery or fornication, so don't mentor opposite sex. There is a time that is appropriate for a man and a young woman to talk to each other, and that would be the time that you are recording, if you are both single and you are both attracted to one another, then of course God allows men to pursue women. It's our duty as a man to go and pursue a woman out of love for marriage. You court a woman. And in a godly manner you pursue her for righteousness, that then you can be married. But to be a married man and to be mentoring a woman one-on-one is going to end in disaster for either her or your marriage or some other party. So keep yourself unstained from all of those problems.

Another problem that I see that's even worse than a man trying to mentor a young lady one-on-one, is women who think that they can mentor men. And in the scripture, we are also warned about this. The apostle Paul speaks about how he would never allow a woman to teach or lord her authority over a man. Yet there are some Christian women who think that it is their duty or a good idea or they can be a witness, or they can give their, they can make a ministry of mentoring younger men. And so they find men either on the internet or wherever it is, and then they start having these one-on-one mentee relationships where they are becoming as a teacher to men and learning their authority as if they are a spiritual leader over men. And this is a nightmare. Because women should be giving their ministry, their dedication to whatever men they are going to marry. So, if a man is pursuing you and you're a young lady and you're interested in that man, there is nothing wrong with you speaking with that man. That can enter into courtship and into true love into marriage. And that's great. But as a young woman in the church, you should never be trying to mentor a young man. And especially not one-on-one. All of these sorts of relationships between men and women and one-on-one this kind of mentorship teaching thing ends in disaster.

There is a time and a place for us to be encouraging one another in the body of Christ. Obviously, men can speak with women. But we have to be very careful to protect ourselves, to keep ourselves pure, to keep our marriages pure, and to make sure that we are not letting the devil into our heart. Way too easily the devil can start telling you, “You have feelings for this guy. You have feelings for this girl”. Far too quickly if you are a man who is trying to encourage some other young lady and if you're allowing her into your house very quickly, you're going to start having attractions for her if she's beautiful, even if you don't want to. And then suddenly, your wife is going to become jealous. Even if she doesn't have a jealous spirit, she is going to start getting jealous of this other lady that you're trying to mentor. And then the other lady is going to be thinking, “this husband and wife that I just wanted to glean a little bit of truth about God from, they're just jealous, they may be lusting after me. I don't want anything to do with the Christian faith.” So basically, you will make a Christian family and the truth of God, look, you tarnish it by trying to mentor a lady one-on-one. Now women, if you want to mentor young ladies, that is wonderful. Older women should mentor younger women. Older men should mentor younger men in the faith. And by doing this, we can be good examples. I can be a good example to younger men and older women or older in the faith, that is, to younger women in the faith, and that will all work out properly. But when things get mixed up, then that is when the devil gets in through adultery, fornication, all kinds of evil, affairs, jealousy, hatred, strife in our marriages and all that kind of stuff. So in order to eliminate all of those problems from our life and from the Christian life, make sure that you don't touch any of that stuff that causes impurity in your marriage or puts you in a place that leads you into temptation. I hope this encourages someone to live the Christian life in purity and in righteousness to be a good example and a mentor but not the opposite sex. 

May the grace of Jesus be with you.