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Can A Man Walk On Hot Coals ....

Adultery Purity Sexuality

Source: preacherpollard's Blog

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Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2016-07-19

Scripture: Proverbs 6:28

Author: Neal Pollard
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ILLUSTRATION

Perhaps you heard about the 30 “followers of motivational speaker Tony Robbins” who “were burned while walking on hot coals” in Dallas, Texas (nbcnews.com). Mr. Robbins should have heeded Solomon, who wrote, “Or can a man walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” (Proverbs 6:28).

APPLICATION

This statement comes as part of Solomon’s warning about “the evil woman” and the “adulteress” (cf. 6:24).  He warns about her alluring beauty and ways (25), showing the consequences that one may miss when driven by lust rather than law: one is reduced (26), destroyed (32), wounded and disgraced (33), reproached (33), and repaid with revenge (34).

One of Solomon’s two metaphors to depict adultery’s repercussions is feet being burned by walking on hot coals (the other is taking fire in his bosom and his clothes being burned).

Countless men and women have been deceived by the seemingly harmless effects of allowing attraction for someone other than their mate to grow in their hearts and minds. One may let admiration and attraction for this other person to take root in their hearts. Defenses are lowered and lines begin to be crossed. The thrill and excitement of the prospective relationship can come to eclipse rational thoughts about the negative consequences, and the fallout in the lives of all the people affected.

When David gazed at Bathsheba from his rooftop, he saw a beautiful, naked woman rather than murder, death, humiliation, dysfunction, loss of influence, and agonizing heartbreak. His unlawful desire for her prevented him from seeing past what he wanted in the moment.

God’s laws are immutable. One cannot flout them without the fruit that follows. So many who have crossed that line have desperately wished they could go back to the other side of that firebed and taken the righteous path. May each of us have the wisdom to see that pursuing a person who is not your lawful mate is like playing with fire! Don’t get burned.

The Profound Consequences of Unsanctioned Sex

Sexuality Immorality Marriage

Source: “Clear Thinking about Sex!” by Darren Ethier, Posted on UnashamedSermons.com, January 23, 2005

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-29

Scripture: Hebrews 13:4

Author: Illustration Exchange / Darren Ethier
4

ILLUSTRATION

Ask your congregation to go back in their minds to the last time they scratched their ear. Ask, "Can you picture it? Can you feel it? How about the last time you brushed a crumb off your laps?" Ask, "How did that make you feel? Where were you? What were you eating? How about the last time you took a sip of water? What was the occasion for needing a drink? How did it taste. Seriously, take a moment to ponder and place yourself back in those moments. Tough, right?"

Then ask, "How about this: When, if ever, did you engage in a sexual act with someone other than your spouse? Whoa … a different reaction, huh?! Memories just came flooding back to you. Where were you, whom were you with and why? How did you feel in the moment?"

Why is that? Why are our sexual memories—specifically our sinful sexual memories—so vivid and lingering?

APPLICATION

Darren Ether, Assistant Pastor at Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, has some keen insights:

“[Sex] brings a husband and a wife together in not just a physical way but also in an emotional and spiritual bonding. Sex is far more than just physical. That’s why you remember it. If you drink a glass of water at the wrong time you don’t remember it in three minutes, much less three years. But you never forget sex in a wrong circumstance. Even 20, 40 years later you can still go back to that thought. Why? Because it’s more than just a physical event.  There is an emotional and spiritual bonding that takes place and leaves a part of you in that situation. It’s very profound in its consequences.” 

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4).

The Missing Women of Ashley Madison

Romance Marriage Sexuality

Source: "None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site" by Annalee Newitz, GIZMODO, 8/26/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-09-21

Scripture: Ephesians 5:25

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

ASHLEY MADISON is a website devoted to helping cheaters do what cheaters do best--cheat. Similar to typical dating sites, for a fee, the ASHELY MADISON site will supposedly match your profile to that of other willing philanderers looking to "hook-up" for an extra-marital affair. Consider their motto: "Life is short. Have an affair."

A group calling itself Impact Team hacked and then released the profile data of ASHLEY MADISON, along with the assertion that the “thousands” of the women’s profiles were fake. Enter Annalee Newitz, writing for GIZMODO, who took on the task of analyzing the data to find out how many actual women were using the ASHLEY MADISON service.

Newitz writes:

What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots.

Newitz adds that the numbers suggest "Ashley Madison is a site where tens of millions of men write mail, chat, and spend money for women who aren't there."

The evidence, according to Newitz, suggests that the 5.5 million female accounts were not created by women wanting to hook up with married men. They were static profiles whose sole purpose "was to make men think that millions of women were active on Ashley Madison."

 

APPLICATION

What? The 5.5 million women on the ASHLEY MADISON site looking to have a secret affair with a married stranger don't exist! Who saw that coming?

While the ASHLEY MADISON format might appeal to the male, nothing about it appeals to the female. This isn’t the fantasy of most real women--thus the scarcity of real women.

Perhaps the most fantastic part of this whole story is that anyone ever believed it was real. ASHLEY MADISON was selling a fantasy that only one gender was buying--apparently a significant point of gullibility for tens of millions of men.

One of the lessons of Ashley Madison is that women can’t be found in men’s fantasies anymore than men can be found in theirs. The real men of soap opera and romance novel fantasies are just as vaporous as the real women of ASHLEY MADISON. Sadly, members of both sexes waste way too much time and money chasing a phantom idea of the opposite sex.

This proclivity is exacerbated by a culture committed to ignoring and denying gender distinctions. The fact that ASHLEY MADISON has fooled so many illustrates just how far down the wrong road our culture has traveled.

But for those interested in a real world perspective, the Bible places sexuality in its proper place by assigning it to an exclusive experience of a committed couple in a traditional marriage relationship. The Bible also gives sexuality its proper emphasis by placing it after a love for God and as part of a commitment to place the needs of one's spouse before their own. Men and woman weren't meant to share the same fantasy; they were meant to share the same love commitment.

Stop chasing the world’s phantom idea of love and romance. A fantasy can only lead to a fantasy. But a real world perspective, grounded in the reality of God’s love, holds out the possibility finding a real world relationship with a real person.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25).

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision a Strange Dichotomy

Sexuality Justice God's Love

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-28

Scripture: 1 John 4:8 ; Romans 3:23

Author: Seth Dillon
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Jenner Kids Unsure About Father's Day

Fatherhood Worship Sexuality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-06-08

Scripture: Psalms 86:12 ; John 4:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Boy Scouts of America Sending Mixed Messages

Hypocrisy Sexuality Children

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-04-24

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Woman Fired For Being "Irresistible"

Temptation Sexuality Self-control

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-02

Scripture: Genesis 39: ; James 1:3

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Sweden Demands Gender Neutral Christmas Catalogs

Christmas Sexuality Relativism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-04

Scripture: Isaiah 5:20 ; Romans 1:22

Author: Staff Writers, Fox News
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Virginity Sold to the Highest Bidder

Sexuality Purity Self-worth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-02

Scripture: Hebrews 12:16 ; Hebrews 12:

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Unleashing the Power of Real Girls

Women's Concerns Self-image Sexuality

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-08-16

Scripture: Proverbs 31:

Author: Katrina vanden Heuvel
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