In this Little Lesson series, we continue to look at what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments, considering five irrefutable facts about these commandments. Ultimately, the purpose of these lessons is to help us examine ourselves to see how well we’re doing at keeping these two most important commandments. Learn more!
Today’s question was posed to me by a dear Facebook friend in response to a little message that I felt inspired to post. It was kind of a question of self-examination that asked, “if I’m not concerned for the eternal welfare of my neighbor, and concerned to the point of actually doing something regarding a spiritual need that they have, how could I possibly make a claim that I’m loving my neighbor as myself?”
What do I do if I’m in a low-sex or no-sex marriage? Is masturbation in marriage okay? What about pornography? In this Little Lessons series, we look at these questions from struggling married couples in light of the wisdom of God’s Word.
The preacher in the above graphic is emblematic of so many of us who possess dreams of revival and greater fruitfulness. Because of those dreams, we’ve made honest attempts to bear fruit, yet those attempts have often failed.
The one good thing about failure, however, is that it can be a catalyst for success. Over my 40 years of vocational ministry, I’ve learned from my own failures at least one secret to spiritual success. That is this: Do not ask God to bless your work. Rather, figure out where God is already working, and join Him in His work. The blessing will already be there.
The title of this article is, of course, a play on the title of the late Leonard Ravenhill’s classic book, Why Revival Tarries, in which the famous evangelist points out what needs to change in pulpits, pews and prayer closets if the church is to ever regain its God-ordained purpose in the world.
In this article, however, I’d like to speak to the Little Leonard Ravenhills out there—whether they be faithful-yet-frustrated pastors, meeting-less evangelists, friendless Facebook preachers, or lonely out-of-church Christians—who all long to see a move of God like those that have occurred many times throughout history. They are fighting discouragement and are wondering if they will ever see such a revival before they die.
Today, we’re going to broach a very sensitive topic but an important topic and a controversial topic, the topic of masturbation. Within the greater body of Christ there is a spectrum of opinion on the subject. The reason for this is because, as we’ll soon see, the Bible is actually silent on the subject, at least to some degree.
In Part 1 of this teaching, I made the claim that the early church focused on two avenues of giving, namely giving that (1) helped make disciples and (2) relieved suffering, and I elaborated on the wise application of the first of those two. In Part 2, I’d like to look more closely at some of the best ways we can use our financial resources to relieve suffering. But first, a little philosophic pondering:
When it comes to suffering, there is no shortage of those who need help. No one can debate that God allows a lot of suffering, and His reasons for doing so are sometimes a mystery to us. Yet Scripture makes it clear that God’s allowance does not alleviate us from relieving suffering when we can. On the contrary, it seems that God may allow some suffering to test our love for those who suffer—and for Him. God certainly does test free moral agents (see Ex. 16:4, 20:20; Deut. 8:16; Judg. 2:21-22, 3:1; 2 Chron. 32:31; Ps. 11:4-5; Prov. 17:3; Jer. 17:10, 20:12; Rev. 3:10).
For the last two Little Lessons, we’ve been looking at the Roman Catholic church, and I’ve been referencing a letter that I received from some viewers who are dear friends who were former Roman Catholics. They’re sharing their experience which I think many people could identify with, whether they’re inside or now have come out of the Roman Catholic church. And it’s my conviction that people who truly believe in Jesus, they’re not going to be happy in the Roman Catholic church.
I gave a little lesson some weeks back titled “Can Roman Catholics be Christians?” And I affirmed that, yes, truly, if they believe that Jesus is the son of God and it bears fruit in their life, even with all the extra doctrinal baggage that they might have in the Catholic church, they still get to heaven.