Dear Brethren,

When Solomon was teaching his children to be future princes and princesses, he was careful to warn them about the dangers of wrong relationships.  He admonished them to remember his instructions which would keep them safe.  "My children, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart."  (Proverbs 7:1-3)

If we make Godly wisdom our guide and rule for living, we, too, will be kept safe.  In the same way that Solomon warned his sons about immoral women, God warns us not to be enticed by false religion and the ways of this world.  "Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:  That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words."  (Proverbs 7:4-5)

Solomon told his children the story of how unfaithfulness takes place.  Those who have the spiritual wisdom to see the trouble coming are able to deliver their lives.  "For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,  And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.) So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I paid my vows."  (Proverbs 7:6-14)  Don't be fooled by those who feign religion when, in fact, they have an ulterior motive.

Look at the many inducements that false religion uses to allure its victims. "Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.  I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.  I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.  Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.  For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:  He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.  With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.  He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;  Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.  Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.  Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.  For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.  Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death." (Proverbs 7:15-27)

False religion and religious substitutes entice those who lack Godly wisdom away from the true way of life that Jesus taught.  God has purposed to develop us spiritually as we go through this life so that we will become more like Him.  Our trials help to accomplish that purpose by overcoming and building Godly character.  Trials do not have the power to take us out of the Family of God, nor do false ministers, Satan or anything else.

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (Romans 8:35-39)

Are we able to discern Godly characteristics from the precepts and practices of false religions?  False religion, deceitful doctrines, and false ministers transform themselves into many appealing disguises - they even appear as the apostles of Christ (2Corinthians 11:13).  Seductresses may be within or outside of the Church.  They may be in the ministry or among the laymen.  Some have positions of church leadership - like "Diotrephes, who loved to have the preeminence among them."  (3John 1:9)

Why are some brethren prone to an ungodly seduction?  Why are they enticed to go the wrong way?  John tells us why some choose wrong instead of right - why they are no longer a part of God's true fellowship.  "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."  (1John 2:19)

It is God who tells us to make a distinction between the Godly and the ungodly.  If someone or something becomes ungodly, we must separate ourselves from it or them.  "Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing."  (2Corinthians 6:17)  This is not a new phenomenon in the Church of God.  God's people have always had to choose.

The apostle Paul was plagued by false brethren and false teachers with lying accusations.  "Because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage."  (Galatians 2:4)  "...in perils among false brethren."  (2Corinthians 11:26)

The fascination and appeal to be unfaithful to true Christianity can be very strong and deceitful.  King Solomon's words to his children were profitable - in the same way that God's instructions to us are life-saving.


Sermon:  "Unfaithfulness"