Last month, I was e-mailed an article about lust. I will post it in its entirety below. As you read it, you can probably anticipate some of the things I'll say about it. I'll then make some comments afterwards.

==What is Lust?

Lusts are unlawful desires. Lust is wanting that which you have no right to. Jesus explained in Matthew 5:27-28, that lusting after a woman is the same as actually committing adultery with her. As far as God is concerned, there is no difference between wanting to violate his laws and actually doing so. You see - your heart directs your actions. Solomon said you behave in the same manner as you think in your heart (Proverbs 23:7). It is the thoughts of the heart that defile us because they lead to sinful action (Mark 7:18-23). The direction of our lives depends on where we look (Matthew 6:22-23). You may be looking to get as close to sin as you possibly can get without committing the sin. However, it is like trying to walk on a fence between two yards. You probably can walk on it for a little way, but you will eventually slip and commit the sin.

In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul gives a list of the works of the flesh that will keep us out of heaven. Among these works is the word lasciviousness or licentiousness, depending on the translation of your Bible. Lasciviousness means being wanton, lewd, or lustful. William Barclay described it as "a love of sin so reckless and so audacious that a man has ceased to care what God or man thinks of his actions." Lusts are wrong because you stop trying to please God.

As Christians, we must remove lustful feelings from our lives. Paul warned Timothy in II Timothy 2:22, to flee youthful lusts. Youth is a time when lusts strike the strongest and you have the least experience dealing with them. The hormones flowing through your body cause your emotions to fluctuate between extremes. You have new functions that you are just beginning to learn how to deal with. There are new desires that you are now aware of, but you are still learning how to deal with them. These add up to potential danger for the unwary Christian.

Instead of giving in to these desires, we must learn how to keep a tight reign on them. Peter tells us to abstain from fleshly lusts (I Peter 2:11). The main source of your desires for sex is from your own body. However, Satan will use a variety of tactics to try to get you to sin. John tells us, in I John 2:15-16, that Satan's devices come in three categories: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Advertising agencies are aware of these devices. They use these devices to "tempt" you into buying their products. Satan also uses these devices to tempt you into violating God's law.

Lusts of the flesh are those things that start out as normal desires of your body and then get out of hand. Everyone has the desire to eat, to drink, and to have sex. Satan tries to place you in situations where those desires pull you to violating God's law. For example, when Satan tempted Christ to prove he was the son of God, he asked Jesus to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:1-4). At that time, Jesus was hungry. He had not eaten for 40 days. Proving who he was and getting food must have been very tempting, but Jesus did not give in.

Lusts of the eyes are those things that look good and cause you to want them when you should not. Everyone admires a beautiful car, but it is wrong to want to take the car for yourself or to be envious of the lucky owner of the car. Some women are very beautiful, but don't let Satan tempt you into wanting to have that woman for your own use or to be envious of the man who was lucky enough to marry her.

Pride of life is the desire to be admired by others. When you want fame or fortune so badly that you would do just about anything to obtain it, Satan is given an easy target. Admiration is nice, but don't make it a goal in your life. Some men spend long hours in the gym building up their muscles so that women will be attracted to them. Many men will wear form-fitting clothes or clothes that expose large portions of their skin in hopes of gaining the admiration of women. While it is not wrong to look nice, you should not center your life around such objectives. Women, who are attracted by such things, are not the kind of woman young Christians should be hanging around with if they want to remain pleasing to God.

Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, When desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:13-15

Everyone has desires of the body; everyone enjoys beautiful things; everyone likes admiration, but Satan uses those desires to lead us into sin. Satan will place each of you in situations where the desirable thing to do would be to violate some portion of God's law. If you give in to such desires even a single time, it becomes easier for Satan to get you to do it repeatedly. Soon you are hooked and you don't care what others think; you don't care what God thinks. Satan has your soul ensnared and all you have to look forward to is Hell. Don't take the first step. God promises us a way out of every temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). The way out may not be as desirable at the moment, but it is there. Consider what happened to Joseph.

Now it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything form me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her. But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside, that she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. Genesis 39:7-12

The phrase "Lie with me" is a way of saying "Have sex with me." Sex is usually done in bed while lying down.

Joseph found himself alone in a house with Potiphar's wife. She made it clear that she wanted to have sex with him in bed and she was not going to take "no" for an answer. What would you do if you were in Joseph's place? It would be easy to give her what she wanted; it would even be fun. No one would know a thing about what happened. Besides, as your employer's wife, she could make things miserable for you if you did not give in. On top of it all, she is already starting to take your clothes off. What would you do? Joseph turned and ran from the temptation. True, he had to leave his clothes behind and flee in what today would be called his undershorts, but he managed not to give in to Satan's trap.

Solomon tells us not to consent to sin (Proverbs. 1:10). That is what Joseph did and that is what each of us must do. It won't be easy, but we do have one advantage: God is on our side. Paul said, in Philippians 4:13, that he could do all things with Jesus' help and so can you. Ask God for help to avoid Satan's snares of temptation (Matthew 6:13). When we can't avoid Satan's traps, pray to God for strength and guidance (Hebrews 4:15-16). God is not unaware of your situation. Because of Jesus, he knows what you are going through. Ask God for help.

It is important for us to keep ourselves pure and unblemished by sin.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and That the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. I Corinthians 3:16-17

Under the old law, God's presence was associated with the tabernacle and the temple. However, under Christ's law, God dwells in the hearts of each Christian. Since God will have nothing to do with sin, we cannot expect God to remain in our hearts when we break his laws. Therefore, as Christians, our goal is to have nothing to do with immorality, impurity, lust, or evil desires (Colossians 3:1-5).

Before we close out this chapter, I want you to be aware of one additional thing. Just because God has promised you a way out of every temptation, do not get the idea that you don't have to worry about avoiding tempting situations. Solomon asks the question in Proverbs 6:25-28, "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" If you are not near a fire, it is unlikely that you will be burnt. If you are not being tempted, you are less likely to sin. Why make Satan's job easy? Many men read pornographic material - obscene literature designed to arouse unlawful desires in the reader and to provoke lewd emotions. You know what I'm referring to: magazines like Playboy or Cosmopolitan. Many will argue that there is nothing wrong with looking at naked women. You may think you are not hurting anyone, but you are hurting yourself. When you repeatedly expose yourself to sexual temptations, it is that much easier to give in to them when Satan places you in similar situations to tempt you.

It is not just printed material. How many of the songs that you listen to talk about having sex outside of marriage? How many of the television shows that you watch feature a one night stand between a man and a woman buried in the story line? How often do you think you can listen and watch these things before you start thinking that this is the way normal people behave?

Books, songs, and television too often portray men and women fondling each other as something everyone does. Fondling a young woman, sometimes called petting, is an extreme temptation for young men. The touching and stroking arouse desires in you that cannot be satisfied outside of marriage. Remember from the previous chapter that fondling prepares your body for the later stages of sex. Sure, you can stop the fondling before you go on to the next stage of sex, but it is tempting to continue for just a little while longer.

Too many men confuse the lust for sex for a sign of love. It isn't an indication of love. Many women can arouse those passions within you just by stroking you the right way. Even a man can arouse you if he desired to do so, but you wouldn't claim it was love. Love is not something that comes from a physical act or from something you have seen or from something you have heard. Love is built on a relationship between a man and a woman that develops over time. There will come a time when you will become acquainted with a woman. Soon you are the best of friends and before you know it, you can't imagine living the rest of your life without her. This is the foundation for true love. The idea that you can fall in love at first sight is completely false. You may meet someone that immediately fills you with desire, but the desire is not love. Because of the desire, you may get acquainted and eventually build up a love for each other, but love comes later, not at your first meeting.==

Before I comment on the article, I want to go briefly into what the Roman Catholics and Wesleyans and other Pelagians and semi-Pelagians call the doctrine of "concupiscence." They believe that the first desire toward something unlawful is not actually sin. Why would they have such a doctrine? Because it fits with works salvation. If the first desire toward something IS sin, then there would be no way that they could go for extended periods of time without sinning.

Here's an excerpt from Dabney on concupiscence:

==Section One--Defending the Faith
Chapter 8: Responsibility and Province of Reason

Syllabus for Lecture 12:

1. Are dispositions and desires, which are a priori to volition, a moral character?

Turrettin, Loc. ix, Qu. 2. Dick, Lecture 105, on 10th Com. Dr. Julius Muller, Christian Doctrine of Sin. Hodge, Theology, pt. ii, ch. 5. Alexander's Moral Science, chs. 20, 22, 23, 27. Edwards on the Will, pt. iv, Sect. i.

...

Is Concupiscence Sin?

Wide difference of opinion has long prevailed, as to man's responsibility for the dispositions, habits and desires tending to moral volitions. Pelagians and semi-Pelagians say, that since responsibility cannot be more extended than freedom of the will, no praise or blame can be attached to dispositions, which they hold to be involuntary. And they say that Calvinists cannot dispute the latter statement, because they make dispositions causes of volition, and hence going before. Hence, also, is the Pelagian definition of sin and holiness, as consisting only of right or wrong acts of soul. The evangelical Arminian is usually found holding the middle ground, that only those dispositions, habits and desires have a moral responsibility attached to them, which have resulted from a series of acts of free will. But we hold that man is praise-or blame-worthy for his dispositions, principles and habits, as well as for his volitions; and that his responsibility depends on the nature, and not on the origin, of the disposition which he spontaneously and intelligently entertains.

First. We make our appeal here to consciousness, which causes us shame and self-reproach for evil propensities not ripened into volitions, and tells us that we would feel equal resentment for evil dispositions towards us and our rights, though never formed into the overt intention of injury. Second. Our minds intuitively judge that the moral character of an act resides in its motives. Witness the process of investigation in the charge for crime before a jury. Indeed, the act of volition, nakedly considered, is a merely natural effect, and has no more moral character than the muscular motions which follow it. For the volition which extends the hand with alms to an enemy, or with a bribe to one to commit a sin, is the same physical volition: we must go back of it, to the motive by which it was caused, to settle its moral character. That element is not in the naked volition; says the Pelagian, it is not in the motives prior to volition; then it is nowhere! Third. The notion is inconsistent with our established idea about character. Here is a man who is said to have a dishonest character. It only becomes cognizable to us by his acts. He must, then, have performed a series of acts, having the common quality of dishonesty. Now, nothing comes from nothing; there must be some cause for. that sameness of character; and that cause is the prevalent disposition to steal, separate from, and prior to, each thievish act. For the bad cause cannot be in the will itself; this would be peculiarly objectionable to the Pelagian. This, then, is what is meant when this man is said to have a bad character. Has the word bad here, no proper meaning? Does the family of daughters, the separate acts, bear no relationship to their mother? Fourth. On the Pelagian scheme, the wickedness of sins of omission would be inexplicable. For in them, there is often no volition at all; and therein consists their wickedness. A man passing by the water sees an innocent child drowning; the idea of rescue is suggested to his mind; but he comes to no choice does nothing, and while he hesitates, the child sinks to rise no more. Is he innocent? Our conscience declares that he is not. Now, we can consistently explain wherein he is not, viz. in the state of his selfish and indolent feelings. But the opposite party have no explanation. There has literally been no volition; on their theory they should say, what every sound conscience rejects, that the neglect has been attended with no guilt. Fifth. A similar argument is presented by instances of impulsive and unpremeditated acts, done before we have a moment for reflection. We properly approve or blame them, according as they are generous or malignant. But there has been no intelligent, deliberate choice; if we confine our view exclusively to the act of soul itself, it appears as purely irrational as the impulses of mere animal instinct. The moral quality of these acts must be found, then, in the dispositions and principles which prompted them.==

Here is Pope John Paul II on concupiscence vs. lust:

==Mutual Attraction Differs from Lust

Pope John Paul II


GENERAL AUDIENCE OF 17 SEPTEMBER

More than fifty thousand faithful took part in Wednesday's Audience in St. Peter's Square. The Holy Father continued his theme of adultery which he had been developing for several weeks.

1. During our last reflection, we asked ourselves what the lust was which Christ spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27-28). Let us recall that he spoke of it in relation to the commandment: "Do not commit adultery." Lust itself (more exactly: looking at lustfully), is defined as "adultery committed in the heart." That gives much food for thought. In the preceding reflections we said that by expressing himself in that way, Christ wanted to indicate to his listeners the separation from the matrimonial significance of the body felt by a human being (in this case the man) when concupiscence of the flesh is coupled with the inner act of lust. The separation of the matrimonial significance of the body causes at the same time a conflict with his personal dignity, a veritable conflict of conscience.

At this point it appears that the biblical (hence also theological) meaning of lust is different from the purely psychological. The latter describes lust as an intense inclination toward the object because of its particular value, and in the case considered here, its sexual value. As it seems, we will find such a definition in most of the works dealing with similar themes. Yet the biblical interpretation, while not underestimating the psychological aspect, places that ethic in relief above all, since a value is being impaired. I would say that lust is a deception of the human heart in the perennial call of man and woman--a call revealed in the mystery of creation--to communion by means of mutual giving. In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:27-28) Christ referred to the heart or the internal man. His words do not cease being charged with that truth concerning the principle to which, in replying to the Pharisees (cf. Mt 19:8), he had reverted to the whole problem of man, woman and marriage.

2. The perennial call, which we have tried to analyze following Genesis (especially Gn 2:23-25) and, in a certain sense, the perennial mutual attraction on man's part to femininity and on woman's part to masculinity, is an indirect invitation of the body. But it is not lust in the sense of the word in Matthew 5:27-28. That lust carries into effect the concupiscence of the flesh (also and especially in the purely internal act). It diminishes the significance of what were--and that in reality do not cease being--that invitation and that reciprocal attraction. The "eternal feminine" (das ewig weibliche), just like the "eternal masculine" for that matter, on the level of historicity, too, tends to free itself from pure concupiscence and seeks a position of achievement in the world of people. It testifies to that original sense of shame of which Genesis 3 speaks. The dimension of intentionality of thought and heart constitutes one of the main streams of universal human culture. Christ's words in the Sermon on the Mount exactly confirm this dimension.

3. Nonetheless, these words clearly assert that lust is a real part of the human heart. When compared with the original mutual attraction of masculinity and femininity, lust represents a reduction. In stating this, we have in mind an intentional reduction, almost a restriction or closing down of the horizon of mind and heart. It is one thing to be conscious that the value of sex is a part of all the rich storehouse of values with which the female appears to the man. It is another to "reduce" all the personal riches of femininity to that single value, that is, of sex, as a suitable object for the gratification of sexuality itself. The same reasoning can be valid concerning what masculinity is for the woman, even though Matthew's words in 5:27-28 refer directly to the other relationship only. As can be seen, the intentional reduction is primarily of an axiological nature. On one hand the eternal attraction of man toward femininity (cf. Gn 2:23) frees in him--or perhaps it should free--a gamut of spiritual-corporal desires of an especially personal and "sharing" nature (cf. the analysis of the "beginning"), to which a proportionate pyramid of values corresponds. On the other hand, lust limits this gamut, obscuring the pyramid of values that marks the perennial attraction of male and female.

4. Lust has the internal effect, that is, in the heart, on the interior horizon of man and woman, of obscuring the significance of the body, of the person itself. Femininity thus ceases being above all else an object for the man. It ceases being a specific language of the spirit. It loses its character of being a sign. I would say that it ceases bearing in itself the wonderful matrimonial significance of the body. It ceases its correlation to this significance in the context of conscience and experience. Lust arising from concupiscence of the flesh itself, from the first moment of its existence within the man--its existence in his heart--passes in a certain sense close to such a context. (Using an image, one could say that it passes on the ruins of the matrimonial significance of the body and all its subjective parts.) By virtue of axiological intentionality itself, it aims directly at an exclusive end: to satisfy only the sexual need of the body, as its precise object.

5. According to the words of Christ (Mt 5:27-28), such an intentional and axiological reduction can take place in the sphere of the look (of looking). Rather, it takes place in the sphere of a purely interior act expressed by the look. A look (or rather looking) is in itself a cognitive act. When concupiscence enters its inner structure, the look takes on the character of lustful knowledge. The biblical expression "to look at lustfully" can indicate both a cognitive act, which the lusting man "makes use of," (that is, giving him the character of lust aiming at an object), and a cognitive act that arouses lust in the other object and above all in its will and in its heart. As is seen, it is possible to place an intentional interpretation on an interior act, being aware of one and the other pole of man's psychology: knowledge or lust understood as appetitus (which is something broader than lust, since it indicates everything manifested in the object as aspiration, and as such always tends to aim at something, that is, toward an object known under the aspect of value.) Yet, an adequate interpretation of Matthew 5:27-28 requires us--by means of the intentionality itself of knowledge or of the appetitus to discern something more, that is, the intentionality of the very existence of man in relation to the other man. In our case, it is the man in relation to the woman and the woman in relation to the man.

It will be well for us to return to this subject. Concluding today's reflection, we add again that in that lust, in looking at lustfully, which the Sermon on the Mount deals with, for the man who looks in that way, the woman ceases to exist as an object of eternal attraction. She begins to be only an object of carnal concupiscence. To that is connected the profound inner separation of the matrimonial significance of the body, about which we spoke in the preceding reflection.
Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
22 September 1980, page 11==

I was looking at a Catholic forum on the subject of lust vs. concupiscence and found this:

==In my prayer book (I'll grant, not official like the CCC) under the examination on conscience it asks: "Have I willingly entertained impure thoughts?" Note that it does not ask, "Have I had impure thoughts?"

I think there may be confusion over the idea of concupiscence. From the CCC (my bolding):

Quote:1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, "the tinder for sin" (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ." Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."

I would submit that impure thoughts are part of concupiscence. So they are not ok in the sense that everything is hunky-dory. They are painful reminders of the disasterous Fall. But they are not in and of themselves a sin. They are concupiscence: merely something one has like a nose and ten toes and fingers.==

==It's "adultery of the heart" when you look twice, or when you think twice.==

I'm sure you can see the heresy of the Romish view that concupiscence is not sin.

Now on to my comments on the article.

==What is Lust?

Lusts are unlawful desires. Lust is wanting that which you have no right to. Jesus explained in Matthew 5:27-28, that lusting after a woman is the same as actually committing adultery with her. As far as God is concerned, there is no difference between wanting to violate his laws and actually doing so.==

First of all, "wanting to violate his laws" is a misnomer. God's law includes the forbidding of the desire. For example, when God says not to commit murder, He is not just forbidding the outward committing of murder; He is forbidding any thought of anger without cause (Matthew 5:21-22), which is the thought of murder in the heart. So what would "wanting to violate his laws" mean in this case? I assume the author must mean "wanting to violate the command not to outwardly commit murder." Yet there is no command of God forbidding just the outward committing of murder. The command of God not to commit murder includes the command not to commit murder in the heart. Thus, "wanting to violate his laws" would include "wanting to commit murder in the heart," which makes no sense.

Secondly, there most certainly is a difference between heart violations and outward commission of sin. There is a difference between outward murder and murder in the heart. There is a difference between outward adultery and adultery in the heart. The author cites Matthew 5:27-28 to try to prove that "lusting after a woman is the same as actually committing adultery with her." But what does the passage really say? Here it is:

You have heard that it was said to the ancients: Do not commit adultery. But I say to you, Everyone looking at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

The author ignores the last three words: "IN HIS HEART." The person who lusts after a woman has committed adultery with her IN HIS HEART. It is NOT the same as actually committing adultery with her. Now am I saying that the thought-adultery (which is more like thought-rape, since the woman being lusted after is not willingly participating) is any less of a violation of God's law? Absolutely not. Both thought-rape and actual adultery are utterly wicked violations of God's law. But it does not mean that there is no difference between the two.

==You see - your heart directs your actions. Solomon said you behave in the same manner as you think in your heart (Proverbs 23:7). It is the thoughts of the heart that defile us because they lead to sinful action (Mark 7:18-23).==

No, the thoughts of the heart defile a person even if there is no sinful action that follows.

The direction of our lives depends on where we look (Matthew 6:22-23). You may be looking to get as close to sin as you possibly can get without committing the sin. However, it is like trying to walk on a fence between two yards. You probably can walk on it for a little way, but you will eventually slip and commit the sin.

How can one "get as close to sin as you possibly can get without committing the sin"? How can one "walk on a fence ... for a little way" before going on to "eventually slip and commit the sin"? Once again, the author is trying to say that the desire is wrong because it inevitably leads to action. The truth is that the desire is wrong in and of itself , no matter if it leads to action or not! If someone is "getting as close to sin as he possibly can get," then he's sinning already. He's already slipped and committed sin.

In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul gives a list of the works of the flesh that will keep us out of heaven.

Really? Works that will keep us out of heaven? The author is obviously coming from an Arminian point of view. Galatians 5:19-21 says this:

Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you beforehand, as I also said before, that the ones practicing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

The ones practicing such things (a lifestyle characterized by such things) will not inherit the kingdom of God. This is talking about people whose lifestyles show that they are unbelievers. It is not talking about works that will keep believers out of heaven. If one then says, "The author may have meant 'unbelievers' when he used the word 'us.'" Well, let's find out:

Among these works is the word lasciviousness or licentiousness, depending on the translation of your Bible. Lasciviousness means being wanton, lewd, or lustful. William Barclay described it as "a love of sin so reckless and so audacious that a man has ceased to care what God or man thinks of his actions." Lusts are wrong because you stop trying to please God.

Who is the author talking about here? Believers. Believers who "stop trying to please God." He's saying that a believer tries to please God and that lusts are wrong because the believer stops trying to please God. And when the believer stops trying to please God, what happens? The believer's works can actually keep him out of heaven. "You're going too far," some may say. "That's not what he meant at all. He used 'us' before, and now he's using 'you.' You're being way too hasty in your judgment based on your misunderstanding of what he's trying to say." Okay. To test out that accusation, I went to the web site that this article was on. Here are some other things that were on this web site:

==Can I lose my way to heaven?

Obviously, Paul thought that it was possible. "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14). In other letter, Paul wrote, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified" (I Corinthians 9:24-27). Paul understood that if he did not give God is all, it was possible to be disqualified from inheriting eternal life.

Paul not only had concerns about retaining his own salvation, he also told us about those who had lost their right to eternal life. Paul told Timothy that "having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme" (I Timothy 1:19-20). Hymenaeus and Alexander were sailing the seas of faith, but they suffered a shipwreck - they had lost their faith. Peter warned that false prophets would arise from among the people of God in II Peter 2. He did not say they would enter from the outside, but that they would come from within the family of God. In II Peter 2:15, Peter states, "They have forsaken the right way and gone astray." You cannot forsake a path that on which you were never walked. Concerning these people and those they lead astray Peter warns, "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them" (II Peter 2:20-21).

Often people will say about a fallen brother, "Well, he never was really saved in the first place." Yet, it is clear that a person can know the way of righteousness and escape the pollutions of the world and then become entangled in the world of sin once again. This is why Christians must never let their guard down. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8). If a Christian could not become lost, there would be no danger from Satan. But while we remain in this world, we must always strive to serve our Lord. We must not become complacent nor arrogant. "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12).==

==Well I do not believe you can lose Salvation. There is too much teaching of it being eternal and If we could lose it that means we can also keep it right? If we can keep it that means it has something to do with us and not just of God. There is a verse that
says that flesh will not glory in Heaven. So we can not be proud of ourselves that WE made it. Anyway there are hundreds of verses proving eternal Salvation. I would hate to worry everyday if I have done enough.

I'm disappointed. When you first wrote you urged me to answer only from the Scriptures because it is all that we have been given. I have done so, but in your response you appeal to your own personal opinion and not Scripture. What you or I believe does not alter what God has said. You state that there are hundreds of verses proving eternal salvation, yet you are unable to reference one. I have already shown you two or three that shows it is possible. Since God does not contradict himself, then you must determine how the verses do not indicate a loss of salvation or acknowledge that such a loss of salvation is possible. While you are at it, here are a few more to consider."Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end" (Hebrews 3:12-14)."Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it" (Hebrews 4:1)."Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 11:12).The verse you alluded to is found in I Corinthians 1:29. However, it doesn't make your point. Quoting it with its context: "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence." (1 Corinthians 1:21-29)

The point is that God defines salvation through His word. Man has no input as to what is necessary for salvation. Therefore, man cannot glory in himself, even when he is doing the things asked of him by God because all things are what God wants, not what man wants.==

Alright -- was my accusation a false one? No. This church believes that believers can lose their salvation. And in the context of this article, the author is saying that lust is one of the sins that can forfeit a believer's salvation. Check out what else I found on that site regarding imputed righteousness:

==The Consequences of "Imputed Righteousness" per Calvinism

by Dudley Ross Spears

"Imputed righteousness" is an integral part of classic Calvinism. It is the doctrine affirming that the personal righteousness of Jesus Christ is instantly transferred to a sinner at the point of "saving faith." Accordingly, the believer ceases to be the old vile sinner he was and forthwith becomes a new and perfectly righteous person. Before conversion everything this rational human being did was wrong; after conversion all he does is right and perfect before God.

Jesus perfectly obeyed and fulfilled all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). His righteousness is, allegedly, assigned to the personal account of the believer. At that very instant what was formerly completely depraved and totally imperfect suddenly becomes completely holy and totally perfect. This believer, according to Calvinism, is accounted precisely as if he had perfectly obeyed God and stands perfectly righteous before Him. It is expressed in the hymn, "The Solid Rock," in the stanza, "dress in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne."

Aside from the stubborn truth that the Bible does not teach such a concept of imputation, the consequences of it are against plain and simple gospel truth. George Elliot put a line in his work, Adam Bede, "Consequences are unpitying." Indeed they are, especially in the beliefs and practices of religion. A doctrine that is not consistent with plain truth is wrong. Consider some consequences of the Calvinistic view of imputation.

1. If the doctrine is true that a sinner is awarded Christ's own personal righteousness at the point of believing, without further acts of obedience to God, then any sin he commits cannot cause him any guilt at all. He cannot be condemned because the perfect satisfaction for his sins was made in Christ's death on the cross. He cannot be guilty of any sin he commits because the theory says that the perfect righteousness of Jesus is now the believer's possession. So, while the believer may sin (and all do, Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:9,23; I John 1:8,10), those sins don't count. They cannot produce guilt, if the perfect righteousness and obedience of Jesus is transferred to them personally at the point of faith. Who can really believe it?

2. Whatever sin is committed by the believer who is united with Christ has no bearing at all on his eternal salvation, if the theory is true. By virtue of faith, the sins of the believer are never seen by God. Some describe imputed righteousness as an "umbrella" placed over the believer at the point of faith, which "covers the believer so completely, God does not see his sins." That expression has always made me wonder how God manages to see the good things a believer does if He cannot see the sins of the believer. Naturally God can see or not see as He pleases, but this false theory puts God into a position of having to ignore the sins of His own children. The believer cannot be less than complete and perfect under this imaginary "umbrella." Therefore, the believer may sin (and all do) but it is really the same as if he had not sinned. Sin means nothing to the believer. Whether one is a mass murderer or a pious and godly saint is all the same, if this theory is true -- but it isn't, is it?

The Bible really teaches, "But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness" (Romans 4:5). Faith in this passage cannot mean faith, before and without additional acts of obedience to God. It cannot mean "faith only." It must of necessity be faith in the fullest sense of the word. It is full conviction produced by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17). It is the faith that obeys from the heart (Romans 6:17), and therefore avails (Galatians 5:6).

The Bible teaches us that when the Almighty sees such faith in the sinner, He promises full forgiveness and justification (Rom. 3:28; Acts 26:18). As with the paralytic, Jesus (God, the Son) "saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, 'Son, your sins are forgiven you'" (Mark 2:5). With forgiveness comes imputed righteousness. However, the righteousness is not transferred from Jesus; it belongs to the believer. Not one passage anywhere in the Bible teaches that the personal righteousness of Jesus is transferred to anyone. If so, where is the passage. The Bible does say clearly, "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him" (I John 2:29).

The ground on which God accounts a sinner righteous is based on the quality of the sinner's faith. It is faith that obeys and leads one to strive toward perfection. Paul wrote, "But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18). One who becomes a slave of righteousness is under orders to persist in obedience to the principles of righteousness. Again, Paul said, "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern" (Philippians 3:13-17).

One who never sins never needs forgiveness. Jesus was never forgiven of anything. He is the exception. Everyone of us, however, as rational beings, have sinned and come short of God's glory. Therefore we need forgiveness. Without it eternal salvation is forfeited (I Corinthians 6:9-10; Revelation 21:27). Forgiveness is only promised to those who obey God through faith. On no other basis is forgiveness promised. The sinner whose faith leads him to obey God fully is accounted righteous before God. It is his faith (not the obedience of Jesus) that is imputed to him as his righteousness.

In the phrase, "his faith is accounted for righteousness," for is from the Greek preposition eis. Eis is usually defined as, "into, to, unto, with a view to; hence with respect to a certain event, in order to, for" [A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament, page 295]. Therefore, the sinner who, by faith obeys God, considering his own imperfections in life, is accounted righteous on the basis of his faith. His faith is with a view toward this righteousness that God will put to his account. He cannot be so accounted any other way.

Righteousness is a personal trait. As such, it belongs to the person possessing it. It cannot be transferred to another. Neither our personal good or bad can be passed on to anyone. We may influence others, but whatever good or bad anyone has is non-transferable. It is completely inconsistent with truth to argue that the personal and perfect righteousness of Jesus is transferable. All accountable beings who sin are condemned without forgiveness from God. There is no "umbrella" concealing us from the all seeing eye of our God and Father. We are culpable because we sin.

Those who teach this doctrine of imputed righteousness of Jesus face the consequences of the doctrine. The most obvious error is known as "Once Saved, Always Saved." The late Sam Morris, a Baptist preacher, consistently argued that if one is saved, "all the sins he may commit from murder to idolatry will not endanger his soul." Don't believe it, friend. Obey God from your heart and serve Him faithfully. Avoid sin at all cost. Live for Him and He will own you in that last great day.==

Back to the article.

==Lusts of the flesh are those things that start out as normal desires of your body and then get out of hand. Everyone has the desire to eat, to drink, and to have sex.==

This is such a common argument among those who want to justify lust by not calling it lust. They liken the desire for sex to the desire to eat and drink. They say that sex is a "basic need" akin to eating, drinking, breathing, eliminating, etc. But is it? If a human does not eat or drink or breathe or eliminate, HE WILL DIE. If a human does not have sex, will he die? Of course not. Sex is NOT one of the vital functions of the body.

The author says that "EVERYONE [emph. mine] has the desire ... to have sex." Wrong. Not everyone has the desire to have sex. By saying that EVERYONE has this desire since it is a basic need, a vital function of every human body, the author gets into even FURTHER heresy regarding the person of Christ as we will see below.

==Satan tries to place you in situations where those desires pull you to violating God's law. For example, when Satan tempted Christ to prove he was the son of God, he asked Jesus to turn stones into bread (Matthew 4:1-4). At that time, Jesus was hungry. He had not eaten for 40 days. Proving who he was and getting food must have been very tempting, but Jesus did not give in.==

Here it is. All this "must have been very tempting" to Jesus, according to the author. Really? So when Satan challenged Jesus to turn the stones into bread, Jesus was "very tempted" to do so? Of what did this strong temptation consist? It must have been a STRONG DESIRE to GIVE IN to Satan's temptation. It's like Jesus was saying, "I really want to obey Satan because I'm really hungry and really want to prove who I am." And the author thinks that this would not have been sin for Jesus to have thought such a thing!! Do you see where this leads? The author's main point in the article is about sex. And since sex is a basic need, a vital function of every human body, then the author believes that Jesus Christ had a desire to have sex! And since he believes that Jesus was tempted in every way that we are tempted (using Hebrews 2:18 and Hebrews 4:15, no doubt), then he believes that Jesus was tempted sexually -- even VERY tempted! All this to justify that when believers are tempted, they are not lusting unless they "give in."

Remember the controversy around the movie "The Last Temptation of Christ"? I never saw the movie or even excerpts of the movie, but I was told what it was about. It is a blasphemous "daydream" that "Jesus" has about sex with Mary Magdalene. What's wrong with that? It was just a TEMPTATION, after all!

Was Jesus tempted? Could he be tempted? I refer you to the book Christ Could Not Be Tempted by W.E. Best. Christ was tried, but he was not tempted. He was impeccable. He was not able to sin. And temptation is by lust:

But each one is tempted by his own lusts, being drawn out and being seduced by them. (James 1:14)

If each one is tempted by his own lusts, then if Jesus Christ was tempted, it was by his own lusts. And this is blasphemy.

==Lusts of the eyes are those things that look good and cause you to want them when you should not. Everyone admires a beautiful car, but it is wrong to want to take the car for yourself or to be envious of the lucky owner of the car. Some women are very beautiful, but don't let Satan tempt you into wanting to have that woman for your own use or to be envious of the man who was lucky enough to marry her.==

Yes, in the Arminian scheme of things, there must be luck. But I won't go into that any further.

The author compares a beautiful car to a beautiful woman. Once again, he is making an excuse for lusting by calling lust something other than lust. Admiration of the way a car looks and the way a woman looks are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. If someone is admiring the way a car looks and says, "I really like the shape of the headlights," is this at all comparable to a man admiring the way a woman looks and saying, "I really like the shape of her breasts"???? Can anyone with any morals at all say that there is a moral equivalence here???? Anyone with a modicum of decency can see that there is no comparison. God makes a clear, plain distinction between admiring other parts of creation and admiring the looks of a human being. It is NOT the same as admiring a car or a sunset or a flower. This wicked author is saying that it is okay to ADMIRE the LOOKS of a woman (and even take time to look over the woman as one would look over a car, body part by body part), as long as one does not desire to take her for yourself or be envious of her husband. This is just utterly wicked.

==Pride of life is the desire to be admired by others. When you want fame or fortune so badly that you would do just about anything to obtain it, Satan is given an easy target. Admiration is nice, but don't make it a goal in your life. Some men spend long hours in the gym building up their muscles so that women will be attracted to them. Many men will wear form-fitting clothes or clothes that expose large portions of their skin in hopes of gaining the admiration of women. While it is not wrong to look nice, you should not center your life around such objectives. ==

Oh, so it's okay to want to be admired and even go out of your way to look good to women, as long as you don't "center your life around such objectives." What dung.

Everyone has desires of the body; everyone enjoys beautiful things; everyone likes admiration, but Satan uses those desires to lead us into sin.

In other words, everyone, INCLUDING CHRIST, desires sex and sexual admiration, and these things are not sinful in and of themselves, but they can lead to sin if one "goes too far."

==Satan will place each of you in situations where the desirable thing to do would be to violate some portion of God's law. If you give in to such desires even a single time, it becomes easier for Satan to get you to do it repeatedly. Soon you are hooked and you don't care what others think; you don't care what God thinks. Satan has your soul ensnared and all you have to look forward to is Hell.==

Here again, this heretic is saying that a believer can lose his salvation -- a believer can go from caring what God thinks to not caring what God thinks, and the believer becomes an unbeliever by obeying Satan rather than God.

==Joseph found himself alone in a house with Potiphar's wife. She made it clear that she wanted to have sex with him in bed and she was not going to take "no" for an answer. What would you do if you were in Joseph's place? It would be easy to give her what she wanted; it would even be fun. No one would know a thing about what happened. Besides, as your employer's wife, she could make things miserable for you if you did not give in. On top of it all, she is already starting to take your clothes off. What would you do? Joseph turned and ran from the temptation. True, he had to leave his clothes behind and flee in what today would be called his undershorts, but he managed not to give in to Satan's trap.==

Yet this heretic would say that if Joseph were tempted by Potiphar's wife through his "natural, unsinful desire" for sex, Joseph would not have been sinning unless he actually gave in and acted on his temptation.

==Solomon tells us not to consent to sin (Proverbs. 1:10). That is what Joseph did and that is what each of us must do. It won't be easy, but we do have one advantage: God is on our side. Paul said, in Philippians 4:13, that he could do all things with Jesus' help and so can you. Ask God for help to avoid Satan's snares of temptation (Matthew 6:13). When we can't avoid Satan's traps, pray to God for strength and guidance (Hebrews 4:15-16). God is not unaware of your situation. Because of Jesus, he knows what you are going through. Ask God for help.==

Yeah, this "god" is on their side, even though there's no imputed righteousness and even though the believer can lose his salvation. Would you want that kind of god to be on your side?

==It is important for us to keep ourselves pure and unblemished by sin.==

"Pure and unblemished," eh? What believer would say that he is pure and unblemished by sin in his character and conduct? The only one who would say that he is pure and unblemished by sin in his character and conduct is one who seeks to go to heaven based on his works.

==Do you not know that you are the temple of God and That the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. I Corinthians 3:16-17

Under the old law, God's presence was associated with the tabernacle and the temple. However, under Christ's law, God dwells in the hearts of each Christian. Since God will have nothing to do with sin, we cannot expect God to remain in our hearts when we break his laws. Therefore, as Christians, our goal is to have nothing to do with immorality, impurity, lust, or evil desires (Colossians 3:1-5).==

Wow -- so this heretic is saying that when we break God's laws, God leaves our hearts. This is pure, unmitigated, blasphemous dung.

==Before we close out this chapter, I want you to be aware of one additional thing. Just because God has promised you a way out of every temptation, do not get the idea that you don't have to worry about avoiding tempting situations. Solomon asks the question in Proverbs 6:25-28, "Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?" If you are not near a fire, it is unlikely that you will be burnt. If you are not being tempted, you are less likely to sin. Why make Satan's job easy? Many men read pornographic material - obscene literature designed to arouse unlawful desires in the reader and to provoke lewd emotions. You know what I'm referring to: magazines like Playboy or Cosmopolitan. Many will argue that there is nothing wrong with looking at naked women. You may think you are not hurting anyone, but you are hurting yourself. When you repeatedly expose yourself to sexual temptations, it is that much easier to give in to them when Satan places you in similar situations to tempt you.==

So, what is wrong with looking at naked women, Mr. Heretic? Isn't it just like looking at cars? Cars don't have to be clothed, do they? So why do women need to be clothed when you look at them? You have been condemned by your own argument. If you were consistent, you would have to say that looking at pictures in Playboy is NOT SIN unless it causes someone to go out and actually commit outward sexual sin.

==Books, songs, and television too often portray men and women fondling each other as something everyone does. Fondling a young woman, sometimes called petting, is an extreme temptation for young men.==

It's just a TEMPTATION??? It's not SIN???????

==The touching and stroking arouse desires in you that cannot be satisfied outside of marriage. Remember from the previous chapter that fondling prepares your body for the later stages of sex. Sure, you can stop the fondling before you go on to the next stage of sex, but it is tempting to continue for just a little while longer.==

And until there is actual sex, it's just a TEMPTATION??? What a filthy pervert.

==There will come a time when you will become acquainted with a woman.==

Really? For every male believer?

==Soon you are the best of friends and before you know it, you can't imagine living the rest of your life without her. This is the foundation for true love. The idea that you can fall in love at first sight is completely false. You may meet someone that immediately fills you with desire, but the desire is not love. Because of the desire, you may get acquainted and eventually build up a love for each other, but love comes later, not at your first meeting.==

Yet, according to this filthy pervert, that "desire" is not sin. It all boils down to his theology. If that "desire" were sin, and he had that "desire," then he would lose his salvation. Thus, you have to rename lust to be something other than lust so you can maintain your perfection that is the basis of your entry into heaven.

God will keep His people from such blasphemy.

To God alone be the glory,

Marc D. Carpenter


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