Harvest Church Pastor Greg Laurie recently outlined the five steps of temptation beginning with evil thought knocking on "the door of your imagination" and ending with death as the result of the wages of sin.
"Temptation is attractive otherwise it wouldn't be tempting," said Laurie during last Sunday's church sermon. "The devil is really good at this and he's been doing it a long time.
The Southern California pastor, best known for his huge evangelistic outreach events called Harvest Crusades, said that temptation is something that no one lives without experiencing, not even Jesus.
"But Jesus is the only one who never gave in to it. Though He was God, Jesus was also a man, and He felt the draw of temptation just as we do," Laurie's sermon notes state. Laurie uses Jesus' temptation in Luke 4 as a model of how we should react when tempted. He explains several aspects of temptation, including what our primary weapon against it should be.
His sermon notes include the verses: James 1:14–16 "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."
In a blog posted on Monday he writes that in these verses are the five steps of temptation:
1. The temptation itself. "But each one is tempted . . ."
The evil thought knocks on the door of your imagination. As they say, "Opportunity knocks once, but temptation beats on the door every day." It happens to the best of us; there are no exceptions. There is no sin here yet. It is not the bait that constitutes temptation, but the bite. There's still a way out.
2. You are now under its power and enjoying the experience.
"Drawn away by his own desires . . ."
You are now "taking it for a test drive." It's been said, "What makes temptation difficult for many people is they don't want to discourage it completely."
3. You are almost hooked. "Drawn away . . . and enticed."
There is still a way out. However, the will is weakening; the temptation is getting more alluring. You are thinking, processing, considering.
4. The hook is now set.
"Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin." The evil thought has been acted upon. The sin is now conceived; the process is in full swing. The short-lived pleasure and euphoria, then the realization of what you have done, and hopefully the guilt—a sense of deadness, regret.
5. Finally, the deadly effects of sin kick in." And sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." The Bible warns,
"The soul that sins shall surly die," and "the wages of sin are death." You are now separated from God. If you continue in this pattern, it could destroy you. Like a mortally wounded person you need immediate attention. You need to turn to God in repentance now!
To learn more about how to resist temptation, the Laurie's sermon from last Sunday is archived here: http://www.harvest.org/webcast/player.php?event=6§ion=archive&id=1709.
Watch Greg Laurie demonstrate that the value in a guitar is based on WHO plays it (BELOW.)