Multitudes of Americans today find themselves captivated by sexual fantasies, while others are especially passionate about particular scientific pursuits. Neither sexual sin nor scientific achievements, however, are capable of satisfying the deepest needs of man’s soul.
For example, consider the temptation to commit adultery. The online dating service Ashley Madison caters to married people and uses the slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.” The company has revealed the cities that have the most accounts, with Miami grabbing the top spot, followed by Orlando, Atlanta, and Las Vegas.
Pastor Garrett Kell writes, “You will never regret resisting sin. You will always regret giving in.” Kell added, “Pornography is satanic discipleship. It trains us to see people and situations in perverted ways and become calloused to the way it grieves God.”
Scripture states: “All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). And this is why it is impossible for sexual immorality to ever satisfy the soul.
Pastor John MacArthur writes, “The first characteristic of sexual sin is deceit. It never delivers what it promises. It offers great satisfaction but gives great disappointment. It claims to be real living but is really the way to death.”
King David discovered the devastating consequences of sexual seduction. After committing adultery with Bathsheba, he wrote: “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4).
Pastor Craig Owens writes, “Biblically speaking, sexual immorality (Greek porneia) is any sexual activity that takes place outside of marriage. This includes adultery, premarital sex, and extramarital sex.”
Have you been seeking satisfaction by engaging in sexual sin? If so, you have experienced firsthand how such licentious behavior leaves you feeling empty and pulls you further and further away from your Creator.
After all, “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? … so is he who sleeps with another man’s wife; no one who touches her will go unpunished ... Whoever commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys his own soul” (Proverbs 6:27,29,32).
When men and women utilize the Ashley Madison website, they are not asking themselves: “How can I destroy my soul?” Instead, they are simply being enticed by the allure and excitement of an illicit affair. Temptation draws you in and convinces you to live for the moment without any concern for the consequences. Sexual lust becomes overpowering the moment you give into it, which makes it similar in that sense to drugs, alcohol, gambling or any other vice.
While some people give themselves over to sexual lust, others seek ultimate satisfaction through their scientific research. Sex feeds the flesh, whereas science feeds the mind. Intellectual obsessions are comparable to sexual obsessions in the way they consume a person who is longing for ultimate fulfillment. There is something empowering about sexual conquests and scientific achievements. But neither of them provides peace with God or a spiritual calmness in the soul.
Millions of Americans have made either sex or science the king of their heart, yet only the King of Kings can satisfy the deepest needs of our souls.
The 17th-century mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal famously said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man, which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
In my CP op-ed, “When Inventors, Scientists and Surgeons Trust God,” I wrote: “George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was a pioneer of agricultural chemistry. Carver said, 'Without my Savior I am nothing. The Lord has guided me. He has shown me the way, just as He will show everyone who turns to Him.’”
And in my CP op-ed, “Christianity is Not Rocket Science,” I wrote: “Alexander Fleming was the Nobel Prize-winning British bacteriologist who discovered the life-saving antibiotic penicillin. Fleming was a devout Christian who said, 'My greatest discovery was that I needed God, and that I was nothing without Him and that He loved me and showed His love by sending Jesus to save me.’”
The spiritual realm extends beyond the natural realm, as I explained in my CP op-ed, “Scientism Stems from a One-Dimensional Worldview.” When man places all his eggs in the basket of science, he remains oblivious to the immortality of his soul. And once you exit this world, there are no do-overs.
“Man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Have you been using your body to please the Lord, or instead, simply to feed your sexual lust? Are you hoping science can meet your deepest needs, or are you relying upon Christ to forgive your sins and satisfy your soul?
In the words of the prophet Isaiah: “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on Him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon” (Isaiah 55:6-7).
(As you continue to ponder Scripture and the Savior, I invite you to check out my CP op-ed, “How to Know Christianity is True.”)
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.