This is an article posted by RICK REED is senior pastor at the Metropolitan Bible Church located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Sunday, August 28, 2011 in answer to the question of Protestant Lust “Are lascivious thoughts immoral if not acted upon?”
Back in the 1950s, a show tune called “Standing on the Corner” became a popular favourite. The song is sung by a quartet of men who enjoy “standing on the corner watching all the girls go by.” They see no harm in letting their imaginations run free. As one line says, “Brother, you can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking.”
While it’s true you won’t wind up in jail for what you’re thinking, Jesus says you can wind up in hell:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Matthew 5:27-29).
Many folks think Jesus’ words are too extreme. I mean, who hasn’t had lustful thoughts?
Our problem is that we are desensitized to God’s standard of holiness. We think God is merely looking for outward conformity to rules. He’s actually looking for purity of heart: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8).
If God’s standards are that rigorous, what hope do we have? The Bible says our only hope is found in Jesus. He offered His life on the cross as payment for our sins, including immoral thoughts. He also promises to remake us from the inside, renewing our hearts and minds to be increasingly like His (Colossians 3:5-10).
All of us have been guilty of “standing on the corner.” Thankfully, God promises (in Romans 5:1-2) that all who put their faith in Jesus get to stand in His forgiving grace.
Religion and Porn
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