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Pastor Phillip Lee RHT05Celibacy.
Ok, there. I said it!

I suppose I should pause right here and apologize for not giving more advance warning knowing many are in immediate need of an endless supply of oxygen for resuscitation purposes.

While many continue to preach, “If it feels good do it!” and “Since everyone is doing it and doing it behind closed doors (well, some anyway), Go for it!” let me begin by stating that if you choose not to have sex “You won’t blow up!”

You will be OK. Life will go on.

Today, more than ever, single men and women (straight or gay) face a relentless onslaught of pressure and challenges daily. Ultimately, we are all in a battle to stay pure in a very impure world. The music industry, news media, educational system, TV and the Internet are keeping all of us completely saturated in a lust-filled atmosphere. Frankly, many today are far more interested and concerned with pleasing themselves outside of God’s will, plan and purpose and simply do not trust Him enough to supply all of their needs. In America, especially, “feeling good” has become a narcotic – a drug of choice.

You know, I have accepted the fact that as long as I am on this earth – single or not – I will be engaged in combating something. The undeniable truth is that my flesh will always be at war with the Spirit of God in me. “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things you wish.” (Galatians 5:17)

As a single man, called to a life that involves going against the normal flow of our culture, a culture which promotes a love of pleasure and self-indulgence, I remain a man called and commanded by Christ Jesus to strive for purity. Now, if that sounds like too much of a tall order, remember Jesus will never ask anything of us that is impossible for us to obey.

I’ll give that just a moment to sink in.

When anyone, gay or straight, makes the conscious choice to stray beyond God’s holy boundary lines in terms of sexual expression, we bring terrible consequences upon ourselves by our rebellion and disobedience. Sexual sin of any type or any degree causes an immediate dividing wall between our spirit and God’s. God doesn’t create the dividing wall, our sinful behavior does. With so many today exclaiming their desire to be delivered from a considerable list of habits, addictions and compulsive behaviors, I just can’t help but believe the reason God does not deliver us from particular sins that are a concern to us is that we remain unwilling to cooperate with Him in delivering us from other sins that He has already made known to us.

And, while I am defining “holy boundary lines,” let me be thorough and fair. Any perversion beyond God’s original divine intent for human sexuality which includes adultery, prostitution, promiscuity, homosexuality, and more, is thoroughly and repeatedly condemned in Scripture (1 Corinthians 6:9; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:19-21). Therefore, in terms of the single man or woman, Jesus could not have been more clear in defining if a person is not married the only acceptable option with God is celibacy. For the single person, celibacy is a good thing and should be our only choice if we want to live according to God’s word and plan.

While the world continues to encourage every and any type of sexual expression under the sun, I wonder, has remaining celibate become so obsolete because we have become so enlightened in our understanding of human sexuality? I think not.

May I be frank? A little over 30 years ago, I made a real commitment to follow Jesus. Have I had to face my share of intense temptation? Duh? But, I made a promise. Rather than caving in to complete despair because of the battle or desires of my flesh, I have always held on to the fact there was strength (overcoming strength) and hope because Jesus promised me that I would never, ever be forsaken or snatched from His hand (John 10:28).

I assure you the Lord Jesus Christ will keep anyone who wants to be kept.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

We have become far too impatient with things that take time. Today, we even want our own personal deliverance to be micro waved. Relax and enjoy the journey! I guarantee you every faithful follower of Christ Jesus is “continuing to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

Yes, in the midst of such a decadent culture, you have hope. Psalm 119:9-11 tells us, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”

May you have the courage, conviction and commitment to do what is right in His sight.

Given the fact you have completed reading this and have not blown up!

Pastor Phillip Lee
Executive Director
His Way Out Ministries
Member of Restored Hope Network

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