Scripture: I Tim. 6:6-12
This is exactly the same response I got a few years ago when I confronted a man about the adultery he was presently living in. I tried to understand his situation and I pled with him to return to his wife. Then I said, “You know Jesus says that if you don’t fight this sin with the kind of seriousness that is willing to gouge out your own eye, you will go to hell and suffer there forever.”
He looked at me in utter disbelief, as though he had never heard anything like this in his life, and said, “You mean you think a person can lose his salvation?”
So I have learned again and again from first hand experience that there are many professing Christians who have a view of salvation that disconnects it from real life, and that nullifies the warnings of the Bible and puts the sinning person who claims to be a Christian beyond the reach of biblical threats. And this doctrine is comforting thousands on the way to hell.
Jesus said, if you don’t fight lust, you won’t go to heaven.
The stakes are much higher than whether the world is blown up by a thousand bombs. If you don’t fight lust, you won’t go to heaven (1 Peter 2:11; Colossians 3:6; Galatians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:10; Hebrews 12:14).
Are we not, then, saved by faith—by believing in Jesus Christ? We are indeed! Those who persevere in faith shall be saved (Matthew 24:13; 10:22; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Colossians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13). How do you lay hold on eternal life? Paul gives the answer in 1 Timothy 6:12—”Fight the good fight of faith: lay hold on eternal life.”
That leads us to our main concern this morning—to show that the fight against lust is a battle against unbelief. And the fight for sexual purity is the fight of faith.
The great error that I am trying to explode in these messages is the error that says, faith in God is one thing and the fight for holiness is another thing. Faith gets you to heaven and holiness gets you rewards. You get your justification by faith, and you get your sanctification by works. You start the Christian life in the power of the Spirit, you press on in the efforts of the flesh. This is the great evangelical error of our day. The battle for obedience is optional, they say, because only faith is necessary for salvation.
Our response: the battle for obedience is absolutely necessary for salvation because it IS the fight of faith. The battle against lust is absolutely necessary for salvation because it is the battle against unbelief. Faith alone delivers from hell and the faith that delivers from hell delivers from lust.