Have you been thinking along the same lines that I have found Cleddie thinking on lately? There are many ways that social scientists are defining the church today. It is interesting that history has a way of repeating itself, and in the past when the church lost its moral influence it was because it had once again begun to court the world. Theologians unanimously call this “spiritual adultery”. The strong words of the scripture in regard to the church are ignored and rarely ever mentioned. The term, adulterous, is a sad commentary on what the relationship with Christ and His Church should be. In the book of Revelation, we see a word picture of the church leaving its first love.
Mark had insight into the future of what could take place in those who did not cherish their relationship with Bridegroom. “For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words, In this adulterous (unfaithful) and [preeminently] sinful generation, will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory (splendor and majesty) of His Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38. Yes, it is strong language, but it is not as strong as the language of Revelation. “But as for the cowards, and the ignoble, and the contemptible, and the cravenly lacking in courage, and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers, and the lewd, and adulterous, and the ones who practice magic arts, and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God), and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed)—[all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.” Revelations 21:8.
It is never a subject we like to talk about; but the Holy Spirit puts it before us, and in the day in which we live, maybe it is a time we should look at it ourselves. As a pastor, I have watched people go through the heartbreak of covenant and marriage. I had never thought about the parallel between the Lord and an adulterous bride, but James talks about it: “Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].” James 4:8.
We all know how destructive adultery is and the impact it has on people’s lives. It appears that spiritual adultery has the same effect on relationships that adultery does on a marriage. Let’s take a moment to consider what the impact really is: Can you imagine making the Lord feel that He was inadequate? It is hard to think that we could cause the Lord to think that He was not able to fulfill you and to complete you. In the book of Hosea, there is the story of his wife, Gomer, and her promiscuousness. The innocent Lamb of God becomes the innocent victim of unfaithfulness. Adultery destroys trust. In counseling on many occasions, through the years, my goal was to try to help the victim restore trust. A stock issue that must be dealt with is the disrespect the follow- ing generation has for those who chose to follow their lust and indulge in the temporary instead of the eternal. I have had to deal with some who learned the hard way, “that the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”.
One of the hardest things to overcome is guilt, and forgiving one’s self is not an easy order. To avoid the harsh consequences of spiritual adultery take this to heart, “THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT SPIRITUAL ADULTERY.” The fail-safe of our relationship with God is to live in the spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
I believe in you! We need you, we want you, and we love you! In His Grip,
Pastor Cleddie Keith