The battle for your allegiance is not between two equal opponents.
We know in our minds that God is superior but we often believe in our hearts that it is Beauty who is most worthy of our love.
In yesterday’s post, we saw that in the lusting man’s viewpoint God’s heaven sounds more like hell than it does heaven. In the competing religion of sexual immorality, there is the promise of eternal sexual pleasure. Whereas in God’s heaven, Jesus says there will be no marriage and thus no sex.
Does following Christ really mean settling for a lesser heaven? We know that the heaven of sexual immorality doesn’t actually exist, but if it did, wouldn’t it be better?
The following are four ways that Jesus defeats the false religion of sexual immorality:
A superior belief about the world and the purpose of mankind
Jesus by his life, death, and resurrection proved once and for all that the most important thing in the universe is not Beauty but the Beautiful God.
Think about it. In order to be a worthy substitute for sinful humanity, Jesus had to live his entire life without a single lustful thought. Before you throw down the “He was God” card and say that it was easy for him, remember that he was also fully human. Besides, in a way, being the Son of God actually made his temptation more severe. He knew people’s thoughts. He loved and longed for intimacy with his people. He had the power to do whatever he wanted. He created feminine beauty. How could he possibly resist every single opportunity to lust?
As fully human, it would also be true of him that it “is not good for man to be alone.” He had to have felt that. So did he just deny it? Did he just suppress that desire with incredible self-control? I think there’s more to it than that.
The answer is simple. He knew what human sexuality was really pointing to. He knew it was just a shadow of a heavenly reality. He was waiting for something far better. Something that he never would have reached if he indulged even once in the promise of lust. He had a greater view of the world and the purpose of humanity and sexuality as all being for the glory of God.
His Death and Resurrection
He died submitting his spirit to God, not to anyone or anything else. His sacrifice was to appease God’s wrath toward sin, not Beauty’s wrath. He knew who had the power. He knew who was truly supreme. And how do we know he was right? God raised him from the dead as if to say, “I accept your payment.”
This is proof that Jesus’ view of the purpose for human sexuality was right. His resurrection is proof that following God’s design is not only right but better.
A superior devotion to someone who transcends all religion
The religion of sexual immorality claims Beauty transcends all other gods but it has no real proof
The lusting man is placing his decision to lust on blind faith. He has never experienced eternal satisfaction in sexual pleasure. Yet he believes he could find it there. Whereas, as we saw above, Jesus proved his transcendence by his life, death, and resurrection. Anyone who has devoted their life to Beauty ends up losing both the pleasures of Beauty and every other good thing in their life; if not in this life, they lose it all in the next.
A Christian does not worship the church or religion or morality or even the Bible, but God incarnate.
It is not even the religion of Christianity that defeats Beauty, but rather faith in the Son of God. Mere religion may be able to displace the harmful actions of sexual immorality.
But religion asks you to lower your expectations, whereas the Gospel demands that you raise them. Religion says your desires need to be caged, whereas the Gospel says your desires need to be set free for what they are truly for. Religion gives you strength in the hope of a better life, whereas the Gospel is your strength even when your life crumbles into a million pieces.
Jesus does not offer a superior religion but rather an announcement of victory and renewal already won.
A superior sacrifice and temple
No other god or goddess you worship will ever give themselves as the very sacrifice they demand for approval and blessing. Only Jesus does that.
Beauty promises great rewards, but her demands are crushing. If you heedlessly pursue her (whether through pornography, prostitution, fantasies, or power) the rest of your life will fall apart. Most people pursue her just enough to still keep their lives intact, but they wish they could have more of her.
Jesus on the other hand demands your whole life but only after he already gave you his entire life. Not only that but once you lose your life you become a rightful heir to everything He owns (which is everything). To enter his kingdom all you have to do is accept his sacrifice on your behalf. And anything you sacrifice for his sake will only increase your rewards once you get there.
A superior heaven and more tragic hell
Not only does Beauty’s heaven not exist, but if it did it still would not compare to God’s.
Here we get to the real issue at hand. Forget about which one is right and wrong or real and fake. If we are to truly kill lust in our hearts we have to believe that God’s heaven is better even if we can’t see how. It’s not blind faith, but rather faith in what we cannot see. There is a difference.
How is God’s heaven better than unlimited sexual pleasure with whomever however many times you want? Because God invented sex himself as a foretaste of unlimited holistic pleasure with himself, the source of all pleasure. But here is where we have to believe in what we cannot see.
I have no idea how that will be better than sex, just that it will be. There will be nothing sexual about the pleasures of heaven but they will certainly be physical as well as spiritual. They will not leave us wanting or wishing for a different kind of pleasure. We will have resurrected bodies with sensory feeling, emotions, and desires. And our new bodies will experience intense, intimate, passionate pleasure incomparable to sex yet comparably greater.
Dear brothers, if you worship Beauty here in this life you will lose out completely on what beauty was intended to point you toward all along. If you stop and admire the road sign you’ll never get to the destination. Even if Beauty’s heaven existed, it is not what you were made for and you would forever be chasing satisfaction in a continually decreasing pleasure. That to me sounds more like hell than heaven. Let Jesus save you from this and the true hell. Trust him. See him.
How will this knowledge change your day-to-day life now?