I. THE DECEPTIVE NATURE OF SIN.
A. Back in the Garden of Eden we read that the woman was deceived.
1. The Garden was a perfect environment, there were no seductive elements in that world.
2. Eve did not have a sinful nature.
a. Her faculties were clear and strong.
b. She was endowed with the pre-fallen perfect state.
c. Made in the image of God she knew what it was to commune with the Creator.
B. Yet Satan was able to deceive her.
1. By what tactics did he deceive her?
a. By first questioning the word of God. "Has God said?"
b. He then questioned the motive of God. He is seeking to withhold from you that which is desirable for He knows that when you eat of the fruit you will be as gods, knowing good and evil.
c. It is true that up to this point, all she knew was good. She did not yet know evil.
2. He appealed to the lust of her flesh. "She saw that it was good for food."
3. The lust of her eyes. "It was pleasant to the eyes."
4. The pride of life, "That it was desired to make one wise."
C. Sin is deceitful in its approach.
1. It does not show you the disastrous consequences.
a. There is a way that seems right unto man but the end thereof is the way of death.
b. How many today are suffering from the consequences of their sin.
c. It started as a simple flirtation, it seemed so innocent.
d. If God is love, then how could this possibly be wrong, for we love each other so much.
e. Yes, God is love, and He loves the wife that you have left devastated, and those precious little children that are so confused and hurting.
2. We have taken a loose attitude toward teen sex, even to the point of tacit endorsement by the distribution of condoms to the kids in school.
a. It seems almost like an innocent sport that teens engage in.
b. We are seeing an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases spreading among the teenagers in America.
c. Things are so bad that the John Hopkins University has called for routine screening every six months of sexually active teens.
d. There are some 4,000,000 new cases of Chlamydia reported each year.
e. If left undetected, and untreated it can cause extensive internal scarring, which can lead to an excruciatingly painful condition called pelvic inflammatory disease, and a lifelong inability to bear children.
f. Chlamydia is only one of the 22 known sexually transmitted diseases being spread among the teenagers today.
D. Sin is deceitful in its object.
1. It never reveals the actual results.
2. The idea seems to be let us do evil that good may come.
a. A little indulgence in the flesh can bring great pleasure.
b. A little deception or cheating can increase your profits.
c. Adam and Eve by indulging can become as gods.
d. A little indulgence in the flesh can bring great shame and pain.
e. A little cheating can land you in prison.
f. Adam and Eve instead of becoming gods, became alienated from God.
E. Sin is deceitful in the name it wears.
1. In Bunyon's book, Holy Wars;
a. Covetousness was called Prudent Thrifty.
b. Lasciviousness was called, Harmless Mirth.
c. Anger was called, Good Zeal.
a. Infidelism is called higher criticism.
b. Worldliness is being up with the times.
c. Throwing off all Godly restraints is called liberalism.
F. Sin offers deceitful arguments.
1. "You are making a mountain out of a mole hill."
2. "It's nothing to get excited over."
3. "Wake up, times have changed."
4. "Everybody is doing it."
5. "Just once can't hurt."
6. "You can quit any time you want."
7. "How can you put it down if you have never tried it."
8. "I know my limits and I know when to stop."
G. Sin offers deceitful excuses.
1. I'm only human.
2. I can't help it if God made me this way.
a. They try to blame their sin on God.
b. Adam said, "The woman you gave me to be my wife, she tempted me, and I did eat."
II. SIN HARDENS YOUR HEART. "LEST ANY OF YOU BE HARDENED BY THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN.
A. If you embrace anything long enough you will come to love it.
B. We have become brainwashed by the media today.
C. David Grossman, a military psychologist, has declared that the media have used the same techniques as are used in the services to train men to kill. In his article in Christianity Today entitled "Trained To Kill," he asserts that killing requires training because there is a built-in aversion to killing one's own kind. For instance in the Civil War, the average killing potential was 500 to a 1,000 per minute, but the actual killing rate was one or two per minute. In the battle of Gettysburg, of the 27,000 muskets that were picked up from the dead, and dying after the battle, 90 percent were still loaded. During World War two they discovered that only 15 to 20% could actually bring themselves to fire at the enemy. Men were willing to die for the nation, but very few were willing to kill. So the military began to change the training tactics so that in the Korean war, 55% were willing to kill, and in the war in Viet Nam it rose to 90%. This was accomplished by desensitization, and
brutalization which takes place in boot camp. This is the very same tactic being used in the media today aimed at our children. When young children see someone shot, stabbed, raped, brutalized, degraded or murdered on TV, to them, it is as though it is actually happening. In the movie, they learn to know a new friend for 90 minutes only to see them tortured and killed in the last 30 minutes. It is interesting that 15 years after TV is introduced to a society, the murder rate doubles. Why 15 years, that is how long it takes that little child to grow up to the prime crime age. An article in the Journal of American Medical Association said, that 15 years after TV was introduced in the U.S. the murder rate doubled. That means that if we did not have TV. 10,000 fewer people would be killed annually in the U.S. there would be 70,000 fewer rapes, and 700,000 fewer injurious assaults.
D. You can become desensitized to sin.
1. The first time you are shocked, and you may have found the experience to even be repulsive, you are usually quite repentant.
2. But having let the guard down once it is easier to let it down the second time.
3. What once was repulsive and repugnant to you has now become habitual. Sin has hardened your heart.
E. There are groups today who practice brain washing techniques, to turn a person into a zombie. The cult group that was known as the Children of God, led by David Berg, the Roshneech cult in Oregon.
1. They use filthy words that shock your senses until you become so used to them that you begin to use the words yourself.
2. They brutalize your mind in encounter sessions until you no longer react and you learn to tolerate evil.
3. Tolerance soon turns to acceptance.
4. You have become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
III. WHAT IS THE ANSWER.
A. Exhort one another daily.
1. How good it is to have true friends that are willing to exhort you when you start to go astray.
2. We usually think of peer pressure as something negative, but it can also work in a positive way.
3. Exhorting one another to holy living.
4. Exhorting to full commitment.
B. The Bible says, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
1. If you find yourself resenting the exhortations of your friends, it is a good indication that you really need it, for you are perhaps becoming hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
2. The hardened heart does not want to hear rebuke.
C. "While it is called Today."
1. This takes us back to verse 7, where we were told, "Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart."
2. In the Book of Exodus, we are told that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, many people have a problem with that verse. The problem is why if God hardened his heart did He then punish him, for having a hardened heart? You read that Pharaoh, hardened his heart, and Pharaoh hardened his heart, until you come to the verse that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Two different Hebrew words are employed in the text. Pharaoh hardened His heart, and God made firm his heart.
3. The word today points up the importance of stopping your evil evil now. To turn from your sin today, lest through the deceitfulness of sin, your heart becomes hardened to God to the place that God turns you over to your evil, and you can find no place for repentance.