Temperance

Temperance

Scripture: Philippians 4:5, Genesis 9:20-27, 2 Peter 1:5-9
Date: 05/29/2010  Lesson: 9
The Bible strongly endorses temperance, which mean the total avoidance of harmful things and the use of beneficial things in moderation.

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Good morning and Happy Sabbath. We're so glad that you are tuning in this morning and joining us from across the country and around the world. We welcome you to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church here in sunny California on the west coast of the United States of America.

We know that many of you are tuning in, listening on the radio this morning, watching on the various television networks, or on our website live this morning at saccentral.org. And we give you a special Sabbath welcome from central church. Many of you have written in with song requests. And so of course like we do every week, we are going to sing a couple of those. And the first one is "wonderful peace," 466 in your hymnals.

So those of you at home, pull out your hymnals. Those of you here, you're going to sing nice and loud this morning. Verses one, two and four. This is a request from shernette, elny, joy, carina and glenys in australia, ralph and birdie in bahamas, heder in guatemala, stephen in iraq, elena in jamaica, wayne in Minnesota, adrienne in Mississippi, Joshua and elena in Texas and erika in thailand. , 1St, 2nd and 4th verse.

[Music] Thank you so much for that song request. And if any of you have a favorite hymn and it's not just for our viewers, anyone here at central church. If you have a favorite you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, go to our website, saccentral.org, click on the "contact us" link, and you can send in any request in the hymnal. And we look forward to singing that with you. Our next song is 516, "all the way my Savior leads me.

" This is a popular one from Mark, denise, ariel and jessica in australia, angel, jasmine and veronica in bahamas, roger in barbados, omar in belgium, desiree in the british virgin islands, leon, deng and kevin in Canada, daphnie in florida, deonne, wilfred and Karen in grenada, bob and Paula in Idaho, shervine and antoinette in jamaica, patrick in malawi, Carmelita and wayne in Minnesota, beth in New York, the Philippine ministry in singapore, willington in Solomon islands-- we don't get many requests from the Solomon islands, that's exciting-- tito and alma in South Dakota, lillian in south korea, evelyn and rhonda in trinidad and tobago, Samson in united arab emirates, and mainza in zambia. So let's sing this song for you guys this morning. And 516, all 3 verses. [Music] Father in Heaven, we pray this morning that you will lead us all the way, and that one day very soon we will be able to meet you in the clouds of glory and travel through the universe to heaven, where we can spend eternity with you, singing praises to you and worshipping you forever and ever. We thank you so much for the hope that we have as Christians, that that is a reality and that one day that is gonna happen very soon.

We pray that you'll be with each person that's here this morning, that you'll be with those who are joining us through media. And I pray that you would just pour out your spirit on us as we open up Your Word and study together this morning. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor white. He is our administrative pastor here at central church.

Thank you, debbie. Welcome and glad that you are here this beautiful Sabbath morning in sunny Sacramento, California. Thank you for everyone who is joining us from wherever you are joining us and however you are joining us, radio, computer, television, we are happy that you are part of our family here this morning. We are studying in this quarter about "health and healing," and this morning our subject is "temperance." And we would like to have you join me if you would in reading our memory text for today found in Philippians 4:5, it's a short one. Would you read with me? "Let your moderation be known unto all men; the Lord is at hand.

" Another word for "temperance" is self-control. And I think it would be easy to say that many of the problems that exist in this world is because of a lack of self-control. Would you not agree with that? Many of the problems that exist today--in fact, it was a lack of self-control or lack of temperance in the garden that started it all in the beginning. And anything and everything is done in our world today to excess. Even good things are done to excess, as the lesson points out--and we're quite familiar with this here in Sacramento-- of this radio station that had this contest of how much water a person could drink.

And this lady took them up on their challenge and she drank and drank and drank so much water. She started getting sick, she went home, and she died. Too much water, water intoxication. You can get too much of a good thing, and it becomes intemperance, doesn't it? Now water intoxication is not something I'm ever gonna die of. I have a hard time getting the amount of water in that the experts tell us that we should have every day.

But i--i try very hard. Why? Because I understand how good water is for the body. Water is one of our friends. It's good for temperance. Now before we continue, I am shown that we have a free offer, offer 142.

It's called, "the Christian and alcohol," which is part of our study this morning. And you can get that by going to--or calling 1-866-study-more, or 1-866-788-3966. Or you can go to Amazing Facts website. Now it's a good place--maybe a good place to start this morning is asking a question. Which is more important when it comes to temperance? Doing it so you can secure eternal life, or doing it so you can perform your very best while living here on this earth? Now, some people will immediately say, "well, doing it to secure eternal life, that sounds a lot like righteousness by works.

" And we know that we are not saved by our works; we're saved by grace through the shed blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But with that grace and with that gift that comes to us, there comes responsibility. Don't you agree? We must always be reminded that salvation is free. We cannot earn it, but part of our responsibility is living temperate lives. Because about the time you let your guard down and you slip up on temperance, I think we could all agree that it does affect our spiritual lives as well, some things more than others.

For example, if we become intemperate in something that really begins to destroy and affect our bodies and our minds, we are then living in violation to commandments. Aren't we? The one commandment it says not putting anything else before God. We use something that is intemperance for our body, then that would be putting something in place of God. Or we'd be violating the commandment that says, "thou shall not kill." Even though we don't die immediately, intemperate living leads to death. Doesn't it? So I don't think you can separate the question we ask, "which is more important: to help us secure, by grace, the Kingdom of God, or to live more healthfully and abundantly in this world?" I think the two go hand in hand.

And as we get into our lesson, I think we'll find a great deal of that. Now Sunday's lesson entitled, "the Bible's first drunk," of course this is referring to Noah. He's the first mentioned drunkard in the Bible. He wasn't the first drunk on earth, I'm sure, because why was the earth destroyed in the beginning? Because there was such a wide variety of intemperance, and I'm sure hundreds and thousands of others had become drunkards themselves. But Noah is the first one that is mentioned in the Bible.

And as you begin reading the Bible, starting there in Genesis 1:1, it is your first great disappointment when you get to chapter 9. In fact, somebody has Genesis 9. Who has that this morning to start us out? Right up here in front. "And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And ham, The Father of canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

And shem and japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, cursed be canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." Thank you very much. Now, Noah fell. He had a lapse of his good quality life, became drunk.

And it didn't seem like it took him long to recover. He basically blessed shem and japheth, but he cursed ham. And interesting how he cursed him. He cursed him through canaan. Canaan is the fourth son of ham.

Now this was not some angry outlash because of what had happened. It was more of a prophecy that God was delivering through the mouth of Noah of what would take place in the generation of canaan. And certainly that all came to pass. Now ham made it onto the ark, not because of his goodness, but because he was one of Noah's son. I've often thought it would be-- this world would have been a lot better off if two ham's hadn't gone onto the ark: ham The Son and the ham, miss piggy.

If the female pig hadn't made it on there, we wouldn't be troubled with that little varmint, would we? But alas, God has allowed both. And today they're in our world. Noah was not a down-and-out drunkard is what you'd-- you wouldn't call him that. You wouldn't call him an alcoholic. He became intoxicated as far as we know, biblically-speaking, this one time.

But one time is enough, isn't it? He was fortunate that he didn't own a 1965 mustang powerful car, or any kind of a car that-- for that matters. Jumped in his car and went down a highway. And an intoxicated person becomes--when he gets behind the wheel of a car, he is possessing in his hands a weapon of mass destruction. Isn't he? Or we can be glad that he didn't own a gun and pull out a gun and start shooting people as some people do today. Do you realize how many thousands, thousands of people who are incarcerated right now because of intoxication that led them to do something they wouldn't have done ordinarily? It's amazing.

So, we have this experience with Noah one time, and it was bad enough, but it could have been worse of course. In my limited amount of prison ministry, I've visited several people in prison, studied with some of them. I've visited, I've studied with two people who had committed murder. And one committed murder; he didn't remember even doing it. He was so wiped out on alcohol and drugs that he didn't even remember wrapping up his wife in chains, taking her out on a lake, and tossing her over, killing her.

Now he told me that getting caught and incarcerated was the best thing that ever happened to him because he found Jesus. And I believe that he was very real in his experience with Christ. He was gonna spend a long time behind bars, but he was rejoicing in Christ. He said, "I never would have found Jesus out there in the lifestyle I was living. I'm terribly sorry for what I did, but I'm glad I found Jesus.

" Now the other young person that I was studying with who had committed murder, high on alcohol, he hadn't found Jesus yet. And he was probably the most forlorn and miserable person I've ever set my eyes upon. He had nothing to look forward to in life because of course he hadn't found Jesus. I hope he has since then. Now this is the kind of intemperance that we have to settle in our mind that we will never be guilty of.

I mean drinking alcohol just seems to be about the most profound negative thing to do. No doubt there are many listening that may be sitting right here this morning, or listening from wherever you're listening, that have gotten drunk before. And you have testimonies to share even if you don't know it. The fact that you are here today is a testimony of God's mercy, because of the amazing things that could have happened to you while under the influence of alcohol. It is something I would never think to test God's mercy on ever again.

I'm sorry to say before I became a Christian, I did drink some, not a great deal, but more than I should have. And I would never think to do that again. As the lesson brings out, it's an awful thing when a well-respected man like Noah, or a leader in the church has a terrible fall. It's a blow to the church, and the church suffers much. It's a blow to the family and friends of the individual that fell.

But in time the church heals, finds healing and goes on. But with the person and family members quite often that's not the case. I have read of stories, and I've known of individuals who have fallen in a big way and the shame that it brought to them. One of the striking parts of their stories often is how afterwards they are treated by others. It's hard for people to know how to treat them, and how to relate to them.

It becomes a fine line to walk. We must never condone what they did, but we must not write them off as something hopeless. There is forgiveness in Jesus even for the most awful things that people do. That shem and japheth treated their father so respectful, it was surely an example of Godly living. Alcohol is such a huge influence in society that a man by the name of g.

Collins wrote in his book, "the magnificent mind," says this, "even when people just think about consuming alcohol, their behavior changes." Have you ever been around people that are talking about a big party that's coming up where there's gonna be a lot of booze there. They just get bold and aggressive. Their whole demeanor changes, just talking about it. It's an amazing thing to watch; I've seen it. Well, let's turn to our Bibles very quickly and read some of the things the Bible has to say about alcohol, because we're going on to the next couple parts of our lesson where it's referring to alcohol.

Somebody has Proverbs 20:1. Who has that? "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." Okay and if you can hand the microphone, I think it's Ephesians 5:18 is right close by. Okay, go ahead and read Ephesians 5:18. "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." Thank you very much. Let's go on to Isaiah 5:11, I think it's right over here some place.

Who has that one? "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, until wine inflame them!" Thank you very much. And our last one is Proverbs 23. Mike has that right here in front. Okay, there we go. Proverbs 23:31-35.

These are just a sampling of some of the texts that we find throughout the Bible about alcohol. Proverbs 23:31-35, "do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like the viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, ye will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 'they have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?'" Okay, thank you very much.

That's a sad picture, isn't it? The percentage of American adults who do not drink alcoholic beverages is 33% that do not drink. That means 77% of the people that you face walking down the street, or worse yet, driving down the street may be under the influence of alcohol, 77%. Many people say they don't drink and drive. What they mean is they don't believe they get highly intoxicated and drive, but they do drive after one or two drinks. Does one drink affect our bodies and our minds? Indeed it does.

One drink generally causes .13% alcohol in the blood of an average 150-pound person. Two drinks doubles that percentage. "Kenny and layton" report that at a 0.05 blood alcohol level, the newer parts of the brain, those controlling judgment have been affected. William terhune makes this point very clear: "every time you take a drink, you're putting some of your brain cells out of commission. Indeed," he says, "if alcohol did not have that affect, people wouldn't drink it.

" That's what they drink it for, to put their brain cells temporarily, or some of them permanently, out of commission. Tests have been done where people have been given a test before they drank one drink. And they did so well. And then they gave them one drink. And they all said they felt they, or at least the greatest percentage of 'em said they felt they did better after the one drink.

But they did 17% less good on their test after the drink. People who drink think they're doing better at everything. You notice that? They are better at this. They're better at that. As soon as they just get one or two drinks underneath, inside of 'em.

Roughly one-half of all fatal accidents, highway accidents, which average between 50,000 and 55,000 here in America involve alcohol. Each year alcohol on the highway results in physical injuries of another 125,000 people. Alcohol is involved in ,000 homicides and suicides every single year. Alcohol is involved in 20,000 accidental deaths and even % of pedestrians who are killed have been drinking. It's an amazing-- what about children? How widespread has alcohol become for children? These are staggering results.

By the time young people reach the tenth grade, only three in ten are non-drinkers. That means seven of them are. About a third of high-school students are moderate to heavy drinkers. Listen to how much, just students, consume. They consume 35% of all wine coolers sold in the United States, or 31 million gallons.

They also consume, get this, .1 billion cans of beer or 102 million gallons. Do we have a problem with alcohol in the world? Ah, we have a problem with alcohol in the world. It's terrible. If there is an alcoholic parent, one alcoholic parent, there is a 50% that one of the children will become alcoholics too. If both parents are alcoholic, there is an 85% chance that one child will at least become an alcoholic themselves.

Ann landers years back once wrote, "people who drink to drown their sorrow should be told that sorrow knows how to swim." Yeah. Once you drink to drown your sorrows, you find that you're in good company with a whole lot more sorrows. And of course we know scientifically how bad alcohol is for the unborn child. It even has a name these days: fetal alcohol syndrome. It's the reason that people like Samson's parents were told to have no strong drink before he was born.

It seems like with all the information we have on alcohol, it wouldn't--it wouldn't even be necessary to even talk about it ever in a Sabbath school class of a Seventh-day Adventist Church. But every once in a while I hear stories. I hear stories where groups of Seventh-day Adventist people are having a little get-together and they consume wine or alcohol in some form. And I say, "no, no, that can't be." Because alcohol consumption and seventh-day adventism does not go together. That just doesn't mix.

It just doesn't work. The devil has convinced a large portion of society to believe that a little alcohol is good for your heart. Have you heard that? Even if it were true, which the lesson points out there is no literature at all really to prove that fact. And even if it was, would it be worth a tiny little benefit to one of your organs to the detriment, I mean terrible detriment to the mind, the most important organ as far as your communication with God, and all the other organs that it negatively affects, would it be worth it? I don't think so. That's about like every gimmick you see from these large companies.

You know, "we'll give you something free." Oh, people sign up, then down the road it'll cost them. You get a $10-trinket gift, and down the road it costs you $50, $100 or more. If there wasn't a bit of scientific bit of data on research, logic tells me that grape juice is just as good for your heart as wine, if not better. What do you think? In fact, I heard on national public radio just this past week that fermentation is a cousin to mold. Do you realize how bad mold is for us? I tore out a carpet one time, tore it all out by myself.

It was a moldy old carpet that had gotten moldy. And the next day I was literally, physically sick from that mold. I just can't think that fermentation is good for us. Do you? I just can't see that. Have you ever noticed how cleaver though the ads are for alcohol on tv? Even if you just watched the news, you can't get around seeing some of the advertisement for alcohol.

They have some geniuses putting together these advertisements. They're actually very creative. They're some of the most creative and attracting advertisements that you'll see on television. It's an evil genius, but it's still genius. There's one though they had running.

I thought, boy, they must think the whole world is completely ignorant. You probably seen 'em. They talk about drinking sensibly, drinking alcoholic beverages sensibly. Now that's oxy--oxymoronic in the highest degree, drinking alcoholic beverages sensibly. But anyway, they had this advertisement where this guy pulls up in this really sports car.

He jumps out, there's a big party going on, he's excited to get to this party, and he jumps out of this sports car and he starts walking towards the party. And then he stops, turns around, he pulls something like an ice pick out of his pocket. And he goes in back and pokes a hole in all four of his tires. And then they say, "oh, this man is so smart because he's gonna drink sensibly tonight." I mean that's about the most dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life. And who's to say if he comes out intoxicated he won't drive on those flat tires.

I've seen it. You've heard of it. Oh, I tell you, that advertisement takes the cake. Whoof. Temperance and alcohol cannot be used in the same sentence, unless it's rubbing alcohol and you're using it to clean up a wound or something.

That's the only thing I could think you could use them in the same sentence. Well, we must move on to Wednesday's lesson entitled, "temperance in all things." We are reminded that tHis Word, temperance, could be sometimes thought to be as a bit outdated. Somebody has 2 Peter 1:5-9, who has 5-9? Okay, right over there. This is a good passage that gives us a concept of results, results of what it is like to be temperate and results of a lack of temperance in this area. Okay, go ahead.

"And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience Godliness; and to Godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." Thank you very much. I think it is true as the lesson points out that many of us think about organizations especially from the past that would focus particularly perhaps on alcohol and tobacco, temperance organizations, temperate societies. A little bit outdated, but certainly it should not be.

Temperance, while it includes these huge issues, it is much more. It is temperance in all things. You can give up alcohol and tobacco and still be a very intemperate person, can't you? You might even become a vegan, and still be a very intemperate person by eating so much more than one human being should consume in one day. Yeah, that would be intemperate. You can religiously exercise, but get an average of three of four hours of sleep and be a very intemperate person.

Some of us approach temperance like the man I saw once. We were actually headed on our way west when mount st. Helen's blew. You remember that? And we got closer and we kept seeing this stuff coming out of the sky. And we turned on the radio and found out what had happened.

And all this stuff came down. We got to missoula, Montana and they would not let us go any farther, because the stuff was like stacked up on the streets. It was just getting thick and bad for cars. And we were very fortunate to find a motel room. But as we was driving through this town, we saw this guy on the corner selling masks because the stuff was just in the air.

He was selling masks. And he had his mask pulled down while he smoked a cigarette. I thought, boy, that makes a lot of sense. I don't know. Now when it comes to temperance in all things, I think it's important, as the lesson points out, balance is so important.

And as I thought about balance, it reminded me of something way back in my childhood. Before there were automatic washing machines, some of you will remember that you had the wringer washing machine. Then you had those three or four tubs. And my mother was quite ill when I was young, so that was quite often my job. Bring all those tubs in, fill 'em up with water, and do the wash that way.

And you put something called bluing in one of the waters. That was supposed to help clothes be whiter. Some of you remember that? I thought, how is this blue stuff gonna make my white clothes whiter? But I did it, and it worked. But then we got our first washing machine, automatic washing machine. That was so exciting.

But they had a problem with balance in those days. And sometimes when them things were spinning dry, we had to get the whole family on top of it to hold it down. Just--just all over, all over the room. So balance is very important in all things, even a washing machine. And the lesson points out too that in the teacher's lesson, it said, "bring a young person to the class to demonstrate the importance of balance.

Bring a young person to class that may be a gymnast or a unicyclist." Now, I happen to ride a unicycle as many of you know. I've ridden a unicycle most of my life. So I thought about bringing unicycle and demonstrating something, not riding it of course in the sanctuary on the Sabbath. I would have gotten all kinds of e-mails about that, so I didn't do that. But I thought about bringing a unicycle and demonstrating something very important when it comes to balance.

I was gonna have John, my friend John from the afcoe, he-- I asked him if he'd ever tried to ride the unicycle. And he said no. I said, "okay, you're the perfect person." Here's what I was gonna do. I was gonna bring John up here, and I was gonna have John try to get on the unicycle. Just hang on here and try to get on.

Now people--I've taken my unicycle to the church picnic. And people say, "oh, I've always wanted to try that. Can I try it?" And so they try, and they can't even get on it, let alone try to ride it. I mean I've had lots of people say--and they just fall all over the place. They can't get on.

And so I thought, okay, that'd be a good, perfect experience, show how John couldn't get on it unless he's a super John. And then I would just get on it like I can. I can get on it without holding on. You know, I can just hop on and just start riding. And my point is, how could it be, how can a 64-year-old person just hop on a unicycle and ride away when somebody else can't even hang on to these things, and stay on top of it? Well, how did it happen? Did it happen because when I was a boy I thought one day, I'm gonna get me a unicycle and I love to ride a unicycle.

So I found out where to buy one. I went down to the store. I bought one. I now can call myself a unicyclist, because I own one, right? Does that mean that I can just hop up on that thing and ride it away? No. It takes lots and lots and lots of practice and effort and over and over and trying and trying again.

I think sometimes people get the idea that okay, now I'm a Christian. That first day you become--come to Christ, you pray and you say, "okay, I want to be temperate and I want to be temperate in all things. God, take away all my bad habits and give me only good habits." And when they realize it doesn't come that easy, people can get discouraged. And it takes a lot of effort. It takes a great deal of effort to have a balanced life temperately.

It doesn't just automatically happen. And again, there are some around who would say, "man, that smacks of righteousness by works again." Now here's my answer to that. If you decided you looked at yourself one day in the mirror, and you decided, "well, you know, I think i-- I got on the scale. I need to lose 50 pounds." I don't have to worry--that's why I'm throwing that one out, 'cause it's easy for me. I never have had that problem, but some people do have that problem, and say, "I'm going to lose 50 pounds.

" So you are serious about it. You go to your doctor and you say, "alright, this is what I'm gonna do. Doctor, I want to lose pounds. Tell me what kind of physical program I need to be on." So he tells him how much exercise and what to do. So you start on it.

You work hard on it. And then you have to think about the food intake, all the calories, counting calories is effort. But you are determined. A week goes by, a week and a half, you step on the scale, pounds gone. Yay! You are so excited.

Some people get discouraged and turn back and give up on it. But not you. You are determined. You're gonna lose that pounds. So you stick to it.

You keep counting calories. You keep just focusing on how much you're gonna eat, when you're gonna eat it, and all that exercise. A month goes by, two months goes by, three months goes by, you get on the scale one day and you see that those 50 pounds are gone. Now here's my question. Who got rid of the 50 pounds? Well, my answer to that is you made some choices that helped God get rid of the 50 pounds, because God's the only one that can go inside your body and cause the chemical reactions to bring about the conditions to have those pounds go bye-bye.

Just as when you confess your sins and repent of your sins, God is the only one that can take those sins and tell them to go bye-bye. That's righteousness by faith. That's righteousness by faith. And after you have this gift of salvation, you cooperate with God by making the right choices and then he does for you what you can't do for yourself. That's being temperate in all things.

Does that make sense? I think so. To me it does. So it just seems like--you know, there was a president of the United States called calvin coolidge, I'm sure you've heard of him. He says all growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort.

And effort means work. Now we all understand that in this world today. To ever accomplish something that is meaningful, to be successful in anything, it's going to take a lot of effort and a lot of work. But when it comes to religion, some people cry out, "oh, but that's righteousness by works. We can't get bogged down by that!" Well, it's not righteousness by works to cooperate with God in everything that he asks us to cooperate.

In life, people are ready to admit how much effort it takes, but in actuality, when it comes to temperance, we are not trying to earn our salvation. We are trying to thank God and cooperate with the salvation that he's given to us. It's just the opposite. I think that makes a lot of sense as we turn to Thursday's lesson. It's entitled, "bought with a price.

" And it kind of says it all when it comes to this topic. Many people have the idea that we have no responsibilities to anyone. Have you ever heard people say, "I know my rights." What rights do we have without God? Not very many, do we? But many people have this idea, as the lesson points out, the philosophy that our bodies belong to us, and we can do whatever we please with them. And there's a certain amount of truth to that, because of the free moral choice we have. We have the free moral choice to mistreat our bodies, but we will pay the consequences.

So he created us. God created us. And then he sent his son when we were lost. He sent his son to buy us back. A thought came to me as I was addressing these great truths.

How can that help us with this concept of temperance. Well, suppose you are a parent. And upon becoming a parent to your son or daughter, of course you're very pleased and very happy to be part of this process, bringing this wonderful new creature into the world. But as a child, let's say, enters into his teenage years, somehow he gets hooked on drugs. While you do everything you can do encourage this young person to change, to give up this body-and-mind-destroying substance, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

You pull him or her out of one scrape or another. It's like a child being swept down a raging river, headed for a waterfall. And you jump in and you dive and save that child, bring him back to safety. And the child says, "oh thank you, dad. Thank you, mom, for saving my life and for caring.

But even though I know I was headed for that great waterfalls, I was having fun." And with that, he jumps into the water again. You helped to bring that child into this world, you helped to rescue that child from death, yet the child jumps into the raging waters again without any concern for his welfare, or their welfare. God must weep as he looks down upon mankind doing the same thing with our bodies over and over. He created us. How did he create us? We are "fearfully and wonderfully made.

" Study just one organ, just one organ, your eye, your ear drum, and you will know you are fearfully and wonderfully made. That's why we are an amazing creature. We are headed not for a waterfall, but for a fiery fall, and Jesus jumped in to save us and rescue us. I think he has every right to ask us to be temperate, don't you? Jesus refers to our bodies as a what? Temple. The jews asked Jesus a question: "what sign do you show to us, since you are doing these things?" It was right after he drove the money changers out of the temple.

And then he gave this response. Okay. "Jesus answered and said unto them, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the jews, 40 and 6 years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in 3 days? But he spake of the temple of his body." Okay, thank you. Now we have the one in Corinthians.

And this is found in the sixth chapter in verses 19 and 20. And I think you have the microphone right there for you. Okay, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the holy ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." Thank you very much. Jesus knew how to drive home a point.

He pointed out, it took them 46 years to build this magnificent temple. But that was nothing in comparison to the temples that we. And think about it. What if this happened? Say you were reaching adulthood and your father decided to build you a home. And so he put a half million dollars into a nice home, ten acres of land.

It had springs of water, a little pond, a beautiful half-million-dollar home on it. And he makes it--he makes it all for you with all the love and care that he puts into it. And the day finally comes that you move in. Boy, everybody is so excited. Here is your home.

Here's a place for you to live. And then The Father tells you, "I have to go away for a year on business, but I'll be back." After a year, he comes back, he visits the home and the home is literally destroyed because--because his child brought in every kind of creature and just let them roam free and wild and make messes and never clean 'em up and tear things apart. And the place that was a beautiful, beautiful place is now nothing but a garbage dump. How do you think that father is going to feel when he sees that? He's going to be weeping. He's going to be so exasperated.

And how God must look down upon humanity and weep as he sees men and women making garbage dumps out of these temples that he has given us, our bodies, by putting in health-destroying things and food and things to drink, things that destroy us. It's a terrible thing God must go through as he looks down upon this world. Again, we must mention the world balance. For balance does sometimes-- or this issue of temperance, healthful living, does have its extremes. Sometimes people can go to the opposite end of the pendulum, become so rigid and dogmatic about their so-called health reform that it is impossible for them to enjoy the temples that God gave them, their bodies.

Let me explain. Have you ever known anybody that is so--well, we call them "neat freaks." That's a terrible word, but people that are so caught up into making their house that-- I mean their children can't even do anything, because they don't want any dirt anywhere. It's hard for those children to have any kind of happiness, because this person may be so fanatical about this kind of thing in their home. And that's kind of like someone becoming fanatical and dogmatic about temperance, not enjoying living, get so bogged down. And you know, it's easy to do because I remember when I first became a Christian.

And I thought, "wow, there's so much in the Bible about healthful living. I want to be healthy." I was a very unhealthy child, so I want to be as healthy as I can be. And it's easy to get so bogged down that you almost become tense about it. And you just--it kind of destroys the peace that God wants you to have. And what does the Bible say about healthful living? "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.

" And so if you take this temperance thing to the extreme, to that extreme, which probably not a lot of people do, compared to the people that take it to the other extreme; but if you do, you are actually living intemperately even though your whole focus is on temperance. Amazing, isn't it, how the devil works? He can trip us up one way, if not one way, another. We are a pleasure-loving society. What is intemperance? Isn't intemperance just plain, unadulterated selfishness, because you want to get all the joy and excitement and fun or good feeling out of life that you can possibly get. So anything that tantalizes your taste, you're gonna go for it, because it'll make you feel good.

It'll just really spark your taste buds. And you will be living the high life. Intemperance is selfishness in the highest degree. As I said, we are a pleasure-loving society. We forget that we have been bought with a price, as the lesson brings out.

And when we forget that, we become very short-sighted. To embrace temperance is to embrace a healthy concept of eternity. Intemperance is living for today with no thought about tomorrow. I ran across some facts that accentuate this concept about as strongly as anything I could I think. We live in a world of celebrities.

Athletes, for example, make extravagant amounts of money. They sign these multi-million-dollar deals. And we think that probably they go on to live the high life for the rest of their life, even after they retire. But I ran across these statistics that says almost 80% of the national football, pro-football players, 80% after they retire, they are dealing with bankruptcy, 80% after having made millions of dollars. And the national basketball association players, those professional basketball players that make millions of dollars, % of former basketball players end up broke within years of retirement.

How could that be? They squander millions due to bad decisions, due to lavish living, due to intemperance, due to going out and living for the moment. You ever heard of evander holyfield? He was a boxer. He's the guy that got bitten on the ear one time by another boxer. He earned over $250 million in cash during his boxing career. But despite that, he's flat broke today.

Can you even believe that? One thing he did, he went out and bought a house, $20 million, $20 million for a house, ,000 square feet. It had 109 rooms, 11 bedrooms and 17 restrooms, a movie theater, a bowling alley, an olympic-sized swimming pool. He had to have somebody cut acres of grass every week. Imagine his electric bills. Wow, that's incredible.

One multi-million-dollar golfer, John daley, gambled away over $50 million to $60 million of his money away. It was said that he would gamble away millions, $5 million, $10 million, $15 millions in one night at a gambling place. Living for the moment, that's the epitome of intemperance with money. But you know, we're all prone to the same type of problems. The devil tries to entice us with the things of this world.

And it's easy to become intemperate if we just let down our guard. And God does not want us to do that. He wants us to live how? He wants us to live the abundant life. He wants us to--bless us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask or think. And he's not going to do that against our will.

He's not going to do that against our choices. He's not going to do that while we make serious choices in the wrong of intemperance. He's only going to do that as we cooperate with him. Would you say--would you say that temperance is important? Would you say intemperance is a sin? Yes. Intemperance is a sin.

I believe we can all see that. So what is the solution, if you know you're struggling with something of intemperance in your life? Well, I think the answer is certainly spelled out clearly in the Bible. Look to the cross and just penetrate your mind and your thought. Let it wrap around the price that was paid to buy your temples back. Fallen as we have become, through sin, through letting our guard down way back in the Garden of Eden, and following suit for these 6,000 years.

But Jesus has paid the price. He shed the blood, so that he could buy us back. If you have any problem with anything intemperate in your life, that is the solution, isn't it? Don't try harder to gain the victory on your own. Work hard, yes. Give it all the effort you've got to cooperate with the things he tells us that we should do and shouldn't do.

Yes, do all that. But don't forget to take him along for the ride, or you'll be working in vain, won't you? Temperance is very important. That's what we need to dwell on if we ever think giving up something is hard. In fact, I think that's the wrong approach. Giving up things is not the right approach.

It's what we can add to our life. Every time God ever asks you to get something out of your life, he has got something better to put into it. Do you know that? Amen. Every time. I've found that to be so, so true.

When you're first thinking, "boy, God wants me to give up this and give up that." No, he's got something better every time. I mean just think, just think with alcohol. And if you gave up alcohol, what's he got better? Well, I could list a whole bunch of things. But pure water is better. And it's free, most of the time.

Now they're gonna start charging us everywhere I guess for water. But anyway, it's pretty free, it's still pretty inexpensive. So everything that God asks to put aside, he's got something better. Do you agree with that? Amen. God bless you as you strive by the grace of God to live temperate lives for him, to his honor, to his glory, to the advancement of his kingdom.

That's our prayer request this morning. I want to remind you of our free offer, 142, "the Christian and alcohol." Just call 1-866-study-more or -3966 instead of study-more. Go to Amazing Facts, www.amazingfacts.org. Thank you for everyone who came here to our Sacramento sanctuary this morning. And all of you who are joining us from wherever you are, thank you for joining us too.

I communicate with many of you online, and it's good to talk to you again this morning. So thank you. Journey back through time to the center of the universe, discover how a perfect angel transformed into satan, the arch villain, the birth of evil, a rebellion in heaven, a mutiny that moved to earth. Behold the creation of a beautiful, new planet and the first humans. Witness the temptation in eden.

Discover God's amazing plan to save his children. This is a story that involves every life on earth, every life. "The cosmic conflict," if God is good, if God is all powerful, if God is love, then what went wrong? Available now on dvd.

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