When Lust is the Reason People Reach for the Promise by Carter Conlon

Photo credit www.keyway.ca

Abram in Egypt

Genesis 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.

17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

Abraham made a mistake and it’s very similar to the one made in our generation. Sarah, his wife, was the human vessel through whom this incredible promise would begin. Abraham could not do this on his own, just as you and I cannot be this blessing on our own. Abraham, even though he knew this, he feared for his own well being. And what he did is he redefined  the very person through whom the promise was to come. And thus, he created a situation where people could take her into their home, through lust. Genesis chapter 12 verses 12-13 says –

12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

Now, keep in mind, when Pharaoh saw a beautiful woman, as happened in this situation, he would take that woman into his harem, and it was for no other reason than to satisfy his own lusts. That’s fairly obvious. And what Abraham did, when he redefined his wife, as his sister and not as his wife, he opened up the way for people to take this vessel, Sarah, through whom the lineage of Christ was going to come. But, he opened the way for people to take Sarah into their home through lust.

And, in our generation, Paul describes in Galatians 6:12, people in the New Testament who were modifying the message of blessing and grace for the soul purpose of not suffering persecution for the cross of Christ. Just like Abraham. Many in our generation have done something very very similar. They’ve looked and they’ve seen, they’ve traveled, and in their heart, they’ve said, „If this relationship is clearly identified, then what’s going to happen is that I’m going to be persecuted. I’m going to be ridiculed. I’m going to be mocked, I’m going to be laughed at.” And so, they modify the person of Christ. And it’s a tremendous error to modify the person of Christ. It’s an error that much of this church age has done in our generation.

Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3, where he talked about the last days-

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Just like Abraham, they would suffer from this deep set unbelief, when God is able to perfectly keep us, as His purposes through us are being made known. Paul goes on to say –

Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

How, you say, is this going to happen? Folks, it’s not even debatable that in much of the church of Jesus Christ, Christ Himself has been redefined as this cosmic Santa Clause, who calls nobody to follow Him and take up their cross, asks for no sacrifice, does not speak of the denial of self, ..everything’s been redefined. Just like Abraham fearing for his own skin, he redefined Sarah as his sister, not as his wife. And when he redefined her, allowed her to be taken in Pharaoh’s court because of human lust and when we have allowed Christ to be redefined in our generation, we’ve opened the door to people receiving an alternate Christ, if I may call it that, into their house and into their heart. And they’re still able to hold on to their lusts.

There’s no challenge, „Oh, I want this Jesus! I want this Jesus that promises me $100,000 for every $1000 I give. I want this Jesus that’s gonna make me successful in life. I want this Jesus that’s attracted to me while I’m still living in my lusts. I want his Jesus in my house.” And, when we redefine Jesus, Abrahama was paid well for his redefinition, just as many preachers are paid well for their redefinition. Now, they can have their own airports, they can have their own jets, they can have huge buildings. Society will repay you well, when you redefine the promise. And you open the doorway to bringing in this other Christ that requires nothing. You don’t have to go to the mission field, you dont have to sacrifice, you don’t have to be rejected, you’re the head, you’re not the tail. All the rest of this stuff.

What a tragic mistake he made. But the Scripture says: Their folly will become evident. In the last days, Paul is speaking of the last days in 2 Timothy, and he says their foolishness will become known, just as it always has become known. And so, the question is: How will it become known? In Genesis 12:17 it says  But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household. In the same way, trouble has been loosed upon this nation and its present handling on the knowledge of God. Just the way pharaoh was plagued, we’re now plagued in America with divorce, to the point where a recent news article said: Is marriage itself a farce?

  • Maybe we should just do away with marriage altogether. Why is it even necessary if 50-60% of it is ending up in divorce? So, why are we even bothering with it? Incredible!
  • Addictions – the plague of addictions in America. Addiction to pornography, addiction to all kinds of drugs. Even legalizing it. There was a manufacturing place in Colorado Springs a few weeks ago. I don’t know if anybody read that, but they moved to another state because their workers were so stoned all the time, they weren’t getting any productivity out of them. Addicted to ease, addicted to entertainment, addicted to stupidity on television. ADDICTED!
  • My wife said to me recently, „Never, in the history of the world, have people done less and documented it more.” On Facebook, just doing nothing. ‘Here’s the coffee I had this morning’, a picture of it. ‘Here’s the flower on my table’. ‘Here’s a stone stuck in the tire of my car.’ Never have people done less and documented it more. And then, everybody else is documenting their doing nothing. And everybody else is just enthralled with everybody’s doing nothing. Our productivity is dying as a nation. We’re falling behind educationally at an alarming rate. Our industries are failing largely, not totally, but largely.
  • We’re living in a season of social and political confusion. It’s not even deniable anymore. Nobody in their right mind could deny that we’re spiraling down so quickly and so deeply. There’s a breakdown of order and there’s the potential of increased lawlessness and violence in our streets.

And that’s only just naming a few things. And it’s all happening because we’ve redefined Christ in America. There’s no other reason. It’s in excusable with churches on every corner in this country, that this society is in the shape it’s in. And there’s nowhere that God lays the blame – now, we wanna blame politicians, we wanna blame all kinds of things. But, God puts the blame in the pulpits, in America. That’s where the blame belongs.

Now, in the church of Jesus Christ, our prayers are going to remain effective until we realize that the promise of life within us in Christ is for others first and for ourselves second. There’s a promise. The promise is that we will be a blessing. But the blessing is for others first. And I always believe that in the measure we give to others, God says; „I’ll give it back to you.” (Notes from the first 15 minutes, there are aprox 25 minutes remaining)

Pastor Carter Conlon at Times Square Church, founded by David Wilkerson.

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