The 7-Star Church

The 7-Star Church [web]Seven times in just two chapters of the book of Revelation, Jesus says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” That same Spirit is still speaking to the churches today.

As you may know, the number seven in the Bible stands for completion. Although there were many more churches in Asia minor, Jesus delivered a message to seven of them. In other words, He delivered a complete, well-rounded message to all churches by speaking to those seven. Those messages are still speaking to us today.

This Sunday I’m beginning a new series of messages called The 7-Star Church—Becoming The Church That Pleases Christ from this text in Revelation. It’s going to be a challenging word, but an encouraging word at the same time.

If you are near Cedar Springs, please join me at Calvary Assembly of God on Sunday morning at 10:30am. Come with an ear to hear what the Spirit is still saying to us today.

13 Quotes From “The Bare Facts”

The Bare FactsJosh McDowell knows the mindset of today’s youth well, and he very ably lays out an honest discussion about sex in his book The Bare Facts: 39 Questions Questions Your Parents Hope You Never Ask About Sex. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some of the quotes and statistics that especially stood out to me.

“Research by the National Center for Health Statistics and the University of Maryland found that women who save sex for marriage face a considerably lower risk of divorce than those who are sexually active prior to marriage. … Studies indicate that women who engage in early sexual activity and those who have had multiple partners are less satisfied with their sex lives than women who entered marriage with little or no sexual experience.”

“If you cannot define love, how do you know if you are in love? If you cannot define love, how can you know if you are being loved? If you cannot define love, how do you know if you have a loving, intimate relationship? … Love cannot be a feeling because you cannot command an emotion. … Love is more than a feeling. It is a series of choices. When we choose to love, our emotions can be transformed, but love is expressed by acts of the will.”

“When you have sex outside of marriage, the lines between love and lust are blurred. It is easy to misinterpret the chemical reactions in your brain for feelings of love. You can’t trust your feelings to verify if sex is right or wrong, and feelings of love aren’t proof that your relationship is mature or beneficial.”

“Since God designed sex to bind us to each other, when we choose to engage in sex outside of marriage it turns relationships upside down and confuses emotions to the point where a person can misinterpret sex for love. When we follow God’s plan, the love between a man and woman is already established before sex enters the equation.”

“Clearly, God doesn’t ask us to wait for sex in order to spoil our fun or restrict us unnecessarily. His commandments regarding sex are evidence of His love for us as He seeks to protect and provide for our good.”

“Female brains receive especially high doses of oxytocin whenever there is touching and hugging. Vasopressin is a hormone that does the same thing in the male brain. … When we continually change partners, oxytocin levels decrease and the brain’s oxytocin release function doesn’t work as it’s supposed to. Promiscuous sexual activity wears down vasopressin production in the male brain, causing men to become desensitized to the risk of short-term relationships.”

“Today, doctors recognize twenty-five major STDs, nineteen of which have no cure. In the 1960s one out of every sixty sexually active teens got an STD. By the 1970s that number jumped to one out of every forty-seven. Today one in four sexually active teenagers is infected.”

“While condoms offer only partial protection against HIV, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, they offer zero protection from many other STDs. In fact, for the most part, condoms do not reduce STDs, because most STDs are viruses. They are passed by areas of the body not covered by a condom. … With an average woman, between twenty and twenty-four years of age, when condoms were used 100 percent of the time, there was a 31 percent failure rate. … The FDA refuses to certify condoms. Why? Because the failure rate is off the charts. Another government agency, the CDC, says that abstinence is the only surefire way to prevent STDs.”

“Girls, imagine making the choice to become sexually active your sophomore year of high school. You never show any symptoms of an STD and you never get tested. Several years later you meet the man of your dreams. You marry and try to start a family, but you can’t get pregnant. When you go to the doctor to discuss your infertility, your doctor tells you that you have PID. You have had no symptoms but at one time you were infected with chlamydia. You now have to drive home and tell your husband that he will never have children of his own. Guys, imagine a similar scenario. You lose your virginity to a girl you thought you loved at age fifteen. Ten years later you learn what true love is when you meet and marry your wife. She is a virgin on your wedding day. Several years into your marriage your wife begins to experience abnormal bleeding. She goes to the doctor and discovers she has cervical cancer, likely caused by HPV that you unknowingly gave to her. Even though she chose to wait, she is forced to pay a huge price because you didn’t.”

“Sexually active teenage girls are 300 percent more likely to attempt suicide than their virgin peers. Sexually active teenage boys are more than twice as likely as sexually active girls to be suicidal. In fact, sexually active teenage boys are 700 percent more likely to attempt suicide than peers who are waiting.”

“Dr. Freda McKissic Bush of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health noted, ‘One of the greatest risk factors for depression, loss of self-esteem, and a lot of emotional consequences has to do with the number of people you have [sexual] relations with.’ She went on to say, ‘The more people you have [sexual] relations with, the more likely you are to have difficulty forming healthy relationships in the future when you are ready to be with one person.’”

“When it comes to sex, the mechanics almost always work. Bad sex isn’t the result of too little experience or sexual incompatibility. The problem is relationships. The problem is a lack of a character, trust, respect, and commitment. On your wedding night, experience is the last thing you need.”

“An article titled ‘Aha! Call It the Revenge of the Church Ladies,’ published in USA Today concluded that Christian woman (and the men who sleep with them) are among the most sexually satisfied people on the planet. … Men and women who test the waters of sexual compatibility before marriage are the least likely to be sexually fulfilled.”

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