Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Paul prophesied that as the end of this age draws near, men will become "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." Is there any country on earth that this is happening more than in this one, the United States of America? In spite of the fact that many people here are good and godly and hate the wickedness around them, the movie and television industries shamelessly promote perverted lusts, violence, and raw greed as if that is all there is to life. Governmental policies have crossed the boundary of mere toleration and often now openly endorse homosexuality, endangering the spiritual welfare of our children. Sometimes it is overwhelming. We are bombarded on every hand with flagrant, public invitations to lewdness, even on billboards along the highways. Where can we hide?
Is it any wonder, under these circumstances, that so many young men and women in this country have become hedonistic, loving pleasure more than they love goodness and wisdom? Innocence is on the defensive at every level of education, even in elementary schools. Parents are forced to confront issues with their children that they should not have to deal with for at least several more years. But their children must be warned that this is a wicked world and that the perverse deeds that are advertised to them will destroy their souls if they are deceived by that craftiness.
When a man loves pleasure more than he loves God, he cannot love his neighbor as himself. When a man loves pleasure more than he loves God, he cannot be faithful to his wife, even if he does have some love for her. If a man loves pleasure more than he loves God, he cannot keep God's commandments, especially if those commandments interfere with his pleasure.
Here in the USA, we live in a extraordinarily wealthy country. Millions upon millions of people today in poorer countries cannot even imagine the wealth and abundance that are part of the routine of daily life here. The saints of God who live here will be very blessed indeed if God saves them from becoming addicted to the easy pleasure that is available to all who live in America. Only our heavenly Father can save us from "the deceitfulness of riches", and He will do that if we "abide under the shadow of His wing."
Wise saints who find themselves surrounded by such an abundance of wealth will fear God all the more and will pray for His strength to escape these things: First, to survive the foolishness of our government when it imposes immorality on us and our children; second, to escape the depraved propaganda of those in the entertainment and advertising industries who love money more than life itself; and third, to escape the temptation to embrace this generation's excessive love of pleasure. Jesus warned us that as the end drew near, the love for God that is in the heart of many would be overwhelmed by this very thing (Mt. 24:12).