Sin may be fun for a moment, but it always has consequences. Why doesn’t sin stay fun forever? Why is every high followed by a low? In this message, we learn the reality and effects of sin so we can learn to get rid of it before it gets rid of us.
All right, Porch! How are we doing tonight? If we haven't met, my name is JD. I serve here every Tuesday night as the creative director of our young adult ministry. We call it The Porch. I just want to welcome my friends tuning in at our Live locations. We have Porch.Live Scottsdale, Porch.Live Northwest Arkansas, where my newly fiancée resides right now, and give a warm welcome to Porch.Live Cincinnati tuning in tonight, and of course, last but not least, my friends in the room in Dallas, Texas. So excited. So pumped.
We are heading into night three of our summer series Hot Take Summer. We're going all in, talking about some controversial topics, some hot takes. You might like them; you might not. It has been getting spicy. We are in night three tonight. David kind of set this thing in motion. We didn't even really plan it, but the speaker now is supposed to get up and start off the message with giving off some personal hot takes. So, take them or leave them. Here are JD's hot takes.Ho H I spent some time on these, so I hope you like them.
Hot take #1: Girls slide into guys' DMs way more than guys slide into girls' DMs. I'm just saying. Especially Christian girls. Y'all can't wait for him to post that story so you can reply. That's sliding into DMs. All right?
Hot take #2: There is no one in this room who could beat me in Nintendo 64… Not Nintendo Switch. Get that out of here. I'm a Millennial. Nintendo 64 Mario Kart or Super Smash Bros. You can't beat me. Challenge me, bro. Come at me. Do you think you got…? Okay. I'll meet you outside after.
Hot take #3: LaCroix is trash. The first time I ever tried it, I said, "This tastes like someone got one of those little coffee Styrofoam cups, dropped some Skittles in it, and left it outside for a day." That's what it tastes like. Waterloo is where it's at. If you've had Waterloo… Get some Waterloo. Try it out. That's where it's at.
Hot take #4: Last but not least, you should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, under any circumstance, listen to Christmas music before December 1. Never! And when you do, when it finally gets to December 1, your first song must be Mariah Carey's classic, "All I Want for Christmas Is You." But that's not what we're talking about tonight.
Tonight's Porch Hot Take Summer #3 is this: sin is really, really fun…until it's not. I think some of you right now are like, "Oh lord. Here goes the church guy talking about how I shouldn't sin." The reality is I don't even want to start off by assuming some of you even understand what I mean when I say the word sin, so let me define it really quickly. Here's a quick definition of sin: sin is anything you think, say, or do that dishonors God.
The reason we would say this is a hot take is when you come into church, places like tonight, it's so classic to hear people say, "Hey, don't sin, don't sin, don't sin," and you might be looking at me like, "Of course. The young Christian guy saying, 'You shouldn't sin. Do better.'" The reality is the reason we sin is because deep down we know it's fun. My problem is I'm not out here like, "Hey, don't sin." My problem is I know deep down I want sin. I actually think sin is too fun.
There was a time in college where sin really marked my life. I've always been a sinner, like we all have. Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." But there was this time in college where sin really marked my life. I followed it and not God. I was always jealous of those guys who could go to the club… My vice is partying. That's just me. I like to go out. I know a lot of you probably aren't surprised. I like to go out, have a good time, have some drinks, hang out with people, work the room. Honestly, I'll do that sober, but after I get a few drinks in me…
I was always jealous of those guys who could drink the beer… I don't like beer. I'll say it. I'm a margarita guy. They have the beers, and they're just chilling the whole night on the side, watching everyone else and just talking, looking all cool. I was never that guy. I was totally the guy who got a few drinks in me, tabletop, like, "Get in there! Yeah, yeah!" That was me. I was that guy every single night of the week…Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, recoup on Sunday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… That's what marked my life.
What was so fun at first… I mean, it was truly fun. Quickly, that pattern of living… I was following God before that, but then I kind of went on my own way for a season. My life suddenly started to get more predictable and more boring deep down and more lonely and more stressful, and I could tell you what I was going to do every single night of the week. I looked around, and I was like, "We're all miserable. We're all fooling ourselves, and we're doing it in the name of fun."
Some of you are like, "No. Trust me, bro. I'm still having fun." I'm telling you tonight: sin is really fun until it's not. You want to make sure you take care of sin before it takes care of you. You want to get out ahead of it. I think some of us tonight are like, "Well, I'm not really that deep." This talk is for everyone, whether you're deep in it, whether you're thinking about it, whether you're toying with it. This message is for everyone, because we all have something in us that wants sin.
The reality is if sin is actually fun, why doesn't it stay fun? If we're going out chasing the high, why do we have to keep striving to get higher and higher and higher, and why is every single high accompanied by a low? If it was truly just for a good time, why doesn't it stay a good time? If you think about your life… I bet if right now I sat down with each one of you and pinpointed the most painful thing that has ever happened to you, in some way I could trace it back to its origin, and the beginning of that result began with what the Bible would define as a sinful action.
So much that is hurting us in the world is because of sin…divorce, STDs, school shootings. It's because sin became fun for a short while for someone, but then it grew and grew and grew, and that sin was fun until it wasn't. I just want to address something. This talk tonight… David got the sex talk; I got the sin talk. Great. Thank you, David.
The reality is this is going to be a very sobering message, but I also want to go ahead and give you some hope and relief right up top. If you will sit in the weight of your sin, you then get to sit in the beauty of the cross, and that's where we're heading tonight. But we have to get there. We have to sit in the weight first of what sin is and what it means for us, that it's fun until it's not.
We say this quote around here a lot: "Sin will take you farther than you ever wanted to go, keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay, and cost you more than you ever wanted to pay." Tonight, I want to do a deep dive on this quote and rip it apart into three different sections, and I want to talk about the reality of sin in our lives and the effects it can have to us and on us and just talk about what we can do to get ahead of it. Here we go. Sin is really fun until…
So I get in the car. They start driving. They're chilling. I look over, and I'm like, "Hey, guys, uh, we just passed the Jalapeno Tree." They look at me, and they have this sly smile on their faces. They hit the lock button. Then they do the weirdest thing. They start playing "Mr. Brightside" as loud as the car will get, and they just put it on repeat. They just keep driving, and it's like, "Jealousy…" and I'm like, "Where are we going?"
They just keep driving and keep driving. They won't answer me. The next thing I know… We start in Texas, and we're passing "Welcome to Louisiana." They just keep driving and driving and driving. They pretty much just kept driving through the night until we ran out of gas, and they thought it was fun. They were like, "Wasn't this awesome? Wasn't this an adventure?" I'm like, "Get me back home! I have class tomorrow."
So, we have some fun in Louisiana. We come back. We get back at like 4:30 in the morning. I thought I was getting in the car to go to Jalapeno Tree and eat some fajitas for two. They had another plan. They trapped me against my will and took me farther than I ever wanted to go…to Louisiana of all places…in the name of fun. I say that because I think Satan does the same to us. He convinces you "Hey, hop in the car; we're just going to go on a little joyride," and he takes you farther than you ever thought you'd go.
That's what he does with sin. He convinces you it's just for a quick little ride. "You'll be back tonight. Just come in and try this out. Try out this sin. Just take a little joyride. We'll come right back." The reality is his main goal is to take you and let that sin produce something in you where you want more and more and more and you go farther and farther and farther than you ever thought you would.
You might need a pick-me-up every now and then, and you go searching, and then Satan says, "Hey, go out tonight. Go out with your friends. Hop in the car. Come enjoy a little ride around town." You're like, "Yeah. I can just go out, and I'll just have one drink." Then your friends are like "Get another" and "Get another," and they're like, "How about we go over here?" You go to another place. Some girls join. "How about we go over here?"
You're at a house. You're drinking more the whole time, because people are like, "Let's just keep going. Let's just keep going." You're sitting there in your drunken state. You're like, "Hmm. What should I do? I guess redownload Snapchat." You get on Snapchat. You start snapping that girl you only use. You go over there. You hook up after you said you were done with that. You're lying there the next morning, and you're like, "I thought I was just going out. How did I get here?" It's because your sin took you farther than you ever wanted to go.
For some of you ladies, I know body image can be a really big struggle. You have hot girl summer coming up. You have vacations coming up. You have all this pressure to look good in a swimsuit for the 'Gram. You get on Instagram. You see workouts. You do one workout. You do two workouts. Oh, what do you know? Vacation is getting here before you know it. "I'll skip one meal. I'll skip just two meals. I'll pick it back up when I get to vacation."
You're starving yourself so you can look a certain way and feel a certain way about yourself, and you're experiencing such a low quality of life you don't actually feel comfortable and confident in your skin. You're sitting there bound in this eating disorder, and you're like, "How did I get here?" What started as "I want to make sure I feel good in a swimsuit" led you farther and farther and farther, because that's what sin does. It convinces you that you're getting in the car for just a short while, but it keeps driving and driving and driving.
The reason is sin's ultimate destination is separation. The father of sin, the creator of sin, Satan… His job is to convince you it's just fun, to get some happiness for just a little bit, but he has a plan. You're going in with no plan, but he has a plan, and it's to ruin your life. John, chapter 10, talks about how his only objective is to steal, kill, and destroy. He wants to rob you of life and life to the full, the life God wants to offer you. He wants to trap you in the ride and take you farther than you ever wanted to go.
Think about this. When that now alcoholic got offered that first drink in a moment of weakness at the age of 16, they didn't take that drink and think, "I'm going to one day be an alcoholic and not be able to find love because I'm so obsessed and I need alcohol so badly." That person who looked at Playboy for that first time when they were 10, 11, or 12 didn't think, "I'm going to look at this so one day in college, when my friends invite me to go out for the weekend, I'm going to tell them I'm too tired so I can plan my weekend around watching enough porn."
Sin does not tell you its destination for you. It just tells you to get in the car for a quick ride, but the reality is…it's sobering…it wants to take you so much farther. I taught in the James series these verses in James, chapter 1, verses 14-15: "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death."
What James is basically saying here is that sin never ends where it begins. Yeah, sure, it just starts as a momentary thought, but then that thought gives in to your own evil desires. It entices you. It calls you out, and you try that thing, and then you try that sin again, and you keep going back to it and back to it for momentary fixes, but you have to keep searching and searching and reaching for the next high.
Eventually, that sin leads you down the path of death, because sin's destination is ultimate separation. That has always been its destination since the very beginning of sin. You guys know when sin was created. It happened in Genesis, chapter 3, the third chapter in the Bible. We see this moment where Adam and Eve were placed in the garden with the creator God himself. He gave them so much fruit to enjoy, and he asked one thing. Out of trust and faith he said one thing: "Don't eat of that fruit. Would you trust me?"
Then the father of sin, the Serpent, comes in, and what does he tell them? "Hey, hey. Don't trust God. God isn't good. Do you know what he's doing? He's withholding from you. He's holding you back. He knows that if you eat that fruit, you're going to be like him." It says when Eve saw that the fruit seemed good to the eyes and had the ability to make one wise, she took of it and ate. Then she gave it to Adam, and he ate. Then, Boom! Separation.
There was a separation between a holy God who wants to dwell with his creation, and now, because his creation rebelled against him, there was a separation, and then death was implemented into our world because of sin. Look at what it says in Genesis 3:19. God comes down after this action, and he looks at the Serpent. He curses it. He looks at the woman, and he curses her. Then he looks at the man, and this is what he says: "By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return."
Satan said to Eve, "Get in. We're going to go be like God. We're going to go have a lot of better things than we have right now. Get in." The reality was he took Adam and Eve so much farther than they ever thought they were going to go. He took them to separation from their Creator, a God who loved them, and he wants to do the same to you. He will do anything he can to convince you that sin is worth it, that sin is fun, that sin is your solution, but the only solution is God.
If tonight you are someone who has been in the car with Satan and you've gone so much farther than you ever wanted to go, I have good news: God wants you back. You haven't gone too far. God wants you back. He wants you to turn around and come back to him, and he has made a way for that. We're going to get there. The reality is most people keep riding in the car, and we keep going farther and farther, believing that we're trapped, believing that sin is better, and since we feel trapped, we think we have to stay trapped, which leads me to the second point. Sin is fun until…
Just like in the first point sin said, "Get in the car; we're just going for a quick joyride," and it took you farther than you ever wanted to go, this one says, "Hey, come and go as you please," and you believe you're free, but really, you're trapped. The reason we all love our house… I don't know about y'all, but I love the comfort of my home. I get to come and go as I please. I get to walk in. I get to cook when I want, do laundry when I want, walk around how I want, wearing what I want.
The reason I feel like I can do that is because it's my home. It's my house. Did your parents ever say to you growing up, "My house, my rules"? Or house rules, playing ping-pong. Like, "Well, it doesn't make sense." The reality is if it's your house, you think, "My house, my rules." That's what sin convinces you of. It's like, "Come and stay. Your house, your rules. Interact with sin how you want." But that's never what happens. It tells you you're a free man, but really, you're a slave if you're obeying sin.
Paul articulates that better than I do. In Romans 6:16, he says, "Don't you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living." Paul is saying here that you must see that if you choose to obey sin and its desires for you to go and chase it whenever you want, however you want, you're actually a slave to it. You're a slave to the master that is sin.
When I was writing this talk, I was thinking about the idea of searching and staying with my sin and going farther with my sin, and I thought of the song "Amazing Grace." We all know it. We've heard it at funerals. We've heard it at church. There's a line in there that says:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see.
I was thinking about what sin wants to do. Jesus is in the business of taking lost people and making them found people, taking deaf people and making them hearing people, taking blind people and making them seeing people, but sin will do whatever it can to get in the way of the second half of those phrases. He wants to find people and go, "I once was lost, and I stayed lost. I once was blind, and I stayed blind." Sin doesn't want you to experience Jesus. Sin doesn't want you to experience freedom. It wants you to think you're having fun, but really, you're a slave.
Then, when I was thinking about… Okay. This is how I write my talks. It's like, "'I once was lost, but now I'm found.' Hey, remember lost and founds? That was like the best day of the year, when all of the people who didn't come get their lost and found stuff… You got to go get whatever you wanted. Lost and found. Hey, that would make for a good illustration." Here's the purpose of lost and found. The lost and found, as you know… Its intention is if someone loses something…
We have something in us that wants to go back to where it belongs. That's why we create things like lost and founds. If I lost my watch, hopefully someone would not be like, "Hey, sweet watch." They would take it and go somewhere… We have a section over there in the other offices. They'd go, "Hey, I need to return this to the lost and found," and they'd put the watch inside the lost and found, because the reason this exists is to restore things back to their original owner so they can fulfill their original purpose. That's the goal of a lost and found.
But here's what Satan does. This is how he convinces you to stay longer than you ever wanted to. When something in your life comes, a trial comes in your life… Say someone unexpectedly dies or that breakup comes all of a sudden. Your heart is broken. You feel so lost. You feel so confused. You don't know if God is actually good, and you're out here wondering. God wants you to come to him, but sin's job is to present itself in front of you right in the midst of the hardest times of your life. When you feel most lost, you need to watch out, because that's when you're most susceptible to fall to sin.
So sin comes. It's like, "Hey, you're looking for some life? You're looking for some answers? You're looking for some solutions to your problems? I've got answers. You want to be found? I can find you some happiness. I can find you some pleasure. I can find you some affirmation. Come over here." It convinces you that you're in the lost and found and that you'll find answers, but the reality is you're actually lost and bound. That's what sin wants to do.
It wants to convince you that you've found the answer, but really, you've found nothing. You're actually just really bound, because you've come over… It's like this. This is Hannah. Hannah has come over here because she has lost her sense of self-worth, and she feels super lonely. She feels so lonely, and she's looking for anything. So, sin has brought her over. He said, "Hey, I found an answer to your loneliness: Tinder."
So Hannah downloads Tinder. (The reason I named her Hannah is because I Googled "Number one name on Tinder.") She's looking on Instagram. She sees more engagements. (Sorry, Hannah.) She sees more weddings, more relationships. Then she sees Jessica out having fun, and she didn't invite her. It's always Jessica. So, Hannah exits out of Instagram, and she does it. She hits Tinder. She gets on Tinder, and she starts to swipe right, swipe right.
Before you know it, she thinks all hope is lost. She's brushing her teeth. Someone swipes right on her. She's like, "Hmm." She looks. His profile is full of red flags. He's definitely not a Christian, but she's like, "Could he fix my loneliness tonight? I think so." The reality is Hannah thought she was lost and found, but her actions show me that she has been deceived and she's lost and bound. If she continues this, Hannah is going to find herself going to all of the wrong sources to fix her loneliness, and it's actually going to make her more and more and more of a slave to sin.
Let's try Jake. Nice Jake. We all know a Jake. Jake has broken some of your hearts. Jake never got the "attaboy" from his father. (Every guy was like, "Oof.") Jake has been searching for significance his whole life. He's searching and searching and searching, and he thinks, "Oh! Significance maybe could lie within… I'm a young adult now. I've graduated from college. I got my master's in business, so I'll work really hard." So Jake starts working 80 hours a week.
He thinks, "Okay. It's just for a quick moment. It's just for now. When I get married, I'll chill out." Because he hasn't felt significant in a long time, he keeps going. He gets married, and then he has kids. Those kids cost a lot of money, so he keeps going. They want more things, so he's buying more things. He keeps getting bigger homes, nicer cars. He keeps everything he can to maintain this image of significance and that "Hey, look at me. I matter." He keeps going and going and going.
What started off with just, "Hey, I can keep doing it. I can keep working hard…" He's like, "Oh, every time I get that paycheck, every time I start that new thing, every time I make that new purchase and my kids are happy, my wife is happy, I feel like I've found the answer." The problem is his kids aren't actually happy, because he's never around. His wife isn't actually happy…she's faking it for her friends…because he's never around. Why is he never around? Because he hasn't found the answer to significance. He's bound. He's a workaholic.
Sin convinces you in your most lonely times, in your darkest times, "Hey, come with me. I'll find your answer." It drops you off. It leaves you bound. It closes the lid. You find yourself trapped and still searching. You've been there longer than you ever wanted to, because sin keeps us longer than we ever wanted to stay, and we'd give just about anything to get out. It seems like we've lost everything. We don't have enough to give, which is my third point.
He had everything he could ever want…a loving father, affirmation, gifts, a house, money…all of these different things, but it wasn't enough. He wanted to go his own way. He wanted to do his own thing. So, he comes to his dad and says, "I don't want to wait any more for my inheritance. Give me all my money now. I'm going to go make a living for myself. I'm going to go have fun. I'm going to go spend my young adult years how I want to do it. Forget what you say, Dad. I'm out." This is what happens as a result of that. In verse 13:
"A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything."
This is the definition of someone who gave into their sin, and it took them farther than they ever wanted to go, it was keeping them longer than they ever wanted to stay, and lastly, it was costing them more than they ever could pay. He lost everything. He had nothing. He did not even have enough money to buy his own food. He lost his family. He lost people who loved him. He lost his job. He lost his health. He went searching for life on the end of wild living, going out and living for the high, and it got him nowhere. He spent everything he had, and now he had nothing.
That's what sin does. Sin is a master at revealing pleasure but concealing consequence. Another way of saying that is sin convinces you that you can have a lot of fun for free. Y'all are like, "Have you seen my bar tab? I don't think so." That's what sin does. It convinces you that you can have so much pleasure and it will cost you nothing, and that's wrong. That's not true. I could testify. Sin leads to so much unnecessary pain. It might be fun for a short while, but it hurts forever.
There are people in this room who could raise their hand and say, "I'm still experiencing the consequences of my decisions and my choices." But sin doesn't show you that before you commit it. It only reveals the pleasure. It conceals the consequence. That's what it did to this guy in this story. It convinced him, "Hey, look at all the world out there. It's your oyster. Go." If he knew what was on the end of this story, that in just a short time a famine would come and he would be lying with pigs, not even to get to eat what they were eating, I don't think he would have done it, but sin only revealed pleasure.
It's like this. Anyone else ever been trapped by a seven-day free trial? This is so embarrassing. One time I was on YouTube, and those ads… They're getting heavy with those ads. I'll say it. When an ad pops up in the middle of my video, I'm like, "Who do you think you are?" But I was sitting there… They have like five seconds to grab you. You know, the whole hook. They have five seconds, because you can click the "Skip ad" in five seconds.
That guy who so many of you know… I think they said his name was V Shred or something. You know what I'm talking about if you know. He's sitting there shirtless. He just got done having a workout. He's like, "Want these?" and I'm like, "Yeah!" I'm hooked. He's like, "You can get these things really quick with just one simple thing, and the whole time you can eat cheeseburgers and pizza." I'm like, "Tell me everything. I'm here. I'm at your mercy, V Shred."
He starts talking, and the next thing I know, I'm seven minutes deep learning about this new supplement. He's like, "You don't believe me? That's okay. We have a quick free trial for you. Just click this button and type in your email. Bada bing, bada boom. We'll send a sample to your [whatever…yada, yada, yada]." I'm like, "I am in. I'm about to be looking better, the best of my life. New year, new me." I'm typing in my email. Click.
I talked to one fitness friend after, and he was like, "Tell me you didn't do it. Tell me you didn't listen to that guy." Some of you are like, "What do you mean? I've been listening to him." I'm like, "What do you mean?" He starts informing me about all of these different things. He's like, "It's just not going to work." I'm like, "Oh no." And I forget. I forget I even did it. I try to push that away as fast as I can.
Then the eighth day comes. I look at my bank account, and I'm like, "Oh, just another… What in the…?" It took out the whole year's worth as if I'm buying this supplement. I am like, "V Shred, I am about to…" So I go, and I'm like, "Oh, well, if I just subscribed by clicking a button, I can just go and click the button and unsubscribe." Nuh-uh. They make it such a pain to go and rewrite your story.
I go on there, and there's this small print that's like, "To unsubscribe, call our help desk at [blah, blah, blah]." I'm like, "Oh, so I can just click a button to subscribe, but to unsubscribe I have to call somebody. Okay. I don't think I will." So I call, and they're like, "While you're waiting, a quick questionnaire as to why you're leaving us." I'm like, "Just get me to the operator." They get me to the operator, and they're like, "Please hold." I'm holding, I'm holding, I'm holding, and finally I talk to somebody.
They take me through this strenuous process to finally unsubscribe, and they're like, "But, hey, I don't know if you saw the clause, but you have to pay for at least six months. You can't have the money back." I'm like, "Just take it. I don't want it anymore. Just have my money. I don't want the pills. I'm done. I'm embarrassed." (I'm going to get so many emails. "Man, if you want to really try and get serious in the gym…" You can save it, pal. I've been trying forever.)
Here's the thing. Sin is the same way. Sin convinces you to hop in the car for the joyride. Sin convinces you to come over here and find life and come into the house, but you're really in a prison. Sin convinces you it's just like a seven-day free trial. It snatches you, and it costs you more than you ever wanted to pay. When I see those emails… I'm still subscribed for the newsletter things. When I see them, it reminds me of that moment.
In the same way, your sin will remind you of itself and heap guilt and shame and consequences on your life. You thought you were just signing up for a free trial, and it has cost you so much more. It might have cost you your mental health. It might have cost you your virginity to someone who just used you. I'm so sorry. I don't know what your sin has cost you, but there is something that can fix that.
I want you to think about something. I was thinking about this. What if we got ahead of sin? Picture if Satan was a car salesman. He brings out sin before you, and instead of lying to you by only revealing the pleasure and concealing the consequence, he has to tell you everything you're paying for it. It would look something like this. I thought this was so insane.
It's like, "Hey, for just the price of a future divorce, you can have all the hot, steamy sex you want in your 20s. Sign up now." "Hey, for just the price of your mental health, you can go try to climb the corporate ladder of success. Sure, you'll get more anxious every day, and you'll have to keep climbing and climbing and climbing and striving and it'll never be enough, but come on…money."
He's like, "Hey, for just the price of being chained to debt for the rest of your life, right now you can get that new outfit. You can swipe the credit card. You can get the new car. You can live in downtown Dallas. You can do all of these things." What if Satan had to reveal the consequence? Would you do it? Think about that. Sin is never free. Pleasure is never free. Doing things Satan's way and not God's way always comes at a price. So ask yourself, "Am I willing to pay what my sin costs me?"
Wrapping up, the beauty of this whole message… I was sitting alone in my room, and I got chills when I was thinking about this. One of my favorite verses in the Bible, because it really helps someone who has sat and chosen to follow sin over God time and time again… It's a simple verse, but it's so profound. It's everything we believe here at The Porch. This isn't a place to come and make you feel shameful and guilty for your decisions. This is a place where we desire to let the Holy Spirit set people free.
In Romans 5:8… It blows my mind every single time I read it. It says, "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ [his one and only Son] to die for us while we were still sinners." While we were still in the car letting Satan control our lives, going farther and farther and farther and choosing sin and not him; while we were trapped in the prison of our own addiction and shame and guilt; while we were going and spending everything we had for our own ability to have control and significance in everything the world had to offer except for God…that is when Jesus came.
The Bible says the blood of Jesus pays for every sin we commit. No matter how far you've gone, no matter how long you've been staying in it, no matter how much you've spent, every single sin, past, present, and future, he has wiped as far as the east is from the west. As I was thinking about this message, I was like, "Man, God, this is such a downer. Sin is not fun. It is not fun to talk about sin."
This is what he said to me: "Hey, JD, when you let your sin take you farther than you ever wanted to go, that is when Jesus said yes to leaving heaven, leaving perfection, leaving his Father, leaving the throne seated at the right hand of God. He chose to go farther than he ever had to go. He left heaven and came down to earth, and he walked like you and talked like you and lived like a man. He was fully God and fully man. The only difference is he didn't sin. He didn't choose fun, because he knew you would choose fun over faith.
So he didn't choose fun. He chose faith in God. Because he saw that, JD, you would stay in your sin longer than you ever thought you would, he said, 'I'm going to stay on this earth.'" He could have come down in a roaring fire, done everything he wanted to accomplish just like that, but he stayed on earth, and he said, "I want to feel everything you're going to feel. I want to be tempted in every way." Guys, he was tempted, the Bible says, by Satan himself, yet he remained perfect for you and me. He stayed on earth, because he knew we'd stay in our sin.
Not only did he stay on earth, but because he was perfect, they took him, and they led him, and they beat him, and they mocked him, and they spat on him, and then they hung him on the cross, the Bible says, like a sheep led to the slaughter. He hung there on the cross, and he stayed there. While we stayed in our sin, he stayed on the cross. The beauty is he stayed on the cross, but he didn't stay in the grave. Three days later, he rose up, because he knew he had a mission, and that mission was to take lost and bound people and make them lost and found people.
He wanted to say, "Come and find life in me. Experience life with me. I don't care how far you've gone. I don't care how long you stayed. The worst thing you have done…I will pay for it all," because he knew our sin would take us so far and we would give everything we could to have it, that we would have nothing to pay him back. The Bible says in Romans 6 that the wages of our sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now he says, "I know you spent it all for your sin, but I paid it all for your sin when I rose from the grave." Jesus paid it all, so now lost people can be found people, blind people can be seeing people. There's nothing you've done the blood of Jesus has not paid for. There's no twisted thought you've had, there's no action you've committed, anything that has been done to you that you're so ashamed of… Jesus has paid for it all.
Your sin might have cost you everything, but sin cost him everything, his very life, and he did it gladly. He said, "You can't take my life. I'm gladly laying it down." He died, and he rose again so we don't have to keep going and listening to our sin. We don't have to keep searching for the next high. We don't have to keep living for the momentary pleasures of this world. We can find all we need in Jesus.
But you have to stop searching for fun and start living for faith. For some of you, the most faithful thing you can do tonight is believe what I'm telling you, that your sin… Sure, it might be fun right now, but one day it won't be. You're anxious. You're tired. You're exhausted. It's time to give it up. I'm telling you, he's ready. He paid it all so you could come tonight and stop being a slave to sin and be a son or a daughter of the King of Kings who's obsessed with you. You can come down tonight and forsake fun and start living in faith and begin a relationship with this Jesus.
Some of you don't need to come to The Porch next Tuesday. You need to come through those doors next Monday and be a part of what we call re:generation here at Watermark. It's a 12-month program designed to help people be discipled to experience freedom in Christ. Not just people who struggle with drugs and alcohol and addictions, and all of those things, but if you struggle with searching for your identity in things other than Christ, if you struggle with pride, lying, gossip, this place is designated to help you find freedom. You can walk in any Monday, and they are ready for you right here at Watermark.
Some of you need to take the step of going up to First Step tonight up in the Loft and saying "Yes" to going deeper in your faith and no more doing life on your own and living for yourself, but going all in with people who don't want to live for the fun and the highs but live in faith with Jesus and lock arms with other brothers and sisters in Christ and become a member here and join our family and what God is doing here.
Some of you may be like, "I'm so deep in this stuff, I don't even know what to do." I would say this to you: God is enough, and he wants you tonight. You just have to simply start and start simply, whatever that looks like. We're about to sing a song that, beautifully, is like a prayer and a conversation of the reality of someone who has been saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
You might need to simply start by opening up your hands tonight and saying, "Jesus, I don't want my sin anymore; I want you." I don't know what it is for you, but what I do know is that sin might be fun, but it's not worth it, but a life with Jesus will change everything. He's worth it. You can trust him. Let's pray.
God, I thank you that you loved us so much that while we were still sinners, you came and died for us. You rescued us from the grip of sin in our lives. Thank you for being a God who can rewrite stories, who can take pain and evilness and bad decisions and take our mess and make it a message because of the blood of Jesus.
Thank you, Jesus, for going farther than you ever had to go, for staying on the cross longer than you ever had to stay, and paying more than you ever had to pay so we could be free, so we could come here tonight being children of God, not slaves to sin. For the person tonight who needs you, would you meet them? Would you show them you're not afraid of them and their sin, that you love them? Thank you for coming to us exactly as we are, nothing more, nothing less. May we respond accordingly in light of that. It's in your name I pray, amen.