1Cor. 7:25-40 Time is Short How should we live ?

 

 

Intro: We have already seen in this Chapter where Paul has talked about Married Life / VS. Single life.

A) Paul has made it clear that neither state is spiritually better than the other.

 

B) Although in v. 7 that he wished that there were more who were single like himself who could devote themselves entirely to the Lordís work.

 

C) The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few !!!!!!††

 

 

In the section before us tonight Paul looks at the subject of to marry or not to marry from a practical perspective

A) In this section Paul is not puttingdown marriage / but he setsforth the advantages & disadvantages of single life

 

B) The Focus of this section is on those who have been married & are now divorced - should they remarry .

1) Those who have yet to marry - should they get married - & theparents

††††† of those who are at the marrying age should they allow them to?

 

C) All of this is discussed in the context of the TIME BEING SHORT

 

 

25Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give judgment.

 

A) Now what does Paul mean in saying He has no commandment from the Lordyet he gives a judgment as one whom the Lord in His mercy has made trustworthy ?

 

B) In the Section that precedes this - Paul gave some specific commands concerning marriage & Divorce & re-marriage -

††††††††† 1) That was a black & white issue -†† No VARIATIONS / commands

 

C) At this point the tone changes - here Paul is saying this is not a Black & white issue - ( this is a matter of preference & Prayer )

1) But I am going to give you a few things to think about

 

D) Isnít this still the inspired word of God ? YOU BET - but Paul was inspired to advise & not to command.

 

SO PAUL BEGINS V.26 ††I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress; that it is good for a man to remain as he is:

 

A) Before we go any further we need to define this present distress -

 

B) Commentators differ on what this is talking about - some suggest that Paul is speaking of the pressures of life in Corinth

1) Living in a city that was so loose & sexually immoral - filled w/ idolatry and all other sorts of worldliness.

 

C) Others have said - Paul was referring to the persecution that was growing throughout that whole region against the Church & Christians

 

c) Some suggested that Paul was looking ahead almost prophetically to the

††† coming persecution that would come at the hands ofC. Nero

 

D) Personally I believe it could be a combination of all of the above.

1)Yes It was stressful living in that Culture - / Persecution was happening & perhaps Paul had insight into it getting worse

 

E) In light of all that Paul was saying you should remain as you are

What we need to understandthe underlying theme in this section is not the issue of marriage or singleness but How should you live in light of the fact that we are living in the last days -††† V29 THE TIME IS SHORT

A) Last days began w. Christ / Heb. 1 Last days God has spoken to us by His son -

 

B) Last days began at the 1st coming of Christ & will culminate w/ the second coming of Christ !

1) Since the Resurrection The clock has been ticking / tick / tick / tick /

 

C) The early church lived in the reality that Christ could indeed come back today - ( which is how we should live )

1) Sad - in the 70ís the Church in many ways seemed more vibrant - because it was excited about the coming of the Lord.

 

D) So much talk on Prophecy - Israel took over Jerusalem in 1967 - times of the gentiles was up - people were excited the coming of the Lord

1) But when the Lord delayed & the yrs. past - many fell away - became Carnal -

 

E) One persons observation of the Problem - they were more excited about the Coming of the Lord than they were the Lord who is coming !!!!

 

Jesus warned in the world you will have tribulation - it is part of this Christian life - there are difficulties

A) It is also interesting that the word distress can be translated - stress / calamity - and that calamity can include torture or violence

 

B) So in light of the current situation and the coming persecution Paul gives some adviceit is good for a man to remain as he is:.v27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.

b) Paulís point : YOUR MARITAL STATUS IS NOT THE MAIN ISSUE

C) Again this is Paulís advice here - REMAIN AS YOU ARE†† BUT V.28

28But even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned.†† NOT A SIN TO GET MARRIED -WRONG THINKING

 

Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.

Now if you read that verse out of context you would think - Paul was really down on marriage - MARRIAGE BRINGS TROUBLE / spared

 

A) But when you see it in context of the distress it is easy to understand what Paul is saying - NOT A SIN TO GET MARRIED

 

B) Butin times of crisis, single life has itís advantages: you can be more flexible; you can adapt more quickly to certain, sudden catastrophic events;

1) you can pick up and move if necessary; there is less concern for handling all the affairs of others for whom you may be responsible.

 

C) Friday at the Youth camp - trudging through the Snow/ Following HowardWith my wife & 3 little ones - talk about falling the blind

 

D) Kids are complaining / Amanda is getting heavy - Denise is getting tired -††† thinking great going to die !!!!!

1) Not a problem if it was just me & Howie -( I like to explore )

††††††††† Whole family itís a nightmare /†††† Driving across country -

 

 

THAT IS PAULíS POINT - IN TIMES OF CRISIS being SINGLE can be a whole lot easier !Lot more flexible / movable / available

A) It has itís advantages / STEVE & CHRIS /††

 

B) So why get married ? The same argument can be discussed in talking about - having kids or not having kids

1) Do I really want to bring up kids in this world - getting worse & worse -

C) Stuff taught in school it is challenging / NOT JUST EVOLUTION - Now alternative lifestyles / no absolutes / etc.

1) Is it wrong to have kids - no way - BE FRUITFUL & MULTIPLY

††† ††††††††† We need to carry on the Generation of Believers / Lord tarries

 

D) Is it wrong - to not have kids ?†† NO IT IS NOT - AS LONG AS YOU ARE USING YOUR FREEDOMFOR THE LORD

1) The same hold true for those who are single -

 

E) Some people want to be single so they can play & have more stuff for themselves -†† Ski every weekend in the winter / surf trips /

1) More stuff - better vacations -I THINK THAT IS WRONG

 

 

Paul is saying here that single life can make it easier to maintain the proper priorities of life.†† IF HEART IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE !!!!!

 

A) But here is what is interesting - married or not we are to maintain a proper perspective & properpriorities !v.29- 35

29But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none,

30those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess,

31and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away. 32But I want you to be without care. He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord; how he may please the Lord.

33But he who is married cares about the things of the world; how he may please his wife.

34There is a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But she who is married cares about the things of the world; how she may please her husband.

35And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

Now this the underlying theme of the section - The time is short & I want you to be able to serve w/ out DISTRACTIONS

 

TIME SHORT - LORDíS RETURN? ORSHORTNESS OF LIFE ?

A) I donít think it matters / Pt. Is we need to make the most of our time.

 

a) Eph.5: 15See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,

16redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

 

b) Youth Pastors conference.

 

B) Paulís advice is you can do that EASIER - ( not necessarily BETTER - but easier if you are not married )

 

C) Because those who are married are going to be torn. - Other concerns & responsibilities / cares & pressures / bills etc.

1) Even simple things like Dinner are a challenge

 

c)   What is meant in V.33 things of the world - not talking CARNALITY- just

†††† normal day to day stuff !!!

 

D) I remember - when I was single - day off - go down to beach sit & read my Bible for hrs.

1) Today - I take w/ me 2 truck loads of stuff - I chase my kids all over

 

E) It is a blast - but boy is it different !!!!

 

THE PERSON WHO IS SINGLE CAN BE COMPLETELY DEVOTED TO THE LORD - UNDISTRACTED

 

A) Singleness & married life both have those things which can be distractionsbut the Lord wants us to live undistracted

††† 1) Single person sexual temptation / Those who are not responsibilities

B) Now what does Paul mean - when he says in v. 29But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none,

 

C) In Paul suggesting that because the time is short we should neglect our families and devote ourselves entirelyto serving the Lord

1) Some have interpreted this to mean just that - but it is wrong / Give you SEVERAL REASONS WHY ?

 

1ST IT IS A COMPLETE CONTRADICTION TO WHAT PAUL WROTE IN EPH. 5 & 6 ABOUT MARRIAGE & FAMILY

 

A) Love our wives as Christ loved the Church / care for them like our own bodies / and train up our kids in the ways of the Lord.

1) To suddenly neglect your family would go against Godís

††† instructions

 

B) It is sad how many people have used this verse to defend their neglecting of their family in order to ď Serve Christ ď & Win the lost

 

C) What good is it if - I lead thousands to Christ & my family burns in Hell!

 

D) Guys there is such a danger in getting so busy in doing the work of the Lord that we neglect our #1 ministry which is our family!

 

I believe the break down in Priorities goes like this

1st is the Lord -DEVOTIONAL LIFE / PERSONAL WALK

2nd is your family

3rd is the ministry

 

A) Some Reverse 1 & 2 FOCUS ON THE FAMILY - instead of being - FOCUSED ON THE LORD.

 

B) Majority of time spent on family fun stuff - ( Donít go to Church on Wed. nights because that is our Family night )

1) What could be better

 

C) Sitting watching TV ?

 

 

OTHERS REVERSE 2,3 THOUGH / Ministry before family

A) Serving the Lord is Awesome -I love what I do/ but I can be a workaholic - never taking a day off -calls / writing - whatever

 

B) I used to bring it home -††† Lord spoke to me so clearly - yrs. ago / You serve your family - I will take care of the Church.

1) Loose grip /†††

 

C) COMING HERE HARD ? -EASY WHEN I REMEMBER WHOíS

†††† CHURCH IT IS / NOT MINE / BRIANS/ it is the LORDíS

 

 

2ND REASON THAT IS NOT WHAT PAUL MENT IS - Remember Paul was writing 2,000 yrs. ago - Lord hasnít returned

 

A) Just think what worse shape the Christian family would be in

 

 

3rdAGAIN THE CONTEXT IS THE KEY- V.32 & V.35†† I WANT YOU TO BE W/OUT CARE / W/OUT DISTRACTION

 

A) Care = concern or worry - that which brings undue stress

 

B) Whether you are married of single the Lord wants you to be w/ out worry

††††††††† He wants us to trust in HimLuke 12

 

22Then He said to His disciples, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.

23"Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.

 

A) Times havenít changed we worry about the same stuff -†† where live / what eat / what wear .

 

B) Analogy 24"Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?†† ( GOD TAKES CARE OF THEM)

 

25"And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

WHAT DOES WORRY DO ?†††

 

26"If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?27"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.28"If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? 29"And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.

30"For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.

 

JESUSí POINT GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU !!!!!!!!!!

SO SINCE THAT IS THE CASE V. 31 31"But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32"Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

 

A) Did you hear that last line - I about fell over the first time I read that / read out loud

 

GUYS THIS IS HOW THE LORD WANTS US TO LIVE - FREE - NOT BOUND UP W/ CONCERNS & NOT DISTRACTED

 

B) I will enjoy my life a whole lot more & minister much more effectively when I realize - my life is in his hands

 

C) Devil loves to get us distracted - (†† Peter walking on the water )

 

So Paulís point is In light of the Short time we have

A) Life is short PLAY HARD /††

 

B) No LIFE IS SHORT LIVE FOR JESUS / - free from distractions / free from cares of this world

 

C) And Paul mentions 3 areas the Devil seeks to distract us in

1) Family

2) Emotions - rejoice / weep

3) Finances or Business those who buy & sell keep it all in perspective

 

D) Mike Rozell - Wall Street - / Pam Broadway

 

IF ANY ONE OF THOSE THINGS BECOME A FOCUS - TROUBLE

 

v.35 35And this I say for your own profit, PURPOSE IS TO BLESS YOU not that I may put a leash on you NOT PUT YOU IN BONDAGE , but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.

 

v.36-38 PARENTS

A) Parents arranged weddings

 

B) In light of the day in which they lived - some parents were giving up on marriage - keep our kids single

 

C) Question - should we force them into not getting married v.366But if any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry.

 

D) So if they want to get married let them. but if they are interested in staying single - to serve the Lord v.37Nevertheless he who stands steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but has power over his own will, and has so determined in his heart that he will keep his virgin, does well.

 

IT IS ALL A MATTER OF PRAYER & PREFERENCE

v.38 ††So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.

 

 

NEXT WIDOWS & WIDOWERS - SAME PRINCIPLE / PRAYER & PREF.

 

A) 39A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.40But she is happier if she remains as she is, according to my judgment; and I think I also have the Spirit of God.

 

 

Tony