Creflo Dollar - The Behavior and Character of the Last Day Society - Part 7
We're talking about the behavior and character of the last-day society, the behavior and the character of the last days' society, and we've looked at a lot of things that are gonna take place in the last days: dishonor of parents, pride, scoffing at God, a lot of things that we've talked about thus far. I really wanted to make sure that I could deal with the practical things so we're not just dealing with a bunch of symbolism, and so I wanna show you this in 1 Timothy chapter 4, verses 1 through 3. I wanna look at it in the King James and The Passion Translation, the TPT, and then I'll tell you what we're gonna talk about today. 1 Timothy chapter 4. 1 Timothy chapter 4, verses 1 through 3. I'll start off in the King James. He says, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith".
So, he says, "Here's a sign of the time: people that used to be in church, people that used to have a relationship with God, they will depart from the faith". And a lot of people will use this term "church hurt" as the excuse of departing from the faith. He says but that's a sign of the time. In the latter times, people will depart from the faith. You gotta make your mind up, "I'm never leaving Jesus". You hear me? I don't care who does what, how they do it, how intense they do it, I ain't never gonna leave Jesus. There are two things I'm not gonna leave: I'm never gonna leave Jesus, and I'm never gonna leave the church that God called me to. You can't do nothing to me. You will leave before I will, okay? He said, "Some shall depart from the faith, they'll give heed to seducing spirits, and they will give heed to doctrines of devils," or teachings that are demonically influenced.
He said, "They will speak lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron". What does that mean? That means that your conscience has been hardened. No feelings there. Calloused. In other words, stuff, like, used to bother you, it doesn't even move you now. Doesn't bother you one bit. Things that used to convict you, they don't convict you not one bit. He said that's a sign of the time. Things that used to convict you or bring about some kinda conviction has no conviction at all. Then he goes on and he says, "Forbidding to marry," that's a sign of the time, "and commanding to abstain from meats", "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth".
Now, there are a lot of different paths I could take here. I'm not gonna talk about whether you eat meat or vegetarian. It doesn't matter. I don't think God minds at all. If you eat meat, you pray over it. If you eat vegetables, you pray over it. You do whatever, you know, you want, you need to do or wanna do. That, well, I'm not gonna make a issue of that. God was just using meat for the belly to talk about, you know, just like the meat is for the belly, then the body is for the Lord, okay? But we're not gonna get into that. We always kinda choose the cheaper instead of the deeper. Like, we settle for foot washing, and God was trying to show us about servanthood. Are you following what I'm saying? And so, I could take a lot of different ones, but I don't know if I'mma do that. You're gonna be surprised what I got out of this, so look at The Passion Translation. Let's look at that, then I'll tell you what we're gonna deal with here. He says, "The Holy Spirit has explicitly revealed: At the end of this age, many will depart from true faith one after another".
Ain't that something? They will depart from true faith one after another. Do you know that's happening right now? He says, "Devoting themselves to spirits of deception and following demon-inspired revelations and theories". They're doing that right now. There are weird things going around. People that used to be in the faith are believing weird stuff now. They are believing demonically influenced and inspired teachings. I hope some of y'all know what I'm talking about. This is happening right now today. It's all over the internet, where people are, "You know, well, this is what I believe now. This is what I believe now". And it's demonically inspired revelations and, watch this, theories that are taught by demons or influenced by demons.
Let me tell you something about demons. A lot of people, there's so much demonic influence that people don't even recognize that they're under demonic influence. I told my wife, I said, "I'm so", and I told her, I said, "I'm so sad to say this, but there is so much demonic influence going on right now that we got to pray for our kids when they go to school," because some of those people are gonna come, there gonna be shootings, there gonna be all these kinda things, there's gonna be an attack on them, and you have to be prayerful, because you go to work, you're gonna be working with people who are under demonic influence. Even more than that, you gotta make sure you're not being demonically influenced. We're not talking about "The Exorcist," where you are demon-possessed, but demons are okay with influencing you down a certain path or a certain way.
You remember Peter, right after Peter said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God". Jesus begins to tell him how he must go to the cross and die, and Peter said, "No, Lord, you don't have to do that". And Jesus said, "Satan, I rebuke you. In other words, you know, that's demonically influenced conversation that just came outta your mouth, Peter". And Peter didn't even know it until Jesus brought it to his attention, and so listen to me very carefully this morning as we deal with this subject, because this is something that is all but a norm in our society. I am not here to talk about whether you should be single or whether you should be married.
Paul said it is okay for you to be single. In fact, Paul said, "You know, be like me". Paul was not married, Jesus was not married, and yet God used them and they had very successful lives. They could do more for God in that way, but, you know, this is not what I'm talking about. I'm not talking about it's better to be single or married, or it's better to be married and single. That's not what I'm talking about today, but as I was reading this and Taffi and I were talking and I mentioned what I believed I was supposed to talk about, I wanna talk about shacking up versus marriage. For those of you who are not familiar with the term "shacking up," I wanna talk about cohabiting. Cohabitation. People living together, having sex together, with no vows, no commitment, and no honor for the marriage institution that God created. Marriage is an institution created by God for a reason, because he knows the success rate of cohabiting is going to be very bad, very damaging, and very hurtful.
And then, somebody says, "Oh, Pastor Dollar, marriage was for your generation, not for this generation". The generation doesn't decide whether something is right or wrong. No matter what generation you're in, the Word of God speaks to all generations. Are you listening to me? So, we're gonna look at cohabiting versus marriage. And since the '60s, marriage has been under assault. Since the '60s. Living together before marriage is the accepted norm. That's accepted today, and you see it more today than ever. It is the accepted norm. Nobody wants to think about marriage anymore. In fact, it's just a piece of paper. See, you're ill-informed. It's not just a piece of paper. It's much more than a piece of paper. There are a whole lot of spiritual issues that are involved in the marriage institution that you're not paying attention to, and as a result of that ignorance, you are yielding to something that the world and demon influence has caused, and now it is the norm of today.
See, society determines norms and values. God has given us the truth of his Word. Societies determine norms and values, and sometimes we think that the norm is the truth, that the norm is the right way. The society can give something that's a norm, and it may contradict the Word of God. Just because everybody is doing it doesn't mean it's right. I say, I say, I say, just because everybody's doing it doesn't mean it's right. Now, I'm sure a lot of you, especially you online today, you're gonna have issues with this. You have issues right now. I'm not here to try to see if you agree with me or not. I'm here to expose you to God's mindset on the subject. Now, you're gonna do whatever you wanna do. That's obvious. You're doing what you wanna do right now, but if you wanna change and if you're tired of things not working the way that they should work, then I wanna bring before you evidence from God's Word.
"Well, I don't believe the Word". Houston, we have a problem. You're in a ditch if you're like, "Well, I hear what you're saying, but I don't believe the Word". Everything about who we are as Christians is based on the Word of God. Oh, boy, can't tell you nothing 'cause you so smart. You smarter than God. What's happened? Well, we have a whole society that thinks that they're smarter than God, and I'm gonna show you some stats today where social science even agrees that the Bible way is the best way, as they declare, after looking at the stats, they declare that the Bible way of marriage is the best way. Not a preacher. Not a preacher. The social science. So, are you good? I love y'all. You good? The Bible said speak the truth in love, right? All right, so, living together before marriage is the accepted norm, and unfortunately, a lot of Christians have fallen into that norm. In fact, a lot of broken relationships, percentage-wise, is higher within the church than it is in the world. What's wrong with that?
All right, now, living together, I wanna be very straight, living together outside of the institution of marriage violates God's Word. It is in violation of God's Word. Now, you can choose to do whatever you wanna do because you are a free moral agent, and you can choose to ignore everything I show you today. But if you have decided to be a student of God's Word, to live by God's Word, and to live by God's way, I must start by saying that cohabiting outside of the marriage institution does not line up with God's Word. It is in violation of God's Word. So, I'm not gonna leave it just there. I think I'm gonna share about eight Scriptures at the very beginning of this, to just see what God's Word has to say about this. Are you ready?
Let's go to Proverbs chapter 14 and verse 12. Proverbs 14 and verse 12. Now, verse 12 says this. He says, "There is a way," or a path, "which seems right unto man, but the end thereof is the ways of death". So, this is the issue we start off with: choosing ways and pathways that seem right. We gotta stop doing that. We think it seems right because the motivation is that so many people are doing it, so it seems right. And the Bible says there's a way which seems right versus the way that is right. The way that is right is found in the Word of God. The way that seems right is a norm of society. This Scripture stands against the arguments that everyone is doing it. It's the new way. It's accepted in society. Now, all of that may be true, but just because a path seems right doesn't make it right. So, that's first, that's the first place you start. Are you cohabiting? Are you shacking up because it seems right or it seems like the right thing to do? No, we want the way that is right, not the way that seems right. And the church said amen.
Now, let's go to Ecclesiastes chapter 1:5. And I wanna read this in the King James, and then The Message translation. Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 1, and then verse 5. He says, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven". Verse 5, "There's a time to cast away stones. There's a time to gather stones together; there's a time to embrace, and there is a time to refrain from embracing". Somebody says, "Well, I don't see nothing wrong with embracing". Look at The Message translation right quick, 'cause the translation here is there's a time to make love, okay? He says here, "There's an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth". Verse 5. He says, "A right time to make love and another to abstain, a right time to embrace and another to part". Wow.
So, he says there's a time and a season to this. The right time for living together is after marriage. That's the right time. Not 'cause somebody got a economic problem, somebody, you know, lost their job and, "Well, Pastor, we living together, but we not sleeping together. I'm sleeping on the couch. She sleeping in the bed". Who you think you talking to? And on that rainy night in Georgia, when it's kinda cool outside, and you're listening to the oldies but goodie. "Turn out the light and light a candle". Come on, man. Come on. I mean, you still a man. You still a woman. Listen, man, don't do that to yourself. The right time to live together is after marriage. This is what used to be honorable, when people who were living by the Word of God. This used to be honorable.
I mean, I wanted, me and Taffi were, you know, graduating from college and all that stuff. I wanted to stay with her too. I wanted to stay with her like rat now. Oh, my god. That woman was so fine, I'd just shake, I'd just shake. There were times I had to just leave the house. "Where you going"? "I got to go". "Well, why you got to go"? "I just got to go. Trust me, I got to go, 'cause you too fine for me to stay around here. I got to go," R-A-T, "rat now". The right time for living together is after marriage, not the year before marriage, not the month before marriage, and not the night before marriage. There is a time for making love, there's a time for embracing, and there's a time to refrain from embracing. And the time to refrain from it is before you get married. This is what the Word is telling us.
1 Corinthians chapter 6, verse 18. Let's look at this in two versions, King James and the NLT version. Like, again, again, there'll be people who'll hear this and they'll think, "That's old-fashioned. That was y'all's generation". But the Word of God hasn't changed. It's the same. The Word of God hasn't changed. It's the same. Look at this, 1 Corinthians 6:18. He says, "Flee fornication". Now, fornication is sex outside of marriage. It's sex outside of marriage. It is sex without being married. And, you know, people have tried to play around with this. "You know, well, we didn't have sex where there was penetration, but we did some other stuff". It's sex. It's sex. Sex outside of marriage. It's sex. You know what sex is, don't you? It's sex outside, don't make me go there.
Don't be looking at me like, "Oh, you a preacher, you ain't gonna say it". I ain't scared of you now. I'm trying to make sure I don't say nothing to get me thrown off the stream, you know? "Flee fornication. Every sin", so, he talks about flee fornication. Then he talks about every sin, and fornication is included, "That a man doeth is without the body". He says, "But he that committeth fornication, he sins against his body". What does that look like? What happens when a person sins against his body? That appears to be some type of consequence that is on the body as a result of the sin, a consequence that shows up in and on the body because of that particular sin.
Look at this in the next version, the NLT version. He says, "Run from sexual sin"! Run. Run, Forrest, run. Run. Run from sexual sin. Run from it. Ain't nobody running from sexual sin. They running to sexual sin, but they're not running from it. "No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one". So, sex outside of marriage affects the body. "For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body". He said in the last days, you're talking about the intensity and the frequency of this kinda thing. I mean, you guys are no stranger. Going out on a date used to literally mean that you're going out on a date. You're going to dinner. You're spending time with them. You're having, you know, conversation. Not now.
Going out with somebody, I mean, you can get it the first night. In fact, you might be able to get it before you even get to the date. In fact, I kinda went, I went there, didn't I? Didn't even know it, huh? There was a time where men would pursue the woman, but now, it was I don't know how many years ago, but this shows you how long it's been going on. And I can't imagine what's happening today. But I remember I was in the mall with my son, and this girl came up to him in his face and said, "Hey, shortie, you want some of this"? And I'm like, "What just happened"? I said, "She's offering you sex like that"? He said, "Yeah, Dad. That's, yeah, just"... And I thought, "There was no way I would be able to survive in this generation".
Are you kidding me? You ain't got to rap for it. You ain't gotta work for it. Dang. What? I wanna show you the frequency and the intensity. It's very intense now. It's extremely intense now. He said living together almost always involves premarital sex, and by living together before marriage, you dishonor both yourself and your partner, did you know that? When you live together before marriage it's a dishonor, and you dishonor both yourself, and you dishonor your partner. You're dishonoring God. That's what kept a lot of it, it was a dishonor. Nobody wants to dishonor God. And then, you dishonor one another. "Bah, don't wanna hear that, whatever". No, no, no, no, you don't wanna hear that because you are being intrigued by the doctrine of demons that keeps telling you, "There's nothing wrong with this path".