OceanSide church of Christ
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ONE TIME WON’T HURT
Victor M. Eskew
A. It had been over 25 years since Doug played softball. He was now 63. Some of his co-workers invited him to play one evening. In his mind he thought: “One time will not hurt anything.” He showed up at the field to play that Tuesday night. He started at 2nd base during the first inning. He fielded on grounder and threw the man out at first. He was flying high. He was the fifth batter. When his time came to bat, there were two men on base. He took the first pitch for a ball. He swung and missed the second pitch. The third pitch he hit well. It went in-between the center fielder and the right fielder. He rounded first and went to second. He knew it would be close so he slid. When he did, he heard the pop, and so did the crowd. He had severely broken his left ankle. Two surgeries and twelve weeks later, he was almost back to normal.
B. Doug wrongly assumed that “one time won’t hurt anything.”
1. Fortunately for him, it was just a physical injury.
2. There have been others throughout time who have made this same assumption. Their hurt, however, was more than just a physical injury.
I. EXAMPLES FROM THE PAST
A. Adam and Eve only ate of the forbidden fruit one time in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:6). Satan had deceived them into thinking it would not hurt them. The consequences, however, were disastrous.
1. Unto the woman (Gen. 3:16)
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children: and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
2. Unto the man (Gen. 3:17-19)
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles it shall bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat of the herb of the field, in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
3. Cast forth from the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:22-23)
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and live forever: therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
B. Uzzah, a priest of God, only touched the ark of God once.
1. David desired to bring the ark of God into Jerusalem (II Sam. 6:1-2).
2. The ark was placed upon a cart pulled by oxen (II Sam. 6:3).
3. II Samuel 6:6
And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
a. It appears that Uzzah was only trying to help. His actions were genuine and well-intended.
b. Touching the ark, however, was a violation of God’s will (Num. 4:15).
4. The result was immediate and severe (II Sam. 6:7).
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
C. Simon the sorcerer only offered money to the apostles one time.
1. Simon was a resident of Samaria (Acts 8:9).
2. When he heard the preaching of Philip, he obeyed the gospel (Acts 8:13).
3. Later the apostles came down from Jerusalem to bestow miraculous gifts on these new converts (Acts 8:14-17).
4. This power intrigued Simon. His desire to have the power led him to offer the apostles money for it (Acts 8:18-19).
And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
5. Peter’s response to him was sharp and condemning (Acts 8:20-23).
But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
II. APPLICATION FOR TODAY
A. Just one lie will not hurt anything.
1. Lying is forbidden in the New Testament (Eph. 4:25).
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
2. Many, however, believe that just one lie will not hurt.
a. Children lie to parents.
b. Workers lie to their employers.
c. Merchants lie to their customers.
3. The result of one lie.
a. Johnny was very well-liked by his teacher. He was obedient, respectful, and made good grades. Therefore, the teacher made him president of the class. This gave him many responsibilities and also privileges. On one occasion, John was in the room by himself. He needed $10.00 to pay off a bet he made with one of his friends. The teacher left her purse and Johnny stole $10.00 from it. When questioned the next day, Johnny lied about it to his teacher. About 2 weeks later, Johnny confessed. He was removed from class president and was given 3 days of suspension. He lost the respect of his teacher and his grades dropped because of the suspension.
b. In Acts 5, we learn of a couple who lied to the apostles about the sale of a parcel of land (Acts 5:1-11). The lie cost the couple their lives (Acts 5:3-5, 8-10).
But Peter said Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
B. A one-night stand will not hurt anything.
1. Faithfulness to one’s marriage vows is demanded by Scripture.
a. Proverbs 5:18-19
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be unto thee as a loving hind and pleasant roe: let her breast satisfy thee at all times; and thou ravished always with her love.
b. To forsake one’s vows involves one in adultery (Rom. 7:2-3). Adultery is a work of the flesh that will keep one out of the kingdom of heaven (Gal. 5:19-21).
2. Two examples:
a. Jill had been married for seven years. She had never been one to flirt with men. However, a new employee at work caught her eye. About three months after he was hired, he and Jill were assigned a six-month project together. Late nights together were common. Often they had to go to dinner together. Twice the man had hinted that he would enjoy some romantic time together with Jill. Jill always refused. The third time, however, Jill thought: “One time will not hurt.” Six weeks later Jill learned that she was pregnant. Both her home and her employment were threatened to be taken from her.
b. A similar event transpired in the life of a well-known king named David.
1) It involved a woman named Bathsheba (II Sam. 11:2-3).
2) Their “one-time” sin is recorded in one verse (II Sam. 11:4).
And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
3) The next verse begins to reveal the horrifying consequences of this one-night stand (II Sam. 11:5).
And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
4) Other consequences of his transgression are recorded in II Samuel 12:10-14).
C. A few drinks at a party will not hurt anything.
1. The Bible exhorts God’s children to be sober minded (I Pet. 1:13), and warns of the deceitfulness of strong drink (Prov. 20:1).
2. Two examples:
a. A.C. turned 21 on Thursday. Friday night he planned to celebrate with his friends at a local bar and grill. He had never drunk and wanted to find out about all the fun he had been missing. One night out could not hurt anything. Four days after leaving the bar, John woke up in the hospital. He was paralyzed from his waist down. He also learned that he had killed an elderly couple and their 5-year old granddaughter when he crossed the center-line while driving home in a drunken state.
b. In Genesis 9, we read of the one time when Noah was drunk on wine (Gen. 9:21). While in this state, something happened between him and his son Ham. It led to Noah’s cursing his son (Gen. 9:24-25).
And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
A. Satan has many tactics that he can use against humanity in his efforts to destroy them (I Pet. 5:8). One of these involves getting men to believe that just a one-time engage-ment with sin will not bring harm.
B. We have seen the deception in this line of reasoning. One time has brought untold harm to the lives of many. Adam and Eve, Uzzah, Simon the Sorcerer, Ananias and Sapphira, David, and Noah can all testify to the destructive nature of thinking that just one time will not hurt anything.