How should we treat Biblical warnings? Some treat Biblical warnings like a caution and speed up to see how close they can come to an accident! Others treat Biblical warnings like a red light and start braking to avoid any possibility of an accident. What should be our attitude toward Biblical warnings? Do we treat warnings less important that sin?
The Bible contains numerous warnings about wine. Why would one choose to drink wine when there are so many warnings concerning it? “Wine is a mocker, intoxicating drink arouses brawling, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov 20:1). “They are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment” (Isa 28:7). “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things” (Prov 23:31-33). Timothy had to be told to use a “little” wine for his stomach’s sake (1 Tim 5:23). Our attitude should be like that of Timothy’s. We should treat the warning like a red light! Christians are to be sober and vigilant (1 Pet 5:8). Vine defines sober (Gr. nehpo) as “to be free from the influence of intoxicants.”
The Bible contains numerous warnings about nakedness. The Bible associates nakedness with shame. Before sin, man and his wife were naked and were not ashamed (Gen 2:25). However, after sin, Adam hid himself from God because he was naked (Gen 3:10). Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Rev 16:15). “Therefore, I will uncover your skirts over your face, that your shame may appear” (Jer 13:26). The Bible associates nakedness with being uncovered. Adam and Eve made themselves coverings of fig leaves (Gen 3:7). God later made them tunics of skin and clothed them (Gen 3:21). Noah became uncovered in his tent (Gen 9:21-23). Shem and Japheth took a garment and went backward to cover the nakedness of their father. “Nor shall you go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness not be exposed on it” (Gen 20:26). Priests had trousers to cover their nakedness from the waist to the thighs. “And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs” (Ex 28:42). One was naked when they uncovered the thigh. “Remove the veil, take off the skirt, uncover the thigh, pas through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen” (Isa 47:2-3). With so many warnings about nakedness, why are we so intent on uncovering ourselves? Why are children allowed to see their parents uncovered? We are to adorn ourselves in modest apparel (1 Tim 2:9-10). We should treat warnings about nakedness like a red light! Our attitude should be to fully clothe ourselves.
The Bible contains numerous warnings about lewdness (lasciviousness, licentiousness). We must first understand what is meant by these terms. Lewdness, lasciviousness, or licentiousness is unbridled lust or sensuality. It is a work of the flesh (Gal 5:19). “Who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness” (Eph 4:19). It is a condition of the heart or mind where one is desensitized to the dangers of lust. One thinks that they are strong enough not to lust so they place themselves in circumstances that make it difficult not to lust. Christians are not to run with others in this flood of dissipation. “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Pet 4:3). “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts” (Rom 13:13-14). Some dancing could be considered lewd and lustful. Some movies promote lewdness and lust. Some say, “It’s okay to just look.” Jesus said if one looks to lust he has committed adultery already in his heart (Matt 5:28). We should treat warnings about lewdness like a red light! Our attitude should be to avoid things that might cause us to lust.
The Bible contains many warnings about worldliness. Worldliness and godliness are opposites. We are to pursue godliness (1 Tim 6:11; 1 Tim 2:10; 1 Pet 1:5-7). We are to keep unspotted from the world (James 1:27). “Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). “But God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). Don’t allow your job and desire for income take you away from God. What profit is there to gain the whole world and lose your own soul (Matt 18:26)? Don’t nurture friendships with worldly people. Be careful who you date and marry. We should treat warnings about worldliness like a red light! Our attitude should be to avoid worldliness.
The Bible warns us about things that can destroy our soul. We must run from these things. “Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Tim 2:22). Those who desire to be rich fall “into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition” (1 Tim 6:9). We are to “flee these things” (1 Tim 6:11). “Flee fornication” (1 Cor 6:18). We must take God’s warnings seriously. “To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it” (Jer 6:10).