âHow that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spiritâ (Jude 1:18-19).
The book of Jude is not a book you hear quoted too often. No doubt itâs because it only consists of twenty five verses. However, these two verses are extremely important for every Christian (in America) to read and take to heart.
First I want to start by expounding on what we read at the end of verse nineteen, âsensual, having not the Spirit.â It is important for you to know that people who are sensual are people who are regulated by their senses. The sensual and spiritual are in direct opposition to each other. Thus, one who is sensual is not spiritual, and one who is spiritual will not be subject to or governed by the sensual. The sensual separate themselves from the spiritual. The sensual and spiritual are, and always will be at odds with each other.
When we hear the word âsensual,â many apply it to sexual enticement. No doubt about it, sex is highly sensual. Millions are being seduced by all the provocative TV shows, advertisements, billboards, magazines and internet sites. The porn industry (I hate to use the word industry) generates billions of dollars in sales annually. I have heard several statistics on how many Christian men are bound by pornography. I suppose there are different reports by other groups, but one research group claims that over half of Christian men view pornography at least once a month. Another report said that 37% of pastors struggle with pornography. If you are a Christian who is struggling with pornography, repent before the Lord and ask Him to strengthen you. God did not send His Son to the cross just to save your soul, but to deliver you from the power and stronghold of sin. Perverted sex is highly sensual, but in God there is enough power to deliver anyone from the clutches of any and all sexual addiction.
As powerful to the senses as sex can be, to be sensual doesnât just apply to that. As I stated earlier, to be sensual means to be governed by your senses. Seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting. The Greek word that sensual was translated from means to be sensitive. It indicates that when one is sensual their senses are keenly aware of that which is around them and happening to them. Then, as the senses dictate, the sensual person responds. By the way, this is directly linked to self-centeredness and self-awareness.
With that established, there is something of the utmost importance that we all must see. It is imperative for the church (in this hour) to see what we are facing in these last days. In the last days people are going to be ruled by their senses. Jude says men will walk after their own ungodly lusts. The scriptures teach that iniquity will abound in the last days, so none of us should be surprised at what is going on in our society and the world. Sadly, it seems the same sensual spirit that is in the world has made its way into the church.
More and more churches are expected to offer music, drama and entertainment to satisfy the sensual desires that many proclaiming Christians have. I had heard that Barna did a survey and found that 75% of Christian pick their church by the music. Why is that? Because music is a very strong stimulant to our senses. I am not against music. I am a musician and often play instruments in our church, but I also understand the power that music has on our senses. People can easily mistake feelings and emotions for the Spirit of God.
I want to tell you something I learned early on as a believer. Before I became a born again believer I used to play the drums in a seven member wedding and supper club band. The bass player and I use to take a little pint of whiskey or brandy with us so we could add it to some coke or other soda which was usually offered for free. We were being paid to perform so we had to be careful we didnât drink too much. Nonetheless we drank enough to loosen up and get in the groove. By the way, I donât drink alcohol anymore because âWine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wiseâ (Poverbs 20:1). I just had to throw that in. Anyway, there were times when we would be playing a song and I would come out of a roll in precise timing. The whole band was playing exceptionally well. Upon completing that roll I would get goosebumps because I was feeling good and liked how we sounded. To be honest I probably was just impressed with myself.
After I got saved I became a church musician. Now I know many of you will know what I am talking about when I say that I have experienced goose bumps in church when something powerful was said. I have experienced them while playing instruments during worship too. I donât always get them, but when I do get them I like it. I believe goose bumps can happen at times when we experience a strong presence of the Lord. However, I also know that you can get them when you are serving the devil. One danger we face today is that some churches go through great efforts to put on a show. They work hard at giving the people the best sensual experience they can. Of course they want them to feel good so they will come back again. What is worse than that is they teach the people that all those goose bumps and great feelings they are getting is a result of the Holy Spirit. Then the people go away thinking the Holy Spirit is a feeling and as long as they get a good feeling, then God is present. Thus we have a generation of Christians who are not spiritual, but sensual.
Then there is the other side of the pendulum where we have those in the church that deny experiential Christianity. Non-experiential Christianity, is a false Christianity that teaches that salvation is just something you believe in the mind. True salvation is an experience. When a person becomes a born again believer it is because the Spirit of God has entered them. When this happens a person cannot deny that they experienced new life. The only reason a person could deny that salvation is an experience is because they never experienced the presence of the Lord. Christians are not to deny their senses for even Jesus rejoiced in spirit for what God has done (Luke 10:21). Instead we must bring our emotions under the constraint of the Spirit. If we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, then arenât we to love God with our emotions? That is what the soul of man is. It is the emotional center of manâs being. God made us that way. The problem is when Christians let the soul regulate their life instead of the Spirit. That is what happened to Adam when he ate the fruit. He became a soulish creature, keenly aware of his senses. He even saw himself in such a different light that he wanted to cover himself up.
This article is not meant to deny the senses, but warn you of the danger of becoming a sensual person instead of a spiritual one.
âThis I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.â (Galatians 5:16)