For those who are falling into sexual sin, the root cause is that they’ve opened a door for it somewhere in their life. They must be violent and close the door they’ve opened to allow this sin in. They must not be passive when it comes to putting sin to death. In the New Testament, the attitude is a radical, militant killing of sin.
James: What advice do you have for believers in fighting sexual sin and temptation?
Mack: I think anyone that struggles with that area continually, or that it's the big battle, and they are being defeated, or it's always the issue on the table, ultimately, there's one thing going on - the gate is cracked open. What I mean is some way, some avenue is open for them to struggle and they're not violently, radically, militantly killing that thing and conquering it. They are somehow being passive. In weakness, they're looking at things in moments they shouldn't. They're leaving the gate open. If you don't leave the gate open, the cows aren't going to get out. You're not going to have a problem with having to round them up. And so I think the truth, the doctrine of the mortification of sin, the New Testament teaches - the spirit of the New Testament on that is a radical, militant killing of it where it's a plucking out of an eye. It's the cutting off of a hand. It's fleeing youthful lusts. It's avoiding all appearance of evil. Having such an attitude of: that sin is so vile and so offensive and so demonic, but because it's so alluring and fleshly satisfying in the moment, and it's so tempting, those two things are so radically - the delicious pleasure for the moment of evil, vile, demonic darkness, right? And the only reason we would ever partake of that...
If this cup of coffee, if I told you, you know, there's 5% arsenic in it, but it's mostly coffee. Okay. Nobody in their right mind is going to take a sip. See, because I know the deadly thing that's in it, and I don't have a drastic position of no contact ever, and I don't think people have the radicalness about not tolerating it in any way. If David on his balcony when he saw Bathsheba had instantly said: it's wrong for me to look on her and fallen on his knees and cried out to God, what would have happened? Would the story be different? But, he didn't. The look lingered. The lust started. The mind and the will were weakened. The choice was made. The sin happens in the bedroom. And you know the rest of the story.
So, at times in my life, I've become aware. I've had these moments where it was like God was speaking to me and I had to acknowledge: I am not serious enough about that sin - whatever it is. Anger or lust. What man doesn't have a lust problem? There's always the potential to lust toward an attractive woman. And so the lust opportunity's always going to be there. What is my handling of that? How serious minded am I to say I do not want to lust toward any woman.
And I have a prayer I pray when I'll see... I'll say, "Pure heart, Lord, right now." "Pure heart." It's made me become serious in the moment of putting that sin to death. I don't think there's a seriousness about mortifying sin. If somebody got serious enough about this - you think about somebody gets cancer. They'll go to the ends of the earth. They'll spend their whole savings to just deal with the cancer. Well, how serious are we in our lives about moral sin and moral purity? If a guy gets real serious, he'll do whatever it takes to conquer it.