"Thank you for your ministry. I've been watching the YouTube Q&A videos and I would like to direct a question. I am a 25 year old virgin and a born again Christian. I was raised in a strict, sheltered, and naive household which made me despise premarital sex even before I was saved. I haven't had a sexually sinful past. I'm in no way, shape, or form trying to brag about my works, and I acknowledge that my sheer existence was sinful. I might not have had a bad past like others, but I acknowledge that I deserve to go to hell and that I'm only saved by the grace of God. From experience, I have observed..." Now listen to this: "From experience, I have observed that the most mature Christians are the ones that have had a very immoral past. This is backed up by the verse in Luke 7:47." Somebody look that up. Luke 7:47. Whoever gets that, go ahead and read it. "Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which are many are forgiven, for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little." Okay, let's think about that. Now he's making this observation: "I've observed that the most mature Christians are the ones that have had a very immoral past." And he says not only from his experience - he says my experience is backed up by Scripture. And he refers to that text right there. Then he goes on to say, "The more you have sinned, the more you're forgiven. The more you're forgiven, the more you love God, and therefore, the more mature you become. I've been dealing with a cloud over my head regarding this. I know that sin is wrong no matter what, but sometimes I feel like being sexually active before I was saved would have put me in a better spiritual position now." Now, listen, thankfully I was looking for Bethan Lloyd-Jones and I picked up this book and I opened it up and bang there it was. Don't you love when that happens? She says, "In those early years at Aberavon, I rejoiced to see men and women converted. Drunkards, evil livers, all manner of types and backgrounds and all different ages..." Now this is Martyn Lloyd-Jones' wife. "I rejoiced to see them. I envied them and sometimes wished when I saw their radiant faces and changed lives that I had been a drunkard or worse, so that I could be converted. I never imagined that I needed to be converted having always been a Christian, or that I could get any more than I had already. Those first two years, God graciously used Martyn's morning sermons to open my eyes and to show me my self and my needs. I came to know my sins forgiven and the peace of God in my own heart." That has always struck me about Bethan Lloyd-Jones, that she desired that. There's more accounts. (Incomplete thought) Did you read both volumes? Is that mentioned in there? James: I remember hearing about it and that's the only thing I've read, so it must be there. Tim: I think it's mentioned there too. That's two whole volumes. (Incomplete thought) This was actually written by her. And so I thought I might find it here more quickly. It's a lot smaller as well. So what do you all think? I mean, he's going to that text about this woman who's been saved from much. What do you do? What do you tell him? Is that flawed thinking? I mean, listen, just for starters, (incomplete thought) I personally have recognized that men like Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John MacArthur, John Piper... James: Steve Lawson? Tim: I don't know Steve Lawson's past, (incomplete thought). Oh, the other one, Charles Spurgeon - you know, most of those guys came from families of multiple generations of pastors. Certainly, MacArthur did. MacArthur's dad was a pastor. Piper's father was an evangelist. Spurgeon's father and grandfather were both pastors. And they grew up in relatively moral settings. And they weren't one of these "pastor's kids" who ran off into all manner of wild living. I mean, I think you can come up with your examples where, yeah, there were preachers who have been greatly used and you can hear about Paul Washer's past. But is that the rule? Is that our experience? And does that text - what do you do with that text? You see how he's using it. Do you think his reasoning is flawed? And if so, how? (from the room) What about the text where Jesus says He did not come for those who are righteous, but those who are sick? Tim: I think that's a good text. Let me ask you this. I think that's a tremendous text and very applicable to this, but let me ask you this. Jesus often said things in very interesting ways. He often said things in ways we wouldn't say them. Because if you're Jesus and you're sitting and you have this woman who is a great sinner - she was the one that was a woman of the city, right? If you have a woman of the city and she comes in and she obviously loves the Lord Jesus and she's doing what she does, and there seems to be every indication she's the real deal - she's genuine. She's broken. She's in glory now. But you know what's interesting? Who's He talking to? He's talking to Pharisees. And when He says those who have been forgiven little, they love little, who do you think He's got in mind? Is He talking about them? Is He talking about somebody else? (Incomplete thought) Is this hypothetical? Is it more a hyperbolic play on words? He's making a point? How do you read that? Because if you really think about it, is He actually saying to the Pharisee: Well, you're in the Kingdom just as much as she's in the Kingdom, but because she's been forgiven much and you've been forgiven little, therefore she loves much, and you're going to love little. You know, I don't think that's what's happening there. Because the reality is you come back to the text that R.L. just brought up. The reality is we're all sick and we're really sick. And even if you were self-righteously sick like Paul... see, in the end, was Paul a drunk? No. Was Paul sexually immoral? No. You know what he says? He says when it came to the law, I was blameless. And yet, he says I'm the chief of sinners. You know what I'm afraid of in this? That this guy doesn't have a proper self-perspective. I've heard Brother John Sytsma who comes out of religious background. But you know, he'll be the first to tell you - he senses the wickedness of religious self-righteousness because that's the background he came from. But you know, isn't it so often perceived that if you were a drunk, and if you were sexually immoral - because even Bethan fell into that thinking. Lots of people fall into that thinking. But you know what that is? It's wrong thinking. Now he's right in the sense that he says this: He said, "I might not have had as bad a past as others, but I acknowledge I deserve to go to hell." Well, see, he's right in the fact that he deserves to go to hell. He's wrong in the fact that he hasn't been as bad as other people. Think about it. He deserves to go to hell. I mean, the reality is, he's done such offensive things and such wicked things in the sight of God that God would put him in hell forever. We sometimes have these ideas... (incomplete thought). You know one of the problems? I think this stems largely from our man-centeredness. We tend to think of sins on that level as being the chief sins, but really, idolatry, those that most directly attack God, we often think of the ones on the human level. But the truth is when you think about the people to whom it was said it's going to be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than for those cities, there's no real indication that those cities were like Sodom and Gomorrah as far as sexuality and sexual immorality. You know what their crime was? They had light and they rejected it. You know, if we want to say anything about from Scripture who might be the most damnable, it's the moral religionist who's been exposed to truth and yet continued on not loving God the way they should. So I think that's a wrong estimation. Because think about the Apostle Paul. What did he say about himself? He said, "I'm the chief of sinners." This is a statement worthy of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief." And what was he chiefly? Not a fornicator, not an adulterer, not a swearer. He wasn't the drunk. He wasn't in the gutter. He wasn't in the brothels. He wasn't in the bars and in the taverns. He wasn't. He wasn't the guy walking around with the filthy mouth. He was the guy that when it came religiously speaking, he walked the line. And he's the chief. And see I think it's a bad measuring stick. It's blindness. We categorize sins and I think that it's a matter of ignorance and blindness of seeing certain types of sin for how wicked and evil they really are. Anybody got any comments on that? James: I just thought I'd read that one verse, Luke 11:47, "And the servant who knew his master's will, but did not get ready or act according to his will will receive a severe beating." Tim: Yeah, there's a matter of knowing, knowledge, light. When you have light, it really compounds your guilt. Anyway, he goes on to say more, but I wanted to just touch that because I thought that was a really interesting perspective.