I was flipping through an issue of People magazine.  Yes, I read People.  It is actually a hotbed for great illustrations and stories for teaching on worldview. Today, I was caught off guard by a very sexually suggestive picture in an advertisement for New York, New York; one of the newer casino resorts in Las Vegas. The ad was a picture of a club scene. It had a picture of a guy on all fours with a party-dazed look on his face.  Behind him in short shorts and a revealing top was a girl ‘grind’ dancing. The caption read “because someday we all are going to be dead.” 

What a perfect example of a hedonistic worldview, where pleasure is the treasure we seek at all cost.   

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature. 
Luke 8:14 

In hedonism, “man is the measure of all things.” In hedonism, pleasure is the means by which man measures all things. The more pleasure an activity provides the greater its value. 

But can I pay the cost of pleasure’s consequence?

Robert L. Waggoner in his paper titled “The Hedonistic Face of Humanism” says, “Whenever most people in a society think that way, then, because every man seeks only his own pleasures, the structures of society begin to fall apart and people are left in a decadent world.”  In this pleasure-driven world, the divorce rate has tripled, as well as the illegitimacy ratio, and abortions increase by a rate 100,000 per year. The hard fact is that whenever we choose freedom from all restraints we become slaves to our own passions. We become less than human. No longer can we think for ourselves. Our passions then lead us to ruin and the collapse of our lives and communities.  

“Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate [lacking self-control] minds cannot be free.” 
Edward Burke﷟HYPERLINK "" 

The pursuit of pleasure doesn’t end in fulfillment but in emptiness. 

So where is our relief? 

I began reading the Book of Galatians this past weekend.  Paul’s salutation is so powerful. I love verse four of chapter one. 

“Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” 
Galatians 1:4 

In this verse lies not only our relief but the Gospel story. 

The Greek word for “rescue” is exaireô, which carries the idea of rescuing from danger. The same word was used by Stephen as he spoke before the Sanhedrin, describing God’s deliverance of Joseph and the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery, and by Peter when he told others of his release from prison. 

The purpose of the Gospel is to rescue Christ-followers from this present evil age. Jesus’ death was a rescue operation. It provided the only possible means of saving the human race from ourselves, from this doomed world and from eternal death by providing for them eternal life. 

Jesus died for my sin so that I could experience eternal life and live beyond the power of the world, here and now, in 2017.  Not only can I live beyond this world, but I am invited to live in Jesus’ Kingdom, here and now, as pictured in His Sermon on the Mount.  

My flesh desires New York, New York, but honestly, I couldn’t deal with the consequences. My heart, the God-transformed part, longs for much more. It is there I set my course. 

You know not all things pleasurable are hedonistic. It’s a pleasure to taste a good cup of coffee. It’s a pleasure to rest after a long day at the office. It’s a pleasure to know you’ve done a job well. In itself, pleasure is good, and God is good. I want my pleasure to come from the same source which Paul encouraged Timothy to seek and teach. 

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our pleasure.” 
1 Timothy 6:17 

Dear Father, there are many offers of pleasure in this world. My flesh longs after many. Satan would love me to chase his, and then there are those which are Yours.  May my heart long, thirst, and chase after Yours. For Your glory. 

It’s about time to renew my subscription…