Patience Not Permission

I am not enamored with those who our culture deems as celebrities. Most live surreal lifestyles, and say and do the most outlandish things as if intoxicated with their own notoriety and wealth. In my estimation they no longer represent success, but are examples of excess.

Yet, there is a least one notable exception in my opinion, and that is Tim Tebow. While like everyone else I can be fooled by the perception and not see the reality, Tim Tebow time and again gives every evidence of being a genuine Christian unfazed by fame and fortune, and maintains the calm assurance of his faith amid the ridicule of his detractors. He is a champion in many ways, in my opinion.

While it is difficult to sort out fact from fiction in the gossip reported by the rumor rags, it was recently disclosed that Olivia Culpo, the 2012 Miss U.S.A. and Miss Universe, broke up with Tim Tebow because he refused to compromise his vow to abstain from sex until he marries. Some sources say they met at church, and went out together a few times, others say they never really dated. Who knows?

I would not take the time to write about this except Tim is once again being belittled in the media for his convictions, and all the talk has served to bring the issue of pre-marital sex into the public discourse. Our culture has adopted a casual perspective of sex because of a callous disregard for what the Scriptures say about the subject.

God’s purpose for sex is twofold. Sex ensures the procreation and flourishing of the human race, and the pleasures of sexual relations are reserved to a husband and wife exclusively in the covenant of marriage to further the bond of intimacy. Any sexual act outside of the marital commitment between a man and woman is a perversion of God’s plan for humanity.

In all the jockeying for attention we do not know which account can be trust, and none of us know what transpired between Tim and Olivia. What I do know is if Tim maintains his conviction of abstinence, he will not be paying child support for illegitimate children or a doctor’s bill for a sexually transmitted disease.

I think because we do not witness God’s judgment on society we think He is unconcerned about our sexual practices. But Peter tells us, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9. The promise of Jesus’ return and the judgment of sin at his coming cannot be dismissed but God is being patient giving us time to turn from our sins. It is a mistake to confuse God’s patience for His permission.

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