Jesus gave ten examples to help us understand that the kingdom is a matter of the heart. We will explore three more here. Because they are examples, the “doing” of these sayings is easier to identify – and that is a good thing. However, we must remember that Jesus’ focus remains on our hearts, not our performance; the goal is to be made into a kingdom citizen, not to make or justify ourselves.

Guard the Lamp of Your Body

You have heard that it was said to those of old, “You shall not commit adultery.” But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28

The house that stands in the storm will be the house of the man that guards his heart from the lusts of his eyes. This is an incredibly important issue for the church in America; particularly when you consider the houses that are being built around our pastors and our fellowships. Of all the judgment that will come to the house of God (1Peter 4:17), the judgment for this sin will be one of the most severe.

Consider the statistics. A Leadership Journal survey reports that four in ten pastors online have visited a pornographic Web site; and more than one-third have done so in the past year. reports that, of the 1,351 pastors that Rick Warren’s website,, surveyed on porn use, 54% said they had viewed internet pornography within the last year and 30% of those had visited within the last 30 days.

According to Patrick Means (2006), 63% of pastors surveyed confirm that they are struggling with sexual addiction or sexual compulsion including, but not limited to, the use of pornography, compulsive masturbation, or other secret sexual activity. Furthermore, 75% of pastors do not make themselves accountable to anyone for their Internet use.

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22

Without question, pornography is one of the vilest demonic attacks unleashed on the church. If pastors are suffering in this way, what would we imagine for the rest of the congregation? Furthermore, men are 5.3 times more likely than women to be addicted to pornography (Means, 2016). Honestly, I am surprised that the number is not higher. Apparently, this epidemic is affecting women more than I thought.

It would be easy and common to throw the victims under the bus. Yes, Christians are ultimately responsible for their own personal decisions. However, we must keep in mind that these are our brethren; and captives of our most powerful enemy. We must speak the truth, and discipline, in the unconditional and sacrificial love of God. In this, we will stand apart from the world and destroy the enemy’s plans.

I believe the Lord is trying to tell us that “doing these sayings of Mine” is a community effort. Most victims suffer in addictive sin because we have become an isolated community of believers. Perhaps the most telling statistic above is the one related to pastor accountability. Every one of us should be accountable to the community of Jesus Christ. We should desire that protection for each other.

With all this in mind, I am going to make two bold suggestions; both of which will take great courage. First, implement an internet accountability program for your church fellowship – beginning with your pastor. Ground this endeavor in combative prayer. Identify prayer warriors and put them to work covering the spiritual battle field of your fellowship. Satan will vehemently and violently resist.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Second, a word to the women in our fellowships: Please stop dressing in a way that invites your brothers to lust after you with their eyes. Men are created by God to be attracted to certain things. Trust that the beauty of Jesus Christ in you is more valuable that the beauty of your appearance.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1Peter 3:3-4

Be Serious About Sin

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. Matthew 5:29-30

It seems to me that there are three alternative ways to understand this saying. First, we must consider whether or not Jesus is speaking literally. This is unlikely for at least three reasons: The act of self-mutilation runs contrary to the revelation that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; second, the early church did not practice self-mutilation; and third, removing one eye or hand does not solve the problem of sin.

If not literally speaking, perhaps Jesus is using hyperbole to make a point. It would not be the last time He did so. For example, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother..., he cannot be My disciple”, is a way of stressing the importance of loving Him first and in much greater measure. Applying this perspective, we come to understand from the passage above that sin is a very serious matter in the life of a believer. To tolerate what the eye or hand might do has eternal consequences. This is not taught enough in the church today.

A third interpretation assumes that Jesus is speaking into a community context. In this case, the eye or hand is a person or group of persons. This is harmonious with Jesus’ teaching on the true vine (and the branches that fail to bear fruit), and the Parables of the Talents, Sheep and Goats, etc. His and Paul’s teaching on church discipline also give authority and process for the separation of a member from the body.

Sin in the individual is sin in the camp. Both are serious matters for a church fellowship – particularly in this season of approaching storms. The church fellowships that fail to administer discipline are weakening their house; making it susceptible to a great fall. As members of the Body of Christ, we owe it to the ones we love to pursue this matter. Turning a blind eye, in order to avoid offense or discomfort, is not the love God intends for the bride of His Son.

It must be said that church discipline is to be done in the way and love of the Father. Yes, there will be offense and discomfort. There may even be chaos. It will be a great opportunity for our learning to trust the Father and His ways; and it will make our houses stronger. Do you believe it?

Fear the Consequences of Divorce

The sayings of Jesus challenge our subjection to His reign. Are we wholly His bondservants? Are we willing to obey regardless of the discomfort and cost? Are there ever excuses for ignoring His instructions?

The fact that self-professed Christians are divorcing at the same rate as the world suggests something is wrong in the church. Clearly, she has not been up to the challenge of this saying:

Furthermore it has been said, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.” But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. Matthew 5:31-32

I lean heavily toward literal interpretation of the Scriptures when I am searching out a matter. I believe it is much more preferable to allow the word of God to shatter my paradigms, than to force His word into my way of thinking. Twisting the truth to fit my situation is a risk I am not willing to take.

Consequently, I believe this passage to be one of the most compromised in all of the Holy Bible; and, just to be clear, I mean compromised in the church.

At the risk of sounding harsh, most divorce in the church happens because the children of God do not seriously consider this passage before and during their marriage. Many do not believe going in, during, or in deciding to get out, that the consequences of divorce are so severe. How severe?

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers… will inherit the kingdom of God. 1Corinthians 6:9-10

Much has been said about the damage of divorce on individuals, families and fellowships. Apparently, people are willing to accept the worldly consequences. Perhaps all the discussion of the worldly has become a distraction from the greatest threat of all: Our kingdom inheritance.

The extent that we, the children of God, have adopted the world’s way for the marriage covenant is tragic. I am not so naive to think that there are no exceptional circumstances. Yet, I am grieved at how far we have moved from divorce being the exception to it becoming so common.

I know serious minded Christians who have violated this saying of Jesus, with the encouragement of Christian pastors and counselors. Does that mean that they have forever fallen, or that God will no longer bless them? I want to believe otherwise; in the knowledge that God’s mercy and grace exceeds my imagination.

I do believe, with fearfulness for them, that their decision to divorce has affected the strength of their house for the storm.

God, have mercy on us. It is time we take the necessary steps in the church to make sure this does not happen to others. It is time we begin earnestly encouraging, teaching and holding our brothers, sisters and children in Christ accountable to God’s way for marriage. Considering this saying of Jesus is a great place to start.

Humbly yours and forever His,


Means, P., (2006), Men’s Secret Wars, Grand Rapids, MI: Revell.