A few years ago I heard a true story I will never forget. A group of people conspired to kidnap a certain wealthy, Long Island businessman in order to get a sizeable ransom. They arranged to have a young attractive woman invite him over to her house “to be entertained.” Even though he was a married man this was an offer he just couldn’t turn down. Here was a young beauty who was interested in him and was offering him her body. It was his wildest dream come true!

He followed her home and as he entered the house, her accomplices in this diabolical plot quickly jumped him like a pack of wolves. They then took him away to an abandoned apartment with thickly boarded up windows, so that his screams couldn’t be heard. For five days they tortured him and did unimaginable things to him. Although his wife came up with the money, in the end, his demented tormentors beat him to death. An autopsy report indicated that he had not drunk or eaten in five days.

As I consider what happened to this man, these sobering words from the book of Proverbs come to mind:

For the lips of a loose woman drip honey as a honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged and devouring sword. (Pr 5:3-4)

What started out as this man’s wildest dream come true, quickly turned into a tragic nightmare from hell. If only he could have seen behind the façade, if only he knew the plot of his dazzling temptress, if only he could have seen the path she was taking him, if only…!

We Love Sin

Just like this unfortunate fellow, without God’s Word and His perspective on things, we too are vulnerable to the powerful allurement of sin. You would think after awhile we would catch on to this deception, when every day we see the consequences of sin all around us. We are much like unsuspecting fish, which fall for the nice, shiny lure in the water time and again.

Spurgeon said, “It is the sweetness of sin that makes it more dangerous. Satan never sells his poison naked, he always gilds them (makes them look pleasing to the eyes) before he vends them. Beware of pleasures. It is said that where the most beautiful cacti grow, there the most venomous snakes lurk. It is so with your sin. Your fairest pleasures will harbor your grossest sin and most grievous consequences.”

I remember when the AIDS epidemic started; people who were infected were dropping like flies. You would have thought this deadly disease would have curtailed men having sex with men, drug users sharing needles, and others getting involved in illicit sexual activities. Yet people kept right on pursing their sinful lifestyles, fully aware of the life-threatening risk involved.

Undoubtedly, sexual lust is very powerful and deceptive. It’s intoxicating nature causes those entranced by it to see only the object of desire in front of them. It blinds them to everything and plunges them deeper and deeper into the “twilight zone” where they actually lose touch with reality. God, family and consequences fade into the background, while the fulfillment of their selfish desire takes center stage. They are willing to pursue their fantasy at the expense of those around them and even their own life.

We live in a world today in which we are constantly bombarded by objects that appeal to what the Bible calls the lust of the flesh (i.e. intense desires that spring up from our fallen nature; a longing for the forbidden), the lust of the eyes (i.e. the portal through which the outward things of this world, such as riches, pomp, and beauty, enter and inflame the human heart), and the pride of life (i.e. the fascination with vain, worldly pursuits of ambitious souls thirsting after honor and applause and who sit as king on the throne of their hearts).

The devil, who is fueling this propaganda machine, has been in the advertising business for thousands of years and is a master at selling his objects of desire. His M.O. hasn’t changed one bit since his first business deal in the Garden. The marketplace for His goods has remained wide-open with a never-ending supply of buyers lined up at the counter to purchase his gilded poison. He lurks at every corner—always planning, scheming, and setting his camouflaged traps to ensnare his next victim.

Sin Hates Us

However, to get God’s perspective on things, we must look to His Word, which sheds light on the enemy’s deceptive advertising campaign against us. Without a doubt the young man in Proverbs 7 wasn’t walking in the light of God’s Word. Left to his own ways, his life headed down a dimly lit pathway, a course according to the principles of this world. Like the businessman from Long Island, he was open prey to what awaited him at the end of the street.

Passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night. And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart. (Pr 7:8-9)

The Bible tells us, “Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” The problem is that he doesn’t come to us as a roaring lion; he comes in the “attire of a harlot, and with a cunning heart.” In other words he dresses up to appeal to the lust of the eyes with a hidden motive to seduce the affections and ensnare the soul. This harlot comes to us every day through the media, books, advertisement, the entertainment industry and yes, especially through the medium you are now utilizing to read this article: the Web!

The sales pitch is always the same. You know how it is when you’re out shopping. I always get leery when the salesperson comes up to me and starts to flatter me and tells me what a nice couple my wife and I make. The inference is always the same, “I’m really interested in you, I have what you want, and it won’t cost you anything. We have a special offer, no payments for 12 months!” The devil and this world speak the same lie: “It’s a dream come true! It will be long-lasting, and it will truly satisfy you! And most of all, there will be no consequences!”

Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home; He has gone on a long journey; He has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home on the appointed day. (Pr 7:18-20)

Like our man described here in Proverbs, millions plunge headlong every day, “Like an ox to the slaughter” pursuing the fleeting pleasures of sin and this world, not knowing there wildest dream will become a nightmare some day.

He did not know it would cost his life. (Pr 7:2)

The wisdom of God cries out on every corner to any who will listen:

My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. Say to wisdom, "You are my sister," And call understanding your nearest kin, That they may keep you from the immoral woman, From the seductress who flatters with her words. (Pr 7:1-5)

When we obey this command, the Word of God rips the mask off the whore! It exposes the schemes of the enemy of our souls. Being hearers of the Word profits us nothing; we must be doers of His word. (James 1:22) So it is imperative that we saturate our minds with God’s truth and seek to implement it into our lives daily. Heeding God’s instruction is the only way that we can avoid falling into a deadly trap.

“For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil.” (Pr 1:32-33 NASB)

Jeff Colón is a minister of the Assemblies of God. He held various positions during his 22 years with Pure Life Ministries. Jeff holds an MDiv and BA in Biblical Counseling from Master’s International School of Divinity. He recently branched out on his own, launching Lighthouse Biblical Counseling Center in Dry Ridge, Kentucky.
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