Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Naked Truth

During the 1980s I regularly watched MTV (an initialism of Music Television) to hear cool sounding songs I wouldn’t have heard otherwise on the radio. Although I wasn’t living for the Lord then, I still didn’t care for the suggestive imagery in many of these music videos. It’s ironic this network still calls itself MTV considering their programming nowadays is mostly reality shows that have nothing to do with music.

That’s also the case with MTV’s sister channel VH1, which originally played songs targeting older viewers. One of their current programs called “Dating Naked” features nude contestants (with certain areas of their bodies blurred) talking openly about sex and body parts. This program came to my attention through a Charisma article about the activist group One Million Moms. They launched a protest that resulted in one of the “Dating Naked” advertisers pulling their ads.

Some argue nudity is “natural” since the first people mentioned in the Bible “…were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25) Keep in mind Adam and Eve were the only two humans on earth at that time. Some theologians believe the earth’s first couple were clothed with the glory of God until they ate the forbidden fruit.

Nudity is discouraged in numerous Scriptures. In Genesis 9:20-25, a curse came upon Ham and his descendants after he told his brothers that their father Noah was lying uncovered in his tent. Years later Moses instructed the Israelites not to look upon the nakedness of various relatives (Leviticus 18:6-19). The priests were told in Exodus 20:26, “Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.”

The demon-possessed man in Luke 8 originally “wore no clothes” but became “clothed and in his right mindafter receiving deliverance. When Jesus comes back to judge the nations, He will commend those who clothed the naked (Matthew 25:36). Other New Testament passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:23 and 1 Timothy 2:9 encourages modesty.

Since the Fall of Man, the only passages that mention nudity in a positive context describe marital relations. Proverbs 5:18-19 says, “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love.” Song of Solomon chapter 4 gives a more graphic description of a married couple enjoying each other's bodies.

One might question why 1 Samuel 19:23-24 says of King Saul, “Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. And he also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’” This doesn’t mean God approved of Saul prophesying in the nude. By this time Saul lost the anointing to be king and exhibited erratic behavior until he died on the battlefield.

God did command Isaiah, “Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet.” (Isaiah 20:2) The next two verses explain why, “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.”

Have you thought about what you might be wearing for eternity after you die? Isaiah 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

On the other hand, I’ve seen gospel tracts showing unsaved men and women standing naked before the Lord on Judgment Day. There are Scriptures supporting this belief. Jesus said in Revelation 16:15, “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” 

In Matthew 22, Jesus spoke these words in the Parable of the Wedding Feast…

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. 
12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 
13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Regardless if any clothing will be worn by men when facing God, every hidden sin will be exposed. Nobody will be able to hide behind fig leaves. Make sure you ready for eternity by being born again.

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” - Hebrews 4:13

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