Leslie Basham: The effects of sin are devastating. Kay Arthur remembers wanting relief from the consequences of sin.
Kay Arthur: I ran up the stairs and fell down beside the bed and cried out to God. I said, “God, I don’t care what You do to me. I don’t care if I never see another man as long as I live. I don’t care what You do to my two boys. I don’t care if You paralyze me from the neck down, if You’ll just give me peace.”
Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Heartswith Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, December 17.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: “Sin will take you farther than you ever intended to go, it will cost you more than you ever expected to pay, and it will keep you longer than you ever intended to stay.”
I’ve heard that quote attributed to a number of different people. Kay Arthur, who is our guest on Revive Our Hearts this week, first heard it from Pastor Wayne Barber.
Kay, that quote really describes what you experienced as a woman in your 20s, as you went into a marriage that you expected to be fulfilling and happy. It turned out not to be. You went through that process, and we’ve been listening to your story the past couple of days.
I want to say to our listeners, if you’ve missed the last couple of programs, you want to be sure and get the CD or go to our website and listen to it, because it’s a powerful story of our inability to keep God’s law.
But we’re turning the corner today to say, “God’s grace finds us in that powerless, impotent, lost, condemned condition, and rescues us.”
So you’re out of that marriage now to Tom Getts. You have these two little boys. You’ve gone into an immoral lifestyle.
Kay: I’m playing the harlot. I’m dressing like the harlot, I’m just not charging money.
I remember that there was a club in Washington, D.C. I was living in Arlington, which is a suburb of Washington, D.C., and there was this club. It was like a Playboy club, only it wasn’t; it didn’t have the bunny tails. I was thinking about getting a job there.
That’s how far I had gone. That was the fruit. And really, if you didn’t hear the first two days of this, you really need to get it, because we talked about the mind.
That was the fruit of what I had thought as a young person. That was the focus of my thoughts, to be sexy, to be all of this that I saw on the movie screens and such. “As a man—or a woman—thinks, so he or she is.” That was the harvest.The harvest didn’t come immediately, but it came. So I lived this immoral lifestyle, with these two boys.
What broke my heart was them saying, “Is this going to be our daddy? Is that going to be our daddy?” because they wanted a daddy. They needed a daddy.
This is what we forget. What they needed was their own daddy. If I had been in tune, or if I had had a mentor or a counselor, or if somebody had witnessed to me . . .
Now, God knew what He was doing and what He had planned. But just so that you can know, you need to be sharing the gospel. You need to be there for other women. You need to be there and bring forth the Scriptures, because it’s truth that sets you free.
Well, I wouldn’t have gone through all of this. They wouldn’t have gone through all of this. They could have had their father. I could have gone back to Tom, but this is what happened.
I lived this immoral lifestyle. As I told you yesterday, I had become convicted that someday I’m going to stand before a holy God. So I broke off the affair, but the immorality was still there. I was saying, “God, I don’t want to do this,” but I was doing it.
The Bible says, “O wretched man that I am [wretched woman that I am]! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). Because you use your hands and your mind and your thoughts and your tongue and your whole body as instruments of unrighteousness, you’re a slave.
So I came out of Johns Hopkins, and in the traffic there was a man that I had known before. We had been involved in kind of Christian work, church work. So we reconnected, and here I am with this conviction that I’m going to stand before God, so I’ve got to be good.
So I get my boys, and on the one side, we get together with his family, and we’re having family time—and on the other side, here I am dating and living an immoral life.
Well, this man and his wife had a party. I went to the house, and we were talking. This man turned around and looked at me and said, “Why don’t you quit telling God what you want and tell Him that Jesus is all you need?”
I looked at him and thought, “You are so rude.” I said, “Jesus is not all I need. I need this, I need that, I need that.” And I threw my mink from my first marriage over my shoulders and walked out. I went home.
The next morning, Nancy, I felt terrible. I thought, “I cannot go to work. I’m just going to call the doctor and say, ‘I can’t come to work.’” So I called him and said, “ Dr. Chique, I can’t come to work. I’m sick.”
I thought, “I am sick. I have a sickness that no one can cure, because it’s not physical. I can’t cure this. I can’t stop being immoral. I’m sick.”
So that day I decided I would take my boys and go camping with this family and with a group of Christians. Well, that morning, getting ready to go camping, I decided I’d bake a cake and take it.
Tommy went off to the morning camp. Mark was hanging onto my apron, hungry for Mother’s love.
I was baking a cake. I got it out of the oven, and all of a sudden I turned around, got down on my “haunches,” so to speak, and looked at him and said, “Mark, honey, Mommy’s got to be by herself. Will you please let me be alone for just a minute?”
I ran up the stairs and fell down beside the bed. I cried out to God, and I said, “God, I don’t care what You do to me. I don’t care if I never see another man as long as I live. I don’t care what You do to my two boys. I don’t care if You paralyze me from the neck down, if You’ll just give me peace.”
Those were the three worst things I could think of that could happen to me. And there on my knees beside that bed, God gave me the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I love that Scripture: “Come now, and let us reason together . . . though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Later on, as I was reading the Bible, in Romans I discovered this verse, Nancy. It says, “And he called her beloved when there was nothing lovely about her” (Romans 9:25). He called her beloved.
It’s referring to a verse from Hosea 2:23. It’s talking about Gomer, and it’s a picture of Israel when she’s played the harlot. Yet God, in His love for her, reached down into that cesspool, pulled her out, washed her with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, stripped off her filthy rags, and clothed her in His garment of righteousness.
And that’s what happened to me on that day. Now, I didn’t know I’d been saved. I didn’t know the terminology. But I knew that when I got up, I was different. I knew that wherever I went, Jesus was going with me. I knew—it was gut; it’s spirit. It’s the Spirit inside.
I knew that I couldn’t dress the way I dressed, which was very sensual. I knew that. It just automatically hit me.
Nancy: I love what I’ve heard you say: “I got down on my knees a harlot, and I got up a saint.”
Kay: That’s right. That’s right.
Nancy: What a description that is of what the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:17. “If [any person] is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
Kay: That’s right. “Old things have passed away [and] all things have become new.”
You know the verse, and it’s right in that passage in 2 Corinthians 5. He says in verse 16, “Therefore, from now on, we recognize no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him [in this way] no longer.”
We don’t see Christ on a crucifix. We don’t see Christ as a baby in Mary’s arms, because He’s transcended all of that.
The thing is that I was a harlot, but I’m not anymore; I’m a saint. I’m saint Kay. It’s not something you have to be canonized. It’s something you have to be born again, and you’re made that.
Saint simply means “set apart.” It means “consecrated.” It means “holy.” It means “belonging to God.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature.” I tell people, “When you look at me, I don’t think you think harlot, do you?” No, because I’m not anymore.
Nancy: That’s what Paul said to the Corinthians. He lists all these sins that people can commit, and he says, “That’s what some of you were” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
Kay: Yes. “But” he says, “you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Awesome, isn’t it?
Nancy: And it’s Christ who does it.
Kay: Yes, it’s all Christ.
Nancy: You could not make yourself a saint.
Kay: No. It is all Christ. As you read through and observe the text and saturate yourself with the Word of God, you see that salvation is of God. It is all God’s doings.
It’s just the grace of God. It’s the mercy of God. It’s the kindness of God that brings you to repentance [see Romans 2:4] and then makes you a new creature.
Nancy: I’m just thinking as we’re talking, Kay, that there is someone listening right now who perhaps has a religious background, as you did. She may have been baptized, confirmed, catechized, whatever it is that they do in your particular church, or maybe no church background at all. But God has been working in some woman’s heart, showing her her sinfulness, her need, her inability to please God.
Maybe she’s living an immoral life. Maybe she’s living a good religious life, but she’s not righteous; she doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Would you just speak to that woman for a moment?
Kay: Yes. Honey, I would tell you that it is no accident that you’re listening to Revive Our Hearts today.
What He’s saying to you is, “This is My time. This is My time. I’m drawing you into My kingdom. I want you to become My daughter, My child.
“That’s why I’ve had you listening. That’s why I’ve warmed your heart, because by My Spirit I’m causing you to be born into My family. All you have to do is receive Me. All you have to do is believe.”
That’s what salvation is. It’s recognizing that God is God. It’s recognizing that His Son Jesus is God and that He died on that cross, and that He who knew no sin was made your sin [see 2 Corinthians 5:21].
Just think of all your sins, and then think of them wrapped up in a package and put on Jesus Christ. Think of Jesus Christ receiving those sins, being made sin for you, so all you have to do is say, “God, I believe. I receive Jesus Christ.”
He says that to those who receive Him, He gives them the authority to become children of God [see John 1:12].
You say, “But He might reject me.”
Oh, no. You just don’t know yet. You’re going to find it out. But in the Scripture, Jesus says that “those that come to Me I will not cast out” (John 6:37).
His arms are wide open, as wide open as that cross. It’s that Calvary love. He’s saying, “I love you. Will you believe that? Will you receive Me as your God, as your Savior?”
All you have to do is say, “I believe. I receive.” And you know what? You become a child of God. Why don’t you do that right now?
Why don’t you say, “God, I believe. I believe that Jesus died for my sins, that He paid for them. I believe that He was buried. I believe that You raised Him from the dead and that He lives. And it’s the living Jesus I’m asking to come into my life. Thank You for loving me. God, thank You for the gift of eternal life.”
Now listen to me, precious one. The Bible says we believe in our heart, and that results in righteousness; but “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). In other words, you’ve got to tell someone.
It’s important for you to confess. It’s important for you to say it, because He says, “If you confess Me before men, I’ll confess you before the Father who is in heaven.”
So “with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.” So by your writing to Nancy atReviveOurHearts.com, that is a confession also.
So what do you do? You believe in your heart and you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord, your Master, your God.
He then will bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God. And obviously you can’t tell that to Nancy.
Nancy: I’ll tell you what you can do—send us an email. I would love to hear. I’ll get the email, and our team will pray for you, and we’ll send you something that will help you take the next steps in your walk with Jesus Christ.
So do confess it. Do tell someone today.
But while you’re doing that, email us or write us a letter and let us know, “I have trusted Christ as my Savior today.” We want to rejoice with you in the grace of God that He’s extending to your life.
Kay: The way you’re going to know it is that there’s going to be a change. Remember 2 Corinthians 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ . . .” Now you’re in Him.
He’s in you; you’re in Him, and you’ll never be separated. When you become a new creation, you’re going find changes in your life.
First John tells you about some of those changes.
- You’re going to begin to understand the Word of God.
- You’re going to hate sin now.
- You’ll still sin, but not like you used to, because you’re no longer a slave to sin.
Nancy: Amen. What are some of those changes that came about in your life after that July 16, 1963?
Kay: One of the things was, this young man that I started to date brought me a Phillip’s translation of the New Testament. I opened that book and began to read, and I thought, “I didn’t know this was in the Bible. I didn’t know that.”
What happens is, you have the mind of Christ now, and the veil comes off of the Word of God, so you’re going to have a hunger for the Word of God. When you open the Word of God you’re not going to understand it all, but God is going to begin to teach you.
The Holy Spirit is in you. (You can read about this in John 14.) The Holy Spirit moves in and becomes your in resident tutor. He’s going to lead you and guide you into all truth.
So that’s what happened to me. I had a hunger for the Word of God. I read the Word of God. I began to understand God. I had a conviction of sin, because now the Spirit was in me, and He’s the Holy Spirit.
I stopped drinking. I noticed a change in my temper. The immorality stopped immediately.
Nancy: Was that a battle?
Kay: No, it was not a battle. I knew it was wrong.
Now, dealing with temptation was a battle, and dealing with my memoires was a battle. I would be driving, and all of a sudden I would remember something I did with a man, and I would begin to feel horrible.
Then the Spirit of God would show me that that’s what I was, but not anymore. So He taught me to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ[see 2 Corinthians 10:5].
But the way I dressed changed immediately. The immorality stopped. Not the temptation. I mean, I have been tempted.
What you do becomes a habit in your life. The power is broken, but sometimes the tendency toward the habit is there. So I learned to apply 2 Timothy 2:22 to it: “Flee . . . youthful lusts.”
Nancy: Of course, as you were getting the Word into your system, that began to renew your mind and cleanse your life, and it began that transforming work of God’s grace. That’s a lifelong process that we call sanctification.
Kay: That’s right. That’s what he talks about in Romans 12:1-2, that you are transformed [and it’s a process] by the renewing of your mind so that you might know what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Nancy: The Lord started you that day on what has been an amazing journey. We’re going to pick up with the next chapter of that story when we come back again on Revive Our Hearts.
I’m thrilled for what I believe is, for some of our listeners, a new start today.
Kay: That’s right.
Nancy: They’ve become a new person. I want to say again, I hope that you’ll write and let us know. Send us an email, drop us a line. Say, “Today is the day that Christ has come into my life and saved me.” We want to rejoice with you in that.
Used with Permission. Revive Our Hearts.