About the Adult Sealed Section
Having heard the word of the truth, the Gospel of your salvation — in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 1:13
The Bible describes Christians as being sealed with the holy seal of God. The idea of "seal" originates in the ancient metal stamps which were used to stamp an emblem into the wax seals used on private correspondence. The purpose of the seal was to authenticate the sender, and also to ensure that the content of the documents remained private.
You can find the Adult Sealed Section in the "Categories" menu at the top of each page on the website.
This section of the website will include topics of a more private nature, that might best be presented by making them invisible from most of the rest of Christ.net.au.
What Does "Sealed Section" Mean?
The pages in this section are "sealed" in the sense that previews for (and links to) the pages in this section won't appear anywhere else on Christ.net.au — apart from in the page listing for pages in the adult sealed section. The page that you're reading now, "About the Adult Sealed Section", will appear at the top of the listing, and is the only page in this section that will appear in the rest of the website.
The section is "adult" in the sense that it will discuss topics of a darker nature than everyone might want to see shown all over the website. It will include topics of a sexual nature — written within the context of learning how to follow God's plan for Christian living and sexual purity. It will mainly be advice on how to live the way the Bible instructs us to. It will be based on the Bible, on experiences from my own life, and from other things I've read, studied, heard about, and learned over the years.
I could have almost just called this section "purity" and not (mostly) hidden it from the rest of the website. However I decided that if I do it this way (as a "sealed section"), it will give license to go further, into more detail, than I would have otherwise.
I'm not intending for there to be any material that's graphic enough to be legally restricted to being 18+, or having to sign in with an adult-check ID. Especially in terms of the images used, which will definitely not be "hardcore" in any sense. Having said that, there will be frank discussion of sexual topics. And anything else that seems dark enough in theme to not be on display in the previews all over the rest of the website.
Why is it "Sealed"?
This section is "sealed" mainly because many (if not most) people don't want these kinds of topics to be in their face a lot of the time. So that it's possible to browse Christ.net.au and not be confronted with pages of an adult (e.g. sexual) nature on the homepage, and in the sidebars, and other pages that show many previews of the pages on this website.
I chose the name of "Adult Sealed Section" because of the biblical references to seals. And also because it reminds me of those trashy magazines (such as Cosmopolitan) that used to have a "sealed section". Many modern forms of media (like websites) also often have one, (and called by that name too) — which is usually the part of the publication that's reserved for the most ungodly and damaging content.
So this section on Christ.net.au is intended to be the opposite of that — and the Christian antidote to all of that worldly (and sexual) mind-programming that everyone living in the modern Western world is constantly subjected to.
In Galatians 6:17 the Apostle Paul refers to the marks of the Lord Jesus branded on his body. This can also be thought of as a type of seal. The most common view of this passage is that Paul is referring to the scars and other bodily damage he carries as a result of being persecuted for his Christian faith, preaching, and evangelising (spreading the good news of Jesus Christ).
From now on, let no one cause me any trouble, for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus branded on my body.
Why Have an Adult Sealed Section?
I've been debating with myself for a while about whether or not to include the adult sealed section. I don't want it to become the main feature of the website. But I do have some personal experience with these topics, and I feel that many people could be potentially be helped by what I can write about this area of life.
If I'd known from a young age all the things I know now, I would have most definitely lived a completely different — and much better — life to the one that I've lived.
In some ways, it feels like my whole life has been little more than just one huge lesson on why people should follow the moral advice, values, and rules of the Bible — and I've had to learn it, and re-learn it, from so many different angles, until I finally understood:
That God's plan is the best one.
Sometimes when people read things like the Bible verse below, they see some kind of distant and abstract rule that God has made — for some unknowable benefit to himself — and almost as if to deliberately spoil our fun. When in fact, the complete opposite is true: God has given us these instructions as a guide, to help us, because life is much better when we follow them. And God's word (as found in the Bible) is not distant, but something we can hold close to our hearts, as the living word from a living God.
However God's firm foundation stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let every one who names the name of Christ depart from unrighteousness."
This area of life is something that I have varied personal experience with. Including many failures, and, eventually, a high level of personal success.
I've only been a Christian for about ten years, so I lived my life as a non-Christian before that. With most of the typical things that go along with that kind of lifestyle. What impresses me the most, when I look back on all of that, is how much faith I had that those worldly types of behaviour, which are so widely promoted, would bring me satisfaction and happiness. And how the reality I experienced was the complete opposite of that.
My first few years as a Christian were much more like a transitional period of sanctification than an instant change to a completely pure life. So there were lessons to be learned there too.
I've been the co-star of a sex blog (and without even knowing about it). I lost my virginity to an adulterous affair. I've never been married, so all the sex I've had has been fornication. I've known 40-year old virgins, and people who went to swingers clubs and enjoyed watching other people have sex with their spouse. I've been invited to participate in situations like that myself.
I've been cheated on with multiple partners, and afterwards I got to read every explicit detail in my suddenly-ex-girlfriend's secret sex blog. I didn't even know what a sex blog was. Until I discovered I was in one, and started reading it. There were blog entries with titles like "Two Men in a Day", and "Three Men in Three Days". With every moment and body part of every act described in graphic adult-magazine-style detail. In both of those entries (and plenty of others) I was one of the men, and had no idea at the time.
I've amassed and read a large collection of Christian books about sex and purity, and I've seen and read these topics discussed from all angles. Including studying a lot of non-Christian dating advice, in many different formats, in the years leading up to my conversion to Christ. I was very shy when I was younger, and figured that I needed all the help I could get. I have a friend who'd spent $30,000 on prostitutes by the age of 30. (An actual friend, not a metaphoric "friend" — I've never been to one myself, though I've had guy friends offer to "shout" me occasionally.)
The first time I saw internet porn was in 1991, before most people had heard of the internet, and before the internet even had actual pictures (it was what they call ASCII art). I watched the evolution of internet porn from those early days to what it is now. And saw the consequences it had on myself and others.
Some of these stories I won't be saying that much about, for the sake of others' privacy. Though even with that restriction, there's still a lot I can write about.
Success at Last!
Beginning from last year (around when I started Bible college), I now consider myself to be 100% successful in terms of maintaining my Christian sexual purity. In one area, I've been more successful than I ever imagined would be possible for me — even as a Christian. The only way this could have been possible is through the supernatural power of God's Holy Spirit, which comes to aid us as we determine (by our own will) to align our lives with Christ. Many nonbelievers find this kind of thing hard to believe. But once you've experienced it yourself — and you will, if you stay with it long enough — it's very easy to believe.
Not only do I feel completely successful in this area of life, but I feel so solid now with my purity that I really don't have any fears or worries about going back to the way I used to live. Truly, none of it is a struggle anymore. In fact it's barely even something I think twice about, in the sense of struggling to resist doing certain things.
With the take-away message here being that you can succeed too. And in ways you might not even believe you are capable of. With persistence, and the help and power of God's Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible.
Our Future is Completely Secure
The Bible reminds us that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we're sealed by God's Holy Spirit for "the day of redemption". This redemption refers to the future time in the life after this one, where we live with God in the Kingdom of Heaven. It happens because of God's supernatural power to "seal" us. As part of this sealing, we become transformed from the carnal, lost, selfish, worldly beings we used to be — into a new life, forever alive with Jesus.
Don't grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
The transformation of our worldly lives happens faster for some people than others. We all have different personal histories, and different things that we need to experience in order for us to become more Christlike.
As Christians, we can be completely confident and secure in our future. As long as we keep following Jesus Christ as our Lord and saviour, and hold him close at the centre of our lives, this process is guaranteed to happen to us, sooner or later:
For our citizenship is in heaven, from where we also wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will change the body of our humiliation to be conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working by which he is able even to subject all things to himself.