The word “bolt” simply means “to move or proceed rapidly” or “dart off” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). The word is often used in relation to fleeing—the common phrase “bolting for the door” comes to mind. Christians need to learn to bolt.
There are four “flee” passages found in the writings of Paul that instruct the Christian to “bolt” from sin. These dangers are too often viewed as part of the life and culture of our day. We need to understand the need to bolt from these dangerous temptations. Consider the warnings of these four texts:
Flee sexual immorality. Paul said, “Flee from sexual immorality…the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). While God has created the physical relationship for man to enjoy, He has restricted it to marriage. Sadly, God’s people are often just as involved in this sin as non-believers. Young people are sexually active at young ages and outside of marriage. Numerous Christian homes have been destroyed because of sexual temptation. Satan is going to assault godly people with lust and sensuality from every angle possible: other people, the media, the internet, etc. When those temptations are present, run away. BOLT!
Flee youthful passions. The “sowing of wild oats” is promoted in our culture. Even Christian parents often excuse poor behavior because “it’s natural.” Paul told Timothy that there were passions associated with youth but that he should push them away and pursue good things (2 Tim. 2:22). Young people, it’s not okay to pursue sensuality, lusts, drinking, lying, etc. just because you are young. Satan will send those temptations your way. When you see them, BOLT!
Flee idolatry. Paul said, “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:14). Anything that interferes with your relationship with God is an idol. Vacations that keep you from assembling with saints and worshipping God can become an idol. Recreation that keeps one from serving God becomes an idol. When family is more important than the Lord, it is idolatry. When you see idolatry creeping into your life, BOLT!
Flee the love of money. Paul said covetousness was idolatry (Col. 3:5). He told Timothy that a man of God would flee evils associated with the love of money (1 Tim. 6:10–11). Americans are raised with a sense of entitlement. Through the culture of this nation you have been trained to seek the American Dream which is rooted in more money and more stuff—the pursuit of happiness through the collection of possessions. Don’t give in to that dream. Pursue the things that are not of this world. When you are tempted to make money the focus of your mission here, BOLT!
Don’t play with the temptations Paul warns about in the “flee” passages. Lace up your running shoes and run away as fast as you can. Learn how to BOLT from sin!