I would like to share several passages of Scripture today that deal with a prevalent problem in our society. Unfortunately, this issue is also far too common in the professing Christian community. As we shall see in the Scripture the early church in the days of the apostles had to deal with this same problem.
Please open your Bible to Acts chapter 15 and read: (15:13-31).
Please take careful note that gentile believers were to put away fornication. Of course there are a number of things pertaining to the old nature that we are to “put off,” but please note the importance the apostles placed upon the problem of fornication. Sexual immorality was a rampant problem in the gentile world in that day. Sadly it is a huge problem in our day as well. What is the answer?
For believers the clear instruction from the Holy Spirit is to “abstain from fornication.” In other words, we must pursue sexual purity and avoid sexual immorality.
Peter builds upon the same them in 1 Peter chapter four. Please turn your Bible to the book of 1 Peter and open to chapter four . . . (4:1-4).
Please note verse two which says that the believer is to live the rest of his life “to the will of God.” God’s will is sexual purity for His people.
Note also that Peter points out that prior to the born again experience believers worked the will of the Gentiles. In other words, they went along with the crowd. They walked in lock step with the ungodly culture of their day prior to their conversion to Christ. In the time past they walked in lasciviousness (sensual pleasure), lusts, excess of wine (drunkenness), revellings and banqueting (the party scene), and abominable idolatry.
Of course, Christ makes a difference in our lives. He changes our direction. Those to whom Peter wrote experienced a level of rejection from their former friends because they no longer ran with them in excess. In fact, Peter says that because these believers separated from such immoral behavior the old crowd spoke evil of them. Does this sound familiar? The same thing has happened to many believers and it will happen to us when we teach that fornication, adultery, sexual perversion, and pornography are sins to be avoided.
Now, before we move on there is one thing I need to challenge you with: do you intend to follow the will of God, or the will of the Gentiles?
Let’s turn now to 1 Thessalonians chapter four . . . (4:1-8).
I am also forewarning you. Beware of the ungodly culture around you. You must separate from the sensuality that so pervades our society. I am afraid that many folks who tell me they are Christians simply do not read their Bible. It is a shame that so many in our organized churches are living just like the world.
I am sorry to disappoint you, but any preacher worth his salt must teach you the clear will of God. And if doing so upsets you it is time you get right with God. Let me show you a powerful word from the Lord in Romans chapter 13 . . . (13:11-14).
It seems odd the need exists to teach professing Christians to avoid drunkenness and chambering (immorality and debauchery). But we are living in such days. Hear me today: it is time to “awake out of sleep” and put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Said another way, it is time for the average Christian to experience a personal revival of holiness. It is time to put away the sin that abounds all around us and walk honorably before the Lord. Now stay with me, I’m not done!
Turn your Bible to the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 6 . . . (6:15-7:2). Please note the command to “flee fornication” (v18 . . .). Sexual immorality brings no glory to God. It is a grievous sin that dishonors the name of Christ, which you bear if you are a believer. Therefore glorify God and put away sexual immorality.
Please note the emphasis upon marriage in chapter 7 verse two . . . Again, we are to avoid fornication. We are not to simply live with someone for a while and then move on to another partner. We are certainly not to engage in casual sex. Instead, let every man have a wife and every woman have a husband. Marriage is honorable and the marriage bed is undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.