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Summary: The world paints those who oppose immoral sex as being prudes and bigots. It's hard to withstand the humiliation and embarrassment that we can face when we speak up. So why should we? And how should we stand for morality in a faithless world?

Years ago I heard a famous radio preacher tell of an experience he had while doing a seminar in a large city. After he had gotten done speaking he returned to his hotel, got on the elevator, and as he touched the button of his floor, a couple of very attractive women got on with him.

"What floor do you need?" he asked trying to be helpful.

Leaning towards him, one of the girls replied, "I see you're getting off at the 5th floor - that would be just fine with us."

Flattered, the preacher began to consider just what he was being offered. And as he was telling the story he recalled that at that moment in time he didn't think of ministry, or of his church, or his family or his wife. All he could think of was the temptation of what he was facing.

But then a Scripture came into his mind: "Don't be deceived, a man reaps what he sows..."

Coming to his floor, before he stepped out of the elevator, he turned to the girls and said "I'm sorry; I have a very busy evening ahead of me."

When he got into his room, he closed and locked the door behind him… and collapsed trembling against the door. He realized how close he had come to destroying his life for one night of immoral sex.

What we’re going to talk about today is… (pause) sex.

After I preached this sermon at the first service I got the feeling that many were a little shocked that I even preached on this topic… but God actually says a lot about sexual sin in Scripture.

The old Bible term for this is this kind of behavior is “fornication”. The KJV translation of 1 Corinthians 6:18 says

“Flee FORNICATION. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth FORNICATION sinneth against his own body.”

Well, what exactly is “fornication”?

According to Webster’s dictionary: Fornication is defined as “unlawful or illicit sexual intercourse”

Now, the world has all kinds of phrases it substitutes for “fornication”. They call it

• “making love”

• “going all the way”

• “sleeping together”

• “having an affair”

• Or “pre-marital sex”.

But no matter what society thinks about the topic - and no matter what they may call it - sex outside marriage is a sin.

Hebrews 13:4 tells us “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”

Now, just so we’re clear, the Bible condemns all of the following sexual immoralities:

• Pedophilia – (with a child) Deuteronomy 22:25-27

• Necrophilia – (with the dead) Numbers 19:11

• Bestiality – (with an animal) Exodus 22:19

• Pornography – (lustfulness) Matthew 5:28

• Homosexuality – (man with a man) Romans 18:22; Romans 1:27

• Lesbianism – (woman with woman) Leviticus 18:23; Romans 1:26

• Any sexual activity outside of marriage (includes incest) I Corinthians 7:2; Galatians 5:19

• and Adultery – (sex with those in a Marriage covenant) Hebrews 13:4

And just in case you were wondering how seriously God took these sins… each and every one of these was punishable by death. People that did these things were stoned to death.

Now, the question of course… is why? Is God a prude? Does He oppose sex?

No. God created sex, and He created it to be pleasurable

But, as with all sins – God condemns certain activities that are harmful to us.

For example, immoral sex damages our relationships.

In the matter of “living together”, the world tries to portray this as a natural thing to do. In movies, books and TV sitcoms and dramas the hero and heroines are shown as becoming so passionate and drawn to each other that by the time they tumble into bed it seems like the most natural and logical outcome of their relationships. And just in case you miss the cue to approve their moving in together, the music in the background makes you sense the romance and the love that they have for one another.

But pre-marital sex is a really bad idea. Studies have found that such behavior later damages the couples who want to get married. On average, those who live together before marriage are about 33% more likely to have a divorce than those who don’t.

ILLUS: Years ago I was on an internet bulletin board (11/3/02) and read these words from a shattered man. “My wife and I DIDN'T WAIT. As our marriage approached, she became less interested in sex. She has remained that way through our 9-year marriage. Now that she wants a divorce, she shared with me that her sexual problems come from guilt over not waiting. I have to say that having sex one year early wasn't worth this.”

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Steve Shepherd

commented on Feb 11, 2015

Jeff, This is a very powerful sermon about illicit sex. Thank you and God bless you.

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