Summary: Challenging the Church and each Christian to up-hold God’s standards for sexual conduct, this examines the all too common sins of fornication and adultery.
“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4
There was a time when a preacher or teacher, when addressing the topic of sexuality, had to speak with great delicacy. The subject was not deemed fit to speak about in public, especially from God’s holy pulpit, except in the most discreet manner.
Indeed, when I began to preach - some twenty-four years ago - I was a little bashful about discussing the subject of sex and immorality and teaching what God says about it. I spoke about it in vague terms.
Times have changed. Today, the topic of sex is nearly as openly discussed in public conversation as the weather. You can’t turn on the radio, television or see a motion picture without be bombarded with explicit sexuality. You can’t pick-up a magazine, newspaper or drive down the road without seeing advertisements that use sexually titillating graphics to sell all sorts of products.
What this means is that, today, the average 9 or 10-year-old knows more about the ‘facts of life’ than they do about reading, writing and arithmetic. Most tragic is the fact that the young people are learning about sex without any moral and spiritual context.
It is time for, not only parents but the Church to meet the present challenge and to begin discussing sexuality and immorality openly and boldly. Its time that we clearly proclaim what God has to say about it. This morning, we are going to just that.
Almost every book of the New Testament talks about sex. The references mostly warn against immorality. The reason for this is that the moral environment of the 1st Century was just as bad and, though hard to believe, probably worse than it is in our generation. The apostles lived in a time when chastity and sexual purity were unknown virtues. Immorality was almost universal; as it was practiced without shame or disgrace. Their pagan gods, their emperors, their philosophers, and their great men and women in general, gave them examples of every species of sexual impurity. Fornication, adultery, prostitution and homosexuality was not only condoned but even encouraged by most of the religions of the time.
Even though immorality was thought to be normal or good by most of society, the Christian religion not only discouraged these things but forbid them. Therefore, if the Christian maintained sexual purity, they really stood out. You can read 1st and 2nd Century writings where non-Christians ridiculed and blasted Christianity and its followers for promoting sexual purity. As Peter said to the brethren, in 1 Peter 4:4-5, “they (the non-Christians) are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they malign you; but they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”
Today, the Christian who obeys God rather than goes along with the prevailing worldly culture on the matter of sexuality will stand-out, too. For, fornication and adultery is being practiced in our world at epidemic levels.