Thank you, Steve Bockmiller, for writing this article on Sexual Immorality.
Sexual immorality is rampant in our society today. It has pervaded every aspect of our lives from the internet to television to advertising to schools to businesses to government and even to churches. We see it in a number of forms including pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. The recent news has been full of stories concerning this subject and as more information is revealed the worse the picture gets. It is a heinous and ugly portrait that is fraught with ruin. As this sin surrounds us, it may seem like we are living in the most evil of times, but Solomon tells us “there is nothing new under the sun.” Sexual immorality has been around for a long time.
When the Angels came to save Lot from Sodom, the men of the city surrounded the house wanting to sleep with them. In Genesis 19:5 it says, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”
Shechem raped Dinah. In Genesis 34:1-2 “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her.”
Judah sleeps with Tamar his daughter-in-law thinking she was a prostitute. In Genesis 38:15-16 it says “Judah saw her; he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law.”
Samson sleeps with a prostitute. In Judges 16:1 it says “Samson went to Gaza, and there he saw a prostitute, and he went in to her.”
In 2 Samuel 11 David takes a walk one evening on his roof and he sees a naked woman bathing. Instead of looking away he summons her, sleeps with her, gets her pregnant, and then orchestrates her husband’s death in battle.
In I Kings 11 Solomon turns away from God due to his love of foreign women with whom God said not to enter into marriage with. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines and even built high places for their gods.
In Leviticus 18:20-24 God warns his people of partaking in the sexual sins involved in Molech worship. “And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it; neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion. “Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am driving out before you have become unclean.”
Sexual immorality was an issue in the Old Testament as we can see from all of these examples. And keep in mind this includes David who was said to be “a man after God’s own heart”. If we fast forward to the New Testament times the picture doesn’t change much. Paul tells the Romans “let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.” He tells the Corinthians (a place where sexual immorality was widespread) “or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality.” He tells the Ephesians “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” Paul makes similar statements to the congregations in Galatia, Colossae, and Thessalonica. The Hebrew writer says “let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
Sexual immorality is a sin that will captivate you, control you, and consume you. If you have eyes and ears and feelings you are susceptible to this sin. You must have a plan for how to deal with the temptation and it needs to start with openness and honesty. Sexual sin can captivate you and blind you from the truth. Have you admitted to yourself that you struggle with this? Have you looked to God for forgiveness and strength? Have you talked to your spouse about it? It helps to be accountable to someone who can ask you questions and help keep you in check. This sin is also controlling. If you don’t get yourself under control sexual sins will control you. Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:6 to “add to your knowledge self control.” We talk a great deal about Bible study. I have listened to many Bible study classes and sermons where the Preachers and Teachers drive home the point to study, study, and study. Of course we need to read God’s word. “They word is a lamp unto my feet” as David says in Psalms 119:105. The problem is we don’t talk enough about discipline and self control. Notice Peter says we need to add self control to knowledge. You don’t need a doctorate degree to understand the concept, the history, and the scriptures about sexual immorality. In this short article I have covered a portion of what the Bible says on the matter. What you need to do is to control yourself. When the temptation arises make the choice to not engage; walk away, avoid the situation, turn the TV off, or get a not-so-smart phone. If you choose to not control yourself, this sin will consume you. It will take you farther than you ever thought possible. Remember the mess that David created with Bathsheba; one sin led to another. Do you find yourself committing sexual sins and then hiding the facts, covering things up, and lying to stay out of trouble? When we read Romans chapter 1 we are disgusted with the people who gave into sin and engaged in all kinds of evil including worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. Verses 26 and 27 say “for their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Notice it says they were consumed with passion for one another. It filled their every thought and action. If you don’t control yourself and give in to sexual immorality, that is you. “You are the man” as Nathan once told David. Notice the consequence that the Hebrew writer tells us; “for if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” You will be consumed by the fury of fire. Don’t let that happen. Sexual immorality is here to stay and will always impact us in some way or another. Knowing this leads the Godly man to get himself under control and overcome. Our families are relying on us to set the example and keep the Devil out. Is your light shining or is the bushel of sexual immorality keeping you in the dark?