Monday, March 18, 2019

Avoiding the Sin of Sexual Immorality

Not all preaching leaves you with warm and fuzzy feelings when you head home. Sometimes the truth exposes sin and the Spirit convicts and you know some things in your life need to change – and change quickly.

And if you’re willing to undergo spiritual surgery to remove the cancer of sin and follow the remedy of the resurrected life then the outcome can truly be the holy life that God desires in you. Which is better than dying.

One such area of sin that plagues our generation is sexual immorality. I preached this past Sunday on the topic, as uncomfortable as that conversation sometimes is, because we need to clearly hear what God has to say about the subject, rather than allowing Hollywood or the music industry or friends (or anyone else!) to shape our values and beliefs.

Thankfully, God’s Word doesn’t leave us guessing.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) sounds pretty clear. So do the words of Jesus, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

So does Romans 1:26-27 (NLT): “That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.”

And just to cover all the bases, Paul writes to the church, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints…for you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure…has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:3, 5).

Friend, make no mistake – God’s not messing around here. The consequences of sexual immorality of all kinds ought to be enough to scare the sin out of anyone. In Revelation 21:8 we read: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Does that mean there’s no hope for those who have sinned? Of course not. Jesus died for every sin, and those who confess and repent find forgiveness and grace. But I want to plead with you in Christ-like love to avoid sexual immorality – and pursue the holy life you’re called to in the Lord.

So enjoy the gift of sex within the bounds of marriage (Proverbs 5:15-19), but heed the strong warning about temptation to sexual sin:

“Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim she has laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:25-27).