Bible prophecies have long predicted decadent immorality and its devastating consequences, especially in the end time. Think how often we hear of salacious scandals involving “leaders” in positions of power!
“The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10 1 Timothy 6:10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
American King James Version×). And since “sex sells,” we have a highly sexualized, “hot” society. To make money, countless people are willing to be a bad influence, even on children.
What is especially shameful and sad is when we learn the moral behavior of people who consider themselves “Christian,” is not much better than that of the non-Christians!
In 2008 The Barna Group, which does research regarding religious faith and culture in America, conducted a survey about moral issues. Founder George Barna, concluded: “The consistent deterioration of the Bible as the source of moral truth has led to a nation where people have become independent judges of right and wrong, basing their choices on feelings and circumstances. It is not likely that America will return to a more traditional moral code until the nation experiences significant pain from its moral choices.”
The Good News has regularly reported on the tragic trend toward neglecting and rejecting the Bible. And the more “people have exchanged God’s truth for a lie… and serve what is created rather than the Creator,” the more they tend to slide into “shameful passions… indecent acts” and innumerable other vices (Romans 1:19-32 Romans 1:19-32 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has showed it to them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.
24 Why God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
American King James Version×, God’s Word). One sin leads to another sin and to worse sins as one’s conscience becomes seared.
The Bible has much to say about sex
God is the Authority on sex because He created it. Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
American King James Version×says, “So God created man in His own image… male and female He created them.” We should trust God to teach us about sex and what makes for health and happiness.
The Bible is plain-spoken about the subject. The Bible emphatically does not teach asceticism or Gnostic “dualism” (claiming that physical pleasure is evil and denying or punishing the flesh is spiritual and good). “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (verse 31). Amazingly, God’s first command to Adam and Eve was to “become one flesh”—enjoy sex together, and not just for procreation (Genesis 2:24 Genesis 2:24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
American King James Version×).
Marriage is sacred. In fact in the Old Testament marriage is a metaphor for the relationship between God and His people, and in the New Testament it as a metaphor for the relationship between Christ and His Church. Accordingly, infidelity to God and Christ is spiritual adultery . And physical adultery blasphemes that holy relationship.
Many things that have great potential and power for good likewise have great potential and power for evil. That certainly includes sexuality. Practically every book in the New Testament warns about sexual temptations!
The Seventh of the Ten Commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” is focused on protecting marriage from being adulterated —polluted and damaged. This is the umbrella command for the many biblical laws that forbid the various kinds of illicit sex. These include laws that proscribe (specifically or by implication) adultery (extramarital sex), fornication (premarital sex), homosexuality (sex with someone of the same sex), incest (sex with a close relative), cohabitation, polygamy, prostitution, bestiality (sex with an animal), rape, sexual abuse, pornography (from the Greek word for immorality, porneía, which occurs 11 times in the New Testament), sexualized pagan rituals, sexual lust (including viewing erotic entertainment), filthy language, indecent exposure (public nakedness), immodest dress, and gender confusion (cross-dressing).
Immorality clearly leads to other terrible sins including abortions, child neglect and abuse, breakdown of marriages, spousal conflict and abuse, and murder. The Bible candidly tells of terrible penalties suffered by Samson, King David, King Solomon and many others.
Those who are unmarried should think in terms of not only being loyal to God’s laws but also faithful to a possible future spouse by remaining pure—a virgin—until marriage. Rather than indulging in illicit “safe” sex, one should save sex so it can be great sex with that future mate. Illicit sex is not only physically pernicious (destructive), it damages the mind and heart and destroysthe maximum potential for marital bliss.
The good news!
For those who have committed sexual sins, it’s vital to understand God’s amazing grace —how He will forgive any and all sins upon sincere repentance (Acts 3:19-21 Acts 3:19-21 19 Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached to you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
American King James Version×). This is the awesome truth we in United Church of God celebrate each year when we observe the Passover! Also, when a person repents of sexual sins and then stays faithful to God’s laws, God gradually bestows more and more healing of the scars on his or her mind and heart.
The moral of the story? Be moral. And for past immorality, a good start is to pray sincerely, “Have mercy upon me, O God… blot out my transgressions… Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalms 51:1 Psalms 51:1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
American King James Version×, 10).
For further understanding—for yourself and for your older children—of what the Bible teaches about sexual morality, I suggest a series of four articles I wrote in 2006 for United News :