“Flee sexual immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18).
“I smell sex!” said the prophet as he stood at the podium of a formal student function. “And some of you who are planning to get married are making a big mistake.” Those were the words of the late Kenneth E. Hagin speaking to his Bible school students years ago. Apparently the unclean odor of a spirit of lust had gotten into the prophet’s spiritual nostrils and he reproved his students. Many were making marriage plans based on lust instead of the will of God.
This wasn’t the first time something like this happened at the school. I was present when he came into class one time, his face red like a tomato. I told my classmate that morning on the way to school that I sensed something was up with Brother Hagin. When he walked on the platform to teach I knew instantly that this was not going to be your normal class. He opened the Bible up to Ephesians 4 and began to talk about the unclean spirit of homosexuality. The conviction of the Holy Ghost was so thick I wanted to get on my face and groan. There were a number of students involved in this practice and Brother Hagin called their number.
It’s moments like these when the seriousness of sexual sin makes its mark on you and leaves you with the fear of God. Every form of sexual immorality is forbidden in scripture. It is the sin most emphasized in both the Old and New Testaments. Why? What makes it so?
First of all, you must understand that sexual immorality is one of the things that mark our Western culture and much of the world today. Everything is sensual. Everything must be sexy. We live in a sex-craved world, and nakedness jumps out at us from everywhere. It is becoming more and more difficult for young men to keep themselves in a state of moral purity. Here are a few things the Word of God has to say about nakedness:
Adam and Eve lost their fellowship with God because of sin resulting in their nakedness (Gen 3:7, 10-11).
The first recorded human curse was over nakedness (Gen 9:20-23).
Nearly two entire chapters in the books of Moses along with many other references were a code of ethics on nakedness and sexual immorality (See Lev 18 and 20).
Exposed genitalia or nakedness were common in Canaanite or demonic worship. Instructions and prohibitions to Moses were so Israel’s altars would not be like the Canaanites’ (Ex 28:41-43; 20:26).
When Moses returned from the mountain Aaron had lost control of the people as they worshiped a golden calf, “unrestrained” (Ex 32:25), as the New King James says it. The Old King James says “naked”, and the Living Bible says “committing adultery”. And all this happened shortly after a move of God.
Why all this talk about nakedness? To further reveal the degenerative state of our society and show you that what was shameful in America and other nations just one generation ago is now flaunted everywhere. This is another sign of the coming of the Lord. The devil is trying to get the whole world naked before Jesus comes. If you worship the devil he will have you taking your clothes off in no time. The Church is called to go in the opposite direction. Cover yourself with the Blood (and some clothing may I add). Wash yourself with the Word. Fill yourself with the Spirit.
When a man commits adultery he receives a reproach that shall never be wiped away. That does not mean he cannot be forgiven or is damned forever. It just means he suffers a blemish from an act that will remain with him in shame and in blame. Many people who know about it will never forget it, and will always convey unspoken disapproval toward that person. The adulterer breaches trust. Is there mercy? Of course there is. By no means is it the unpardonable sin, but there is a reproach that comes from messing with the power to procreate.
God forgives and forgets adultery but man does not. That is what the Word of God means by “a reproach that shall never be wiped away”. Why is it that men will forgive a liar or a thief, but not an adulterer? Thousands of years after Samson fell into Delilah’s lap, and David’s adultery with Bathsheba, men still produce stories and films about them that bring shame to their legacy. Have you ever asked yourself why that is? It is because God put it in man’s heart that way to protect the immortality of the human race.
Without sex there is no procreation. There is mercy and hope for those who have committed adultery and repented, but men, especially ministers, reap a more bitter harvest because of the sacred trust people put in them.
I’m dealing with a minister friend of mine right now who committed adultery and got caught (there are many who never get caught, at least not by man; and yet there are others, who although never committed the physical act of adultery burn with lust in their hearts, which Jesus stated is synonymous with committing the act [Mat 5:27-28]). I’m doing my best to be a good friend and pray for him and encourage him. Presently he is in a restoration process, but it is a very bitter harvest and one filled with great regret. Everything in his life has changed…everything! If he continues to humble himself he will be restored, but there are some things he will never recover.
Prevention is always better than cure especially when it comes to sexual immorality. If you have fallen in this area God will surely forgive you when He finds repentance, and you should forgive yourself (1 John 1:9). I know there are a number of men and women who have fallen in this area. It seems like it is one of the easier areas for Christians to succumb to. That perhaps also explains the reason for so much warning and admonition in the Word of God concerning sexual immorality.
In Part 2 we will look at the four kinds of sexual sin and correct the dangerous misconception among Christians who believe as the Corinthians believed that, “as the stomach is designed for food, the genitals are created for sexual experience Stay tuned…