The world’s sliding scale of ethics and morality provides a fitting non-foundation for a society
enamored with limitless personal freedoms without the corresponding personal responsibility.
It is perfect for people who want to feel good about themselves no matter how they live.
It makes “sense” to those who see no ultimate purpose for their lives.
“You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) is not limited to sex outside of marriage.
God commands us to abstain from all sexual immorality, including premarital sex
(fornication), homosexuality, incest, voyeurism, bestiality, public nudity and much
more (see Leviticus 18 and 20).
In the New Testament, Paul adds licentiousness, uncleanness and lewdness (Ephesians 4:19),
which largely deal with liberal attitudes towards sexual matters.
Men seem to “get away” with adultery while unfaithful women are considered tramps.
This double standard is ancient. In John 8:3-11, a crowd was ready to stone a woman caught
“in the very act,” but where was the adulterous man?
God’s Word, however, deals with both sexes equally.
It does not take sexual sin lightly either. Leviticus 20:10 commands death for both participants
for adultery, as well as for sodomy and homosexuality (verse 13). Paul reminds us that God
killed twenty-three thousand Israelites in one day for sex sins (I Corinthians 10:8).
In Abraham’s day God destroyed five entire cities by fire for their aberrant sex practices.
God sent the Israelites and Jews into captivity for immorality, among other reasons.
Jesus struck the heart of the matter in His Sermon on the Mount.
Christians must not even lust after another—fantasizing or committing sex with them mentally
Nowadays, many psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors actually advise people to fantasize,
or perhaps even have a “little fling.” Advertisements and fashions all play to the lust of the flesh,
making it increasingly more difficult to obey Jesus’ command. Teens sometimes scorn their peers
if they are still virgins by fourteen. This topsy-turvy world has completely lost its understanding
of this commandment.
Much like our big cities today, ancient Corinth was filled with sexual temptations. Paul advised
the brethren there to “flee sexual immorality” (I Corinthians 6:18). Too often we flee, yet leave
a forwarding address! It is unwise to hang around people, places or situations that tempt us
into sex sins (Proverbs 5:3-14; Genesis 39:7-12). When we flirt with temptation, we can end
up as an ox going to slaughter (Proverbs 7:6-27).
Why should we flee temptations? Revelation 21:8 states that God will sentence the sexually
immoral to the Lake of Fire, right along with murderers, idolaters, liars and other unrepentant
sinners. Paul adds, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?”
Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,
nor sodomites . . . will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9-10)
But for us, it is a slippery slope to the second death. Through His law, God has provided us
a fixed standard, a pattern of approved behavior that is valid and profitable for anyone in
any place at any time.
We have a God who does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), and since His Word is
based on His very character, it does not change either. This is the factor that allows us
to have unshakable faith in Almighty God and His purpose for us. And we need such an
unshakable faith during these last days. Paul warns us in II Timothy 3:1 that our time
would be “perilous” to us because of our belief in the truth of God.
The apostle then lists specific attitudes (verses 2-5), many of which apply to these
three examples of traditional ethics and morality being turned upside-down. Though
the world continues to increase its store of knowledge, the people and their leaders
are always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
One day, hopefully soon, the folly of man’s misguided immorality will be revealed
by the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
Then, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14), and the problems will truly
begin to be solved.
- The Berean