BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
God created human beings, male and female. He created sex as a means of reproduction to fulfill his mandate to humans in Genesis 1:28 to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Sex is for reproduction, but it is also for pleasure or enjoyment within the marriage setting.
Sexual immorality is any form of sexual activity by those not married as husbands and wives. It’s any form of sexual activity forbidden by the Word of God, which includes premarital and extramarital sex, bestiality, incest, masturbation, rape, male and female homosexuality, etc. God frowns at these sexual activities.
Right from the Old Testament, God forbade premarital and extramarital sex (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 20:10) and homosexuality, bestiality, and incest (Leviticus 18:6-18, 22-23). Though masturbation is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, it is a sin of sexual immorality (Ephesians 5:3; 1 Corinthians 6:18). It’s an act of self-gratification rather than sharing love with one’s spouse. It’s a product of impure thoughts that has negative consequences. Moreover, it doesn’t glorify or honour God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Jesus raised the bar for the definition of sexual immorality by saying that mental adultery is a sin and not just the act of sex alone. “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28 NLT). Kissing, caressing, etc. someone you’re not married to constitutes sexual immorality even if you’re already engaged. Engagement isn’t the same as marriage. Repent!
The church and sexual immorality
The city of Corinth in the Bible was rife with sexual immorality, including male and female prostitution. Located there was a pagan temple, the temple of Aphrodite (or Venus), said to have employed 1,000 religious prostitutes whose activities polluted the culture of the city and corrupted the people’s morals. Unfortunately, that spirit of sexual immorality entered the Corinthian church because most of the converts came from this background. Paul said of that church, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!” (1 Corinthians 5:1 NKJV).
1 Corinthians 6 talks about some people in the Corinthian church who were justifying sexual immorality by comparing their appetite for sex with an appetite for food (verse 13). They said that if the food was for the stomach, and the stomach was for food, then sex was for the body, and the body was for sex. But Paul said, “Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power” (verse 13b-14 NKJV).
Your body is not for sexual immorality; it belongs to Jesus and will be resurrected one day. It isn’t only your soul and spirit that are important to God; your body is also. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; you don’t belong to yourself, but to God who bought you with a high price, therefore, you must honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
If you’re a Christian, your body is actually part of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:15) and you can’t afford to tear that body from Him and get it involved in sexual immorality. The church must not condone sexual immorality. Acts 15:20 says those who have given their lives to Jesus should abstain from sexual immorality among other things. Repent!
The dangers of sexual immorality
1. It sends people to hellfire. The sexually immoral shall not enter the Kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21 highlights the sins that will disqualify one from entering the Kingdom of God, and sexual immorality tops the list. We see the same thing in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. It says, “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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (NKJV).
Also in Revelation 21:8, the Bible says the sexually immoral, among others, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Jude 7 reminds us of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with sexual immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. They’re destroyed by fire and are a warning of the eternal fire that will punish all those who are evil.
2. It destroys fellowship with God, making the sexually immoral unacceptable to Him. Mark 7:20-23 says sexual immorality and other sins will defile you. They will make you “unacceptable to God” (verse 23 ERV).
Sexual immorality is a sin that will hinder one’s fellowship with God. Unless one repents, confesses, and forsakes it, it will rob one of the boldness to come before God.
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV), but unconfessed sins keep the believer away. Unrepentant sinners can’t climb the mountain of the Lord or stand in His presence (Psalm 24:3-6). Sexual immorality stains the hands and garments of the believer; it creates a barrier between him and God.
In Psalm 51, which David wrote after Prophet Nathan had confronted him with his sin of sexual immorality with another man’s wife, Bathsheba, David prayed to God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:10-11 NKJV). That should be the cry of the repentant sexually immoral.
3. It defiles the body and opens it to demonic possession and oppression. Sexual immorality makes your body unholy. Keep away from it. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 says, “God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways” (NLT).
Sex with anyone does not leave you the same after because you’re joined to become one body. Demons can possess or oppress human bodies through sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:15-18 says, “Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, ‘The two are united into one.’ But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him. Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body” (NLT). Please take note of that last sentence: For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.
Every sexual activity joins you as one in the body with your sex partner. The more sexual partners, the more the joining that takes place! That is the danger. That’s why those who have multiple sex partners live a life of self-inflicted confusion. They’re joined to different persons – one person with different bodies! Unless they repent and go for deliverance, demonic activities in their lives will persist.
4. It robs the sexually immoral of peace and joy. No child of God can be living in sexual immorality and have peace of mind or joy. He is living in fear of being found out by his wife, husband, fiancé or fiancée, brethren, neighbours, or the husband or wife of the cheating partner. He could also be manifesting a strange attitude that a discerning person will know that something is wrong. It’s only as such a person persists in this sin that his conscience becomes hardened. Only genuine repentance, confession, and forsaking the sin can restore his peace and joy.
This step must be taken no matter how difficult it seems. Concealing the sin won’t do any good; it makes one a prisoner, and also weak to stop committing the sin. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (NKJV).
In Psalm 51, with regard to David’s sexual immorality with Bathsheba, he prayed to God, “Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice” (verse 8 NKJV). He pleaded with God: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit” (verse 12 NKJV).
No sexually immoral will have true peace and joy either because of the unwanted pregnancy, inability to get pregnant because of serial abortions in the past, failure to get married after wasting previous opportunities to get married and start a family, failing health associated with previous sexual escapade, etc. Even some after being born again still have to be helped to renew their minds and deal with the memories of their past lives. It’s always better to avoid sexual immorality because of both eternity and life now.
5. It destroys people’s destinies. Those who engage in sexual immorality whether pre-marital, marital infidelity, homosexuality, lesbianism, rape, or masturbation ruin their destinies. Unless they repent quickly, they won’t be able to fulfill the purpose of God for their lives. The destinies of so many promising youths have been destroyed by an obsession with sex. They’ve wasted their youthful energies on sex (Proverbs 31:3). Samson is a case study. Delilah, a harlot, eventually terminated the twenty years of ministry of this great man of God; Samson died with his enemies (Judges 16).
Reuben lost his place; he lost his inheritance as the firstborn because of just a few minutes of immoral sexual pleasure – he slept with his father’s wife/concubine (Genesis 35:22; 49:3-4).
Compare Reuben with Joseph. In Genesis 39:7-9, Joseph didn’t surrender his destiny to sexual pleasure offered him on a platter of gold by his master’s wife. He refused to sleep with her saying, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” It’s the fear of God that keeps one from all forms of evil including sexual immorality (Proverbs 16:6).
6. It destroys the home. Pre-marital sex robs those engaged in it of the pleasure of sex that God has reserved for marriage alone. They’ve seen it all! There’s therefore nothing new for them to really look forward to in marriage as regards sex. When such get married, there’s little or no appreciation of their spouses. They may never be sexually satisfied by their wives or husbands.
Marital infidelity erodes trust, causes conflicts, and may lead to separation or eventual divorce (Matthew 5:32). But sexual immorality is not a sin that God can’t forgive or that a spouse can’t forgive especially when the guilty person is not a habitual or an unrepentant sinner. Such a couple may need proper counseling and prayers to handle the situation well and restore trust and peace to their marriage. So many homes have been torn apart today by sexual immorality. Hebrews 13:4 warns, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (NKJV).
Beware of sexual immorality that may result from inappropriate closeness and emotional entanglement with the opposite sex – in your family, place of work, church, neighborhood, etc., especially with those who’re sexually active including divorcees, widows/widowers, those in troubled marriages, and those old enough to marry but not yet married. Never forget God’s warning in Proverbs 5:15-17: “Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers” (NLT). Watch and pray!
7. It exposes the sexually immoral to sicknesses and diseases including STDs and HIV/AIDS. Some of these sicknesses could actually be spiritual because the victims have slept with people who are agents of the devil in skirts and trousers! No medication can cure them; only the power of God can set them free.
Sickness can also be a consequence of sexual immorality. In Revelation 2:20-23, God says He gave that woman, Jezebel, time to repent of her sexual immorality, but she didn’t, therefore, He’ll cast her into a sickbed. That’s serious!
Many have also contracted sexually transmitted diseases and are spending so much money on treatment while many will have to live the rest of their lives with HIV/AIDS except God heals them.
8. It opens the door to all kinds of tragedy, including premature death. This can be a result of life-threatening diseases contracted. It may also be as a result of physical or spiritual attacks from those who feel cheated by immoral sexual relationships or from the demonic spirit inhabiting either of the persons involved.
Some husbands, fiancés, and boyfriends (wives, fiancées, or girlfriends) are known to have resorted to self-help through diabolical means or physical violence to eliminate or inflict injury on those they considered intruders to their love relationships. “For a prostitute will bring you to poverty, but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life. Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? Can he walk on hot coals and not blister his feet? So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.” (Proverbs 6:26-29 NLT). Repent!
Conclusion: Sexual immorality has serious consequences which, unfortunately, those engaging in it fail to consider. They’re usually deceived by the devil and blinded by lust.
If you’re involved in sexual immorality, this message may be God’s last warning to you, therefore: (1) Repent and confess your sins now (2) Surrender your life to Jesus (3) Ask God for forgiveness and the power and grace to live a holy life henceforth (4) Quit all sinful relationships, hangouts and practices immediately (5) Return to your spouse, seek forgiveness and be faithful (6) Feed on the Word of God daily (7) Flee from any temptation (8) Make yourself accountable to a servant of God or a mature Christian you can confide in who can minister the Word of God to you, pray for you and with you and monitor your progress.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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