1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an ensample to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity.”
Eph 5:3 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints;”
Sexual immorality isn’t a new challenge facing God’s people. Young and older alike have battled the temptations of the flesh. Old Testament stories abound involving sexual sins. From the Sodomites in the city Lot called “home” to David’s lust for a beautiful woman taking a bath. From Lot’s desperately vile daughters to God’s people at the foot of the mountain waiting on Moses to return from communion with God Almighty.
Fornication. Adultery. Homosexuality. Incest. Lasciviousness. Mankind has been plagued by the temptations of the flesh throughout history, but these temptations have likely never been so readily available and accessible as they are today. The Internet, cell phones (and texting) and digital photography make sexual temptations more widespread and easier to engage in than ever before. However, the fault isn’t the technology or modern society. The fault is the mind of men, women, boys and girls. Minds that are not made up to serve God no matter what!
Modern culture denies sexual sins (no surprise since society denies the existence of all sin really). Most modern societies refuse to condemn any sexual behavior except for those acts involving children. Thankfully, mankind hasn’t yet sunk so low as to condone pedophilia.
Pre-marital sex. Extra-marital sex. These behaviors are regularly seen in modern mass media (TV, film, print, etc.). Rarely are they portrayed in a bad light. Instead, they are assumed as ordinary and common.
It’s particularly vexing for young people. Sexual temptations aren’t the exclusive domain of young people, but teenagers and young adults are especially susceptible.
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”
Christians of all ages guard their hearts and thoughts by dwelling on those things that are pure. God gives us the fuel for such conduct by giving us His Word, but it’s up to us to devote ourselves to the practice of purity and guarding our hearts.
Virginity is more than sexual inexperience. It’s a physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual purity that once lost, can never be recaptured as it once was. It’s an innocence that God demands of all people, male or female, prior to marriage. Unfortunately, it’s an innocence that is increasingly being lost, especially among young Christians. Mankind may not expect young unmarried people to refrain from sex, but God does.
The young Christian who surrenders to the temptation of the flesh can never erase the memory. The shame, even for the repentant Christian, can be difficult to handle. The reputation may seem impossible to repair.
Thankfully, God has an ability to forgive and forget — instantly upon a Christian’s repentance, confession and prayer! You and me? We’re not so capable. The damage done by sexual sins can live with us throughout our lives. It happens in an unwanted pregnancy resulting in the birth of an innocent child. It happens in an embarrassing or fatal disease. It happens in a mind unable to forget. It happens in an explanation given to a person we hope to marry. It happens in a larger battle to resist pleasures now experienced outside the bonds of marriage. Sin’s consequences can haunt us.
The price for sin is far higher than most realize. A night of sinful groping, seemingly so pleasurable, ends in despair and ruin. A young life spotted with sin can never go back to the pristine state it once enjoyed. Virginity lost can never be restored, even though the sin can be forgiven. Remember, Christ poured out His blood at Calvary for our sins. That’s the price God and Heaven paid for sin. It’s up to us to guard our hearts and minds so our behavior and conduct are becoming of the faith we profess.
Do you count the blood of Christ as worthless? You do when you sin against Him.
A young man adds his name to a list of young men to preach at a big meeting. He preaches from the Word of God. The evening before, he was engaged in sexual sins. Tonight, he’ll engage in them once more. The world isn’t the wiser, or so he believes. But God knows.
A young lady dresses modestly and is present at every big meeting. She pretends to be devout, but she’s had partners in and out of the church. She’s not yet out of her teens. Mom and dad don’t know so she assumes her secret is safe. But God knows.
Joseph fled the advances of Potifar’s wife with the famous refrain, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen 39:9)
Increasingly, Christians are neglecting to ask that question. They are devaluing their own purity and holiness. Many are counting their own purity as nothing worth protecting. Some are suffering the regret, shame and memory. Too many are living secret lives hoping to never be found out. But God knows.
God also knows the dangers of surrendering to these temptations. God knows the lingering impact of these sins. So much so, He allows sexual infidelity to be the only allowance for the dissolution of a marriage.
Matthew 19:9 “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.”
If God permits sexual sins to end a marriage union, then what makes us think they are no big deal? The world would have us believe that sex can be casual. “Friends with benefits” is a prime example of the notion that a young man and a young lady can be nothing more than friends, but enjoy the sexual pleasures intended solely for a husband and wife. God knows nothing of “friends with benefits.” God only knows the union of a Christian man and Christian woman who are devoted to Him in marriage. To them, He has granted the pleasures of an undefiled bed.
Hebrews 13:4 “Let marriage be had in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
God will not condone or excuse the fornicator or adulterer. He will judge and condemn them. Eternity is the highest price required of every unforgiven sin – including sexual sins. Sex outside of marriage – including lascivious acts deemed common in modern dating (sex without intercourse) – is condemned by God, punishable by eternal death. Young Christian, you will be eternally condemned by your sexual sins!
Luke 9:25 “For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit his own self?”
The answer is, “Nothing!” A man, a woman, a boy or a girl – they’re profited nothing by sexual sins except a lifetime of regret and misery as they attempt to repair lives ripped apart by sin.
Young Christian (and old alike), consider the God you serve. Consider the spouse you hope to one day marry. Consider the good name you hope to possess and maintain. Consider your home congregation. Consider your parents. Consider that person (Christian or not) who shares in your sin. Consider your future family. Consider those you want to influence for good.
Who benefits from your sin? Satan and Hell.
To Young Christians…
Esteem God highly. Devote yourself to Him. Make up your mind to live in sexual purity. Commit yourself to holiness. Value your soul enough to exercise restraint and self-control.
And if you have committed sin — repent, confess and have prayer. Don’t hide your sin hoping you’ll never be found out. Confess it and rid yourself of it through God’s forgiveness. Then devote yourself as never before to remaining pure in the sight of God. Be sexually pure until you are married. It’s God plan.
Work hard to make Heaven your home and you’ll have no regrets forever!
Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”