A friend of mine who is part of an international Christian organization shared with me that when a survey was taken with one of their ministries, 100% of the respondents admitted problems with sexual purity. Struggles ranged from marital infidelity to widespread use of pornography. The ease with which people have access to pornography on the internet is creating a crisis throughout the worldwide community of those who follow Jesus.
1 Corinthians 6:18—Run from sexual immorality! “Every sin a person can commit is outside the body.” On the contrary, the person who is sexually immoral sins against his own body.
The existence of a nature that caters towards self-gratification will always leave us vulnerable to temptation. Adam and Eve’s first realization after disobeying God’s command not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was an embarrassing awareness that they were naked (Gen. 3:7). They were not guilty for being tempted they were guilty for eating and when they lost their innocence so did we.
Like Eve’s questioning spirit, sexual impurity may begin with curiosity. As a fifth grader a classmate invited me into his home to look at his father’s Playboy magazines stacked in a closet. I don’t remember much about fifth grade, but I have not forgotten that incident. Why is that?
What causes people to pursue what they know to be wrong? Part of the answer is found in Genesis. Satan told Eve that unlike what God told her, she would not die by eating the forbidden fruit—rather her eyes would be opened (3:4,5). We rationalize that by partaking we will be able to gain what we perceive to be lacking. But gratification comes at a steep price.
I read a study where researchers identified a clear downward spiral that mirrored drug usage for men who engaged in pornography. Viewing pictures was not satisfying enough so they hired prostitutes, attended nude dance clubs, and engaged in adultery and for the more perverse— kiddie porn and bestiality. The second and third order effects of such conduct are destroyed marriages, spiritual decline, unremitting guilt and shame and lives pockmarked with duplicity.
God’s concern over the widespread problem of sexual immorality is readily evidenced throughout Scripture. In the New Testament alone, 16 of the 27 books give over 40 admonitions and warnings to believers to refrain from such behavior. It is telling that when the Church elders welcomed the Gentile believers into the family of God they recognized the futility of asking them to keep their Jewish laws. Yet of the three things they felt God required, one was to abstain from sexual immorality (Acts 15:29).
Paul says it best, “Run from sexual immorality!” Don’t believe for a second that it is permissible to ignore this danger. Don’t engage, rationalize, entertain, accept, or permit any form of this pernicious folly. If you know someone struggling with this sin, pray for them and if possible, pull them from harm. Before it has you tied in knots, cry out for God’s help. If you are ashamed, trust in the love of God to forgive you. If you have not yet repented, confess on your knees appealing to His grace (Psalm 51:1-12). Make yourself accountable to a concerned believer(s) so there is no room for relapse. Get a filtered provider for your computer. Run! Get back on the pure path for your protection and God’s glory.
When you have made your eye the instrument of impurity, you cannot see God with it.—Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship
©2015 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)