A television commercial shows a woman vividly fantasizing about two workmen coming to her front door in a pornographic-inspired glorification of promiscuity. And what product are these ad executives using lust to sell? Liquid-Plumr, a drain cleaner.
Such ads are hardly unusual. The spirit of fornication, promiscuity and adultery surrounds us. And that is an understatement.
Can you go a single day without having the spirit of adultery promoted on the morning commute radio show, in magazines at the gas station, in music you overhear on your lunch break, all over your computer at work, and all evening long on television shows when you get home?
President Bill Clinton, Congressman Newt Gingrich, Gov. James McGreevey, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Sen. John Edwards, Sen. John Ensign, Gov. Mark Sanford, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Gen. David Petraeus—these men all had something in common, aside from being powerful American leaders: adultery.
The spirit of sexual promiscuity—fornication, adultery, divorce—is so powerful in our society that we can become calloused to it. Teenagers do it. Generals do it. Presidents do it. Maybe it’s not the best, but it’s not the end of the world.
When pressed on the issue, most people say they still think adultery is generally wrong. They probably think divorce is a kind of tragedy. They might even think that fornication is wrong, especially when you use that word. But a lot of people think these actions are completely fine. They call it sexual “freedom,” and they point out that people have been losing their virginity as teenagers, “hooking up” and “having affairs” for a long time now. A Gallup poll last May found that two thirds of Americans view divorce as “morally acceptable.” Fewer people think it’s morally acceptable to wear animal fur than to rip a marriage apart.
As a whole, our society views these actions, basically, as lifestyle options—and more or less normal.
That’s our view. That’s our reasoning. But what about God’s? There is a Creator God, and He has a very strong opinion on this attitude that permeates our society from drain de-clogger ads to decorated four-star generals.
To God, sex is not a casual matter. It is extremely important—far more important than most people realize.
A Law for Our Good
God created sex. He created human beings male and female, and He gave us the ability to reproduce through sexual intercourse. It is a wonderful, powerful gift. And He regulated it with a spiritual law, which He revealed in Exodus 20:14: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
This is a wonderful and positive law intended to protect our wellbeing. God loves us and wants to protect husbands and wives and children—and nations. God wants us to be happy. He wants to give us the incredible blessing of marriage, and He wants the honor and sanctity of our marriages to be protected. The Seventh Commandment does exactly that.
It is not difficult to see the problems that result from breaking it. It’s just like the traffic law that states you should not drive south on a northbound highway: If you break that law, you will likely get injured or killed in an accident. It is for your benefit and safety. Likewise, biological and gravitational laws say that we should not walk off cliffs.
Many people think of the Seventh Commandment as “restrictive” and “limiting”—but it is for our safety and wellbeing. Those who choose to break or ignore this spiritual law don’t realize they’re shoving aside something that is so good for them!
What does breaking that law do? Like driving the wrong way onto an Interstate, you might think, at first, nothing. But any aspect of breaking the Seventh Commandment is a grievous wrong that violates the marriage and family relationship. This includes the torrid romance between a married man and someone else’s wife, but it also includes premarital sex, which affects a future marriage, and all other use of sex outside of marriage.
Did Christ throw out this law? No! He expounded on it in Matthew 5:32: “[W]hosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery ….” This is talking about illicit sexual activity before marriage—fornication—that isn’t disclosed.
The scripture continues, “… and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” How much adultery is going on in the nation when people divorce and marry someone else? Christ clearly said this is adultery!
We think so much about our view and about what other people think. Think about God’s view. “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10). This is God’s view! Adultery is a capital sin demanding capital punishment. That’s how terrible and dangerous it is!
Christians don’t live under this same Old Testament administration, as Paul explained to the Corinthians. The “administration of death” has been superseded by the “ministration of the spirit,” and there is room for repentance and forgiveness. But this scripture shows God’s attitude toward sin—then and now!
Adultery in the Heart
Jesus Christ didn’t do away with this eternal law protecting marriage, He enhanced it. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery,” He said in Matthew 5. “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
Broaden your mind to realize the full dynamics of the spirit of the Seventh Commandment. Think about it from our Creator’s perspective. It has a far-reaching impact on us, our families and our nation!
For what purpose did God ordain marriage, family and sex? And what purpose are men pursuing when they use billboards, pop songs, and prime time television and blockbuster movies to promote the spirit of adultery and fornication? What purpose are women’s fashion designers achieving when they make clothes that attract the attention and desire of any man within viewing distance?
If you view our society like God does, you see that it is permeated with creating sexual desire outside of marriage!
The Bible is clear: God wants us to have happy, stable families. He wants our children to enjoy a strong, stable, spiritually nourishing atmosphere. Who would want to destroy that? Who would want to decimate individuals, marriages and families—and the nations built on them? Satan! And his primary tool is the trashing of the Seventh Commandment. Softly, subtly, casually—lethally.
Paul Speaks on Sex
During the Apostle Paul’s time, the city of Corinth was known for its sexual perversions and sins, much like our modern society. Paul wrote a letter to the people in God’s Church in that city addressing this subject. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid” (1 Corinthians 6:15). Paul is talking about sex, and he uses plain language. When two come together, whether in marriage or outside of it, they become one flesh and members of one body (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5). When a man fornicates with a prostitute, he becomes part of the prostitute. But God created sex relations to be an expression of love in a holy, righteous and upright marriage relationship—to strengthen people, not to break them down.
Paul also wrote in verse 19 that our bodies are not our own. God created us—He decides what is right and wrong to do with our bodies, not ourselves!
Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this in his incredible book The Missing Dimension in Sex: “All through this passage, even from the preceding chapter, the theme has been sex. These two chapters forbid and condemn the misuse of sex.” The misuse of sex is any use outside of a loving marriage relationship. Paul is really talking about righteousness or unrighteousness (1 Corinthians 6:9).
“Fornication—the sex act committed prior to marriage—is a sin and breaks the Seventh Commandment. Homosexuality is condemned in the Bible as sin—sodomites shall not inherit the Kingdom of God! Any use of sex, except as an expression of love in marriage, and also for the purpose of procreation in marriage, is a sin, and breaks the Seventh Commandment!” (ibid).
Use Sex Right!
God didn’t design the incredible creation of sex to never be used. He wants us to use our bodies the way He carefully created them to be used. That is how we “glorify God in our bodies” (verse 20). In chapter 7, Paul instructs the Corinthians that to avoid fornication, a couple should marry, should enter that blessed union created by God, and have sex in that beautiful, committed, lifelong relationship.
Did you know that God commanded husbands and wives to give these sexual energies to each other? Sex is about giving to your mate! It is a physical expression of love that God designed exclusively for husbands and wives to share with each other. Getting outside of these laws defrauds your spouse (verse 5). A wife’s body belongs to the husband and the husband’s body belongs to the wife for this purpose (verses 3-4). A person’s body doesn’t belong to himself or herself when it comes to sex. A man’s body belongs only to his wife and not to any other woman.
In Proverbs 5:20, God points out that a man’s proclivities run naturally to looking and lusting after women. God designed the female body to be beautiful and attractive to a man. Satan also knows this and uses it. His society exploits this virtual worship—and commercialization—of the voluptuous female body. But if you want to use sex the way your Creator made you to—if you want to have a strong, dynamic, exciting, joyful marriage and family and life—you have to put God’s Seventh Commandment before your own thoughts, proclivities and urges.
A man must control his eyes and thoughts. He should never let his eyes linger on a barely clad woman on television (Matthew 5:28)—his body belongs to his wife! The extent you let your mind wander or dwell on the body of another woman is the extent to which your own wife becomes less dear to you. Don’t give in a millimeter! Maintain a beautiful, wholesome, exclusive sexual relationship with your wife, and don’t allow anyone at any time in any way to supplant her as the object of your sexual interest.
Women have responsibilities to actively keep the Seventh Commandment as well. To have that beautiful marriage relationship God designed, women should not only refuse fornication and adultery, but be wary of lusting for other men in their minds. They should also dress modestly so they do not cause men to look on them with desire. Their bodies are not their own!
When a husband preserves his body for his wife, and she preserves her body just for him, the godly relationship they share enriches both of their lives beyond measure!
A wife needs to respond to her husband romantically. She should let her husband know that she needs him and wants him sexually. She should strive to keep her body alluring, and should take the initiative some of the time. God created the woman with powers of attraction for her to use within marriage to ensure the faithfulness of her husband. The wrong use of these powers by prostitutes and loose women—and the maligning of them by prudes and perverted religionists—has cast an evil and sinful light on them. But wives should use these powers within marriage. A wife should give her husband her mind, as well as her body, in these relations.
Solomon talks about loving your own spouse and going only to your spouse for this kind of love (Proverbs 5:15-17).
God watches everything we do (verse 21). He ponders what we do, what we look at and what we think.
Sex Is a Life-and-Death Matter
Unlike what celebrities, ad executives, movie directors and magazine publishers want you to believe, ignoring the Seventh Commandment ruins people. It may be pleasurable at first to speed up an off-ramp into oncoming interstate traffic. It may give you a thrill. But it always leads to disaster. It twists character. It shatters trust. It smashes lives. It chain-reacts and damages people you know and people you don’t. It leaves lifelong scars and worse.
What happens when so many of the people around us fall for the lie and indulge in premarital sex, commit fornication, commit adultery, get divorced? It puts our entire nation in harm’s way!
David Petraeus was perhaps the most honored general in America. He was relieved of his command and appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He was considered one of our country’s best leaders. And he committed adultery.
Director Petraeus wrote a letter to the cia workforce, saying, “After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.” Sound judgment is one of the weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23). In the military, it is actually against the law to commit adultery. Why? Because the institution in charge of protecting the country knows the terrible ramifications of adultery! Not having this as a law in the nation shows poor judgment. The man making some of the most crucial judgments in the nation was brought down hard by this sin!
Petraeus was one of the most decorated and respected generals in a generation. Now he cannot effectively serve his nation at a time when he is needed most. His scandal dragged in another top general, John Allen, who might have also broken the spirit of the Seventh Commandment (yet he has been cleared of wrongdoing). He is disgracing the American nation and making a spectacle for the world to see.
This scandal has hurt America’s national security and became a distraction from some life-and-death threats facing the country, including the scandal surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack. Meanwhile, the fbi is investigating the cia director, embroiling two federal agencies that are supposed to be protecting the nation in a mess created by two people’s lust.
Proverbs 31:3 exhorts men (specifically leaders) not to give their strength to women. General Petraeus and General Allen were leaders, practically heroes, within the military, but now their ability to serve the nation is limited. Our nation desperately needs heroes! Because of sin, our nation does not have the leadership it needs.
Sin weakens and destroys an individual’s ability to lead, serve and judge righteously. Sin brings down kings and heroes. A failure to control our sexual lusts destroys our families, which destroys our nation!
“Many people argue that character in these areas doesn’t really matter. But they have not bothered to seek God’s view,” Gerald Flurry wrote in the September 1998 Trumpet. “Character is everything. … We can see that sexual immorality leads to lying, which leads to breaking more of God’s commandments. This is how society breaks down. … Sexual immorality reveals a breakdown of the family, the foundation of any healthy and strong society. If we had enough healthy families, the immoral conduct of our leaders would shock us into taking corrective action.”
Have the actions of these generals caused us to take corrective action? No, because we do not have enough strong, law-keeping families in today’s society. “Nations fall without family character,” Mr. Flurry concluded. “And if our people don’t care about this issue, the collapse is very near!”
The New ‘Normal’?
Our society is no longer ashamed of sin. Premarital sex is now “normal.” Fornication is now “normal.” Adultery—in our minds and in our actions—is now “normal.” What is the next sexual sin that will become “normal”?
Across the country, official homosexual celebration and “gay pride” parades receive much fanfare. People dance in the streets about homosexual “marriage.” The very top of the nation endorses homosexual “marriage.” The people “declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not” (Isaiah 3:9). People are proud of their sins.
Read Proverbs 7. It’s a telling section of Scripture concerning this subject.
God’s Word is true. People don’t realize that sin destroys every single time. Promiscuity, fornication, adultery and pornography keep getting more and more accepted and more and more spread throughout society.
Believe it or not, this is not just a moral danger. It is a national security danger. In fact, this rampant sin will eventually lead to our entire nation falling!
2 Peter 2 reveals that the angels sinned and God punished them. The old world was a world of sin and God punished it. Sodom and Gomorrah were cities of sin—God punished them.
Meanwhile, Lot was vexed with the filthy way of life of the wicked and God spared him (verse 7). How do we see the sin that surrounds us? Are we vexed as Lot was? Do we see the sin as God sees it?
“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin …” (verse 14). The nation is so engrossed in this sin it cannot stop. Like the homosexuals in Genesis 19, people are hooked on sin like heroin. Sin destroys willpower. It saps your will to live righteously.
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). We can witness the truth in this verse on a national scale. Because of the wickedness of our nation, we see weakness!
To be as bold as a lion, we must live righteous lives! Think of the example of Joseph: He fled fornication and was able to lead and serve to benefit the entire world at the time (Genesis 39-41). He was able to make decisions as bold as a lion because of righteousness.
America is heading for destruction because of its sin. Individuals are heading for destruction in their own lives. To protect ourselves and our families, we must not be consumed by the sins of this world. The world needs an entirely new kind of leadership. The world needs righteous, godly people and strong families. It is crying out for that right leadership. It needs leaders full of righteous judgment, full of the weightier matters of the law—judgment, mercy and faith. It needs leaders who are bold as lions!