Flee Fornication

by Bob West

Everyone can see that as the standards of morality decline in society, this has an impact among those who are children of God. That the practice of fornication has increased among young people in recent years, is a fact that few would deny. There are no "magical formulas" for parents and young folks with which to solve the problem. All we can do is remember that the Bible is God's word, and the practice of fornication is severely condemned therein. Read with care such passages as I Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5-6, etc. The fact that the words "fornication," "adultery," and related terms are used so frequently in the Bible should give us a clue as to the seriousness of the subject. These words are found no less than 92 times in the New Testament. By comparison, the words "murder," "killing," etc., are found only 32 times. That, in itself, should tell the sincere child of God why we should "flee fornication." (See also I Corinthians 6:18; II Timothy 2:22)

But, in spite of these plain statements regarding this sin, some claiming to be Christians continue their immorality. There are three subtle and widely-accepted arguments in defense of fornication which Satan has made familiar to all.

It's No Worse Than Any Other Sin

One of these runs something like this: "After all, a sin is a sin; fornication is no worse than any other sin. Since nobody is perfect, why be so concerned about this particular sin?" We reply by first observing that, of course, so far as God is concerned, 'sin is sin.' All sins condemn (Romans 6:23). But these facts should in no way lessen our abhorrence of fornication. It would be about like a Doctor who would suggest that we shouldn't be concerned about preventing heart disease, since there are so many other diseases which will kill us just as dead! There is a subtle error here which appears to be overlooked: While all violations of God's law are equally serious, so far as God is concerned, that is not true with regard to man! For instance both murder and lying are sins. However, I would surely prefer for a someone to lie against me rather than murder me! The point is, that the consequence of some sins, in this life, are more disastrous than others. Such is the case with fornication. Right out front, it involves two people. In fact, it could well involve more than two, if one or both of the fornicators are married. I can cite you more than one example where a single act of fornication has affected the lives of literally dozens of people in the wake of broken homes, broken hearts, bitterness, guilt-related neurosis, etc. The consequences of this sin cannot be minimized.

But We Love Each Other!

Another equally deceptive argument which tends to minimize fornication, offers "love" as an excuse. The entertainment media have so successfully sold the idea that fornication is acceptable as long as two people "really love each other," that even some Christians have swallowed it. In the first place, "love" never justifies a violation of God's law. Secondly, if one person really loved the other, as the Bible uses the term, he or she would not want that person to do that which alienates one from God. And, thirdly, the argument confuses love with lust. Love is selfless, in that it puts the interests of the other person before all other considerations. Lust is selfish, in that it uses the other person for personal gratification.

We're Consenting Adults

A third popular defense of fornication is the "consenting adults" argument. It suggests that, whatever the motivation for the act, if the people involved mutually agree, then it should be acceptable. But such reasoning blatantly disregards the word of God. Most civilized people have come to understand that dueling is still murder, even though both parties have "consented" to the duel. Fornication remains a violation of God's will, in spite of anyone's consent.

We must learn to respect the revelation of God, realizing that He knows what is best for His creatures. In spite of the moral atmosphere of our generation, our Lord continues to demand that we "Flee Fornication."