Fornicators shall not inherit the kingdom of God!
by Leon King"Aw, preacher, we're just gonna live together for a while and try it out," said the young man. "There's no use in getting married, then have to go through a divorce or something," he said. "That's fornication," the preacher answered. "It's all right," he said, "everybody's doing it these days. We are just keeping in stride with the times. Besides, it has become acceptable. You see it in every movie, and see it in nearly every TV show." Living together in sexual involvement outside the bonds of marriage is fornication.
You are deceiving yourself if you think like this young man does. Fornication is sin against a Holy God.
The devil knows you and I are utterly depraved creatures. He uses men to devise appealing pictures which glorify fornication. Remember, when you see it portrayed in movies, books, magazines, or whatever, it was first conceived in the heart of a depraved mind. Every one of us would have enough problems with our own utter depravity, but the devil feeds our carnal nature with his flesh of depravity.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: -- Matthew 15:19
First, it's in the heart - the place where we think and reason; then it moves to conception or design; then to the act. "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." ---James 1:14,15.
Some people don't seem to need a lot of boosting into this sin, but the boosting is all around us. Job had this in mind when he spoke these words; "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think on a maid?...If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out." ---Job 31:1,7-8.
The world is peddling everything by use of fair men and maidens (especially the latter). There is hardly anything that isn't advertised with human nakedness and seductive poses. It catches the carnal eye! The depraved mind likes fornication; but, it is wickedness against a Holy God.
I. Fornication, Adultery and Incest Linked.
"It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his fatherís wife." -- 1 Corinthians 5:1
It is clear in this Scripture that fornication, adultery, and incest are all indicated in the wicked man's relationship with his own father's wife. Our land is reeking with these sins. Why? There is no fear of God before the eyes of the people. The influence of Bible-believing people has dwindled. The Bible has been legislated out of the schools. The isolation of people has contributed greatly. No longer do people know their next-door neighbors. People know more about Hollywood and Madison Avenue than they know about their neighbors. Influence comes from the media, not neighbors. The media sets the standards and provide the continuous barrage of fornication for the carnal mind to feast on.
With this in mind, we hear the words of our Lord as he points to the real roots of adultery: "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." ---Matthew 5:27,28.
Highly rated motion pictures, TV shows, and soap operas, all extol fornication, adultery, and "affairs." To our shame, many of these shows are designed to make the audience laugh at sin - and laugh they do!
II. Fornication and the Sodomite.
"Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." ---Jude 7. This passage names the sin of Sodom "fornication." The word fornication is translated from the Greek word "porneo." The word covers a list of sexual sins. Sodomy is one of those sins.
In spite of the world's attempts to make sodomy acceptable and natural behavior, it remains sin before God. No person is born with genes that make him a sodomite! He (or she) makes himself a sodomite through his own inherent depravity. Sodomy is a vile affection. Sodomy is un-natural. Sodomy is un-holy. Sodomy is abomination in the sight of God. We do well to remember God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because they went after strange flesh - and they are now suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." ---Romans 1:26,27.
III. Two Ways to Avoid Fornication.
The first way to prevent fornication is to flee from it. "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." -- 1 Corinthians 6:18 When Potiphar's wife kept presenting herself to Joseph trying to seduce him, he finally had to run! The Lord tells us to "flee!" The best way to prevent it is to run away from it.
The second way to avoid fornication is to marry and render due benevolence to the mate. Note this passage: "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." -- 1 Corinthians 7:2
In other words, one of the purposes for marriage is to avoid fornication. God-given sexual desires are fulfilled in the bonds of marriage. "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." ---Hebrews 13:4.
Let's be honest with ourselves and with God. Fornication is sin. Fornication is to be avoided. Fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of God! Now, let's go back to our text that we quoted in part at the beginning of this article. Dear friend, if you're one who is caught in this grievous sin, and you know you are - please listen. Some of the people these words were written to had been so involved. Notice:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." ---I Corinthians 6:9-11
Fornication is sin. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. That's why he told the religious people in his day that the publicans and harlots would go into the kingdom before they did. It's because the publicans and harlots saw themselves as they were - full of sin and depravity - shackled in sin, unable and unwilling to leave it. But many of those sinners, my friend, came to know Jesus Christ as Savior. They were washed. They were set apart. They were declared just by the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Come to Jesus just as you are. You have no hope without him. You are already damned in your unbelief. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!
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