Sex And The Single Christian
The whole of this article can be summed up in three words: Abstinence or Marriage.
There is no third alternative. The scriptures are clear about these things and tell us what must be done to inherit life eternal. We must not sin. We must flee sin, especially fornication.
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Fornication is a special sin in that it is really a sin against God’s temple, where the Holy Spirit dwells.
What is fornication? It is any sexual relations outside of matrimony that is, marriage between a man and a woman. There are no exceptions. If you are not married you are not to have sex. If you are married you are only to have sex with your spouse.
But let us remember that God is not unmerciful, nor does he look upon the sin committed by a young couple who are in love and may have committed an injudicious act the same as someone caught in adultery. No, this kind of human weakness is contrasted clearly by those who commit adultery. In the old testament adultery was a capitol offense, whereas a man and a virgin (young woman) who slept together were forced to marry one another.
In order to get the mind of the LORD on these matters let’s take a look at just a few instances in the Old Testament as to how the LORD wanted these matters dealt with:
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days. A man shall not take his father's wife, nor discover his father's skirt. (Deu 22:22-30)
If nothing else, we can see that God is not unmerciful nor does he look at all of these various kinds of fornication the exactly the same way. But the God of Israel views certain kinds of fornication as being worthy of death.
These are things to remember, especially today in our sex-crazed society, a society that seems to view any form of abstinence as socially undesirable and freakish. A cursory look at much of pop-culture seems to suggest that if you aren’t having sex at least three times a week with at least two different partners, you are not ‘with it’. This is not the teaching of God and Jesus Christ.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; (Eph 5:3)
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (1Th 4:3)
Fornication is to not even be mentioned among the saints.
Today, these doctrines are largely ignored in the main Churches. They may not be specifically taught and sometimes the Churches make justifications for these kinds of sins. This is very, very wrong and a grave matter in the eyes of Christ. A Church that does this risks its standing in Christ, if indeed the church really belonged to him in the first place
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Rev 2:19-23)
Fornication is a grave matter with Christ, indeed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah suffered the punishment of eternal fire for their fornication
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. (Jud 1:7)
Brothers and sisters, this is an important matter for today’s Christians. It is a mark of those who sincerely walk with Christ and those that are only paying lip service to him. A true Christian will not be involved in fornication (pre-marital or extramarital and especially homosexual sex), they will abstain until married. If, however a person should fall, there is forgiveness with God, if there is genuine repentance.
It seems unlikely, however that many will really heed the LORD’s advice. Most will find justifications for continuing in sexual sin and ignore the clear and repeated warnings of scripture. This is a spiritually deadly error. God makes provisions for his people, if a man or woman feels they cannot contain their sexual desire it is better to marry, but only in the LORD.
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. (1Co 7:2-3)
I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn. (1Co 7:8-9)
Here is the crux of the matter; No Sex outside of marriage, No ‘if’s’, no ‘and’s’, and no ‘but’s’, plain and simple. If you really want to serve God, render your body as a sacrifice unto God.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Rom 12:1)
All of you young people out there, I exhort you in the name of Jesus Christ to save yourself for your future husbands and wives and consider this young Christian women; if a man can control himself before marriage with the woman he loves enough to marry, he is far more likely to stay faithful to his wife than a man who tries to deflower his fiancée before they marry, because he has already shown respect for his wife, the institution of marriage and demonstrated self-control. Such a man is rare these days, to be sure. But ask someone who has been divorced the kind of hell they endure financially and emotionally and you will discover that finding such a mate is a prize worth far above all the gold mines in the world. The same can be said for young men who seek a faithful woman, find one that is not promiscuous before marriage. If they have had many lovers in the past, sooner or later, that pattern will almost certainly continue after marriage.
A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find! Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down. She is good to him every day of her life, and with her own hands she gladly makes clothes. She is like a sailing ship that brings food from across the sea. She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and for her servants. She knows how to buy land and how to plant a vineyard, and she always works hard. She knows when to buy or sell, and she stays busy until late at night. She spins her own cloth, and she helps the poor and the needy. Her family has warm clothing, and so she doesn't worry when it snows. She does her own sewing, and everything she wears is beautiful. Her husband is a well-known and respected leader in the city. She makes clothes to sell to the shop owners. She is strong and graceful, as well as cheerful about the future. Her words are sensible, and her advice is thoughtful. She takes good care of her family and is never lazy. Her children praise her, and with great pride her husband says, “There are many good women, but you are the best!” Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the LORD deserves to be praised.
(Pro 31:10-30 – CEV)
Finding a good mate is no easy task and be warned. Marriage is a very serious affair and woe to those who defile the marriage bed!
In closing, God is not unmerciful, besides the basic needs of food water and shelter, the sexual drive is very powerful, it is not be be underestimated. God knows this because he put that drive in man, not to torment but to satisfy at the proper tine in the proper way. Let not married Christians, especially those ministers give you pat and simplistic answers to your questions about these issues frustrate or discourage you with their harsh and judgmental viewpoints. Go to God who is most merciful and understanding. Many of the ministers, who show such a cold and unforgiving view of the unique needs and problems of single Christians, have forgotten from whence they have fallen, or have secret sex sins of their own. Remember the cold and unforgiving spirit of many of worlds top televangelists just before they had their own sins exposed.
I say again God is merciful, fall upon the mercies of Christ and ask for his guidance if the sex desire becomes too strong or you are overcome in a fault. If this is done sincerely from a humble heart, then rest assured that God does hear and will answer in his good time. A word of warning here, do not rush God, he knows what is best, and there is hardly are greater tragedy in life than a bad marriage, and if you do not believe me, ask someone who is in one.
My advise to single Christians is this:
Wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalms 27:14)
Mark S. Watson