1 Thessalonians 4:3 -8 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.”

     Why is ‘sexual immorality’ such a big deal for God?  It certainly isn’t for the postmodern or even modern worldly mindset.  I grew up during the time when the ‘sexual revolution’ burned through the middle class like an out of control grass fire; ” . . . the age of changes in perception and practices of sexuality that developed from around 1960 was to reach mainstream, middle class, even middle aged America as well as most of western Europe. It brought about profound shifts in the attitudes to women’s sexuality and homosexuality, pre-marital sexuality and the freedom of sexual expression.” (Wikipedia)

     Then big business monetized ‘free love’;  “By the mid-1970s and through the 1980s, newly won sexual freedoms were being exploited by big businesses looking to capitalize on an increasingly permissive society, with the advent of public and hardcore pornography. Historian David Allyn argues that the sexual revolution was a time of ‘coming-out’: about premarital sex, masturbation, erotic fantasies, pornography use, and sexuality.” (Wikipedia)

     How did it all turn out?  Mary Eberstadt writes in the Wall Street Journal; ” In severing sex from procreation, humankind set into motion forces that have by now shaped and reshaped almost every aspect of life in the Western world. Families are smaller, birthrates have dropped, divorce and out-of-wedlock births have soared. Demography has now even started to work against the modern welfare state, which has become harder to sustain as fewer children have been produced to replace aging parents.”  This is what happens when people get the idea that they know better than God.

     Matthew Henry states that ‘self-restraint’ is a necessary requirement of holiness; “. . .  the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, . . . , constituted the will of God respecting them. In aspiring after this renewal of the soul unto holiness, strict restraint must be put upon the appetites and senses of the body, and on the thoughts and inclinations of the will, which lead to wrong uses of them. The Lord calls none into his family to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to walk before him in holiness. Some make light of the precepts of holiness, because they hear them from men; but they are God’s commands, and to break them is to despise God.”

     Self-restraint is a ‘free will’ choice the individual has to make daily and the strength to follow through on this choice comes from Jesus (Philippians 4:13).  Many now see the devastating effects of casting off self-restraint under the guise of a fancy ‘revolution’.  We now live in a time when adults act like children and children are often forced into ‘adult’ roles;  “Germany’s left has its own tales of abuse. One of the goals of the German 1968 movement was the sexual liberation of children. For some, this meant overcoming all sexual inhibitions, creating a climate in which even pedophilia was considered progressive.” (Jan Fleischhauer and Wiebke Hollersen)

     Sexual immorality is a big deal for God because it isn’t good for us.  Since God loves us (John 3:16) it isn’t in His Will for us to go down any road that will lead to our debasement.  It is the devil’s will though.  There is a force of evil working in our world that seeks to destroy all that is good, pure and innocent.  The Bible tells us; “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.. . . Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.” (Revelation 12:9,12)

     The war has been won and we are caught up in the final chapter of its history.  God sent Jesus to defeat the devil and He did.  If we want the victory and the sanctification that goes with it we have to choose Him.  Times haven’t changed when it comes to free will.  God always provided choice; “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.” (Deuteronomy 30:15,16)

     We are free to chose who we want to work for and live with our ‘earnings’; ” For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

     Jesus calls us to purity and life not just in heaven but here and now; “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Praise the Lord!