In Gen. 6:5 the scripture says, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” These words describe the sorry conditions that led God to destroy all life on the earth, except for those who were saved in the Ark. The text does not tell us the specific wickedness that was prevalent on the earth, but we may safely conclude that it involved every kind of ungodly behavior that is common to mankind.
If we wonder what it must have been like in that long-ago time, all we have to do is take a look at the state of things today. There is no question that our current culture is very much like that described in Gen. 6:5. All around us we see wickedness and ungodly behavior glorified in society. One of the most obvious evidences of this fact is our culture’s obsession with sex, and its shameless promotion of ungodly sexual conduct. It has gotten so bad that even the advertising on television is flooded with sexually-charged images and innuendos.
The influence of this ungodliness cannot be overstated. The more we are exposed to these things, the more likely we will become tolerant of them. When we become more tolerant of such things, we will be more likely to engage in them ourselves. This is a fact of human nature that our God fully understands. This is why His word is so outspoken against sexual immorality.
In Eph. 5:3-5 Paul said, “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” He went on in vs. 11-12 to say that we must not participate in such unfruitful deeds of darkness, but should rather expose them. He added that it is disgraceful even to speak of such things.
The Greek word that is translated “immorality” in these verses is porneia. This is the word from which our English word “pornography” is derived. It is a word that refers to any kind of sexual immorality. In the context, then, Paul is telling us that we cannot be sexually immoral and expect to enter the kingdom of Christ. This flies in the face of our culture, which wants us to believe that there is nothing wrong with “a little sex”. God’s word, however, warns us that sexual activity is a blessing that is limited to a man and his wife within the bounds of holy matrimony. Any other sexual activity is immorality, and it will keep those who practice it out of heaven at the end of time.
In 1 Cor. 6:18-20 Paul tells us to flee sexual immorality because our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and we are not our own. He says, “Flee immorality (that is, sexual immorality). Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” We have been bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, and we must glorify God in all that we do. And here is the key to achieving this: we must flee from sexual immorality. We cannot expose ourselves to sexually immoral images and themes lest they lead us into sin. Those who do such things place their souls in eternal jeopardy.
Thankfully, sexual immorality can be forgiven if we confess our sins and seek the Lord’s forgiveness in accordance with His word. In 1 Cor. 6:9-11 Paul said some of the Corinthians had been sexually immoral before they became Christians, but they had been washed by the blood of Christ. Their sins were forgiven when they were baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Rom. 6:3-7), and they were made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). For this reason, they were no longer their own but the Lord’s, and the apostle commanded them to live sexually pure lives.
Do not be seduced by our ungodly society. Flee sexual immorality in all its forms. Those who live sexually pure lives will enjoy richer lives here on earth, and eternal life in heaven at the end of time.