Does God still judge sexual sin today?

I have been teaching the Bible study “The Truth about sex” written by Kay Arthur since 2004 when I first studied it for my own personal walk with the Lord. I was amazed to see how practical the Word of God is in the area of human sexuality. One of the lessons that hit home with me was the fact that God still judges sexual sin today, as He did in the Old Testament.

I grew up after the sexual revolution and so a warped form of human sexuality was given to me at an early age, via mass media, public school, and from friends and their “experiences”. I also grew up hearing that God is not the same as He was in the Old Testament because Jesus changed all of the teachings of the Old Testament. My whole world was rocked after studying this lesson.

I. Sexual sin mentioned in the Old Testament

A passage that I would like to consider is Deuteronomy 22. There are several sins mentioned here and the consequences of those sins are mentioned.

  1. Premarital sex I – In verse 13-21, the scenario is a man marrying a woman, having relations with her on their wedding night and learning that she was not a virgin when he married her. She has never been married and the only way that she could have lost her virginity was having premarital sex. The punishment was death. Maintaining her purity until marriage protected her and her family.
  2. Adultery – In verse 22, the next scenario is a married person having sex with someone other than his or her spouse. God condemns both parties in this case and the punishment was that they were both put to death. This punishment purges the evil from the land and protects the innocent as well as the victims.
  3. Premarital sex II – In verses 23-24, we see another case of premarital sex. The difference between this one and the previous one is that in this case, they are caught in the act and one of the partners was engaged to another person. Both are punished. The punishment is death. It is to purge the land from evil, to keep these actions from spreading. This protects the innocent people as well as the victims.
  4. Rape – This is a sexual sin and it is punished by death. The one who sins and rapes a girl is the only one who is put to death. The victim is protected.
  5. Premarital sex III – This is the third case of premarital sex. If differs from the others because no one is engaged. If and when they are caught, they must marry and never divorce. This protects the girl from falling in to the punishment of premarital sex point number 1.

Let’s turn to another Old Testament passage to see what other sexual sins are mentioned and the punishment for them. The passage to consider is Leviticus 20:10-22. I want to look at new sexual sins mentioned in this passage.

  1. Incest in several different forms. A mother and her son have sexual relations. They are both to be put to death. They have condemned themselves by their own actions. A man and his daughter-in-law have sexual relations. Death is the result and they mark themselves out for this punishment by their own actions. A man and his mother-in-law have sexual relations. Their punishment is death and they mark themselves for this death by their own actions. Brothers and sisters who have sexual relations with each other will pay the price. They bear the shame of their actions and are cut off from their people. A man has sexual relations with his aunt and God condemns this. They will pay the price for their sins. Another case of incest is a man and his sister-in-law. God condemns it and they will pay the price for their sins.
  2. Homosexuality – Those who claim that homosexuality is not a sin because the word homosexual is not in the Bible do not read this passage. God defines their actions instead of using a specific term. The result is death and they bring this punishment upon themselves.
  3. Bestiality committed by men and women. Both men and women who practice this form of sexual sin are put to death and they are at fault for their death because of their actions.
  4. Sex during the menstrual cycle. According to God, this is a sin and should not be practiced. Those who practice this bring judgment upon themselves.
  5. Pornography – Uncovering the nakedness of others literally means, purposefully exposing the genitals of another to see and lust over. This is what happens when you look at porn.

At the end of Leviticus 20, we see why God condemns these sins and wants us to obey Him in the area of sexuality. Obeying God and turning away from sexual sin protects us and our society. Disobeying God defiles us, our society, and the land in which we live, causing the land to spew us out. We lose the blessings of God on our lives and our nation. The sad part is that most of these sins that are mentioned are alive and well in our society today, some of which are being promoted as a virtue instead of a vice.

II. Sexual sin in the New Testament

Is it a new day under the New Testament where God no longer pronounces judgment on sexual sin? Let’s take a look at the Scriptures and see. First, when Jesus came, He shared that He did not come to do away with the Law of God or the teachings of the Old Testament. He came to fulfill all of those Laws. Some of the laws are no longer valid, such as civil and ceremonial laws. There is no longer a need for a sacrifice for our sins. We can now eat shellfish. However, there are moral laws that still apply to us today. Under those moral laws, we find sexual sin.

  1. Homosexuality – Jesus, Paul, Peter, and Jude all spoke on the sin and dangers of homosexuality. Jesus agrees with the punishment applied by God to Sodom for the sin of sexual immorality in the form of homosexuality. Paul teaches why people choose to be homosexuals in Romans 1. In I Corinthians 6, Paul explains that homosexuals cannot be Christians and they will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they repent and are transformed by God (be born again). In Romans 1 there is a phrase that explains what happens to people who practice sexual immorality in any form, but especially in the form of homosexuality. It is found in verse 27, “ receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. ” Those who practice sexual immorality, especially homosexuality, receive their punishment in their own persons because of their actions. What is that punishment? I believe that this is a reference to sexually transmitted diseases. If you practice sexual sin, you are at risk and like the old saying goes, “if you play with fire, you will eventually get burned“.
  2. Fornication – This word is mentioned in I Corinthians 6:9-11 and it is also mentioned in Hebrews 13:4. The word translated as “fornicate” is the Greek word “pornea”. The noun fornicator is “pornos”. This is where we get the word “pornography” from that we use in English. It means any form of illicit sex, sex outside of the bonds of marriage, both physical and mental. This is the umbrella for all sexual immorality. God punishes it the same way that He did in the Old Testament. Death is the result but under the New Testament, He does not involve people to carry out His judgment. He deals directly with the person and the judgment is in the form of STD’s. Not only is there physical judgment but there is also eternal judgment for those who live in sexual sin and do not repent. This one umbrella word covers all the sexual sins mentioned in the Old Testament.
  3. Adultery – This is the same idea that was mentioned in the Old Testament. Again, fornication covered premarital sex as well as sexual sin after marriage. God punishes this sin both physically and eternally.

What is the hope for every person who has committed this terrible sin, who has entrapped themselves in the cycle of sexual sin? Is psychical and eternal punishment all that they have to look forward to? YES and NO. It depends on how they respond to the Gospel.

III. God’s plan of action

There is hope for all, especially for those trapped in sexual sin. In I Corinthians 6, Paul speaking to the Corinthian church members, told them they such were some of them before they came to Christ. In the congregation there were former fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, male homosexual prostitutes etc., yet God transformed them and set them free from their slavery to sexual sin. In Hebrews 13, God teaches us to take preventative measures by honoring marriage and the marriage bed by avoiding sexual immorality (fornication) and adultery. In Romans 1, we have to acknowledge God for who He is and bow our knee to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There are a couple of passages that I would like to consider in how to avoid sexual immorality. One is I Corinthians 7 and the other is I Thessalonians 4:3-8.

In I Corinthians 7, Paul gives some awesome advice to the believers who want to avoid sexual immorality. The first piece of advice that God gives through Paul is that men and women are not to start a fire in each other if they are not married because they will burn with passion and the only way to put that fire out is through sexual relations. If they are married then that is okay. If they are not married then they will commit sexual sin and come under the judgment of God.

In I Thessalonians, Paul gives more advice. As believers, we are to be sanctified, set apart from the rest of the world in our view of sexuality. The world runs toward sexual sin with arms wide open. We are tor run away from sexual sin as fast as we can. How do we do this?

  • Know God intimately. Without knowing and walking with God moment by moment, we cannot avoid sexual immorality.
  • Abstain from sexual immorality. Run away from it. God has given us a spirit of power, love, and discipline so that we have the knowledge to run away from sexual immorality and the ability to do so.
  • Possess our bodies in honor and sanctification. Do not willfully expose ourselves to things that will stir up sexual desire. Be careful about how we spend our time, what we watch and listen to, and in whose company we spend vast amounts of time. If you are not married yet spend large amounts of time alone with a person of the opposite sex, you set yourself up to burn with passion and fall into sexual sin. Even as a believer, you are not strong. You are weak and since you know it, do what God says and run away.

In conclusion, we have seen that God’s view of sexual sin is the same in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. He punishes sexual sin the same way. If you practice sexual immorality in any form then you expose yourself to God’s judgment. If you do not repent, the physical judgment will not be the worst part. There will be eternal judgment that will be heaped upon you as well and there will be no escape. Please, hear and accept the Gospel of Christ now while there is still a chance to repent and be forgiven, escaping the physical as well as eternal judgment. How does all of this line up with what you have been taught about sex and human sexuality? Will you choose to listen to eternal God or mortal man on this subject? May the Lord help us learn to possess our bodies in honor and sanctification.

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4 comments on “Does God still judge sexual sin today?

  1. I think Erik’s readers need to keep in mind that, as Erik does with homosexuality, evangelical Christian preachers throughout history have argued with equal conviction that the Bible validates slavery, segregation, Jim Crow laws, and anti-Semitism..
     
    On January 27, 1861, three months before the start of the American Civil War, Ebenezer Warren, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Macon, Georgia, delivered a sermon titled “Scriptural Vindication of Slavery:” .
     
    “Slavery forms a vital element of the Divine Revelation to man. Its institution, regulation, and perpetuity, constitute a part of many of the books of the Bible …. The public mind needs enlightening from the sacred teachings of inspiration on this subject …. We of the South have been passive, hoping the storm would subside …. Our passiveness has been our sin. We have not come to the vindication of God and of truth, as duty demanded …. it is necessary for ministers of the gospel … to teach slavery from the pulpit, as it was taught by the holy men of old, who spake as moved by the holy Spirit …. Both Christianity and Slavery are from heaven; both are blessings to humanity; both are to be perpetuated to the end of time …. Because Slavery is right…and, too, because their Maker has decreed their bondage.”
     
    Richard Furman, president of the South Carolina State Convention of Baptists in 1823, wrote on behalf of South Carolina Baptists to the governor of South Carolina about slavery.
     
    “… because certain writers on politics, morals and religion, and some of them highly respectable, have advanced positions, and inculcated sentiments, very unfriendly to the principle and practice of holding slaves;.…These sentiments, the Convention, on whose behalf I address your Excellency, cannot think just, or well founded; for the right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.”
     
    The Southern Baptist Convention later apologized for these statements.
     
    Erik quotes from Leviticus 20:10-22. Let’s look at several chapters later in Leviticus 25:44-46:
     
    “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”
     
    More recently, Bob Jones, Sr., founder of Bob Jones University and one of the most prominent evangelical preachers of his time, delivered on April 17, 1960 an Easter sermon titled “Is Segregation Scriptural?”
     
    “Now, we folks at Bob Jones University believe that whatever the Bible says is so, and we believe it says certain fundamental things that all Bible-believing Christians accept; but when the Bible speaks clearly about any subject, that settles it. Men do not always agree, because some people are dumb – some people are spiritually dumb; but when the Bible is clear, there is not any reason why everybody should not accept it…Now, what is the matter? There is an effort today to disturb the established order…Whenever we have the races mixed up in large numbers, we have trouble. They have trouble in New York, They have trouble in San Francisco… Whenever you get a situation that rubs out the line that God has drawn between the races, whenever that happens, you are going to have trouble… The trouble today is a Satanic agitation striking back at God’s established order…If you are against racial segregation and against racial separation, then you are against God Almighty…All you white people know your colored friends….But racially we have separation in the Bible. Let’s get that clear. When you run into conflict with God’s established order, you have trouble.”
    Excerpts from http://www.drslewis.org/camille/2013/03/15/is-segregation-scriptural-by-bob-jones-sr-1960/
     
    In 2008, Bob Jones University issued a “statement of regret.”
     
    In January of 1999, Jerry Falwell, in a speech to the Sullivan County Baptists in Kingsport,Tennessee, told an audience that the Antichrist was alive, walking around somewhere, and was a male Jew:
     
    “Who will the antichrist be? I don’t know. Nobody else knows. Is he alive and here today? Probably. Because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he’ll be Jewish. Of course he’ll pretend to be Christ. And if in fact the Lord is coming soon, and he’ll be an adult at the presentation of himself, he must be alive somewhere today. If he’s going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish. The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish.”
     
    Rabbi James Rudin, director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, termed Falwell’s comments “radioactive; it’s very dangerous material. For many Jews, these prophecies are meaningless, but as we get closer to the millennium, millions and millions of our neighbors will take this very seriously. For someone of Falwell’s influence to identify the Antichrist is very disturbing; it plays into latent anti-Semitism and the idea that Jews are the personification of evil.”
     
    Falwell later apologized and said he was not anti-Semitic.
     
    Most recently, the pastor of the Appleby Baptist church in Nacodoches, Texas had this to say about blacks and interracial marriages in his sermon titled “Interracial Marriages in Light of the Bible.”
     
    “Bible boundaries include faith as well as race. For us to see what God says concerning Interracial Marriage, we must study Canaan and his descendants. Genesis 10 records their descendants. In Deuteronomy 20, Israel is commanded to destroy the sons of Canaan. These are black folks whether you like it or not…. Satan wants to eliminate color by interracial marriages. Notice what God said about these seven black nations. “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them. Neither shall thou make marriages with them… The Doctrine of Balaam taught the people of Israel to fornicate with people who had a curse of servitude upon them, descendants of Canaan, black folks, if you please. Revelation 2:14, Deuteronomy 23:3-4, Nehemiah 13:2, Numbers 25.”
    Excerpts from http://www.applebybaptistchurch.com/Articles/IRM.pdf
     
    It’s relatively easy for an evangelical pastor to use Biblical passages to spin a narrative to validate their prejudices against minorities. Perhaps in 20 or 30 years, churches will be issuing apologies and “statements of regret’ for what is said today about gay people.
     
    Time will tell.

  2. I’ve tried to post a reply but I have had no luck. I think maybe my post is either too big or contains links that wordpress won’t recognize. In either case, I’m going to try to post again by shortening the post or I may have to post my reply in several stages. I apologize in advance to Erik and his readers for having to do this.

    I think Erik’s readers need to keep in mind that, as Erik does with homosexuality, evangelical Christian preachers throughout history have argued with equal conviction that the Bible validates slavery, segregation, Jim Crow laws, and anti-Semitism..
     
    I’ve already posted several sermons from evangelical pastors advocating slavery and I won’t repost them in full here, except to give short excerpts:

    On January 27, 1861, three months before the start of the American Civil War, Ebenezer Warren, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Macon, Georgia, delivered a sermon titled “Scriptural Vindication of Slavery:” .
     
    “Slavery forms a vital element of the Divine Revelation to man. Its institution, regulation, and perpetuity, constitute a part of many of the books of the Bible ….”
     
    Richard Furman, president of the South Carolina State Convention of Baptists in 1823, wrote on behalf of South Carolina Baptists to the governor of South Carolina about slavery.
     
    “… for the right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.”
     
    The Southern Baptist Convention later apologized for these statements.
     
    Erik quotes from Leviticus 20:10-22. Let’s look at several chapters later in Leviticus 25:44-46:
     
    “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”
     
    More recently, Bob Jones, Sr., founder of Bob Jones University and one of the most prominent evangelical preachers of his time, delivered on April 17, 1960 an Easter sermon titled “Is Segregation Scriptural?”
     
    “Now, we folks at Bob Jones University believe that whatever the Bible says is so, and we believe it says certain fundamental things that all Bible-believing Christians accept; but when the Bible speaks clearly about any subject, that settles it. Men do not always agree, because some people are dumb – some people are spiritually dumb; but when the Bible is clear, there is not any reason why everybody should not accept it…Now, what is the matter? There is an effort today to disturb the established order…Whenever we have the races mixed up in large numbers, we have trouble. They have trouble in New York, They have trouble in San Francisco… Whenever you get a situation that rubs out the line that God has drawn between the races, whenever that happens, you are going to have trouble… The trouble today is a Satanic agitation striking back at God’s established order…If you are against racial segregation and against racial separation, then you are against God Almighty…All you white people know your colored friends….But racially we have separation in the Bible. Let’s get that clear. When you run into conflict with God’s established order, you have trouble.”
    Excerpts from “Is Segregation Scriptural by Bob Jones Sr., 1960 ( I have the link to the full sermon if anyone cares to see it.)
     
    In 2008, Bob Jones University issued a “statement of regret.”
     
    In January of 1999, Jerry Falwell, in a speech to the Sullivan County Baptists in Kingsport, Tennessee, told an audience that the Antichrist was alive, walking around somewhere, and was a male Jew:
     
    “Who will the antichrist be? I don’t know. Nobody else knows. Is he alive and here today? Probably. Because when he appears during the Tribulation period he will be a full-grown counterfeit of Christ. Of course he’ll be Jewish. Of course he’ll pretend to be Christ. And if in fact the Lord is coming soon, and he’ll be an adult at the presentation of himself, he must be alive somewhere today. If he’s going to be the counterfeit of Christ, he has to be Jewish. The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish.”
     
    Rabbi James Rudin, director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, termed Falwell’s comments “radioactive; it’s very dangerous material. For many Jews, these prophecies are meaningless, but as we get closer to the millennium, millions and millions of our neighbors will take this very seriously. For someone of Falwell’s influence to identify the Antichrist is very disturbing; it plays into latent anti-Semitism and the idea that Jews are the personification of evil.”
     
    Falwell later apologized and said he was not anti-Semitic.
     
    Most recently, the pastor of the Appleby Baptist church in Nacodoches, Texas had this to say about blacks and interracial marriages in his sermon titled “Interracial Marriages in Light of the Bible.”
     
    “Bible boundaries include faith as well as race. For us to see what God says concerning Interracial Marriage, we must study Canaan and his descendants. Genesis 10 records their descendants. In Deuteronomy 20, Israel is commanded to destroy the sons of Canaan. These are black folks whether you like it or not…. Satan wants to eliminate color by interracial marriages. Notice what God said about these seven black nations. “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee, thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them. Neither shall thou make marriages with them… The Doctrine of Balaam taught the people of Israel to fornicate with people who had a curse of servitude upon them, descendants of Canaan, black folks, if you please. Revelation 2:14, Deuteronomy 23:3-4, Nehemiah 13:2, Numbers 25.”
    Excerpts from Appleby Baptist Church sermon. (I have the link.)
     
    It’s relatively easy for an evangelical pastor to use Biblical passages to spin a narrative to validate their prejudices against minorities. Perhaps in 20 or 30 years, churches will be issuing apologies and “statements of regret’ for what is said today about gay people.
     
    Time will tell.

    Sent from my ASUS Pad

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