Fornication (1 Thessalonians #13)

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7

Jesus said that he came to give life and that more abundantly.  John 10:10 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.  If you had a garden and wanted that garden to produce life abundantly, you would take some steps to ensure that would happen.  Paul begins to explain some of the weeding process so an abundant life can be lived.  He said, how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.  You want the abundant life as a Christian, here is how you have it.  The abundant life is abundant with the fruit of the spirit.  That’s important to know because people throw the phrase “abundant life” around like it means I’m going to have more stuff than people who aren’t living an abundant life.

Characteristics of fornicators

  • People that don’t know God think it is OK to take off their clothes and fool around with other people: friends, acquaintances, whoever.
  • Sanctification means to set apart.  When you wash dishes you clean them up so you can set them apart from the dirty ones so that you can use them.  God is looking to clean his people up so He can use them.  This culture is so engrossed in fornication, all you have to do to be set apart is to abstain from sexual activity until marriage.
  • Every influence you’re under in this world tells you this verse is out of date.
  • God has nothing good to say about people who would violate the foundational relationship of society.  Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
    • Not girlfriend.
    • Not room-mate.  God made Adam a room-mate.
    • Not boyfriend.
    • Not friends with benefits.
  • Ephesians 5:2-3.  Notice what everyone calls “love” these days.  But they “love” each other.  Now, here’s what God says, walk in love and don’t fornicate!
  • Two consenting adults? Two consenting adults are irrelevant if God doesn’t consent, there is judgment.
    • Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
    • Hosea 6:9 And as troops of robbers wait for a man, so the company of priests murder in the way by consent: for they commit lewdness.
    • Luke 14:18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse.
    • Just because people agree on something doesn’t mean the thing is right or good.

Effects of fornication

  • Individually
    • Break down Godly barriers and it warps your mind.  Some preacher suggests modesty.  And you say what’s wrong with that guy?  Is he a pervert?  Wait a minute, God said modest.  Are you suggesting that when God said don’t make your body the issue, just cover it up, are you suggesting that God is a pervert?
    • You think your nation is safer without God?  Murder rates through the roof.  Sexual assault, broken homes, why would you think a nation is safer with God, but your life is not.
    • 1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.
    • So your body was not made to fornicate.  When you participate in any kind of sexual activity outside of husband and wife, it is the equivalent of trying to hitch a 50 ton tank to a motorcycle and pull it uphill backwards.    First of all, no one is going to go anywhere.  Second, the more you try to make it work, the worse wear and tear you’ll put on that motorcycle.  Why?  That’s not what it’s made to do.
    • 1 Corinthians 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh
    • 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
    • The body is damaged, corrupted, and entangled.  And as it destroys your body, it destroys your soul.
    • 1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
    • Fornication will affect what you believe.  Solomon warned about wives turning him from God to idols and that happened.  You enjoy the emotion, the sensation, so much that you protect that feeling.  And you’ll give up on God in order to feel a certain way.  You’ll give up on God so that you won’t be constrained by his bondage or should I say, “abundant life.”
    • Proverbs 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
    • Family consequences – Matthew 19:4-9
    • Psalm 38:1-8 – David’s disease as a result of his relationship with Bathsheba
  • Church
    • There are a lot of sins that are private.  There are things you can do that no one else knows about.  Fornication requires someone else.  And if you’ve demonstrated a lack of regard for God’s first and foremost relationship-marriage, then God said put that person out of the congregation before they become a cancer to the rest of the folks.
    • 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 If you avoided every fornicator, you’d have to leave the world.  But Paul clarifies and says if a man be called a brother.
    • Church is a refuge where your eyes can get a break from having to see everything the world wants you to see.  Church is a refuge where you don’t have to worry about some adulterer getting close to your wife.  Church is a refuge where you don’t have to worry about some pedophile enticing your kids.
  • Deadly consequences
    • National consequences
    • The sexual revolution was the foundation for Roe v. Wade and abortion.
    • As a nation is given over to fornication the lives of children become less and less valuable.  Not by accident, fornicators have to make room for pleasure and therefore innocence becomes the victim.
    • God never wiped out a nation for the sin of lying.
    • God never wiped out a nation for the sin of covetousness.
    • God did wipe out a an entire group of people for the sin of fornication.
    • Sodom and Gomorrah
    • Jude 1:7 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. (Deuteronomy 29:23)
    • 2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gommorha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.
    • 1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
    • Balaam’s advice to Balak brings the death of 24,000 (Numbers 25:6-9).  Twenty three thousand died in one day, but 24,000 total died.
      • It was a prince, very public man in the camp that did this publicly.
      • Phinehas and his heritage are given the priesthood forever because of what he did (Numbers 25:10-13).

Victory over fornication

  • Natural desires of man and woman. Natural for man to desire a woman.  Natural for woman to desire a man.  And God expects his people to control that desire and not have that desire control them.
  • First of all God is talking to saints.  So if you have trouble with this as a Christian, God has not written you off.  He’s trying to help you. 1 Thessalonians 4:3
  • Second, abstain from fornication. 1 Thessalonians 4:3
    • Abstainers never worry about STDs.  Abstainers never worry about getting pregnant or bastard children.
    • Flee fornication like Joseph
    • 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
  • Third, know how to possess your vessel in sanctification and honor 1 Thessalonians 4:4
    • That means things that go into your eyes get that fire burning.  Numbers 33:50 – get rid of the pictures.  Eye affects your heart.  Do you remember the commercials asking for donations to help orphans or to help abandoned animals?  The advertisers didn’t just run words at the bottom of the screen, they would always show helpless pictures.
    • That means music that goes into your ears get the flame started.
    • That means the ability to privately converse through facebook or texts allow people into your bedroom that your husband or wife or Mom or Dad would never allow into your bedroom.
    • That means your focus on temporary pleasure needs to be offset with a view toward and eternal God who will judge fornicators.  2 Corinthians 10:5 – capture thoughts make them obedient to Christ