The one sin that the church takes very seriously is the sin of fornication, many times mentioned in the Bible. We also need to be wary of our certain behavior at church that may attribute and lead to this sin, such as those that involve our attitude, conversation, and dressing.
Ezekiel 16:15-16 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so.
So everyone who’s around this person is affected by her sensual or sexual atmosphere because of her appearance. The Bible associates sexual sin with a sexual atmosphere, with the way we dress. This is usually referring to women.
It is all about decency for the sight. For instance, a woman’s skirt above-knee length is considered naked, according to the Bible. When women dress in a way that exposes too much flesh, it is important for them to self-examine their hearts as to their intentions.
1 Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Intimate touch between opposite sex who are not married is considered inappropriate or even a sin. All that intimacy is reserved for marriage until the couple claims each other as spouses.
Therefore, physical activities like kissing and living together before marriage are prohibited. That will put the couple in a position susceptible to sin. Besides, the couple will be more prone to temptation, to fornicate in the privacy of living together.
Thirdly, when the couple is already living together before marriage, if the relationship does not work out, then separation becomes much harder because living together is quite like husband and wife that becomes oneness.
Having an interest or desire to want to build a closer relationship with someone is still deemed appropriate. Still, when it comes to intimate touching, there should be a restriction or limitation. This will also help build other aspects of the relationship itself, not merely physical infatuation.
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
As continued from the previous point, if we do not set restrictions in our behavior and physical contact with our counterparts or with the opposite sex, how we come across in others’ eyes will defile their conscience or perception towards us. When we see a lot of cheating in relationships, it all starts with the seed of inappropriate sexual attraction.
Bible-believing churches will usually kick out fornicators if presented with evidence of fornication because it is intolerable according to God’s standards. Any other deed or action that will potentially lead to fornication would usually be a case-by-case assessment concerning the other church members and the church’s testimony.
Nonetheless, we know that God is watching, and judging too. If anything, we should allow ourselves to be reproved, and the Holy Spirit will gradually change our hearts to be more sanctified.
1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
We can see that the number one sin that ruins the church’s testimony is fornication. Some clear examples happened to the worldly pastors, not because of money or power, but sex.
Ephesians 5:3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Even some of the greatest characters in the Bible (King David and King Solomon are considered wise in God’s eyes), have committed adultery and fornication.
Hebrews 12:15-17 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
If there is a sin we are struggling with within our lives, we are more prone to defile ourselves with fornication. Satan will usually use our struggle or hardship as an open gate to attack us with this sin of fornication or lure us into sins that lead to fornication.
When times are tough, or when we feel that the church is unfairly treating us, we would usually want to fill that void with love, or intimacy with others, ultimately leading to fornication. This can be seen in the pornography or prostitution industry.
Hence, the Bible encourages us to put on a double guard against Satan’s attack and temptation when we go through afflictions in life. In Hebrews 12:16, Esau is a good reminder for all of us that it is not worthy of giving up on our permanent blessings because of one sin, that instant relief or gratification that we want immediately. Verse 17 shows that some sin or mistake we make will damage us for good.
Revelation 2:20 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.
Above all, we should be a child of God with zero tolerance towards this sin, not with ourselves, not with our brothers and sisters in Christ that we love so much.