In an age saturated with fornication, it is very easy to see how the 7th commandment plainly demonstrates America to be a lawless society.  This is a commandment disliked and disregarded in every generation, because sexual misbehavior is a common thread of human conduct in all places and at all times.  Sadly, even God’s people are not immune from sexual sin, as the cases of Samson and David clearly illustrate.

What is more tragic than the fact that God’s people sometimes fall into adultery is that now we have many professing Christians who use the instance of David’s crime to excuse their own or that of somebody dear to them.  I have read articles where people defending the well known philandering of Martin Luther King offer the protest, “David did the same thing, and he was a man of God.”  But the question, whether we speak of King or any other person is, Did they know David’s repentance?  A true child of God can fall prey to temptation, just like the children of disobedience.  The difference is that God’s people will experience the pangs of repentance, so vividly described by David in Psalm 51.  If the Spirit of God dwells in an individual, He will not leave them to go on sinning, nor to offer palliations for their misconduct.  They will cry out, like David, “Against Thee, and Thee only have I sinned!”  And then they will apply to the cleansing fountain of Christ’s blood, that their consciences may be purged from dead works to serve the living God.

The 7th commandment, although it uses the term “adultery,” is broad enough to cover every species of sexual sin.  This includes every act and imagination of sexual lust outside of lawful marriage.  Thus, the sodomite campaign which dominates our media and government is nothing less than a flagrant attack on God’s law.  It was brought to my attention during the recent Chick-Fil-A brouhaha that the polls put out claiming more than 50% of Americans favor sodomite marriage cannot possibly be correct.  After all, when did we ever see such a favorable outpouring for a company that attacks God’s institution of marriage?  But what is equally evident is that the masses who were willing to anonymously support a chicken restaurant whose owner had taken a stand for marriage, are not as willing to make their voices heard in the pulpit, by letters to the editor, or by taking a stand against ungodly family and friends.  Is it not likely that this is because, though they recognize the sanctity of the married state and do not wish to see it perverted, that at the same time they or some of their loved ones are living in fornication?  The man who cohabits with his girlfriend may not like sodomites, but he is uncomfortably aware that if he says anything against them, the same law which condemns the homosexual will condemn his own licentious lifestyle.  The man whose computer and television screens are often the purveyors of pornography is not likely to raise a voice against the more egregious sin, because he does not wish to see his “lesser” vice condemned.  Likewise, we too often see people excusing sin because it is committed by one of their offspring.  The Christian parent or grandparent may dislike sexual perversion, until it is practiced by their family; then it becomes a harmless thing that we should all wink at.  “My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

It is not unexpected that the ungodly, unbelieving world should pursue a course of sexual license.  The children of disobedience have no higher aim than to pursue physical pleasure.  But what is devastating our society is the increasing silence of the churches on issues related to sexual purity.  The fastest way for a preacher, no matter how orthodox on other matters, to gain a reputation as a legalist, is for him to uphold a standard of modesty, particularly feminine modesty.  American women, including Christian women, now consider it their God-given right to flaunt the curves of their bodies to the lustful eyes of men, and woe be to him who utters a word against them!  They think it their “Christian liberty” to wear what they please, whereas Scripture teaches that the true essence of Christian liberty is that we ought to forego even a thing that is lawful if it would cause our brother to stumble.  A woman may ignorantly think her short skirt, tight jeans, or low-cut blouse is not per se sinful; but if she knows that this attire proves a temptation to her male brethren (and it assuredly will to all who are not eunuchs), she ought to avoid it.  Men likewise ought to avoid tight or revealing clothing that entices women, though I suspect this statement is not nearly so flammable as wat preceded it.

Because every corner of our society is soaked in immodesty, uncleanness, and indecency of every sort, we no longer think how abominable these sins are to God.  Professing Christians become so accustomed to vulgar language on the television and radio, to sexual innuendos and actings on the silver screen, to scantily clad women on billboards and in magazines, that they no longer think it strange.  Likewise, cohabitation has become so “normal” in our society that the majority of churches no longer take issue with it.  A man and a woman can live together without marriage now-a-days, and still be in good standing in the church where they attend.  Even the preachers are, so we are told, in vast numbers turning after internet pornography.  How can there possibly be any power in the preaching of a man on Sunday morning who has spent his Saturday evening viewing filth on his computer screen?  Is it any wonder that spiritual life and productivity seems almost completely absent from all but a remnant of churches?

The only solution for God’s people is to come to a recognition of how serious sexual purity is, and to do everything they can to cleanse their own hearts first, then their homes and churches.  Christian fathers must take seriously their own purity, by avoiding watching titillating movies or reading sexually explicit material, and also must conscientiously guard their families from such.  Churches likewise must uphold a biblical standard of holiness, recalling that the Holy Spirit requires us to excommunicate any brother who engages in open sexual sin (I Corinthians 5:11).  We must recollect what our Lord Jesus said, that he who so much as looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.  This realization will help Christian men to make a covenant with their eyes like the holy man of Uz, and will convince godly women to dress modestly so as not to enflame the passions of their brethren.

Finally, we must preach and proclaim in our churches and to the world that sexual transgressions lead to destruction.  Solomon told his son that the harlot’s house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death (Proverbs 7:27).  In the New Testament, whenever we find a categorization of sin, sexual transgressions are always at the head of the list, because these are the sins to which we are most prone.  We must proclaim, even in the faces of church members who are living in open adultery, that  “No whoremonger nor unclean person… hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).  It is time for preachers to quit fooling people into thinking they can carelessly ignore God’s command against adultery and go unpunished.  No person whose lifestyle is characterized by sexual impurity is saved.  Only those who are washed and sanctified from these sins can enter God’s glorious kingdom.