Run For Your Soul
Robert Wurtz II
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:15–20 NKJV)
If there is one sin that is almost guaranteed to send your soul to Hell if left unrepented of it is the sin of sexual immorality (fornication, adultery, homosexuality, etc.). I understand that those are strong words to start an article with, but it’s true and we might as well get to the point. There are numerous times in the New and Old Testament when we are warned about sexual sin in the strongest possible terms. This means sexual activity of any kind beyond the sacred institution of Biblical marriage. And just in case we may have somehow overlooked all of the solemn verses related to this topic… we have two final warnings among the epithets in the direful lists of the doomed and the damned at the end of the Book of Revelation (Rev. 21:8, 22:15).
With such dreadful warnings in mind I wish to focus on Paul’s imperative command to “Flee sexual immorality.” Our Greek word translated as flee in English is found in many places in the New Testament where a person is running from present danger. Perhaps the most familiar example of this concept in action is when Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife when she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house. (Genesis 39:12 ESV)
Why run? Because we are no match for sexual sin. It’s the one thing that the longer we entertain it the more likely we are to participate in it — and it’s too late once the enemy gets a foothold in the mind and ensnares us. If we entertain the possibility of sexual sin we are already under his delusion. Run for your soul! Not as Lot’s wife who turned back to see one last time. God is warning us to turn and run while there is still hope and we are still reachable.
Paul offers us insight into how he dealt with his own natural appetites when he remarked, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ”(1 Corinthians 9:27 ESV) At first glance this doesn’t seem possible. Could the great Apostle to the Gentiles really be disqualified (Gk. adokimos) because of sexual sin? That’s right. He was as human as you are and I am. It was an ever present threat in this sinful world. Temptation often presents itself in subtle and not so subtle ways. Keep in mind too that the Greek word adokimos is frequently translated as reprobate. At the least he could have been disqualified from ministry… but more likely meant, based on his own frequent warnings along this line, that he could have lost his own salvation (Romans 1:28-29, 1 Cor. 6:9,10:8, Galatians 5:20-21, Ephesians 5:3-5, 1 Timothy 1:10, etc.).
The natural body has appetites that answer to these temptations. Paul’s solution? He took control of his own body and brought it into subjection. This means he refused to come under the control of the bodies appetites and rather pushed back with the utmost intensity and control. The Greek words are strong and mean to hit under the eye. This is not literal, but it shows the level of discipline he exerted upon himself. In other words, he was in the habit of telling his body “NO!” in the areas of natural appetites (eating, procreation, etc.). He refused to find fulfillment in the exercise of his glands. He controlled his body at all times and never allowed it to control him.
Deception and Separation
There are professing Christians in the world who are so deceived by sexual sin that they are fully convinced that flirting with the opposite sex is a valid form of expressing Christian love. They see no problem with texting other peoples spouses and speaking to them in a seductive manner. I know this because I have met them and counseled with them. It is total deception. As Christians we need to keep God’s word ever before our eyes particularly in relation to sexual sin. What did the Psalmist say? “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalms 119:11 ESV) James tells us that once lust has conceived it will bring forth sin and when sin is finished it will bring forth death. In scripture death does not mean annihilation it means separation. When sexual immorality is committed it causes death to relationships — most of all our relationship with God.
Moreover, sexual sin can cause the total destruction of a local church. It can enter in to the life of one person and spread to the whole congregation. Stories abound of this sin entering churches and before it’s over the people are exchanging marriage partners and all kinds of inexpressible evil. These are not fairy tales as I have personally known of it to happen. This is why Paul warned about it so often and even told the Corinthians in Chapter 5 to turn an unrepentant fornicator over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. Why? To save the church and to save the man’s soul. He also warned the married couples not to fast for too long a period of time because in doing so it could actually open the door to Satan to lead one of them into sexual sin (1 Cor. 7:5). This could apply to any reason that a couple abstained from one another for an extended period of time.
In summary, we need to do whatever it takes to make sure we do not become involved in sexual sin. I am persuaded that nothing puts a person in jeopardy of hell fire quite like sexual immorality. Why should we fool ourselves? Understand that Satan’s objective is to destroy as many lives, marriages, and souls he can with fornication and adultery. Apart from the risk it puts our souls in it also brings extreme suffering and pain to the minds of the people who commit the sin or are on the receiving end of a transgression. It defiles the person in ways we cannot comprehend and impacts the union that we have with Christ (1 Cor. 6:16ff). For one who is caught in the sin the admonition is to repent and renounce the behavior. For those who are in the throes of temptation — flee sexual immorality! And as a matter of general maintenance on our spiritual lives we need to discipline (our) body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others (we ourselves) should be disqualified.