The title of this article will likely dissuade many folks from actually reading the article. “Sex” is not a topic some like to hear about. Talking about “sex outside of marriage” makes some think the church is still “living in the dark ages” to bring up such a subject. And to mention the word “sin” is to kill any conversation today. So, the title may not draw the readers in, but the title is nonetheless the truth. We must examine God’s Word on every subject to know the truth. Then, we must teach and follow THAT truth!
First, we must recognize that God is the Creator, and therefore, God gets to tell man what He wants. God created man (Gen. 2:7). Then God created woman (Gen. 2:22a). Then God created marriage (Gen. 2:22b). Then God created sex inside that marriage (Gen. 2:24-25; 1:27-28). Man has no right to change God’s designed order and God’s specified arrangement.
God has blessed only the marriage bed (i.e., only sex between a husband and his wife). Hebrews 13:4 states, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all” (oh, would to God the world would read that!), “and the marriage bed is to be undefiled.” Only sex inside marriage is approved by God. So, then what does God say about sex outside of marriage?
Hebrews 13:4 continues, “But fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Who are “fornicators”? The original Greek word for “fornication” means “various kinds of ‘unsanctioned sexual intercourse’; unlawful sexual intercourse.” Think about that definition. God placed “lawful” sexual intercourse inside a marriage, between a husband and his wife (Gen. 2:24-25; 1:27-28; 1 Cor. 7:2). Therefore, any kind (or as the definition states, “various kinds”) of sexual intercourse outside of a husband-wife relationship is “unsanctioned” by God and “unlawful” in His sight.
Regarding “fornication,” the Bible teaches us that “God will judge” fornicators (Heb. 13:4). What does that mean? They “will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9), for they do not have “any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Eph. 5:5). Instead, fornicators (i.e., those who engage in any sex outside of a God-approved marriage) will be on the “outside” of “the gates of” heaven, with no “right to the tree of life” (Rev. 22:14-15); indeed, they “shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21:8).
Recognizing the sinfulness of sex outside of marriage and the eternal consequences that are specified thereto, God pleads with us to “abstain from fornication” (1 Thess. 4:3) and “flee fornication” (1 Cor. 6:18), for “the body is not for fornication but for the Lord” (1 Cor. 6:13). Give yourself to the Lord!