Ephesians 5:3-6 “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”  There are three items here – fornication, uncleanness and covetousness – which should not even be named among saints (Christians).  Individuals who commit these sins do not have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  The wrath of God comes upon such individuals.

Fornication is illicit or unlawful sexual intercourse.  In other words, it is sexual relations that is forbidden by God.  Sexual intercourse was created by God and is intended by Him for marriage only.  Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”  Sexual intercourse outside of marriage is fornication or adultery.  In the Bible, fornication sometimes includes adultery as the broad term for all illicit sexual intercourse; at other times, fornication is distinguished from adultery where adultery is unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another and fornication is all other unlawful intercourse.  In that case, fornication would include things such as intercourse with an animal, homosexual intercourse, and intercourse between unmarried persons.

Today in the USA and many other places, fornication is generally accepted as no big thing.  Many people live together without being married and think it is OK.  Sixty years or more ago, this was not the case.  It was a shame to commit fornication as well to have a child outside of marriage.   In a recent US poll, nearly 75 percent of women ages 30 or younger said they have lived with a partner outside of marriage at some point in their lives!

But God’s standards have not changed.  Sexual intercourse outside of marriage is still fornication.  It should not even be named among Christians.  Fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of God.  The book of the Revelation states that the “sexually immoral … have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)  It also states in Revelation 22:14-15 “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

My encouragement to you is – flee sexual immorality.  1 Corinthians 6:18-20 “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.”

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