"Many would abhor to commit one external
act before the eyes of men, in a temple of stone; and yet they
are not afraid to commit a multitude of such acts in the temple
of their hearts, and in the sight of God!" - Adam
"That heart must needs wander that walks after the eyes..." - Matthew Henry.
In the days of the Apostle Paul as well as in our present time, the sin of fornication was and is freely indulged in.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Paul admonished the Christians who were constantly exposed to such wickedness with these words - "abstain from fornication..." This sin included any form of uncleanness and was aptly presented by the Apostle to be totally contrary to the Holy Walk of the Believer. It is a sin that indeed every Christian should "abstain" from at all cost in order to live a chaste life - as exemplified in their disposition, speech, and behavior.
In Exodus 20:14, we are initially exposed to the command of God which clearly states - "Thou shalt not commit adultery." This edict from God includes fornication along with all kinds of mental and sensual uncleanness. It would entail exposing oneself to impure books, songs, paintings, posters, calendars, reading materials, movies, videos, etc. which would corrupt the mind and excite fleshly lusts.
In Proverbs 31:3, King Solomon advised - "Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings."
In other words, don't waste the strength of your body and soul by yielding to impure affections.
In Romans 13:13, the Apostle Paul exhorted all believers with these words - "Let us walk honestly, as in the day...not in chambering and wantonness..." What happens "in the day"? All things are seen and known openly.
Christians are called to live decently and becomingly - "out in the open" - before the view of all.
Never are they to be found participating in any "hidden," lewd, or immodest behavior such as adultery.
Unlike the pagans who revel in such debauchery, they are called to - "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness..." (Colossians 3:5) They are to put to death, subdue, or deprive every and all evil propensity of its power so that no member of their body ever sins against God.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 - They understand that it is God's will that they live holy and chaste lives - "For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication." Their body, which is the "temple of the Holy Spirit" and is set apart for God's service, is to be kept pure and clean at all times. In order to keep themselves free from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, they must check and subdue unholy desires and cultivate holy principles to take their place.
Make no mistake about it - all those who engage in adultery, fornication, or any form of uncleanness, "destroyeth" their souls(Proverbs 6:32). They are classified as being "unrighteous" and are not saved (1 Corinthians 6:9).
We must fully understand this before going any further. The Scriptures tell us - "...yea, let God be true, but every man a liar."
There are certain ones today who would circulate the false opinion that those, indulging in such acts of uncleanness, are still saved. Not so!
The Apostle Paul warned us - "...Be not deceived..."(1 Corinthians 6:9)
Why did he say that?
Because the Holy Spirit, writing through him, knew that there would be those who would try to flatter themselves in false hopes, while indulging in such debauchery.
Anyone who commits deliberate sins such as adultery and fornication is not saved and will not - "shall not" - "inherit the kingdom of God"(1 Corinthians 6:9). THUS SAITH THE LORD!
God made no exceptions here for Preachers either. It doesn't matter if you have preached thousands of sermons to millions of people during your lifetime. If you are involved in adultery, fornication, or any form of uncleanness, you are not saved and are headed for a Devil's Hell unless you repent of such wickedness.
At this point, many would give off a sigh of relief for they are not guilty as such.
But this message does not deal with outward acts which man can see; it deals with the sin that only God can see.
The Pharisees extended adultery only as far as the external act. They regarded any type of evil thoughts and impure imaginations as being of little consequence or not forbidden by God's law. However, when Jesus showed up on the scene, He "blew their theology out of the water" when He said, as recorded in Matthew 5:27 - "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committeth adultery with her already in his heart." What He did was extend the law to cover not only the external act but the secrets of the heart as well.
We see then that adultery is no more just a physical act; it also involves the movement of the eyes - "Having eyes full of adultery..."(2 Peter 2:14). The eyes become the inlet for the heart's corrupt desires. They become the first offender, so to speak. They gaze upon an object for a period of time until they become "full of adultery," whereby corrupt passions wholly seize and occupy the mind of the individual. Now, he finds that images of sinful acts flood his imagination and he "cannot cease from sin"(2 Peter 2:14).
This is what is called heart-adultery.
It is looking upon a woman until lust is formed in the heart, and the mind is taken over by wicked and foul imaginations of sinful acts of adultery. It is what Job described as allowing the heart to walk after what the eyes see - "...mine heart walked after mine eyes..."(Job 31:7).
At the beginning of this same verse, Job commented - "If my step hath turned out of the way..."(Job 31:7)
Perhaps you are reading this message today and are feeling very guilty because you have "turned out of the way" - out of the path of virtue. You may not be involved in an adulterous relationship per se, whereby you are committing the physical act itself, but you are guilty of daily committing heart-adultery and resultantly, find your eyes "full of adultery." Your mind is flooded with unclean thoughts of another woman or women in general.
The Lord Jesus wants to set you free today from this "yoke of bondage." You don't have to be a slave to lust any longer. Just cry out to Him in brokenness and heartfelt contrition, and He will save you and deliver you. He will break the Power of Adultery over your life.
If you are actually involved in an illicit relationship whereby you are committing the physical acts of fornication or adultery, then, in order to repent as the Bible dictates and be right in God's standing, you must separate yourself from this partner immediately. Don't linger any longer. Don't put off this decision. Your soul is at stake. If you should die in this unrepentant state of sin, you risk going straight to Hell for all of eternity. Just remember - No one is worth going to Hell for.
You may ask - Living in this adulterous and evil generation where the temptation to lust abounds, what can a person do in order to safeguard his heart against such filth and impurity?
For one thing, you can do as Job did - purpose to lead a pure life and keep a pure heart - "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"(Job 31:1) He solemnly resolved in his heart not to ever allow his eyes or thoughts to endanger his soul. He was determined to never fasten his eyes upon any object that might stir up impure desires or imaginations. With the same resolve, you can and must do the same.
Secondly, the Lord Jesus told you what to do in Matthew 5:29 - "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee..." The expression "the right eye" denotes a strong adulterous passion. It depicts a wanton gazing upon "forbidden fruit," so to speak. Jesus commanded - "...pluck it out, and cast it from thee..."
In other words, whatever is causing you to fall into sin or be ensnared, get rid of it immediately! Get away from it!
Flee from it!
Don't allow it to take your soul to Hell.
Lest any woman, reading this message, feel that she is exempt from God's rebuke today - read what Matthew Henry, the renowned Bible Commentator, has to say to the ladies - " ...And if looking be lust, they who dress and deck, and expose themselves, with design to be looked at and lusted after...are no less guilty. Men sin, but devils tempt to sin."
Let's repeat that last statement again - "...Men sin, but devils tempt to sin."
No Christian woman - daughter or handmaiden of the Most High God - should ever be a stumbling block to her Brother-in-Christ or any other man through her dress or lack of it. At no time, should she wear revealing or tight-fitting clothing that would cause another to stumble and fall into sin. Never should her breasts be exposed or her midriff showing, except in the privacy of her husband and him alone.
Any woman who dresses provocatively will then have to wear the label of "devil" or "child of the devil" as Pastor Henry commented, for she, like her Father the devil, is tempting men to sin. No true child of God would ever think to do such an ungodly thing.
Some questions we must all ask ourselves today are -
Are we willing to be scrutinized by the Word?
How far are we willing to go in order to be holy in God's sight?
We may be willing to avoid all outright, blatant sins - but what about the sins of the heart like heart-adultery which only God sees?
How far does your commitment to Christ go?
Are you willing to let go of all in your life that is displeasing in His sight?
Consider your ways!
May God Bless His Word.
Connie Giordano P. O. Box 383016
Duncanville, TX. 75138-3016
Copyright 2004 by Connie Giordano