1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.
I don’t see how you could be any more clear and logical than this in standing against the tide of sexual immorality, both heterosexual and homosexual, that floods society today. Those who insist that they can be “good Christians” while identifying themselves by their immoral lifestyle are talking a logical impossibility. I would be the last person to insist that anyone could not possibly be a child of God, but the truth in verses 3-8 here is black and white. There is a very good reason the Spirit of God is called the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9 states clearly, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Rejecting holiness is rejecting the Holy Spirit, and that is fatal. The reason Paul talked so much about this sort of thing was that Roman society had a lot of parallels to society today, with people exalting fleshly pleasures over everything else. One of the emperors even married his horse! Just as in Paul’s day, we are called to be clear and uncompromising, speaking the truth in love but not failing to speak the truth because of accusations of “hate speech.” The Holy Spirit is incompatible with persistent unholiness. We all stumble at times, but as this passage says, rejecting God’s call to holiness, specifically including sexual purity, is rejecting God Himself.
I was in college in the late ’60s, so I was in on the groundwork of much that is going on today. I did not get through completely unscathed, but God in His great mercy allowed me to get married at 20, and guarded me around some serious traps that were laid for me even after that. I would be the last person to deny the strength of our physical drives, but I also know that I am called to present my body as a living sacrifice to God, in all holiness. (Romans 12:1) Sadly, even some people very close to me have been tricked by the devil in various ways, just as I have been at times. I have seen the damage that rigid legalism can produce and I certainly want to avoid that, but my heart aches for those I care about who are walking in deception. I am to model purity and at the same time always be loving, even when love requires strong, uncompromising words and actions. I don’t have the wisdom for that, so I’ve got to be open and responsive to the Holy Spirit at all times. He is the one who convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, not me. (John 16:8-11)
Father, thank You for giving wisdom to those who ask. (James 1:5) Help me receive Your wisdom and act on it, drawing people out of the traps of the enemy and into Your light and life by the power of Your love, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!