Commandment #7: “You Shall Not Commit Adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

Jesus described the time in which He walked on this earth as a wicked and adulterous generation. If that was true then, how much more would it be true of our world today?

Historians looking back at our present generation will have to state that it was an age characterized by an obsession with sexuality.

The destructive power of adultery

If we simply obeyed this one commandment, imagine what a different world we would see today! Many divorces would be avoided, many families would still be together, and many fathers would still be at home to raise their children.

Consider how many lives have been devastated by the breaking of this commandment. Sadly, every one of us knows at least one person, if not more, who have fallen into this sin.

Immorality is the fruit of idleness.

America was once characterized by its work ethic, which produced a robust, productive, and overall powerful force for good. It was a shining example of faith, family, and freedom.

However, our nation has followed the ways of the ancient city of Sodom. The Bible tells us, “Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit” (Ezekiel 16:49–50).

Immorality is the root of social ills.

In a study of over eighty ancient, primitive, and modern societies, Cambridge University sociologist J.D. Unwin found there was an unvarying correlation between the degree of sexual restraints and the rate of social progress. He states, “Cultures that were more sexually permissive displayed less creativity, intellectual development and individualism, and a slower general cultural ascent.”

Given the increasingly permissive views towards sex today, researchers Gilbert Nass and Roger Libby have predicted that between one-half and two-thirds of all husbands will have an affair before they reach 40! Their studies show that 40–50% of all married men have had extramarital affairs and that 41% of married women have been unfaithful.

This has a direct effect on teenagers who are not finding an example of fidelity to follow. One fifth of our nation’s children have lost their virginity by the age of 13!

Is it any wonder that our society is plagued with unwanted pregnancies, abortion, AIDS, and a surging rise in venereal diseases?

Sin in the camp

Unfortunately, statistics regarding adultery are just as bad within the church as they are in the secular world.

The magazine Christianity Today did a random sampling of 1000 subscribers asking if they had committed adultery or acted inappropriately:

  • 45% acted inappropriately
  • 23% committed adultery

Billy Graham said a recent poll claimed that 40% of the young people in evangelical churches are sexually active. Furthermore, 60% of single adults, including those who attend church regularly and participate in Bible studies, are not only sexually active, but half reported having sex with multiple partners!

“Immorality is as epidemic in our churches as it is in the secular world at large.”—Billy Graham

A pervasive and powerful sin

The Mosaic Law portrayed adultery as one of the most serious sins, punishable by death!

“Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth: do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to Hell, descending to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:24–27).

The passages concerning this sin are just as clear in the New Testament as they are in the Old Testament.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites. . .will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10; see also Hebrews 13:4).

The apostle Paul wrote, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

When you cross the line of protection that God has put around you and your spouse, you do so at your own peril. The repercussions of adultery can last months, years, and even a lifetime!

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