August 1, 1991 Issue
by Don L. King

In 1 Corinthians 7:2 Paul said, "Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. He continued in verse 3: "Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise the wife unto the husband."

America is beginning to see (perhaps only a bit) the folly of living in total disregard for God's way. Because of sexual impropriety and unsafe drug practices, AIDS is a major killer worldwide today. Is it going to improve? It doesn't appear so in the immediate future. According to national statistics, nearly one-third of all Americans have had or are now having an "affair." This isn't the average for Hollywood or some other major city. It is the overall national average! With figures such as those just quoted it is small wonder the Lord's people have been affected also.

Paul wrote: "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." (1 Corinthians 15:33)1 appreciate the Revised Standard Version just here. It reads, "Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals." In our opinion many Christians spend far too much time in the company of those who are making up the national averages quoted above. Rather than cultivate a genuine love for the church and those things connected with it, some prefer to spend their time in recreation with people of the world. Why be surprised when the practice of gambling, drinking, dancing, etc. yes and even adultery is at last found out. Why indeed, in the light of what Paul said?

We are supposed to "flee fornication..." (1 Corinthians 6:18) Yet, we do hear, don't we, of church members who insist mixed bathing is appropriate. Yes, flee fornication; but some church members will go down fighting for the right to attend movies where fornication is commonly shown in living color. We are to avoid fornication (1 Corinthians 7:2) yet some love to read a novel which describes in vivid detail the sex act and not only that but every variation at that. The soap opera is so popular today. It is a continuing favorite with many women yet, it glorifies adultery which we are supposed to flee. Homosexuality, which is condemned graphically in Romans 1:24-32 and l Corinthians 6:9 is often portrayed on TV as entirely harmless and only an alternate lifestyle. The list goes on but what are we thinking of, brethren, to allow such things to affect us and Paul said they surely will. We need to always remember "Bad company ruins good morals." Perhaps more than anything else we need to remember, "Be not deceived". Surely, some have been deceived. They have been fooled into thinking they can watch a near naked person at the swimming pool or at the lake and be unaffected. "Be not deceived."

Others believe they can dance with one not their spouse and be unaffected but Paul said, "Be not deceived." Truly we live in perilous times. Sex is used to sell or promote literally everything. All of us must constantly be aware and not "be deceived."

Religion in general is being assailed by Satan on a wholesale basis. The American public has almost no respect for religion anymore. When Americans were recently polled on the "sleaziest" jobs, drug dealer' was rated number one. You say, "well, I certainly agree with that one." So do I, but do you have any idea what number three was? It was the TV evangelist. He is rated by most Americans as having a "sleazy" job. By the way, number 4 was a prostitute. So, that will give you an idea of what the public thinks of religion today. I repeat, we live in perilous times.

Preachers often feel so frustrated as they see and experience a sort of rejection by those to whom they admonish. I'm reminded of a passage in 1 Samuel 8:7 where the Lord was trying to encourage Samuel in the face of his rejection by Israel. God said: "Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."

Folks, I submit that when we ignore the continuing pleas of those who try to remind us of the dangers inherent in the things mentioned herein, we have, in fact, rejected not the preacher, but God. Remember, "Be not deceived, Bad company ruins good morals." (1 Corinthians 15:33)

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