God warns us about the consequences of our sins. What are biblical consequences of having sex outside of marriage?
The Two Become One
Whether someone likes it or not, when someone has sexual relationships outside of marriage, they are not only sinning against God or against their spouse, but they are actually sinning against their own body. When a person has sex outside of marriage, whoever they have sex with, they are joined together with that person and the two become one. That the two become one in marriage is what God intended but when they venture outside of their marital relationship, for example a man has sex outside of marriage, he can become one with the prostitute.
Here is what Paul says about such a relationship in 1 Corinthians 6:15-18:
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
One of the main reasons that we are not to have sex outside of marriage is because that person becomes joined to…becomes one with…the person that they are having sex. So if they have sex with someone who is committing adultery, they are joined together with the adulterer and God will not fail to judge those two who do such a thing. I knew a man who once had an affair with a woman who was also married and so these two became one; one in adultery and they were literally “joined” with each other in sin. That joining together, in this case for the worse, is something that will carry severe consequences. It could result in a sexually transmitted disease, AIDS, unwanted pregnancy, and also result in divorce and the breakup of a family and home and any children in that marriage will forever be changed. If we choose to sin we are choosing to suffer the consequences.
Exclusion from the Kingdom of Heaven
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Paul asks a very serious question: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
God cannot be mocked for whatever a person sows they are sure to reap and what greater consequence than to be cast out of the Kingdom of Heaven when Christ returns. No believer in Christ lives in sexual immorality for they are deceived if they do such things and still believe that they are headed to heaven. We are lying to ourselves and greatly deceived to believe that we can do such things and not pay a penalty and what greater penalty than to lose your own soul for eternity?
John says that “ We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18).
The wording of 1 John 5:18 is clear that everyone who is born again does not keep on sinning. They might stumble and fall but true believers will repent but if they “keep on sinning” John says that they are not truly born again and someone who is committing ongoing, unrepentant sexual immorality like adultery most assuredly does not have any assurance of their going to heaven but instead may be headed to the lake of fire (Rev 20:11-15).
Can a person take a fire out of the fireplace and not be burned? Clearly they cannot as Solomon wrote in
Proverbs 6:27 “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?”
A person that is committing adultery is playing with fire and it can bring destruction to their home but not only that, it can bring financial ruin because families that go through divorce have a greater risk of living in poverty. In this same chapter Solomon warns that “for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread, but a married woman hunts down a precious life” (Prov 6:26). Remember too that “he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished” (Prov 6:29). Cause and effect are in mind here because God says that whoever commits adultery will not go unpunished. Even if a person repents from this and it is only a one-time affair, the penalty will not go away. Is it worth going into poverty over or is it worth destroying a marriage for a one night fling? Of course not!
Proverbs 6:32-35 says that “He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. He will get wounds and dishonor, and his disgrace will not be wiped away. For jealousy makes a man furious, and he will not spare when he takes revenge. He will accept no compensation; he will refuse though you multiply gifts.”
There are fewer things worse than the jealous rage of a betrayed spouse. The person who has cheated may have this in the back of their minds; what if someone finds out, what would the other spouse do if they knew, what is the risk to my life over this? There are crimes of passion that have happened when a jealous and betrayed husband or wife discovered that their spouse has cheated on them and their angry retribution is taken out on the adulterous spouse or the one who committed adultery with their spouse. People have died in the passion of such affairs. What a risk there is to make enemies that will never, ever forget what the adulterer has done. They might be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives or they might be seeing people whispering over this and the associated scandal that this brings.
I already touched on the thought that a person’s reputation can be ruined by even one affair. Even it if happens only once, people have long memories and tend to not forget. You lose the trust of those around you. You lose their respect which affects all of the other relationships you have and those who know you will never see you as quite the same person again. They may forever be suspicious of you and your motives will always be in question. There is nothing that can restore a good name because “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold” (Prov 22:1).
The sanctity of marriage is at stake if you commit adultery. Even flirting at the office or at work is playing with fire. You put yourself at great risk when you play the charmer or flatter someone of the opposite sex. It is simply not worth the risk. Ask yourself these questions: Do you want to become one in the same with a prostitute or adulterer? Do you want to risk financial ruin? Do you want to play with fire and get burned with disease or unwanted pregnancies? Do you want to make an enemy for life? It is worth a lifelong ruined reputation? And is it worth losing your soul over? Of course it isn’t. There are more than 5 biblical reasons to not have sex outside of marriage but the number one reason is that God commands us to stay faithful to our mate or to abstain from having sex outside of marriage. These are not really “Don’t do this” but “Do this and get hurt.” They are meant for our own good and that is my hope in writing this that if I can prevent even one person from committing adultery, then it would have been worth writing this in ten thousand words.
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design