As the world around us has accepted immoral standards, some preachers have been so reserved in preaching that they do not like to deal specifically with the issues confronting young people. While none of us wants a sermon which is so explicit in its depiction of fornication and immodesty that it is pornographic itself, we cannot leave any doubt against what forms of sin we are fighting.
The Bible has somewhat to say about fornication and adultery (1 Cor. 6:12-20 ff; Gal. 5:19; 1 Thess. 4:3-7). If there was ever a generation which needed to hear what the Bible says about these subjects, it is this generation. It is hard for this generation to hear about such sins, for their parents and grand parents were guilty of the same.
The Bible has somewhat to say about the evils of strong drink. Drunkenness, revelry, and social drinking are specifically forbidden (Gal. 5: 19-21 f; 1 Pet. 4:3). Godly people are warned about the dangers of intoxicating beverages (Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35). Our beer drinking, social drinking society needs to hear what the Bible says about this subject. We dare not leave the fight against drunkenness to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving or our police and judges.
The Bible has somewhat to say about the dangers of “looking on a woman to lust after her” (Mt. 5:28 ff; Prov. 6:23; Job 31:1). Salacious literature is available in most minute markets in the local neighborhood; R- and X-rated movies are piped into many homes by network and cable television; the internet is filled with pornography; the beaches are filled with men and women in near nudity. Our pornography plagued and lascivious society needs to hear what God has spoken on this subject.
The Bible has somewhat to say about “lascivious” behavior (Gal. 5:19). Lascivious means: “unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence . . . wanton (acts or) manners, as filthy words, indecent bodily movement, unchaste handling of males and females” Shamefully, we are hearing of this sin in the presidential race this year. The word covers a whole multitude of sins generally accepted in our society. “Unbridled lust” is depicted in the bedroom scenes on television and in the movies repeatedly. “Filthy words” are the tools of trade of almost every comedian and are part of the standard vocabulary of most Americans old enough to be able to speak. “Shamelessness” is certainly the characteristic of a society which has lost its ability to blush (Jer. 6:15; 8:12). The Bible has somewhat to say about lasciviousness, and we preachers need to be proclaiming what it has to say.
What the Bible has to say on these subjects needs to be preached openly and without apology. These are not subjects to be withheld from the general public and taught in the privacy of some classroom in a local congregation! They need to be preached in the pulpits on Sunday morning, on the radio and television, in bulletins and magazines, on the internet, and in any other forum we have opportunity to use.
Conclusion: If we truly love those involved in these kinds of sin, we will do what we can to call them to repentance. Their soul stands in jeopardy before God so long as they continue in these sins. Unfortunately, some of us have become so desensitized to immorality that we are not very much alarmed when we see it. We are numbed to it. As Paul said, we are being “conformed to this world”?
Brethren, let us not forget that sin has not changed. The dancing which was wrong when we were children is still wrong when we are old. The dance has not been “cleaned up” so that it is no longer lascivious. The mixed swimming which was wrong twenty years ago is still wrong. The attire which is worn at the modem beach is not more modest today than it was then. The drinking which was wrong when we were children is still wrong. Drinking is not less sinful or less of a problem in modern society than it was twenty years ago. These things are still sinful and those involved in them must be called to repentance. Abortion was a sin in our parents and grand parents age, and it remains in a sin in our age. Homosexuality was a sin in Sodom and Gomorrah and it remains a sin today. Adultery was a sin in the time of Christ and it is still a sin in our time. Mores may change from generation to generation but God’s Word never changes. Therefore, we must preach the Word of God in and out of season (2 Tim 4:2-5). Our love and faithfulness to God demand that we preach the moral standards revealed in the Bible.