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Pastoral 2014

Avoid Sexual Sins - Part I

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Blatant promotion of immodesty and open display of carnal affection in public are increasing day by day. In these days, pornographic images and movies are made available with little resistance; and even children view them with ease. Sexually explicit music is also common. Extramarital sexual activity is regarded as normal. Sexual immorality is like an unstoppable plague of our time, corrupting and destroying individuals and families.

A recent report in our country’s leading newspaper, The Straits Times, is appalling:

“One in two teenagers here has watched or read sexually explicit materials, a poll has found, with some as young as seven when they were first exposed to it. And one in three admitted viewing pornography in the past year, whether intentional or accidental. The first large-scale survey here to examine children’s exposure to pornography, which polled 836 students aged 13 to 15, was conducted by Touch Cyber Wellness, the main agency that gives online safety talks in schools here. Experts say the findings are worrying as such content affects young people’s attitudes and behaviour towards love and sex, and may lead to sexual crimes.” (See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/half-teens-singapore-exposed-pornographysurvey-20140906#sthash.vEtap2VS.dpuf)

With such reports, we can easily discern the severity of the moral decay of our society. You do not have to be an expert to know how accepting our society is when it comes to promiscuity, both in thought and deed.

However, the Bible teaches us the avoidance of sexual sins. There is nothing better than prevention when it comes to sexual sins. If sexual sins occur, there can be severe consequences of various kinds. Most certainly, God will forgive those who repent of such sins. Nonetheless, the consequences of such an action can linger on for a long time. So the best is prevention.

One of the sad things about those who commit sexual sins is that they often live in serious denial about their sin. They believe that they will never get caught and somehow, life will continue to move towards a happily-ever-after ending. But let us take heed to the old saying, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

The Scriptures prescribe prevention

Our attitude towards scriptural admonitions and counsel should not be “when all else fail, read instructions”. Many often try to assemble or operate things that they buy even without taking a look at the manufacturer’s instruction manual. They only refer to it when they are in trouble. If we take such an attitude towards the biblical instructions given to us by our Great Creator, we will not be able to prevent many tragic and disastrous events. This is especially so with regard to sexual sins.

If you have carefully read the Scriptures to find out what God says about sexual sins, you will certainly realise that nowhere does He counsel us to try it once and then think of how to get out of it. On the contrary, the Scriptures repeatedly warn us not to engage in any sexual conduct outside marriage. It calls for total abstinence from sexual activities outside marriage.

“Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body” (1 Corinthians 6:13).

“Flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18). “Flee also youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22).

“. . . they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, . . .” (Acts 15:20).

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:3).

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, . . .” (Colossians 3:5).

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

“For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries” (1 Peter 4:3).

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, . . . shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; cf. Galatians 5:19-21).

The Scriptures’ clear message to the unmarried is “Wait till you get married”; and to the married, “Don’t - with anyone other than your spouse.”

 

 

A New Campus Bible Study at SUTD
Andrew Koh

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof (Matthew 13:31, 32).

Thank God for another campus outreach which started on the 26th of September at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Its purpose is twofold: to preach the Gospel to students studying at SUTD and to minister to the Christians there. Currently, there is a systematic study of the book of 1 Thessalonians every Friday evening starting at 7.45pm.

When this campus outreach began its first meeting, God brought 1 SUTD student, Bro Chris, to join the Bible study. We prayed for other SUTD students to join us so that more people can listen to God’s Word. During one Bible study session, we saw one of Chris’ friends, Yuliana Harijanto, sitting just outside the classroom where we were seated. She went there to find a quiet place to pray! It was indeed God’s providence at work. Seeing her outside the classroom, Chris invited her to join us and she agreed. Though we had just one more addition, thank God for a new participant!

There is another campus near SUTD where we hope to reach out to its students too. It is the campus of INSEAD, a business school. Both are within walking distance of each other. By God’s wonderful working, He has brought a Christian sister, Echo, who is currently studying at INSEAD to join our Bible study. In the days to come, may God be pleased to work through her to bring more students from INSEAD to join us.

The campus ministry at SUTD may have started small, like a mustard seed, but God can definitely give the increase. We just need to be faithful and recognize that this is the work of God. Do continue to pray for this ministry at SUTD. Thank God also for some of the youths from Gethsemane Youth Fellowship who came to encourage the Bible study on campuses of SUTD (Fridays @ 7.45pm) and NAFA (Wednesdays @ 6.30pm).