The reason the Bible is so clear about the negative effects of sexual immorality is because when we know the pain a certain path will lead to, we have a greater motivation to avoid that path.
In this article, we are going to read each passage, then create a principle from that passage, and then we will apply that principle to our topic about stopping sexual sin.
So here are 6 painful consequences for prolonged sexual sin according to the Bible.
1. You Will Become a Conflicted Person Who Lacks Peace
Our passage for this point is 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. It reads:
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
A principle we can form from this passage is that sexual sin causes inner conflict.
When you put your faith in Jesus and become a Christian, you are joined to Jesus and you are given the Holy Spirit. Sexual sin, however, is a bonding action. Whether you are lusting, masturbating, or having sex with someone who is not your spouse, you are connecting with someone in sin. But because we are the Lord’s, we will have an inner conflict. This is one reason why sexual sin is a sin against your own self.
Sexual sin causes inner turmoil.
2. You Will Be in Danger of Going to Hell for Eternity
Our passage for this point is Matthew 5:27-30. Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”
A principle we can form from this passage is that we have to give up our sin if we are true followers of Jesus Christ.
Now, to put this passage in the context of all of Scripture, this does not mean you will go to hell if you ever sin again. We know we are saved by grace alone, not works; otherwise we would be able to boast about our salvation. We know there is no reason to boast since our salvation is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9). With that said, when we become a Christian through faith and by grace, this will be marked by a change in behavior (Ephesians 2:10). We will not be perfect (1 John 1:8), but we will be repenting of sin and actively fighting against sin (1 John 1:9-10). As Jesus said, we should be cutting out anything in our lives that is hindering us from obeying God.
Therefore, if you are not actively fighting your sexual sin by removing whatever you can remove that is hindering your obedience to the Lord, it’s possible you are not a true Christian and thus you will go to hell for eternity.
3. A Loss of Personal Closeness with Jesus
Our passage for this point is Psalm 51:11-12. After David sinned sexually with Bathsheba, he prayed:
Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
A principle we can form from this passage is that a sinful lifestyle always leads you away from the presence of God.
If you are truly saved and you sin sexually, this does not mean you will lose your salvation. However, throughout our lives as true Christians, we can be more or less filled with the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25). The Holy Spirit will never leave you as a true Christian, but your sin can actively hurt your fellowship and closeness with Jesus. Likewise, you are not saved by obedience, but your obedience will increase the health of your personal relationship with Jesus.
If you want to avoid distancing yourself from the presence of God, you must seek to live a holy and pure life through the power of the Holy Spirit in you.
4. You Will Have Unhealthy Relationships with the Opposite Sex
Our passage for this point is Ephesians 5:5-10. Paul wrote:
For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”
A principle we can form from this passage is that sexual sin makes you a partner with unsaved people and alienates you from the family of God.
When you look a porn, lust, or commit sexual sin with someone, you are idolizing them and idolizing yourself. Why? Because you are putting human pleasure and self over God, thus making these things your god. The only way to have a healthy relationship with another Christian from the opposite sex is for both of you to be obeying God, including when it comes to your sexuality.
If you walk in sexual sin, you will miss out on experiencing the pleasure God wants you to have through a healthy relationship.
5. You Will Miss Out on Sexual Pleasure in Marriage
Our passage for this point is 1 Corinthians 7:2-4. Paul wrote:
But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
A principle we can form from this passage is that you can either have godly sexual pleasure or you can have ungodly sexual pleasure, but you can’t have both.
Paul lays out an “either-or” option here. Having godly sexual pleasure in marriage is the other option than having ungodly sexual pleasure outside of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:9). If you choose to live in sexual sin outside of marriage, you will be choosing not to enter into a godly marriage where God intends for you to experience joyful and healthy sexual pleasure.
6. You Will Miss God’s Will and Waste Your Life
Our passage for this point is 1 Thessalonian 4:3-8. Paul wrote:
For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
A principle we can form from this passage is that sexual sin is a choice to reject God and his will for your life.
God has a good plan for your life, but to experience that good plan you must obey him. Sexual immorality is like taking a hard left turn on the road God wants you to travel on. When we choose sexual sin, we are literally disregarding God and the Holy Spirit within us.
Here’s a playlist of past videos I’ve created about overcoming sexual sin: How to Overcome Sexual Sin According to the Bible.
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