Fornication...What is it? A bible study of Fornication by Douglas R Young, Evangelist

The world that we live in would have us to believe that the “libido” is untamable.  In the faint and distant past lies a time when it seemed to be universally understood that fornication was wrong.  But today, the “libido” is untamable.  Instead of promoting abstinence to those who are unwed, society pushes “protection.”  Remember that the “libido” is untamable.  To many today, the concept of “One Man, One Woman, For Life” is not possible.  One woman cannot fulfill the needs of man.  Remember that the “libido” is untamable.  What is written above has become universal truth to much of society.  In a variety of ways and by means of different mediums, this author has been told all of the above at some point in time of his life.  Why has this become such a prominent societal view?  Are the views above all that prominent?  If you have ever seen an episode of Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake, or Sally Jesse Raphael, you would think so.  I have no reason to doubt that former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes is correct when he states that we are in a moral crisis.  This moral crisis has made it socially unacceptable and politically incorrect to preach abstinence, to tell someone that homosexuality is an abomination, to promote the sacred nature of the husband and wife relationship.  One cannot deal with the moral crisis of today without dealing with the concept of “fornication.”  It is the author’s purpose to deal with this particular subject by asking a series of questions and responding thereto.

What is Fornication?

The majority of our Greek authorities are generally in line with one another as to the meaning of the word fornication.  Fornication is derived from the Greek word, (pornea) and refers to some form of illicit sexual intercourse in general.  Fornication can be committed between a man and woman, a man and man, a woman and a woman, or a man/woman and an animal.  Our English term “pornography” is also derived from this Greek word.  Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary (Encyclopedia Edition) defines fornication as “Illicit sexual intercourse of unmarried persons.”  Though this term is most commonly used to describe sexual relations outside of marriage, it is not limited to unmarried people because Jesus allows “fornication” as an exception to scripturally divorce a spouse (Matt. 5:32, 19:9).  Therefore, a married person can commit fornication just as an unmarried person can.

Why is Fornication Wrong?

The Bible unequivocally condemns the committing of fornication by anyone, saint or sinner alike. The apostle Paul deals with this subject on several occasions in the epistles that he penned. The Christians at Thessalonica were commanded by him to abstain from fornication (I Thessalonians 4:3).  In his epistle to the churches of Galatia, he classified fornication as one of the works of the flesh that can prevent one from entering into the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).  In the book of Romans he reflects upon the status of many Gentiles of the long ago when he stated,

“Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves…For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.  Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness…” (Romans 1:24, 26-29a).

This passage alone should be enough to convince the world that fornication and homosexuality are anything but pleasing to the eyes of the Almighty God.  Nowhere does the apostle Paul deal with this problem in greater detail than in the book of I Corinthians.  He deals with this problem throughout this book.  In chapter 5, he deals with a particular situation of one that was committing fornication with his father’s wife.  The church at Corinth had failed to properly teach, admonish, and discipline this individual.  In chapter 6, Paul condemns fornication in vv. 9-20.   Likewise, he deals with this problem from a different perspective in chapter 7 saying, “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let everyman have his own wife…” (v. 2).  In chapter 10:8 he warns them to avoid fornication unlike those in Numbers 25 who committed fornication with the daughters of Moab.

These passages explain to us that fornication is wrong, but what makes it wrong?  There are two passages that should be discussed in order to set in order the reason that fornication is wrong.  First let us notice I Timothy 5:14.  Paul writes to the young preacher, “I will that younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”  This is God’s plan for the woman.  Notice that bearing children comes after the command to marry.  Why, because the sexual relationship is confined ONLY to the marriage relationship.  Sexual intercourse between two unwed persons is wrong.  Second, let us go to the book of Hebrews.  The penman of the book makes it clear in chapter 13:4 that “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”  When a married person commits fornication with another, that individual has defiled his/her marriage bed.  Once again, the sexual relationship is confined to married couples and married couples only!

How Has It Affected Us?

The fact that schools desire to pass out prophylactics to students as an alternative preventive plan against widespread teen pregnancies speaks volumes.  What happened to utilizing an “abstinence” based plan?  Any plan that is not an “abstinence” based plan is a plan that promotes sexual intercourse among teens.  The afternoon talk shows laugh at the fact that teens are sexually active.  They condone such activity.  Think about how many kids watch these shows.  Interestingly enough, someone like Oprah Winfrey is no better.  She glorifies and condones homosexuality.  Anyone who is in opposition to such a lifestyle is depicted as “narrow-minded.”  She has lived for several years with a man that she is not married to and seemingly thinks nothing about it.  These “TV Heroes” promote an agenda that permeates faster than the smell of a skunk that has been hit by a car.  Millions of ignorant people tune in daily never realizing that they have become desensitized to the sexual stench of a sin-sick society.  Indeed, the problem of fornication has affected us.

Can the Temptation to Commit Fornication Be Overcome?

Because fornication is a “work of the flesh,” it is naturally a temptation used by Satan to hinder the Christian.   There is a natural attraction given us by God between the sexes.  The test comes in being able to channel ones focus.  It is insane for a person to think that the “libido” is untamable.  Such a statement is a “ slap in the face” to all that have gone before who have been able to overcome this serious temptation.  It is a “slap in the face” to Joseph, who was in his late teens when he refused to succumb to the temptation of Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39).  Of course this temptation can be overcome!  One must resolve to not live the lifestyle of a fornicator.  A person must be willing and ready to refuse to “sin against God” (v. 9) as Joseph was desirous of doing.  Overcoming the temptation to commit fornication is no different than overcoming the temptation to commit any other sin.  It takes two primary things to overcome the temptations that come our way.  First and foremost, we need to hide the word of God in our heart as stated by the Psalmist (119:11).  Second, we must transform our mind not to fall to the particular temptation (Romans 12:2).  A person will never do right unless their mind is right!  It is going to take an individual willingness to rise above the temptation for a change to occur in society.  Society must be willing to recognize that the “path of least resistance” is not the road to take.  Let us all endeavor to overcome all temptations.  Let us rise to the occasion.  If we don’t then who will?


Fornication is a Sin!

"But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed ... Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children." -2nd Peter 2:12,14

Fornication is a serious sin!  God likens the wicked to wild animals who are hunted and destroyed.  Many people today are like cattle, or pigs, headed for the slaughterhouse.  Fornication exists in many forms today, most commonly prostitution.  The free-love lifestyle of the world is fornication, sharing multiple sex-partners.  The world is hypocritical.  A whoremonger like KISS rock band's lead singer, Gene Simmons, can brag on national TV about having had sex with 4,600 women (whores), and society still respects him.  Now he's even being featured in his own TV show.  But just let one Christian get caught in adultery and society roasts him over the flames of hypocrisy.  No wonder God said in Psalm 37:12, "The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

Rock-N-Roll, the god of Fornicators!

Rock-n-Roll is synonymous with fornication.  And let me say, most country music is just as damning as rock-n-roll.  There is a spirit of fornication and adultery saturating most country music.  "I've always felt that blues, rock 'n' roll and country are just about a beat apart"-Waylon Jennings (1937-2002).  Lest you think music is not powerful enough to influence people ... "Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. Music is the electrical soil in which the spirit lives, thinks and invents" -Ludwig van Beethoven.  Only a total fool would deny the demonic influence of rock-no-roll over people today.  American women who would never have worn pants in public 70 years ago, are dressing immodestly today because of the demonic influences of rock-n-roll and feminism.  Rock-n-roll music is straight out of the pits of Hell.  As a result of the rock-n-roll revolution in the United States, women everywhere are sinfully wearing pants today (1st Timothy 2:9; Mathew 5:28).  Abortion is now an accepted practice in America, and feminist women give no thought to murdering their children (or yours).  Rock-n-roll is synonymous with sexual sins, many of which have led to unwanted children and abortions.  A women who wears pants is identifying herself with a rock-n-roll culture which promotes a religion of sexual sins, substance abuse, and rebellion against God's Word.  Say what you will, the FACTS speak for themselves--rock-n-roll, idolatry, apostasy, feminism, abortion, homosexuality and fornication have all come to America within the past few decades!

"So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent." -Proverb 6:29

Rocker Frank Zappa (who discovered the awful truth about Hell on December 4, 1993 the second he died) proudly boasted ... "I'm the devil's advocate. We have our own worshippers who are called 'groupies.' Girls will give their bodies to musicians as you would give a sacrifice to a god" (Peters Brothers, What About Christian Rock, p. 17).  It's common knowledge that demonic rock groups such as the Beatles and Van Halen have had wild sex-orgies after their concerts, getting high on illegal drugs.  These are but two of thousands of such demonic groups.  There are literally tens-of-millions of illegitimate children in the world today because of rock-n-roll music, and hundreds-of-millions of abortions!

There's a very interesting passage of Scripture in the Old Testament which shows a commonality between nudity, sexual sins, idolatry, and rock-n-roll music.  While Moses was standing upon Mount Sinai, receiving the Ten Commandments from God, God informed Moses of something tragic ... "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.  And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people" (Exodus 32:7-9.  This is so appropriately descriptive of America and Europe today.  We are a stiff-necked people!!!  Carefully notice in Exodus 32:17 that Joshua tells Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp."  Moses listens and responds in Verse 18 saying, "It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear."  It was rock-n-roll music ... LOUD NOISE!  Notice in Exodus 32:19,25 ... "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot ... Moses saw that the people were naked."  This sounds like a morally reprehensible Mardi Gras festival.  The official symbol of Mardi Gras is even a golden calf (the fat bull).  There is no debate concerning the evils of rock-n-roll, and it's power to promote nudity and fornication.  Rock music is of the Devil (including all so-called "Christian" rock as well).  You can go anywhere in this world you want to go, and you'll discover this to be true--anywhere there is sin, you WILL find some type of pagan music! 

24,000 Israelites Killed because of Fornication and Idolatry

"Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand." -1st Corinthians 10:8

The Scripture above is referring to the 24,000 Israelites of Numbers 25 who died in ONE DAY as a result of committing fornication and idolatry.  Balaam, a false prophet, had led the nation of Israel into apostasy and sexual sin.  Balaam was a sinister minister.  Balaam did this because of greed ... "And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people" (Numbers 22:16,17).  Balaam was a prophet-for-hire, just like MOST televangelists and preachers today.  America has become so promiscuous and sex-perverted that fornication isn't considered a serious sin anymore.  Why aren't more churches and Christians speaking out in anger against this horrible sin?  I'll tell you why--because America's preachers have stopped preaching hard against sin!  All across America, 95% of all escort services are nothing but prostitution services.  The police know that these organized crime organizations exist; but rarely do anything about them.  Pick up a phone book in just about any city in America and you'll find a listing of local escort services.  These are sleazy prostitution rings, harboring whores.  Tragically, Nevada boasts of legalized prostitution!  This is 100% Sodom and Gomorrah!  How can we dare say ... "In God we trust" while knowingly allowing such wickedness to happen.  If there is a message for America's preachers today, it is "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression..." (Isaiah 58:1). 

Fornication and Idolatry are Inseparable

Obviously God hates fornication and idolatry if He was willing to kill 24,000 Israelites because of it.  Careful notice that fornication is the sin mentioned in 1st Corinthians 10:8, lest anyone should say that idolatry was the greater sin.  The Bible does NOT differentiate between theses sins.  We read in Jude 1:7 that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone because of their fornication and homosexuality.  The 23,000 deaths mentioned in 1st Corinthians 10:8 are recorded in Numbers 25:9 as 24,000 deaths.  This apparent discrepancy is easily explained in the following commentary ...

fornication--literally, Fornication was generally, as in this case (Numbers 25:1-18), associated at the idol feasts with spiritual fornication, that is, idolatry. This all applied to the Corinthians (1Co 5:1, 9; 6:9, 15, 18; 1Co 8:10). Balaam tempted Israel to both sins with Midian (Revelation 2:14). Compare 1Co 8:7, 9, "stumbling-block," "eat . . . thing offered unto . . . idol."
      three and twenty thousand--in Numbers 25:9 "twenty and four thousand." If this were a real discrepancy, it would militate rather against inspiration of the subject matter and thought, than against verbal inspiration. The solution is: Moses in Numbers includes all who died "in the plague"; Paul, all who died "in one day"; one thousand more may have fallen the next day [K
ITTO, Biblical Cyclopædia]. Or, the real number may have been between twenty-three thousand and twenty-four thousand, say twenty-three thousand five hundred, or twenty-three thousand six hundred; when writing generally where the exact figures were not needed, one writer might quite veraciously give one of the two round numbers near the exact one, and the other writer the other [BENGEL]. Whichever be the true way of reconciling the seeming discrepant statements, at least the ways given above prove they are not really irreconcilable. -SOURCE: Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871).

God hates fornication!  The Greek word for "fornication" in 1st Corinthians 10:8 is "porneuo" and means:

1) to prostitute one's body to the lust of another.
2) to give one's self to unlawful sexual intercourse.
3) metaphor--to be given to idolatry, to worship idols.

Fornication and idolatry go hand-in-hand!  The sins of fornication and adultery are used by God in the Bible to represent idolatry ... "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4).  Most people are cheating on God, giving to the Devil with rightfully belongs to God.  God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5).  To live for the world is spiritual adultery in God's eyes.  The world today is becoming churchy, while our churches are becoming worldly.  As the people of America and Europe walk further and further away from God, fornication is increasingly.  Apostasy leads to idolatry, and idolatry goes hand-in-hand with every sin imaginable--especially sexual sins.  Child pornography is a MULTIBILLION dollar a year industry now on the internet.  Woe unto this sinful world.  Also, the divorce rate in America is the highest in the world, bar none!  Do you think it is mere coincidence that all of these sins are plaguing us at once?  No, we are a stiffnecked and sinful proud people!!!

The god of SELF

As America goes further and further away from God into apostasy, people are becoming their own gods--the god of SELF!  We read in Philippians 3:18,19 ... "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things."  Did you read that? ... "whose God is their belly."  This describes MOST people in America and Europe today!!!  Most people are so caught up in materialism and self that nothing else matters.  The SELF magazine cover to the right features country singer, Faith Hill.  She dresses like a whore, causing lasciviousness in the heart's of men, and is appropriately promoted in such a selfish magazine.  You'll NEVER see a magazine called "OTHERS," because it wouldn't sell.  No, it's always me, myself, and I.  Faith Hill promotes the sins of lust and fornication by dressing immodestly.  In fact, she has made appearances in demonic Playboy magazine:

  • "Playboy" (USA), May 2000, Vol. 47, Issue 5, pg. 31, by: staff, "Babe of the Month: Faith Hill"
  • "Playboy" (USA), April 1994, Vol. 41, Issue 4, pg. 167, by: Paul Natkin, "Grapevine: Hill Top"

As a clear sign of America's apostasy, Faith Hill actually claims to be a spiritual Christian...

She credits her tenacity to upbringing and spirituality. "It’s still a big part of me," she says. "That’s where my strength comes from. It’s my foundation. I was raised in a Christian home and it prepared me to deal with life on my own, the everyday trials and tribulations in an industry where a lot of things, morally, aren’t good. Having a backbone of spirituality makes me a little stronger. I pray a lot, and when I first moved to Nashville, that’s what kept me alive. -SOURCE

Worldly music, nudity, idolatry, selfishness, covetousness, and fornication all go-hand-in-hand.  Birds of a feather flock together!  I used Faith Hill as an example, because she has sold over 25,000,000 albums worldwide; but there are thousands more examples of evil men and women who are willing to sell their souls to the Devil for worldly gain!  These horrible people are home-wreckers!  It's common knowledge that if you want to make it big in the entertainment industry nowadays--you've got to show the unsaved world that you have lousy morals, accept homosexuals, will appear on sinful late night shows, and are willing to strip naked.  And whatever you do, don't preach the Word of God.

Venereal Diseases

"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." -1st Corinthians 6:18

Daniel purposed in his heart to please God ... "But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself..." (Daniel 1:8).  Job purposed in his heart to have a clean mind in Job 31:1 ... "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"  Job didn't want to disobey God.  I think Job fully understood the dangers of lust, and where it often leads ... to further sexual sins.  I think Job had no doubt seen and heard the consequences of venereal disease in other victims, because they didn't have the blessing of modern medicines back then.  I know job also fully realized that God intended for sex to be far more than just a pleasurable experience; but rather, a lifetime commitment.  This is what any responsible person should be thinking.  The problem today is that many people don't care to think.  They don't realize, or don't care, about the consequences of sexual sins.  There are consequences with God, and oftentimes to one's own body.  This is why we are bombarded with Herpes medications ads on TV.  It is so creepy!  The herpes commercials show a young smiling woman, with cheery music playing, a tropical ocean, and a handsome man caressing her--ALL LIES!  In reality, here's what she's living with ...

Cause: The Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV

Usual symptoms: Cluster of tender painful blisters, ulcers or sores that are typically on or around the lips, mouth, genitals, or anus. Herpes can appear on the skin or on other parts of the body as well ... Blisters, ulcers or sores will last 1 - 3 weeks during initial outbreaks. These lesions heal but the person still has Herpes. Lesions commonly re-occur without being re-exposed to the disease.

Treatment: There is no cure for Herpes.


I don't think she's smiling very much at home.  This is where fornication often leads!  Are you ready to be shocked? ... CONDOMS DON'T WORK!  The staggering high rate of abortions and sexual transmitted diseases should be proof enough of this fact; but the U.S. government itself says condoms don't work.  On July 20th, 2001, a report was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  A scientific panel co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), developed the report.  It was based on a yearlong study in which 28 researchers reviewed 138 peer-reviewed, published studies on the heterosexual transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.  Their findings were stunning.  Basically, it boils down to this: There is no evidence to indicate that condoms prevent the heterosexual transmission of most sexually transmitted diseases. None.

If you have a problem with sexual sins, you should do some research on venereal diseases.  If you won't listen to the Word of God, then maybe you'll listen to someone who has clusters of tender painful blisters, ulcers, and sores.  Perhaps you think it won't happen to you.  Perhaps you've been fornicating and nothing has happened to you yet.  You are playing Russian Roulette with your health, and your spouses if you are married.  You don't even need a Bible to learn that herpes has NO CURE!

How to Avoid Fornication

The Word of God plainly states in 1st Corinthians 6:20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."  As Christians, our body belongs to God, it is NOT ours anymore.  We have no right to abuse it, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."  The flesh HATES this Scripture, because the flesh in carnal and cannot be tamed.  The Apostle Peter warns us all ... "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul."  "War" is a powerful word, because lust is a powerful desire.  God calls the struggle with sexual sins a "war."  The old sin-nature is unchangeable.  When a man becomes a born-again Christian, Jesus Christ comes in to live within his soul, in the form of the Holy Spirit.  The key to the Christian life is to YIELD to the Spirit of God continually, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would" (Galatians 5:16,17).

Psalm 119:11 states, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."  David memorized passages of Scripture to help him live for the Lord--we should do the same!  I memorized Hebrews 4:15,16 many years ago which comforts my heart often ..."For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."  What a wonderful Savior!  Jesus told His disciples in Luke 22:46, "pray, lest ye enter into temptation."  No wonder 1st Thessalonians 5:17 states, "Pray without ceasing."  A war is composed of individual battles.  We cannot win the war all at once.  We have no choice but to deal with each battle, one at a time, as temptations attack us.

"That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." -2nd Thessalonians 2:12