Years ago my wife and I were driving in Lexington, Kentucky, listening to a local radio station. The announcer was talking about an upcoming ball game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Florida Gators. At this point Karen exclaimed, “What did he just say!?” I replied, “I don’t know. What do you think he said?” “It sounded like he said that Kentucky was playing against the fornicators!”
To this day this is an inside joke with us. Any time we hear the Florida team mentioned, we call them the “fornicators”.
“Fornicator” is a funny sounding word, but there is nothing funny about the sin of sexual immorality. The Bible clearly and consistently forbids any sexual activity except for a man and woman who are married to each other—no exceptions.
Jesus sent an angry message to the church at Thyatira because of their immorality. In Revelation 2:18-29, Jesus threatens to severely punish some people in that church because of their lifestyle of fornication.
Why does Jesus get so angry when people who claim to follow him choose to live a life of sexual immorality? Here are a few reasons.
First, they are breaking God’s commandments. One of the 10 Commandments forbids sexual sin (Exodus 20:14). If anyone wants to know if the prohibition against sexual immorality is written in stone, tell them that it most certainly is! Jesus hates it when people claim to live for him, yet they live a life of disobedience to God.
Second, Jesus gets mad because sexual immorality in the church harms the local congregation. The apostle Paul describes it as a yeast that spreads throughout the whole church (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). One cannot measure the negative impact on a congregation that is plagued with fornication. When the Holy Spirit is grieved by such behavior, the result is that blessings are taken away and spiritual confusion runs amok in the church.
Third, communion is adversely affected if fornicators participate. Jude says, “These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm…” (v.12a). The Lord’s Supper is only for those who are living in communion with God. The sexually immoral certainly do not qualify!
Fourth, those who are sexual offenders have rejected God (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8). They are not merely rejecting their parents, their Sunday school teacher, their minister or the elders of the church—they are rejecting God himself. No wonder Jesus gets so upset!
Another reason that Jesus gets so angry about sexual immorality in the church is that it tarnishes the institution of marriage. Marriage is a wonderful concept that was designed by God for the benefit of mankind. If we try to redefine it or ignore it altogether, we pay the price. Marriage is intended to be a beautiful illustration of the relationship between Jesus and his church (Ephesians 5:31-32). Sexual immorality mars that picture and makes Jesus mad.
Furthermore, the sexually immoral are not included in God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), and if they don’t repent, they don’t get to go to heaven (Revelation 22:12-15). Since Jesus gave his life on the cross so that people could believe in him and be included in his kingdom and in his heaven, it’s no wonder Jesus gets mad that they would throw away an eternity of joy for a few moments of stolen pleasure.
Well, now you know how Jesus feels about sexual immorality in the church, and you know why. Do you agree with him?