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Q Where are some passages in the Bible that could be used to teach teenagers that premarital sex and/or homosexuality are wrong?

A The Bible consistently teaches that sex should be kept within the marriage relationship. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 (NKJV),  “Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.” And a few verses later Paul says (1 Cor 7:8 NKJV),  “But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am [he was single]; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”

The word translated “sexual immorality” in v. 2 is from a Greek word group that sounds real familiar today--the first four letters of the word group in English would spell PORN. It is the word from which we get pornography and it includes a noun for prostitute, male prostitute, and a verb meaning to practice prostitution or sexual immorality. In today’s culture it’s difficult to get anyone to even think in terms of sex ever being immoral. But to those who spoke biblical Greek this word (and the related words) meant only one thing: sex outside of the marital relationship. The same term is used in Matthew 5:32, Acts 15:20, 1 Corinthians 5:1 and 6:13, and Jude 1:7, to name a few. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says (in the NKJV), “ For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality.” 

These usages make it clear that premarital sex (or extramarital sex) is unnatural and immoral. The reason is given in 1 Corinthians 6:16, (1 Cor 6:16 NKJV)  “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "the two," He says, “shall become one flesh.”” Paul is quoting Genesis 1:24. Being ‘one flesh’ is a celebration of unity between husband and wife, and sex with another breaks that unity, in effect setting up a competing marital union. This is why we use the term ‘consummate.’ In the biblical perspective it is sex that unites a husband and wife; sex with someone else before or during marriage spoils the bond.

Homosexuality, in spite of what the world wants to say today, is specifically addressed and condemned in Scripture. As a prime example of the ungodliness and unrighteousness of mankind, Paul says (Rom 1:27, compare v. 18, NKJV)  “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.” V. 26 introduces this by referring to “vile (or degrading) passions.” This is pretty strong talk which certain politically powerful groups don't want to hear.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul make this blanket statement: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor HOMOSEXUALS, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” Fortunately, Christ provides the remedy, as Paul says in v. 11, “and such were some of you, but you were washed....” 

Teenagers need the kind of moral underpinning the Bible upholds just as we adults do. But they have a tough time holding just a code of morality on its own. They need, as you probably know, that same washing that the Apostle Paul was talking about. We are all sinners who stand under God’s just condemnation for our sin but God, in His grace, provides a solution. Christ died in our place and gives salvation as a gift if we will only trust Him for it. 


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