August 16, 2017

For the Truth’s Sake; How to Flee Fornication

By Ron Halbrook

For The Truth's Sake, we must learn how to "flee fornication" (1 Cor. 6:18). We cannot afford to be naive about the wiles of the Devil, for he is constantly walking about "seeking whom he may devour" (Eph. 6:11; 1 Pet. 5:8). If we are to resist and to stand against him, we must take the counsel of God's Word for our armor.

(I) We may have to literally flee the presence of one who seeks to entice us. When other arts of seduction failed. Potiphar's wife tried to embrace Joseph in order to stir his lust. "And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out" (Gen. 39:12). There is a time to teach God's Word and warn those who have wicked thoughts. There is also a time when words will not avail to restrain the other person and when we must flee for our own safety. Being made of flesh, Joseph knew he could not resist such physical advances. If we had to lose our job in order to escape such attempts today, that would be better than to stay in the presence of unreasonable temptation until we lose our soul.

(2) We must be careful not to create unnecessary temptation in ourselves or in others. It is not wrong to be tempted (Heb. 4:15) but is wrong to dwell upon that which tempts (Jas. 1:14-15). We are asking for trouble when we dance, engage in promiscuous petting, or attend night clubs where every possible inducement to immorality is found. Not in dress, speech, or action should we do anything that might cause others to sin, even within the heart (Matt. 5:28; 18:6). This is a real danger in dancing or wearing such immodest attire as shorts and swimsuits. Many people who disapprove fornication condone everything that leads to it, as though it were right to contemplate the act but wrong to commit it.

(3) We should always pray for God's help. None of us are beyond temptation. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Matt. 6:13). Jesus Himself prayed for His disciples, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil" (Jn. 17:15). God knows and cares about our struggles; as we humble ourselves before Him, He strengthens us to resist Satan (1 Pet. 5:6-9). "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (Ja. 1:5).

(4) We must fill the heart with good things. We cannot entirely control what we hear, see, and read, but we do have a great deal of control over what we dwell upon. Instead of filling the heart with everything that corrupts, and then fighting to resist the natural effects, we should fill our heart with things that are good, beautiful, and uplifting. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true... honest . . just... pure... lovely... of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Phil. 4:8).

Truth Magazine XXII: 29, p. 474
July 27, 1978