My friend, purity is as purity does. Our memory verse for this week is 1 John 3:3. Those who have sexual relationships prior to or outside of the marriage bed are not pure. When a married person has such relationships with someone who is not their mate, they are adulterers and fornicators. Our text, Matt. 14:1-12 is an event recorded for us some time after it had occurred. John, the baptizer, is already dead. His death was the result of his preaching the truth on the subject of adultery. He had particular angered Herodias with his preaching. It was she who precipitated his death.
I read somewhere that the last census revealed that 25% of American “couples” were living together without marriage. Virtually no television sitcom has family situations with everyone married. Even insurance companies in our nation have been pressured to grant family status to “partners” without the benefit of marriage. The present ungodly conditions have even altered our language. Many have learned to not assume the person you are living with is your husband or wife, but a “partner.” There is no longer any embarrassment when it is known that a person is sleeping with someone outside of marriage. Unlawful divorce (in the eyes of God) is rampant and the divorced have no problem jumping in bed with someone else when the desire arises. We could go on. This is a brief lesson. It took John only one sentence and he did not have to explain himself. He said, “It is not lawful …”
It is still not lawful. Despite those who hate God, despite those who hate godliness and purity, despite those who call the concept of adultery old-fashioned or outdated or prudish, it is still not lawful. It is not lawful if one who is divorced for a reason other than fornication (Mt. 19:1-9) is remarried. It is not lawful for an unmarried person to sleep with a married person. If most people completely ignored marriage and decided to “shack up,” it still is not lawful.
If any one reading this finds themselves in the category of being in an unlawful marriage state, there is good news for you. One can be forgiven – but not while you continue to commit adultery. As Jesus told the woman in Jn. 8:1-11, "go and sin no more.”
For those of you who do not get the bulletin, the attachment is the article in the bulletin. For those who do the bulletin below is number one.