For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives His Holy Spirit to you. 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8
I don't know about anyone else, but it just does NOT sound to me like God doesn't care what we do after we're saved (as many are claiming these days). It sounds to me like He has given VERY clear instructions that our bodies are His temple, belong to our Redeemer and are to be used to honor Him in ALL we do. Another warning here is that we are not to transgress and wrong our brother in this way. That refers to our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we don't care about sinning ourselves, we are at least not to lead other believers into sin, causing them to stumble.
If we understand what our freedom from the punishment for our sins cost Jesus, won't that inspire us to love Him as He loves us? What kind of love is that to do as we please, disregarding His commands? He said that we are to love our brother--that does not include sinning against them in any way, including sexually, or leading them into sins (even if they are willing.) So if this is true, then why are there SO many professing Christians living outside of marriage between one man and one woman? Did God change with the times? (I must have missed it.)
What does this passage say will happen if we ignore these instructions? It says that God will avenge. This is a pretty stern warning--whoever disregards it does not ignore man, but God (the Holy Spirit). Notice at the beginning how it says that the instructions were given THROUGH the Lord Jesus. If we actually read that and still do whatever we please, it makes one wonder if we actually know who He is and believe in the God of the Bible or some version of Him that we have made up in our head--one who loves sin? How can people pick and choose which verses they will believe that God means what He says? How is He reliable if He says we are saved, but we can't rely on it when He says He will avenge? Think about it!
It's true that we could NEVER earn salvation or deserve it to keep it by our behavior, but the evidence of saving faith is obedience to the Lord--the same One who saved us, who has purchased us with His blood. Look into this for yourself if you have questions, while there is still time to make changes. Examine your life and find out if you have been showing more faith in the words of people trying to tell you what you like to hear than in the words God has had recorded for us in the Bible. If you blend in with the world, which does not know God, then there is a problem. If you think sin is fun, cool or acceptable, there is a problem. The only remedy for that problem is to discover the REAL God of the Bible. He is worthy of ALL of our love, devotion, obedience and anything else He could ever ask. Once we know Him, then we'll know that--obedience won't be out of fear of losing salvation, but to satisfy the great desire in our hearts: to please and honor Him. What a different world it would be if every believer understood this!
We don't know when He'll return for us, but until that happens, there is still time to get ready. Let's encourage one another to do that.
paper by Createwings Designs (retired), border graphics: DoodleAge, roses: Desperate Green by Marta van Eck