Living together before marriage has become widely accepted. What does God’s Word say about it?
The world is constantly evolving, and many changes in society are necessary, because we as human beings are not perfect. For the same reason, much “development” goes in completely the wrong direction.
God’s Word, however, is perfect, and never changes. Sin remains sin, even when it becomes widely accepted.
The Bible is clear: living together before marriage is sexual immorality
The Bible is very clear in what it says about sexual immorality. From what we can read of what Jesus said and Paul wrote, marriage between a man and a woman is the only form of partnership that God accepts and blesses. All sexual relationships outside marriage are considered fornication.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4. In other words, there is nothing unclean about sexual relations within marriage, but there is judgment for those engaged in fornication outside marriage. Consequently, this also includes cohabitation, i.e. people living together before marriage as a couple. Such conditions are clearly described here as fornication and adultery, even if you’ve never been married before.
A development in fornication and sin
In the time we live in, living together before marriage is becoming more and more common in many parts of the world. A couple of generations ago such practices were virtually inconceivable. However, in recent years we have seen a spiritual decay, both in individuals and in churches all over the world, where cohabitation, homosexual unions and of course divorce and remarriage have become more and more accepted.
Developments in the world constantly go further in the direction of fornication and sin. It turns out that the religious community is unable to stop this development. On the contrary, we see that as sin becomes more and more widespread and widely accepted, resistance decreases, even among those who call themselves Christians and who should be enforcing God’s Word. What was called sin only a few years ago, is today termed as love. It is when the light from heaven is extinguished that people with unclean spirits can find peace in the congregation. Such an assembly is without power and blessing and the seeking soul cannot find help.
Selfishness leads to falsification of the Word of God
As the moral decay in society constantly increases, we have to deal with people who live in conditions that God’s Word describes as fornication, adultery, immorality, infidelity, etc. The practical application of God’s eternal laws sets requirements for those who want to keep them.
As personal Christians and disciples of Jesus, it should be totally natural to follow the words of Scripture and not falsify the word of God for profit. (2 Corinthians 2:17) An unadulterated life based on unadulterated understanding will of course create turmoil in the hearts of those who falsify the word of God for their own profit. Therefore, there has at all times, and always will be, controversy about the interpretation of the word of God.
Although sin takes new forms, and these come in new manifestations, the words of Scripture stand firm and call these wickednesses by their proper name – sexual immorality.
Professing Christians live by the Bible
God loves the sinner and hopes for repentance from sin, but from an honest and sincere Biblical standpoint, it is beyond doubt that God hates such sins.
As parents, brothers and sisters, we must always be filled with the goodness of God that leads to repentance. (Romans 2:4) They must not feel any accusation or estrangement from our side, but we can always be open for the people who want to be freed from sin, whether they are related to us or not.
“Therefore, I judge that we should not trouble those … who repent to God, but we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality …” (Acts 15:19-20 and Acts 15:28-29) Here we see clearly that one cannot live for God as a disciple of Christ, while at the same time living together before marriage – living in adultery.
When God wants to use the most beautiful and powerful image to describe the relationship between His Son Jesus Christ and His church, He uses the image of fidelity between the groom (Christ) and his pure bride (the church). (Ephesians 6:31-32; Revelation 14:4; Revelation 19:7-8) As professing Christians we believe in God’s Word. When the Bible so clearly speaks of the normal Christian life as a life of obedience to God’s eternal promises, we believe it and live by it!
What does the Bible say?
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18.
“…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.” 1 Corinthians 7:1-2.
“But I say to the unmarried and the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” 1 Corinthians 7:8-9.
“For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Ephesians 5:5.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5.
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” Hebrews 13:4.