Men and women commit adultery because the desire to please self is stronger than the desire to please God. It is a vicious form of selfishness and self-serving. That is the way of sin. Arthur M. Adams has labeled it the "Sacrament of Selfishness." No title better fits this act of marital defilement. Selfishness, the disease of a fleshly mind, has many symptoms: hatred, strife, jealousy, wrath, envy, murder, drunkenness, and of course, infidelity, or fornication and adultery.

Marital infidelity is on the rise at an alarming rate. It is a clear evidence of the moral and social decline, and a warning of greater impending moral calamities. It is one of the certain evidences of a failing, degenerate society. Homosexuality is another of the clear signs of individuals, people, and nations who worship and serve "the creature rather than the Creator" (Romans 1:24-27).

Perhaps we need to be reminded that the evil of adultery does not find its resting place in the physical act alone, but also in the thought process. While King David's eyes studied the bathing Bathsheba, his heart (thoughts) were already fantasizing the adulterous moment. The tenth commandment said, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife" (Exodus 20:17), and David knew that well. But there he was engaged in such an evil mental action. Jesus confirms that law or commandment in Matt. 5:28: "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her in his heart." In God's view, emotional or mental infidelity is as wrong as sexual infidelity.

Even though God has given unmistakably clear prohibitions in Scripture, it appears that today there is greater preoccupation with fornication, adultery, and homosexuality than ever before in this nation. Adultery, and kindred immorality, seems to be common even among God's people. The moral looseness seems to be increasing at an alarming rate. "Everybody is doing it," seems to be the guide. We seem to be influenced by what is called "the new morality,'' which is really no morality at all. The idea is growing that infidelity and sexual sins are not wrong. This type of thinking is not a sign of moral liberty, but of moral degeneration, even by man's standards, let alone God's standards. We should remember the words of Isaiah: "Woe unto them who call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness" (Isa. 5:20).

What has happened to bring about the increasing practice and defense of immorality in our nation? What has happened to bring about and permit its increasing practice among the Lord's disciples? Without doubt there are many causes. My main interest is the church. We should be able to remain relatively pure and undefiled with the ways and sins of the word regardless of how wicked and rotten the world around us becomes. Obviously if the people of God are holy and strong it will have some deterrent benefit on the nation. Why have we let ourselves slide more and more into the ways of the world? I believe we have largely lost our unique place, compromised with the world and religious error, failed to teach forcefully the word of God to this generation and to our children. We have compromised His truth in nearly all areas in order to curry the favor of men and to remove from us the image of being narrow-minded and radical. Our people grew tired of opposing error and sin in plain language. We have brought in a new generation of preachers who deliver the "positive gospel" that offers a soft, compromising message. We prefer to be "lovers" rather than "fighters" for the faith in Jesus and against sin and error. We have eliminated the negative from our pulpits and classrooms; and now emphasize the "sweetness and light," no negative teaching.

Fornication is still evil and condemned by God. So is adultery in all its forms. So is homosexuality in all of its forms. Impurity and sensuality are likewise "works of the flesh" (Gal. 5:19) and it is still God's word that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5:21). - CAH.