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Part 2: For Single Persons

Bible Sex Facts

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Bible Sex Facts, Part 2, for Single Persons: what the Bible teaches about sex prior to and outside of marriage.

© 1996 J. F. "Jeff" Cogan

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Bible Sex Facts Home Page
Introduction
Part 1: Children
Part 3: Married Persons

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Table of Contents for Part 2
1. Petting Is Playing with dynamite.

2. Just what is safe sex?
3. Are erotic dreams sinful?
4. Is it wrong to indulge in sexual fantasies; what about masturbation?
5. Is it possible for a homosexual person to be a minister?
6. Should newlyweds have sex the first night of the honeymoon?
7. Is there a limit to kissing before marriage?
Kissing children on the mouth

8. Is petting wrong?
9. Why is the sex drive so strong when it can lead to sin?
10. Is it reasonable to expect both women and men to remain virgins until marriage?
11. What if I/we have been guilty of fornication [intercourse before marriage]?
12. Loss of virginity due to rape or incest

Feedback From Readers

Preface and Introduction

Part 1: For Children

Part 3: For Married Persons

Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix B: What the Bible Says About Sex


Links to Other Resources
Questions and Answers
Copyright
Return to Bible Sex Facts Home Page
Disclaimer
How to Get More Information

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1. Playing with dynamite.
Petting on a date is a lot like handling a stick of dynamite with a lighted fuse. Let's say Dick and Jane wear heavy work gloves on their first date. They park in a private location and light the end of a long fuse on a quarter-stick of dynamite. The first night, they pass the dynamite back and forth a couple times and then snuff out the sputtering fuse with their gloves. No harm done. There's still plenty of fuse left and the gloves protect their fingers.

Next week, they have another date. Again, they wear their gloves and get out the dynamite. But when they light the dynamite this time, they don't start with a new fuse; they begin right where they snuffed out the fuse the last time. Again, they snuff the fuse after passing the dynamite a few times. Again, there is no damage and no one gets hurt.

Dick and Jane now look forward to playing with dynamite on their dates. And each time, they re-light the fuse right where they snuffed it out the last time. At the end of each date, they notice the fuse is getting shorter and shorter but each is afraid to suggest that they stop playing with dynamite.

One night, they become so engrossed with passing the dynamite back and forth that both forget to check the unburned part of the fuse. Suddenly BLAM! there is an explosion and nothing is completely the same for either one again.

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2. Just what is safe sex?
"Safe sex" is a media term for sexual activities with a condom over the penis as a protection against receiving or giving AIDS or other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs). However, the only truly safe sex is "chaste sex".

The Funk and Wagnall's dictionary defines chaste as "free from sexual impurity". The Bible defines sexual impurity as sexual intercourse outside the bounds and bonds of legal marriage. This means no sexual intercourse before marriage, and no sexual intercourse after marriage with anyone except your legal spouse.

The Bible word for this forbidden activity is fornication in the King James version. In the New International Version [NIV], the term is sexual immorality.

If young men and women remain virgins until marriage as the Bible teaches, the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases, including the deadly AIDS virus, would be wiped out in a single generation. Of course there's another important reason for practicing chaste sex: you'll be living according to the teachings of the Bible, God's operating manual for your body. Since God is your manufacturer, He is the final and unchanging authority on what's best for you.

Incidentally, there is no such thing as "safe sex" if that sex is outside the bonds and bounds of legal marriage. The failure rate for even the best condoms ranges between 10 and 20 percent. A single failure may result in an infection which will end in death.

Some have said I'm a liar when I say you can get AIDS because condoms can fail. The failure rate for condoms is what you need to be worried about. The HIV virus can "leak" through microscopic holes in a condom; holes so small that sperm will not pass through. It's your funeral. Suit yourself.

Some government medical experts are saying that a cure for AIDS will not be found until we have found a way to change the color of our eyes. According to this theory, AIDS attacks the DNA molecules with damage which cannot be undone, any more than a doctor can change the original color of your eyes.

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3. Are erotic dreams sinful?
No. However, involuntary dreams about sexual activities can lead to sexual fantasies, especially in connection with masturbation. Dwelling on a sexual fantasy (with or without masturbation) about someone who is not your spouse is always wrong as it can lead directly to lust.

A virgin male may have an erotic dream because of an accumulation of semen in the seminal vesicles. Such a dream often results in an ejaculation. This is sometimes known in the vernacular as a "wet dream". Such dreams may be triggered by sexually-stimulating awake activities such as petting, using erotic literature, or watching sexually-explicit movies or television programs.

The answer to erotic dreams is twofold: a) while awake, keep your thoughts pure and don't indulge in sexual fantasies; and, b) when you awake from an erotic dream, don't keep thinking about it. Ask the Holy Spirit to purge the memory of that dream from your consciousness and think about other things. John Wesley is reported to have said that you can't stop the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.

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4. Is it wrong to indulge in sexual fantasies; what about masturbation?
Yes. Such fantasies lead to lust. After marriage, there is nothing wrong with fantasizing about your legal spouse, especially during periods of forced separation. However, other sexual fantasies which do not involve a legal spouse lead to illicit lust. The Bible says fornication (sexual intercourse between unmarried persons) and adultery (sexual intercourse between married persons) are both sin. Jesus said that fantasizing about a person to whom you are not married is sin: "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt. 5:28,

The Bible is silent about masturbation as a means of releasing sexual tension. Although there is no evidence that it will make you blind, there is evidence that it is habit forming and can follow you into adult life, even after marriage. Treat it as any other potentially habit-forming activity which can eventually disrupt your normal life.

However, masturbation in connection with sexual fantasies should be avoided for the reasons given above.

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5. Is it possible for a homosexual person to be a minister?
No, not while such a person continues to fantasize about or practice homosexual activities such as anal sex (men with men) or oral sex (men with men or women with women).

Some points of theology may be subject to various interpretations. After all, the Bible doesn't tell us everything we want to know. It only tells us what we need to know to get to heaven. On the practice of homosexuality, however, there is absolutely no doubt that it is against the law of God.

The story of the destruction of Sodom is a classic example of how God feels about homosexuality. There is no doubt that the men of Sodom had physical sex with each other. This is proven by the language of scripture. The NIV, Gen. 19:5 reads, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them." The King James Version says the same thing in its Elizabethan English of 1611: "Bring them out unto us that we may know them." All intelligent Bible scholars accept "know" in this context as relating to sexual intercourse. The classic example is in the story of the virgin birth of Jesus Himself. Matthew 1:25 tells us that Joseph "knew her not till she (the Virgin Mary) had brought forth her firstborn son:..." Gen. 4:1 is another proof of the King James meaning of the word "know" in this context: "And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived,..."

Some define know as social interaction or hospitality. It's ludicrous to believe that the people of Sodom are being cited in Gen. 19:7 for their lack of hospitality. First, Lot calls their behavior wicked in verse 6, NIV. Then, the angels give immediate punishment in the form of blindness in verse 11. However, it is beyond belief to assume God would be so capricious as to call down fire and brimstone in the classic destruction story of all time for something like poor hospitality!

The Old Testament law of Moses is very clear on homosexuality, also. For Chapter 18 of Leviticus, the NIV uses the subheading "Unlawful Sexual Relations". While subheadings may not be Divinely inspired, they do represent the thinking of the translators regarding the general context of the passage. These laws about sexual regulations are not all mixed in with injunctions regarding such things as harvesting, wage payment, or cattle breeding. They are assembled together in one place with Verse 22 speaking specifically of homosexuality: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." In Verse 24-25 of Lev. 18 (NIV), God goes on to explain why general sexual impurity, of which homosexuality is one element, is so detestable: "Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants." Scripture can't get any plainer than this, on any issue.

The New Testament position on homosexuality is just as strong as the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul wrote this as part of a general denunciation of the sins of mankind, as recorded in Romans 1:26-27 (NIV): "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Could this "due penalty" be a prophecy of the coming AIDS epidemic?)

The real issue is not whether the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. That fact is clearly understood by all intelligent readers of the Bible. The real issue is the Bible's answer to the sin problem at any level. Several years ago, a relevant case was cited in a journal of Christian psychiatry. A Christian psychiatrist was seeing a female patient for the problem of lesbianism. However, in his sessions he discerned that she was suffering from demon possession. Therefore, he began to pray and counsel with her about her demon possession and she was delivered through the power of the Holy Spirit. Some time later in one of their sessions, he asked about her problem with lesbianism. She stated that from the moment the demon left her, she had no more feelings of sexuality towards other women.

Here is the true hope for the homosexual. The blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit can provide both forgiveness and cleansing. Then the former homosexual can lift his or her head high and be called a Christian, not because a liberal theologian says so but because the shed blood of Jesus Christ says so.

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6. Should newlyweds have sex the first night of the honeymoon?
The Bible is silent on this topic. Therefore, the law of logic will be applied.

Many new husbands will assume the expected thing is to have sex the first night and new wives may assume the same thing. Although there is no Biblical advice on this topic, the law of logic seems to indicate that sex the first night may not always be a good idea. Study the fictional parable outlined below, and learn from it.

This fictional parable may be typical of weddings you know about or will know about eventually:

Dick and Jane were raised in an evangelical church. They met in the youth group and many of their dates were church-related. Both accepted Jesus Christ as a Personal Savior as preteens and both are virgins.

They are married at 6:00 P.M. in a small, formal church wedding. The normal stress of the wedding day has been exacerbated by a late florist delivery, the photographer's going to the wrong church, and one usher missing rehearsal because of work. By the time the ceremony, the receiving line, the pictures, and the reception are behind them, the bride and groom have been on display for over five hours, much of that time on their feet.

The pastor's premarital counseling consisted of short homilies on the give and take of marriage, the importance of making Christ the head of the home, and a vague reference to the joy of sex as God's gift for those who save themselves for marriage.

Neither sets of parents has done much to prepare their children for marital sex life. On the wedding day, the groom's mother asks if he has clean underwear for the honeymoon (he does). The bride's mother meant to discuss natural family planning the month before the wedding but planning for the ceremony always seemed to intervene.

The newlyweds arrive at their honeymoon haven near midnight following a two-hour drive over rain-swept highways in a borrowed car. Dick has made no plans for birth control or a lubricant. He has read about the need to perforate Jane's hymen the first time they have sexual intercourse but he has not discussed this with her. Fortunately, they overcome their shyness enough to come to the mutual agreement that they are too physically and psychologically exhausted to try a new experience that night. They dress for bed and fall asleep in each other's arms without stopping to realize it is possible to "sleep together" without having sexual intercourse.

They awake at ten the next morning; both still virgins. Jane confides that her doctor, who is a Christian OB/GYN discussed Natural Family Planning with her six months ago. Dick orders a room-service breakfast and then slips down to the hotel drug store to buy a lubricant.

During the first family devotions of their new marriage, they ask the Holy Spirit to give them wisdom and guidance as they experience sexual intercourse for the first time.

Don't think for a second that the Holy Spirit has no interest in sexual intercourse within the sanctity of marriage. He knows that Satan and his demons want to destroy Christian marriages and He is all the more committed to helping them prosper.

Dick and Jane joyously consummate their marriage at 3:10 P.M. on the day after their wedding.

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7. Is there a limit to kissing before marriage?
Yes, there is a limit.

People who plan to remain chaste until after marriage must make kissing a means of communication, not a means of sexual arousal. When kissing ceases to be communication and becomes foreplay, it has gone too far.

Premarital kissing should be a form of communication but should not become an activity in and of itself.

There is no doubt that kissing is an ancient Biblical means of communicating affection and esteem for another person. It becomes dangerous when it ceases to be communication and becomes foreplay. Kiss as a greeting or a farewell. Kiss to express joy or congratulations. But don't engage in the type of kissing which is designed to arouse desire. This includes deep, open-mouth, tongue-thrust kissing, especially when associated with petting or pressing the pelvic areas together. In persons with normal sexual responses, this type of kissing is the kind of foreplay which can lead to sexual intercourse.

Author's comment: My personal opinion is that adults should never kiss children on the mouth. Hug and kiss on the cheek all you want, but don't kiss on the mouth. Kissing on the mouth should be reserved as an adult activity.

Our four grandchildren love to give Nana and me what they call flying hugs with a kiss on the cheek. They get a running start from across the room and then leap into our arms as we sit in our reclining rockers.

The day will come all too soon when neither Nana and me nor the chairs will be able to stand up under this affectionate assault.

Until then, a good time is had by all!

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8. Is petting wrong?
Before marriage, all petting is wrong. After marriage, not only is petting all right, it's often needed in order for the wife to reach orgasm during intercourse.

The clinical term for petting is foreplay. This is the process of using the hands, lips, mouth, or tongue to help cause such sexual excitement for both husband and wife that the next step is sexual intercourse, which continues to the point of orgasm.

Now, here is the reason single persons should never engage in petting, heavy necking, or deep [french] kissing. Since these activities are means of foreplay, normal persons of a wide range of ages will become ready for sexual intercourse by doing these things for several minutes. Since the Bible forbids unmarried persons to have intercourse, getting the body ready for it without having it is foolish. You may not be able to stop in time. (See the parable about playing with dynamite.)

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9. Why is the sex drive so strong when it can lead to sin?
God has given all His creatures a powerful urge to procreate. Humans are much the same as other creatures in this regard. However, we humans take longer to reach maturity than any other creature and the children born because of human sexuality are eternal; they will never die. Therefore, the Biblical commands for our sexual behavior are more complex.

Sexual intercourse can start a human life which will need about fifteen years of stability and nurture to reach maturity. This environment is best supplied within the cloister of a legal marriage. Because of these facts, God has decreed that sex must be limited to marriage. It is true that modern society has developed fairly reliable forms of birth control. However, God's decree about limiting sex to marriage still stands.

Sexual activity among all creatures results in reproduction. However, only among humans will sexual intercourse result in an organism who is made in the image of God and who will exist forever, either in heaven or in hell.

God is our creator, our manufacturer. The Bible is our operating manual, supplied by God, our manufacturer. Although some customs and mores may evolve with the passing years, the moral absolutes of God's Word remain unchanged forever.

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10. Is it reasonable to expect both women and men to remain virgins or celibate until marriage?
Absolutely! Virginity is the state of never having had intercourse. Celibacy is abstinence from sexual activity until marriage.

However, either virginity or celibacy until marriage is reasonable only when humans follow these rules:

A. Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is not just a one-shot trip to the altar. We're talking about a day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute reliance on the Holy Spirit for the power to live above sexual sin. When I was a teenager in the evangelical church, we used to joke about being saved, sanctified, and petrified. The kind of Spirit filling we're talking about here is the starting point of a growth process, not being sealed in Lucite until either marriage or the rapture.

The key issue here is not theological orientation but the reality of being filled with the Holy Spirit. You have no chance of resisting the temptations of Satan and his demons if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit.

B. Avoid sexually-stimulating situations. If you know a certain TV program tends to arouse you, avoid it. The same is true of public beaches or even the ladies' underwear section of the Sears catalog. It's not reasonable to expect the Holy Spirit to help you resist temptation when you consciously expose yourself to avoidable stimulation. Of course, not all people are stimulated by the same things. Remember this homespun philosophy: Satan knows how to get your goat because he watches where you tie it.

C. Avoid sexual fantasies, even about a person with whom you are in love and whom you are engaged to marry. Satan and his demons will bombard your mind with all kinds of sexual thoughts, both normal and perverted. Each time a demonic SCUD loaded with evil thoughts appears on the radar screen of your mind, activate a battery of Holy Spirit Patriot missiles through prayer, and open fire. Your prayer may be as simple as "Come, Holy Spirit." Temptation always begins in the mind. (The heart is a pump that circulates blood and has nothing to do with morality.) Keeping your mind free from sexual thoughts calls for constant vigilance. This is not easy but it is necessary for remaining celibate or a virgin.

During the days of piracy on the high seas, pirate ships would steer close to a victim vessel so the marauders could swing over onto the deck from the rigging. When the defending captain saw the pirate ship drawing close, he called the command, "Prepare to repel boarders!" When we see Satan's demons trying to board our vessel, we, too, need to prepare to repel boarders. Change that TV channel; leave the movie theater; close that book or magazine; close your eyes until the danger passes.

D. Avoid petting and necking. These forms of foreplay are designed to prepare your mind and body for sexual intercourse. Since you will not be having intercourse until marriage, avoid petting and necking until marriage, also. Kiss as a means of communicating affection. Stop kissing when you become sexually aroused; you have just crossed over into foreplay.

Here are the reasons for remaining a virgin until marriage:

For information about a celibacy support group, read the sections of the Christian novel, Parsonage, which talk about Jessi Hogan's Ivory Club.

11. What if I/we have been guilty of fornication [intercourse before marriage]?
You have lost your virginity forever. However, you still have celibacy to look forward to. When you are celibate, you will never have sex again until you are married.

  1. Stop sinning.

  2. Ask God to forgive your past sexual sin.

  3. Promise God [and your partner] that you will never participate in sexual activities again until you are married.

12. Loss of virginity due to rape or incest
God's first plan for our lives is that we remain virgins until marriage. However, if you have lost your virginity by unwanted sexual intercourse being forced on you against your will, you should feel no guilt or shame about that loss. From a purely physical standpoint, your virginity has been stolen from you forever. However, in the eyes of God and, hopefully your future spouse, you will remain a virgin until you willingly surrender your body in the sanctity of marriage.

From this point onward, forget the past and live for the future.

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Return to Bible Sex Facts Home Page

Preface and Introduction

Part 1: For Children

Part 3: For Married Persons

Appendix A: Glossary

Appendix B: What the Bible Says About Sex

Appendix C: Questions with Answers

Appendix D: Normal Is Better than Average

Appendix E: A Special Message for Gays and Lesbians

Appendix F: Feedback From Readers

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