For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them…. – Ephesians 5:5-7, ESV
In today’s world of cheap grace, Santa god, and Buddy Jesus, the idea that God is wrathful is not in vogue. Holiness is out of style and so is the wrath that responds to wickedness. The fear of the Lord is forgotten.
God is love as John teaches us (see I John 4:16b). Just in chapter three of Ephesians, Paul writes of the depths of God’s love for us in Christ reminding us to be grounded in such love. Then he reminds his readers of God’s holiness and warns them not to partner with darkness in this above quoted passage.
Adultery certainly qualifies as “sexual immorality.” Notice that the passage speaks about disobedience and how someone still engaged in this lifestyle has no inheritance in God’s kingdom. These are stiff warning from Paul.
Not only is one not to engage in sexual immorality, Paul instructs the Ephesians not to partner with such people. I suggest many ways exist to partner with darkness or the adulterous. Telling lies or actively facilitating adultery is certainly partnering with darkness. Such partnership is not acceptable for God’s people.
Since I encourage interpreting Scripture by Scripture, I see in this letter another and clearer way one can partner with darkness. The answer lies just a few more verses down in the same chapter. Verse eleven tells us how true children of God behave:
We follow God by exposing the evil deeds to the light.
This is another reason I have a problem with pastors and other Christian leaders counseling silence about adultery. It is not Biblical in this matter. The sin needs exposure so that it is not helped along. Silence keeps the evil deeds covered and not exposed.
Keeping people in the dark allows for continued manipulation of others where the adulterous can prey upon the charity of others in shifting blame upon the faithful spouse. This is wicked. And it is doing nothing to help the adulterous spouse avoid the wrath of God for his or her clear disobedience.
God will not be mocked in the end.
Someone persisting in such sexual immorality with inherit nothing in God’s kingdom and perhaps not even eternal life.
Plus, I am concerned for those who have such a distorted view of Christianity where hiding such serious sin is twisted into a thinking such is a virtue. Hiding adultery does not honor God. It is a partnership with darkness. And keeping the sin covered may come with moral culpability for those knowingly keeping the silence as these verses seem to suggest. Hiding sin by silence is out of character for true sons and daughters of the Most High.
Let us not partner with the darkness.
And let us remember we serve a wrathful God who will not be mocked by adulterous disobedience.