1. GOD CALLS JOSEPHS TODAY
a. What is God calling young people like Joseph to be today? Genesis 39:9; 1 Timothy 4:12; Proverbs 31:10–12.
“Do not see how close you can walk upon the brink of a precipice and be safe. Avoid the first approach to danger. The soul’s interests cannot be trifled with. Your capital is your character. Cherish it as you would a golden treasure. Moral purity, self-respect, a strong power of resistance, must be firmly and constantly cherished. There should not be one departure from reserve; one act of familiarity, one indiscretion, may jeopardize the soul in opening the door to temptation, and the power of resistance becomes weakened.”—The Adventist Home, p. 404.
b. What damage is done when sexual sins are practiced? Proverbs 6:27–33.
“Few temptations are more dangerous or more fatal to young men than the temptation to sensuality, and none if yielded to will prove so decidedly ruinous to soul and body for time and eternity.”—Letters to Young Lovers, p. 69.
“David was a repentant man, and although he confessed and hated his sin, he could not forget it.”—Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, p. 89.
2. MARRIAGE UNDER ATTACK
a. What is the only intimate physical relationship which God regards as moral and pure? Genesis 2:21–25; Hebrews 13:4.
“When the divine principles are recognized and obeyed in this [marital] relation, marriage is a blessing; it guards the purity and happiness of the race, it provides for man’s social needs, it elevates the physical, the intellectual, and the moral nature.”—The Adventist Home, p. 26.
b. What happens when the marriage institution, as given by God, is no longer recognized by society as the standard of sexual morality? Isaiah 5:20; Romans 1:26–32; John 3:19, 20.
“Everywhere are seen wrecks of humanity, broken-down family altars, broken-up families. There is a strange abandonment of principle, the standard of morality is lowered, and the earth is fast becoming a Sodom. The Sodomitish practices which brought the judgment of God upon the world, and caused it to be deluged with water, and which caused Sodom to be destroyed by fire, are fast increasing. We are nearing the end. God has borne long with the perversity of mankind, but their punishment is no less certain. Let those who profess to be the light of the world depart from all iniquity.”—Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, pp. 120, 121.
c. What happens when God’s church allows sexual immorality to exist within her borders? Ephesians 5:11, 12; Romans 2:21–24; Jude 5–7.
“Licentiousness, unlawful intimacy, and unholy practices are coming in among us in a large degree; and ministers who are handling sacred things are guilty of sin in this respect. They are coveting their neighbors’ wives, and the seventh commandment is broken. We are in danger of becoming a sister to fallen Babylon, of allowing our churches to become corrupted, and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?”—Ibid., p.188.
3. VISUAL SINS ON THE RISE
a. With easy access to the Internet through personal computers and other portable electronic devices (smartphones, tablets), which sins of impurity are on the increase? Matthew 5:27, 28; 1 John 2:16.
“Exciting love stories and impure pictures have a corrupting influence. . . . This is an age when corruption is teeming everywhere. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These vile images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings to give loose rein to lustful passions.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 410.
b. What can be done to protect ourselves and our children against such strategies of the devil? Luke 11:34, 35; Psalm 101:3; Job 31:1.
“If parents desire their children to be pure, they must surround them with pure associations such as God can approve.
“With what care parents should guard their children from careless, loose, demoralizing habits! Fathers and mothers, do you realize the importance of the responsibility resting on you? Do you allow your children to associate with other children without being present to know what kind of education they are receiving? Do not allow them to be alone with other children. Give them your special care. Every evening know where they are and what they are doing. Are they pure in all their habits? Have you instructed them in the principles of moral purity?”—Child Guidance, p. 114.
c. With immorality abounding around us, where should our mind and affections be? Philippians 4:8; 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 3:1, 2.
“If in their tender years the minds of children are filled with pleasant images of truth, of purity and goodness, a taste will be formed for that which is pure and elevated, and their imagination will not become easily corrupted or defiled.”—Ibid., p.116.
“Recreation in the open air, the contemplation of the works of God in nature, will be of the highest benefit.”—Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 653.
“Parents and guardians must themselves maintain purity of heart and life, if they desire their children to be pure.”—Child Guidance, p. 27.
4. STANDING FIRM FOR GOD
a. Why is it so important to stand up for purity now than it has been in any other time? 2 Timothy 3:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11.
“Immorality abounds everywhere. Licentiousness is the special sin of this age. Never did vice lift its deformed head with such boldness as now. The people seem to be benumbed, and the lovers of virtue and true goodness are nearly discouraged by its boldness, strength, and prevalence. . . . The iniquity which abounds is not merely confined to the unbeliever and the scoffer. Would that this were the case, but it is not. Many men and women who profess the religion of Christ are guilty. Even some who profess to be looking for His appearing are no more prepared for that event than Satan himself. They are not cleansing themselves from all pollution.”—The Adventist Home, p. 328.
b. What kind of mind will highly principled, Christian men and women possess? What will this enable them to do? 2 Timothy 1:7; Ephesians 4:13, 14; James 1:6–8.
“The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.”—Education, p. 57.
c. How can we have a mind governed by principle and truth rather than by policy and inclination? Philippians 2:5; Psalm 40:8; Matthew 4:4.
“Those who have never learned their duty from God, and acquainted themselves with His purposes concerning them, are not reliable in times of severe conflict with the powers of darkness. They are swayed by external and present appearances. . . .
“In the renewed heart there will be a fixed principle to obey the will of God, because there is a love for what is just, and good, and holy. There will be no hesitating, conferring with the taste, or studying of convenience, or moving in a certain course because others do so. Everyone should live for himself.”—Testimonies, vol. 2, pp. 487, 488.
5. AN UNCHANGEABLE PRINCIPLE
a. What happened when Joseph chose to stand firm for God? Genesis 39:12–20. Why shouldn’t we be surprised by this? 2 Timothy 3:12.
“Joseph’s faithful integrity led to the loss of his reputation and his liberty. This is the severest test that the virtuous and God-fearing are subjected to, that vice seems to prosper while virtue is trampled in the dust. The seducer was living in prosperity as a model of virtuous propriety, while Joseph, true to principle, was under a degrading charge of crime the most revolting.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 1, p. 1097.
b. How firmly should we be prepared to stand in upholding the purity of the marriage institution? Matthew 14:3–10.
“Marriage was from the creation constituted by God a divine ordinance. . . . Then let this, God’s institution of marriage, stand before you as firm as the Sabbath of the fourth commandment.”—Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, p. 159.
“Why need [John the Baptist] have provoked the anger of Herodias by telling Herod that it was unlawful for him to live with his brother’s wife? The forerunner of Christ lost his life by his plain speaking. Why could he not have moved along without incurring the displeasure of those who were living in sin?
“So men who should be standing as faithful guardians of God’s law have argued, till policy has taken the place of faithfulness, and sin is allowed to go unreproved. When will the voice of faithful rebuke be heard once more in the church?”—Prophets and Kings, p. 141.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Why is the violation of the seventh commandment so treacherous to the soul?
2. How is society today fast fulfilling the prophecies relating to Christ’s return?
3. How can technology become a deadly weapon in the hand of the user?
4. What is the greatest need in the world today?
5. Would you be willing to lay down your life in defending God’s institutions?