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The End Result of Immorality
May 27, 2008
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following is from the new Advanced Bible Studies Series course on the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs warns frequently of the danger of the “strange woman,” referring to all forms of immorality. It also teaches us that one important way of victory over the strange woman is to ponder her end. Hollywood, as Satan’s instrument, commonly fails to show the end of sin, tending to make it appear glamorous and exciting and rarely showing its awful consequences. God’s Word, on the other hand, shows the end of sin in the plainest manner as a warning to men. Proverbs 5:4-23 describes six results of immorality. Though the deeds of the strange woman appeal to the flesh and there are pleasures in her sin for a season, her end is what we must consider, and her end is fearful in the extreme.

The strange woman leads to hell (Prov. 5:4-5). The Bible warns often about hell. Jesus preached about it many times and warned people not to go there (e.g., Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:22-31). In Proverbs 5:4-5 hell is likened to the bitterness of wormwood and the pain of a sharp sword. In fact, it is far worse because the pain of hell has no end.

The strange woman leads to the loss of honor (Prov. 5:9). Consider David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, and how that his honor is stained to this very day by his dalliance with immorality. I think of many preachers who have committed adultery during my lifetime and they are out of the ministry and their dishonor remains in spite of the good that they accomplished.

The strange woman leads to the loss of wealth (Prov. 5:10). Samson lost everything to immorality. An article in the Baptist Press that described two ministers who became addicted to pornography concluded with these words: “Both of the guys I’m dealing with right now, here’s what they’ve lost: They’ve lost their marriage. They’ve lost their job. They lost a lot of friends in the sense it will never be the same. They’ve lost custody of their children and now they are both doing something that they don’t really want to do or feel called to do, and they’re just trying to get by” (“Flood of Pornography Breaching the Church,” Baptist Press, Jul. 6, 2007).

The strange woman leads to the loss of health (Prov. 5:11). God has loosed special diseases into the realm of immorality. There are many venereal diseases that a person will never catch if he remains morally pure and faithful to his marital spouse. There is also often loss of health through the drunkenness and drug abuse that often accompanies immoral living. This has resulted in the early death of tens of thousands of rock & rollers. We think of Elvis Presley, who died at age 42 because of his debauched lifestyle. We also think of Hollywood movie stars such as Errol Flynn, who died at age 50 from his “kamikaze lifestyle” and lost much of his money to multiple divorces and careless sexual relationships.

The strange woman leads to remorse (Prov. 5:12-14). Those who follow the strange woman are temporarily blinded by lust, but they wake up one day to find that they have lost much. They are filled with remorse that they did not listen to the voice of wisdom. They hated instruction and despised reproof and obeyed not the voice of their teachers, but it is too late to go back. What is done is done and cannot be undone. We must understand that remorse is not the same as repentance unto salvation. Paul contrasted these two things in 2 Corinthians 7:10. He mentioned the sorrow of the world as opposed to godly sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation. The sorrow of the world is to be sorry for the consequences of sin, but it is not to be sorry toward God in the sense of repenting of breaking His laws and being ready to change direction in life and submit to Him. The sorrow of the world is centered upon this world, whereas repentance is centered upon God. While working in a county jail ministry for a few years I met many men who had the sorrow of the world. They were sorry that their actions had gotten them into a lot of trouble and had brought dishonor upon them and had hurt their loved ones, but they were not repentant toward God and were not ready to be saved.

The strange woman leads to slavery (Prov. 5:22-23). Solomon ends with this warning because it explains why the sinner cannot easily walk away from the strange woman after once entertaining her. There are strong cords associated with sin, and those cords grow tighter with time, and few cords are stronger than the cords of immorality. Those who are addicted to pornography can testify to this. Compare John 8:34 and 2 Timothy 2:26.

In light of these warnings we need to thank the Lord that He offers salvation to sinners, and that salvation brings cleansing from all sin. When Proverbs says the sinner “
shall die without instruction” (Prov. 5:23), it is speaking from the standpoint of the Law of Moses rather than the grace of the gospel. The Bible’s Good News is that Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His blood to make atonement for our sins, and by faith in Him we can be forgiven and converted. See 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

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