It happens all too often. The amount of unwed mothers today is staggering. It is a clear indication of a lack of obedience among the Lord’s people. We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should ABSTAIN FROM FORNICATION.” The Lord has instructed us that sexual relations belong to those who are married. We read in Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (NKJV) To the Lord, there is no such thing as ‘casual sex’. Sex outside of marriage is condemned by the Lord, and the one who continues in fornication and adultery will be judged harshly by God.

What is the responsibility of the church towards those living in the sin of fornication or adultery? Certainly, we are to condemn such behavior. How can we possibly condone or even ignore such behavior among ourselves? To ‘turn a blind eye’ in that kind of situation is cruel and uncaring to the ones living in such sin. They need to be warned that the Lord does not take this behavior lightly and He will hold them accountable for their sinful actions. If we truly love those who are living in sin, we will warn them of God’s impending wrath for continuing in sin.

If there is a young girl among us that becomes pregnant out of wedlock, we need to realize that she needs the love and support of her Christian community. While we would seek to minister to her so that she sees that she has sinned, we would also need to help lead her to confess her sin and restore her relationship with the Lord. Then, we should surround her with the love of Christ and help her deal with her situation. We should also reach out to the young man that impregnated her. He needs the Lord in his life, too! We should encourage them to continue to attend church meetings so that they may be fed from the Word of God.

Of course if the young woman and/or man refuse to acknowledge and confess their sin, it may be necessary that they be disciplined by being set apart and shunned by the church. We read in Matthew 18:17, “And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” Discipline is an attempt to cause the sinning one to realize their sin and the consequences of sinning against the Lord. Let’s remember that all discipline is administered to help restore the one living in sin. (286.6)