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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Sex before marriage


If we know that God will forgive our sins, then why can’t we have sex before marriage?—Unjust, 15, NC

Shayna Answers:

Dear Unjust, It’s important to remember that the instructions God gives us are never meant to deprive us from anything pleasurable. Instead, they are intended to enhance our happiness and help us maintain well-being in powerful ways (Jeremiah 29:11). With this background in mind, now we can talk about why God forbids premarital sex. Premarital sex exposes us to unnecessary hurt, emotional stress, and dangerous STDs. It also challenges God’s original plan for sex to be enjoyed in a monogamous marriage (Genesis 2:24). The command that we have to abstain from sex outside of marriage is meant to protect us, not to deprive us. By choosing to knowingly sin against one of God’s laws, we’re suggesting that we know better than God does when it comes to our happiness and well-being. Isaiah 55:8, 9 reminds us that we don’t see the whole picture that God sees, since He knows far more than we ever will. Choosing to sin and then trying to redeem our salvation shows that we don’t trust God. It also means that we’re missing the essence of salvation. The gift of salvation is meant to spare us from our real punishment for sinning—death (Romans 6:23). Second Corinthians 7:10 says that Godly sorrow (experienced after sinning) brings repentance and then salvation. If you are knowingly sinning, though, chances are that you aren’t experiencing sorrow or repentance before asking for salvation. Second Corinthians 5:17 also says that when we become Christians, we become new creations—“the old has gone, the new has come.” As Christians, we ask God to help us change our behaviors to please and to serve Him. After all, He gives us salvation out of love (John 3:16). As a result, we change our behaviors because we want to, not because we have to. It can definitely be frustrating to try not to sin and to avoid temptation, especially when you know you can obtain salvation simply by asking for it. However, 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us that God knows our hearts. So even though we might be convincing others that we are really repentant about what we’ve done, God knows whether or not we’re being sincere when we ask for salvation. The good news about obedience, according to Malachi 3:10, is that it allows God to pour blessings into our life so large that we can’t even receive them all. Micah 6:8 reminds us of something important, too. God’s requirements of us are “to act justly . . . to love mercy . . . and to walk humbly” with Him. So, even though we might “love mercy” (salvation), first we’re supposed to “act justly.” Then, after we’ve realized our mistakes, we are to “walk humbly” with God. Salvation is a process, not a spiritual ATM machine.

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