rebelling against low expectations

Has Sexual Immorality Snuck into Your Life?


“It is not that big of a deal, it’s just one crude joke…”

“It only has one sex scene, pretty good all things considered. I mean, you can’t even watch a good movie and avoid sex scenes. It is what it is…”

“Not all music has to be perfectly clean, it’s impossible to listen to good music if you want it to be clean. I’ve just learned to not even hear the bad parts anymore…”

Sadly, the statements above are all variations of things I have heard fellow Christians say. As far as sexual purity goes, many Christians have just followed the culture around us.

But brothers and sisters, I am writing to remind you that we cannot just go with the culture because the culture is not going with Christ. I want you to take a look with me at a passage from Ephesians and examine how it informs our relationship to today’s culture as it relates to sexual sin.

Not Even to be Named

Listen to the Word of God through the apostle Paul from Ephesians 5:3-6, please read it closely,

“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 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.”

Notice some key things Paul says about sexual immorality (i.e. sexual sin):

1. Sexual immorality is not to be named among God’s people (v. 3).

2. Sexual immorality is improper for God’s people (v. 3).

3. Sexual immorality is out of place among God’s people (v. 4).

4. No one who makes an unrepentant practice of sexually immoral behavior will inherit the Kingdom of God (v. 5).

5. God’s wrath is coming upon those who unrepentantly practice sexual sin (v. 6).

Now the message is clear enough. Sexual immorality has no place among God’s people. Zero. None whatsoever. It is not even to be named (v. 3).

As a child of God, sexual sin has no place in your life and today is the day to confess, repent to God and to a fellow believer, and turn to God to find grace at the cross.

Subtle Sexual Sin

Many of you reading this may be thinking this does not apply to you, that you are not struggling with sexual sin, but I want you to consider that maybe sexual sin has snuck into your life in a way you aren’t aware of.

I think one way the devil has succeeded at sneaking sexual immorality into so many of our lives is through our television screens, our social media, and the music we listen to.

Paul says sexual immorality is out of place, improper, and not even to be named among God’s people. If sexual immorality is not even to be named among us, then why are so many of us watching shows or movies sprinkled with sexual immorality? Why do we allow ourselves to enjoy a TV show promoting a homosexual relationship? Or why would we watch a movie that stars a couple living in a sexual relationship before marriage?

Or what about our music? When I was in high school there was a popular song my friends and I would blare as we drove with the windows down to grab some food after getting out of school on Friday. Pretty fun, right? Actually no, pretty dishonoring to God.

What was the song about? It was all about sleeping with someone and explicitly described committing sexual sins. The song glorified sin!

Now if Jesus were in the car with us while we played this song, would He have been jamming along? No chance. He would have been saddened that His children would play music that glorifies the very kinds of sin He went to the cross for!

Can we honestly listen to music, watch television, and scroll through social media posts that promote sexual sin and say these are things that bring glory to God? In those moments, can we honestly say we are living 1 Corinthians 10:31 out well? “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

It Will Be Worth It

So, brothers and sisters, here is my encouragement: take a hard look at your life. Examine what you watch, what you listen to, what you joke about, and what’s on your social media. Anything that promotes sexual immorality or discusses it in a light-hearted way has got to go. It has to. It is not optional; it is required of us by God Himself.

I fear many of us have let sexual sin sneak into our lives through our media, music, and screens. I know I had, which is why about three years ago, I did exactly what I am encouraging you to do: I cut any and all forms of sexual sin out of my life. Doing so cost me both of my favorite TV shows and pretty much every song I listened to. I had to delete my entire “modern pop” playlist. But it was well worth it because, “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 3:8).

It will be worth it for you, too. And it will sweeten your relationship with God to know that you are walking in obedience to Him in this area. Be bold and rebel against the low cultural standards set for us relating to sexual purity. God’s way is best and for your good. Choose His way over the world’s way.

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About the author

Luke Mema

is a twenty-year-old living in Abilene, Texas, who loves God and His Word. He is passionate about the importance of the local church in the life of the believer, and about helping other believers fight sin and walk in holiness. In his free time, Luke enjoys spending time with God’s people, reading, and playing golf.


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  • Wow! Thank you so much, Luke, for this powerful and eye-opening article! It’s refreshing to see your fervent passion for the things of God that is rarely seen in our generation today. Keep honouring God in all you do, and thanks again!

  • Thank you so much for this, Luke! I do my best to filter what my eyes and ears are exposed to and you just challenged me to raise the bar in a way that honors Christ

  • Thank you for writing this article! It is really well written and challenges me to “gaurd my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:7)


  • wow! thank you for writing this article it’s convicting and makes me look at what I need to stop listening to and maybe watching.

  • This is a great article and I commend you for writing it in this modern world. A lot of what goes on in modern media is sinful, explicit, and not healthy for a Christian to consume.

    I think the problem with it, though, is not that it contains or glorifies sexual immorality, but that it is a direct avenue to temptation. For example, listening swearing in music can lead to a Christian actually swearing themself. Explicit descriptions of sexual acts can lead a Christian to lust.

    But I’d like to take a moment to talk about something you said about homosexual relationships and relationships where characters are in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. If nothing is graphic – if it’s simply a fact of life of the characters involved – then I don’t think we are called to cut it out, any more than we are called to avoid real people who engage in these behaviors.

    In fact, media with sinful sexual relationships that aren’t graphic or explicit can be a great way to develop an understanding of people who practice such things, and a great way to introduce young teens to concepts in a safe environment without having to handle an encounter with a real person the first time a kid finds out about homosexuality or transgender ideology. And of course understanding these people is a great first step to being able to minister to them.

    Last of all, art – as all music, storytelling (in books, movies, TV shows, video games, etc) – ultimately has a message, and that message is very nuanced. Dismissing a show because it features a homosexual relationship, and not seeing that it also teaches lessons of kindness, doesn’t seem rational. Yes, if it didn’t have the homosexuality in it it would be better and a better influence, and I’m not saying you HAVE to watch it, but just because you disagree with the art is not a reason to not consume it. Not consuming art from other perspectives and worldviews is a great way to stay trapped in your own echo chamber, limiting your growth. Art is supposed to expand your understanding.

    Now of course I am NOT saying it’s okay to watch a show where gay sex is depicted on-screen; I am talking about completely non-explicit media. Yes, non-explixit homosexual media does exist, and while even that can be a temptation (especially to a Christian who struggles with homosexuality themselves), and perhaps knowing in advance that the media contains such things may be a reason to avoid it, there is no reason to abandon already beloved media because homosexuality is one of the qualities promoted as a virtue.

    Knowing how to read or consume art with discernment and a critical eye, spotting the immorality but also noticing the goodness of it, is a VITAL skill in the modern world.

    • I see what you mean, Trinity! We can’t completely separate ourselves from everything that dishonors God in this world. We are in this world, but not of it.
      But I think we must also ask ourselves this about what movies and entertainment we choose: Is this bringing me closer or farther away from God? Is this helping me grow in holiness?(Phil. 4:8)
      Even if media is not explicit, it can still affect our thinking, no matter how strong we are in our beliefs. Entertainment was created to make people just relax and enjoy the show, so it is hard to always be on our guard against non-Biblical worldviews.
      Plus, there is plenty of good, Christian media to choose from that doesn’t dishonor God.
      (And, no, giving yourself only clean, Christian input is not going to limit your growth. Learn about other viewpoints but also ground yourself in God’s Word.)
      The best way to learn about things of this world is to go and be light in the world and talk with others. (Like with homosexuals, like you said.) But don’t take the movie industry’s word for it.

      For more on media, listen to the Reb’s podcast, How Can I Create Healthy Media Habits?
      I totally recommend it!

      More than anything, read the Bible and ask God to show you that fine line. He will help you make the right choices if you ask him!

  • WOW! Thank You, Luke! This was an amazing article and I’m so glad you wrote it! I’ve never really thought deeply about those little remarks or small jokes put in shows and movies to be so bad! I usually just ignore them. You’ve really change my perspective on that! I hope so many teens read this article! Thank you so much!!!!!

    Your sister in Christ:

    • I also hope God leads and inspires you to write more!
      “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

  • This is such a good article! I so wish more young people in the church understood this! Thanks for taking a stand when so many don’t!

  • Thank you all for the encouragement very encouraged and spurred on to write more by y’all’s edifying words. Soli Deo Glorio

  • Thanks so much for this message, Luke! I’ve definitely been trying to avoid any sexual scenes in movies or in TV shows, but I do need to watch my music choices. Again, thanks for the reminder!

  • What if purity is not the absence of something but the presence of something? I spent much of my life trying to avoid things that would make me impure until I began to ask the question of what it would look like to cultivate purity instead of just trying not to lose it. “Just do it” is a more more inspiring slogan…so toward what are we called? It is very hard to avoid immorality when we have no clear idea of what it looks like to pursue something better.

    • That’s a wonderful point, Kevin! We should always be careful to avoid things that don’t honor God, but it is just as important to seek things that do honor Him.

  • Thank you Luke, I’m Catholic from Italy, we should unify our prayers and strenghts for the real battle. You have 20 y, and you speak loud and clear on a theme very hard to understand for a lot of people nowadays, not only “boys”…There will be a dreadfull punishment by the Lord on our generation, if we won’t repent. I ask you just one thing: to pray as hard as possible the 9 of October 2023.

By Luke Mema
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →