What the Lost Epistles of Jesus Say About Sex

In 95 AD, Jesus personally dictated seven epistles to seven churches, and the Apostle John wrote them down on the Isle of Patmos.    These epistles are buried in chapters two and three of the Revelation. Nobody today seems to be really listening. These epistles have largely been LOST on the church.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” is the tag line Jesus used in His epistles to the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.  Yes, in the Revelation Jesus also revealed what is to happen in the last days, but first He gave John messages to the churches to prepare them for those days. We may not be as ready for the Second Coming as we might think. We need to take a closer look at chapters two and three of the Book of Revelation to see where we measure up. 

These are the last messages given to the church at the beginning of the church age and they are like sermons delivered directly from Jesus and it seems nobody is paying much attention to them.  We are caught up in so much else these days!

All seven sermons are personalized and very different from one another.  Except on one point.  In a majority of the sermons, Jesus spoke about sex. 

In every case where a church had sexual sin, Jesus blasted it and told them to stop it and stop it now!  Two of the churches (Smyrna and Ephesus) involved examples of sexual purity and Jesus pointed out His delight about that. 


Was then, is now, always has been.

In 2016, the Barna Group published a survey showing almost 68% of Christian men are regularly involved with pornography, including 50% of those in ministry. (The Porn Phenomenon: The Impact of Pornography in the Digital Age)  This trend was not new and it does not appear to have changed. 

Whatever church or church period we are now in, Jesus said he who has a ear should hear what the Spirit says to the churches. All churches can learn from Jesus’ words, and all individuals can learn from His words about all topics. There is no church or church age where sexual sin is okay. The seven messages of Jesus make it clear that we must always be alarmed at major sexual sin in the church. The fact the modern church is not alarmed about the prevalence of pornography among Christians means we have forgotten what Jesus said in chapters two and three of the Revelation.

Indeed, the Laodicean age is the “lukewarm” church. Sexual sin and lukewarm attitudes go hand in hand. Lukewarm people will have a lax attitude toward sexual sin, and sexual sin makes people lukewarm toward Jesus. Sexual sin in the lukewarm church is no doubt why Jesus counseled the Laodicean church to buy from Him white clothes to cover their shameful nakedness. Jesus warned the Laodicean church that those He loves He rebukes and disciplines, so He expects them to be earnest and repent. That’s us He’s talking to!

An opportunity for repentance does not last forever. To the church at Thyatira Jesus was angry that they had tolerated the sexual immorality of a woman named Jezebel.  He said that He had given her time to repent but that she had shown no interest in repentance, so it was too late–she would be judged!

We have had enough time—the hour to repent is at hand!  Is the church today interested in repentance over pornography? 

Not at this point.  While these figures are widely known, you don’t hear much about the church’s porn problem from the pulpit these days.  You don’t see God’s people in much distress over something that clearly distresses Jesus.  We have come to accept pornography in the church as a fact of life, and not a devastating one at that.

I believe the reason we tolerate rampant pornography in the church is because we have an erroneous view of grace.  We have the mindset of “Christians are not perfect, just forgiven.”  We rest too easily in the idea that the righteous man falls seven times but gets up again.  The truth however is that we don’t seem to even worry about the getting up part much any more.  So many of us just do it and ask forgiveness and do it again without trying so hard not to any more.  It’s now just a part of life.

Paul talks about this attitude toward grace in chapter six of Romans:

What shall we say then?  

Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  

God forbid!  How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:

that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,

even so we also should walk in newness of life.  

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Knowing this,

that our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin.  

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:1-7

Tolerating sexual sin on premise that grace happens to abound (Ro. 5:20) is not exactly the same as believing sin benefits us by causing grace to abound, but it is very similar.  Either way, we continue to sin, and that is what we see today with pornography in the church.  And that is what Paul was horrified by.  “God forbid!”  The whole purpose of the crucifixion and resurrection was that going forward we would not continue to walk in sin because Jesus did all that to free us from its power.  As real as the resurrection is, that is how real the newness of life should be for each one of us. After all, Jesus told the woman caught in adultery “go and sin no more.”

We love to sing: “Your grace is sufficient for me.”  But it’s not about you.  Jesus died on the cross to purchase unto Himself a Bride who is pure, and He deserves the benefit of His bargain on the cross. 

I heard a sermon by revivalist Leonard Ravenhill in which he said in his many years as a minister he had seen every type of bride possible.  Fat brides, skinny brides, tall brides, short brides, brides in fancy dresses, brides in bikinis, every type of bride possible.  But there was one type of bride he had never seen: a dirty bride!

Well let me tell you, the church right now is Jesus’ dirty little bride!

When you are done with this post, stop what you are doing, get alone in a quiet place, and read those seven sermons and ponder them.  That’s what’s on the heart of Jesus right now, not all the clamor we are caught up with today.  That’s the stuff you should be paying attention to.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!” Do you have an ear that hears?

So go, then, and ponder chapters two and three of the Revelation.  Then, if you are involved in pornography or other sexual sin, be grieved in your spirit and get out of it.  And if you are not personally involved in sexual sin, be grieved in your spirit over the condition of the church and mourn with Jesus and pray for a spirit of repentance and revival.

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