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The sins of the flesh and their consequences.

It is impossible to ignore such a secret sin as self-satisfaction (masturbation), from which some people suffer from an early age. With all its unnaturalness it would not have been too dangerous, if it were not for the fact that there are no external borders to control it. Because of that, after it has become a habit, it draws to itself even when there is no physical need for it. When this habit has become strong, the most difficult side to it is that a person feels himself in the power of some fatal force, which he cannot confront. It produces a sense of uncertainty, a predilection for melancholy and apathy, a decline of energy, with a negative effect upon one’s health.

Why do the Scriptures call so persistently to struggle with carnal lust? — Because, on the one hand, the sin of fornication exhausts the physical strength and health of a person. "..The fornicator sins against his own body," the apostle Paul writes. In sexual life outside marriage the body wears out faster because sexual life not connected with love requires much more power than a normal matrimonial relation within in marriage.

We should add to this the chance to contact any of the awful venereal illnesses or — which is even more pernicious — AIDS, which cannot be cured.

But the main thing is that people who have given themselves to lascivious passion have a decreased ideal of life. Dreams about self-denying work for the benefit of the society and a happy life with the loved one gradually fade; the ideals of youth evaporate. The person becomes cynical and ambitious. His consciousness is more and more filled with dirty pictures of voluptuousness. He looks at each woman as a female plaything. Dirty thoughts invade his dimmed brain, and there is only one desire in his heart — to satisfy his lust.

God's grace recedes from the person who has given himself to voluptuousness, and because of this his faith in God grows weak and his spiritual inclinations go down. He stops hearing the voice of his conscience through which God is calling him to the path of repentance. Cold, gloom and rage establish in his soul. This is called a spiritual death, after which there is nowhere else to fall.

Because of the inability of inveterate sinners to turn over to the path of amendment, God punishes them with His holy judgement. "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal," — said God over the ancient mankind and exterminated it with the waters of the Flood (Genesis 6:1-5). Later a similar awful thing happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sins of debauchery which prevailed among their inhabitants: "Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah – from the Lord out of the Heavens. Thus He overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities – and also the vegetation in the land" (Genesis 19:24-25). The apostle Paul has expressed the immutable vital law: "God will judge all the adulterers and all the sexually immoral" (Hebrews 13:4). How many great empires and civilizations have perished; how many peoples indulging in voluptuousness have disappeared without leaving a trace!

So, in the context of creating correct sexual relations between spouses, it is necessary to say that the sins of having sexual relations before or outside marriage affect those relations very heavily. Promiscuity devastates people, if not physically, then always spiritually. It brings us to the question of redirecting our forces, in order to avoid sinning and to be perfected morally.

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