If a young Christian has premarital sex, then repents and God forgives this person, do you think that this person should never become a preacher or that there is some ministry that he/she should not enter because of this sin? Provide Scriptural insight please.


"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." [Philippians 3:13]

Paul makes a couple points very clear:

1. He pursued one thing, to be "Christlike" and is aware that he had not yet attained it, and would not until glory, but his goal remained--continue to seek to be more like Christ each day.

2. Forget the past. Don't dwell on past victories or past failures, be concerned about the present.

We have all sinned in our past, and are still committing sin today, and will so in the future. Truly as Christians, we should be growing in holiness, and therefore sinning less each day, month and year. But God does not want us to dwell on past sins nor past victories, other than what lessons they might teach us. If we have committed grievous sins before or after salvation, then there is forgiveness in Christ. And when we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive our sins, and the good news is that He forgets them and treats us like we never committed them. We must accept His forgiveness, or we offend Him--by not believing that He had the power or will to forgive us--doubting His Word.

Moses committed the sin of murder as a "Christian" and David committed adultery and murder as a "believer," yet God still used them mightily in the "ministry." Yes, there are consequences associated with sin, but God determines the extent of them. Yes, there are some sins, if committed as a Christian leader, and the sins are public, then these sins may restrict our ministry, but I don't believe the sin of premarital sex is one of them. It is a sin, but so is slander, gluttony, lying, the neglect of God's Word and the neglect of prayer. I don't mean to lessen the sin of premarital sex, for it grieves the Holy Spirit, but it is not on the list of disqualifying sins for elders (preachers). The list of disqualifiers are all "current lifestyle"--you could have been a drunkard, you could have been harsh, you could have been less than devoted to one woman, but now, the current, consistent lifestyle must be pure and faithful.

The best preachers and teachers are those who have been forgiven much, because they love much (Luke 7:41-47).

Added to Bible Bulletin Board's "Tony Capoccia's Questions and Answers" by:

Tony Capoccia
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