"THE pleasures of sin” are only but for a short time and yet their aftermath is misery and vexation of spirit.
For the carnal man or woman all that life means to him or her is sex, drinks, dance and such like. He or she therefore indulges in these things quite in excess Contrary to the laws of God. Among the people who have developed such an attitude towards life you find those who say, "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die." When some of them have spent all their savings and consumed all their substance in sinful pleasure but do not die 'tomorrow,' they become wretched. And worse still, some will turn round to accuse God for being responsible for their sensualism and miserable state.
St. Paul showed clearly that people who say, "Let us eat and drink' for tomorrow we die", are purposeless and without hope of the life in the world to come. (1 Corinthians 15: 32-34; Isaiah 22: 13, 14) people of such Worldly character, except they repent, can never be true worshipers of God. And if they claim to be Christians, they are not the serious type - and with many of them, going to church services is just pastime. This is true, and we say it without fear.
Men must realise that unless they lead a life that is pleasing to their Creator, the Almighty God, they gain nothing. Such a life must be one of high morals and integrity. King Solomon stated: "The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them." - Proverbs 11: 2.
It is commonly said that the influence of Western civilization is mostly responsible for the high rate of juvenile delinquency and immorality among adults now prevalence in African Countries. In fact, many beautiful aspects of our culture and customs, which make for decency, are now being violated in the name of civilisation, and are really giving way to the modern orgies.
There is no doubt that, by worldly standards, the countries in Europe and America have developed greatly; but it will be a silly mistake for us to look to those countries for spiritual and moral values. Things are worse there. Honest Europeans and Americans say this too. Let us look to the word of God - the Holy Bible - for guidance.
In the more civilised countries morality has declined so much that beastly habits are exhibited in the open without shame. Only of recent LIFE magazine (April, 1968) carried a report of how a retired French colonel was provoked by an increasingly common sight in Paris - "huge advertisements on subway station walls showing voluptuous maidens in various stages of undress". The report added: "The erotic content of French advertising has escalated rapidly of late as if to catch up with art, movies and literature. There are ads showing girls wearing only their nylons, girls wearing only their bras, nude girls, nude men, semi nude girls with nude men and now - voila - nude couples."
In the United States things have got quite out of hand and the situation is appalling. It was reported that "there were some 275,700 illicit births in 1964". The figures of illegitimacy keep going up despite the campaign to inspire interest in birth control. “A constantly startling fact pointing to degeneracy of these “last days", it was reported in the AWAKE (April 22, 1967) "is that girls under seventeen years of age account for about 50,000 annual out-of-wedlock births in America."
Under the heading, "Disease Rise", the AWAKE stated: "'At least one out of every 250 teenage boys and girls (in the United States) was infected with gonorrhea in fiscal year 1966', stated a report prepared by several medical associations. The report added: 'Since actual incidence of infection among all age groups is considered to be four times the reported incidence, the figures presented here considerably understate the seriousness of the problem.'"
The AWAKE went on, "Last year reported cases of syphilis numbered 22,473 and of gonorrhea, 334,949. Teenage cases of syphilis rose 12.4 per cent in 1964 and 1965. The associations said that gonorrhea presented a particularly difficult public health problem because women could have the disease and not know it and because antibiotic-resistant strains of gonorrhea bacteria were growing in number,"
"The Evangelist of Truth" in U.S.A. stated: “America is experiencing the worst wave of teenage sex delinquency ever known in the history of the world, and crime is now increasing four times as fast as the population. The entire cause can be laid at the door of the movies, television and rotten literature.”
No one can claim complete ignorance of the dangers of that tragic illness known as venereal disease. It can lead to blindness, impotence, insanity and death. Yet men and women of uncontrollable sexual passions do contribute to spreading it. The New Zealand Herald (November 10, 1967) reported that "some Auckland girls have come to regard venereal disease as a kind of 'status symbol' which boosts them in the eyes of contemporaries who are similarly lacking in morals".
Sweden is another place that is notorious for immorality. Now the grave consequences of juvenile delinquency are weighing heavily on that country and the people are already feeling seriously concerned about the situation.
Swedish teenagers are said to be indifferent to shame and all decent virtues. Boys and girls drink and make love all night. In daylight they pet in public and do not care what the world thinks of them. Whole towns are plagued with screaming nude girls and the blare of transistor radios.
In the TIT-BITS, issue of the week ending May 23, 1964, a writer had this to say about the incidents of immorality in Sweden:
"SOMETIMES more than 100 arrests are made in one evening but these are only made after police charges aimed at breaking up mobs of drunken, sex- mad teenagers.
"The situation is now so serious that 140 Swedish physicians have petitioned King Gustav and the government, asking them to take steps to stop sexual laxity which is a 'menace to the vitality and health of the nation'.
"These doctors are not alarmists, In Sweden, pre-marital intercourse is condoned and abortions are legal. What is the result?" asked the writer. He then went on: "Statistics show that gonorrhea has increased nearly 100 per cent in the past five years - and more than 50 per cent of new cases are teenagers. This carefree attitude towards sex, apart from spreading disease, does not even make it enjoyable." Said Dr. Sigurd Elvin, one of the doctors who signed the petition: "Young people in Sweden are not happy. They lack the Ten Commandments in their upbringings," (Emphasis ours).
If those children's parents had not attached more importance to secular training than spiritual education, if they had brought up those children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6: 1-4) they would not have been miserable or unhappy as Dr. Sigurd Elvin lamented.
Bitterness of Sin
In Britain it is the same story of moral decline, London has been described as "the shocking city" because of whoredom that is rampant there. It was reported that "in 1962 there were 8,835 illegitimate births in London, England, which was one-seventh of all the births recorded in that city for the entire year!"
There is a school in South London where girls of 11-plus who are pregnant are cared for until they give birth to their children. A visitor to the school once wrote a story published in the TIT- BITS of May 23, 1964, which he captioned: "Heartbreak of the 11-plus Mothers", It is a story that tens of the bitterness of sin and the meanness of man despite his claim to civilisation. He stated that "girls in this plight have to be lucky to get to the school - it can cope with only 12 girls at a time".
The writer told of no less than 1,000-odd girls in a year who became expectant mothers before the official school-leaving age of 15! For them as far as the Ministry of Education is concerned, formal education is finished and there is no place for them to find an escape from the sham and live out their last few months of childhood as children.
The visitor further wrote: "I learned that often the fathers of the babies these girls are expecting are married men. Some are willing to accept the responsibility and help all they can, but many just leave the frightened girl to cope with the problem herself. Only a few of the prospective fathers are the same age as the girls. And they seldom marry the girl." Note what the visitor said: "...the fathers of the babies these girls are expecting are married men”. Are many monogamists not fathers of out-of-wedlock children here in Nigeria too? Do some of them not look down on honest polygamists? and do they - the monogamists - not parade themselves as the gentlemen and elites of society? Hypocrites!
It is clear from the disclosures in this sermon that the standard of morals in some countries abroad is not commendable. It is foolishness and a show of immaturity for anybody therefore to feel that he is better than anyone else just because he has been to any oversea country.
It is those things that arc good in Western civilisation that we should accept and make use of, but those that are bad must be condemned and thrown off. The tendency to ape everything that comes from Europe or America is one of the factors that are responsible for the moral weakness of our people.
For example, the Western style of dancing in which a man holds a woman, perhaps another man's wife, on her hip in very close proximity face to face, shoulder to shoulder or breast to breast - is immodest and ungodly. It is unchristian, and it provokes jealousy. "For jealousy is the rage of a man", says the word of God, (Proverbs 6: 34) Even the African custom does not allow it. But today those who want to be "modern" so as to be classified among the "elites" or "intelligentsia" take pride in doing these things.
The loose or nominal Christian may take offence and call the GKS names for condemning this type of European dance. For condemning anything we have strong reasons. That this type of European dance is immoral is evidenced by the confession of certain women in the United States.
"The Chicago Vice Commission in the United States, tried to find why girls 'went bad'. Over 300 women whose lives were ruined, many of whom were prostitutes, said, 'My first step wrong was caused by the dance." (African Challenge, July, 1957, page 5)
However, we are gratified that from the lectures of the GKS many sober and responsible people have had cause to ponder these things and to refrain from them. They have also stopped their wives and daughters from engaging themselves in such a loose dance.
Another thing that must be discouraged if moral corruption is to be wiped out of Nigeria and other parts of the world is the concept of "boy and girl friend". Some men - "gentlemen" - of about 50 years of age feel very happy when they are referred to by young girls of 18 or 20, as their "boy friends". And so too some old women feel honoured when they are called by young men as their "girl friends". This is funny; but it is in fact foolishness. In the Lagos Weekend of Friday, July 12, 1968, a writer had this to say: "In Nigeria when a man and a woman refer to each other as 'my girl friend' and 'my boy friend', the implication is that both of them are entitled to have sexual intercourse together throughout the duration of their friendship."
What the devil always does in luring men to sin is first of all to make them develop a carefree attitude so that a sinful act is not considered as anything serious.
Take a look at the beauty competitions of the world, You will find that the process through which a girt is declared "Miss Mini-skirt", "Miss Telephone" or "Miss Ilegogoro" is dotted with many things that contravene Christian principles and tradition, For a girl to put on a scanty dress, which nearly exposes her whole body and appear before a group of men regarded as judges, is foolish and repugnant to the Christian mind. It is very sad to note that certain responsible men and women, whom the young generation should look to for guidance in the right path, are putting in every effort to encourage these things. If this is the way we would want Nigeria to match with the times, then there is cause for fear.
Women generally were created by God in such a way that shamefacedness is a virtue to them. It was St. Paul who stated: "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." - 1 Timothy 2: 9.
Once a man or woman loses his or her sense of shame, there is no evil thing - no matter how mean it may be - that he or she cannot do. The Bible says "the unjust knoweth no shame."
The Sunday Times of July 1, 1968, published an article of a certain girl who said she thanked heavens for being single, As all people cannot be foolish, some responsible married women cried 'shame' on her in their replies published in the Sunday Times of July 21, 1968.
Young women who do not want to marry and who are leading immoral life are not only a "menace to the vitality and health of the nation", but are also the instruments of destruction. So too foolish married women who are seducing men to committing adultery are a spiritual danger leading the unfaithful and infidels to "the depths of hell". (Proverbs 9: 12-18) How many young men have had their lives ruined through these devilish women no one can really tell! It is only by the fear of God through the keeping of His commandments that men can escape from the snares of Satan these creatures constitute.
King Solomon, writing on the conduct of immoral women, stated: "For the commandment (of God) is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: to keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelid, For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life " – Proverbs 6: 23-29.
Concerning the Jews of old St. Paul stated: "But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness...Neither be ye (Christians) idolaters, as were some of them...Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come." - 1 Corinthians 10: 5-11.
Men and women everywhere must take warning from what the natural Jew" suffered because of sin. Jesus Christ, knowing the danger of worldliness, gave this warning: "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day (the day of God's vengeance) come upon you unawares... Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” - Luke 21: 34-36.
Anyone who has a prick of conscience is advised to repent sincerely and put a stop, by Christ's power, to his immoral living, He can be Sure of God's pardon, by His grace, notwithstanding how deep he has sunk into the pool of iniquity, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." - Isaiah 55: 7; see also Proverbs 28: 13, 14; 2 Peter 3: 9.
You as a Christian are required to live up to the principles of Christianity, You must not set your heart on this godless world, or its attractions, or all the glamour of its life, Let not the ungodly or unprincipled men seduce you with their errors from the lofty way - the way of holiness; but rather keep your foothold on the solid rock of faith, and maintain your integrity to the glory of God for your own salvation. (Proverbs 1: 10; 1 Peter 4: 2-3, 7, 8,) St. Paul says: "Work out your own salvation with (godly) fear and trembling."