I think to understand why immorality has invaded evangelicalism, we have to see that there has been an enormous change in the Western world. It was ushered in with what we sometimes call "modernism," and sometimes call "secular humanism." We have had a remarkable change in recent history. We have moved from belief in "an open system," where God, though invisible, is nevertheless acknowledged to exist, to what is called "a closed system," where all we see is all there is, where the only thing that exists is the matter in the universe of which we are a part.

Still another issue is ecumenism. Ecumenism is the desire to get all Christians together under one umbrella, whether or not they hold to the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. Schaeffer refers to a meeting of The World Council of Churches held in Vancouver, British Columbia, that by all objective accounts was a disaster. So much so that even the secular magazines, Newsweek and Time, in particular, said how ironic it is for these men to be calling upon the name of Christ while issuing the kind of proclamations they did. Yet strikingly, there were so-called evangelicals present at the meeting who wrote favorably about it and backed that up with published articles.

One of the most significant books I have read is The Great Evangelical Disaster, written by Francis Schaeffer. It speaks out against the failures of evangelicalism, particularly the unconscious, but nonetheless tragical, compromises of some of the great standards of the Word of God. The word he uses for this is "accommodation," which is the theme of the book.

At the very end of this section, Paul begins to talk about how Christians must then live. He uses strong words. We have such a temptation to water them down because we believe in the doctrine of justification by faith. It is a great, foundational doctrine and we do not want to mix in works with justification. But notice what Paul says: "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?" He did not say, "The ‘unjustified’ will not inherit the kingdom of God," but "the wicked," those who are wicked, those who act wickedly.

I want to say something about the role of the state because although Paul does not develop it here in 1 Corinthians 6, considering another context will give us a more complete picture of this issue. What is the role of the state? Does the state have legitimate authority over the lives of Christians? One of the great illustrations of the proper role of the state is found in the trial of Jesus Christ. It was significant, not simply because it was Jesus on trial, but because Jesus stood in that position as the head of the church before Pilate, who was the representative of Caesar, the greatest power in the Roman world at the time.