Long ago, the Greek god Zeus sent his daughter, Pandora, to earth.

Zeus gave Pandora a little box with a heavy lock on it. He gave the key to Pandora’s husband and told them to never open the box.

Pandora was very curious and wanted to see what was inside it, but her husband said no.

She became convinced it must contain something very important and desirable, and she didn’t want to be denied. So

one day, when he was sleeping, Pandora stole the key from her husband, and opened the box.

Out flew every kind of disease and sickness, hate, envy, poverty, death and everything bad that people had never experienced. Pandora slammed the lid closed, but it was too late. All the bad things were already out of the box and in the world.

Most of us have heard this myth before and are aware of it’s moral: “All that glitters is not gold.” Have you ever pursued something only tofind it didn’t give you the satisfaction you thought it would? It might have provided brief pleasure, but then you were left feeling empty and longing again.

Sex outside its intended purpose is a huge Pandora’s Box. It promises so much pleasure and self-fulfillment, but its rewards do not last. In fact, over time they become less satisfying and more and more brief.

I remember staring at the moon one night and feeling total emptiness inside. I was 17 and lived for sex, drugs and rock n roll. In fact, I had just finished having sex with a girl I desired who now lay sleeping there. I knew she thought she was in love with me, but as I stared at her, I felt nothing. The sex was pleasurable, but already gone. I could only think, “There must be more than this.”

At that time, the idea of abstinence and sexual purity seemed absurd to me. Why deny myself something enjoyable? Yet if I was really honest with myself, I had opened the Pandora’s Box of sex, indulged in it, and it wasn’t really delivering what I thought it would.

God created sex and it’s one of His biggest gifts to us. In its intended use, inside a committed covenant of marriage between a man and woman, it provides the deepest form of intimacy and ecstasy imaginable. He designed sex to give us the utmost pleasure and fulfillment. But when we pursue sex outside its created purpose, we open up a Pandora’s Box that leads to disappointment, and a host of unwanted consequences like emotional pain, regret and shame, STDs, unwanted pregnancy, HIV etc.

Unfortunately, most of us fall for this “false gold” while we are still very young. Two-thirds of US teens report having engaged in sexual intercourse by age 17. God knows the gift of sex is very powerful and that many of us will give away our sexual purity by opening the box.

In John 8:1-11 there is a story about a woman caught in the act of adultery and brought to Jesus for judgment. He does not condemn her, and reminds her self-righteous accusers that they are no better. He tells them, “Let those of you who are sinless cast the first stone at her.” He offers her a clean slate and tells her, “Go and sin no more.”

God does not condemn us when we repent and come to Him. Instead, He forgives us and restores our sexual purity. He promises to “make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5)

Join us this Sunday at 9:00AM or 11:00 AM as we look at the subject of sexual purity. My son, Gabriel, will talk about “The 30 Year Old Virgin,” part 4 in our series on “Sex in the City.”

Ché Ahn and his wife, Sue, are the Founding Pastors of HRock Church in Pasadena, California. Ché serves as the Founder and President of Harvest International Ministry (HIM) and the International Chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute (WLI). With a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, he has played a key role in many strategic outreaches on local, national and international levels. He has written more than a dozen books and travels extensively throughout the world, bringing apostolic insight with an impartation of renewal, healing and evangelism.