Question:

Is it wrong to have pre-marital sex?
If you have pre-marital sex with your partner, does it mean you now have to marry them?

I know that non-Christians don't have a problem with pre-marital sex but what does the Adventist Church believe?

Answer: The Seventh-day Adventist Church holds sexual intimacy in high regard and believes that it belongs in relationships built on lifelong love and faithfulness between a man and a woman. We also believe such a relationship is only found in a marriage.

It is very true that modern culture justifies what people have always done throughout history, maintaining sexual relations outside of marriage. Adventists believe that such a practise is potentially damaging to relationships between the genders and the whole concept of sexuality, and that it will deprive us of the sexual joy which is only obtainable in a lifelong loving relationship between a man and a woman.

The teaching that sexual intercourse belongs to marriage is not deduced from one biblical text alone, but from a number of biblical considerations.

  • It is part of the original creation account that a man leaves his parents and cling to his wife, and that these two become “one flesh/being” (Genesis 2:23-25). Though this expression implies far more than sexual unity, sexual intercourse is included as belonging to the marriage.
  • Jesus Himself confirmed that this description of marriage in Genesis is trustworthy (Matthew 19:1-5).
  • It could be added that the Mosaic law, though applied to less than perfect circumstances (Deuteronomy 22:28-29), was given by God and made it clear that pre-marital sexual intercourse should lead to marriage.

When that is said, the Bible is very realistic. Sexual sins or transgressions are not in themselves worse than others, and forgiveness and grace is available in this area as well in all other areas. Yet, God’s advice and commands have in experience proved to bring humans the greatest love and joy.