NewSpring Church Pastor Perry Noble recently delivered a hard-hitting message on the seriousness of sexual immorality in the church. For those who take sexual sins lightly, he made it clear to them: "You're not saved."
Though a lot to take on in one message, Noble tackled adultery, friends with benefits, pornography and homosexuality as the four common sins that Christians have come to tolerate.
"In America, it's cool to be tolerant," he told thousands at the S.C. megachurch on Sunday. But "Jesus literally tells the church there are certain things that you are to not tolerate in the church."
The message was meant to cause discomfort among Christians. Some even got up and left in the middle of the message in earlier services on Sunday, Noble told attendees at the evening service.
But his goal wasn't so much to condemn Christians as it was to encourage them and help them break free from sexual sins.
"What you and I pursue will ultimately determine what we do and who we become," he stated.
For those pursuing sexual immorality, they have ultimately turned their back on Jesus, he said repeatedly.
He called it a "spiritual impossibility" to pursue adultery and Jesus at the same time.
"Just admit that you're not following Christ," Noble said. "Just admit that an orgasm is more important to you than Jesus."
While men made of the majority of those committing adultery in the past, Noble has found that more married women are having affairs. And the Internet is a big factor.
Facebook has become a big culprit, he noted. He recently spoke to a counselor who said every affair he has dealt with in the past six months began on Facebook.
"I'm not anti-Facebook," Noble said. "But some of you have started online flirting, connecting with old flames, having intimate conversations."
Noble bluntly told them, "Go home tonight and delete your Facebook account."
The NewSpring pastor had harsh words for singles as well.
He told singles that are having sex that they too are turning their back on Jesus.
"If you're doing that ... just don't say you love Jesus," he said. "Don't show up to church during a worship song and raise your hands when you had your hands all over a girl this weekend. Stop it."
His advice to singles having sex: don't date somebody for a year because it leads to sex every time you date.
"You can't renew your mind while you're dating. You're going to have to fight this."
Addressing the pervasive struggle with pornography, Noble told the church crowd that they can't pray it away.
Making himself transparent, Noble said he battled with porn addiction for more than a decade. His addiction began after he was first exposed to it in elementary school.
He admitted that even after becoming a Christian, he still struggled. He received Christ in 1990 but didn't break his addiction until 1999.
"You don't pray this away," he stressed. "You confess and you repent."
Homosexuality was the last sexual sin he addressed.
He apologized to homosexuals for the way the church has treated them. "It's so sad that the church has used the name of the one who died for your sins to persecute you. Doesn't make sense."
But he added, "Homosexuality is a sin."
"It's not popular in America to say that," he acknowledged. "There will be legislation introduced ... that will actually make that ... a hate crime."
Noble said he has been studying homosexuality for a year and emphasized that it is never endorsed in the Scriptures. "Anytime it's mentioned ... it's always condemned."
He also pointed out that he doesn't disagree with homosexuals who say they were born this way.
"I believe it," he said. "Because the Bible says that we were all born sinners."
Heterosexuals were born into heterosexual sin, the pastor added.
"I was born with a desire to have sex with every pretty girl that would let me have sex with her and so was every man," he said. "Just because you were born that way doesn't make it right for you to act on the way you were born."
Noble made it clear to the congregation that adultery, premarital sex, pornography and homosexuality do not bring the joy that they are searching for. Rather, they bring pain, regret and hurt.
Church attendees were given the chance at the end of the service to seek help for any sexual sin they were struggling with.
"Those wrapped up in sexual sin ... you got rocked tonight. You've got time tonight to repent, to stop it. You're not trapped ... You've got to ask for help," he urged.
Unfortunately, the church has always been the last place where you can go for help, he lamented. But he told them that there won't be condemnation or judging at NewSpring.
"People are going to get free tonight."