Temptations to commit some kind of sexual sin have become prevalent, but there are still ways for people to recover from such an act and start anew, said Pastor Rick Warren.
In a recent article on his website, Warren reminded readers that "God's standards never change," even when it comes to sexual sin.
Acts like engaging in premarital sex, cohabiting, having an affair outside of marriage and watching pornography "always has been" and "always will be" "unacceptable" to God, the Saddleback Church pastor stressed.
All is not lost if people are guilty of any of those sexual sins, however, and Warren has offered some advice regarding what people can do to "come clean" and "start over."
The Southern California pastor said that the first thing people must do after committing a sexual sin is repent. The mindset that people had when they gave in to temptation has to be changed right away or else they cannot move forward.
After repenting, Warren urged people to receive the forgiveness the Lord will give to them.
"God is waiting to forgive, cleanse, and restore you. He'll release you from the shame, regrets, hidden hurts, and pain that come from your sin so you don't carry them into your next relationship. God wants to wipe the slate clean. The good news is, once he's forgiven you, you can forgive yourself."
Warren also advised people to renew their focus and to live their lives according to God's will in the wake of repenting and receiving forgiveness. He also encouraged those who have sinned to continually ask for guidance every day so that they may not be led astray again by temptation.
In an earlier article, Warren reminded followers of God that the best way to avoid sexual sin and stay pure is through committing oneself to His standard — namely, sex is reserved for a husband and a wife in marriage. Anything outside of that would lead to emotional, spiritual and even physical consequences.
He acknowledged that many things that God has said regarding sex are not popular but pointed out that God created sex.
"He knows more about sex than you do. He also understands the implications far better than you do. You have to decide: 'God, when I don't understand it, when I don't like it, and when it's not popular, I'm going to do what your Word says, regardless of what I think or what my friends think,'" Warren noted.
"Until you're willing to make that kind of commitment, you may as well close up your Bible and go back to bed. Without that commitment, you're not ready to be pure in an impure world. You can only be pure by following God's standard."
To avoid committing sexual sin, Warren wants people to recognize the true meaning of sex and from there, they can understand why it is absolutely essential to remain pure.
Sex is not just a physical act, he noted. It's a spiritual act. If it were purely physical, "it wouldn't matter who you had sex with."