What is the real cause of the AIDS pandemic?
"Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).
When a scholar in Haiti who had been studying the social consequences of AIDS was interviewed by the BBC, he said: "The highest co-factor with AIDS is poverty."
This is false, of course. The highest co-factor with AIDS is immorality. A Ph.D. is not required to figure that out. But the world prefers to ignore this simple truth.
The moral principles taught in Scripture are for man's own good.
Two young people who remain chaste until marriage and who remain faithful to one another after marriage, do not have to worry about contracting AIDS or any other venereal (sexually transmitted) disease.
"Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4).
The Greek word for 'fornication' (PORNEIA) refers to all kinds of sexual immorality, both premarital and extramarital, both heterosexual and homosexual. Adulterers are fornicators who violate a marriage, their own or someone else's.
The AIDS epidemic is caused by fornicators and adulterers. This does not mean that all people who have AIDS are immoral. A moral husband or wife can be given AIDS by an immoral marriage partner. Children can contract aids before birth from a mother who is either immoral, or was given the virus by someone who was immoral. A moral person can contract AIDS by means of injection or transfusion, but in that case also, the disease ultimately comes from someone who is immoral.
In the media, moral people and advocates of morality are often portrayed as prudish fanatics who want to deprive others of enjoyment.
In reality, they are sensible people who want to enjoy the good life and avoid the physical and spiritual harm caused by immorality."Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman,
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?"
"Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion of life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:9).
One Christian young lady was being ridiculed by her classmates because she refused to go to dances and engage in immoral practices. They sneered: "Well, what do you do for fun?" She replied calmly: "For 'fun' I get up each morning with a clear conscience about what I did the night before."
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'" (Romans 1:16,17).
Even if people ridicule you, never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is God's power for salvation. It is the only hope for mankind. If we believe the gospel, God's righteousness will be revealed to us in it, and if we live according to that faith, we will share His righteousness.
They who reject God, they who reject the gospel, they who prefer darkness to light, will suffer the consequences.
In Romans, chapter one, Paul explains the causes and consequences of immorality.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18).
The truth is suppressed, not only about the real cause of AIDS, but also concerning many other things. The truth is suppressed in the media, the truth is suppressed in the schools, the truth is suppressed by governments, and the truth is suppressed in churches. Which truth? The truth about God. The truth about the value of morality. The truth about the terrible consequences of immorality.
There is no excuse for this suppression of truth.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened" (Romans 1:18-21).
The truth about God's eternal power and Godhead can be clearly seen in His creation. When people reject such an obvious and vital truth, it corrupts their lives and society.
"Professing to be wise, they became fools and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man -- and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things" (Romans 1:22,23).
Man was created to worship God. When he rejects his Creator, he worships something in the materialistic realm. If you suppose that the age of idols is past, you are greatly mistaken. The Catholic church promotes image-worship in the whole world. Many bow before pot-bellied images of Buddha. And Western Man worships the old heathen gods such as Mammon (the god of money), Bacchus (the god of intoxicating drink) and Mars (the god of war). Millions are devoted to a modern, moving, talking image in the corner of their living rooms. Humanists worship themselves.
This rejection of God results in moral corruption.
"Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:24-27).
Notice that homosexuals and lesbians "receive in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." These perversions are shameful and are harmful to those who engage in them.
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:28-32).
Yes, the real cause of the AIDS epidemic is rejection of God, sin and immorality. Fornicators and adulterers are the cause of the AIDS epidemic. They are angels of death, servants of the devil, and murderers.
After painting this bleak picture of the consequences of rejecting God, Paul goes on to show that even the most religious people are sinners, and because of their sin cannot appear before God on their own merits. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
AIDS is a terrible disease. There is no cure. They who have AIDS die. One of the greatest social problems during the next thirty years will be the millions of orphans left behind by those who have died of AIDS.
But there is an epidemic worse than AIDS. That is the SIN epidemic. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We all die because of sin.
Fortunately, there is a cure for sin. The blood of Christ can wash us clean and make us white as snow.
"In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:9,10).
"For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Because of our sin, we deserve to die. Christ, who was without sin, did not have to die. But He allowed Himself to be crucified to pay the penalty for our sins, so we might go free.
After His resurrection, Jesus told His followers: "Thus is it written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46,47).
To repent means to be sorry for one's sins and to solemnly determine to turn away from sin and serve God.
Peter tells us what to do: "'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.' And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation.' Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them" (Acts 2:38-41).
"Be saved from this perverse generation." Our only hope is salvation through Christ by the grace of God. Just like the people on the Day of Pentecost, you can be added to those who are being saved today. If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, if you believe that He died for your sins and rose from the dead the third day, if you are willing to turn away from sin and dedicate your life to God, if you are willing to confess your faith before men, if you are willing to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of your sins, you can be saved by the grace of God.
Do not put it off. This may be your last chance. "Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive