Prostitution is typically defined as payment in exchange for sex or sexual services. Because prostitution has existed since ancient times, the Bible directly addresses it and how God's people should respond to it.
Does the Bible say anything about prostitution? Will God forgive a prostitute?
First, prostitution is a sexual practice and/or relationship condemned in Scripture. First Corinthians 6:15 states, "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never!" The apostle Paul used the strongest Greek wording possible to condemn this practice. Christians are explicitly commanded to avoid involvement in prostitution.
Second, it is also clear that God will and has forgiven those involved in prostitution. The most famous account in the Bible is a woman named Rahab (see Joshua 2—6). The Israeli leader Joshua had sent two men as spies into Jericho. When local authorities discovered them, these two men hid in Rahab's home. She protected them by hiding them and sending the authorities in another direction. Through her actions, she showed she believed in the God of Israel.
The result was that God protected Rahab and her family when Israel defeated Jericho. In the New Testament, we discover two important notes about Rahab. First, she is mentioned in the family history of Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:5 lists her as the mother of Boaz, the great-grandfather of King David.
The second time Rahab is mentioned in the New Testament is as an example of faith and of God's grace in Hebrews 11. This famous chapter speaks of many Old Testament leaders who showed faith in God. Regarding Rahab, we read, "By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies" (Hebrews 11:31).
Rahab, a woman known as a prostitute, stands as an amazing example of how God's grace can change a prostitute. Following her simple faith, God blessed her by saving her life, giving her a new family, including her in the family line of King David and Jesus, and recorded her faithfulness in the pages of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. God clearly condemns prostitution in the Bible, yet He also clearly provides grace to any person involved in prostitution who will turn to Him in faith.
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