Q. Re: 1 Corinthians 7:9. “But if they don’t have self-control, let them marry. For it’s better to marry than to burn.” Does this mean anyone who has had sex before marriage is going to hell?
A. The Bible is clear that sex outside of marriage is a sin. But like all other sins it can be forgiven. Therefore it doesn’t automatically condemn a person to hell.
In 1 Cor. 7 Paul was talking about marriage. He said since people have a difficult time controlling their sexual urges they should marry, so their spouse could help them keep these urges under control. He explained how the body of each partner in the marriage belongs to the other, and neither should deprive the other of sexual release except by mutual consent. Then he said it’s better to marry than to burn.
From the context we can see he wasn’t talking about sex outside of marriage or about burning in the literal sense, as in the fires of judgment. He was talking about burning with lust with no opportunity for release.