Abstain From What!?
Continuing from yesterday, we have a rather interesting conclusion to the Jerusalem council. James (Jesus' half-brother) chimes in at the end, agreeing that Gentiles should not have to bear the yoke of the law. Interestingly, he names a few other things in addition. These things then go out in a letter to the churches affirming the Gospel to the Gentiles apart from observing the Law:
1. Abstain from meat sacrificed to idols
2. Abstain from eating blood
3. Abstain from meat that was strangled
4. Abstain from sexual immorality
Before you go thinking that this is really weird, let me explain. It actually makes A LOT of sense, particularly after our brief discussion yesterday regarding culture and the Gospel. What ties these things together? The first three things are items that would not be eaten by Jews. Consuming these things would mean that the Jews most likely would not eat with the Gentiles - culturally ingrained rules and tastes are hard to change quickly, and there is no command that says that Jews MUST change their diet in light of the Gospel. Rather than being about prohibition, this is about fellowship. They ask Gentiles to abstain from these things in order that Jewish and Gentile Christians can fellowship together.
But what about the fourth prohibition?
"The prohibition of sexual immorality (porneia) seems to belong to a different category from the rest, and it appears out of place in this list. Surely it goes without saying that sexual immorality is prohibited for Christians. I think that there was so much immorality in some of these places, like Antioch (which was notorious for its immorality), that the churches were also affected by the immorality surrounding them. Therefore a special warning was necessary. Perhaps this prohibition was implying that immoral church members should not be extended the privilege of table fellowship with Christians (cf. 1 Cor. 5:9–11). This explanation would then tie in this prohibition with the other three." 
Remember, it's not about rules, it's about relationships and fellowship.