One survey reportedly claimed that over sixty-five percent of all men at Christian colleges are looking at pornography on the internet twice a week. That figure is just below what non-Christian men do at secular colleges. Women are also increasingly entrapped by pornography, as well. These numbers are alarming.
Looking at provocative pictures on a computer screen seems safe (no one else knows), and affordable, but nothing could be more dangerous and costly. Some may argue that it is okay “to look at the menu as long as you do not order,” but pornography is the menu at the restaurant of spiritual death.
Lust and pornography is dangerous for several reasons. First, lust is a sin against God. Jesus was absolutely plain in his Sermon on the Mount. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Lust frequently included in biblical lists of terrible sins. “And He was saying, ‘That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man’” (Mark 7:20-23).
The Lord Jesus said all of these gross sins begin in the human heart. In other words, a person can look clean, happy, and religious on the outside, but be filthy, miserable, and ungodly on the inside. Eventually that which is on the inside will make its way out through your mouth (Matthew 12:33-34) and through your deeds. The dirty deeds that begin in private using a computer, eventually will become public.
Some suppose as long as people keep their thoughts to themselves no harm is done. Jesus declared this to be wrong. He said lustful thoughts are just as wicked before the Lord as physically committing adultery. Obviously, the earthly consequences of evil thoughts are not as severe, but every lustful thought is a sin against the God who judges the heart.
A second danger of the lust associated with pornography is that lust can never be satisfied. One lustful thought leads to another lustful thought. The second thought is just a little stronger than the first one. Men and women might rationalize that just a few moments on an illicit web site will not hurt anything. That logic is a lie from hell!
Once you indulge your sinful appetite, you will want to do it again. It seems manageable at first, but soon you find yourself visiting again and again. Think about these men on Christian college campuses. Do you think they planned to commit acts of gross rebellion against the Lord Jesus two times a week when they took that “harmless” first visit?
If sixty-five percent of college men look at ungodly pictures or scenes twice a week, how many are looking at them even more often? If you feed the lion of lust in your sinful heart, he will grow stronger and stronger until he devours you from within.
Third, lust leads to death. Romans 6:23 shows this reality indirectly: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” If you punch the clock at the pornography shop, you will earn the paycheck of death. At your physical death your spirit will be separated from your body, but at your spiritual death, you will be separated from God for all of eternity in the lake of fire.
James 1:14-15 speaks directly to the sin of lust. “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” Is it harmless to experiment aiming a loaded gun at yourself? Lust just as certainly leads to death.
Is there any hope for those who have begun down the road of pornography? Absolutely yes! But do not think of this escape as a sure thing that you can always use anytime you think your pornography gets out of hand. If you are looking at pictures of illicit women or men at all, it is already out of hand. You are already in terrible sin, with the wrath of God hanging over your head waiting to crash upon your soul forever.
Think of being in a battle in a field surrounded by high hills. Imagine the enemy closing in on all sides. You are alone and you just ran out of ammunition. As you desperately look around, you find one narrow way of escape through a tight pass. If you run with all of your might, you can escape, but barely. If you hesitate, you will die an agonizing death. So yes, there is hope for forgiveness in God through the Lord Jesus Christ. But you must see the desperate nature of your situation and flee to him. Do not wallow in your sin assuming you can get forgiven later. Come to Jesus right now!
Ask him to forgive you for your sins. Confess your sins to those who you sinned against (remember Jesus called lust heart adultery). He can and will give you grace to never look at pornography again. Through replacing lustful thoughts with thoughts about God and his Word, you can be freed from giving in to the lion’s tug of lust. You may need some accountability to help you keep your commitments to the Lord and your spouse. Find a godly person of the same sex at your church and ask them to meet regularly to talk about sexual purity.
The internet can be a wonderful tool for good. But if someone in your family is using the computer to indulge his or her lusts, it is better not to have access to the internet on the computer than to go to hell (see Matthew 5:29-30). Making radical steps to be free from this deadly sin is worth the sacrifice.
By: John Crotts