Sermon: The Eternal Impact of ObedienceMay 21, 2019
There is no Formula for Ministering DeliveranceJune 1, 2019
Pornography has become a major pandemic in our world, and it is high time that we take an honest look at how this stronghold is wreaking havoc in lives, families, and the church as a whole. We don’t have any business judging the world for sexual sin; that is what they know. But there must be a difference in the people of God.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5)
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
God is not anti-sex, but He is very much against sexual immorality. He designed sexual intimacy to be a unique bond between a husband and wife in the context of the covenant of marriage. Any type of sexual activity outside of this is a perversion of His design and does great damage.
There’s No Place for Porn
Make no mistake about it: pornography is a form of sexual immorality and there is no way to justify or rationalize it. There is no place whatsoever for pornography in the life of a Christian!
Some men have been deceived by lies about pornography, and this keeps them in a pattern of sin. Others have struggled to break free from pornography, and found that deliverance from unclean spirits was the key that was needed for their freedom. Some have been set free in deep encounters of repentance and a process of renewing of the mind. Everyone’s journey is unique.
But I have found that in some cases, men don’t get free from porn for a very simple reason: they don’t actually want to be free. They justify and rationalize their porn habit, and have not experienced genuine repentance. (I am aware that there are women who struggle with pornography, but this article is specifically geared toward men).
Porn is not a Sex Problem, It’s a Sin Problem
My heart is not to condemn, but it’s time to get real. We must remove the lies, deception, and rationalization that so often surrounds the problem of pornography. We need a wake-up call and an encounter with truth. It is a revelation of truth that sets us free (see John 8:32). As long as we embrace lies, we will not walk in freedom. We must go deeper and get to the heart of the matter.
A pornography problem is often called a “sex addiction.” But we must be a little more honest. Men who indulge in pornography do not have a sex addiction; they have a sin addiction.
Instead of glossing over things, let’s get to some roots of what a porn addiction is really about. When you give yourself to pornography, you’re not addicted to sex, you’re addicted to sin:
- You’re addicted to selfishness, where your wants are the center of the universe.
- You’re addicted to perversion, a deviation from God’s design.
- You’re addicted to adultery, in a more “acceptable” form (husbands, if you are viewing pornography, you are committing adultery).
- You’re addicted to lust, where you can take what you aren’t supposed to have.
- You’re addicted to a fantasy world, where you get to have what you want, when you want it.
- You’re addicted to the illusion of intimacy without the commitment of covenant, a total sham and mockery of God’s plan for sex.
- You’re addicted to objectifying and degrading women, and using a woman’s body with no thought to caring for her heart or loving her as a person.
- You’re addicted to entitlement and feeling powerful and in control (though in reality porn strips you of true masculinity and makes you a powerless slave).
Let’s stop sugarcoating it; let’s stop normalizing it; let’s stop minimizing it!
Having a sex-drive is normal. Fulfilling your sex-drive in perverted ways is not. Experiencing temptation is normal. Constantly falling into sexual sin is not. Jesus paid the price for our freedom. Not being able to maintain self-control over your sexual desires is not normal for a Christian, no matter how common the problem of pornography is in society.
If you justify porn with a “boys will be boys” mentality, then I say it’s time to stop being a boy; it’s time to grow up and be a man. Pornography is dark, demonic, and absolutely destructive. It corrupts your heart, mind, and conscience. It fills your thoughts with perversion and cloaks your heart with shame. It makes you a taker instead of a giver. Men, this is not for you!
There is Freedom
There is freedom from pornography, masturbation, and every other type of sexual sin for all who repent and trust Christ for salvation and deliverance. But you can’t get free from the sin that you minimize, justify, or rationalize. You can’t get free from sin that you don’t actually want to be free from. It’s not enough to feel guilty afterward or only try to change if you get caught. There must be deep, sincere repentance.
Don’t believe the lie that “every guy views porn” or that you will always have to struggle with it. There is genuine freedom in Christ. By God’s grace, I can testify to experiencing the ongoing reality of this freedom for many years. As my friend Justin Rule of Broken Free says, “Porn is not your thorn!”
Some people are set free in powerful times of repentance and godly sorrow. Some are set free when filled afresh with the Holy Spirit. Some are set free when delivered from unclean spirits. Some are set free through a process of renewing the mind in God’s Word. Some are set free as deeper root issues are addressed and they encounter God’s love. And it is often a combination of the above. Don’t look for a magic bullet; but don’t settle for less than freedom.
We cannot attain freedom in our own strength, but the gospel gives power to break free from the grip of sin. The grace of God is enough to deliver us and change us on the inside. The blood of Jesus is not just to forgive us, but to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9).
Jesus taught that we are to be ruthless about dealing with sexual sin in our lives (see Matthew 5:27-30). No more excuses. No more justification and rationalization. It’s time to get real, walk in the light, and break free!