5 Aug 2014 by Rev Dr Steven Kau-
It is going to take time, decades at least, before we are able to accurately tally the cost of our cultural addiction to pornography. But as Christians, we know what it means to tamper with God’s clear and unambiguous design for sexuality. The cost will be high. It must be high.
We all know the cost must be high in fractured families and heartbroken parents, husbands and wives. Already we are seeing too many of these and each one is its own tragedy. We know the cost will be high in the countless thousands of women who are abused in front of cameras so they can be violated for other people’s pleasure. That is a sickening tragedy as well.
But an overlooked cost and one that will become clear in time is that porn is stealing the best years from millions of young Christian men and women. Porn is dominating their lives during their teens and twenties. It is controlling their lives during those years when energy is high and responsibility is low, when the world lies open before them and the possibilities are endless; when they are charting the trajectories for the rest of their lives. Their dreams and their abilities are hampered and squelched by a reckless commitment to sin.
So many young Christians have stunted their spiritual growth through what I call pornolescence.
Pornolescence is that period when a person is old enough to know that pornography is wrong and that it exacts a heavy price but too immature or too apathetic to do anything about it. Pornolescence is that period where he/she feels the guilt of his/her sin but still enjoy it too much to give it up. He/she may make the occasional plea for help or ask for an accountability partner. But he/she doesn’t really want to stop. Not yet. A lady who is indulging in pornolescence for example may phone a friend on occasion or plan to speak to one of the older women in the church but in the end her internal shame weighs heavier than her desire for holiness. So she continues on, night after night.
My goal in this article is to give you 7 good reasons you need to stop looking at porn right now.
1. THE COST TO YOUR SOUL
I want to begin here, with the cost to your soul. If you are consumed with pornography and unwilling to put this sin to death, you have every reason to be concerned with the state of your soul. God promises that if He has saved us, we will gain new passions and new affections. We will have not only the ability but also the desire to replace sin with holiness; to replace immorality with sexual purity. If you have no sorrow for sin, if you have no real desire for victory, if time and again, you recklessly choose your sin over your Savior, you need to ask yourself this: Do I love pornography enough to go to hell for it? If this sin continues to dominate your life, it may stand as proof that you do not have a saving, sin-slaying faith. Hell is too long and too horrifying to mess around with your soul. For the sake of your soul, stop looking at pornography.
2. THE COST TO YOUR NEIGHBOR
Even those who know next to nothing about the Christian faith know this: Christians are commanded to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Just like Jesus, Christians are to esteem others higher than themselves and to place the concerns of other people ahead of their own. Of all people, Christians should know that pornography exacts a high cost of those who create it; the cost to their bodies, to their souls, to their mental well-being, to their dignity, to their future. A vast amount of the pornography you enjoy is created by people against their wills. The simple fact is, by watching porn, you are watching rape and deriving pleasure from it. You become a willing participant in sexual violence and you allow that actor on the screen to suffer for your pleasure. For the sake of your neighbor, stop looking at pornography.
3. THE COST TO YOUR CHURCH
At a time when the Christian church is crying out for more and better leaders, an entire generation of young men and women are infantilizing themselves by their dedication to pornography. In this time they constantly choose sexual immorality over God and their spiritual growth is stunted. For the sake of your church, stop looking at pornography.
4. THE COST TO YOUR FAMILY
There is scarcely a pastor ministering today who has not seen a family crumble and fall under the weight of pornographic addiction. Men are tearing apart their families for the sake of illicit pleasures; women are shunning the attention of their husbands in order to read or to watch what is forbidden and what seems to promise greater and easier satisfaction. Children are being exposed to pornography through the trails their parents leave behind. Fathers are inviting Satan into their homes by their commitment to what God forbids and what Satan loves. For the sake of your family, stop looking at pornography.
5. THE COST TO YOUR MISSION
The Lord’s commission is an urgent commission because it is a matter of eternal life and death. Time is short and hell is forever, which makes the Christian’s business an urgent business. And yet so many Christians are distracted by something an evil and as wasteful as pornography. Their attention is arrested, their energy depleted, their usefulness undermined. Don Whitney says it well: “If there are any regrets in heaven, they will only be that we did not use our earthly time more for the glory of God and for growth in His grace. If this is so, this may be Heaven’s only similarity with hell, which will be filled with agonizing laments over time so foolishly squandered.” For the sake of your mission, stop looking at pornography.
6. THE COST TO YOUR WITNESS
Christian are called to be different, to stand out from the rest of the world by their desires and by their behavior. Christians are to put sin to death and to display the power of God in removing and destroying all competitors. And yet so many Christians have had their witness shattered when the sordid truth comes out and when others learn that they profess faith in Christ on the one hand and are consumed with lust on the other. Parents undermine the gospel they have been telling their children and pastors undermine the gospel they have been preaching to their congregations, if they succumb to pornography. For the sake of your witness, stop looking at pornography.
7. THE COST TO YOUR SAVIOR
By making light of pornography, you are making light of the death of Jesus Christ. If you are a Christian, you acknowledge in your profession of faith that the cost of forgiveness was nothing less than the death of God’s beloved Son. Jesus suffered and died for your sins. How can you, as a Christian, then toy with your sin and take it lightly? How can you cling to it? As Spurgeon says with his customary eloquence, “Sin has been pardoned at such a price that we cannot henceforth trifle with it.” For God’s sake, stop looking at pornography.
1 Thessalonians 4:3 makes it clear as day, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification that you abstain from sexual immorality.” A Christian’s growth in holiness and his development in Christian maturity are directly and in inextricably tied to sexual purity. A person cannot full-out pursue God while also full-out pursuing porn. God cannot be mocked. God will not allow you to soar to spiritual mountain tops while you stoop in pornographic filth. God will not allow you to grow in Christian maturity while you wallow in your incessant pornolescence.
For the sake of Christ’s Church and out of the love for Christ’s Church, put that sin to death. Do it for Him, do it for yourself and do it for us.
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