Category: What does the Bible say about pornography?


Studies show that terms relating to porn are by far the most commonly searched-for terms in the internet search engines. Every day, literally millions of people do searches related to the porn industry. The powerful imagery of internet pornography is highly addictive. Many men (and women) have been caught in the snare of internet porn and find themselves helplessly addicted to its visual stimulation. This results in uncontrollable lust, an inability to experience true sexual intimacy in marriage, and often intense feelings of guilt and despair. Pornography is the #1 cause of masturbation, sexual assault, and sexual deviancy. Most importantly, pornography is offensive to God, and is therefore a sin that must be confessed, repented of, and overcome.

There are two primary aspects in the battle to overcome an addiction to internet porn: spiritual and practical. Spiritually, addiction to pornography is a sin that God desires you to overcome and therefore will enable you to do so. The first step is to make sure you have genuinely placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you are unsure, please visit our page on salvation and forgiveness. Without salvation through Jesus Christ, there is no possibility of a true and lasting victory over pornography: “Apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

If you are a believer in Christ and are struggling with an addiction to internet porn, there is hope and help for you! The power of the Holy Spirit is available to you (Ephesians 3:16). The cleansing of God’s forgiveness is available to you (1 John 1:9). The renewing capacity of God’s Word is at your disposal (Romans 12:1-2). Commit your mind and eyes to the Lord (1 John 2:16). Ask God to strengthen you and help you to overcome pornography (Philippians 4:13). Ask God to protect you from further exposure to porn (1 Corinthians 10:13), and to fill your mind with things that are pleasing to Him (Philippians 4:8). These are all requests that God will honor and answer.

Practically speaking, there are numerous tools to combat an addiction to internet pornography. There are good programs available at www.PureOnline.com and www.PornAddiction.com. There are several quality internet filtering programs that will completely block your computer from accessing pornography, such as www.bsecure.com. Another fantastic tool is available at www.X3Watch.com. X3watch is accountability software. It tracks your internet browsing and sends a report of any objectionable websites you have visited to an accountability partner of your choosing. Your temptation to view internet porn would be greatly reduced if you knew your youth pastor, parent, friend, pastor, or spouse would receive a detailed report about it. There are also quite a few good books on overcoming porn addiction: Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Purity One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn, Pure Freedom: Breaking the Addiction to Pornography by Mike Cleveland, and The Game Plan by Joe Dallas.

Do not despair! An addiction to internet porn is not an “unforgivable sin.” God can and will forgive you. An addiction to internet porn is not an “unconquerable sin.” God can and will enable you to overcome it. Commit your mind and eyes to the Lord. Commit yourself to filling your mind with God’s Word (Psalm 119:11). Seek His help daily in prayer; ask Him to fill your mind with His truth and block unwanted thoughts and desires. Take the practical steps listed above to keep yourself accountable and block access to internet porn. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

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First, it is good to recognize that lust is sin (Matthew 5:28; 1 John 2:16). However, is it also important to be honest with ourselves. Porn and erotica are meant to incite lust in the heart. The only reason pornography exists is that so many people give in to lustful thoughts. It is impossible to view pornography and not struggle with lust—the desire to have something or do something that conflicts with the will of God. Even if one is not lusting after the particular person in the picture or movie, he or she is harboring desires that conflict with God’s holiness. Viewing porn is always sin.

We are responsible to guard our hearts against lust (Proverbs 4:23). This is important because the result of letting down our guard can be fatal: “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:14–15).

Trying to narrow the definition of lust or splitting hairs concerning the object of lust is a way to make sin seem more acceptable. We must remember the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). The flesh says, “I want this,” and God says, “No, it’s not good for you.” That’s when Satan steps in and says, “Maybe we can work out a compromise.”

If we desire something God has forbidden, we are lusting. Jesus said that lust in the heart is just as sinful in God’s eyes as the actual act of adultery (Matthew 5:27–28). God has blessed the sexual union of a husband and wife (Song of Solomon 5:1), and He has issued severe warnings against sex outside of marriage (e.g., Hebrews 13:4). No one has the right to look at the nakedness of another person—or to look lasciviously at a clothed person—unless he or she is married to that person.

It’s difficult to live purely in an impure world, and all of us struggle with this issue. We need the armor of God as we fight this battle (Ephesians 6:10–18). We should follow the example of Joseph, who, when confronted with temptation, ran away (Genesis 39:12; cf. 2 Timothy 2:22). We should commit to purity as Job did: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (Job 31:1). “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:14).

By far, the most searched for terms on the internet are related to pornography. Pornography is rampant in the world today. Perhaps more than anything else, Satan has succeeded in twisting and perverting sex. He has taken what is good and right (loving sex between a husband and wife) and replaced it with lust, pornography, adultery, rape, and homosexuality. Pornography can be the first step on a very slippery slope of ever-increasing wickedness and immorality (Romans 6:19). The addictive nature of pornography is well documented. Just as a drug user must consume greater and more powerful quantities of drugs to achieve the same “high,” pornography drags a person deeper and deeper into hard-core sexual addictions and ungodly desires.

The three main categories of sin are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Pornography definitely causes us to lust after flesh, and it is undeniably a lust of the eyes. Pornography definitely does not qualify as one of the things we are to think about, according to Philippians 4:8. Pornography is addictive (1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:19), and destructive (Proverbs 6:25-28; Ezekiel 20:30; Ephesians 4:19). Lusting after other people in our minds, which is the essence of pornography, is offensive to God (Matthew 5:28). When habitual devotion to pornography characterizes a person’s life, it demonstrates the person is not saved (1 Corinthians 6:9).

For those involved in pornography, God can and will give the victory. Are you involved with pornography and desire freedom from it? Here are some steps to victory: 1) Confess your sin to God (1 John 1:9). 2) Ask God to cleanse, renew, and transform your mind (Romans 12:2). 3) Ask God to fill your mind with Philippians 4:8. 4) Learn to possess your body in holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). 5) Understand the proper meaning of sex and rely on your spouse alone to meet that need (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). 6) Realize that if you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). 7) Take practical steps to reduce your exposure to graphic images. Install pornography blockers on your computer, limit television and video usage, and find another Christian who will pray for you and help keep you accountable.