Friday, 13 May 2016

Getting Out Of The Pit of Porn

We need to talk about sex...

We don't talk much about sex in the church. It is probably that some of you have never heard a sermon about sex in your lives.

But we are sexual creatures. Sex is important for us. In fact somebody said that while women have a thousand and one different needs; we men really just have two – sex and respect. There's some truth in that.

Sex is important – and the Bible is actually full of teaching about sex...there's a whole book, the Song of Solomon that is an erotic love poem. It's very physical.

The Bible is absolutely for sex. It is a good thing; it's a precious thing; it's sacred. But only in marriage.

And like all good pleasures – the devil and the world have taken a pleasure made for man and twisted it and so instead of sex bringing life and to many it brings problems, even death.

One huge twist is pornography.

Most of us have probably been burnt by pornography. We've seen something, lingered there too long, we are sucked in. Then we feel terribly guilty. We know what we have done is wrong. It's miserable.

Most of us struggle with sexual temptation....but when we are near the pit or in it we can think – I'm the only one...Brother so and so, he's so pure...if he knew some of the thoughts I had....

I remember being a young Christian and going to a conferece run by a group called OM. They were very serious. One evening the leader spoke, back then he was an energetic man called George Verwer, respected all over the Christian world.

And he spoke about his struggles with sexual temptation; and how sometimes he fell. He tells a story how he was in the streets of Chicago giving out Christian tracts; and he saw a strip club; and guess what? This keen Christian suddenly found himself inside the club. Thankfully he got out before the show started and he went to a phone box and confessed his sin. Then guess what? He led someone to Christ.

He tells another story when he went out for a prayer walk and there was a porn magazine in a bin. He picked it up – and...

When he told these stories all of us men went – phew! It's not just me. Even this great leader struggles, sometimes falls, and still God uses him.

That's why we need to talk about sex and pornography. We're not alone. Some of us men here are struggling.

So let's help each other – especialy in this area of pornography.

And the first thing we need to do is to underline that pornography is a serious and poisonous threat to our lives.

IT'S ATTRACTIVE

There's lots about pornograpy that makes it look very sweet. Always the girls are smiling; always sexy; always inviting; always saying we can have intimacy immediately, no waiting. Pleasure 24/7
Real wives are not like that. They are not always smiling; not always inviting; and certainly not always sexy.

There's a joke about God and Adam when God first wanted Adam to try and have a family with Eve. He sent Eve to a cave and then went and had a chat with Adam – he said, now you need to go and cross this river, and Adam asked – what's a river – and God explaind; then God said you need to go up a hill – and Adam asked – what's a hill, and God explained; then God said you need to go into a cave – and Adam asked – what's a cave – then God said, you need to be intimate with your wife...and said a few words. All went well. Adam crossed the river, went up the hill, found the cave and went in.

But after just a few minutes he came out again.

And he said to God – 'What a head ache?

Eve – and many women – often have head aches – they are not always sexy.

One of the most powerful reasons why pornography is attractive – especially for people like me from broken homes – is because it offers the feel of intimacy. Of course it is a lie. How can you be intimate with a picture? Real intimacy means commitment; covenant love; sacrifice for a real person.

It's attractive

IT'S AVAILABLE

When I was a teenager I was at a boy's school. If we wanted to look at porn we had to get hold of a magazine. That meant going to a shop. Embarrassing. Or going to a cinema where they were showing sexy films. Again – embarrassing. Back then porn was a problem for many.

But now it's everywhere. And nobody knows you are looking at it. With one click we can look at porn on our computers and on our phones.

IT'S ADDICTIVE

Attractive; available; and addictive. When people start looking at porn – they always want more. It's as addictive as alcohol or heroine – and just as destructive.

I want you to tell you a true story about Jack and Laurie – a young Christian couple in their thirties with two children.

Outwardly all success – Jack an engineer with a good salary; Laurie a happy mother.

But there was a problem.

Jack was always coming home late from work. One evening he promised he'd be back by eight. Laurie allowed the children to stay up to see their dad. They were very excited. But at eight – no Jack. Eight thirty – no Jack. Laurie put the children to bed. Eventually Jack came home about ten thirty. Where have you been, you promised. Oh, so sorry – I had work.

It was a lie. He had been with prostitutes. Jack was a sex addict. It started with porn; once a week. Then he married, but the porn stayed. After the porn he wanted more – and so the visits to prostitutes began.

Jack lost everything. His wife, his children, and because he could not focus at work – he lost his job. And – of course his spritual life was zero.
He ended up a single man working in a factory.

Porn ruined his life.

It can ruin our lives.

That's the problem....

THE ANSWER

Porn is an enemy; for some it's a Goliath – but this enemy can be overcome...not in a knock out blow, but on a day to day basis.

We Christians can overcome – because God is passionate about our purity.

He is on our side.

The fight against porn is a fight of faith – it's about believing in who we are; in who the Holy Spirit is; and how practical steps will make a difference.

Who we are

The lie of porn is that we have to have sex every so often, that really we are like animals, and every so often we just have to have sex.

The other month I was talking with a brother and he was saying he wanted to marry a girl he liked – but he wasn't sure about her walk with Christ. I said, 'Are you in love?' He said no. I said, well, then why do you want ot marry her. He said – because I like her physically and you said that we can only have sex in marriage, so I think I should marry her. His thinking was that he had to have sex. I said – but if you don't have sex, you won't die will you. He said no.

This all goes back to believing who we are – we're not animals; we're not like dogs; we are created in the image of God, we are men made for the glory of God. And one day most of us will marry a sister – also made for the glory of God. We have no right to steal with our eyes the pleasure that belongs to another.

We were created to be holy. We need to believe this...

But then someone says – impossible.

Absolutely – without the Holy Spirit. But we have the Holy Spirit and the law of the Spirit is stronger than the law of sin.

Again this is about our faith. In the morning we need to proclaim that we are true men created in the image of God...and we are filled with the Holy Spirit, protected by the armour of God.

We need to believe who we are; we need to believe who the Holy Spirit is

And finally we need to believe that practical steps will make a huge difference. That's the lie of temptation – forget it, you can't resist.

Oh yes we can

We can fast – I had a friend who struggled with masturbation. He fasted for a week – and this helped.

We can eye bounce. As soon as we see something that could cause problems – look somewhere else. Be like Joseph – run away.

And never go to the place where the journey starts. For some that's taking the lap top late at night and saying – I need to check a few email, sure you do, but then, and this you also know, you click and go somewhere else. For David it was that balcony...he knew who his neighbour was and what she did in the afternoon...so he went to that balcony....that was the start of a journey that ended in a dead baby, a dead husband, and total havoc in David's house.

Know where your journey begins – and don't go there.

And above all – this is the one practical step that I pray you will never forget – it makes all the difference.

Be accountable. Have someone you report to in this area. For me this has been an aboslute life saver. I have a friend, and every time I mess up, or even just a face a rough time of temptation – yes, I'm 56, but it still happens, I write to him, I confess...

I stand before you today because I have been accountable.

We come to the light, we confess and what then happens.

The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

There is no need for anyone to stay in the pit of porn; all of us, this very afternoon, can be completely clean.




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