A Letter From Hell
How Can I Overcome Pornography?
Pornography is an especially difficult addiction to overcome.
The first step in overcoming being enslaved to any particular sin is to know God
and have the power of the Holy Spirit at work in your life.
For that reason, let me go through the plan of salvation.
You must admit you have sinned against God.
Romans 3:23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
You must believe the Gospel as given in I Corinthians 15:3&4,
"that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures."
And finally, you must ask God to forgive you and ask Christ to come into your life.
The Scriptures use many verses to express this concept.
One of the simplest is Romans 10:13, "for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'"
If you have honestly done these three things, you are a child of God.
The next step in finding victory is knowing and believing what God did for you
when you accepted Christ as your Savior.
You were a slave to sin.
Romans 6:17b says, "you used to be slaves to sin."
Jesus said in John 8:34b, "Everyone who sins is a slave to sin."
But the good news is that He also said in John 8:31&32,
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,
'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"
He adds in verse 36, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
2 Peter 1:3&4 says, "His divine power has given us everything we need
for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,
so that through them you may participate in the divine nature
and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
God has given us everything we need to be godly, but it comes through our knowledge of Him
and our understanding of His very great and precious promises.
First we need to know what God has done.
In Romans chapter 5 we learn that what Adam did
when he deliberately sinned against God has affected all of his descendants,
every human being. Because of Adam, we are all born with a sinful nature.
But in Romans 5:10 we learn, "For if, when we were God's enemies,
we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more,
having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"
Forgiveness of sins comes through what Jesus did for us on the cross,
power for overcoming sin comes through Jesus living His life through us in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me."
Paul says in Romans 5:10 that what God did for us that saves us from the power of sin
is even greater than what He did for us in reconciling us to Himself.
Notice the phrase "much more" in Romans 5:9, 10, 15 and 17.
Paul puts it this way in Romans 6:6 (I'm using the translation in the margin of the NIV & NASB),
"For we know that our old self was crucified with him
so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless,
that we should no longer be slaves to sin."
I John 1:8 says, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."
Putting the two verses together, our sin nature is still there,
but it's power to control us has been broken.
Secondly, we need to believe what God says about the power of sin being broken in our lives.
Romans 6:11 says, "In the same way, count yourselves as dead to sin
but alive to God in Christ Jesus."
A man who was a slave and has been set free, if he does not know he has been set free,
will still obey his old master and for all practical purposes still be a slave.
Thirdly, we need to recognize that the power to live in victory does not come
through determination or will power but through the power of the Holy Spirit
Who lives in us once we have been saved.
Galatians 5:16&17 says, "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit,
and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.
They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want."
Notice verse 17 does not say that the Spirit cannot do what He wants
or that the sinful nature cannot do what it wants,
it says, "that you do not do what you want."
God is infinitely more powerful than any sinful habit or addiction.
But God will not force you to obey Him.
You can choose to surrender your will to the will of the Holy Spirit and give Him complete control of your life,
or you can pick and choose which sins you want to fight
and end up fighting them on your own and losing.
God is under no obligation to help you fight one sin if you are still holding on to other sins.
Does the phrase, "you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature" apply to an addiction to pornography?
Yes, it does. In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul lists the acts of the sinful nature.
The first three are "sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery."
"Sexual immorality" is any sexual act between individuals other than a sexual act
between a man and a woman who are married to each other.
It also includes bestiality.
"Impurity" most literally means uncleanness.
"Dirty-minded" is a modern day expression that means the same thing.
"Debauchery" is shameless sexual conduct, a total absence of restraint in seeking sexual gratification.
Again, Galatians 5:16&17 says, "live by the Spirit."
It has to be a way of life, not just asking God to help you with this particular problem.
Romans 6:12 says, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires."
If you do not choose to give the Holy Spirit control of your life,
you are choosing to let sin control you.
Romans 6:13 puts the concept of living by the Holy Spirit this way,
"Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness,
but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life;
and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness."
Fourthly, we need to recognize the difference between living under law and living under grace.
Romans 6:14 says, "For sin shall not be your master,
because you are not under law, but under grace."
The concept of living under law is relatively simple:
if I keep all of God's rules then God will be happy with me and accept me.
That is not how a person is saved.
We are saved by grace through faith.
Colossians 2:6 says, "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him."
Just as we could not keep God's rules well enough to have Him accept us,
so we cannot keep God's rules well enough after we are saved to make Him be happy with us on that basis.
To get saved, we asked God to do something for us we could not do
based on what Jesus did on the cross for us;
to find victory over sin we ask the Holy Spirit to do something for us that we cannot do ourselves,
defeat our sinful habits and addictions,
knowing that we are accepted by God in spite of our failures.
Romans 8:3&4 puts it this way: "For what the law was powerless to do
in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,
God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.
And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law
might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit."
If you are really serious about finding victory,
here are some practical suggestions:
First, spend time reading and meditating on the Word of God every day.
Psalm 119:11 says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
Second, spend time praying every day.
Prayer is you talking to God and listening to God talk to you.
If you are going to live in the Spirit, you are going to need to clearly hear His voice.
Third, make good Christian friends who will encourage you to walk with God.
Hebrews 3:13 says, "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today,
so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness."
Fourth, find a good church and a small group Bible Study if you can and participate regularly.
Hebrews 10:25 says, "Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another
– and all the more as you see the Day approaching."
There are two more things I would suggest for anyone struggling
with an especially difficult sin issue like a pornography addiction.
James 5:16 says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
This passage does not mean talking about your sins in a public church meeting,
although it might be appropriate in a small men's meeting for people
struggling with the same problem,
but it seems to mean finding a man you can totally trust and giving him permission
to ask you at least weekly how you are doing in your struggle against pornography.
Knowing that not only are you going to have to confess your sin to God
but also to a man you trust and admire can be a powerful deterrent.
The other thing I would suggest for anyone struggling
with an especially difficult sin issue is found in Romans 13:12b (NASB),
"make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."
A man trying to quit smoking would be extremely stupid
to keep a supply of his favorite cigarettes in the house.
A man struggling with an alcohol addiction has to avoid bars and places where alcohol is served.
You don't say where you view pornography,
but you must absolutely cut off your access to it.
If it is magazines, burn them.
If it is something you watch on television, get rid of the television.
If you watch it on your computer, get rid of your computer,
or at least any pornography stored in it and get rid of your internet access.
Just like a man with a craving for a cigarette at 3 am will probably not get up,
get dressed, and go out and buy one,
so making it extremely hard to view pornography will make it less likely you will fail.
If you don't eliminate your access, you're not really serious about quitting.
What if you do slip up and view pornography again?
Immediately accept full responsibility for what you have done and confess it immediately to God.
I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
When we confess sin, not only does God forgive us,
He promises to purify us.
Always confess any sin immediately.
Pornography is a very powerful addiction.
Half-hearted measures will not work.
But God is infinitely powerful and if you know and believe what He has done for you,
accept full responsibility for your actions, rely on the Holy Spirit
and not your own strength and follow the practical suggestions
I have made, victory is certainly possible.
Do you have the assurance that if you were to die today,
you'll be in the presence of the Lord in Heaven?
Death for a believer is but a doorway that opens into eternal life.
Those who fall asleep in Jesus
shall be reunited with their loved ones in heaven.
Those you've laid in the grave in tears,
you shall meet them again with joy!
Oh, to see their smile and feel their touch...
never to part again!
Yet, if you don't believe in the Lord, you're going to hell.
There is no pleasant way to say it.
The Scripture says,
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
~ Romans 3:23
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved."
~ Romans 10:9
Don't fall asleep without Jesus
until you are assured of a place in heaven.
Tonight, if you would like to receive the gift of eternal life
first you must believe in the Lord.
You have to ask for your sins to be forgiven
and put your trust in the Lord.
To be a believer in the Lord, ask for eternal life.
There's only one way to heaven and that's through the Lord Jesus.
That's God's wonderful plan of salvation.
You can begin a personal relationship with Him
by praying from your heart a prayer such as the following:
"Oh God, I'm a sinner.
I've been a sinner all of my life.
Forgive me, Lord.
I receive Jesus as my Savior.
I trust Him as my Lord.
Thank you for saving me.
In Jesus' name, Amen."
you have never received the
Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, but
have received Him today after
reading this invitation, please let us know.
If you have never received the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior,
but have received Him today after reading this invitation, please let us know.
We would love to hear from you. Your first name is sufficient.
God's Simple Plan of Salvation in Various Languages:
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We appreciate your prayers and look forward to meeting you in eternity!
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