HOUSMAIL HM#101 - ESCAPING FROM THE PORN TRAP                             Update  29 March 2003

Recent surveys have claimed that as many as ONE IN FIVE male Church members admit giving in to temptation to visit sexually oriented Web Sites on the Internet!

"Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." (Eph 5:6)

This paper has been written to present an overall summary of the Biblical answer to OVERCOMING TEMPTATION. It was triggered by recent requests for help to overcome the temptation to view PORNOGRAPHY. It is NOT the "last word" on the subject, but it should provide a foundation on which to begin.

It is directed specifically to those who have requested for help with heterosexual porn. Of course Porn can also include many other kinds of sexual depravity, including Homosexuality. Also, the principles discussed here are not limited to Porn. They are equally applicable to ALL other forms of temptation to SIN of every kind. ALL SIN is equally as bad in God's sight, and at the Judgement, without adequate repentance, they all lead to the same awful fate -- ETERNAL DEATH.

Of course it is! You wouldn't be feeling so guilty -- you wouldn't be crying out for help -- if you didn't believe that! If you begin to doubt it, you will not have the single minded FAITH you will need to receive God's answer to your prayers. (James 1:5-8)

The Bible both COMMANDS and PROMISES it -- but YOU will have to get serious about following the directions!

It is VERY important that you recognise your own spiritual poverty, (Matthew 5:3) and that you direct your cries for help to the right place!

You asked US to help! Please don't misunderstand this next point. It is NOT "rejection". It is NOT wrong to seek encouragement and counsel from other Christian brothers. But that is NOT ENOUGH. I am only a messenger -- and the MOST IMPORTANT thing I can say to you, is that you MUST learn how to REDIRECT the focus of your prayers to THE ONLY TRUE GOD -- The Father of Jesus -- and OUR Father in Heaven. He has delegated ALL power to help those who realise their need, to Jesus. (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2:9-12) The Bible makes the claim that there is NO OTHER way to find God, except through Jesus. (Luke 10:22; John 14:6; Acts 4:12)

It is YOUR personal responsibility to check out the Bible quotes in this paper for yourself, to make sure that what you are hearing is not just from men -- but DIRECT from the Word of GOD to YOU! And when you are convinced of that, it is also YOUR personal responsibility to chose for yourself to follow Jesus as LORD of ALL your life. No one else can do that for you.

From various testimonies received, it seems likely that for many, PORN may be as MENTALLY ADDICTIVE as some the most dangerous hard drugs!

I do not know whether that is true or not -- but I do know that addiction is NEVER a Biblical excuse for SIN!

Viewed Biblically, addiction is severe form of SLAVERY. (Rom 6:16) It is a SYMPTOM of the worst effects of yielding to temptation. The Bible deals with it at that level -- the only Biblical way to break addiction, is to overcome the temptation to SIN, which has resulted in addiction.

What Jesus offers is more powerful than any addiction! At its roots, failure to break free from enslavement to ANY sinful habit, is the result of not wanting ENOUGH, what Jesus offers in its place!

There is no ?instant breakfast? short answer to your question. This rather lengthy reply has been composed to help you make a beginning. However it is important to emphasise that it is no more than that -- a starting point. The final answer is going to take a full measure of that ?Fruit of the Holy Spirit?, which the Apostle Paul calls ?self control?, (Galatians 5:22) and another one which Peter calls ?steadfastness?! (2 Peter 2:6)


There are LOTS of Bible quotations in this paper. They are there for a purpose. Open your Bible and READ every one of them for yourself! Read them carefully until they are fixed in your mind.


This isn't going to help at all, if you don't "take the medicine"!


Let's start with the bottom line!

The answer you say you want, is going to be all about the QUALITY of your relationship with God and His Son!

And that is going to depend on whether or not you are searching for God with ALL YOUR HEART ! (Jeremiah 29:13)


There are some "up front" questions which need to be addressed. They might be dismissed by some as merely "technical". They are NOT! Don't listen to those who try to minimise their importance. They are about the FOUNDATION on which your Christianity is built. The Bible says that only a "house" built on the correct foundation can survive the invevitable "floods". (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:46-49) The foundation includes EVERYTHING Jesus said -- about who God is; who Jesus is; what Jesus promises to His followers; and what He commands us to do.

You need them ALL to find the victory over temptation, which you say you want.

1. Have you found the ONE TRUE GOD of the Bible yet? The one who JESUS calls
    "the ONLY TRUE GOD", and "Father"? (John 17:3)

2. Have you found the REAL Jesus yet? The one the Bible says is not only Son Of God,
    but also a REAL man, exactly like us? (Hebrews 2:14-17;4:15)

3. Have you heard and believed the REAL Gospel yet?
    The one about the future KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH?
    With Jesus as the King (Messiah) -- as prophesied in the Old Testament?
    In which you can only receive a share, by becoming properly related to Jesus in a
    REAL "Believer's Baptism".
    In which you can only participate by receiving an IMMORTAL BODY at the
    Resurrection when Jesus returns from Heaven.

4. Have you faced up to the cost of YOUR sins? Have you realised yet that the terrible suffering
    of Jesus on the Cross was the CONDITIONAL RANSOM PRICE by which you can be
    forgiven for your sins, and pardoned from the penalty which you will otherwise suffer at the

Has this led you to REPENTANCE? (Changing your way of life?)

5. And have you made a REAL covenant with Jesus to be Discipled (taught) to obey ALL His
    Commandments in preparation for your Inheritance in His everlasting Kingdom ON EARTH?
    (Matthew 28:19-20)

6. On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your level of commitment to that covenant?
    And your desire to be a part of that kingdom?



The Bible says that ONLY those who believe them correctly, and act on what they believe, will have the sort of FAITH that is required to truly overcome ?the world?. (1 John 5:1-5)

Others will remain SLAVES to their sins and the penalty of DEATH at the Judgment!
(Romans 6:17-23)


The rest of what follows makes the unlikely assumption that you might have ALL of the above foundation properly sorted out! In today's confused "Church scene" it is most unlikely that you do! That is NOT said to put you down! It is simply facing ?average reality? for the ?average? Church person I encounter, who has healthy feelings of good old fashioned "CONVICTION" and "GUILT", and is desperately asking for the "secret" of VICTORY over Temptation.

You will need to work at getting the foundation right, as well as repenting of your sin, and overcoming temptation. You need them ALL in balance together!


God gives us FOUR main motives to love him.

1. The first is to have a healthy FEAR of the consequences of unrepented sin on Judgement day.
     "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One
     is insight." (Proverbs 9:10)

However on its own, this fear will not be enough! It is only the starting point from which the next THREE develop! The goal of mature faith in Jesus is that we must grow to the point where FEAR is replaced by LOVE! (1 John 4:16-18)

2. The second is that those who learn to love and obey Him, will be given immortal bodies on
    Judgement day, and live for ever with Him in the Kingdom of God, on earth.

Is THAT your Christian hope? Do you want that? Do you want it enough to repent and give up your sin?

3. The third is that God and His Son, Jesus, have already loved us enough for Jesus to die on the
    Cross to save us from the penalty which would otherwise be ours on Judgement day.

All that awful suffering was FOR YOU!

Does the thought of what that means to you, personally, touch your heart?

If it does, then, and only then, you will begin to love Jesus enough to want to obey Him.
(John 14:15,23-24)

4. The fourth is that, in the same verse just quoted, Jesus promises that if we will love Him
    and obey His commandments, both He and His Father will come to us and make their
    HOME with us!

Think about that incredible offer! God and His Son will "take up residence" in our human bodies!

The more we get to know about Jesus; and the more we succeed in obedience, the greater the INNER PEACE we experience -- and the greater this fourth incentive becomes! (Matthew 11:28-30)


For ALL temptation, FOR EVERY SORT OF SIN, the only real Bible answer is your own PERSONAL LOVE for Jesus, combined with SELF CONTROL, and PERSEVERANCE -- until you OVERCOME!

SELF CONTROL is listed amongst the "fruit of the Holy Spirit", (Galatians 5:22-23) which is given to those who are committed to LOVE JESUS and OBEY JESUS. (John 14:15-17; Acts 5:32) Receiving the Holy Spirit is another way of saying that God and Jesus will make their home with us. However this fruit doesn't grow "automatically"! It has to be learned by practice! And it takes time to learn the lessons properly!

Here are some suggestions that you will have to come to grips with, BETWEEN YOU AND JESUS ALONE. No third party can help you with these, because at the end of the day, it comes down to what is in YOUR OWN heart!

1. Do you read and study the Bible regularly? - at least once every day -- not just casually -- "can't
    wait to get finished" -- but with some measure of prayerful discipline -- and for a bit longer than
    the average TV Movie, or whatever else it is that you will have to give up, to fit it into your daily


The BIBLE is the ONLY place you will find the PURE things you are going to need to feed into your mind, in order to displace and shut out the impure things already there.(Philippians 4:8)

If you are unwilling to get into regular personal Bible reading and study, you don't really mean business with God!

2. Do you remember what you have read? Enough to tell others about it the next day?

That is where you need to be headed!


3. Decide between you and Jesus whether you LOVE Him MORE than the sin you are
    tempted to commit.

"If you love me, you WILL keep my commandments". (John 14:15,21,23-24)


4. Be brutally honest with yourself about this! If your love is not yet what it MUST become, go
    back to the Gospel stories about His suffering on the Cross. Read them often -- until they impress
    you with the love that Jesus has already showed, by paying that awful price to ransom you from
    the penalty of your sins -- including the one in which you are currently experiencing temptation.

When you do love Him ENOUGH -- more than the sin -- you WILL obey!


5. More of the same honesty with yourself, is required about where the temptation is really coming
   from! You can't lay the blame anywhere else but yourself. Admit to yourself, before God, that
   there is a part of your mind that isn't yet ?transformed? or ?renewed?. (Romans 12:1-2) Pray
   with ALL your heart, mind, soul, and strength, for the Divine Wisdom, which will teach you how
   to do that. (James 1:5-8)


6. Don't try to shift even one tiny little bit of the blame to the devil, or anywhere else! James says
    that it comes entirely from within yourself! (James 1:12-15)


7. IS VICTORY TOO HARD? The Bible says NO!

Don't ever listen to anyone who says otherwise -- especially those who try to tell you that your human nature, makes victory impossible!

Alas there are too many so called "christians" around who have invented un-biblical "theological EXCUSES", for their SIN! In the parable told by Jesus, they are the "birds of the air", (agents of "the devil") trying to devour the Gospel seed before it takes root! (Luke 8:5,22)

The Bible says that GOD will not allow you to be tempted beyond your ability. There will ALWAYS be a way out! (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Most often the "way out" that God provides, is to simply say "NO"!

Alas ..... Most people don't want to hear that answer!

Paul also encourages us to RUN AWAY from the scene where the temptation is encountered!
(1 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Timothy 2:22) Not always easy of course -- but it is another obvious "way out"!


8. The Bible says that "overcoming the World" requires that we TRULY believe that Jesus is
    The Christ (Messiah) and the SON OF GOD. (1 John 5:1, 5)

More prayer for Divine Wisdom about what that means! And more prayerful reading of the Bible to get that prayer answered!


9. Remind yourself regularly what is at stake! The Bible says that you are NOT ready to see God,
    until your heart is pure! (Matthew 5:8; Hebrews 10:14)

Have you read the parable of ?The Ten Virgins?? (Matthew 25:1-13) The time to act is NOW! If you arrive at the Judgement without a purified heart, it will be too late to do anything about it.


10. RESIST the same as you would the devil, (James 4:7) anyone who would try to tell you that
      this is "salvation by works"!



James says that faith without works is NOT faith at all! (James 2:20-26)


11. Resist also, as you would the Devil, anyone who would try to tell you that this is a
      "denial of Grace"!


Paul says that "Grace" comes complete with a "training package" in Godliness! (Titus 2:12-14) Reject the training, and you also reject the rest of the Grace that offers it!


12. Keep away from those conversations which most men seem to have with their friends these
      days, about girls, and sex, and dirty ?jokes?. Don't read the magazines, or look at the pictures
      they pass around.

These things bury thoughts in your mind which will come back as temptation.

The stakes are very high -- If necessary change your friends! Or do you like your friends, more than Jesus? -- Enough to be sentenced to Eternal Death with them on Judgement day? THAT would be really "dumb" wouldn't it?


A. We confess our sin, seek forgiveness -- and keep going until the victory is won!
      "I will not let you go unless you bless me". (Genesis 32:26)

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not." (1 John 2:1)

"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous". (same verse)

"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 3:13-14)


"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceeds from the mouth of God!"
(Matthew 4:4)

For EVERY temptation, Jesus was able to call to mind something that He had previously read in the Scriptures. That is how it became fixed in His heart and mind, so that it could be recalled when He needed it! THAT was one of the major sources of His victory. It is also available to YOU -- but you do have to read it first, before it can be in your mind to be recalled when you need it.

And REMEMBER, just memorising Bible verses isn't the total answer! You have to WANT to do something with what you remember!

Jesus was first and foremost A REAL MAN who loved and worshipped the ONE TRUE GOD -- His Father! (John 17:3)

He was always obedient to what He calls the "first and greatest commandment of all". (Matthew 22:37-38) AND the second! (Verse 39)

1. If you love God like Jesus does, you don't want to put any barriers in the way of fellowship
    with God.

2. If you love your neighbor like Jesus does, you don't want to lead them into sin. You don't even
    want to fantasize about joining with them in sin! (Matthew 5:27-28)


Avoid like you would the Devil, any suggestion that you can only be helped by someone who has already "been there", and found their way out!

THAT is altogether the WRONG answer! It is one of the LIES told by the modern "pseudo-psychology" which has invaded the Church!

Especially avoid the pitfall of rejecting people you "feel" might be pointing the finger at you to make you feel guilty! Instead learn to thank God for HIS "messengers" sent to disturb your conscience, in order to motivate you to do something about your problem -- until you find the PEACE which is promised to truly repentant hearts!

In any case, it isn't really important whether or not you are right, when you "feel" someone might be pointing the finger at you. Even if that were true (which it often isn't) it is a side track! the REAL questions are:


Knowing the "dark secrets" of others who might have "been there", will not help at all! All sins are the same in their effect on those who commit them! Unrepented, they lead to DEATH at the Judgement! Unrepented, they separate us from God in this life! In this lost world of ours, few have found THE ANSWER! There are many more still living unrepentant in their own "special" brand of sin, than there are victorious over it -- or even seeking victory!

Never forget that He is a REAL MAN, exactly like us. (Hebrews 2:14-16) He has been "tempted in all points like us". BUT HE NEVER SINNED! (Hebrews 4:15) And it is because of that victory that He, better than any other man, knows how to teach US to overcome, just as He did!

JESUS is the ONLY ONE who can get you through this! (Matthew 11:27-30)

"Whoever comes to me I will never turn away". (John 6:37 NEB)

Learn to go to HIM, and to His Father, as often as you are tempted. Learn to go quickly, before the pressures of temptation build up! Learn how to replace impure thoughts with pure, before you give in to FANTASY, and they become SIN.


Quite apart fromescaping from what is going to happen to the unrepentant on Judgment Day, there are other practical things for the HERE AND NOW.

Contrary to what many people say (even some so called "christians" these days!) PORN is NOT a "victimless" crime!

The girls who are persuaded to expose their naked bodies to be photographed for the lustful eyes of men with twisted minds, are both sinners, and VICTIMS of the predators who make their money from the porn!

The wives of the married, are VICTIMS of the sin of their husbands!

And the future wives of the single, are VICTIMS of the sin of their future husbands!

Here is one VERY important practical issue, which most people don't take the time to think through.

Jesus says that the mental attitude which fantasizes about sex, is the same as actually committing the sin! (Matthew 5:27-28)

Are you married? Viewing Porn commits ADULTERY against your wife! It will place a huge emotional barrier between a man and his wife. Save yourself for your wife alone. That is part of the marriage covenant!

Are you single? Viewing Porn commits FORNICATION, which, so far as God is concerned, is exactly the same as having sex with a PROSTITUTE!

Save yourself for the girl you will eventually marry!

If you become addicted to Porn, it will distort how you think about sex! And it will seriously affect your prospects of the very best emotional relationship with your future wife.

No girl deserves to be saddled with a husband like that!


Only real repentance, and the forgiveness that follows, can cleanse the mind to undo all the bad things that get buried there when this sin is committed.


So here we are at the "Bottom Line" again!

This "epistle" has been directed specifically at PORN. However the "secret" of overcoming temptation of all sorts is much the same. The name of the sin may change, but what we need to do about it is just about the same in all cases.

1. Search for God until you KNOW you have found Him!
    Find His Son -- Jesus the Messiah!

2. Search the Scripture PERSONALLY, until YOU get the FOUNDATION RIGHT, on which
   YOUR Christianity is to be built.

But those are only a starting point. After that, it all comes down to the quality of your relationship WITH GOD and His SON! Don't ever try to settle for less than the absolute best!

Don't ever let family, or peer group pressures, or your "feelings" about the motives of others, get in the way of that!

Don't despair. Don't ever give up until you win. The Bible does promise victory to those who seek God's help to keep trying until they win.

Cling to God. Learn to pray "The Prayer of Jacob"-- "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
(Genesis 32:26)

It is possible! Jesus COMMANDS it -- and Jesus PROMISES it!