Summary: Lust grips people in an way that the spirit is dulled.
When the church fathers constructed this list of 7 deadly sins 1500 years ago they knew then, what we observe today. Satan’s tactics to corrupt our lives hasn’t changed much if any. If you have red blood in your veins then pride, greed, envy, anger, sloth and today lust. They can grip us in such a way that we struggle to free ourselves.
Start with statistics.
• 40 million people regularly visit Internet porn web sites daily.
• 47% Christians who said pornography is a problem in the home.
• Breakdown of male/female visitors to pornography sites: 65% male - 35% female.
• 30% of unsolicited e-mails contain pornographic materials.
• One survey showed that women, far more than men, are likely to act out their behaviors in real life, such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs.
● The average age a person is exposed to porn is 11 years old.
● 34 % of churchgoing women said they have intentionally visited porn websites online. The percentage of men is much higher.
● The largest consumers of Internet Pornography are students 12-17 year olds.
Just for fun, I want you to turn to the person sitting next to you and take a guess at this number. How many movies were produced out of Hollywood last year? Hollywood is the movie capital of the world. How many mainstream films do you think were produced and distributed in just one year? Turn to your neighbor and take a guess.
Got your number? The answer is 470 movies. That comes out to about 9 movies released every week.
Now, how many hardcore pornographic films do you think were produced in that same amount of time? I’m not talking internet sites or magazines or the “toned down, softcore” porn they play on HBO and Cinemax. How many hardcore porns in a year?
11,000. That’s more than 30 films every day. Even if they were 1 hour each and you watched them nonstop 24 hours a day, it would take you more than a year to see them all.
People who study cultural trends say our world is in a pornography epidemic and the numbers prove it.
This is a hard topic to examine because the moment we mention lust there is a sensual connotation in that word which frightens most Christians into silence. As believers we have a difficult time talking about lust probably for two reasons. The first reason for our discomfort is also perhaps the most obvious. Historically the Church has been at its harshest and most unforgiving when dealing with the sins of lust. People can lead good and helpful lives for years but we will recall a lustful mistake a deacon made 35 years ago.
Secondly, we do not openly talk about this subject in a serious way because it goes to the very identity of who we are. Lust is a sin that goes back to our deepest need and desire – love. You see lust is a distortion of the highest good and purpose of life, which is love.
We can apply the word “Lust” to a lot of things. It can be a desire for a number of different things. It references, Actions that are lived out without any thought of the consequences, no consideration for what might lie ahead, simply wanting the thrill of a particular moment’s challenge.
When you realize that lust is hasty action that lives out momentary pleasure without the thought of what’s ahead, we are confronted with how everyone of us has lived in that very moment, that very impulsive sense in our lives.
Maybe you lusted for recognition and so in a swift moment you slander someone to make yourself look better in another’s eyes. Perhaps you have lusted for enjoyment and you quickly run off to play your game, only to discover later that others were depending upon you to do something and you failed them by your absence because you just had to have another round of golf. Or maybe you have lusted for sensual pleasure of some sort and you did something or watch something that afterwards you were left thinking why I am so dumb.
Lust is rooted in a failure to think. It’s impulsive and thoughtless. Today we are going to look at the sensual side of lust so that we can put in place a godly defense to help us live self-controlled lives.
It is true that in the Bible we find all the direction and strength we shall need for life, so let’s look there for our counsel today.
The most familiar story of lust in the Bible is in 2 Samuel 11:2-5. Those who have been to Sunday School know of the story even before I tell you.
2One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her…Then she went back home. 5The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.” The Bible doesn’t say this, but David’s family was effected for the rest of his life. David didn’t stop to think about the consequences. He wanted what he wanted and being the King, of course, he could get it.