Don’t Look at Porn Because Jesus Is Coming Back

I believe God designed our hearts on earth to be motivated by future realities. We don’t eat ice cream at 4:00 p.m. because a delicious dinner is on the horizon. We don’t spend all our money on present desires because we need to save for the future. We accept painful physical exercise for short- and long-term health benefits. In our best moments, we’re always keeping the future in view.

It shouldn’t surprise us, then, that the apostles are so fixated upon the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. They repeatedly use the imminent and certain Day of the Lord as motivation for our present obedience:

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Heb. 10:24–25)

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet.1:13)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2 Cor. 5:10)

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7­–8)

“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thess. 1:9–10)

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.” (Rev. 22:12)

The apostles wrote this way because Jesus taught them to focus on his return. Jesus spoke in many parables about his second coming and the great need to be prepared: we must have oil in our lamps, the proper wedding attire, wise investments of our talents, and faithfulness in God’s house.

Denying Christ’s Return

But what does this have to do with pornography?

Sin is a denial of Christ’s return. Looking at pornography is a tacit agreement with the skeptics who say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:4). If we don’t believe Jesus is coming back, why bother with obedience? Our motivation matters! And this is where we need to be careful to understand Scripture correctly.

Our obedience does not earn our salvation—that’s impossible. Anyone seeking salvation through their own righteousness will be greatly disappointed when Jesus returns. Our motivation is not, “Don’t look at porn so that Jesus will accept you.”

No, faith in Jesus’s person and work is the only way of salvation and true obedience is only possible because of our secure acceptance in Christ. The gospel powers our motivation to obey: “Don’t look at porn because, in his abundant mercy, Jesus has accepted you.”

Fixing Our Hearts on Christ’s Return

So then, how does Christ’s coming return motivate our present obedience? There are at least five ways:

  • The crown of righteousness is for those who love his appearing (2 Timothy 4:8).

To be a Christian is to love Jesus—because he first loved us. Every true Christian can and must say, “Jesus, I love you.” Not only must we love him, but we must also love him above all others. What greater desire could we have than to see our Savior face to face? Fellow Christian, turn from pornography today because you love Jesus. May the thought of seeing him, as he is, turn your eyes from worthless things (Ps. 119:37).

  • Jesus will repay us for what we have done (Revelation 22:12).

Jesus teaches us to store up treasures in heaven that will last for eternity. He wants us to think like eternal investors. It’s exciting to think about small, frequent investments compounding over time into something much greater. I can’t overstate how much bigger the scale of compound interest is for eternal investments! Looking at pornography is the worst eternal investment policy.

  • There is a holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

This holiness is not referring to the imputed righteousness of Christ but the holiness of a believer’s sanctification. Our union with Christ deals with our guilt and defeats its power and corrupting influence in us. This doesn’t mean we’ll be perfect in this life, but we will be growing in holiness. Beware the lie that our present Christian life ever involves coasting. No, it is a constant striving! “Strive to enter through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24). “Strive to enter” God’s eternal rest (Heb. 4:11). “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

  • Our holy living today is the future adornment of Christ’s bride (Revelation 19:8).

When Jesus returns, there’s going to be a wedding with Jesus the bridegroom and the church his bride. This is a corporate reality, but our individual lives matter. John speaks of this bride adorned with “fine linen, bright and pure,” representing “the righteous deeds of the saints” (Rev. 19). All Christians are in wedding preparation mode. Weeks—months—before the wedding, a bride is making meticulous preparations. But no matter how glorious she may look, there can be no comparison to the bride of Christ at the wedding supper of the Lamb.

  • Christ’s return will consummate our union and communion with God.

Every time we think of Christ’s return, we should be reminded of what life is all about—communion with God. We have that communion now, through Christ, but it’s by faith. It’s not yet consummated. But when Jesus returns—then and only then will the dwelling place of God be with man (Rev. 21:3). Until that day, all creation groans with longing and expectation (Rom. 8:22). Meditating on Christ’s return brings us back to the heart and center of all meaning and existence.

It’s hard to dwell on such weighty realities and then run to pornography. In the words of John Ross Macduff:

“Earth can now but tell the story of thy bitter cross and pain;

she shall yet behold the glory, when thou comest back to reign:

Christ is coming! Christ is coming!

Let each heart repeat the strain.”

About The Author
After finishing internships at both CCEF and Harvest USA, Mark Sanders joined Harvest USA’s Men’s Ministry in July 2015. Mark holds an M.A. in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Communications and Integrated Media from Geneva College. For five years, he taught English in South Korea, where he met his lovely wife. He shared the gospel with college students and served as a small group leader in his church. In addition to leading support groups and conducting one-on-one discipleship, Mark also serves on Harvest USA’s teaching staff and has produced all of their video resources. In February 2021, Mark became Director of Discipleship at Harvest USA.

Stay up to date

Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved. Developed for HarvestUSA by Polymath Innovations.