While the issue of online access to porn may be new to this generation, the invitation to repentance from besetting sin is gloriously ancient. And perhaps no biblical text is more relevant than this one.
I could see the pain in his eyes. And fear.
His question was about his lack of assurance of salvation, and it was easy to tell this was not philosophical or merely theoretical. It was turmoil of soul over some besetting sin.
All it took was one clarifying question to uncover the source: guilt over his repeated return to Internet pornography. It was good he felt guilty, as I’d soon tell him. It was a sign of God’s grace.
By now, such a scenario was no surprise in college ministry. Here on a Christian campus, the pastoral issue that had come up more than any other was assurance of salvation. And after some initial bewilderment and a few extended conversations, the typical culprit soon became clear. Porn and masturbation.
Epidemic in This Generation
Assurance of salvation may be at an all-time low among Christians with the epidemic of porn use through ubiquitous Internet access. Sometimes it takes the form of existential angst and epistemological confusion, but often lack of assurance is the product of some deeply rooted sin. Could I really be saved if I keep returning to the same sin I have vowed so many times never to return to again?
We recently surveyed 8,000 Desiring God readers. Our study found that ongoing pornography use is not only dreadfully common, but increasingly higher among younger adults. More than 15% of Christian men over age sixty admitted to ongoing use. It was more than 20% for men in their fifties, 25% for men in their forties, and 30% for men in their thirties. But nearly 50% of self-professing Christian men, ages 18–29, acknowledged ongoing use of porn. (The survey found a similar trend among women, but in lesser proportions: 10% of females, ages 18–29; 5% in their thirties; increasingly less for forties, fifties, and sixty-plus.)
Source: It’s Not Too Late | Desiring God