Defeat Lust & Pornography Man reading his Bible and worrying about hell.
Defeat Lust & Pornography 6 minute read

Will You Go to Hell for Watching Porn?

Last Updated: February 27, 2023

“Can someone please help me to stop watching porn because, because I’m a Christian, I’m afraid that I might go to hell for this.”

If you’re a religious person and you struggle with porn, you may be wrestling with a terrifying thought: “Will I go to hell for watching this?” Sometimes you might try to convince yourself that porn isn’t really that bad. But other times, you feel absolutely crushed with guilt and terrified of the consequences.

And of course, there’s the fear of what judgment God might have in store if you don’t—or can’t—quit. What really happens anyway?

This is a complicated, sensitive, and all-important question. So let’s break it down. But first I want to make it clear: the Bible shows only one way of salvation, and that’s through Jesus. Quitting porn is vital for Christians, but it doesn’t save anyone. 

What is hell, anyway?

It’s important to remember what hell is, according to the Bible: what you experience when you persist in sin. Now, theologians and scholars do debate what all that includes and when it happens. But Romans 1 suggests that it is—in part—”getting what you want when what you want is bad.”

Watching porn is a sin. It’s first a sin against yourself—it’s actually bad for your soul, mind, and body. It’s also a sin against other people. Porn objectifies people rather than loving them and honoring them as bearers of God’s image. (For more on this see Is Watching Porn a Sin)?

So, there’s a very real sense in which watching porn is its own hell. Spare the jokes about wanting to go to hell because that’s where all the fun is—hear me out first.

How Porn Makes Life a Living Hell

There are at least three ways that giving in to porn is its own hell, and they relate to the three ways that porn is a sin: It hurts you, it hurts your relationships with other people, and it ultimately hurts your relationship with God.

Porn makes life hell by hurting you.

It’s true many people enjoy porn, and it seems like a harmless pastime. However, a growing mountain of evidence indicates that porn has wide-ranging negative effects on its viewers.

Whether you realize it or not, watching porn inflicts harm on you.

Porn makes life hell by hurting other people.

Even if you’re only sinning against yourself, it’s still sin (1 Corinthians 6:18). However, porn hurts more than just the person watching it. It dehumanizes the people portrayed on the screen, and every participant in watching porn contributes to a culture of objectification.

Furthermore, a lot of research shows that porn impacts the personal relationships of the people viewing it. It hurts dating, marriages, and families, and it can even hinder friendships from developing normally. For more, see 6 Ways That Watching Porn Affects Relationships.

Porn makes life hell by distancing you from God.

Not everyone experiences the negative impact of porn on their own life, and many don’t notice much effect on their relationships either. Even so, it’s a mistake to think you can escape the hell of porn and blissfully keep watching. Because the real damage of pornography is that it distances you from God.

People most often come to Covenant Eyes because they recognize that porn hurts their relationship with God, and they want to quit. Hebrews 12:14 teaches that seeing God requires holiness. Jesus says you should give up sin, even if it means sacrificing a valuable part of yourself, rather than be thrown into hell (Matthew 18:9). In other words, however painful and difficult it is, get rid of the thing that’s separating you from God—including things that lead you to porn.

For more, see Radical Amputation: Finding the Right Treatment for Porn.

If you’re stuck in porn and don’t care, that is deeply concerning. That means you haven’t realized the hell that porn creates, and that means you don’t have any desire to choose God rather than porn.

But if you do care, the good news is that you can find freedom from porn and the hell that it puts you in—more on that in a moment.

How much hell can porn put you through?

OK, but what about ultimate separation from God? What about going to hell, not in the sense of temporary misery but in the sense of eternal punishment? What if I don’t quit porn before I die? Can Jesus still save me?

A couple of things.

First, no sin, including porn, is more powerful than Jesus. Yes, of course, he can save you even if you keep struggling with porn. We talk to Christians every day who are wrestling with porn and trying to break free.

Second (and you can’t skip this one), if you belong to Jesus, then you are going to want to quit porn. No, it doesn’t mean that being a Christian automatically breaks your addiction. But if you love God, your heart is going to know that Jesus is better than porn even if you don’t feel that way all the time. You may be addicted to porn, but you want to break free.

Fear of hell isn’t enough to break free from porn.

Too often, Christians have tried to overcome sin just by preaching about hellfire and judgment. Maybe you’ve tried to scare yourself out of looking at porn, and you find that it just doesn’t work. The Bible does teach us to have a healthy fear of hell. If we’re God’s people, then we’re going to want to be close to him, and nothing can be more terrifying than being outside his goodness and grace. However, the Bible also makes it clear that fear of hell alone won’t free people from their sin.

You may feel absolutely terrified of God’s judgment but still keep slipping back into porn. Why is that? The apostle Paul recognized this struggle in Romans 7—sometimes the thing we don’t want to do we do. Sometimes sin has its hooks deep in our hearts and it takes time to work them free.

However, there’s more than that. Romans 2:4 says that God’s kindness leads us to repentance. We need more than fear of punishment to escape the pull of sin. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment.” We need to experience something better than the sin that captivates us. We need to experience God’s love.

What are the next steps?

As Christians, God calls and equips us to live free of the hell of pornography. Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.” In other words, the Christian life is much better, richer, and freer than the life of porn! Not only that, but the Holy Spirit empowers people to put away the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

But don’t sit around waiting for the Holy Spirit—he will empower you by giving you the desire to follow God’s Word and produce godly fruit. You must put that desire into action. If you’re serious about quitting porn and renewing your relationship with God, you need to take advantage of the resources he has provided. Christians today have more tools than ever to fight the temptations of pornography!

To get started, follow the time-tested steps laid out by renowned sex addiction therapist Dr. Doug Weiss in How to Quit Porn: 6 Essential Steps.

  1. Mihilal Fernando

    If One Has The Saved Experience porn or anything cannot make that person to lose salvation. Nothing is able to make the saved person to lose his salvation. Romans 8. 38- 39 clearly says this.

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