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The apostle Paul told the Corinthians that he had suffered through three shipwrecks during his missionary travels. That was before he experienced his fourth one on the way to Rome. You can read Luke’s amazing account of this shipwreck in Acts 27.
When Paul wrote to Timothy, he mentioned two brothers who suffered a shipwreck of sorts. Theirs was a spiritual shipwreck. What a profound choice of words, considering all he went through at sea. Let’s read what Paul had to say about these brothers:
This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:18-20)
Typical of Paul, he did not go into detail about what happened to Hymenaeus and Alexander. Apparently, he did feel it was necessary to warn Timothy of the utter importance of maintaining his faith and keeping his conscience in good working condition, which others had rejected, resulting in their being disciplined by the church and turned over to Satan because of something they taught.
The same warning applies to you and me today. None of us are home-free yet.
Sexual sin, including addiction to pornography, is like a hidden reef that is ripping the hulls out of our spiritual lives, not to mention marooning our marriages and causing our homes and churches to lose their precious cargo more than any other factor we are facing in the Church today.
A 30-DAY CHALLENGE
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be porn-free in less than thirty days? Imagine being able to regain your sense of righteousness so that you can have confidence in your own prayers again, being able to worship the Lord with abandon, and being free from the fear and condemnation that the enemy heaps upon you. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to view people the way God views them rather than as sexual objects? Wouldn’t it be great to have proven tools that you can use to help others get free?
What would happen if we exposed our hearts to the sobering truth of God’s Word for a pre-determined time? What if we used it daily, like taking an antibiotic for thirty days? What if we started this time of study with a three-day fast, using this time of total abstinence from food, fun, friends, and entertainment to strengthen our determination to be free?
The goal of this study guide is to help people build biblical truths into their lives to help them keep the waves of porn from sinking their ships. This challenge includes doing daily studies, fasting, and doing assignments that help lead us deeper into repentance. Doing these things takes time. I am not aware of any shortcuts. Sexual sin is a fruit that grows out of a root. We can nip off the fruit as much as we want, but unless we deal with the roots, the fruit will just grow back. It takes time to go deep and find the root, digging it out before we can become free.
While much of this material is geared toward men, in the same way that the book of Proverbs is aimed at young men, it does not mean that women do not have a problem with fornication or pornography, because they certainly do. They could also benefit from the principles and truths outlined here, but I do believe that the larger problem lies with men, and that is my target audience for this study guide.
I challenge each of you to do go through this study guide prayerfully in order get to your ship to your destination, bringing as many people on board with you as possible.