Will I go to hell because I like masturbating?
Many men and women masturbate. They masturbate because they like the feeling they experience when they orgasm. Consequently, they repeatedly masturbate. How often an individual masturbates depends upon the person. But the question we are concerned with is will a believer go to hell if they masturbate? The answer is no! But that simple answer ignores a more serious problem. What follows is an explanation.
Is Masturbation A Sin?
Is masturbation a sin? The answer is not definite since Scripture does not specifically call masturbation a sin. The Bible does not give us any examples of individuals who masturbated. Therefore, we must consider biblical principles that help us understand if masturbation is a sin.
The article Is Masturbation a sin? states that masturbation is clearly a sin if a person looks at a naked body, daydreams or lusts after someone while masturbating. Masturbation is also a sin if it becomes habitual or addictive. If a Christian feels guilty about masturbating, that is a strong sign that masturbation is a sin because the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin (John 16:8-11). The article provides eight tests that will help us understand that most likely masturbation is a sin, even though Scripture never specifically says it is. Most Christian counselors report that Christian men and women feel extremely guilty masturbating. This is a strong sign that masturbation is most likely a sin. The wise Christian counselor will help believers understand this principle, rather than attempting to convince believers that masturbation is okay. Such counsel results in a desensitized conscience. Instead, the counselor should encourage the man or woman to follow their conscience. For Romans 2:14-15 states that God has written His law into our conscience.
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them. Romans 2:14-15 (NASB)
Some additional reasons that masturbation is probably a sin is because 1) God designed men and women to experience orgasms together and not by oneself and 2) habitual masturbation is extreme self-centered gratification. Scripture warns us to not be lovers of self and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self . . . without self-control . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God . . . 2 Timothy 3:1-4 (NASB)
Now we will ask, “Is it okay to continue masturbating even if it is a sin?”
I Enjoy Masturbating and Want To Continue
How should you respond if you really enjoy masturbating and do not want to stop? Think about Moses who had the choice of leaving Egypt or staying in Egypt. Then he would have been able to enjoy the prestige of his honored position as the future pharaoh and all of the privileges associated with his position. But he did not stay. He gave it up. Why? Hebrews 11:24-25 gives us the principle that we are to flee sin and serve Christ instead. Moses gave up the pleasures of sin for God.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin . . . Hebrews 11:24-25 (NASB)
Throughout the Bible, God tells us that one sign a person is a Christian is that they will desire to obey Him. Notice that is the message of Romans 7:14-24. In this passage the apostle struggles with sin and he is struggling so hard that he exclaims,
For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. Romans 7:19-20 (NASB)
Then in Romans 7:24 he says,
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Romans 7:24 (NASB)
It is important to see that the apostle Paul wants to have victory over sin. Romans 8:13-14 teaches us that a person in whom the Holy Spirit dwells will be putting to death the sin that is in his or her body. 1 Corinthians 12:3 also indicates that only a Christian will call Jesus their Lord or master.
While it is important to understand that masturbation is most likely a sin, the greater question is will a Christian want to give up the pleasure of sin for Christ? If masturbation is a sin, will a believer want to give it up? Most Christians who feel guilt because they are masturbating want to stop. A Christian’s great passion should be to please God. That should be the top priority. Then if masturbation is a sin, the decision as to what a Christian should do is obvious.
Finally, will a true Christian go to hell for having masturbated or for currently masturbating? The answer is that everyone is bound for hell at the moment of birth. Psalm 51:5 reminds us that we are born in sin.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5 (NASB)
Romans 3:23 also reminds us that everyone has sinned.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3;23 (NASB)
When we were children, we already deserved to go to hell. Consequently, masturbation alone is not what sends a person to hell, if in fact masturbation is a sin. We already deserved to go to hell at birth and our first sin proved it. The only way a man or woman can escape hell and go to heaven is not by stopping masturbation but by repenting of his or her sins, believing in Christ and wanting Him to take over his or her life. A true Christian will want to stop sinning and strive to stop just as the apostle Paul did. No, masturbation does not send a person to hell, but if your conscience is convicting you then stop!
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