Recognize the great profit of the Truth! Dont' delight in wickedness. This article is dedicated to the Lord Jesus, and to those who are trying to overcome the world and the lust of the flesh, but to whom it seems almost impossible to live holy and righteous consistently. I remind you that “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” And, “His grace is sufficient for me.” And, “...to those who love God all things work together for good.
You cannot govern the amount of false reasoning, deception and other pollutions that you take into your brain while you willingly watch them as entertainment. To be safe you have to cut it off completely. Concerning the very reason Jesus died on the cross for us the Bible says, "...through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."(Gal.6:14) It says that “those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh along with it's sinful desires”.
The Bible also says concerning those who have repented and been baptized into union with Christ, "We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer?!"(Rom.6:2) To follow Jesus means you have died with Him to sin and to living for what the old self wants, and now you live a new life for Jesus according to God's will. If you don't stop watching worldly TV programming, you are not really crucified to this world nor dead to sin, and you are opening yourself up to every seducing spirit imaginable, to every lie the devil has to offer you. Either you have died with Christ or you have not. The Bible says, "IF we have been united with Him LIKE THIS in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection." (Rom.6:5)
Also it says, "Here is a trustworthy saying, 'IF we died with Him, we shall also live with Him."(2Tim.2:11). This is "the message of the cross" that the Bible says offends people. It says that Jesus died so "that we might die to sins and live to righteousness." (1Pet. 2:24). It says that ONLY IF we have died with Him shall we live forever with Him.
Many Christians hate this truth, and have false hope concerning their salvation. As it is written, "As I have often told you before, and now say again even with tears, MANY LIVE AS ENEMIES OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST. THEIR DESTINY IS DESTRUCTION, THEIR GOD IS THEIR STOMACH, they are proud of what they should be ashamed of, THEIR MINDS ARE ON EARTHLY THINGS."(Phil.3:19) The true Gospel of Christ crucified says that "Those who live according to the sinful nature have THEIR MINDS SET ON WHAT THAT NATURE DESIRES; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. THE MIND SET ON THE THINGS THE FLESH DESIRES IS DEATH, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. THE MIND SET ON THE THINGS OF THE FLESH is hostile to God. IT DOES NOT SUBMIT TO GOD'S LAW, NOR CAN IT do so. Those controlled by their old self cannot please God."(Rom.8:5-8)
Carnal Christians who love this world often overemphasize God's grace and 'unconditional' love, sometimes even teaching "Once saved always saved". They sometimes say that a Christian who doesn't watch TV is legalistic and thinks that they are 'holier than thou'. Because of their sinful lifestyles they themselves can't submit to God's holy law, so many of them say that any command or rule from Jesus or the Apostles doesn't really need to be obeyed because we who believe are not under the 'Law' but under grace. That is the lawless heresy called 'Antinomianism' that distorts the Scriptures to their own destruction.
The Bible says, "IF you are led by the Spirit, you are not under Law" (Gal.5:18). Paul said that he was "under the Law of Christ", and James mentions the royal law of Love (Jms.2:8-12). So, "The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death." And, as it is written, "Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, but rather to serve one another in love."(Gal.5:13)
The Bible also clearly says that "The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No!" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age..."(Tit.2:11,12) So, by our identifying with Christ's death and new life in baptism we now reckon ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. And, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. SET YOUR MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE, NOT ON EARTHLY THINGS. FOR YOU HAVE DIED, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God."(Col.3:1-3) So, true faith produces obedience that leads to righteousness that leads to holiness that leads to eternal life (see Rom.ch 6).
So Jesus has now become "the source of eternal salvation for ALL WHO OBEY HIM"(Heb.5:9). Those who keep ignoring the Spirit's leadings and keep watching TV are sowing many seeds to the flesh. "Don't be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."(Gal.6:7,8).
Keep in mind that "Judgement begins with the people of God", so don't be suprised when God judges us for our vile idolatry of watching television while we kept ignoring the accompanying sins, and kept leading others to stumble in the same things. "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."(Rom.1:32) This is very serious, for our TV watching often greatly grieves the Holy Spirit.
Most modern Christians have lost their real love and sense of urgency. They've become desensitized to evil by watching so may murders, antiChrist jokes, sex scenes, aliens, monsters, wickedness, lies and violence. Many pastors are completely compromised by condoning wickedness in the evil they watch as entertainment, many lusting after the provocative images they feast their eyes on. Who knows how far their imaginations fantasize as they become addicted to lusting after other men's wives and daughters, imprisioned by their own sin, fear and secrecy. This along with a love of money is a root of much hypocrisy in the church, impotent ear tickling preaching and correspondingly complacent congregations.
Remember that Jesus said that "many would come to him on that day and say, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out many demons, and perform many wonderful miracles?' Then he will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers!'" I believe the word "knew" in this verse is a key. I believe it has the same meaning as when the older English versions of the Bible say that a man "knew" his wife intimately. Now I ask you, how can a man be that intimate with Jesus and at the same time be so intimate with the world thru the things I am addressing in this letter? The Scriptures teach that the Word of God is the spiritual seed by which we have been born again (Lk.8:11, 1Pt. 1:23). No man in his right mind would want his wife taking in seed from another man. Neither does Jesus want His bride receiving spiritual seed from the god of this world (2Cor.4:4).
Pure religion is defined by the Holy Spirit as "...keeping yourself from being polluted by this world." (Jms.1:27)
Or do you think scripture says for no reason, "As God has said, 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.
"Therefore, come out from them and be seperate, says the Lord, touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everthing tha contaminates body and spirit. perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."(2 Cor.6:16-7:1)
Anything you feed into your heart is spiritual food. You are not guarding your heart if you are feeding the world into your eyes and ears, and you will reap exactly what you plant in your heart. "Beware, your sin will find you out!" Watching modern TV programming the way most Christians do today is blatant idolotry, and it is leading Christians back into slavery to sin, into captivity to spiritual Babylon, so to speak. And most of us either don't even realize it, are too dishonest to admit it, or too stubbornly rebellious to stop.
The Bible tells us what we should be thinking about, "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things." (Phil.4:8) The Christians Paul had discipled were generally not ignorant of Satan's methods of trying to destroy us, but today we seem to be willfully ignorant of his devices. Pray according to God's will about these things to receive the grace to help you in your daily times of need. “You have not because you ask not.” Do we love Jesus enough to be willing to be made willing? "Turn my eyes away from worthless things" (Ps.119:37) "Direct my footsteps according to your Word, let no sin rule over me" (Ps.119:133) "Save me, O LORD from lying lips and from deceitful tongues." (Ps.120:2)
We are supposed to hate and abstain from every form of evil. "...I hate every wrong path.", "I look on the faithless with loathing, for they do not obey your Word.", and "I hate and abhor falsehood." (Ps.119:104,128,158,163) Instead, "I have kept my feet from every evil path, so that I may obey your Word.", "Away from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commands of my God!", "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path", and "...I meditate on your statutes." (Ps.119:101,115,105,99)
The Bible says, "As a person thinks in his heart, so is he". Jesus asks a very pertinent question concerning this issue of why Christians continue to entertain themselves with this world's evil . He asked the hypocrites of His day, "WHY DO YOU ENTERTAIN EVIL THOUGHTS IN YOUR HEARTS?" (Mt.9:4) The evil thoughts that led them to do greater and greater evil deeds apparently came easily enough to them without feasting their hearts on this world's fruit of good and evil every day like most of us do. The heart's natural inclination is towards evil and deception which is undetectable to its very owner. "There is a way that seems right to a person, but the end of that way is death", and "The human heart is deceitful and desparately wicked, who can know it?".
The end result will be the same for those believers who don't continue in the faith by purifying themselves as it was for Eve who also gazed at the forbidden fruit that was pleasant to look at and was desirable for gaining wisdom, and who similarly listened to Satan's lies. Sinful desires will be fed and grow, and when evil desire matures, it will birth sin, and when sin has finished it's ruthless mastery over them, there will be horrible death and eternal destruction. Just as Eve sinned, fell away from God and led her husband and her own future children into sin and death., so death awaits those Christians who keep on living business as usual in a wicked and sinful generation, and all who are led astray by their example.
Of course we don't earn our salvation, but it is true that the elect, the chosen must continue in the obedience of the faith to be saved. “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”(Phil.2:12). And, (talking about the gospel message) “...by which you are being saved...if you hold fast (to it's teachings)..., unless you have believed in vain.” (1Cor.15:2) “Don't be highminded, but fear:, for if God didn't spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Notice therefore, the kindness and severity of God. Severity towards those who fell, but kindness towards you, if you continue in his kindness, or else you also will be cut off.”(Rom.11:22) “Make every effort to make your calling and election sure.”(2Pt.1:10) “It would have been better for them to never have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then depart from the holy commandment delivered to them.”(2Pt.2:21)
To everyone who has read this far, I enrich you with the hard to recognize reward of reminding you of the cross of Christ to which you were called when God called you to belong to and follow Christ. Sharing in Christ's sufferings is the path to sharing in His glory, and we so greatly underestimate the things that God has prepared for those who love Him, who take up their cross and deny themselves daily to follow Christ. “For to this (suffering) you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in His steps.” (1 Pt.2:21)
And, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.” (Rom.8:18) And also, “Since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, for he who has suffered physically has finished with sin, and spends the rest of his time in a fleshly body not for evil human desires, but rather to do God's will.” (1 Pt.4:1,2) And one more, “For our momentary light afflictions are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory that excessively surpasses them all.”(2Cor.4:17)
So don't be afraid to suffer for God's glory, for it proves your faith. Nothing you do or give up for the Lord is in vain, but wholehearted devotion to Christ is very greatly rewarded. Don't be afraid to fast and pray, to throw away worldly books, tapes, CD's, DVD's, etc. Don't worry about avoiding bad company or turning down the wrong financial 'opportunities'. “He who saves his life shall lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it.” “For it has been granted to you, not only to believe concerning Christ, but also to suffer for Him.”(Phil.1:29) And, “If we died together with him, we shall also live together with him, if we endure suffering with him, we shall also reign together,...”(2Tim.2:11,12). And finally, remember three very important things. #1, “We shall see his face!”(Rev.22:4) That will be the real show folks, and you don't want to miss it, and it never ends! #2, “All things are yours...”(1Cor.3:21) Read it people, that includes things present, and things to come, “...that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of his grace, in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”(Eph.2:7) #3. “In his presence is fullness of joy, at his right hand are pleasures forevermore.”(Ps.16:11) “So reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Rom.6:11)