The Devil’s Show

Some Very Important Issues Every Christian Should Consider

By Tom Heiden and Jeff Bellew

 

This article is dedicated to every true believer in the Lord Jesus, especially 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, “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...”  

 

 

The Devil once said to his demons below,

“Our work is progressing entirely too slow!”

 

“Those holiness people now stand in our way,

They don't follow fiction, the show or the play.”

 

“They say everyone owes their life to the Lord,

Always seeking to please Him in deed and in word.”

 

“They're quick to condemn everything that we do,

Always talking of Jesus and all that is true.”

 

“They say that our nice sins are, ‘All of the devil,’

And that 'True Christians live on a much higher level.'”

 

"What they teach from the scripture is perfectly true,

Often blocking the work we are trying to do!”

 

“My dear fellow demons let's figure a plan,

To distort their high standards as fast as we can.”

 

“Now I have a vision of just what to do;

My plan of deception I reveal to you.”

 

“We'll find us a wise but degenerate man,

Whose skill we can use to develop this plan.”

 

“There's nothing so real as the things you can see,

The eyes and the heart and the mind all agree.”

 

“We'll give them the ultimate idol to view!

I say it will work, and convince quite a few!”

 

“Through TV we’ll teach them our self seeking way,

And make them forget to believe means obey.”

 

“The home is the place for this subtle device;

Bid them, 'Sit, Eat and Drink', soon they'll think it quite nice.”

 

“The whole world will want one, we'll cast such a spell,

Even born-again Christians won’t know it’s from hell.”

 

“We'll sell them with pictures of the latest news,

Blurring the focus of their heavenly view.”

 

“We’ll begin with some nice shows like 'Leave it to Beaver',

To start training their minds to become our receiver.”

 

“This lure is inviting, they’ll want more and more,

While we infuse our lies to their subconscious core.”

 

“Yes we'll give them some gospel that isn't too strong,

And a few nature shows just to string them along.”

 

“Lads, I'll fill it half-up with the knowledge of good,

Making half-rotten fruit always misunderstood.”

 

“Because even the good, with its wisdom and knowledge,

Is part of the tree that I teach at my college.”

 

"And so thru the good shows we'll funnel our lies,

I am sure they'll ignore any weak warning cries."

 

“The same crowd that started with ‘Father Knows Best,’

Will watch half dressed women, and you know the rest!”

 

“I'll cause them to wonder if God's Word is true,

As an Angel of Light I'll illumine their view.”

 

“I'll make it so subtle they'll never admit,

That it's me they do worship as they stare, laugh and sit!”

 

“They'll take in the ads with the latest of fashions;

Soon watching the shows that will stir evil passions.”

 

“At first it will shock them, but while they still gaze;

Mature content warnings disguise my dark haze.”

 

“Murder and sex scenes they soon will behold,

Soft consciences harden, their love will grow cold.”

 

"It will seem they are gods as the camera zooms in,

Knowing all of the secrets, the plot and the sin."

 

“The TV commercials are my bonus seduction,

Between sexual smut is demonic instruction.”

 

“We'll keep the real Jesus and His truth out of sight,

Never showing a lifestyle that's holy and right.”

 

“No, our heroes wont fast, read the Bible or pray,

Godless living will soon seem quite normal, I say.”

 

“The old family altar that once held such charm,

Will soon  lose it's place without any alarm.”

 

“Their praying in secret will also be lost,

As they stare at my death screen, not counting the cost.”

 

“Compromised preachers who don't take their stand,

Will embrace our new vision while building on sand.”

 

“They'll help fool the people and lead them to sin,

Saying only, ‘Be careful,’ while soaking it in!”

 

“‘Only news, documentaries, weather and sports;

We watch only good!’ will become their retorts.”

 

‘We're not legalistic, nor holier than thou,’

‘We know what is right, we are careful - and how!’

 

“Preachers don’t touch the topics which upset the money,

Their sermons are easy, with sugar & honey.”

 

“Pastors partake of the world’s entertainment,

Pretending to keep their desires in containment.”

 

“So through their example the saints will keep thinking

They can feast on our shows without dying and stinking.”

 

“Evolution through nature shows, sex through the movie;

We'll promote every lie while we make it seem groovy!”

 

“Transfixed on the temporal down here below,

“Get their eyes off of Jesus, cuz he’s the real show.”

 

“We'll feed them the fruit of our teachings from hell,

They will love it so much it will easily sell!”

 

“Divorce will skyrocket, sex crimes will abound,

Much innocent blood will be spilled on the ground.”

 

“Their homes will be cursed in short order I say,

When these sermons of mine are received every day.”

 

“God sends strong delusion, as they trade truth for lies,

Delighting in wickedness, feasting their eyes.”

 

“It wont take too long, you'll be able to tell,

That these visions of mine will help populate hell.”

 

“Get busy my cohorts, and put this thing out!

We’ll see if the church can continue to shout.”

 

“The holiness people who stand in our way,

Will soon hush their objections against our foul play.”

 

“We'll have such success we will add as our weapon,

All the compromised Christians, who keep on back steppin'.”

 

“They'll argue and lie, they'll excuse and defend,

Till those holiness preachers will soon have to bend.”

 

“Everybody is doing it, each one will soon think,

More and more getting used to their spiritual stink.”

 

“Science fiction, then monsters, now aliens too,

By the time they see my face they won’t have a clue.”

 

“We'll still go to heaven” will be what they say,

Loving their secret sin until The Judgement Day."

 

“Often laughing at evil, even lusting within,

Yes they'll all become hypocrites, hiding their sin.”

 

“They'll really enjoy entertainment from hell,

Never knowing they're drinking from Antichrist’s well.”

 

‘Then those who are part of the falling away,

Will find themselves taking his mark anyway.”

 

“He'll dazzle the world while his viewers behold,

The face of The Beast who from us they were sold.”

 

“They'll lack the conviction to turn down the mark,

When their stomach says “Eat”, now deceived in the dark.”

 

“So through their self-confident pride we will win,

Never knowing TV kept them slaves to their sin!”

 

“Get the saints to the mud like a pig that was washed,

And they'll think to stop watching is too high a cost.”

 

 

Can you imagine Jesus, Peter and the other apostles sitting around watching worldly television shows if they lived now?  Or their wives and children, deacons, elders or anyone else that had a serious role in the Christian community?  The Bible says that in the very last days before Jesus comes back, God Himself would actually send a very powerful method of Satan's deluding power to deceive people so that they will “believe the lie”.  Television and movies have an extremely powerful effect, especially combined with all the worldly novels, music and internet influence.  Considering that the world is already in great spiritual blindness caused by sin, and needs no help rebelling against God, these extra modern influences combined have become the major catalyst in causing ultimate spiritual darkness to engulf the entire world, including God's people who are indulging their hearts in the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.  When your light becomes darkness, how deceptive it becomes.  The world's show is almost over. 

 

TV and movies are the major tools of Satan to deceive people to believe His lies and turn against God and Christians who preach the truth.  "The coming of The Lawless One will be in accordance with the work of Satan DISPLAYED IN ALL KINDS OF COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS, AND IN EVERY SORT OF EVIL THAT DECEIVES THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH AND SO BE SAVED. FOR THIS REASON GOD SENDS THEM A POWERFUL DELUSION SO THAT THEY WILL BELIEVE THE LIE, AND SO THAT ALL WILL BE CONDEMNED WHO HAVE NOT REALLY BELIEVED THE TRUTH BUT INSTEAD HAVE DELIGHTED IN WICKEDNESS."(2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) 

 

Repent now, anyone who can hear God's Word, and stop delighting in wickedness by choosing  it as your entertainment.  Lose your life's worldly entertainment for Jesus, and you will find it.  One day God's holy people will see His face, the show you don't want to miss!  Remember the One who died for us that we might die to sin and forever live for Him in true righteousness and holiness.

   

We as Christ's representatives thankfully recognize our liberty and freedom in Christ.  But we maintain that we are saved from slavery to sin to now serve one another in love, not to keep indulging the flesh while trying to convince ourselves that we are 'saved' by going to church and trying to be 'good Christians'.  We recognize that the TV set itself is not inherently evil, and that it can be used for God's purposes.  We also recognize that "To the pure all things are pure."  In other words, if I walk in someone's home and I see a pornographic scene on their TV set as I walk by, I have not necessarily been corrupted nor have I necessarily sinned, just as if I witness a murder on the streets.  As a follower of Jesus I do not choose these things as entertainment, or I would be grievously sinning.  God cannot even look at evil, and we are called to imitate God as His children. 

 

In this article we are not disputing that some TV shows are good or that  some can be watched by  Christians without sinning.  We are, however, very familiar with the content of modern television programming, and are convinced that a Christian who tries to keep watching TV selectively is like a Christian who tries to watch only the beneficial scenes of his favourite pornographic movies from before he became a Christian.  You are playing with fire, and you will reap exactly what you sow into your heart and mind.  "Desire the pure milk of the Word of God, that you may grow" up in your salvation.  Worldly TV programming is of the world, and watching it also sets a bad example for other Christians we are commanded to love and show the true way of living like Jesus. 

 

WWJD?  “What would Jesus do?”  This became a popular phrase in Christian congregations recently, yet how many of us actually apply that truth in these most important areas of our lives?   Please prayerfully consider what we write, for we personally testify to the liberation of our faith as we refused to feed our hearts on the pollutions of this world, but instead chose Christ as our source of wisdom, knowledge, information and entertainment.  "Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart."  Jesus said that His food, that which gave Him strength and satisfaction and happiness, was to do God's will.  He knew the Holy Scriptures inside and out, and devoted Himself to prayer.  These are some of the things we know God wants us to do, but we often say that we don't have enough time to do them like we should.  We will harvest what we plant.

   

Watching most of what's on television nowadays only feeds the flesh and secretly fills the mind with the false reasonings and attitudes that keep God's people in captivity to lust, greed, unbelief and other sins.  There does not even need to be any blatant cursing, sexual immorality or violence for it to be obscene to God.  Jesus said, “That which is highly esteemed among men is vile in God's eyes”, and most television shows and movies are perfect examples.  Even the commercials are designed to instill covetness and greed, and are filled with the same lust inducing scenes promoting fornication, adultery, homosexuality and paedophilia. 

 

Even the seemingly innocent rated "G" type movies, cartoons and other programming are almost always filled with things such as these: worldly living, pride, lies, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, boasting about what man has and does without God's help, disobedience to parents and others in authority, rebellion against authority, sensuality, perversion, alien gods, Satanism, witchcraft, sorcery, hatred, strife, materialism (worshipping money), jealousy, impurity, false reasonings and anti-Christ teachings.  And all this on the "G" rated shows.  Most all television shows are based on the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ, and watching them means entertaining yourself with actors living according to their sinful natures who are acting out scripts written by people who usually hate Jesus and His people.  How can anyone who calls themselves by the holy name of Christ entertain themselves by godless shows written by people who are obviously under inspiration of the "god of this world", who have sinful minds that are hostile to God. 

 

Remember, the Bible says, "God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ...'Everyone who confesses to be a Christian must turn away from wickedness'. (2 Timothy 2:19)  Love the truth and turn from evil, for it is written,  “Flee from sexual sin of any kind!”!   And, “Flee from idolotry!”   And it says, “ ...whoever sins sexually sins against their own body.” (1Corinthians 6:18)  And, "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols!" (1John 5:21)

   

Just like the people of Israel did at certain times in their apostasy as recorded in the Old Testament, so now many Christians are really worshiping false gods which are in fact demon beings like Satan when they sit mesmerized in front of the 'hellivision'.  It is recorded that Israel tried to and did somewhat worship God while worshiping Baal, just as most of us do today who try to worship God AND money, or God AND TV, or God AND being liked by friends and family, or God AND food, or God AND lust...  But Jesus said that you cannot serve God and money, for you will end up loving one and hating the other.  In the same way you cannot worship God AND anything!  Every high place, every altar, every desire, every human priority, every 'x' -ite that occupies the promised land of our hearts to compete with God must be destroyed as we obey Christ.  

 

You can tell what you worship by what you think and talk about most, how you spend your money and what you do, especially in your 'spare time'.  Television watching is usually part of a self-centered lifestyle.  It is not usually the case that the Christian has prayed, “Okay Father, now what would you like me to do?”, and then the Holy Spirit leads them to go and watch their favorite show on TV.  The Bible says that those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.  It also says, "So I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that YOU DO NOT DO WHAT YOU WANT." (Galatians 5:16,17). 

 

Paul wrote in the Bible that everyone he knew (locally to him at that time) except Timothy were serving their own interests, not the interests of Jesus Christ.  Who and what are we really serving, who and what do we really love, and what is really our God?  Scripture says that "Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ, their destiny is destruction, THEIR GOD IS THEIR STOMACH, they boast in what they should be ashamed of, THEIR MIND IS ON EARTHLY THINGS." (Phillipians 3:18,19)  Most serve their own desires and not the Lord Jesus Christ.  

  

 So Jesus apparently knew what He was talking about when He asked, “Will the Son of Man find (true) faith on the Earth when He returns?”  Most of the modern church are being deceived and are becoming part of the predicted last days' great falling away, really loving this world and their lazy selfish pursuits instead of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The agape love of many is truly growing cold as their love for the world grows.  Do you think that the scripture says for nothing, "Do not love the world, or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world.  The world and it's desires are passing away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." (1John 2:15-17) 

 

Just as people are really worshipping demons when they worship idols, statues and the like, so also when a parent condones wickedness by choosing it as their entertainment, they are not only themselves sinning, but also by their example in essence sacrificing their own children to the very real demons behind the shows.  They are not only allowing their children to be corrupted by wickedness, but are actually leading them to be entertained by demonically inspired programming such as cartoons, science fiction, and many other godless programs and movies. 

 

Many of these shows at superficial glance may seem to teach good principles, but are really focused on this world's corrupted principles rather than on the pure principles of the Holy God who created us.  But the truth many of them would deny is that most modern Christians in the 'Western World' allow themselves and their children to watch extremely vile and evil things on even the milder of modern movies, which are all filled with Satan's sermons that powerfully counteract the Word of God.  Many video games are more and more obviously demonic in character, to say the least.  We actively enable our children to fill their hearts and minds with Satan's words, teachings, images and lies, send them to secular schools, let them hang out with wicked playmates, roam the streets, the web and the TV channels, and then we blame them for choosing the devil's ways and living like pagans.  We watch as their lives are destroyed and then criticize them.  Often television is a convenient baby sitter, something to keep the kids occupied.  Many parents have a set time when their children will be watching TV instead of a set time for prayer or other godly devotions that would teach and edify them.  

   

Co author of this article Jeff Bellew has sometimes asked people, "If Jesus Christ came back last night, what kind of watching would you have been doing?  Watching and praying or watching godless television programs?  Entertaining yourself with the same kind of things that the world indulges in?"  Most Christians will try to rationalize these sins.  Some will say, "Oh, you have to be very careful what you watch!"  Usually, however, most are not very careful at all about what they allow themselves to watch.  They will 'surf' the channels until they find something that catches their interest, or until someone else in the room says, "Hey, turn it back to that last channel!"  They will usually always be able to find time for their favorite shows, and often fight for them, even shouting at those who interrupt them.  And most Christians deliberately use the time, money and body Christ bought with His blood, to indulge their 'flesh' in such worldliness, often actually owning many of the popular Hollywood movies that so seductively teach against all that our Father God and our Lord Jesus are,  teach, and represent.

   

The bottom line is this:  If it is not inspired by the Holy Spirit, then who inspired it?  If it's not inspired by our Holy God, then why pollute your heart by watching and listening to it?  Do you really realize what you are playing with whenever you begin to watch most TV shows.  Aren't you in fact enjoying all the ways your enemy the devil takes you captive to the old evil desires and ways of thinking?  And many believers in Jesus are not merely being taken captive, they have either continued as slaves to their sin, or they were taken back captive years ago, and again love the pleasures of sin they enjoy while watching TV. 

 

The Bible says , "If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and are entangled again in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them."(2 Peter 2:20,21)  And these same Christians would often fight 'tooth and nail' to justify their television watching, becoming angry if God sent anyone to warn them to repent.  In reality their hostility is directed toward the holy God who called them to live a holy and righteous life separate from this evil world's pollutions, because they are ignoring that they are rebelling against His Holy Spirit, and then they despise anyone who reminds them.  This is a similar kind of thinking as that which caused the religious people of Israel to argue with, hate and kill the prophets, and even the Lord Jesus Himself.  They never realize that it is of such great profit to turn from all sin.  The Bible exhorts us to “...lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and run this race with patience, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...” (Hebrews 12:1,2).

   

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."(Galatians 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?!"(Romans 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."(Romans 6:5)  Also it says, "Here is a trustworthy saying, 'IF we died with Him, we shall also live with Him."(2 Timothy 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."(1 Peter 2:24). 

 

Many Christians hate this truth, and have false hope concerning their salvation.  They seem to think that faith is convincing themselves that they are saved and refusing to doubt it in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.  As was mentioned earlier, 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."(Philippians 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."(Romans 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" (Galatians 5:18).  Paul said that he was "under the Law of Christ", and James mentions the Royal Law of Love (James 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."(Galatians 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..."(Titus 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."(Colossians 3:1-3)   So, true faith produces obedience that leads to righteousness that leads to holiness that leads to eternal life (see Romans ch. 6). 

 

I have been building an extremely important point that is very pertinent to a proper understanding of our subject, and can be summed up by the following portion of scripture explaining our sanctification process which now saves us (2 Thessalonians 2:13) found in the book of Romans.  It says, "Now IF WE DIED WITH CHRIST, WE BELIEVE THAT WE WILL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM...Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, WHICH LEADS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS?  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, YOU WHOLEHEARTEDLY OBEYED THE FORM OF TEACHING TO WHICH YOU WERE ENTRUSTED.  AND HAVING BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN, YOU BECAME SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS ... LEADING TO HOLINESS, AND THE RESULT IS ETERNAL LIFE.  For the wages of sin is death (even for the 'believer'), but the gift of God is eternal life IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD."(Romans 6:8-23)       

 

Remember Jesus said, "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord', and not do what I say?"  So those who really believe truly repent from sin, and continuing in that saving faith we learn to do what the Holy Spirit leads us to do.  The Bible says, "So I say, live by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that YOU DO NOT DO WHAT YOU WANT." (Galatians 5:16,17). 

  

So Jesus has now become "the source of eternal salvation for ALL WHO OBEY HIM"(Hebrews 5:9).  Those who continue watching worldly TV shows and movies are sowing many deadly 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."(Galatians 6:7,8). 

   

To the church leaders who are reading this I ask, "Are you going to make a stand on this issue or are you going to continue to let your brothers be deceived by the evil spirits, lies and influences they come into contact with thru the television and similar media?  Are you going to condone this corruption of the church of Jesus Christ, the foundation and pillar of the truth which God has entrusted you to lead by example?  You are supposed to be warning the flock daily, so that none of them be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.  "...exhort one another daily lest any of you become hardened by sins deceitfulness."(Hebrews 3:13) 

 

Listen to how godly men lead the flock:  Paul said, "So be on your guard!  Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears."(Acts 20:31)  What a difference in the holy men of God who weren't afraid to spend real time fasting, praying and declaring the truth publicly.  They gained a real love for God's people as they kept their secret thoughts and deeds holy.  They had no time for godless entertainment, conversation or intimate friendships, for they were too busy living separate for Christ by loving and serving others in the most important ways.  God can only use holy vessels for His noble tasks.  God has not lowered His standard today, so don't judge yourself faithful by comparing yourself to the other compromised Christians and church leaders. 

 

The modern church of the 'West' is represented by the very church of whom Jesus says, "...I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and don't need anything.' But you don't even know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked!  I counsel you to buy from me...salve to put on your eyes so you can see.  To those I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest and repent!"(Revelation 3:16-19)  Buying the good gold, clothes and eye salve from Jesus costs.  And watching TV is the exact opposite to what Christ has in mind to purchase the eye salve that will heal our poverty, nakedness and blindness.  So count the cost.  Do we really want to be His disciples? 

 

Keep in mind that "Judgement begins with the people of God", so don't be surprised 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."(Romans 1:32)  This is a much more serious issue than most of us imagine, 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 desensitised to evil by watching so may murders, antichrist jokes, sex scenes, aliens, monsters, wickedness, lies and violence.  Many pastors are completely compromised by the evil they watch as entertainment, many lusting after the provocative images they feast their eyes on, and by condoning the same and worse in others by not warning them against doing so.  Who knows how far their imaginations fantasize as they become addicted to lusting after other men's wives and daughters, imprisoned 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 (Luke 8:11, 1 Peter 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. (2 Corinthians 4:4)   

   

Pure religion is defined by the Holy Spirit as "...keeping yourself from being polluted by this world."(James 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 SEPARATE, 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 EVERYTHING THAT CONTAMINATES BODY AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING HOLINESS OUT OF REVERENCE FOR GOD."(2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1)

   

Let us realize that our actions speak louder than our songs of praise.  If the book of Psalms was rewritten according to the modern church's deeds, the 23rd Psalm would sound something like this:

              

               THE 23rd CHANNEL

               The TV is my shepherd, I shall not want.

               It maketh me lie down on green sofas.

               It leadeth me away from the true faith.

               It destroyeth my soul.

               It guideth me in the path of sex and violence for the devil's sake.

               Yea, though I walk in the shadow of Christ's obedience and holiness,

               I will fear no correction.

               There will be no suffering for me,

               for my TV is with me.

               It's cable and remote, they comfort me.

               It prepareth a commercial for me in the presence of my desires.

               It anointest my head with lies and deception.

               My lust runneth over.

               Surely, laziness and sin shall follow me all the days of my life,

               And I shall dwell in the house of idols till I die and am judged for my deeds.

              

It is written, "I WILL SET NO WICKED THING BEFORE MY EYES. THE DEEDS OF FAITHLESS MEN I HATE; THEY WILL NOT CLING TO ME.  MEN OF PERVERSE HEART SHALL BE FAR FROM ME.  I WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH EVIL...MY EYES WILL BE ON THE FAITHFUL IN THE LAND... No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house, no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.  Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land."(Psalms 101:3-8) 

   

I give you a quote from Deacon Lewis Palmer, Jr.  He said, "Your Christianity doesn't spread to that TV set or movie screen!  You can watch it every hour of the day and you will not make those TV actors and actresses any more holy.  But they WILL certainly defile you and corrupt your desires, inflame your lusts, and desensitise and sear your consciences.  The common deceptive practice (in disobedience to Romans 13:14) of "only watching good things on worldly television" does not work.  First, there are no really good things on worldly TV.  Second, you usually have to watch it before you find out you shouldn't have watched it.  Third, the Christian that begins to partake of worldly TV 'only a little' is soon so doped up by the thrill of sensuality and 'adventure' that he or she rapidly loses the ability to discern what is good or bad.  Christians!  Separate from TV and worldly movies before your daughters and sons lose their innocence and you lose your spouse, or before God gets angriier than He already is at your idolatry and flirtation with the world..." 

   

Here is a quote from Dan and Cheryl Corner:  "We are naturally desirous of spending time with the thing, animate or inanimate, we love the most.  Honestly ask yourself then, do you spend more time with the God of Heaven or the TV?  How could we, as professing Christians, waste the free hours the Lord God has graciously given us to serve Him by spending countless hours with the filth of the world coming from the television?  "Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33)  Is there any worse company than the smut of Hollywood?"  And I ask, does the devil and our sinful natures really need all that extra help to distract us away from our goal and purpose here where we are already swimming upstream?  Most of Israel and even the early church easily wandered from the true faith without realizing it without the deception of TV, and yet we are so sure it wont affect us and help us to shrink back unto destruction.

 

The Bible warns us clearly:  "ABOVE ALL ELSE, GUARD YOUR HEART, FOR IT AFFECTS EVERYTHING YOU DO!...Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.  Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm."(Proverbs 4:23-26)  And, "But my eyes are fixed on you, O Sovereign LORD"(Psalms 141:8)  The things Israel did physically correspond to spiritual realities in those of us who are spiritual Israelites.  Notice how Israel's apostasy corresponds to our subject.  "They did not destroy the (wicked godless) people as the LORD had commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs.  They worshiped their idols, which became a deadly trap to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons."(Psalms 106:34-37)  The TV, worldly movies, music, books and magazines, and now the worldly sites of the internet have become deadly traps to God's people today, strengthening the evil desires that wage war against our soul.  The Bible tells us, "If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."(Romans 8:13)  Also it says, "Do not give the devil a foothold", "Do not even think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature",  "Abstain from the very appearance of evil", "Flee from youthful desires", and "...be holy in all you do". 

 

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 whatever you feed will grow.  "Beware, your sin will find you out!"  Watching modern TV programming the way most Christians do today is blatant idolatry, 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, and/or are too stubbornly rebellious to ask God for the grace 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." (Philippians 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 wilfully 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"(Psalms 119:37)  "Direct my footsteps according to your Word, let no sin rule over me"(Psalms 119:133)  "Save me, O LORD from lying lips and from deceitful tongues."(Psalms 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." (Psalms 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."(Psalms 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?"(Matthew 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 desperately 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 the second death and eternal destruction.  Just as Eve sinned, fell away from God and led her husband and her future children into sin and death, so death awaits those believers who keep on living business as usual in a wicked and sinful generation, and all who are led astray by their example.  Many modern Christians are so deceived that they would read this and scoff, so certain they are that I am exaggerating the dangers.

   

Peter asked Ananias, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?”  We too must be careful not to let Satan enter our hearts, as he did Judas, or fill our hearts with his evil words and images.  Jesus said that a good man brings forth treasures out of a good heart, and that an evil person brings forth evil out of his storehouse of evil stored up in his heart.  He said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and He said that out the heart comes thefts, murders, adulteries, fornication, etc.  So it bears repeating to remember the spiritual law we read in the Old Testament, “Guard your heart diligently, for out of it spring the issues of life”.  In 'the Parable of the Sower', the difference between those who went on to continue bearing good fruit unto eternal life and those who didn't was that those who heard the Word of God with a good heart properly understood it and bore good fruit.  We too must cultivate our hearts to fear God and refuse to continue in sin, considering all that Jesus, God's Son, has done for us.  “Be careful that none of you would have a sinful unbelieving heart that you would turn away from the living God”.  For it says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts...” as God's stubborn people in the past have done, to their own destruction.

 

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(John 8:31, Acts 13:43, 14:22,Romans 11:22, Colossians 1:23, etc.).  “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”(Philippians 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.”(1 Corinthians 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.”(Romans 11:22)  “Make every effort to make your calling and election sure.”(2 Peter 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.”(2 Peter 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 Peter 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.”(Romans 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 Peter 4:1,2)  And, “For our momentary light afflictions are achieving for us an eternal weight of glory that excessively surpasses them all.”(2 Corinthians 4:17) 

 

So don't be afraid to suffer for God's glory, for it proves your faith.  Don't be afraid to fast and pray, to witness, or 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.”(Philippians 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,...”(2 Timothy 2:11,12).  And finally, remember three very important things.

 

1.   “We shall see his face!”(Revelation 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...”(1 Corinthians 3:21)  Look it up and read it people, and 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.”(Ephesians 2:7).

 

3.   “In his presence is fullness of joy, at his right hand are pleasures forevermore.”(Psalms 16:11)  “So reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Romans 6:11)

 

By Tom Heiden and Jeff Bellew

 

 


 

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