All praise unto the Lord God with whom there is not falsehood nor deceit. Thanks be to Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life! Amen.
There are people who have a misplaced concept that if something makes them happy that it’s the ultimate truth for them. Their obsession with pleasure dulls their discernment so much that they are unable to see the downfall of others who walked in their vile lusts and perished due to their foolishness.
For instance, a man sees a method to make a lot of money in a short time, though he has seen it go bad for others. He thinks of his vacation and the cars he will own after his little trick works. But that’s none other than robbing a bank. He makes a plan and gets some partners to achieve this. The day of the robbery turns out to be his last as he is killed by the police in hot pursuit.
Another example, a woman works at office and desires fine fashionable clothes. She meets a man who gives her all the money she needs. There’s one thing he wants her to do, which is to share sensitive company information to him, so that his own company ends up eating into her office’s market share. She is clearly aware of the risks involved but proceed anyway. Things go wrong and she ends up getting arrested. Now she doesn’t even have civilian clothes but is all dressed up in jail clothes in prison.
Not just money, it can be anything else that when pursued with wrong motives can lead to trouble in this life and in eternity. Don’t be fooled, all deception to sin even if it comes from friends and family must still be rejected.
A person might take up drinking to cheer himself up instead of depending on the word of God. Then he gets addiction to alcohol and neglects his family duties. His family keeps away from him but he doesn’t care. Then comes his time to die and he has concern about his last drink before death rather than reconciliation with God. So by his final choice of life, he chooses to focus on sin and lands up into hell where he will be punished forever.
When faced with this such immoral lusting for false pleasures of various kinds, we can take heed of the Bible verse that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. Let’s this time read this verse it in it’s fully context so that we apply this better. And this speaks about how in the end times, people will become very wicked and how are we to behave if we are live a life worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus. As we live in the end times don’t be surprised to see the rise of apostasy in individuals and even in the overall church. These will profess to be godly but will live a life of disobedience to God. As you read below don’t think of it as a national or church problem alone, rather know that it’s a problem that the whole world has got itself into. Here are the verses 2 Timothy chapter 3 which you can reflect on:
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
It’s common knowledge that there are lots of books printed so far. Some books are very useful such as cook books, car manuals, grooming books etc. These are quite objective in their approach and to the point. However not everything is worth reading as there are other books that are filled with foolishness that you must avoid.
There are certain books that are superficially considered as works of artistic grandeur. On closer inspection you’d realize that they contain moral or spiritual gibberish at best. You must do you best to discern what is really good for you to glean on when reading such things.
Some people love poems while some love novels. There are people who relish classic literary works, while some revel in the contemporary. No problem in such hobbies as long they are not harmful. For instance gardening is no sin unless you are growing poisonous plants to harm others or yourself. Likewise, when reading various books they induce thoughts in the garden of your mind. You need to remove weeds of impure thoughts lest they choke the beautiful thoughts of piety, respect, gracefulness etc. The garden of your mind must be well watered with the word of God and never any substitute.
The wisdom of the world in some books can be shaky. They teach you that you are not took keep whining about your sorry situation but do something positive about it. You are encouraged to help yourself. While a worldly book teaches self-reliance it might also teach you to not help people in trouble as they are expected to help themselves. Such teaching on self-reliance is out of balance. I’d say that avoid such books that teach you not to help others. While its true that some people are way too lazy to help themselves, there are some who are too depressed to figure out how to get out of trouble. Not every self-help book is bad but that which teaches foolishness like not helping others is surely a bad one.
Take care what emotions are prominent in worldly books. As certain authors put in their own bitterness in their writings. Some are obsessed with suicide in their works and receive critical acclaim for that. However, the same critics get horrified when the author whom they praised actually committed suicide maybe due to divorce or loss of a fortune. What a tragedy at many levels? Three levels that immediately came to my mind. First, for the author’s life that got lost in gloom forever. Secondly, that the audience and critics celebrated suicide that people usually commit out of hopelessness. Thirdly, that such works that promote despair and suicide are still in vogue even after people came to know that the author wrote them not in the objective sense but out of their own grief which they tried to hide behind.
There are certain books that encourage you to feel helpless just because you are of a particular country, race or gender. Such things only promote you to believe in falsehood that you cannot breakout of worldly stereotypes. Keep away from such books.
Some authors are highly obsessed with sexual immorality. They portray love what is vulgar and hypocritical. They are more concerned with sinful please rather than right living. Nowadays in works of art even a bank robber is glorified if he has a relationship with an adulterous woman as long as he robs the rich and gives to the poor. The Bible doesn’t teach us to rob the rich and give to the poor.
There are certain books what promote unbelief. They will try to make you doubt if God exists. They will say lots of evil things about Jesus Christ. These are to be shunned outright. Because atheism and blasphemy are not in line with the Christian faith.
If you call yourself a believer in Christ then remember that is pointless to keep reading such books. Read what is wise and good and keep away what is sinful and vain. Moreover, read the Bible because it contains God’s message to us which leads us on to the right path.
A few scripture verses to reflect on:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8)
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” for by professing it some have swerved from the faith. Grace be with you.(1 Timothy 6:20-21)
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.(2 Timothy 2:22)
Do not love the world or the things 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 desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.(1 John 2:15-16)
When you attend an unrated movie or don’t know what it’s about, you might have to make a choice. You may not always face this choice but whenever you do please make sure that you are ready for it. What am I talking about? Keep away from bad movies.
Yes keep away from bad movies. Any movie that glorifies falsehood, blasphemy, murder, theft, cheating, sexual immorality is a bad movie. Sometimes the movie is on a general note but there are certain scenes which may be vulgar and have excessive violence. Pray for your children and keep them away from deception. Children must avoid any such graphic scenes and their parents or caretakers must never allow them access to such movies. The ‘Adults only’ tag on certain movies only indicate which age group is allowed to watch it, what it doesn’t say is whether watching that movie will be a source of moral corruption to you. Remember very clearly, that your eyes are gateways to your soul, so if you are letting in darkness in then its your fault as you could have closed them or looked away. You can choose to use your eyes in a good way or a bad way. So look at what is worthy to look at and not what is unclean or unholy.
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light. (Luke 11:34-36)
This year the movie Noah (2014) was labelled as a ‘biblical’ movie but in reality it was not. It was blatantly promoting unbiblical things like showing that the Watchers (fallen angels) were helping Noah build the ark, when in fact God never in the Bible had asked them to help Noah. To learn more about how it contradicted the Bible please click here where christiananswers.net systematically goes on to give great and honest reviews of movies that you usually see in Hollywood. They got on to rate Christian movies too. I’d strongly recommend that you see a movie review at their website if you have doubts if a certain movie you want to see may not be morally right.
It’s just not worth it that you watch movies that are promoting false doctrines and heresy. The rule of thumb is that whatever promotes spiritual falsehood must not be given heed to but rather must be opposed. That which contradicts the Bible’s teaching must never be considered good. What is evil is evil. Don’t get into the people pleasing bandwagon that some lukewarm Christians are into. These people don’t realize that if they were in a minority in an area ruled by the deceived majority of false doctrines, they would be persecuted by the very same type they tried to protect in the name of tolerance.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
What are you to do if you are in situation where you realize that the movie is not good for your soul? It’s a very simple choice. If you see a bad movie then you walk out of the theater. Don’t bother about the opinion of others. There’s always a chance that you can explain to them later outside that such a movie goes against your beliefs and values that you stand for. If you are with your family or with close friends try to quickly convince them to leave along with you so that they too have a fair chance.
Now if you have a movie that you can watch on your TV or PC but it’s promoting unholy things then let that thing go to the dust and not watch it. Better not waste your time on such things. It wise to avoid vulgar comedies so that you giggle a little lesser and not sin rather than watch them and laugh your way to hell!
Let the Bible be the deciding factor when you are faced with the choice to watch a movie that has wicked scenes in it. I close in with Psalm 101:1-3 says that, I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
I was once leading praise and worship for a few christian youth. Everyone was participating in the songs to praise God. Now in that service I just felt like singing a song thanking Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Suddenly most of the youth were feeling uneasy singing that song. So I decided to repeat this song again. Same lack of joy. I then realized in spirit that most of the youth doubted the forgiveness that comes from Christ.
So I stopped everyone and asked “do you feel forgiven?” And I noticed doubtful faces to that question. Most were avoiding that question. I told them no matter how many times you have sinned Jesus will forgive you of them all. They seemed a bit better on hearing this. I spoke about genuine repentance and forgiveness. After that I asked let’s all pray together asking Jesus for the forgiveness for our sins and then we will go on to thank Jesus for that. All were fine with that. So I led them in prayer asking for forgiveness from God for all their sins. Then when we sang back the song about thanking Christ for the forgiveness of sins everyone was fully into praising the Lord with genuine joy.
By this experience I realized that lack of faith in being forgiven is a stronghold that must not be ignored. Forgiveness of your own sins by Jesus is the most important part of your salvation. To doubt forgiveness is to doubt your salvation. Therefore cease and desist from doubting your forgiveness in Jesus when you repent in faith.
If we confess our sins, Christ is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)
There may be many reasons why some doubt their forgiveness. Four of them are major reasons. Some misuse forgiveness, some themselves don’t forgive, some keep on going back to the same sin or a worse one. And some sin against the Holy Spirit. Let’s try to learn more about them.
1) Misuse of the principle of forgiveness
Now Jesus faithfully forgives even unto a persons final breath. However some misuse this and keep sinning thinking let’s sin now and later repent. Such people are risking eternal damnation for themselves. For nobody knows when one may die. In the past centuries many people made a mockery of the forgiving nature of Christ not in words but in deeds. They continued to sin hoping to get forgiven when they can’t sin. For such people the gates of hell gladly are opened by the Evil One as he knows their have tampered with their salvation and are liable for greater torments. Forgiveness is not a license to sin later.
2) Not forgiving others who may have offended you
Forgiving others may seem a burden unless you realize that you are not giving up on justice but rather doing the will of Jesus the Judge of all. Some people don’t want to forgive others who hurt or offended them. A person who doesn’t forgive others won’t be able to experience forgiveness from God. That’s why not for your offenders sake but for your sake forgive them.
3) Going back to a sin or a worse sin
Some people confess their sin’s but later do that sin again. Sometimes they sin even more gravely. They do feel bad about it and later try to repent plus ask forgiveness from Christ. Now due to continual sinning and asking for mercy and back to sinning they feel like giving up. They want to give up on the mercy of God. These people doubt themselves, they doubt their own sincerity as they are witness to their own backsliding ways. All they must do in this case is not look on their faithfulness but look on the eternal faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ. So even if you are a habitual sinner keep coming back to Christ even till your last breath. However I still maintain that you must desire to permanently leave your sins. Especially sins of drugs, murder, witchcraft, adultery and idolatry.
4) Sinning against the Holy Spirit
All the above three reasons I say there is still hope for a person. But for the fourth I admit there is NO true hope. That is why a person must avoid any sinning against the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself said that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven. If you notice the below verses all sins can be forgiven except those against the Holy Spirit. Let’s read:
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)
Value your salvation. Value your forgiveness from Christ. It’s as real as the air you breathe and your heartbeat. Thank God for your forgiveness which you have received in the name of Jesus. Amen.