Summary: It’s Satan’s old, deceptive trickery: Mingling truth with error...meeting us halfway...desiring that we be compromisers! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, and PowerPoint.
I’m free in Christ. I can go where I want, look like I want, watch what I want, listen to what I want, hang out w/ whomever I want. I dare you to try to impose any standards or absolutes on me!
But it matters how we look, where we go, whom we are with, what we do, say, take in, or put out. This crowd loves to quote the OT verse that says ‘God looketh on the heart’. But they forget the first part of the verse which states that ‘man looketh on the outward appearance!’ If we’re going to affect the world the world is going to have to see a difference in us. The truth is that both the inside and outside both need to be affected by God. So make some inner decisions and allow those to affect you outwardly if that applies.
Now, how are we going to decide in questionable areas, whether they are right or wrong? What about things the Bible doesn’t mention directly like gambling, the lottery, or certain movies.
Ill.—in his later years Dr. John R. Rice was known to say, “HBO...it’s hell’s box office! Cinemax? It’s sin to the max! So don’t be looking at a TV, be looking up, for the Lord will soon return and it’s gonna be Showtime!”
Here’s 5 questions to ask about questionable areas:
[these guidelines only work for those w/ a heart to do right, not for the worldly Christian looking for an excuse]
1. What would Jesus do?
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Would Jesus do this activity? Would He watch this? Would He talk this way?
2. Is God your top priority?
Does He take the back seat to anything else? What are you more committed to? Am I in conflict between God and the world? Why am I torn? As Jesus asked Peter, ‘Lovest thou me more than these?’
3. Will this help or hinder my Christian walk?
We should not only consider what’s wrong w/ something, but what is right with it? Is it of any lasting value in eternity? Would my time and efforts be better spent on something more profitable?
4. What is the atmosphere around this?
The context is important. It’s not just about what are you doing, but what are others doing in this place. It is guilt by association.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
...let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
5. How will this affect others?
No man is an island. We have a responsibility to consider how we affect others around us. Paul said there’s some things I could do that are ok, but if they offend my brother, I won’t do them for his sake.
Serve God, but stay in Egypt...
Worship God, but don’t go very far away. Don’t go overboard w/ this Jesus stuff. Be a borderline Christian / a compartment Christian – have a life – have a work life, a home life, a recreation life, and a church life.
But we cannot put God in a box...don’t lock Him into one room...allow Him to roam freely and permeate every area of your life. Not just another spoke in the wheel, but the hub out of which all the other areas are firmly rooted and revolve around!