Young reader, as God’s child, what do you seek in the way of entertainment? What amuses you in your leisure time? Let’s briefly consider what type of entertainment you should seek as you desire to live according to God’s will.
When you ask your parents’ permission to do something or go somewhere, and their answer is “No,” your response might be “Why not?” or “What’s wrong about it?” As we take a closer look at your choices of entertainment, instead of asking defensively, “What’s wrong with it?” ask instead, “Will this be pleasing and honoring to God?” As children of God seeking to do his will, keep that in the front of your mind when making a decision regarding the type of entertainment you choose. “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Col. 4:5).
Perhaps you enjoy reading in your leisure time. What motivates your decision when you pick up a new book or magazine? Ephesians 4:23 tells us: “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” If you are tempted to read the filth of the world, ask yourself how this would be pleasing to God. When you are tempted to say in defense, “Well, it’s only a book, it’s not as bad as what’s on TV or in the movies;” remind yourself of this passage: “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (I Thess. 4:7), and “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Cor. 7:1).
When you make weekend plans with your friends, what is your purpose, your goal? Is it to go out and have as much fun as you can, fulfilling your earthly lusts and desires? Is it your happiness? Or, dear regenerated, sanctified child of God, is it your holiness? Your parents may not be with you, watching you, but don’t ever forget that your Father in heaven never takes his eyes off you. God has commanded you to live antithetically. Have you made plans to go drinking and dancing? Remember what God’s word says in Psalm 101:2: “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way;” and in Ephesians 5:18: “And be ye not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Does being entertained by the murders, fornication, the taking of God’s name in vain, the desecration of the Sabbath day, disrespect of those in authority, stealing, lying, and covetousness on the television and in the movies and in the video games entice you? Consider the words of Proverbs 14:9: “Fools make a mock at sin; but among the righteous there is favor;” and Psalm 101:3: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; is shall not cleave to me;” also, I Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication”. There are still more: Hebrews 12:14: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord,” and finally, Romans 1:18: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”
What about the dirty, filthy, rotten music that the world produces? Is that what you enjoy listening to and singing along with? What does God’s Word tell us about that? Look at II Corinthians 6:14: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Look up Ephesians 5:1-20, and read it well. I ask you to take the music of the world, considering the lyrics, the beat, the performer, and prove (test) it with these passages from God’s Holy Word. Here’s two more to consider; Proverbs 18:7: “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul”, and Proverbs 15:2: “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”
Dear young reader, do not fill your ears and eyes with the works of fools. Fill yourself with the Word of God. You have been freed from the bondage of sin; “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1), and “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). There is no “in-between.” There is no “I’m know that I’m a Christian, but I’m just having a little fun before I’m an adult.” It’s black and white: you either do God’s will (the truth), or you do the works of the devil (the lie). “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24).
To walk in the spirit is a constant battle, as verse 17 of Galatians 5 tells us: “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh: and these things are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Verses 19-21 speak of the works of the flesh, and verses 22-23 are the familiar passages describing the fruit of the spirit. Then, in verses 24-25 we read: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit.” These teachings continue on into chapter 6 of Galatians, where in verses 7 and 8 we read: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.”
The works of entertainment that the world produces are works of lust sown to the flesh. Their very purpose is to satisfy the lusts of the flesh. As God’s child, you may have NO part of being entertained by such works. The entertainment of this world is destructive to your very soul. God’s will—God’s command—is that you flee from the temptations of the worldly entertainment, and seek after that which edifies and profits your body, mind, and soul. I John Chapters 1 and 2 instruct us in how we are to walk in the light, keeping God’s commands. Then we get to verse 17 of chapter 2 and read: “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” In the very next verse we have the warning that “it is the last time.” The time of the antichrist is fast approaching. I ask you: when the day of persecution comes, what words will fill your mind and soul? What memorized words will you recall to give you the strength and courage to confess the name of Christ? Let it be the word of God. Fill yourself with the promise and comfort of his Word, and the songs that declare his Word. Fill your mind and soul with the words of Ephesians chapters 4 and 5. If you keep these words in your mind you will know what God’s will is for you when you consider your entertainment. Make that your earnest desire. Pray that God will give you this desire by the work of the Holy Spirit. God has already equipped you with the tools you need to fight the battle. Ephesians 6:10-11: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The next seven verses are probably ones you have studied and memorized. Study them again. Memorize them again. Keep them in your heart, and in the front of your mind when you consider what should be entertaining to you as God’s child.
God’s word gives you the clear, final answer to your questions of entertainment: II Corinthians 6:17, 18, and II Corinthians 7:1: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”