Last month we ended with the words, “players need to stop trifling with salvation, sin and hell; there are eternal consequences involved.” “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (I Sam. 15:23a).
Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31b, 32). Perseverance in obedience to Scripture is the fruit or evidence of genuine faith. Real disciples are both learners and faithful followers.”
Stephen Kline of Simon Fraser University media research is concerned about the desensitization to violence. He says, “Interactivity increases identification. Identification increases stress levels and the level of addiction.” Children surveyed were aware of their surrender to the game and almost every child interviewed admitted video games are addictive. “It’s fun to kill everyone around—it’s especially fun with ‘god mode’ on,” says a seven-year-old boy who is a fan of DOOM, and took part in Kline’s study. DOOM is an incredibly violent and evil game. They are being taught that violence is a way of problem-solving.
Virtual reality has taken video games into a real life-like experience. The player places a wrap-around screen on his head that puts him right in the middle of all the action. It’s like looking at the real world with no obstruction, even if people walk in front of you.
Video-games are murder simulators—just like the simulators used to train soldiers for Vietnam. Kids spend hours every night, firing tens of thousands of shots at thousands of human targets. Satan knows sin hardens the heart and conscience and will gladly help one to go deeper and deeper into sin, addiction and bondage. “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” (Gal. 6:8). Make no mistake, while they are involved in this violence and evil, whatever they strive to do in the way of Christian ministry will be done in the flesh. They will not be empowered and led by the Holy Spirit while they are serving Satan and their flesh. “No man can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24a). Satan wants control of our minds, but God says, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:23, 24).
Remember the frog that we started out talking about? Bit by bit it became acclimatized to the temperature of the water, until it was too late. Well, this is what is happening to players! They are gradually being acclimatized and desensitized to violence and evil. Sin is dampening their desire to read and study God’s Word, and is destroying their service to God in holiness and righteousness.
It is impossible to fill one’s mind with this diabolical garbage, be an active participant in it, and expect to have a walk with the Lord—it won’t happen! “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
Stop for a minute, and think how they spend their free time. Suppose they can’t get to sleep at night, and get up for a while. What do they do? Go to God’s Word or a good book and read for a while to be encouraged and strengthened in the Lord until they feel ready to go back to bed? More likely than not, they go and fire up the old computer and have some fun! With their latest blood and guts, kill-everything game that they’ve grown to love so much. Satan, the great deceiver, smiles again in victory!
Players need to take “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17b). “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31b, 32). “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:12, 13).
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
It also becomes harder and harder to spend time in prayer and communion with God, because they try to come to him with all their unrepented sin, but God says, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (I Tim. 2:8). They can’t “lift up holy hands” or “walk with the Lord” when they continue doing that which is an absolute abomination to God. “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (I Tim. 6:11, 12a). “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). “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-17). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (I John 2:15-17). “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (I John 2:3-6). “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3).
God didn’t say to us, “Hang onto me with one hand, and onto the world’s entertainment and vices with the other.” Players need to think about the hours and hours they spend willfully sinning against God by actively participating in this, and filling their minds with violent and diabolical garbage! It is not innocent entertainment. STOP IT, and REPENT!
Repentance is not only being sorry and feeling remorse for our sinful lives, but it is to make a radical turn around, a complete change of the basic motivation and direction of one’s life, and to accept total dependence on God. “But, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3b). “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance” (Matt. 3:8). The main sign of a regenerate life is a hatred of sin and evil. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
If players refuse to STOP IT! and REPENT! they must not comfort themselves with the lie that a person can continue his life in sin as a carnal Christian. God tells us, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:5-8). “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom. 12:1, 2). That kind of transformation can occur only as the Holy Spirit changes our thinking through consistent study and meditation of the Scriptures (Psa. 119:11, Col. 1:28; 3:10, 16; Phil. 4:8). The renewed mind is one saturated with and controlled by the word of God. (Read all of Psalm 119) “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24).
“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” (Gal. 6:7, 8). “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13, 14). “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (II Tim. 2:19b).
Players need to take responsibility for their sin and deal with it—STOP IT! and REPENT! “A man may hate sin just as a murderer hates the gallows, but this does not prove repentance. If I hate sin because of punishment, I have not repented of sin. I merely regret that God is just. But if I can see sin as an offence against Jesus Christ, and loathe myself because I have wounded him, then I have a true brokenness of heart” (Charles H. Spurgeon).
We all need to humble ourselves before God and ask him to give us a hunger and thirst for holiness and righteousness, and for a hunger and thirst to read and study his Word. May our hearts desire be to live lives pleasing and honoring to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.