Godliness and Entertainment

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church

February 3, 2013

Godliness and Entertainment

Selected Scriptures

Introduction

This morning I want to address the topic of godliness and entertainment. There are many different types of entertainment and we could easily spend many weeks addressing each of them individually. That would be interesting and helpful in many ways, but ultimately could be counterproductive. Why? Because the more specific the instruction, the less adaptable it is to other applications. It is critical we understand the principles so we can respond in a godly manner regardless of the specific situation.

Let me give you a couple of quick examples of this point. I grew up in fundamentalist circles. This was extremely beneficial since the emphasis was on the fundamental truths of the Scriptures. It enabled me to understand the truth about Jesus from an early age – that Jesus is God in human flesh, lived a sinless life, died as a substitute sacrifice for my sin, rose again on the third day, has ascended to Heaven where He is preparing a place for His followers and from which He will return for them. It also enabled me to understand at an early age my own sin and need of His forgiveness. The one negative part was having interaction with those who confused legalism with fundamentalism. Such people had unwritten lists of things you could and could not do, and how well you adhered to their list determined your level of holiness. Their lists usually included many things that you might do for entertainment and recreation. I am glad that was not how my parents lived their lives, but I met many people that did.

Legalists often have some good reasons for their list of do’s and don’ts, but often they do not teach their reasons or are inconsistent in keeping them. For example, I have met people that thought it was fine to play a sport on a Saturday, but never on a Sunday afternoon. Oddly, some of these people would watch sports on television or listen to a game on the radio on a Sunday. Their was a wide range of standards for movies. Some would participate in a movie night at church, but going to a theater was evil, unless of course it was for a Billy Graham gospel film in which case they tried to get their friends to go with them. Some would never go at a theater in their own community, but it was all-right to do if you were some place far away. Others determined acceptability based on its MPAA rating without consideration of the actual content. The development of video tapes resulted in the inconsistent practice in which some who would not go to a theater would rent or buy the same movie to watch at home.

The point here is simple. Your entertainment choices must be based on solid Biblical principles and not on artificial lists that may restrict you from things God meant for your to enjoy while failing to protect you from things God says are foolish or evil.

Entertainment

The definition for entertainment is interesting. It comes from a middle French term meaning “inter” + “to hold” and hence, “to maintain” and “to keep, hold, or maintain the mind,” as in “to entertain an idea,” or “to receive and take into consideration,” as in “to entertain a proposition.” It then came to be used for doing something that would occupy the mind such as in to “entertain with songs and stories.” It now also has the meaning of “amusement or diversion, especially that provided by performers.” So as strange at it may seem, a word that at one time meant to “occupy the mind” is a synonym of a word, amuse, which means the opposite (Amuse literally means “without” + “absorbed in thought,” and hence, “without being absorbed in thought.”

For the purpose of this sermon I am using entertainment in its broad sense of any diversionary activity that is done for enjoyment. This would include sports, games, hobbies, amusements, recreational activities and socializing. In essence, anything you might do simply because you would like to do it instead of having to do it.

To make this very practical I am going to examine five critical areas that must be considered before you involve yourself in any form of entertainment. These five categories of critical consideration are: cost, chronometry, company, content and control. These are not necessarily in the order of importance for a negative conclusion in any category should eliminate any further involvement with that particular entertainment. However, the order I will be giving them is a logical flow in giving consideration to any particular entertainment.

Before consider these critical categories, I must once again point out the crucial issue of your heart desires. Unless your desire to be godly is greater than your desire for anything else, then all I say this morning is going to go in one ear and out the other. These Biblical principles will be irrelevant to you since they will be the opposite of what you want from life. This is a principle I have mentioned many times in various sermons, and it was the central theme in the sermon about coveting. (See: Proverbs on Coveting) Those who desire to please God more than self will pursue godliness. Those who desire to please self more than God will exhibit their covetousness in the pursuit of such things as hedonism, materialism, fame and power.

Jesus’ story about the prodigal son in Luke 15 is primarily about a father’s love and forgiveness, but it also contains a strong warning about hedonistic living, for it was the young man’s loose living that caused him to lose his wealth. Jesus warned about putting a priority on the things of this world. He said in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

In regards to fame, Jesus warned in John 5:44 that seeking glory from other people will block a person from believing and seeking the glory that is from God. In regards to power, those who attain positions of authority will always find there are others who want to usurp their position and someone else will eventually follow them (Ecclesiastes 2:18-19). In addition, God is the one that puts a person in such a position and they will have a greater accountability to Him because of it (Daniel 4; Luke 12:42-48).

What then is it that you really desire? It is godliness and purity or selfishness and pleasure? Treasures in heaven or treasures on earth? Glory from God or glory from men? Being a servant of the King of the universe or king of your own petty realm? Do you want to become like Christ or be conformed to the world? If it is the former in each case, then pay careful attention to these critical categories to consider concerning your choices of entertainment.

Cost

Finances are the first factor. To some this may not seem to have muc
h to do with godliness, but as the sermon onProverbs on Economics pointed out, your attitude and the manner in which you handle your finances reveal a lot about whether your character is righteous or not. Why? Because what you spend your money on reveals what is important to you. It demonstrates your desires.

When it comes to entertainment choices, a simple first question you can ask is whether you can afford it or not? You should have already prepared a budget that factors in the cost and importance of both the things you need and the things you desire. If you do not have a budget, then you need to develop one. Why? Because a budget is a thought out plan of how you would like to spend your money. This will protect you from being a marketing victim who ends up purchasing things you do not really need or want. Budgeting is part of Proverbs 21:5, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” (A good starting point it attending the class Jim Pagones is teaching during Sunday School. A couple of good book on the subject are: Your Money Map, by Howard Dayton, Moody Press (~$13); books by Larry Burkett such as “How to Manage your Money” and “Family Budget Workbook”; also books by Ron Blue such as “New Master Your Money” and “Complete Guide to Faith-Based Family Finances” ).

Finances become a very simple first gate in making entertainment decisions. If you do not have the money, then the answer is no. I must stress here again, this is not a question of whether the money is in your pocket or if you have a high enough credit limit. Making any purchase on either of those factors will get you into serious financial trouble quickly and especially credit purchases. Remember Proverbs 22:7, “The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

The question is whether you have the financial resources already set aside for the expenditure. If not, then the answer must be no until such funds have been saved. Remember, all entertainment is something you would like to do, not something you must do, so all entertainment spending is discretionary. I fully recognize that our society markets entertainment as a need, but it is only a want. As Christians we can find our contentment in His provision and serving Him in any circumstance (Philippians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 6:8; 2 Corinthians 12:10).

These truths also mean that as you figure out your budget, you must make sure that what you set aside for entertainment is from discretionary funds and not from the funds you need for necessities – taxes, food, mortgage or rent, credit cards or other loans, medical, transportation, offerings, etc. If you do not have the funds for the necessities, then you cannot afford to go out to eat, attend a concert, go to an amusement park, travel for vacation. You must spend within your budget.

If you value things such as sports, concerts or vacations, then you must lower your necessary expenses so that money is available for entertainment. Get out of debt, live in a less expensive home, drive a less expensive car, eat less costly foods, etc.

Chronometry – Time

These same basic principles apply to the next crucial category to consider which is Chronometry – time. The question here is do you have the time for the entertainment or not? There are plenty of necessary things that already take up the bulk of a day – work, sleep, eating, personal hygiene and such. Only the time left after essential activities have been accomplished can be used for entertainment. That will vary from person to person and from day to day depending on responsibilities, abilities and commitments. If you do not have discretionary time available at a particular time, then you must cancel or postpone the desired entertainment until future circumstances allow for such use of your time in being entertained.

Time, like finances, must be budgeted for the same basic reasons, only time is more serious. Why? Two reasons. First, time is the stuff of life. Time is a measure of your expenditure of your life. You are trading your life for what you accomplish during the time spent. Second, time can be neither earned, saved nor borrowed. Time can only be spent. When people use such financial terms for time, they are actually referring to being more efficient so that the time that would have been used for one activity can be used for something else, but the time will be spent either way. There is no bank in which you can store an hour or two today so that you can have a 25 or 26 hour day tomorrow.

There will always be much more you would like to do than what you can accomplish in the time available to you. Therefore, you must be aware of the things you must accomplish while also arranging the things you would like to accomplish in some hierarchy of priority. You have to make some decisions in advance of what is actually important and what is not. You do not want the years to roll by and then look back with regret. Being a middle aged man, I have already passed that crises point and am now comfortable with the fact that I will not do all the things in life that I thought about doing when I was still a young man. While I can look back and recognize things that were a waste of time, I can also look back and know that for the most part, I chose and did those things that were most important.

Moses comments on time in Psalm 90. After acknowledging that a man’s life is seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, Moses beseeches God, “so teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of Wisdom.” That needs to be your approach to the question of the use of your time for entertainment. We want to use our time wisely, not foolishly. Will your use of the time be beneficial, neutral or detrimental in accomplishing what you need or actually want? Remember that we humans do need both rest and exercise, so something entertaining could meet a need, not just a want. But again, do you use time for entertainment wisely or foolishly?

Let me give you a few pointed challenges here in view of common entertainments that are or can easily become foolish time wasters. How many hours of television, movies and videos do you watch per day and why? How many hours do you spend on games or social media per day and why? How many hours do you spend listening to news of things that either have no bearing upon you or concerning which you can do nothing about? I will get to the content of such things in a moment, here I am only seeking to challenge you on the raw amount of time used for things that are not actually helping you to accomplish what you want to accomplish or become what you want to be. Compare the amount of time spent on those kinds of entertainment activities to what you spend in personal Bible study, prayer, ministry to others and personal improvement. If you don’t have time for these things, then how can you have time for so much entertainment? Do you recognize them as wasteful habits you need to break, or is your desire for personal pleasure and relaxation greater than your desire to know, walk with and serve God?

Company

The third crucial category to consider is company. Many things that are done for entertainment are done with other people, so there must be consideration to the influence you will have on them or that may will have on you. As Proverbs 13:20 states, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” These issues are addressed in depth in the several sermons on Proverbs on Friendship (See especially, Proverbs on Friendship, Part 2 – What to Avoid and Proverbs on Friendship, Part 3 – Being a Quality Friend). We desire to reach out to even
evil people with the gospel, so you may have an acquaintance of even a casual friendship with them. Jesus was known as a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners (Matt. 11:19). We are to be friendly and reach out to sinners for the same reason of striving to reach them with the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19-22). However, this must be done with great caution because you are not to allow sinners to become an influence upon you. Psalm 1 and the many warnings in Proverbs are very clear on this. Reserve your close and intimate friendships to those that have a character that will help you become more like Christ and love Him more.

Here is the question to ask yourself when considering a form of entertainment in which you will be interacting with other people. Is God using you to help them become godly, or is the devil using them to make you more worldly? Notice that I purposely did not leave this neutral for there is really no such thing as being a passive witness for Jesus. Even if your only interaction is your example, and depending on the particular activity that may be all you are able to do, but even then your need to have such an active example of godliness in your speech and behavior that they take notice that there is something different about you. They need to see Christ living through you. If you are doing this, then the answer to this question is positive.

If your answer to this question is neutral or you don’t know, then you need to be cautious. Do not fall into the trap of justifying your involvement in an activity as being godly because you are supposedly being a witness for Christ in it and yet you are passive in it. You need to actively look for opportunities to take it to the next level and talk to them about Christ or at least leave them some gospel literature. Change your approach so that your neutral influence on others becomes positive.

If others are having a worldly influence on you, then you need to change things immediately. You will have to either radically change what you are doing and how you are doing it so that you are a positive influence on them and they are not influencing you, or you will have to stop your involvement. This is a serious issue, so take a hard and honest look at what is actually happening before your witness and your life is compromised.

Content

The fourth crucial category to consider is content. What is the nature or message of the entertainment? Is it compatible with a Biblical worldview and in walking with Christ? Is it godly, neutral, or worldly? If it is godly, there is freedom to participate. If it is neutral, participation is acceptable, though caution needs to be taken. If it is wicked or worldly, it should be avoided.

The questions can be applied relatively easily to entertainment that has a direct message transmitted in a language whether it is audio, visual, multi-media or something to be read and regardless of its means of transmission and whether it is live or recorded. This would include things such as theater, performances, lectures, movies, videos, music, radio, television, internet, physical print or electronic. There may be debate about how to categorize a particular message, but at least there is a clear message to be debated.

Other types of entertainment may not be as easy to apply this question since the message may be indirect such as in art and music. There is a message, but it may be obscure, confusing or overwritten by cultural values. For example, one country song describes this problem with the line, “When you see a priceless French painting, I see a drunk naked girl.” It may well be a priceless French painting of a drunk, naked girl, but the evaluation of whether it is something that is godly, neutral or worldly must be by the standard of God’s word and not culture. The fact that the painting is a very old work of an accomplished artist hanging in a museum does not negate all the Scriptures say about modesty and the shame of public nakedness. Is it then a painting warning about the shame of drunkenness or about that society? Or is it a worldly portrayal of a beautiful woman to be envied? And more importantly, what reason would there be for a Christian to view it, much less admire it? (I realize that art critics would say that I do not understand art. I contend that such art critics do not understand God’s word. Christians are to evaluate everything by the word of God, not by the morals of human experts regardless of their field of study).

There are also forms of entertainment that do not have a message per se, but they do have a nature that must be evaluated. For example, the nature of many sports is simply competition in physical ability and skill between individuals or teams such as track and field, gymnastics, swimming, tennis, volleyball, boating, etc. The sport itself would at least be neutral with the sportsmanship with which it is played tipping it to being either godly or wicked. But what is to be said about sports in which violence toward the opponent becomes the increasing focus of the sport? There can be some rough contact in basketball and even baseball at times, but those occur contrary to the rules of the sport. But what about things like boxing and full contact martial arts in which injuring the opponent to the point they cannot continue the match is not only allowed, but a means to win the contest? Can that as a form of entertainment possibly be godly? Or is it worldly?

Let me give you some Scripture passages and basic principles from them that you can apply to all forms of entertainment to determine if it is godly, neutral or worldly. Remember that Christians are not to“imitate what is evil, but what is good . . .” (3 John 11) and even strive to avoid the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). In addition, Christians are to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5), and resist being conformed by this world and instead be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans12:2). Therefore it is very important that we are careful about both the things in which we participate and the things we even allow to influence our minds.

First, “be wise in what is good and simple [innocent, pure] concerning evil” (Romans 16:20, NKJV). This is very important in a society that defends its evil claiming that you cannot speak about things you have not experienced yourself first. Really? You do not have to stick your head in a trash can to know it stinks. We are to evaluate everything by the Word of God, not the experience and opinions of people. We are to pursue what is good and eschew or turn away from evil before we get there. If you do find evil, then flee from it (1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22)

Second, guard your eyes. This applies to many areas including just keeping yourself from falling victim to marketers. Be careful of advertisements including window displays at the shopping mall. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead instead of looking (Proverbs 4:25). This principle is especially important in order to maintain sexual purity both mentally and physically as I emphasized in the sermon on Proverbs on Sexual Purity. In Matthew 5:28 Jesus said that to look upon a woman with lust is to commit adultery with her in your heart. Job made a covenant with his eyes not to gaze upon the virgin (Job 31:1). David learned the hard way the consequences of not doing this and so in Psalm 101 made a commitment to “set no worthless [wicked, base] thing before my eyes.” This is becoming more difficult in a sex saturated society in which pornography is easily available and alluring images and presentations abound in entertainment including in things you would not otherwise expect it. I know a man that wisely stopped watching football games on television because the cameras would focus so often on the scantily clad cheerlead
ers.

Third, guard your heart from anything tempting (James 1:14-15). This principle applies to many entertainments in many ways. What is the story line of the movie, book, article or play? What is the effect of the entertainment on you? Is it neutral? Are you motivated toward godliness or does it move you to worldliness?

Fourth, guard your mind – Philippians 4:8. In many ways, guarding your mind is what will guard your heart, cause you to avert your eyes from what is unrighteous, and cause you to pursue good and flee from evil. Memorizing and applying this verse to all of your entertainment is a both a strong wall of defense against evil and a strong armory to equip you in the pursuit of righteousness.  (See: Thinking Rightly Part 1 & Thinking Rightly Part 2)

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9). Let’s examine each of these points briefly.

Whatever is ajlhqhvV / alêthês – true. The Greek literally means, “not hidden,” “unconcealed,” hence something free from deception and conforms to the facts of reality. Christians are to love the truth, speak the truth and live in truth (Eph. 4:25; 1 John 3:18). Jesus Christ and God’s Word are true (John 14:6; 17:17). Can you distinguish truth from error? Fill your mind with the truth of the Scriptures and train yourself to be diligent to search out the truth so that you are not deceived. This will help you in every area. Is the entertainment truthful and does it refrain from presenting lies as truth? If not, then it is false, so do not participate in its deception.

Whatever is semnovV / semnos – honorable, honest, noble – “to revere,” “to worship.” This is related to God’s honor and glory. Are your thoughts characterized by being noble? Does your mind dwell on things above or what is earthly? (Colossians 3:2). Do you think about what is worthy of adoration or on the common stuff of this life? Think on those things that bring honor and glory to God and then do them. Does the entertainment denigrate our Lord? If so, stay away from it.

Whatever is divkaioV /dikaios – righteous, just. This refers to that which duty demands, or what is right, correct to do especially in reference to keeping God’s laws. Only God Himself is truly right. Anything else considered to be right is so because it is a reflection in some way of God’s own righteousness. Set your mind on those things which are in accordance with God’s character and commandments. Is the entertainment righteous? Or evil? That would include using evil methods to present its message.

Whatever is aJgnovV / hagnos – pure. This is related to the word “holy” and refers to that which has been separated out and so is without impurities, hence – pure. It is free from every fault, unpolluted by sin. It is translated as “chaste” when referring to those who are free from carnality and immorality. It describes the wisdom from above as compared to the earthly wisdom of men (James 3:17). It is a quality that every Christian who is looking forward to Jesus return will pursue (1 John 3:3). Are the things that you see, hear, read or participate in morally pure? If not, your mind is being polluted. Turn your mind to pure thoughts of what is in conformity to the will of God which would include serving God; walking in holiness; praying for others; giving praise and glory to God. Does the entertainment stimulate sinful interests? If so, then flee from it.

Whatever is prosfilhvV / prosphilês – lovely. This word is a compound word meaning “with brotherly love,” and hence that which is lovely. Lovely thoughts seek what is best for others and would include giving, generosity, charity, mercy and grace . Ugly thoughts are self-seeking and usually at the expense of other people and would include hatred, revenge, greed, and envy. Set your mind to dwell on those things that are lovely in God’s eyes? Does the entertainment violate the “law of love” by requiring others to commit acts of sin in the producing it? If so, be loving yourself and don’t support it.

Whatever is eu[fhmoV / euphêmos – good repute, good report. A compound word combining “good” and “fame” and so means “good report.” Put your mind on those things that bring a good report. This virtue directs us to place more emphasis on the positive God is doing than on the hardships and trials we are facing. In that sense, it is related to the sacrifice of praise. Minds that dwell on what is of good report do not grumble and complain and will quickly quench gossip. If the entertainment is not of good repute, then skip it.

Whatever is ajrethv / aretê – excellence, virtue, worthy. The word is used for any excellence of a person or thing and in this context it refers to moral goodness. It is included in the list of things we are to add to our faith that will make us useful to the cause of Christ (2 Peter 1:5). This is another virtue disappearing in our society. A person of moral integrity is not satisfied with a standard of what society can tolerate, but instead strives for excellence of character in all circumstances. Let your mind dwell on how you can demonstrate faith in God, knowledge of right from wrong, self-control, perseverance, brotherly kindness, courtesy and love. If the entertainment is not virtuous, then don’t waste time on it.

Whatever is e[painoV / epainos – worthy of praise. These are things that are worthy of glory, honor, commendation, acclaim because they fit the characteristics just described of being true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, virtuous and of good report. These are things that should bring the praise of men because they in some way are a reflection of God.

The Christian should ask these questions before they subject themselves to the content of entertainment. Read reviews and ask others before you watch something. The internet has made it easier to get this kind of information about both current movies and old ones. Web sites such as capalert.com, kids-in-mind.com and movieguide.org are very helpful in letting you know the moral content of a film before you see it.

Control

The final critical category to consider concerning your choices of entertainment is control. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12,

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” Even if the particular entertainment passes the conditions of the other categories – you have the money and time, and the company and content are good – you still may have to avoid it if it becomes controlling in your life. The Christian has one master, and one master only, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. When any entertainment becomes the focus of your thoughts, or something you feel you have to do, then it has become controlling and you need to free yourself from its bondage. I hope you enjoy your hobbies and what you do for recreation and to relax, but none of those things should control your life. I remember my grandmother had certain TV shows she had to watch so she would not go out when
they were on. We had to conform our efforts to help her around her TV schedule. People can now record TV programs to watch later which is a nice convenience, but just how important is that show? What is given up later in order to see it? Another entertainment or something that should be of higher priority – sleep? time with wife or kids? personal Bible study or prayer? ministry? You are to be in control, do not let your entertainments become your master.

You need to be constantly evaluating what you do for entertainment according to each of these five critical categories: cost, chronometry, company, content and control. Memorize Philippians 4:8 so that you can use this Biblical filter to keep out the bad stuff and allow in what is acceptable before God. Is the nature and content of the entertainment true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy?

Let me close from a book I highly recommend. My friend from seminary, Wayne Wilson wrote Worldly Amusements as a challenge to Christians to give careful consideration to what they will do for entertainment. His illustrations were from theater and movies, but the principles apply to all forms of entertainment. I do not know of any other book on the subject that is so well thought out on all the important issues.

“Ultimately, the whole issue comes down to your perspective, your attitude toward evil. How do you see evil? Does your heart see uncleanness and impurity as God does? Does your heart ache, along with His, over sin and immorality? The Scriptures says simply, ‘Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good’ (Romans 12:9). To abhor something is to want nothing to do with it. Is that where your heart is? Or have the pleasures of the world, as set forth in the movies, shaped your heart to tolerate what is evil, instead of abhorring it? If so, repentance may be in order before you proceed.”

May our Lord set forth in each of our hearts a burning desire for holiness that will cause us to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). May He convict us so that we can discern the difference between them and then allow no room for tolerance of anything less than what is acceptable in His sight in not only anything we might do for entertainment, but anything we might do in life, that we might prove ourselves to His godly children in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

(Additional sermons related to this subject: Holy & Free: Dancing & Dress (8/3/03): Holy & Free: Music Part 1 (8/10/03) & Part 2 (8/17/03); Holy & Free: Leisure (8/24/03); Sanctification of the Mind (10/08/00); Temptation & Obedience (12/02/01)

 

 

KIDS CORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.

Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up later. 2) Count how many times the word “entertainment” is said. Talk with your parents about what entertainment is good and what should be avoided

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Why is understanding Biblical principles more important than getting specific instruction? What is the difference between legalism and fundamentalism? What is the meaning of the word “entertain” and how has its meaning changed over the years? Define entertainment. Why is the desire of the heart the most crucial issue in giving consideration to entertainment?

List Bible passages that warn about each of the following: Hedonism; Materialism; Fame; Power. How does cost determine participation in an entertainment? Why is it important to have a budget? What is the purpose of a budget? Do you have a budget? If not, why not? What do your finances reveal about your heart? What must you do if you want to spend more money on entertainment? What is the relationship of time and life? Why is budgeting time (scheduling) more important than budgeting money? What does Moses say about time in Psalm 90? What things must be done before you can take time for entertainment? What influence do you have on your friends? How do they influence you? Does that need to change? Why or why not? Why is insufficient to be a passive witness for Christ? How can you move beyond that level? By what standard should you evaluate the message and nature of any entertainment? What is the danger of a cultural standard? Should Christians be involved with nudes in art? Explain. Memorize Philippians 4:8. Use its standard (true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy) to valuate the last five movies, TV shows, books, shows or concerts you have seen / attended? In what ways did those entertainments meet or fail to meet the standard of Philippians 4:8? Does anything need to change in how you decide what entertainments to see / participate in? If so, what specifically? When will you make those changes? How might an entertainment be controlling? Is that occurring in your life? Do you abhor what is evil?

Sermon Notes – 2/3/2013

Godliness and Entertainment

Introduction

It is critical to understand ______________that enable you to respond in a godly manner in all situations

Legalism and fundamentalism are not the same thing. The former is bad, the latter is __________.

Your entertainment choices must be based on solid ________________principles and not artificial lists

Entertainment

Entertain did mean “to keep or maintain the mind.” Now it is a synonym of “_______” – without thought

Entertainment in its broadest sense: any diversionary activity that is done for _______________

The crucial issue is your heart _______. Unless you want to be godly, you will ignore Biblical principles

The story of the prodigal son (Luke 15) gives strong warning about ___________living

Jesus warns about the foolishness of ______________in Matthew 6:19-21

John 5:44 warns that seeking ______from men can block you from believing & seeking glory from God

_____is fleeting (Eccl. 2:18-19) and those with authority will be held to a higher standard (Luke 12:42f)

Cost

Your attitude & the manner in which you handle your _____________reveal a lot about your character

You should have a ____________ so you will know how much you can spend on entertainment

If you do not have the money in your budget for the entertainment, then the answer is _____until you do

Do not use
________money (or funds needed for necessities) for entertainment purposes – Proverbs 22:7

Chronometry – Time

Only the time left after _____________activities have been accomplished can be used for entertainment

Time, like finances, must be budgeted – though it is a much more _____________ necessity

Time is a measure of your expenditure of your _______________

Time can only be _____________ – it cannot be earned, borrowed, or saved

Arrange what you want to accomplish in a hierarchy of ___________, or you will regret your use of time

Psalm 90 – number your days so that you can present to the Lord a heart of _____________

Company

Proverbs 13:20 – you will become like the people that you allow to _________________ you

Is God using you to help them become godly, or is the devil using them to make you more __________?

Do not justify your involvement as being godly if you remain _______________ in your witness

If others are influencing you toward worldliness, either ___or radically change to be a positive influence

Content

Is the nature or ______________ of the entertainment godly, neutral or worldly?

Entertainment with a clear message can be directly _________by comparing the message to God’s word

Entertainment with an indirect message (art / music) must be evaluated by the Bible, not __________

Entertainment without a message must be evaluated by their ______which is then compared to Scripture

Imitate what is good and ____________ even the appearance of evil (3 John 11; 1 Thess. 5:22)

Every _______captive to Christ & be transformed by the renewing of your mind (2 Cor 10:5; Rom 12:2)

1) Be wise in what is good & ______concerning evil – Rom. 16:20; Flee -1 Cor. 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim 6:11

2) Guard your ___________ – Prov. 4:25; Matt. 5:28; Job 31:1; Psalm 101:3

3) Guard your ___________- James 1:14-15

4) Guard your ___________- Philippians 4:8.

True: free from deception, conforms to _____. Is it truthful and refrains from presenting lies as truth?

Noble: related to God’s _______& glory. Does it do that? Stay away from what denigrates our Lord?

Just: does what is _____________especially in keeping God’s laws. Is it righteous or evil?

Pure: without impurities, “_________.” James 3:17; 1 John 3:3. Flee what stimulates sinful interests

Lovely: “with brotherly love.” Do not support entertainment that violates the ___________________

Good repute: puts emphasis on the positive ____________ is doing in any circumstance

Excellent / Virtue: context = _________________. If it is not virtuous, then don’t waste time on it?

Worthy of Praise: it fits the characteristics described which ______________ God

Read reviews, ask others ______you go: Check – capalert.com, kids-in-mind.com & movieguide.org

Control1 Corinthians 6:12

Entertainment that becomes the focus of your thoughts or you feel you need to do is ______________

You are to be in control, do not let __________ entertainment become your master

Conclusion – ___________ what is evil, cling to what is good – Romans 12:9


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