Saturday, February 22 2020
How does the media shape the way that we see the world? Many unknowingly accept the culture and the world as the media presents it. Their presentation of how reality is in movies, shows, and series presenting people living Godless lives without displaying the horror of abuse, hate, greed, and depression of reality in the shadowing of a hopeless life and death. Watching this distortion of reality can persuade us to consider satisfying our wants and goals with “what if I…,” so that now even our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors have bought into thinking that Godless living isn’t that bad. Mature Christians see this deception, but the naïve think the previous generation is foolish. Some think that maybe human rights have everything to do with not offending others and nothing to do with the absolute morality that cannot exist without God's holiness.
Consider Moses’s warnings about Godless influences affecting the people of Israel:
1. God allows false prophets to speak for good reason. If a prophet or dreamer gives a sign or a wonder and urges you to follow other gods, Moses instructed Israel not to listen to their words (Deut 13:1–2). God allowed such false prophets to test the love of the people of Israel (Deut 13:3). God commanded Israel to react by putting false prophets to death civilly (Deut 13:5). Jesus warned of the coming of false prophets, and the New Testament writers also depicted the false works of false prophets (Matt 24:24; 2 Thess 2:9; Rev 13:13–14). Today, Christians are to examine themselves to pass the test (2 Cor 13:5–8). Will you continue to choose Christ or will you choose just once to deny Him? What affect could one sin have on the rest of your life and eventually the hope of eternal life? Maybe you'll be like Peter and repent or maybe you'll be like Judas.
2. God opposes the worship of false gods for good reason. All other gods are false gods. Why recognize lies as though equal to the truth? Other religions are not equal to Christianity and have no place in comparison. Moses taught Israel to put to death by stoning anyone including brother, mother, son, daughter, wife, or friend who try to entice Israel to serve other gods secretly (Deut 13:6–11). To draw someone away from the true God is to draw people away from the only standard of morality and righteousness. To follow other gods is an absurdity for choosing to follow the inventions of ignorant people.
3. God commanded the destruction of everything connected with false gods for good reason. If some deceived a city to go after other gods, then Moses commanded Israel to inquire diligently to prove it true (Deut 13:12–14). If a city had gone after other gods, then Israel must devote them to destruction by the sword (13:14–15). God commanded that all the spoil of the city be burned as an offering to God (13:16). Moses instructed that Israel take nothing from the spoil so the LORD may show mercy and compassion on Israel. God would not multiply the nation if they did not obey the LORD, keep His commands, and do what is right in His sight (Deut 13:17–18).
For the Christian, God commands His church to withdraw from false teachers (Rom 16:17–18; Titus 3:10; 2 John 10–11). While Christ ate with sinners, His closest friends were His disciples. Christians may eat with sinners to bring them to Christ, yet God also commanded by Paul, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor 6:14–16). God commands His people to “go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the LORD, and touch no unclean thing” (2 Cor 6:17).
Thank God that He is not a distant impersonal watchmaker. God is not far from any one of us so that we can find Him anywhere (Acts 17:26–27). God has warned us repeatedly of the lies in the world. Thank God that He has given us Christ as the cornerstone and rock of our faith.