How does the Lord want us to view such things? Does He like it when people indulge themselves in these pleasures galore while they really don't show any sincere interest in finding true lasting joy in Him? Most definitely not! Even in
the majority of churches, it seems we find every conceivable form of entertainment and many forms of it are not godly at all. We read in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 of some of the perilous times to come which seem to describe the day we are living in today in which men
will become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
God wants to be our loving Father who guides us wisely in all the choices we make including those that involve the pleasures we partake in. Our #1 pleasure and joy by far as true
Christians should be the simple joy of knowing God and having an intimate relationship with Him in which we can share with Him our every need, concern, joy, question etc. We will want to know other Christians who share this same great love for God. And yes,
occasionally we'll have other forms of pleasure, BUT these pleasures will bring HONOR to God if we are true Christians and will be PURE and WHOLESOME in nature.
Let's look at some comparisons between how a true Christian would
view various pleasures and how a person who loves this world would view these same pleasures:
A true Christian would view sports as a leisurely way to
get a bit of exercise and perhaps have a little fun relaxation time with family or friends. Winning would not be something that concerns them one way or the other, but their main concern would be that everyone showed good sportsmanship and played fairly with
no outbursts of wrath or arguing. Sports would be a minor interest next to doing the Lord's will.
A worldly person tends to view sports as an obsession to the point of idolatry that consumes hours and hours of precious
time and energy whether they partake in it themselves, watch it on TV, or watch their children's games. They will consume endless hours engaged in sports and yet little to no time sincerely seeking the Lord and God's word, prayer etc. (besides perhaps
going to church quick on Sunday many times for a good appearance.) A worldly person is consumed about winning and will find themselves having outbursts of wrath if their team or a player messes up somehow. A person such as this is truly a person who is a lover
of pleasure more than a lover of God (2 Tim. 3:4). Such a person needs to repent of this idolatry and get right with God for as the Bible teaches idolaters will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven unless they turn from this in repentance to God. (1 Corinthians
6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21 etc.)
A true Christian would desire by far to listen to music that sets their heart on the things of
God and has a pure and spiritually edifying message. True Christians might also occasionally listen to a love song that makes them think of their precious spouse, a meaningful song that makes them think of the blessing of their family/friends, a children's
fun song, happy party tune etc., but the songs will have to be pure and wholesome in nature or else the Holy Spirit will convict them to not listen to it. I do believe that certain people's consciences are more sensitive than others in this area and I have
met people who were even uncomfortable about listening to Keith Green's Christian music, and other people are even very sensitive about listening to Christian folk music. We need to be sensitive to our conscience and obey the Holy Spirit's leading as the Spirit
convicts us in this area which will always guide and lead us to keep us on the straight and narrow road.
A worldly person won't feel the conviction to not listen to music that has an impure message
and will listen to it and enjoy it anyways. They don't mind it when singers sing about adulterous ways, lewd ways, immorality, being wild, saying wicked lyrics etc. They won't feel convicted if they happen to turn on a music TV channel where they will see
countless people wearing skin tight-fitting outfits that reveal body parts that were meant to be kept modestly concealed. Much of their music will exude the wickedness of this world. Even much music that is called “Christian” wants to emulate these
worldly bands more than desiring to emulate Christ so we have to guard our hearts and minds so very carefully in this day and seek the Spirit's leading. Do not be deceived about these things and seek God's word, for all those who love such wickedness
as this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-7 etc). Repent of this and make sure you're right with God while God in His loving kindness and mercy is still yet making time for you to do so.
A true Christian needs to be sensitive concerning alcohol. As Christians we do not want to drink alcohol in such a way that we could cause
ourselves to be a stumbling block to those who are weak in the faith. (I Cor. 8:9) However, we do see various verses in the Bible that do not discourage alcohol when done so in moderation. The Bible teaches for Christians to live in moderation, but to go beyond
this and to engage in drunkenness is considered a sin which needs to be repented of. For a well balanced article on this subject, I would recommend the following message: https://christiansdrugrehab.com/blog/is-it-ok-for-christians-to-drink-alcohol/
A worldly person is normally not convicted about any of the potential problems related to drinking alcohol in excess or mindful of all the exceedingly great harms and pains this could cause. They want to have
a good time and they often think alcohol is a necessity for that. These people do not realize that the Bible clearly teaches in different areas that those who partake in drunkenness will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21) The Bible clearly teaches
this, yet I have never been in a church that clearly taught this message and therefore they are allowing multitudes of individuals to continue on the broad road to hell without even warning them.
A true Christian knows that God created sex to be between one man and one woman who are married before God and God called this good. (Gen. 1:27-31) God commands that men and women use this in the proper
way and not in forbidden sinful ways that violate God's perfect and healthy laws.
A worldly person is not concerned about God's good and perfect laws and loves pleasing his flesh more than he
loves obeying God. Worldly people will oftentimes choose to engage in forbidden forms of sex including premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality which the Bible teaches are all types of sin that lead the soul to hell. (Galatians 5:19 etc) Jesus said that
even those who lust after a woman or man commit adultery in their heart (Matt. 5:27-30) and this form of adultery can be committed by watching filthy sights on the TV, computer, books, magazines etc. People need to repent of these sins while there is yet time.
A true Christian knows that various holidays were celebrated in the Bible and that these holidays were times to remember the Lord
and make a special celebration about Him for special reasons. We have holidays in our day too when we celebrate victories in the Lord as well. A true Christian will want to use this time to focus on the Lord most of all and to give Him the glory. They will
use it as a special time and opportunity to witness about Jesus, sing praises to Him, share stories from God's word relating to this holiday etc. They might also decide to have a family dinner and put up some meaningful decorations perhaps, but the celebrations
will be holy and pure in nature. For more information concerning the subject of Christmas, please check out the following article: Christmas a Sin?
A worldly person will not be truly concerned about celebrating the things of God to any real extent other than perhaps attending a church service.
They will be more concerned about turning the holiday into an occasion to gain things for themselves. They will concentrate their hearts and minds more on their own desires than on using this as an excellent opportunity to share about the Lord.
A true Christian might occasionally enjoy a game where the whole family can get involved in such as a board game or a game of croquet in the yard etc. Winning
would not be of concern one way or the other and the main enjoyment would just be the simple pleasure of spending special quality time together with family or friends. True Christians should not partake in any games that involve gambling which involves lust
and greed or games that involve any sort of lewd behavior etc.
A worldly person oftentimes will love video games or computer games to the point of idolatry and will spend hours and hours of precious
time on this useless activity. These video and computer games not only will become an idol to such individuals, but these types of games are also oftentimes known for all sorts of sinful activity such as immorality, violence, aggression, inspiring hate, greed,
lust, coveting, cursing, lying etc. Worldly people also tend to like occult type games such as the Ouija board, and few of these people know that to engage in such sorcery and witchcraft leads men's souls to hell. (Rev. 21:8) Worldly people also tend to want
to engage in games that involve gambling, drinking, or lewd behavior. The Bible clearly warns that such people as this will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Peter 4:1-5 etc) yet almost no churches in our day are warning people of these facts. These people
must repent and turn from these sins and get prepared before their Judgment Day arrives. The Lord in His mercy is still giving people an opportunity to do so, but few will heed His gracious call.
A true Christian might occasionally enjoy a wholesome party which has some fun activities for family and friends. They may be celebrating a wedding, anniversary, or another special occasion. The
time would not involve drunkenness, lewdness, or any other form of sin, but would only allow for wholesome fun.
A worldly person will oftentimes be interested in parties that glorify the flesh
and involve sinful activities such as drunkenness, lewdness, crudeness, immorality etc. These people will enjoy places like wild immoral drinking parties. The Bible warns very clearly in 1 Peter 4:1-4 that anyone who wants to be prepared for the time of Judgment
must leave all these sins behind.
A true Christian will only want to get to know another person who has a true passion for the
Lord in the same way he does. Any time spent together will be a pure and respectful time that glorifies God. They will know not to tempt the flesh and engage in any activities that could spark lust. Young people especially should be accompanied by a chaperone
to ensure a wholesome time.
A worldly person will see dating as an opportunity to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and other impure desires as the primary goal normally.
9. TV/ MOVIES:
A true Christian will always heed the Spirit and will only choose to watch things that are pure in nature such as a clean family movie or an educational
program. They will probably only rarely watch TV, and if they do, the show will not inspire them to lust after sin. TV is an area that we have to be ever so careful of since the devil uses it to inspire greed, lust, violence etc even in commercials so the
less of this the better. There are some family movies which are quite clean and pure overall, but even these we have to be careful of and watch with care and discernment.
A worldly person fills their eyes
with all sorts of wickedness which goes directly into their minds and stays there. They do not have the discernment to turn off a show that promotes immorality, lust, filthy language, excess violence, horror, the occult etc but rather sit there and enjoy
such things. It is rare for people to go to a church where they will preach against all the Hollywood indecency, in fact, many churches are known to show such films to their youth at camps or youth groups. People who love this world will also find themselves
glued to the TV for hours on end which is idolatry since idolatry is when we love something more than we love God. The same goes with the computer, but the blessing with computers is that they can be used in ways to glorify the Lord and share the true Gospel!
10. READING MATERIAL:
A true Christian will mostly be interested in reading material that teaches God's wisdom. By far the person will
want to read the Bible above and beyond anything and will thirst and hunger after the Word of God in the same way that a babe thirsts for milk. (1 Peter 2:2) There may be a few rare Bible-based teachers that a true Christian may respect and will perhaps read
some of this person's articles etc., but they will be wise and compare everything against the Holy Word of God to make sure they are learning the fullness of truth. (Acts 17:10-11)
A worldly person will
mostly love to read literature that promotes the world's values. They will get very bored reading the Bible and instead will pick up a magazine filled with people dressed very immodestly and living immoral Godless lives. They will also buy books about
illicit romances, and other sinful literature. They will love books that adulate various forms of idolatry and intellectual/educational pursuits that obsesses their minds yet will never sincerely seek after the one true book that stands alone in perfect guidance
and wisdom – The Bible.
A true Christian knows that dancing is something mentioned in the Bible and that there are joyous
ways to dance that celebrate the Lord. We read in 2 Samuel 6:14 where David danced before the Lord with all his might. Such dancing is seen as delightful to God and it gives true Christians joy in their hearts to do so. (Psalm 149:3, Ecclesiastes. 3:4) Some
dancing is also for fun or special purposes such as at weddings and anniversary dances.
A worldly person is not bothered by dancing that is done in a lewd or sexually suggestive type manner and they
enjoy such things. This type of dancing is a form of lewdness and needs to be repented of.
12. INTERESTS/ HOBBIES/ PAST-TIMES:
A true Christian
will mostly love interests and past-times that build them and others up in positive ways. They will mostly love to speak and witness to others about the Lord, help a person in need, or seek the time to visit the elderly who could use some company and
kindness. A true Christian may have other hobbies such as gardening, sewing, playing an instrument, woodcarving, cooking, painting, writing, horse riding etc but it will be a wholesome productive type activity that can often be used to bring glory to God.
God gives each individual unique talents and abilities and He expects us to not use these talents to glorify ourselves with pride or in sinful ways, but to use these talents to bring honor to the Lord as well as for giving peace and purpose to others.
A worldly person will most often love interests and past-times that center primarily around an obsession to the point of idolatry (idolatries include anything that consumes our hearts and minds more
than the things of God.) These will often be people who can't feel alive unless they are living to the extreme by racing fast cars, constant skateboarding, and other types of extreme sports. They will obsess their hearts and minds with crossword puzzles, remodeling
their homes, going to amusement places and all sorts of other things. It's not that some of these things are all that bad if done in moderation, but for a big majority of people in our day they have truly “become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of
God.” (2 Tim. 3:4) When such things consume people's hearts for endless hours and they find that the things of God are not their number one focus in life or their greatest passion/love of all, then these activities have become an idol to these people
which they must repent of and turn back to loving God above all. If people refuse to repent, God promises that they will not be able to enter His Kingdom and He will remove their 'candlestick.' (Rev. Chapter 3:14-20)
13. FRIENDS/ RELATIONSHIPS/ GATHERINGS:
A true Christian will seek after knowing friends that have the same strong passion for the Lord as they have. They will love
friends who have pure and godly values and who love sharing about the wisdom of the Lord and the true Gospel above all else in life. They will gather with those who are 'hot' for the Lord and seek to fulfill God's great missions above all else in life. The
true Body of Christ works as a 'team' of soldiers for the Lord for they are all members with unique talents and gifts to compliment each other and use their gifts to help grow God's Kingdom. True Christians need to be careful to not build close relationships
with those who are not passionate for God, for these people will seek to bring the Christian down and lead them back into sin or back into a life that is lukewarm and dull about the things of God. These people are spiritually dangerous for true Christians
and we can see an example of this when we see how Solomon chose to know women who were not followers of the Lord. These women led Solomon's once-passionate heart for God away into a love for their idolatrous ways instead. God warned Solomon of this danger,
but Solomon chose to ignore God's warning and instead followed an extremely dangerous path.
A worldly person is not concerned about God's mission or goals so they do not choose friends who are truly passionate
about the Lord and fulfilling His goals. People of the world tend to belong to various types of social clubs and lodges. Even churches of our day are usually nothing like the early church but are mostly just social gathering type clubs. Apostle Peter taught
in 1 Peter 4:2 that true Christians should no longer live the rest of their time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. As true Christians, we really have nothing in common with the petty and meaningless endeavors of social clubs anymore
but have to always keep our minds and hearts focused on the high calling we have from God to fulfill His missions during our short time here in this world. However, there are a few good helpful groups such as 4-H club where children learn to cook and sew etc.
which can be truly beneficial. We are in this world, but we are not of this world and need to separate ourselves from those who live primarily for the pleasures of this world. Instead, we need to gather with those who are our true brothers and sisters
in Christ and who are truly living to do the Lord's will. (Hebrews 10:25)
14. UNHEALTHY CHOICES IN PLEASURE (overeating junk food, smoking, excess sugar or coffee etc.):
true Christian should seek to want to be healthy and pray to the Lord to guide them to do so. The Bible does not really speak specifically about these areas in ways where God expresses a strong judgment about, but the Bible does speak quite
a fair amount about using moderation as opposed to being indulgent. An excess of anything whether it be sugar, fatty foods, coffee, smoke etc are not good for the temple body that God dwells in. A person who is overindulgent in eating lots of gooey sugary
and fatty foods though should not look down their nose in pride and judgment at those who might have a tendency to smoke for both the smoker and the overeater are engaged in equally unhealthy choices that can negatively affect the pancreas, kidneys, heart,
lungs, blood vessels, nervous system etc. All these types of overindulgences have been proven to not be healthy to the human body. Let us remember though to not be too overly judgmental in these areas for the Bible does not express great judgment in these
areas, and we have to remember that with the same measure that we choose to judge others is the same measure with which God will judge us. We need to continue to abide and grow in the Lord day by day, and as we walk in the Spirit we should continue to grow
in making healthier and wiser choices in these areas. Let us show love and compassion toward those who struggle in these areas and encourage and help them to make wiser healthier choices.
A worldly person tends to
like to 'flaunt' and 'show off' the fact that he smokes and thinks it's 'cool' or sophisticated etc. Worldly people do not seem to be overly concerned about their bad eating habits but continue to overindulge instead of seeking to make healthier wiser