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August 22, 2021 1:00 am
In the old days, people would sit and talk. Now, people are much more inclined to stare at a screen. Technology, though valuable, is used by the enemy to addict all of us and steal time better used for each other—and for God. In this message, we’ll cover the daunting task of protecting your family from the evils of a technology that can also be used for good.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
In the old days people would sit and talk. Nobody stare at an HDTV or into a computer screen technology, though valuable is a tool of the enemy to addict all of us and steal time better used for each other and for God today. The daunting task of protecting your family from the evils of the technology we all need stay with us from Chicago. We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin Luzerne on this program. We continue a 10 part series on fighting for your family. Later in our service will learn about the enemy inside your home. Pastor looks or comes now to open our service in a moment were going to be singing together, old for a thousand tongues to sing. The Bible says that eventually every knee will bow and every tongue give praise to God and recognize Jesus as Lord, but we have the privilege of doing that today. Using the one tongue, that the Lord has given us. As you come here today. I know that want to remind you that you are leaving what is frequently referred to as the profane, and you're coming into a sacred place that has been especially dedicated and set aside for the worship of Almighty God, thank you so much for being here, and death for the privilege that we have to worship God, and now to sing his marvelous praises. Would you join me place as we pray together. Our father, we thank you today that we have the privilege of being able to use our tongues for your glory to sing your praise to worship you acceptably through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray father that all stray thoughts would be brought under control, that we might be able to concentrate on our love for you and our worship of you during this time we dedicate these moments to your blessing and to our benediction. We pray in Jesus name, amen.
I invite you to follow along with me only thing as you read together. Some 146. Please read aloud with me on the blood-brain. This is God's holy word. Praise the Lord. Praise to laud all my so I pray for laud as long as I I was saying to my God while I have my being put not your trust in princes and a son of man in whom there is no salvation when his breath departs. Ties to the earth on the very day he supplies parish.
Blessed is he whose help is a God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord is God who made the heaven and the earth. They see and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever who execute justice for the oppressed who gives food to the hungry.
Gillard says the prisoners free, the law opened the eyes of the blind. Bin Laden lives up those who are bowed down to laud laws to riotous the Lord watches of other sojourners. He opposed the widow and the fatherless, by the way of the wicked. He brings to rowing the log array forever young.
God owes Diane to generation. Praise the Lord and I want you to visualize for a moment that you tuck your children into bad to say good night to them and say your evening prayers with them and then you wake up in the morning and they're gone and intruder came through the window or through an open door and stole your children will of course what you would do is call the police and immediately after that. Of course you'd organize neighborhood searches and all the rest of find your kids and you'd be desperate. But what if I were to say to you that inside your home. There is a thief that is stealing the hearts of your children so you wake up in the morning and the kids are there, you get them ready for school.
You interact with them, but their heart already is worshiping other God. That's what's happening and oftentimes parents are accomplices to those other God's and the child's heart belongs somewhere else today I'm speaking on a very serious subject, as I always do, but I'm thinking particularly today's I speak about technology and the entertainment industry. This is a series of messages entitled fighting for your family and we do have to fight like never before. We have never before had a society in which we have such things as the tablets the iPads the smart phones, Internet, television, all of these things, stealing the hearts of our young people and stealing the hearts of parents to. That's why we have to address the subject but I have to warn you, we are going right into Satan's territory.
This is where he rules. This is where he says this dominion is mine. I own.
That's why it's so important for us to be prayerful and the message that I'm speaking today is for you, but it's also for every one of us have been affected by this.
I suppose in the thousands of people who are listening to this message and will listen to this message.
There are probably only a few that have not been affected by the entertainment industry the media that is out to steal our hearts so we must listen carefully, and even though we have prayed before. Already in this meeting. Could we pray one more time asking God for enlightenment and strength because we are speaking about a very formidable foe.
Please join me as we pray father I ask that your Holy Spirit has been given to the church may be here to instruct to convict and to deliver because without your help, we are powerless we cast ourselves upon the strong name of Jesus and I decided not to spend a lot of time telling you what the problem is the fact that this was 12 years ago. According to a survey, 80% of all children under the age of 17, obscene, R-rated movies and 25% said that they began to act out what they saw. I'm talking about the fact that it used to be that children were introduced to pornography and perhaps age 50 teen or 18 now the average age according to the statistics is about 910. Where do we go from here. And so the question is what do we do remember this that all of the entertainment industry is looking for addict.
They want addicts. The gaming industry says we need addicts who are hooked on gambling because they're the ones that pay for these casinos. They are the ones who really pay our bills. We need addicts.
The pornography industry says we need addicts. We need them in order to sustain our lifestyle and our great organization so Hefner's organization is looking for your sons. He is patrolling the waters to see if he can hook your boy so that he can have another addict to help finance the Empire. That's where we are at the music industry. The addiction to music to certain kinds of music to rap music, many of which have terrible lyrics, all of that is dedicated to this question.
How do we snare your child as early as possible and keep him all the way because he has to find what we are doing and that's what we are up against. Today I said that we don't do something couple of reasons. First of all because parents themselves may be paralyzed. It's personal paralysis. Because you see if the parents themselves are intrigued and seduced by the entertainment industry, at whatever level it is very difficult for them to say to their children. You should do this thing of a man, for example, who subscribes to a Sports Illustrated and he was saying that when the swimsuit issue came he noticed his 12-year-old boy was very interested in the pictures but how does he is a father tell the boy only. You should be looking at that when the dad does.
That's the question when people themselves are snared by the very thing that they'd like their children to not be a part of and so you have a personal paralysis. You also have another problem and that is denial. Somehow we know that this is huge. We know that we can hardly begin to attack it because it is so much a part of our lives and our children have bought into it so much. But if we turn the other way.
Maybe it will no longer be there and so what we do is we put our heads in the sand and then there's another reason we don't understand the nature of the spiritual conflict we don't understand that behind all these things as the Bible says their principalities and powers in this spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. We don't get that. Remember decades ago when Nancy Reagan told us regarding drugs. Just saying no a wonderful advice, but how do you just say no this past week I spent some time with a friend whose son has had those struggles with drugs. How does he just say no when the euphoria and the desire and the appetite has been inflamed. You don't have the power to say no to people don't understand that.
And often times our advice to them is very superficial.
A person in New York who is hooked on heroin said that heroin has a voice and when heroin calls. I must go, but so do all addictions have a voice and when those addictions called, we begin to obey them well today.
What I'd like to do is to give you some criteria some tests for the media. How much of Hollywood should we let into our home.
How much of the media are we able to tolerate today I'm going to give you three tests and then I'm going to give you five imperatives things that had better be done this by the way is number seven in a series of messages entitled fighting for your family and how important it is that we fight for a family and regarding next time don't even think of being absent.
Don't even think about because I'm going to be speaking about abuse in the home, and I do that because it is so widespread I'm shocked by what I read in the understanding of abuse that is taking place in our culture so you be sure to be here, but today three tests. Are you ready for the tests. Are you ready number one. Now I would like to refer and please take your Bible here in turn to first John chapter 2 I assume often that people know all these verses by memory.
But you know maybe they don't. Maybe you've never memorize these and first John chapter 2 verses 13 to 17 and this is the content test the content test. First John two verse 15 and following do not love the world or the things that are in the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the father is not in him for all that is in the world. The desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes and the pride and possessions is not from the father but is from the world and the world is passing away along with all of its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever don't have time to spend a lot of energy and discussion of these three expressions of the world, the lust of the flesh, the desires of the flesh elicits sensuality, which are everywhere on our internets in our iPads and as smart phones and elsewhere. All of these things available today and it's there and they look really that makes it so seductive and so what you have is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes that has to do with covetousness can also include sexuality, but a lot of other things to because remember the whole advertising industry is based on covetousness if you didn't cover that they wouldn't have a job.
It's to make you dissatisfied with what you have and then tell you why you should have something else and then of course the pride of life, which is at the center of it all unacknowledged self absorption and remember it is on acknowledged it is on scene but it is there, the desire to be number one. The desire well briefly the me generation.
Now what does James say James and I'll give you the reference. After I read it, but listen to this. My dear friend today you adulterous people.
James said do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God and therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy God friend of the world that you just think back over the television programs and over the entertainment industry and they are filled with what occultism sensuality and violence when you look at it. It's the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. That's what fuels the entertainment industry. By and large, with few exceptions, and you'll notice that whoever is a friend of the world.
James says is an enemy of God. I don't want to be an enemy of God. I hope you don't either. Yet, if we befriend the world. That's what the text says because it was the world that nailed Jesus to the cross.
It was sin, but suppose you were to come to home and there was a couple there and they had a a box in which they kept a knife, a glass case and they said we just want you to admire this knife. Notice how symmetrical it is. Notice the perforation notice that it is stainless steel.
It's about the right size. We admire this knife and we look at it for at least an hour a day so that's interesting.
That's a little weird. What about this knife.
I say well you know we had one son and an intruder broke into our home and he murdered her son and this is the knife that he is while at really seems strange for sure, something's wrong when we admire sin. We admire the knife that killed Jesus because he died for us as sinners and therefore what we are doing is admiring what God he you see the depth of what Jameson John are really trying to tell us now if you were to use the content test for everything that you and I watched on TV are saw on other venues.
We would soon discover that the swamp would be drained pretty quickly with the content test.
There's a second test, and I refer to it and it is really the control test the control test pulses in first Corinthians 612 well, I'll actually read it there in the text.
First Corinthians 612 all things are lawful for me, but not all things are help. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything even if it passes the content test. The question is does it control you even those things that may be lawful, but maybe quite innocent. Are you able to control them you know someone is defined idolatry is that says idolatry is something within creation that is inflated to function as a substitute for God and be a person, an institution, an image or a pleasure. So what we have is all of these images and these pleasures and this euphoria and we set ourselves aligned in charge. Probably not the way in which you can discover whether or not you're in charge is simply this quit quit it for a week or two and see if you can.
You may discover you're not in charge at all. It is the illusion of being in charge. Years ago I told you that here at the water tower.
We're in the store doing some shopping and there was a little kid that was in a little cart and that he was maybe 18 months or two years old and he was crying profusely and he had a little steering wheel on this little cart and he was just taking that steering wheel and turning it to the right with all that he had at the same time he was going to the left and the reason is because his mother was actually in charge and his steering wheel wasn't connected to anything that mattered. You say that you're in charge. You see if you can do without it for a week or two and then you'll find out whether or not you are in charge. While we must hurry on. There is 1/3 test we have the content test the control test as you might've guessed, I decided to have the other one. Also, SC, and it is the clock test all simply put, the verse Ephesians 515 it says redeeming the time now. Modern translation say making the best the time. I like the literal translation redeeming the time, because the days are evil. How evil with the days have to get in order for you to redeem the time, the imagery there is to buy that time out of the marketplace because you have all of these pressures for your time and if you're gonna take time for God in time for serving God, you're gonna have to buy that time out of a whole host of various issues and pressures and opportunities you by the time redeem it now. Simple fact is that often times we think to ourselves that were making an investment.
You know you're acquainted with. Our goal return on your investment.
Let's suppose that you watch television two hours a day that so what is it 700 hours a year and then you can begin to multiply that you multiplied by 10.
I think you get around 7000 as I frequently say when it comes to arithmetic I'm always say hello long as I'm right 90% of the time. I mean who cares about the other 5%. So about 7000 over 10 years now that's quite an investment of time.
What's your our goal.
I what's your return on your investment doesn't make you a better person. Are you walking more closely with God, you have more information now that really helps you in the journey of life is that your rate of return.
Just yesterday I received an email from someone who told me that about someone I had met once who died of cancer, but apparently his wife said that for the last year's all that he did was basically watch television. Can you imagine standing before Jesus and Jesus saying well done, thou good and faithful servant. For thou has listened to 10,465 hours of television enter into the joy of my Lord, I think, for example, seniors at they sometimes waste so much time watching TV watching this and that when when they have they have so many years of productivity long time ago I read about a woman who was so fed up watching television, and there she was in a senior home and she decided to connect with the church and to get the names of all of their missionaries and she began to write missionary letters to 70 different missionaries, not seven but 70 and began to get interested in their lives and praying for them and she lived productive Tivoli until the day she died. What's your our goal return on your investment. Now I want to get too spiritual here, but since I'm on a roll and that is will continue in the direction that I'm going is very convicting to me and I hope it's convicting to you what is it about the entertainment industry that is so important to us meeting certain needs in our lives that apparently God is unable to meet what about the pleasures of God on God's right hand, are they not significant.
You see, we are so far from the idea of pursuing God this past week I was reading in the book of Isaiah where it says seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him when he is near. Let the wicked man forsake his ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, I thought, isn't it too bad that in our hurried life most of us don't know what it is like to really see God and find him satisfying it was CS Lewis who said that God is the all satisfying object is he or is he not know what that what I'd like to do is to give you five imperatives you can write these down. I see this as essential each one could be an individual message but here we go number one. What we must do is to recognize the spiritual nature of the conflict to recognize the spiritual nature of the conflict as the apostle Paul says in the book of Ephesians we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in the rulers of this age. That's what we're really up against and that's why it is that were so paralyzed in the face of so much misuse of technology is because we don't understand that, at root, we are in a spiritual battle which is absolutely huge this past week as Avalos talk to law enforcement people here in the city of Chicago because there are those among us who would like to begin seriously to rescue those who are victims of sexual trafficking and one of the things they said is that the Internet has just changed everything. Nowadays there so much communication on the Internet so much available on the Internet.
It's a whole new day out there trying to enforce some decency laws and being able to capture those who are victimizing others. We realize the extent of this kind of communication and the power of the Internet to seduce to give out information that is harmful to destroy. It's huge.
We can't fight that in the energy of the flesh. We are up against huge spiritual forces we need to recognize that and to fight for our families and for ourselves more that I could say about that. But we must hurry on number two. Clean up your own act. Clean up your own act.
Now let me speak very candidly here. In some instances you may have to get rid of your television set. You member months ago we had a pure life conference here at Moody Church in the whole intention of the conference was to motivate us to live your lives in a talked about the media we had seminars on that than the lead man who actually spoke from this pulpit and inspired us and instructed us. I was having lunch with them afterwards and I asked about his own personal life because he had been immorally remember he gave his testimony in the last 25 years lived with purity and he said that he got rid of his television set. He said about 20 years ago because he said to this day, put me in a room with a remote control and a television set within innumerable number of channels and he says I will be gone. In other words, the propensity and the desire he may never go away and we need to be able to accept that.
But what we need to do is to put in place of various parameters and various structures so that we don't even have the opportunity of going there a little while ago just about an hour ago. We dedicated the baby to the Lord and one set of grandparents told me they live on a farm south here of Illinois in Illinois and they said that they raised their seven children without a television set how much you think those kids actually lost your go-ahead and clap and now all those of you clap get rid of yours, they said that their children felt sorry for others who have so few experiences in life at all, that they would do is sit on the couch and watch TV. The kids really didn't miss a whole lot in terms of growing up in terms of what is truly truly valuable so we have to clean up our own acts.
That's why when it comes to this business of commitment. I have to admit that the real issue is whether or not were desperate.
If you're not yet desperate. This is just going to go swish over your head, but for those of you for whom it is intended because you are desperate and determined to no longer be hooked on what hooks you, you will respond and you'll do some drastic things and put them in place like Jesus said you cut off your hand you pluck out your you do whatever you need to do so that you don't keep falling into the pit and so the second thing is we have to clean up her own act. Third, if you're a parent. This is for you. We have to set family standards and the standards have to be based on the word of God. Your teenagers are going to argue with you all. You just don't like Madonna you know or you don't understand when a movie is PG 14 it means that all 14-year-olds are supposed to see it and you don't understand that.
So Bill give you this hard time would you need to do is to put those standards in place need to stand on those standards and insist on them and in this way, your kids have structure and I take the point of view and I know if you disagree, but that's okay. They can come up later and ask for forgiveness. No teenager should ever have a television or the Internet in their room. I remember I remember when I was teaching in a seminary guy gave the testimony of how his parents trusted him with it in his room and how it led down this terrible path that you can only imagine.
Remember what to say if your kids say, what you don't trust me.
You know what to say to them the correct answer is no, I don't that's what you say to them, and then you say because I don't even trust myself is not a matter of trust.
This is a matter of desire that is built into us by God. We are sexual creatures from the bottom of our feet to the top of our heads and list is recognize that we are and that temptations that are out there are powerful seductive and very difficult to say no to. And so what you do is you have a family standard number four, you need help.
We all do. That's why it's so important to attend church. It's important to connect with other people and in our families to talk to connect, not in a condemning way, your children are going to see things that would been better if they had never seen but accept that reality. There is no way, if you're gonna live in this culture, you know, unless you are to live in a monastery there's no way to live in this culture without your children being exposed to this and you need to talk to them about it and you should not be shaming them. As a result of their preoccupation with some of these images is not a time for shame because shame often just fuels the addiction. So what you need to do is to back off and to help your children and to help yourself to see the bigger perspective and to recognize that with God's help. There is help here. There is deliverance but at the same time.
What you do is you talk you discuss.
You connect and remember as I've emphasized in this series rules without relationship equals rebellion, relationships that help us most finally, we must practice the spiritual disciplines were looking for victory over here and were looking for this intervention. Over there, and some dramatic experience that will bring about deliverance in God's is what you should be doing is what you and I should be doing all the time. The word of God washes us the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart the commandments of the Lord are pure and righteous altogether more to be desired are they than gold gay than much fine gold sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is thy servant warned in the keeping of them there is great reward is the word of God that cleanses us and keeps us the way to have your devotions and by the way, as part of this series. One of the message is entitled the power of praying parents where I'm going to be emphasizing how to pray. Scripture so that every single day you walk away from the word of God with a snatch of Scripture in your heart that you carry with you throughout the day and I'll be giving some illustrations of how those kinds of passages of Scripture can be prayed because at the end of the day. What we really need the intervention of all mighty God without it we are helpless. Now there's something else that is important. There are many of you who are listening to this and that you haven't taken the first step toward deliverance you know Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. And the angel said in Matthew chapter 1. Jesus came to save his people from their sins. So you see what we must recognize is that to receive Jesus Christ as Savior gives us a new nature.
It gives us new desires now are in conflict with our old desires and that's what we've been talking about, but at least we have the basis for deliverance and freedom.
Member the story of Augustine, the famous Christian philosopher who lived in the 400s. He was the into debauchery of every kind had a mistress and then as result of that reading actually the 14th chapter of Romans were talked about laying aside the unfruitful works of darkness. It is then that he was converted later on he was walking down the street and his mistress was running behind him and she shouted to him, it is.
I turned around and he said, but it is not. In other words, I'm a new person. I'm going in a different direction. I don't have to be attached all those things because Jesus came to set his people free, but it doesn't mean that there isn't a struggle and the deeper that we are into the world, the more difficult the struggle, but it is a winnable war because Jesus died that we might be free from the effects and the power of the world.
A man there is a story about Ferris the horseman. I read different dates when this supposedly happened but it is only a legend, so it doesn't matter what the date supposedly is how that he was going through the Arabian desert and the suddenly in the distance the horses that he was Whippany had a herd of horses.
They saw a mirage and they began to run toward the water. What they thought was water but he blew on his bugle and six mayors turned around and came with him and didn't run and a legend is that it is from those six mayors that you have the very famous Arabian horses today are society's mad with a mirage of pleasure.
Everybody is running in every direction. We can't live without technology even for a few moments, and of course what we have to do is to distinguish its value from its decrement and from its temptations and its adduction, but the world is mad over entertainment.
God is in heaven. It is blowing his bugle and he saying is there anyone listening will you turn around will you do whatever is necessary that you may no longer be seduced by the world so that you might be able to live for me in a way that is honorable and pure and decent. That's the question that all of us have to face in this world that has gone mad. Now I've given you a lot of information and your response to this message is going to be different.
There are some who say well you know that's very nice, but I'm deeply into this and I have no intention of changing there.
Others of you perhaps feel very deeply that you need to do something drastic could I ask you to do whatever God has asked you to do that, you know right well you should. Even if you seem powerless to do it because of working to fight for families.
We're going to have to deal with the issue of technology in the entertainment industry. And then there those of you who have never received Christ as Savior. You have no personal relationship with God though. You admire God and you admire Jesus is not become your Savior. This is an opportunity for you to acknowledge your sinfulness and your need and look to Christ who died for sinners and who came to deliver us from our sins. You respond to God, even as God has spoken to you.
Join me as we pray our father we ask today that you might help us to have the courage and the strength to do whatever you require of us for your glory for your honor, Lord.
We are particularly concerned about those who find themselves in an addiction today find themselves helpless in the power of huge forces. They tried a thousand times to be free. We ask father, help them to see that through Jesus and through your people and your word that deliverance is a possibility and a reality we read and father often times we sing. He breaks the power of canceled sin, he sets the prisoner free show us that today we ask now before I close what is it that you, my friend have to say to God today would you tell him you know you must do.
Father, we ask that Jesus will reign in our homes no matter what it takes. We asked in his blessed name on today's Moody Church. Our Dr. Erwin Luzerne spoke about the enemy inside your home.
The seventh and a 10 part series on fighting for your family as our series continues you'll hear teaching on the power of praying parents and on why this battle is one in which we are playing for keeps dark secret in all too many families his abuse.
It takes several forms. Verbal, physical, even sexual next week. Don't miss the hurt and healing of abuse.
Our current series can be yours on CD as our thank you for a gift of any amount to The Moody Church.
Our just call us at 1-800-215-5001. Let us know you'd like to support Dr. Luther's ministry. When you call Vince in the series on fighting for your family. Call 1-800-215-5001 or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 online to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com join us next week for another Moody Church. Our with Dr. Erwin Luzerne and the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago