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The Enemy Inside Your Home – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 21, 2023 12:00 am

The Enemy Inside Your Home – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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November 21, 2023 12:00 am

With a single click, our families can access all kinds of media on demand. Technology is a gift, but it can also be abused. In this message, Pastor Lutzer provides three tests to protect our families from the evils of technology. Let’s set and enforce godly boundaries, bringing glory to God even online.

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Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. There's danger in your house. With the click of a mouse, you and your kids can access Internet pornography on demand. Protecting your family from the evils of the technology we all need is a daunting task. Today, guidance on doing just that. Please stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, with smartphones in every kid's hand, able to access the Internet from anywhere, guarding our kids is getting really tough.

Dave, it's not possible to even overemphasize how tough it is becoming. I look at my own grandchildren. Of course, they are brought up in an age in which technology is all around them. And I grieve for parents who have no rules at all. They allow their children to have television sets in their bedrooms, to have their cell phones in their bedrooms, and children become hooked on these things so quickly.

As a matter of fact, technology is instantly addictive. To everyone who's listening there, I trust that you will understand the importance and the burden that is on my heart as I share about this topic in this message. As a matter of fact, we believe that this series of messages, which is entitled Fighting for Your Family, is so critical that we've prepared a special resource.

It has three things. First of all, the sermons are transcribed, so you have the transcript so you can read them. You can also click on a link that we'll give you so that you can listen to them again and again, and a study guide. For a gift of any amount, these can be yours. Here's what you do.

Go to or call us at 1-888-218-9337. My friend, we're fighting a tremendous battle. But with God's help, it's winnable. I want you to visualize for a moment that you tuck your children into bed, you say goodnight to them and say your evening prayers with them, and then you wake up in the morning and they're gone. An intruder came through the window or through an open door and stole your children.

Well, 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 to 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 gods. That's what's happening.

And oftentimes parents are accomplices to those other gods 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 as 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 smartphones, internet, television, all of these things stealing the hearts of our young people and stealing the hearts of parents too. And that's why we have to address this 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 this. And that's why it's so important for us to be prayerful. And the message that I am speaking today is for you, but it's also for me. 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 who 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. Amen.

I've 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 have seen 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 at perhaps age 15 or 18.

Now, the average age according to the statistics is about 9 or 10. 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 addicts. 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 trolling 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 fund what we are doing and that's what we are up against today. Why is it that we don't do something?

A 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 shouldn't do this.

I'm thinking of a man, for example, who subscribes to 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 as a father tell the boy, I don't think 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 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, there are principalities and powers and the 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 say no. Oh, 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. So people don't understand that. And oftentimes 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 call, 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 our family and regarding next time, don't even think of being absent. Don't even think about it 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 and 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, I would like to refer and please take your Bible here and turn to first John chapter two. I assume often that people know all these verses by memory, but you know, maybe they don't. Maybe you've never memorized these important verses.

First John chapter two, 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 lusts of the flesh, the desires of the flesh, illicit sensuality, which are everywhere on our internets, in our iPads and smartphones and elsewhere, all of these things available today. And it's their availability 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. It can also include sexuality, but a lot of other things too, because remember the whole advertising industry is based on covetousness.

If you didn't covet, 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 unacknowledged, it is unseen, 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?

Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God, friend of the world. Now, you just think back over the television programs and over the entertainment industry, and they are filled with what? Occultism, sensuality, and violence. And 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. And 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. Let's suppose you were to come to a home, and there was a couple there, and they had 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. You say, well, that's interesting. That's a little weird. What about this knife? They say, well, you know, we had one son, and an intruder broke into our home, and he murdered our son, and this is the knife that he used. Well, that 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 hates.

You see the depth of what James and 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 or saw on other venues, we would soon discover that the swamp would be drained pretty quickly, wouldn't it? The content test. There's a second test, and I refer to it, and it is really the control test.

The control test. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6, 12—well, I'll actually read it there in the text—1 Corinthians 6, 12, all things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. 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, that may be quite innocent, are you able to control them? You know, someone has defined idolatry is—it says idolatry is something within creation that is inflated to function as a substitute for God.

It can be a person, an institution, an image, or a pleasure. And so what we have is all of these images and these pleasures and this euphoria, and we say to ourselves, oh, I'm 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 were in the store doing some shopping, and there was a little kid that was in a little cart, and 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. Well, we must hurry on. There is a third test.

We have the content test, the control test, and as you might have guessed, I decided to have the other one also a C, and it is the clock test. I'll simply quote the verse, Ephesians 5, 15. It says, redeeming the time. Now, modern translations say making the best use of the time. I like the literal translation, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. How evil would the days have to get in order for you to redeem the time? The imagery there is to buy the time out of the marketplace, because you have all of these pressures for your time, and if you're going to take time for God and time for serving God, you're going to have to buy that time out of a whole host of various issues and pressures and opportunities.

You buy the time, redeem it. Now, a simple fact is that oftentimes we think to ourselves that we're making an investment. You know you're acquainted with ROI, return on your investment. Let's suppose that you watch television two hours a day. That's, what is it, 700 hours a year, and then you can begin to multiply that. If you multiply it by 10, I think you get around 7,000.

As I frequently say, when it comes to arithmetic, I'm always saying, you know, as long as I'm right 90% of the time, I mean, who cares about the other 5%? So about 7,000 over 10 years. Now that's quite an investment of time. What's your ROI?

What's your return on your investment? Does it make you a better person? Are you walking more closely with God? Do 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 about someone I had met once who died of cancer, but apparently his wife said that for the last years, 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 hast listened to 10,465 hours of television. Enter into the joy of my Lord. I think, for example, seniors, they sometimes waste so much time watching TV, watching this and that, when they have so many years of productivity. A 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 a 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 productively until the day she died.

What's your ROI, return on your investment? Now, I don't want to get too spiritual here, but since I'm on a roll, I might as well continue in the direction that I'm going. This 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. And I thought, isn't it too bad that in our hurried life, most of us don't know what it is like to really seek God and find him satisfying? It was C.S. Lewis who said that God is the all-satisfying object.

Is he or is he not? Now with 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 and the rulers of this age.

That's what we are really up against, and that's why it is that we're so paralyzed in the face of so much misuse of technology. Well, this is Pastor Luther. I certainly hope that you listen to Running to Win next time to find out what those other imperatives are. I also hope that you call your friends. Let them know that this series is on Running to Win, how critical it is. It's entitled Fighting for Your Family, and we've prepared a special resource.

You can actually read these sermons because we have transcribed them, and along with that, we have a study guide that can give you some opportunity for personal reflection, and then we provide a link so that you can listen to these messages again and again. And this is all in one book, Fighting for Your Family. For a gift of any amount, it can be yours. I cannot overstress how important this is. Technology is destroying the younger generation, and unfortunately, that's not only true of non-Christian homes. That is also true of Christian children brought up in good Christian homes.

Parents, you need to be awake. I trust that you are. For a gift of any amount, this resource can be yours. Here's what you do. Go to That's, or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

Let me give that to you again,, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Remember that we exist to help you make it across the finish line to run the race of life successfully. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. In the old days, people would sit and talk.

Now they 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. Next time on Running to Win, more on this danger. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-21 05:56:40 / 2023-11-21 06:05:36 / 9

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