OK, we’ve made this just about as clear as we can from the Bible. Let’s give it one more go and try to bring it down to where we live and make it just as practical as possible.
As Christians, we sorely need to develop some BIBLICAL standards and convictions. Sure, it might be easiest to just go with what our pastor teaches or what our church demands, but God has commanded every one of us to be a student of the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15).
If you attend a church like ours, our pastor does everything he can to stay away from preaching his opinion. He preaches and teaches the word of God, not his own personal convictions. And I thank God for it. But that doesn’t excuse any of us from searching God’s word and using that preaching to make some practical decisions about some important issues in our Christian lives.
Let’s pick an easy example. Should a Christian go to the movies? Should a Christian watch TV? What forms of “audio visual entertainment” are acceptable for the child of God? Now, the Bible never mentions TV. The Bible never mentions movies. It never says a word about video games or the internet. But those things can and will and do have a profound impact on our Christian lives.
Have you taken the time to consult the scriptures in an attempt to determine what the Lord would find acceptable along these lines? Have you taken the time to consider the preaching you’ve heard on these topics and what you should do with it? Have you prayed about what God would have you to do? Do you see the importance of developing a biblical standard where your family’s entertainment choices are concerned?
Be careful lest you sin through ignorance. “I didn’t know it was wrong” won’t work. The honest truth is you didn’t care if it was wrong. You were more interested in doing what you wanted to than doing what God wanted you to, or else you would have done what you should have and devoted some time to discerning His will. If you care enough to know what the Lord finds acceptable, He’ll not keep you in the dark (Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 5:17).
While we’re at it, we’ll shoot at another easy target. We’ll take a trip to the closet and talk for a minute about (dun, dun, dun) DRESS CODES. Now, before you get all defensive and start drawing out that one verse or argument you use to justify your preferred manner of dress, here’s all I want to know. Have you ever honestly consulted “all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) in an effort to determine how God would have you to dress? Now that’s different than scanning the Bible for a verse that makes you feel like God’s OK with what you want to wear. Be careful lest you sin through ignorance.
How about one more? Many saved people shrug off their responsibility to be a witness and/or dismiss their obligation to get personally involved to the work of world evangelism because they think it’s the job of the missionaries and the preachers. How’d they get that idea? One word – IGNORANCE. Now, it’s right there in the Bible. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; 1 Timothy 2:5-6. Those aren’t hard to find. They’re not difficult to understand. But sometimes they’re easy to IGNORE.
We could go on and on. The answers to all matters pertaining to the Christian life are available to those who really want them. But it takes desire. It takes devotion. It’s a diligent pursuit to discern God’s will. You see, the answers aren’t all in one place. It’s here a little and there a little (Isaiah 28:13). It’s comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13). It’s studying to show yourself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15).
Again, none of our excuses will work on the day of judgment. Which means that none of them are valid now. May we each renew our resolve to live in such a way that we might have confidence, and not be ashamed before the Lord at His coming (1 John 2:28).