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  The Deadly SnareMonday, March 27th, 2017  
Kathy A Smith

"They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance. And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them." (Psalm 106:34-41)

This verse teaches how the Israelites mingled with the heathen nations and learned to do the evil things that were an abomination in God's sight.

A WAKE-UP CALL TO CHRISTIANS

Is it any different when a Christian fills his or her heart with ungodly movies, TV shows, books, video games, secular music? By allowing this spiritual junk food into a persons heart will become a snare that will tempt them to follow after these practices or to keep watching them. Watching, reading, listening to anything ungodly by choice is taking pleasure in them and makes one no different then those who actually participate in them.

Read Romans 1:29-32 very carefully;

"Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them".

Taking pleasure is something a person enjoys or they wouldn't do it. Watching, reading, listening to anything with these themes in them by their own choice is "worthy of death"! These are very hard words, but this is what the Bible says. Not only is the person taking pleasure in them, they are also supporting them by spending money on them; movies, books, music CD's, cable all cost money! Christians should all be redeeming their time for God's everlasting kingdom! He is a holy God who hates these sinful things and will one day destroy them. For any Christian participating in these things, I pray this writing will not be in vain, but will be a rebuke in love and kindness.

"Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities."

Five major sins of Israel were:
  1. Lust
  2. Idolatry
  3. Fornication
  4. Tempting God and Christ
  5. Murmuring
All these above themes dominate many popular movies, TV shows, secular music, and books.

GIVE NO PLACE TO THE DEVIL

There is simply no excuse for Christians to take part in these unholy things. People are dying and going to hell, while many that call themselves Christians are stuck in their comfort zone participating in Satan's deceptive devices. Christians who take part in these things allow Satan to take part in their lives. "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10a). These things break the hedge of protection around our lives. "For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity." (Psalm 125:3). When a Christian puts their hands where they don't belong, they are allowing the enemy to come in.

Many Christians read the Old Testament and just marvel at how the Israelites could have been so blind and ignorant to keep following idols and turning away from God, until He finally destroyed many of them. They were warned over and over what happens when they follow after the sins of the heathen. "Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known" (Deuteronomy 11:26-28). Satan kept pulling them into His path of destruction and tempted them with abominable things, and each step into the enemies' territory pulled them farther away from God until eventually they forgot about Him. "They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:" and "They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;"(Psalm 106:13;21).

We need to remember these stories were written for us, so we could learn from their mistakes and not fall into the same fate. We New Testament believers are very blessed because we are living in the age of grace. God is waiting and is very longsuffering that none should perish. He tells us over and over to obey all His commandments and to not live as the world by walking in the lusts of the flesh. Reader, do not be deceived like the Israelites. They began straying away from God inch-by-inch and then mile-by-mile. They were constantly trying God's patience. Did they believe He was not watching or that He wouldn't mind, allowing their sin to go unnoticed? They were forgetting what the law really said and falling into the enemy's trap of deception.

BEWARE OF THE TREND

Both unbelievers and many Christians are living this lie today, falling for Satan's temptation: "If everyone else is doing it, why can't I? Today is a New Age". Christians have been very deceived by the media and the changing of society.

I remember before I gave my life to Jesus Christ, when I was in my teenage years, I told my parents that the world is changing and that teenagers today do things differently then they did when my parents were that age. We all just want to "fit in". Let's ask ourselves is it worth "fitting in" with a generation of people who have rejected the gospel and are on there way to hell?

Look what happened to the Israelites; when they said and did this, God's wrath came upon them! People always have and will change, but God's word never changes! He will not change His word for anyone. If we believe we can live as we please, we are deceived! Just our believing it certainly will not change it. Over and over scripture teaches us to fear the Lord. This means to do what He says to do. We all have to make up our mind how deep our commitment is. How much do you want to follow the word of God? To follow after Jesus means to deny yourself and take up His cross daily. Or would you rather serve yourself? God has given you the choice to decide.

I believe that the age of grace is quickly coming to an end. Jesus is returning for a pure and faithful church. Are you ready?

TURN OFF THE LIES

Much of the world and media are on the path that leads to destruction. People continuously believe a lie. "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20). In order for Christians to not be deceived with the coming deception, they need to know what God's word really says. "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success". (Joshua 1:8). After a person meditates and observes to do the word of God, only then will their way be prosperous and only then will they have good success. In order to do this in today's busy world we need to turn the ungodly junk off the TV and get into the Word of God. When a Christian spends time watching ungodly shows, this is what he dwells on, and there is little time for the Word. Satan will be laughing and whispering constantly in his ears, that this is ok, God is still pleased. But this is not what God's Word says. God hates sin! God is going to destroy the wicked with His wrath. Why do Christians want to be caught in these sins when Christ returns? Beware of being like the evil servant who said in his heart, "My Lord delayeth his coming" (Matthew 24:48). Rather be like the faithful servant; "Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing". (Matthew. 24:46)

BELIEVING A LIE

All through my life my parents always took me to church, but the church they took me to did not preach the Gospel and I wasn't saved. I thought I was doing all right and I would go to heaven one day when I died, but believing something doesn't make it true. I always wanted to serve God more during that time of my life, but I wasn't really sure how. It was not important enough for me to find out how to serve God, as it was to do the things I wanted to do. I believed that either way I would have plenty of time (Satan's lie), and I would go to heaven because I was (most of the time) a good person (Satan biggest lie).

The Bible says; "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:" (Hosea 4:6). A Christian is responsible to know what God's word says. His word is what sanctifies us (John 17:17). A born again Christian who dwells on God's word will have a hunger and thirst for it and they will be grieved by these ungodly things, and will no longer desire them.

Before I was saved by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, I used to be a big fan of secular heavy metal music and horror movies. I wanted to see every movie or hear every heavy metal band I could get my hands on. If I didn't get to see and hear everything, I thought I was actually missing out on something. I was, in reality, hungering and thirsting after these ungodly things. My husband and I would go to church occasionally and on the way home, while still dressed in our Sunday clothing (so everyone could see where we just were), we would go into the video store and rent filthy horror or drama movies to watch the rest of the afternoon. Even though we weren't saved at the time we were a terrible witness to the video clerk by renting these movies. In their eyes we as Church people were no different than anyone else. I am not saying it is wrong to rent movies, but what I am saying is to choose them very carefully. Many Christians do the same thing as those who are not Christians. This is condoning evil and is the same as what the rest of the world does. Christians are not supposed to be of this world, because it is not our home. Why live like it?

No one can hide from God. He knows the thoughts of all men and He is still a jealous God! He does not want us to have anything to do with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11). We must all be honest and judge ourselves to see what is the first priority in our own life. The Christian life is not always easy; it is a life of constantly denying self and putting Christ and others before self. We our storing up treasures in a kingdom that will last forever!

There is absolutely no reward for fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Would Jesus watch a movie that is filled with lust and lies? I really don't think so. Should we? What would Jesus do? The Bible teaches Jesus was obedient to God until death.

BE NOT DECEIVED

"Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions"(Psalm 106:39). Dake's Study Bible explains what inventions are:

"This refers to their own new ways of sinning against God, of evading truth, erasing their own conscience, and convincing selves that what they did was not really sinful. This is called inventions." (1)

This sounds like today's world. People have forgotten what God says and even about Him. They have suppressed or held down the truth till sin no longer bothers them. God then gives them over to more evil (Romans 1:28). Satan also deceives so many with this lie. When standing before Christ one day at the judgment seat, a Christian will have no excuse why they spent time watching, listening or reading things that God had forbidden them. One day he or she may have wished they would have lived purer lives and took more time to serve their heavenly Father. These ungodly things must not deceive us. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting". (Galations 6:7-8)

INDOCTRINATION

When I used to watch horror movies I was even deceived into thinking I was growing closer to God while I watched them! Especially movies like "The Omen" and "Hell Raiser". In these movies I wanted God to win and Satan to be defeated. I thought I was on the winning side. Was I really? In Hell raiser, I thought it would help people to try to live better lives so they didn't have to go to this terrible place called Hell. The more I watched these movies the more I wanted to keep watching them. It drew me closer into the occult by having my mind focused on these things. Satan was only trying to make me feel good by believing I was on the right side. I was wasting my time watching and dwelling on them. God wants us to dwell on only good things; "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things". (Philippians 4:8)

I believed most of the movies I used to watch were totally made up by creative authors. But now, as I look back and remember some of them, many were based on things that can really happen, and do happen. Real spells, and magical rituals and incantations for conjuring up demons are performed. New Agers, witches and wizards are actually involved in constructing many of these movies. This unknowingly draws naive people into the occult.

For example, Stars Wars, one of the most popular movies of all time, is indoctrination into the New Age Movement. The men behind the Star Wars trilogy were introducing Zen Buddhism. Pokemon was created by those who call themselves "wizards" and is indoctrination into the occult for young children. The popular book serious of Harry Potter is also drawing children and teens into the dark world of witchcraft.

This is why God has made it perfectly clear to not be involved or take pleasure in these forbidden practices. "When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God" (Deuteronomy 18:9-13).

What sin is the worst sin? Let's leave this to God, but let's try to understand what God meant when He gave us His precious Word. David, a Christian, may not think a movie like "Friday the 13th" is harmful to watch. He may think that God won't mind if he watches it, so he does. Why does David think God won't care if He watches other people getting murdered? (The sight of sin deceived Eve) "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren". (James 1:13-16)

Compare this sort of thinking and reasoning to a murderer named Ken, who has been locked up in prison for his crimes. When asked why he killed others he says also that what he did was not a sin because he believed the people that he killed deserved it. Ken believes God will not hold him guilty because he thinks God would have stopped him from committing these crimes if it wasn't right. After all, Ken also used to watch horror movies like "Friday the 13th" and God didn't tell him not to watch them.

But God has told both these people very clearly in His word not to do these things! Just because we may not think it is wrong, does not make it right. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all"(James 2:10) Let's just do what God has commanded us.

WOE TO THOSE

Let's learn from ex-occultist Tal Brook, who is now a Christian, as he warns us about this deadly trap of the enemy.

"One area where good and evil have been blurred has been in the field of entertainment. The audience gets dull to heightened thrills, then in turn wants to see more. It keeps feeding like a fire. Now young children can become more jaded than middle-aged adults of several generations back through a corruptive voyeurism as films take them to forbidden areas. . . . Some films are landmarks of conscience-searing - they push the mind to new boundaries, sometimes morally, sometimes conceptually. What would have been terribly bizarre or shocking at one time can later enter the realm of the ordinary. Increasingly movies have abolished the distinctions between good and evil."

In Brooke's revealing book "When the World Will Be As One" he goes on explaining if it were possible to go back to an old Ziegfield Theater of the 1930's and perform an experiment to see how the audience might react in that time to some of the conscience-searers of our era, and interview the audience to see if things had really changed that much. After showing them a triple-header of movies of our time Brooke writes;

"Most probably the outraged audience would literally tear down the movie house, and repent that they could ever be the ancestors of such a future world only 50 years down the road. They would wonder in stunned horror how we got so evil. How did beliefs so disintegrate? How did our relative innocence so completely go down the tube? They would probably suspect they had just seen some collective Antichrist."

This statement is not exaggerating. The truth is that our society has change so much and Christians along with the secular world has adopted what ever has come along.

Let's not be deceived by going along with what everyone else is doing, but live and walk a godly life that is pleasing to our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Let me end with an exhortation from God's precious word to encourage you always to fulfill what God's plan is for you. "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:2-11).

NOTES:

1). Finis Jennings Dake, Dake's Annotated Reference Bible, Dake Bible Sales, Lawrenceville, Georgia, 1991, p. 599.

2). Tal Brooke, When the World Will Be One, Harvest House Publishers, Inc. Eugene, Oregon, 1989, p. 182-185.

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