Sports: An Idol (False God) of this World!
Many in the body of Christ have been bound by certain spirits of the world and haven't paid very much attention to it. As you look around in the world, most everything seems so normal. We have our jobs in the world, schools, TV's and newspapers, governments, and all that is in the natural world. But many Christians, unknowingly, have idols in their hearts and no man can cleanse himself of an idol within his heart. Only God can cleanse the heart of idols. We can try all the things we want to in our flesh, but flesh is nothing but an extension of Satan and Satan can't set himself free. He can only set you free from bondage in one area to bring you into a greater bondage in another. The only purpose for those kinds of lying miracles is to bring the person into greater deception, which results in greater bondage. Jesus alone sets the captives free. Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,". John 8:36 "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
Today we are going to talk about sports. Sports are looked upon as something special in the world. We don't think much about it. But God has called His people out of the world. We find many claiming to be Christian athletes, but that is another impossibility, like being a Christian Jew. It is at best a misnomer and misunderstanding. No one can keep or follow the Jewish traditions or religion and be a Christian. You can only be one or the other. There is no such animal. Those athletes who claim to be Christian will not freely hear and receive the truth of the gospel, because the root and foundation of sports is money, pride and desire for fame and glory. Sports are a part of the system of this world and a means for them to "be at ease in Zion" and it is an abomination before God. The scripture tells us "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion."The question is simply this; "Do you want to please God? Do you want to be accepted and approved by God?" If you live you're life with an idol in your heart, it will keep you from the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:16 "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." All the works of the works of the flesh are nothing but Satan working through the people who are the sons of disobedience. These things just strengthen the flesh. Here is an example of the conflict and evil sports create. Today we have lots of Christian schools. They all, like other schools, have sports teams. So here are the Christian teams, facing one another, and the parents and students "praying" and even "praying in tongues" for their students and team to win the game. "Oh God please let us win this game. Please let Johnny sore a touchdown." Do you think God cares about such nonsense or would get involved in such? Why should He? What has it got to do with His kingdom and glory, or the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ? How can we take something of the flesh and mix the things of the spirit and sanctify it? The problem is that when you look through natural eyes, you will never see what is wrong with things in the world, as sports. You will never see the idol in your heart, or what it is doing to you. But everything about the world and things of the natural realm are tied to the spiritual realm, even though you can't see spiritual things.Another way in which we are so easily influenced by demon powers and lusts is through the advertisements on the TV, no matter what you are watching. The devil will cause you to come to a place of being at peace with the things that are an abomination to God. The more you look at something and the more the spirit behind it gets into you, the more at peace you will become with it and the more natural and normal it will seem. The uneasiness of spirit you had at the first will go away as Satan gives you a false peace about the lusts you are being entrapped by. The more you feed the lusts of the flesh the more you become entrapped by them. If you sow to the flesh you will of the flesh reap corruption.All sports, professional and organized, are serving the beast system of this world. When you hear God's Word, depending upon your response; will cause you to either be set free or will harden your heart. There is no in between. The players and the spectators are in effect giving worship to Satan. In sports, flesh is exalted instead of Jesus. It is all a flesh idol. Players and owners are serving Satan for the reward of money and fame. Look at all the big money contracts and disputes over money going on. They can never be satisfied and never have enough. They think making more money can satisfy them, but it will never bring satisfaction. Poor people are more satisfied than rich people and they are more generous and quicker to share and help others with what little they have. Nothing of this world can ever fully satisfy man. Those who watch sports give homage to Satan. Homage is when you bow down to something, you worship it and adore it. In the world you can tell how much something has a hold in a persons life and heart by their talk as well as their actions. Notice how so many are consumed with sports, like the Monday night football game. It can be basketball, baseball, soccer, or any other sport that the people give themselves too and make an idol in their heart. People love and give themselves to a team and worship them, even if they are terrible. A good example was when the Houston Oilers were in town. Remember the "Luv Ya Blue" crowd. All the people who painted themselves up and did all sorts of crazy things because of the love of football. You can tell there is a demon attached to it. There is a spirit that works with sports and takes over the atmosphere. It is a strong demon, a principality. Look how much hoopla it brings, media, and craziness. Especially if a team wins, like the Houston Rockets. People worship them! They do all sorts of crazy things because of sports. They spend money they can't afford, they act crazy and wild, and the spirit transforms them into another person. They yell till their hoarse , they suffer huge crowds and traffic and even bad weather to go see their team play.Viewers give homage to Satan by serving the demons, the boastful pride of life: "My team won." It's the lusts of the eyes, the Lusts of the flesh. Entertainment gives worship to Satan! Watching movies exalts flesh, as do other forms of entertainment.The nations of the world gather around sports and entertainment. Where did it all start? The Olympics! Hebrews 10:26 "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins." When you keep on sinning, knowingly, you are trampling of the blood of Jesus. There is no sacrifice for that. The only solution is for you to go back to the cross, repent of your sin and stop doing it. Jesus wants a holy people and God cannot reign in your heart if there is an idol in it. God wants your whole heart and not a part of it. Remember when Israel took their gods with them when they were in the wilderness for 40 years, even though they were the people of God that were called out of the world (Egypt). They still liked the idols of the land, more than the things of God. They didn't like being separated from and different from the world, but God has so called His people to be separate.God has to come cleanse your heart, your sanctuary. 1 John 5:21 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen." An idol is simply a heathen god. When you think about worshipping idols, you think of setting up little statues, but what about those in the heart (Ezekiel). "We know that we are of God and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one" 1 John 5:19. Our government, business, and entertainment! We are to be in the world to be lights and witnesses and to bring others out, not to be a part of it and be stained by it.1 John 2:15-17 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." Do you love the things of the world? Are things of this world an integral part of your life? Do you love and seek things in this world that take your heart away from God, that keep you from giving Him first place in your life? You would say, "well what is wrong with watching football, or basketball, or soccer." How strong is it in your life? Some would say, but a sport is only a form of exercise. Paul talked about sports in the Bible didn't he? 1 Corinthians 9:24 "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.." What race is he talking about? The race of salvation, for eternal life and making heaven your home! We have to keep our minds on the things of the spirit, of God, of heaven. (V.25) "And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.." The games here is the Olympics. They do treat their bodies severely, and discipline themselves to practice and work out 6 to 8 hours a day. The sport they are training for is a full time endeavor. They live for it, just to get the praise and applause of man, for a moment. But we are to be seeking the approval of God, and keeping our eyes fixed upon Him. You cannot run the Christian race, living as a part of the world and being a part of it's system. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It's impossible! 1 Corinthians 15:50 "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." 1 Corinthians 9:26 "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." We are to bring our bodies into self control, but not for some worldly purpose or gain, but for the kingdom of God.Exodus 20:2-6 "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." The Law hasn't passed away, it was fulfilled in Jesus. It is God's command that we have no idols before Him. He will cleanse His sanctuary or all defilement's. You can't have a bit of the world and a bit of Jesus. Jesus told the church of Laodicea, that He would they were hot or cold.... We can't be like those who took their talent and hid it in the dirt, then came and said, here is my one talent Lord, and do nothing with our salvation. We have only one purpose in life as far as God is concerned, that is to live and witness for Him.1Corinthians 10:1-6 "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted." All lust comes from devils. (V.7) "Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." Idolaters are those who serve idols. But it's just a game. But it's a spiritual thing and you can't just play with spiritual things. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." But they played. Exodus 32:1-4 "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." How stupid and ignorant can you be. But what is the difference in what we do today with sports? (V.5) "And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD." What is an altar for? It's a place for prayer and worship. Sports have their feasts also. They have festivals, banquets and music before and after sports games. (V.6) "And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play." They didn't have any trouble getting out of bed early to party and serve their god of flesh. But can you get up to pray and read God's Word with the same enthusiasm? (V.17-18) "And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear." They were dancing and partying before their idol. (V.19-20) "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strowed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it." They had the fill of their god. And that is the way it is in the spiritual. God will turn you over to your idol until you have your fill of it and are consumed by it. If you don't turn when God convicts you of your lusts, then it will consume you, because God will turn you over to its power. We must come to the place of humbling ourselves before God and crying out to Him to set us free.Let me read to you some quotes from a book called: "Sports in the Western World" Part 1:From ritual to recreation. "Virtually every competitive sport in the modern world is a refinement of physical contests originating in ancient and medieval times. Taking their form largely form primitive hunting and war and activities necessary for survival. Competitive games began primarily as religious festivals designed to win the favor of the gods" (that's demons) "or to honor memories of heroic leaders." (There even used to be funeral games. When somebody died they had a game in honor of the person who died.) "Over the centuries the sacred aspects diminished, but whether in front of tribal totems at the Egyptian temple of Cyrus, beside Greek alters to Zeus, before the Roman Pantheon, under the Mohammedan banner to Allah, or in Medieval Christian Monasteries and Church cloisters. Sports evolved always in relation to religious ceremonies, holidays and institution. Roman soldiers and feudal warriors, Mohammedan and Christian missionaries and energetic sailors and merchants all carried new forms of physical exercise and contests to regions far removed form their places or origin but the rule of character of society kept most of the earliest games simple and resistant to forms of organization." (The Beast is the system of this world, The government and even the false church. How did we get our sports here in America? How did it all come about? You may say, well we don't have religious ceremonies today for sports, but just because you remove the name of the god from it doesn't mean you are not still worshipping the god behind it. You are still bowing down to the same devil.) "Assumptions of social inequality also weighed heavily on the origins of sports. Primitive tribes enforce definite standards of status." (Don't we have our status today.) "Age and Sex were participants in various cultic games. Slaves and Barbarian foreigners were excluded from the Greek athletic festivals. On the other hand, only slaves and criminals were forced into the Roman gladiatorial arenas." (This is where the persecution of the saints began. The saints wouldn't bow down to Caesar and so they were thrown into the games with wild animals, which ate them alive. Gladiators would beat them. But it doesn't matter how big these sports get, they will not stop the reign of the Lord Jesus.)How did the Olympic games start? It all started in Greece. The place where they had the games was like a temple on a hill called Olympia. It was where they gave honor to their gods and the athletes would run around naked. The Greeks were into the beauty of the body. The Romans decided they weren't going to show their bodies and so they changed it a little. Look at all the sports clubs and gym's today and body builders. Everyone wants to be fit for this world, but we need to be fit to pray and stand before God. "The story of organized athletics in the ancient world is primarily the story of Greece. For more than 1000 years athletic festivals were an important part of Greek life. Originally mixtures of religious ceremony and athletic competition, hundreds of focal festivals were held each year throughout the county and in Greek colonies in Egypt, Sicily and the banks of the Boseras." The Olympics were the World Cup for them. Then God took Olympics off the face of the earth for many centuries. But then we can see how sports got back into gear again."Whatever their religious beliefs, athletics compete to win, to prove their superiority over others." (That is not what Christians are supposed to do. Here is our Christian football player, He knocks the socks off a brother, then gives him a hand to help him up, with the words, "God bless you brother." Do you see the problem? How do you walk with the Lord and live with the world at the same time. I heard the testimony of a guy that in his ignorance decided to go witness at a bar. So he stood in line praying in the spirit, got inside, ordered an orange juice to look like he had something. Started dancing with a girl and then tried to witness to her. She said: "Are you a Christian? Then what are you doing here? And he ran out fast as he could. You can't win the world by becoming like them and joining them. The false church is a harlot. She is going into the world as a harlot to win harlots. But you can't become a harlot to win them to Christ. It won't work. All the harlot churches are going to fall.) Let's find out about sports and competition."This competitiveness is the source of the word athlete, a Greek word derived from two terms, best translated as contest and prize. The athlete is one who competes for reward, of tangible or intangible value. Another Greek word or an athletic contest and also for military engagement is agon, hence the word agony." (Those who pay sports put their bodies through agony, without profit to the soul. What is the gain if you gain the whole world and loose your soul?) "In players, processions and sacrifices, the ancient Greeks sought diligently to appease their gods. Religious festivals accompanied by feasts, music, dancing and athletic contests were scattered throughout the Greek world. About 1000 B.C., Olympia became a shrine to Zeus. In addition to their religious ceremony, young Greeks competed athletically in honor of Zeus." (Zeus was their supreme deity. In Acts 14 they though their gods had come down to them, one being Zeus.) "When they broke their oaths they were required to pay fines which in turn were spent to erect statues to Zeus."What about the half time games? The half time activities were also in ancient Greece and Rome. They had their feasts and music too. They had their big stadiums for everyone to come to. The problem for the Christians was that everyone present was supposed to bow down to the Praetor and real Christians wouldn't do that but those that had fallen away, the apostate Christians did. Those who are apostate will bow down and give homage to the beast. Revelation 14:9-11 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."In the beginning, Christians were against sports, just like they were against TV and other worldly things, like dancing, smoking and drinking. Doing wrong before God isn't just in what you do, but what you give approval to and what you participate in by watching it on TV or listening to it on radio. That is paying homage to it and giving your approval. You don't' have to be the creator or it or be an active participant to be guilty and one with those who do. That is Romans 1:32! "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." What God did to Olympia, was to send warring tribes to Greece to destroy the temple of Zeus and knock down all their statues. Then a couple hundred years later in 522 God sent an earthquake, and then 29 years later God sent another earthquake that put that place entirely under water. God judged it. Christians had cried out to God for relief because of what the gladiators and others were doing to destroy them and God sent judgment to stop them."Then in the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church was the dominant institution and they adapted various pagan rites for Christian worship. Many of those ceremonies featured a symbolic tossing of a ball back and forth as the representation of the struggle between good and evil. Playful dramatization soon leaped the bounds of their religious origins as the church provided seasonal holidays and physical sites for play. Ball games flourished in medieval Europe. By the 12th century peasants enjoyed numerous of handball, football, stick and ball games." God judged and stopped the sports and the false harlot church brought them back into the world. Throughout time sports has been a problem, even in the time of the early settlers of America. During the time of the Puritans, one of the English kings told the people by decree that there would again be sports games on Sunday's. That was one of the very basic and key reasons the Puritan's left England and came to America, for religious freedom. A key part was that they might keep their Sabbath or Sunday worship a holy time before the Lord. The false church in the middle ages wanted the peasants to be happy, so they set up recreation for them on Sunday afternoons. It is more than ironic or consequential that we have sports games every Sunday afternoon. It is a blasphemy against the Lord. He did His work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh and set up a day of rest for mankind, for spiritual renewal. It was a time to spend with God and worship and meditate on His Word. It was types and shadows. Natural man works constantly and is always striving and never enters into God's rest.At times a part of the sports was a time of chanting to demons to give them favor during the races. Even in soccer in Africa, one team would pray against the other team that they would break their legs and other such things. And demons would actually give them things to do in order to win a game. It is no different than the superstition in America. Player will talk about their luck or winning, because they did this or that. I wore these particular socks, I sat on this side in the locker room, and all kinds of crazy things they claim as the reason for their ability to score or win. They claim something they did enabled them to perform better and win. That's superstitious and demonic. What about team mascots for Christian colleges? Are thy not images of evil and demonic things that give homage to the beast? We have Christian sports teams like the Demon Deacons, the Blue Devils, the Bears, the Lions, and the Tigers. Before the games they have bon fires and pep rallies where they chant and hype emotionalism to get them prepared for the game. This is not Christianity! In America our kinds are raised in the system of the beast. One can be from a poor deprived family, but if he can play good sports, he can get a free college education and even get rich. When college sports started in America in the 1850's, most of the colleges didn't want sports. They said the student athlete would be divided between the two and not be able to learn as well and not only that but the whole campus would be disrupted. And that is what has happened. And sports and winning of games is more important to colleges than education. In the beginning the students were in control of the athletics, then the institutions found out they could make money through sports, so they took control over the sports. Now the colleges will pay any price for the money through sports and to have winning sports teams. Some college coaches get paid several hundred thousand dollars a year. What teacher gets such a salary? Because of the money involved many schools have cheated, broken laws, bribed, and done everything possible to have the best athletes playing in their games, regardless of whether on not they were even eligible to play. No matter how many rules are set up to try and control the colleges sports programs, nearly every year some are found cheating and breaking rules and stripped of their awards, bowl games, and even the right to compete for a year or two. Why? Prestige and money!The church in Rome was the reason sports got started again. "By this time the Church in Rome had become powerful and increasing in numbers. Many of it's members had been born of Christian parents and took their religion for granted." This is the testimony of a worldly book and author. "They were willing in many things to conform to the secular society in which they found themselves" We do the same thing today. We have Churches with gymnasiums, work out rooms, sports teams and competition, even self-defense martial arts and more. Many are playing for the church, but don't know Jesus. From chariot races to plays in the theater, from sports to even the circus, are all nothing more than entertainers that exalt the flesh and are a mockery of the things of God.Sports are an idol of the world! Galatians 5:19-21 "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Idolatry and revellings, or partying and mixing with the world will keep you from inheriting the kingdom of God. That inheritance is Jesus Himself, without which there is no eternal life. What is our part in regards to believers who are idolaters, regardless of what that idolatry is? We need to be able to reprove, correct, exhort and edify one another in the Lord. I will be the first to say I was once a part of this scene of idolatry and couldn't wait for the church service to be over to go watch the Sunday football game that started at 12:30 pm, but it was in ignorance. The church hasn't been standing out against these things because they are a part of the problem and compromiser's in these things that are a part of the system of the world. So they give their hardy approval, like when the 2nd Baptist church here in Houston showed the Super Bowl starting at 12 noon on Sunday on their big screen as soon as the service was over, which was even promoted in the TV and radio; so the people didn't have to miss any of the game and could watch it there, because it started at 12 when church is normally over for them. They even had food and ate while they watched the game. 1 Corinthians 5:11 "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat." This is about a moral person in the church, but that is not the whole story. Notice how Paul uses the present problem he is dealing with to preach to them about the stand of the church and what Christians are to do and be. Paul listed numerous reasons to separate company from others, including idolaters and the covetous. Paul said try to bring them to repentance, but if they will not repent and turn from their sin, then separate from their company and have no part with them. And this is not talking about your relationship to sinners, but professing Christians!The Bible tells us that idolaters will be judged. Revelation 21:6-7 "And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." Overcome! The world system and it's harlotries, idolatries and lusts; the evil spirits and all temptation that comes to them. (V.8) "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." We are talking about those in the church with divided hearts. If your heart is divided and full of the world, and not pure for the Lord, you won't make it. Revelation 22:14 "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." You have to be cleansed by the blood of the lamb, and sanctified by obedience to the Word to have the right to enter into the city and partake of the tree of life, which is Jesus. (V.15) "For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Those in the outer court are in the church, but have divided hearts and are full of the things of this world and desire what it has to offer them. They will lose out with God. What is our part? What are we supposed to be doing?1 Peter 4:1 "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." You know to give up the things you love that are of this world that have a stronghold on you. God calls it a form of suffering. It will cause you grief and suffering in your flesh to deny it that which it desires, but the end result is that you will cease from sin. (V.2-3) "That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries." Those who are worldly are even surprised and think it strange, odd if you please, that you will not run with them and participate in their excess of dissipation. They will think and even ask "what's wrong with you" because you don't want to partake of their worldly indulgences. They will even talk about and malign the one that refuses to participate in their worldliness and call you fanatic and say you're going overboard, and you've gone off the deep end. The will claim you are doing wrong in your separation from the world and the things of the world, and that they are doing what is right and normal. And it is for a sinner! But God tells us what will happen in the end. (V.5) "Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." Ecclesiastes 11:9 "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." Everything you do daily with your life is either offering up worship to God or the god of this world.Romans 12:1-2 "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Only God's will for your life is good and acceptable and perfect. This is not speaking of three levels of God's will for you. He only has one! It is His will for us to be sanctified, to be separated from the world and it's idolatries, to be a peculiar people who are holy unto Him; a chosen people called out of the world unto Himself. John 17:16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." Jesus is our example! His only involvement with the world was for the purpose of winning souls, not for pleasure and enjoyment. God didn't call us to salvation, and leave us in this world to be a part of it and for pleasure and entertainment for our flesh. We are here for the furtherance of His kingdom, period! (V.17-18) "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." We are here to live for Him! Paul said it best in Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Most professing Christians today take that which God has made holy, and defile it with the world and throw it to the dogs. We are to keep ourselves spotless from the world and from being defiled by it. Titus 1:15-16 "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Nothing about a person's life that has been defiled is pure, they are totally corrupted. A little leaven does leaven the whole lump. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 "Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." Are you keeping yourself pure! Psalm 119:1 "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.". When we become spiritually defiled before God, then we are considered as wicked. God loathes our sin and wants us to see it as He does and loathe it. Ezekiel 20:23; 22:4-5; 23:38-39 "20:23 I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; 22: 4-5 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed; and hast defiled thyself in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the heathen, and a mocking to all countries. Those that be near, and those that be far from thee, shall mock thee, which art infamous and much vexed. 23: 38-39 Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths. For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and, lo, thus have they done in the midst of mine house." When we have idols in our hearts, we defile the "temple of the Lord" just as much as bringing a physical idol into the Old Testament temple defiled it. 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Spiritual idolatry brings on God's anger and judgment. Ezekiel 43:8 "In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger."But thank God there is hope for us. Jesus paid a great price for us but He said we couldn't partake of the table of demons and of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 10:21 "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils." The blood of Jesus cleanses us so that we can serve Him. Heb.9:14 "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Who are you serving today? Self or the living God! 1 John 1:6-2:2 "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." Our hope is in Christ who is the propitiation for our sins. When you are walking in the world keep these things in mind. God placed you in your job to be a light and witness for Him in this world. You should be praying for them and witnessing to them. (V.3) "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." Our part is to keep His commandments. But we cannot keep them within the power of our flesh, but only in the power of the Holy Ghost. We must stand upon the Word, no matter what winds of this world are blowing about you. Are you asking for the boldness to be a witness for Christ? Are you asking for the anointing of the Holy Spirit that His life might live and shine through you? But the first thing the Holy Spirit will do when He comes into our lives is cleanse us. He comes as a refining fire to purify and sanctify us. Malachi 3:2-3 "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness." Remember, if you say you know Him and you don't keep His commandments, God says you are a liar and the truth is not in you. His Spirit will cleanse you and give you the power to keep His Word. 1 John 2:4-6 "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." How did He walk? As a stranger and alien in this world! Here to do the will of God!Zechariah 13:1 "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." Thank God that fountain is still open. Jesus is that fountain! That Jerusalem for us is the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22-24). Zechariah 13:2 "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land." The land that God is cutting idols out of is your heart and my heart. Notice the correlation between the idols being taken out of your heart and the unclean spirits passing from out of the land. Can you not see that the land is your heart! Part of the problem and why the people are defiled and full of unclean spirits is because of false prophets who lie to the people of God and lead them astray and tell them that they are okay and God accepts them as they are - without change or repentance. Read all of Jeremiah chapter 23.Here is a scripture that you can stand on and confess to see the salvation of God. Ezekiel 36:24 "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land." That land is the place of His presence and holiness. The countries represent the kingdoms of this world and their king - Satan! (V.25) "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." The clean water of the Word is able to cleanse you from all filthiness and idols in your heart. But the polluted water of harlot preachers who serve themselves and only work for the money will never cleanse your heart and sanctify you. Ephesians 5:26-27 "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."It doesn't matter what the idol in your heart is. It might not be sports. It might be anger and unforgiveness, it might be lust, greed and covetousness. These are idols of the heart that give homage and therefore worship to self and the beast more than to God. But God said that He will cleanse us, but first we must recognize and confess our sins and turn from them. Then He will be faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from our unrighteousness. 2 Corinthians 6:2 "(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" Tomorrow isn't guaranteed, we only have the present in which to choose Him. Nothing in any of us is any good or acceptable to God. Our flesh is corrupted and everything that proceeds from it is corrupted. But thank God there is a fountain that we can go to and be cleansed. But we must humble our pride before God and turn from our fleshly sinful ways. Jesus isn't coming back for a harlot bride, but one that has made herself ready and is spotless and clean. Revelation 19:6-7 "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." Have you made yourself ready?Isaiah 52:1-11 "Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD." Revelation 22:17 "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."