One Step At A Time Christian Growth Series - Step 33 - Television
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
Psalms 101:3
Ephesians 5:16, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”

TIME: The most precious thing a Christian can possess. Twenty-four hours a day, 1440 minutes, 86,400 seconds.

The psalmist said, “teach us to number our days.”

James said, “Life is but a vapor that appeareth for a little while and then vanisheth away.”

At funerals in years gone by, an hour glass would be placed on the casket to remind the living that their time, too, was short. That hour glass does not need to be on the casket of the dead, but in the heart of every living man. The word redeem in Ephesians 5:16 means to buy back. Every activity wants to purchase our time and we are commanded to buy it back. If we are to give our time to God, we will have to strive to give it.

Acts 17:21, “(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)”

So time, like money, is to be spent.

Each of us has 24 precious bills each day to spend. You cannot save them. They disappear at the end of the day. Our speed of Christian growth is determined by what we spend our time on.

Franklin Field said, “The great dividing line between success and failure is five words—‘I did not have time.’”

  • Did you pray today? - No, I did not have time.
  • Did you witness today? - No, I did not have time.
  • Did you read your Bible today? - No, I did not have time.

Replace the answer - I did not make time.

The great saints of old: Paul, Spurgeon, Moody, Finney, Sunday, Whitefield, etc., all had the same number of hours per day you do. They used their time wisely.

YOU DO WHAT YOU WANT TO!

Jesus called His followers disciples. Disciple means disciplined one. If we are going to do much for God we will have to discipline our time.

SCHEDULED PRAYER TIME

You must make time. Daniel prayed three times a day. He spent his time on prayer. When the disciples arose, they knew where to find Jesus. He was already at His prayer place. Make an appointment with God and keep it!

SCHEDULED BIBLE TIME

Joshua 7:8, “O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!”

The urgent cries out to take the place of the important. Do not let the trivial things steal the time you are to walk with God. Your Bible won’t cry out for attention.

SCHEDULED SOULWINNING

Outside of your daily opportunities choose a time weekly to witness for the Lord and stick with it.

AVOID TIME WASTERS

Avoid foolish people that seem to waste your time. Avoid the greatest time waster in our nation-the television.

TV really stands for Testing Virtue. The average person spends 30 hours, 38 minutes per week (10 years of an average person’s life!) wasted in front of that box.

Robert Murray McCheyne, who shook Scotland, had a ministry which lasted only seven years. David Brainard, missionary to the American Indians had a ministry of less than 10 years.

Psalms 101:3, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”

Ephesians 5:10, “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.”

Ezekiel 16:49, “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

TV promotes idleness. Idleness was one of the sins mentioned that led Sodom into destruction.

Some temptations tempt the busy man.

All temptations tempt the idle man.

Spurgeon said: “If the devil can catch an idle man, he will set him to work, find him tools, and before long, pay him wages.”

The idle are always in a hurry and a mess, and by neglecting to work in the proper time, they always have too much to do.

We live in an amusement society. “Muse” means to think. “A” means without. So, “amuse” means no think.

Christians today know more about TV than the Bible. They know which show is on, what channel, at what time and even the characters’ names. Yet they do not have time to memorize the books of the Bible.

INCREASED TV

The devil wants more and more time wasted. TV used to have one or two channels; then came cablevision, HBO, and satellite. There are so many options now to waste time.

The average dad in our nation plops in front of the TV from the time he is home from work until 10:30pm, while the wife and children starve for a godly leader, example, and friend.

Television has turned the family circle into the family semicircle.

Television teaches children that grown-ups tell lies for money.

FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson charges that major TV network programs are designed to “keep you stupid, so you’ll watch more.” The networks, he says, cultivate ignorance to keep society as it is. Johnson told a conference “that getting 100 million people to watch westerns, soap operas, and other prime-time junk is a political achievement that ranks with the Roman circus.”

Isn’t it interesting that the most popular TV night is Sunday (to tempt people to miss church) and the second most popular night is Thursday night (when most churches have soulwinning)?

PRIME TIME SHOWS

They are geared to the unsaved world. If the unsaved like it, it must be wrong for the Christian.

Would it be wrong for two teenagers to commit fornication in your living room? What is the difference, when bedroom scenes are allowed into the living room through TV? It’s perversion.

CONTROL

You may say “I can control it.” How did you do last month? Was there anything you watched that Jesus would not have? Are you addicted? Try an experiment give it up for 30 days. It works, you will not miss it!

NO CONTROL

A young married Bible college student had determined never to buy a TV. He could not control it as a teen and preferred not to have one. One Christmas his in-laws gave him and his wife one. He tried to act thankful but inside did not like the TV. After the relatives left he put it in the closet. The relatives kept dropping by unexpected, so he and his wife decided to keep the TV out to show appreciation and not offend the in-laws. Soon he began watching it. It took more and more of his time-until he found himself watching it on soulwinning night. He became so angry at himself that he threw the TV down, breaking it into a million pieces. The father-in-law dropped in the next day and noticed the TV was missing. Upon inquiry, the son-in-law told the truth about how he had smashed the TV. The father-in-law was so irate, that he even questioned his daughter’s safety with his son-in-law. The Bible college student called a friend to ask what to do. He was told to try to get the father-in-law’s pastor to calm him down. He said, “That’s the problem. He is the pastor.” How sad. Most people cannot control a TV. Better to not have one and be honest about it than to have one uncontrolled.

TV’S GOOD PARTS?

1. Is it educational? It can be, but most educational materials could be found in libraries and researched at your convenience.

2. Diversion? TV from time to time can offer some diversion. An occasional ball game, documentary, or news may be helpful but mostly it is filled with programs promoting violence, homosexuality, blasphemy, and sin made to look good—beware!

THE 23RD CHANNEL

The TV is my Shepherd,
My spiritual growth shall want.
It maketh me to sit down and do nothing for its name sake.
It requireth all of my spare time.
It keepeth me from doing my duty as a Christian, because it presenteth so many good shows that I must see.
It restoreth my knowledge of the things of the world.
And keepeth me in the paths of failing to attend the evening services
and doing nothing for the kingdom of God.
Yea, though I live to be 100, I will keep viewing my TV
as long as it will work, for it is my closest companion;
its sounds and pictures comfort me.
It presenteth entertainment before me and keepeth me from doing important things with my family.
It fills my head with ideas which differ from the Word of God.
Surely no good thing will come out of my life
because of so many wasted hours.
And I will dwell in the house of remorse forever.

THE PROBLEM

Most of the time when you watch one TV show you are tempted to watch the next and all the dancing/rock music commercials in between.

SOLUTION

  1. Control it or get rid of it.
  2. Replace TV time with family fun, talks, book reading, family altar, and exercising.
  3. Use the attached Ten Questions to tape to your TV remote control to help curb the addiction.
-- REDEEM THE TIME --

TEN QUESTIONS

  1. Did I plan to watch it?
  2. Does it glorify God?
  3. Does its purpose please God?
  4. Does it have any nudity in it?
  5. Does it have any shady language or push humanistic philosophies?
  6. Who are the heroes?
  7. Am I going to watch all the commercials?
  8. Would I watch it if Jesus were here?
  9. Is there something better to do?
  10. Do I have a hard time turning compromising shows off?

Scripture verses are from the King James Holy Bible.
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