A loving message from Jesus to the Laodicean Church



Dearest Father in Heaven, I praise You, Lord, for Your transforming work in my heart, for changing me so the things I once loved, I now hate, and the things I once hated, I now love! Truly, it is a re-creation of my entire being. You are teaching me how to enjoy holiness and communion with You. Lord, I ask that you continue to show me how my time spent in recreation can benefit me spiritually. Keep me from worldly entertainment, which pulls my mind far away from You. Keep me from enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Turn my eyes heavenward, so that the things of earth will grow strangely dim. Don't let anything eclipse my view of Jesus. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.


I confess that I have not always glorified God in my recreation pursuits.

Reader, examine your own course; consider the character of the associates you are choosing. Do you seek the company of the wise, or are you willing to choose worldly associates, companions who fear not God, and obey not the gospel? Are your recreations such as to impart moral and spiritual vigor? Will they lead to purity of thought and action? {ST, September 10, 1885 par. 1}

I repent of the past times that I have not guarded well the avenues of my soul, and have allowed ungodly sights and sounds to lodge in my mind.

Yet we have a work to do to resist temptation. Those who would not fall a prey to Satan's devices must guard well the avenues of the soul; they must avoid reading, seeing, or hearing that which will suggest impure thoughts. The mind should not be left to wander at random upon every subject that the adversary of souls may suggest. {MYP 285.2}

I desire to consecrate all my faculties to God, following the Bible counsel of Phil 4:8.

I tell you that every soul needs a genuine conversion. All your faculties need to be consecrated to God, that you may not encourage the prevailing sins in society, but may counteract them. {SpTB16 9.1}

Says Paul, "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." This will require earnest prayer and unceasing watchfulness. We must be aided by the abiding influence of the Holy Spirit, which will attract the mind upward, and habituate it to dwell on pure and holy things. And we must give diligent study to the word of God. "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word." "Thy word," says the Psalmist, "have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee."--Patriarchs and Prophets," p. 460. {MYP 285.2}

I choose to avoid participating in joking and jesting, which are not honoring to God.

This spirit of jesting and joking, of lightness and trifling, is a stumbling block to sinners and a worse stumbling block to those who give way to the inclination of the unsanctified heart. The fact that some have allowed this trait to develop and strengthen until jesting is as natural as their breath, does not lessen its evil effects. When anyone can point to one trifling word spoken by our Lord, or to any lightness seen in His character, he may feel that lightness and jesting are excusable in himself. This spirit is unchristian; for to be a Christian is to be Christlike. Jesus is a perfect pattern, and we must imitate His example. A Christian is the highest type of man, a representative of Christ. {Ev 641.2}

I choose to avoid watching secular movies for entertaining purposes.

Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater. Instead of being a school for morality and virtue, as is so often claimed, it is the very hotbed of immorality. Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes deprave the imagination and debase the morals. Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be corrupted in principle. There is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements. The love for these scenes increases with every indulgence as the desire for intoxicating drink strengthens with its use. The only safe course is to shun the theater, the circus, and every other questionable place of amusement. {AH 516.2}

I choose to avoid all fictitious reading, and ungodly literature.

Amid the perils of these latter days, every individual member of the church should understand the reasons of his hope and faith, which are not difficult of comprehension if the mind is only kept free from the perverting and paralyzing influence of modern romance and fiction. {RH, November 9, 1886 par. 14}

The readers of fiction are indulging an evil that destroys spirituality, eclipsing the beauty of the sacred page. {AH 412.2}

The practice of story reading is one of the means employed by Satan to destroy souls. It produces a false, unhealthy excitement, fevers the imagination, unfits the mind for usefulness, and disqualifies it for any spiritual exercise. It weans the soul from prayer and from the love of spiritual things. {AH 412.4}

Works of romance, frivolous, exciting tales, are, in hardly less degree, a curse to the reader. The author may profess to teach a moral lesson; throughout his work he may interweave religious sentiments, but often these serve only to veil the folly and worthlessness beneath. {AH 413.1}

I choose to avoid seeing, hearing or reading anything that is not beneficial.

Say firmly: "I will not spend precious moments in reading [or watching] that which will be of no profit to me, and which only unfits me to be of service to others. I will devote my time and my thoughts to acquiring a fitness for God's service. I will close my eyes to frivolous and sinful things. My ears are the Lord's, and I will not listen to the subtle reasoning of the enemy. My voice shall not in any way be subject to a will that is not under the influence of the Spirit of God. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and every power of my being shall be consecrated to worthy pursuits."--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 7, p. 64. {MYP 270.1}

Avoid reading and seeing things which will suggest impure thoughts. Cultivate the moral and intellectual powers. Let not these noble powers become enfeebled and perverted by much reading of even story books. I know of strong minds that have been unbalanced and partially benumbed, or paralyzed, by intemperance in reading. --Testimonies, Vol. II, p. 410. {PH036 9.2}

I choose to avoid hearing, reading or watching crime and violence, even on the news.

I was shown the state of the world, that it is fast filling up its cup of iniquity. Violence and crime of every description are filling our world, and Satan is using every means to make crime and debasing vice popular. The youth who walk the streets are surrounded with handbills and notices of crime and sin, presented in some novel or to be acted at some theater. Their minds are educated into familiarity with sin. The course pursued by the base and vile is kept before them in the periodicals of the day, and everything which can excite curiosity and arouse the animal passions is brought before them in thrilling and exciting stories. {3T 471.3}

In these times, when the daily newspapers are filled with many horrible details of revolting drunkenness and terrible crime, there is a tendency to become so familiar with existing conditions that we lose sight of the significance of these conditions. Violence is in the land. {RH, October 25, 1906 par. 2}

The mind assimilates to that which it feeds upon. The secular papers are filled with accounts of murders, robberies, and other revolting crimes, and the mind of the reader dwells on the scenes of vice therein depicted. By indulgence, the reading of sensational or demoralizing literature becomes a habit, like the use of opium or other baleful drugs, and as a result, the minds of thousands are enfeebled, debased, and even crazed. Satan is doing more through the productions of the press to weaken the minds and corrupt the morals of the youth than by any other means. {CW 133.2}

I choose to avoid exposure to violence and war stories of all types.

How many books are there concerning war and bloodshed, which mislead the youth! As they read, Satan stands at their side to inspire them with the spirit of the warrior of whom they read, and their blood becomes heated in their veins, and they are stirred up to do cruel actions. How numerous are immoral books, which lead to unholy desires, and fire the passions of the heart, and lead away from all that is pure and holy! {MYP 277.3}

I will avoid listening to all rock music, even so-call Christian rock, when I have the choice.

Some think that the louder they sing, the more music they make; but noise is not music. Good singing is like the music of the birds--subdued and melodious. In some of our churches I have heard solos that were altogether unsuitable for the service of the Lord's house. The long-drawn-out notes, and the peculiar sounds common in operatic singing, are not pleasing to the angels. They delight to hear the simple songs of praise sung in a natural tone. The songs in which every word is uttered clearly, in a musical tone, are the songs that they join us in singing. {2SAT 246.1}

Angels are hovering around yonder dwelling. The young are there assembled; there is the sound of vocal and instrumental music. Christians are gathered there, but what is that you hear? It is a song, a frivolous ditty, fit for the dance hall. Behold, the pure angels gather their light closer around them, and darkness envelops those in that dwelling. The angels are moving from the scene. Sadness is upon their countenances. Behold, they are weeping. This I saw repeated a number of times all through the ranks of Sabbath keepers, and especially in _____. Music has occupied the hours which should have been devoted to prayer. Music is the idol which many professed Sabbath-keeping Christians worship. Satan has no objection to music, if he can make that a channel through which to gain access to the minds of the youth. Anything will suit his purpose that will divert the mind from God, and engage the time which should be devoted to His service. He works through the means which will exert the strongest influence to hold the largest numbers in a pleasing infatuation, while they are paralyzed by his power. {MYP 295.1}

When turned to good account, music is a blessing, but it is often made one of Satan's most attractive agencies to ensnare souls. When abused, it leads the unconsecrated to pride, vanity, and folly. When allowed to take the place of devotion and prayer, it is a terrible curse. Young persons assemble to sing and, although professed Christians, frequently dishonor God and their faith by their frivolous conversation and their choice of music. Sacred music is not congenial to their taste. I was directed to the plain teachings of God's word, which had been passed by unnoticed. In the judgment all these words of inspiration will condemn those who have not heeded them.--"Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 1, p. 506. {MYP 295.1}

Music was made to serve a holy purpose, to lift the thoughts to that which is pure, noble, and elevating, and to awaken in the soul devotion and gratitude to God. What a contrast between the ancient custom and the uses to which music is now too often devoted! How many employ this gift to exalt self, instead of using it to glorify God! A love for music leads the unwary to unite with worldlovers in pleasure gatherings where God has forbidden His children to go. Thus that which is a great blessing, when rightly used, becomes one of the most successful agencies by which Satan allures the mind from duty and from the contemplation of eternal things. {MYP 293.1}

Music is often perverted to serve purposes of evil, and it thus becomes one of the most alluring agencies of temptation. But, rightly employed, it is a precious gift of God, designed to uplift the thoughts to high and noble themes, to inspire and elevate the soul. {MYP 291.3}

I choose to avoid involvement in competitive sports, either spectator or participatory.

Satan has devised a multitude of ways in which to keep men from serving God. He has invented sports and games, into which men enter with such intensity that one would suppose a crown of life was to reward the winner. {RH, September 10, 1901 par. 5}

And while men were playing the game of cricket, and others were watching the game, Satan was playing the game of life for their souls. {AUCR, July 26, 1899 par. 19}

When the students at the school went into their match games and football playing, when they became absorbed in the amusement question, Satan saw it a good time to step in and make of none effect the Holy Spirit of God in molding and using the human subject. {1888 1211.1}

The Lord God of heaven protests against the burning passion cultivated for supremacy in the games that are so engrossing. {AH 500.1}

I choose to avoid activities such as dancing and parties of pleasure.

Many of the amusements popular in the world today, even with those who claim to be Christians, tend to the same end as did those of the heathen. There are indeed few among them that Satan does not turn to account in destroying souls. Through the drama he has worked for ages to excite passion and glorify vice. The opera, with its fascinating display and bewildering music, the masquerade, the dance, the card table, Satan employs to break down the barriers of principle and open the door to sensual indulgence. In every gathering for pleasure where pride is fostered or appetite indulged, where one is led to forget God and lose sight of eternal interests, there Satan is binding his chains about the soul. {AH 515.3}

The true Christian will not desire to enter any place of amusement or engage in any diversion upon which he cannot ask the blessing of God. He will not be found at the theater, the billiard hall, or the bowling saloon. He will not unite with the gay waltzers or indulge in any other bewitching pleasure that will banish Christ from the mind. {AH 515.4}

But there has been a class of social gatherings in _____ of an entirely different character, parties of pleasure that have been a disgrace to our institutions and to the church. They encourage pride of dress, pride of appearance, self-gratification, hilarity, and trifling. Satan is entertained as an honored guest, and he takes possession of those who patronize these gatherings. {PH145 13.2}

Many allow the youth to attend parties of pleasure, thinking that amusement is essential for health and happiness; but what dangers are in this path! The more the desire for pleasure is gratified, the more it is cultivated and the stronger it becomes. The life experience is largely made up of self-gratification in amusement. God bids us beware. {1MCP 315.4}

The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing, and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. {PH154 58.1}

I choose to avoid yoga, martial arts and other activities associated with mysticism.

There are many who shrink with horror from the thought of consulting spirit mediums, but who are attracted by more pleasing forms of spiritism, such as the Emmanuel movement. Still others are led astray by the teachings of Christian Science, and by the mysticism of theosophy and other Oriental religions. {Ev 606.1}

I choose to avoid new age paraphernalia of any type.

The eternal truth of the Word will stand forth free from all seductive errors and spiritualistic interpretations, free from all fancifully drawn, alluring pictures. Falsehoods will be urged upon the attention of God's people, but the truth is to stand clothed in its beautiful, pure garments. The Word, precious in its holy uplifting influence, is not to be degraded to a level with common, ordinary matters. It is always to remain uncontaminated by the fallacies by which Satan seeks to deceive, if possible, the very elect. {RH, October 13, 1904 par. 6}

In this age of error, of day-dreaming and reverie, we need to learn the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Let us strive to be able to say with the apostle, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Lord calls upon us to follow high and noble principles. {SW, April 4, 1905 par. 6}

Truth, present truth, is all that the word of God represents it to be. The Lord would have his people keep themselves from all superfluities, from all that tends to mysticism. Let those who are tempted to indulge in fanciful, imaginary doctrines sink the shaft deep into the quarries of heavenly truth, and secure the treasure that means life eternal to the receiver. In the word there are the most precious truths. These will be found by those who study with earnestness; for heavenly angels will direct the search. {SW, April 4, 1905 par. 7}

I choose to avoid erroneous theories not based on the Word of God.

One and another come to me, asking me to explain the positions taken in Living Temple. I reply, "They are unexplainable." The sentiments expressed do not give a true knowledge of God. All through the book are passages of Scripture. These scriptures are brought in in such a way that error is made to appear as truth. Erroneous theories are presented in so pleasing a way that unless care is taken, many will be misled. {1SM 202.1}

We need not the mysticism that is in this book. Those who entertain these sophistries will soon find themselves in a position where the enemy can talk with them, and lead them away from God. It is represented to me that the writer of this book is on a false track. He has lost sight of the distinguishing truths for this time. He knows not whither his steps are tending. The track of truth lies close beside the track of error, and both tracks may seem to be one to minds which are not worked by the Holy Spirit, and which, therefore, are not quick to discern the difference between truth and error. {1SM 202.2}

I choose to avoid places of worldly amusement such as amusement parks, carnivals, casinos, bowling allies, races, shows, worldly concerts, etc.

All true followers of Jesus will have sacrifices to make. God will prove them and test the genuineness of their faith. I have been shown that the true followers of Jesus will discard picnics, donations, shows, and other gatherings for pleasure. They can find no Jesus there, and no influence which will make them heavenly minded and increase their growth in grace. The word of God obeyed leads us to come out from all these things and be separate. The things of the world are sought for, and considered worthy to be admired and enjoyed, by all those who are not devoted lovers of the cross and spiritual worshipers of a crucified Jesus. {1T 288.1}

If you truly belong to Christ, you will have opportunities for witnessing for Him. You will be invited to attend places of amusement, and then it will be that you will have an opportunity to testify to your Lord. If you are true to Christ then, you will not try to form excuses for your non-attendance, but will plainly and modestly declare that you are a child of God, and your principles would not allow you to be in a place, even for one occasion, where you could not invite the presence of your Lord.-- The Youth's Instructor, May 4, 1893. {MYP 370.3}

Many parents seek to promote the happiness of their children by gratifying their love of amusement. They allow them to engage in sports, and to attend parties of pleasure, and provide them with money to use freely in display and self-gratification. The more the desire for pleasure is indulged, the stronger it becomes. The interest of these youth is more and more absorbed in amusement, until they come to look upon it as the great object of life. They form habits of idleness and self-indulgence that make it almost impossible for them ever to become steadfast Christians. {CSA 22.6}

I choose to avoid all frivolous, non-education games that involve competition, hilarity, or waste time.

Satan is delighted when he sees human beings using their physical and mental powers in that which does not educate, which is not useful, which does not help them to be a blessing to those who need their help. While the youth are becoming expert in games that are of no real value to themselves or to others, Satan is playing the game of life for their souls, taking from them the talents that God has given them, and placing in their stead his own evil attributes. It is his effort to lead men to ignore God. He seeks to engross and absorb the mind so completely that God will find no place in the thoughts. He does not wish people to have a knowledge of their Maker, and he is well pleased if he can set in operation games and theatrical performances that will so confuse the senses of the youth that God and heaven will be forgotten. {CT 274.3}

The students that have had their minds deeply excited in their games are not in the best condition to receive the instruction, the counsel, the reproof most essential for them in this life, and in the future immortal life. {SpM 72.4}

Indolence and idleness, games and parties and holiday picnics are opening many avenues to temptation. {SpM 83.3}

I choose to avoid any activity upon which I cannot conscientiously ask God's blessing.

But if we seek the company of sinners, and are pleased with their coarse jests, and are entertained and amused with their stories, sports, and ribaldry, the pure and holy angels remove their protection, and leave us to the darkness we have chosen. {PH099 10.2}

Christians have many sources of happiness at their command, and they may tell with unerring accuracy what pleasures are lawful and right. They may enjoy such recreations as will not dissipate the mind or debase the soul, such as will not disappoint and leave a sad after-influence to destroy self-respect or bar the way to usefulness. If they can take Jesus with them and maintain a prayerful spirit, they are perfectly safe. {AH 513.2}

Any amusement in which you can engage asking the blessing of God upon it in faith will not be dangerous. But any amusement which disqualifies you for secret prayer, for devotion at the altar of prayer, or for taking part in the prayer meeting is not safe, but dangerous. {AH 513.3}


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© The Straight Testimony 10-10-10


Revelation 3

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.