Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Date: 10/12/2010 
Who Am I?
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The human brain is a 2.5-pound electro-chemical computer. And even though your brain is a termination of all the nerves in your body, your brain has no feeling. Psychologists estimate that each day a person thinks about 10,000 thoughts. That would add up to about 3,500,000 thoughts a year. So I wonder, how much is a brain worth? Someone estimated that thomas edison, the famous genius, that he had so many inventions and so many patents that his brain was worth $25 billion.

So what do you think about? Have you thought about what you think about? That defines who you are. Welcome to this version of M.I.Q. How can I know that God is listening? Did I come from apes or prehistoric sludge? Can the Bible be trusted? What should I do with my life? College? Cars? A job? Can I ever be perfect? Can I make a difference? [All asking questions simultaneously] ...or what? Announcer: "M.I.Q.": Your questions, God's answers. Who are you? How much do you think about what you think about? Find out what makes you unique. Join us now for m.

i.q. Well, good evening, everybody. Welcome to M.I.Q.: Amazing Facts for teens. I'd like to welcome our local audience here in cedar lake, Michigan, and of course, also those who are watching across the country and around the world. Thank you for joining us again.

In this program, we're going to be talking about a very important subject. We're going to be talking about what you think about. In this series, we try to answer some of life's most important questions. "Why am I here?" "Where am I going?" "What does the future have in store for me?" We'd also like to remind you of some of the resources that are available. In each program, we try to cover as many topics and questions as possible, but there are many things that we can't cover because of time.

We'd like to remind you of this great resource that we have. This is the M.I.Q. Answer guide. A number of important information and questions and facts you'll be able to find in this book. Those of you who are watching, you can go to the m.

i.q. Teens website and you can order your very own. Oh, and by the way, we would love to hear from you if you have a Bible question. You can post your question online at miqteens.com. Or you can also send us a text message at 760-5-afacts.

That's 760-523-2287. Well, friends, it's time for us to sing our theme song once again. So I'd like to invite our song leaders to please come forward. Immediately following our song, brian will have our opening prayer. Let's stand now as we sing, "Jesus is the answer.

" When I gaze up at the countless stars or on an endless sea my mind may swim with questions bewildering to me but then I read the Bible and seek your face in prayer I'm satisfied remembering your loving grace and care whatever questions I may have whether great or small I know Jesus died to save me and that he forgave me Jesus is the answer to it all Jesus is the answer to it all I have so many questions I wonder in my heart how something comes from nothing when did forever start why can't I see your glory where is the promised land I trust that you will lead me there if I can take your hand whatever questions I may have whether great or small I know Jesus died to save me and that he forgave me Jesus is the answer to it all Jesus is the answer to it all dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank you for allowing us to be at these meetings tonight. I also pray that you will send your Holy Spirit to be with us here, lord, and I pray that your words will be spoken to Pastor Doug Batchelor tonight so we can hear what you want us to hear. In your name we pray, amen. Pastor Doug: amen. And I want to thank kelly mauer [phonetic] and our singers, and brian for having prayer, and thank each of you for your faithful attendance at this special program designed for young people.

Wanna welcome our friends who are watching the M.I.Q. Program. And of course, that stands for the most important questions. We're going to try and take as many questions as we can each evening. And so -- we may even dedicate one whole program to just taking questions, because we got a lot of questions that may not go along with some of our subjects, but we wanna cover as many as we can.

Well, Pastor Doug, let's get right to it. All right. Hi, my name is Timothy, and I like to play a lot of basketball, so I was wondering, what's the healthy balance between sports and Jesus Christ? All right. Well, that's a great question. First of all, exercise is good.

The Bible says bodily exercise does profit, and God designed people to exercise, certainly exercising with a ball or running. The Bible tells us that we're running the race of life. "Lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets us," and let us run. We're supposed to run as though we'll win. But at the same time, some people, sports becomes their religion.

It can become an idol. And I think we all know that in the world of professional sports, where these athletes are getting these multi-million dollar contracts and they're often getting mixed up in drugs and crime. And it's not always the best world. So some of the fierce competition, and when people are obsessed with sports, it can become an addiction. It can become a God.

So sports for relationship, for exercise, that's one thing. When it becomes wanting to win and be better than somebody else, then it starts becoming a pride issue. All right. Well, thank you. Our next question is from cedar lake, Michigan.

Right here. We'll take a look at that. All right. Another very good question. Well, there are some subjects that may not be offered by certain Christian colleges or it's a specialty issue that can be taken by a secular college.

And I just would say that a Christian needs to be very careful, because many if not most, if not all, of the secular colleges and universities, it can be a real challenge to your faith to be surrounded by people constantly that are undermining your beliefs and even teachers and professors that are contradicting the plain teachings of Scripture. And so if you're in a situation where you say, "look, I really need this information to go on with my course in life," you better do it with a lot of prayer. I'd even do some research before you go and make sure there's others that share your faith. But there's so many also great Christian colleges out there. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Amazing Facts operates a college in northern California outside of Sacramento: weimar college.

That's a good one. But in any event, you just gotta really pray that you can be a witness. Find a Christian group on that campus. Become associated with them, that you can strengthen each other's faith and be there as missionaries. All right, well thank you, Pastor Doug.

Let's take a look at our next question. Hi, my name's alyssa cotter [phonetic] and my question is, will there be marriage in heaven? Will there be marriage in heaven? If I tell you no, will that change your interest in going? I hear this question a lot. I bet you do too, Pastor Ross. You go to academies and high schools and we talk about Christianity. And that's the most common question.

It's almost as though, at the heart of it, someone is saying, "boy, I hope Jesus doesn't come before I get a chance to get married." And "heaven doesn't sound so attractive to me if we're going to be there -- if we won't be able to get married." Oh friends, you just get there: I promise you'll be happy. But I gotta tell you what the Bible says. There's only one verse that really addresses this, and it's in the book of Matthew, chapter 22, verse 30. And Jesus is pretty plain. He said, "for in the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are they given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven.

" Now, God told adam and eve in the beginning, he said, "go forth, be fruitful and fill the earth." They were to populate the world. They weren't -- supposedly there was never sin. Were they supposed to wait until there were 50 billion people on the planet and everyone's just kind of falling off the planet like bunnies multiplying? No, they were to fill the earth and then probably wanted to keep multiplying. And so the new earth and the new heaven are going to be populated by the redeemed. But everybody's gonna be happy.

Heaven begins with a marriage. Talks about the new Jerusalem comes down as a bride and Christ is the groom. And everyone's gonna be happy, so don't worry about it; just make sure you get there. And don't rush into getting married because you think, "I better hurry up and get married, because Jesus is coming soon." That leads to another question: "what's the best age to get married?" I'm not gonna answer it now, because you didn't ask it yet. [Laughter] all right.

Let's take a look at our next question. And this question is from eugene, Oregon. It says... Well, good question. We talked in earlier program [sic] about the subject of evolution.

There are many similarities between species. A lot of species, they got eyes, they got ears, they got two nostrils, two eyes, two ears and limbs, ten fingers and must have all evolved from each other. And that means that all the cars that you see on the road -- because most of them have rubber tires and windshield wipers and headlights and electrical systems -- that they all came from the same factory. Why do all of the automobiles and even motorcycles have a lot of things in common? Very simple: they all operate in the same environment. The reason all of the creatures in this world have lungs is because they use the gases in the air to oxygenate their blood.

And they've got limbs to propel and -- or wings or fins to move themselves. And so, yeah, you're gonna find some similarities. That doesn't mean that you somehow are the evolution of a crocodile and that everything had to come from the same thing. All these different vehicles on the road have things in common, but they all come from different engineers and different creators. They share the same environment.

All right. Well, let's take a look at our final question for this evening. My name is sierra, and my question is, if I accept Jesus Christ as my Savior, is it okay if I watch tv shows or listen to music that may not have the best influence on me? Well, that question almost has the answer built into it, and we're going to be talking a lot about that during our presentation tonight. If you accept Jesus, does that mean that you need to guard or ration or screen what it is that you might be watching, reading, listening to, because it could have some impact on your spiritual existence? I think it does, and we're gonna talk about that in our program tonight. All right.

Well, thank you again for your questions; keep them coming. Those of you who are watching, you can send us your Bible-related questions at the website: miqteens.com. Or send us a text message. The number is 760-523-2287. Pastor Doug, the time is yours.

Thank you very much, Pastor Ross. This subject tonight -- and I hope you pray as I talk -- gets really to the heart of the most important question. You realize that nobody here is going to heaven? Notice how I stated that? No-body here. None of these bodies will go to heaven. So what goes? You say, "I want eternal life.

I want to live forever." And I'm telling you that these bodies don't go. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. The Bible tells us that these bodies that are mortal, corruptible, they get old... You don't want them anyway. They won't last.

You want the glorified, immortal body. So what is it that God is exactly saving? It's the essence of who you are up here that he's going to save. While I'm in my room, preparing for these programs, I do a whole bunch of work on my computer, but I don't have a printer. So I take a little thumb drive and I plug that thumb drive into bonnie's computer, and I download the program. Matter of fact, I've backed up my entire hard drive on -- well, at least the most important documents -- on a little thumb drive.

I don't know how the Lord does it. That's just an analogy you and I can relate to. But the essence of who you are... Is summed up in what you think. And so the most important thing that you can do is learn to be pure in heart.

The Bible says, "blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God." Now, of course, you wanna take care of your body. And we'll talk more about that. But now I wanna talk to you about the most important thing: taking care of your brain. You know why you've got arms and legs? Carry your brain around. And you've got hands to do the bidding of your brain.

And you know, your body can go on and on and on. You know what really gets tired? It's your brain. Your brain uses most of the energy in the body. It's the essence of who you are. Now, the biggest influence that you can have on something significant, specific that you can do in your salvation is screening what comes into your mind.

You know, in our answer book, there's a story that it begins with, about devin moore, 18 years old. A few years ago. Fine young man. No police record. Doing well in high school.

Wanted to go into the air force. Had a habit of saying, "yes, ma'am," "yes, sir." But then he developed another habit. He got a video game called grand theft auto or something like that. I've never played it. And it sort of hooked him.

And he got to where he was playing several times a day and then several hours a day, and then everyday, and sometimes hours and hours. For weeks and months, all he did was sit around and play this game. And then one night he was pulled over in a stolen car by the policeman. He had stolen a car. The game is full about stealing cars and killing policeman.

So he went and he stole a car. Policeman pulled him over. He was cooperative as he was taken to the station. And while being booked, he managed to take the policeman's gun. He shot him twice and killed him.

Just as it does in the game too: body shot, head shot. Then he went out of that room where he was being booked, shot two other police officers, jumped in a police car, got in a high-speed chase. Finally, when he was captured and surrounded, he said the same thing that's on the game. He said, "well, we all gotta die sometime." He had become so obsessed with this game that it distorted his reality. And in the ruling, he was given the death sentence.

They said, "while" -- and you know what his defense was? "I'm not responsible; it's the game that did it to me." And the jury agreed that the game did influence his behavior, but they said, "you chose to play the game, so you are responsible." We are all the sum total of our thoughts. And the most significant thing that you can do that will transform your life is, by the grace of God, with the holy spirit, make good decisions about what you bring into the avenues of your soul through your senses. This is one of the single most important things you can do that will make a difference in your experience, in your happiness, in your attitude, in your relationships, is decide what you're gonna watch... What you're gonna hear... What you're gonna read.

That's who you are. It's because of what you've read and studied and watched over the course of your life... That has defined what language you speak now, what your habits are. Somebody said one time, "watch your thoughts," you've heard this, "for they become your words." Jesus said, "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks." "Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits.

Watch your habits; they become your character. And watch your character; it will become your destiny." And it all starts with your thoughts. So how much have you thought lately about what you think about? What are you thinking about right now? Alright, let's go to our first question. How many of you -- you can raise your hand. How of you think yes? You believe what you choose to do for entertainment can affect your spiritual health.

You're absolutely right. You're not what you choose to watch on television or dvds or listen to for music or read, whatever the entertainment is -- or sports. What you're doing can impact your spiritual health and your happiness. Because your happiness is something that begins in your mind. Very important.

What are you gonna think about? Romans 12:2 it says there -- and the apostle Paul wrote this. Salvation is about a new heart. It says a new heart. It's not talking about the pump in the Bible. Do you realize that? The Bible says, "as a man thinketh in his heart.

.." They knew back then you don't think with this; they knew you thought with your brain. Because if you got hit on your head, you stopped thinking very well. So they always knew that this is where the thinking happened. They called it the heart. It meant the innermost part of a person.

"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." This is what salvation, conversion is about: having a new mind, new way of thinking. And it's hard for you to have fresh thinking if you're filling your mind with rotten programs. You'll end up with what they call stinking thinking. And so there's a direct connection there. The rest of that says, "and do not be conformed to the world," oh, I read that, "that you might prove.

.." That means test, evaluate... "What is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." We need to screen these things that go into our minds. You know, my mother used to write songs for elvis presley. And right now it's kind of a joke if you talk about an elvis impersonator. There's thousands of them.

A matter of fact, it's a whole industry. I think they've even got a school where people train to impersonate elvis in las vegas somewhere. But right after elvis died... Some fellow started making a whole lot of money imitating elvis presley, but he had been practicing for years. Karen and I went to some people's house after church one day for dinner, and this fellow looked a little bit like elvis.

His hair, his sideburns and everything, and we got to visit over dinner. And he told us his story. He said, "when elvis presley first went on the scene and broke forth and started doing concerts, became popular and all the girls were swooning at the concerts," this gentleman was a young man, teenager, he went to an elvis presley concert. And he thought, "wow. Hey, I like this energy.

I like the way the girls are getting all excited and fainting." He said, "I'd like to be like elvis." And he went home and he started to listen to elvis presley songs, got a guitar, began to learn how to play it. Played elvis songs. He had a record player back then. He'd play them over and over and over again. Stand in front of the mirror, died his hair black, wallpapered his room with elvis presley posters.

I mean, he had this movie star idol thing bad. When there was an elvis presley movie -- and he wasn't a very good actor. Nothing personal if you happen to be an elvis presley fan, but... He'd go to the elvis presley movies. And back then you could pay a dollar and you could sit there all day long and watch it again and again.

And he'd do that! He'd go to a concert whenever it was within a couple hundred miles and buy all the elvis presley paraphernalia. And he did this for 20-something years. And when elvis presley died, of course, he was heartbroken, but he had become so good at imitating elvis presley, he was one of the first ones that began to get jobs that paid very well. He could talk like elvis, he could walk like him, he knew all of his clichés and he could sing like him, and even kind of looked like him! When we met him, though, he was now a 50-something-year-old elvis. And getting a little portly.

And he said, "you know, I know I can't do this forever." But even then he was making $10,000 for one concert in japan. And he said, "I don't know who I am anymore." He says, "I have no identity." He says, "I've just spent my whole life trying to be somebody else that basically killed themselves with fame and drugs." And you know a lot of people do that. They idolize these folks in the movie industry, and they don't know who they are. And they so fill their minds with this other person that they kinda get a false reality. You know what I read in the paper the other day? I've not seen it, but I've heard that there's this new craze about vampire movies.

And these teen -- oh, I see that glint of recognition... Swept over the crowd. And they said there's a problem now. Teens are getting so wrapped up in it that they're biting each other so hard they're drawing blood and licking and giving each other hickeys or whatever, but they're just taking it too far. [Laughter] you think about that.

If it wasn't for watching that kind of crazy stuff, who would ever wanna do that? "Hi, glad to meet you. Can I bite your neck and drink your --" look how much influence these crazy directors and writers are having on our culture. What if we would idolize Jesus? I wonder what would happen to a generation if we would do with Jesus what hollywood wants us to do, with the movie stars or the rock musicians, and idolize God? Because he said, "I'm a jealous God; I'm the only one you're supposed to worship." If you worship anyone else but God, you're gonna end up being distorted and drifting towards the devil. So what you think about? That's who you're going to become. Second question.

.. Answer, 2 Corinthians 3:18... We are transformed by beholding. We become like what we look at. You know, in the animal kingdom, they find this is true with certain creatures, that as soon as they're born, there's a very critical point where they kind of look around, they find out, "who am i? What am I doing?" And they sort of, they bond.

And this happens at different key points in different creatures' lives, but -- like ducks, they do it right after they come out of the shell, and you've probably seen it before. Baby duck hatched, if it doesn't see its mother around, but it sees the family dog, it will start to follow the dog. My wife and I were out on a kayak trip one time. We went for a walk, away from camp, found a little baby duck that was abandoned. And had to chase it down to catch it at first.

Little, cute little thing. Just peep, peep, peep, peep. And we thought, "it's gonna get eaten by an eagle or something out here." And so we took it back to camp and we showed everyone. Just wanted them to see it and then we thought we'd let it go. We let it go; it wouldn't leave us.

And it stayed in the camp that night. Peeped around from one person to another, thought it was a people. That's why it went peep, peep, peep. No, I'm just -- [laughter] and the next day we said, "good bye, little fellow. We're kayaking down the river.

Hate to leave you, but we can't take you with us. You'll get hurt." And we took off and launched our kayaks and the little thing jumped in the water, started following us. And it was the most amazing thing. It just swam like a duck. It was bobbing on the water like a cork.

And you know what it did? As we were kayaking down the river, it -- even going through rapids, just did great. It would jump up on the back of our kayaks and ride with us. It wouldn't leave us. And you're thinking, "ah, isn't that cute?" But that's to illustrate every creature does a little bonding at some point. And it's especially powerful during the teenage years.

And you make decisions of what you listen to and the record albums that you stare at and the magazines and the television programs, and you begin to start identifying with those characters, and it can alter the course of your life. And who your heroes are makes a big difference. Choose them carefully. You will become like who you worship. Question number three.

.. Very important question. Philippians 4:8: you'll notice that it mentions noble, true, just, pure, lovely, good report, virtue, praiseworthy. You may not have caught it, but I just described the character of Jesus. Jesus is all of that.

You become like what you look at. As you behold the Lord you are transformed into his image. But you know what happens: little by little, we become changed often by the culture. And instead of saying, "who am I supposed to be?" By looking up at God and thinking about God, we look horizontally and we say, "well" -- and even in the church people do this. "What's the church doing? Well, I guess this is what a Christian is.

" Is a Christian a follower of the church? Is a Christian the follower of Christians? Or is a Christian a follower of Christ? And you know what happens, we say, "well hey, everybody's doing it, everybody's watching it, must be okay." Let me tell you a little analogy here that may help you. Just in my short life, which has been getting longer all the time, when I was going to school in New York city, I remember a young lady who went to public school in New York city with me, getting sent home from school because they said that her dress was immodest. Public school, New York city. What she wore that day -- we used to walk to school together; I knew her very well. What she wore to school that day would probably be allowed in most Christian academies and schools.

What's happened? Let's face it. Most of you don't remember but, when I was growing up... It was considered scandalous if you saw a bedroom on television, and on I love lucy, when it showed them walking in their bedroom -- and they had two twin beds! You know, I understand an amazing fact is the first time it showed a married couple, sharing a bed on television, it was fred and wilma flintstone, because the censors would not allow it any other way before that. They thought, "well, it's a cartoon." They thought it might put impure thoughts. How much is left to the imagination today? So you know what happens? The church always figures, "well, we better, you know, we've got to be holier than the world; we need to set an example.

So let's suppose that the standard of the world is here," standard of the church says, "we gotta be at least 20% better than the world, it's here." But what's been happening to the standard of the world over time? Has it been going up or down? How many say down? Most of you, huh? As it goes down, what ends up happening? Here's the world, here's the church. "We just gotta stay a little better than the world." As the world goes down, eventually what you've got is the standard of the church is lower than the standard of the world, and it happens little by little. We become distorted in our values, and we look around instead of looking at Christ and His Word. What is the bottom line for what is true? What is noble? What is just? Is it the culture? Is it the movies? Where do we find out what truth is? Do you have a different truth than me? Is your truth just as right for you and my truth is right for me and everyone's kind of got their own truth and I have to respect your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth? Baloney. There is one truth.

Do you want the captain on the airplane that you fly to be saying, "well, today I've got this idea about what the laws of aviation are and you've got your idea," to the co-pilot, "of what the laws of aviation are, and your idea's just as good as my idea"? Or a brain surgeon to work on you that way? Or are there certain absolutes about those laws that are gonna keep that plane in the air and you want to make sure the pilot knows what those laws are? Well, that's the way it is with life: there is a truth. It's interesting. Just before Jesus was crucified, pontius pilate said, "what is truth?" Sarcastically he shrugged, and then he handed Jesus over to the crowd. He basically rejected the very essence of the truth in a person, passed it up. Wanted to know what truth was and then he handed truth off to the crowd.

There is a truth, and we need to know what that is. I heard a story one time about a man, went into an artist's studio. And the artist was painting and there by his palette of paints, he had a basket of what looked like very valuable gems, all different colors: reds and greens and blues and yellows. And he said, "what's with the basket of beautiful rocks?" He said, "well, you know, while I'm painting, and I'm using all these different variations of hues, faint differences in color," he says, "my eye can become distorted by looking at my own painting, and I forget what true color is, and I have to look back at the constant of the stones -- they don't change -- to keep readjusting my concept of what pure colors are." We're living in a culture right now where our idea of what's right and wrong is being so blended and distorted by the messages that we're getting from the world, it's got everybody real mixed up. So, what is truth? What do you think about? You will be the sum of what you think about.

Ah, you need a break. This was all pretty heavy. I need a victim -- I mean, a volunteer. [Laughter] I might embarrass you. Okay.

Gentleman right here, closest to the front. Come up real quick here, and just trying to illustrate how our brains work. And it's so easy to distract a person sometimes with thinking. What was your name? Micah. Micah? That's a good name.

All right. Now... Can you take one finger and go like that? All right, now do it in the middle. Okay. Now I want you to pat your belly, rub your head.

Pretty good. Pretty good. Okay, take your hand, put it on your cheek. Oh, he caught it! That's very good. Now, whatever you do, I don't want you to think about a purple monkey.

[Laughter] what are you thinking about? [Indecipherable], my best friend. Did a purple monkey come into your mind? [Indecipherable] [laughter] all right, you did pretty good. Thanks a lot. Let's give him a hand. [Applause] I usually fool them.

You saw him: he was going for his chin. He was watching me, and then he went to his cheek, didn't he? That usually gets them. Pretty good. I'm impressed. It's hard sometimes to focus when there are other things happening around you.

How many distractions does the devil have in the world to try to keep us from thinking about Jesus? What is the most important thing to think about? God. He should be filling our minds, but the devil's got a thousand things to pull our minds off of God. All right. Question number four: answer: John 10:10, Jesus said: how? Abundantly. The idea that, "well, if I can't watch the things of the world or listen to the things of the world or read the things of the world, I just won't have any fun in life.

My life is gonna be boring." Is that true? No, friends. It's a distortion. Now it is true that your appetite can be perverted. Do you know, you can actually burn your taste buds with certain spicy food so that you can't taste the nuances of very good, healthy food? You can so burn your taste buds that you can't taste anything unless it's over-spiced. And you know, I think that's what the devil has done with our minds and imaginations.

He keeps them so fevered with the entertainment of the world, and it just keeps pushing the envelope further and further. It gets to the point where you say, "look, I'd like to read something, I've got a message here from God," and you say, "oh, it's from God. I don't know. Will there be any... Will there be any bloodshed? Will there be some intrigue? Will there an action scene? Any sex? Any violence? Oh, you're gonna read the parables to me?" And you know what happens in the movie industry? I grew up surrounded with this.

My mother was a film critic in los angeles. I'll maybe tell you about that another night. And the idea is, they've got to get your attention, first of all, to make money. It's not because they want to entertain you. They entertain you to make money.

And if one action program gets your attention, and they do two more like it, and they find out that attendance drops off or people stop watching and so they can't sell the commercials on television, because people aren't watching, they don't get the ratings, they have to spice it up a little more. And so they try to boost the action and they boost the special effects and they boost the emotion and they boost the level of violence and they gotta boost the sex and they gotta boost the story, and it's constantly pushing the envelope farther and farther, just to try to get people's attention. Look at what pastors have to deal with to try to keep your attention. Because there's so much competing for your attention. The devil is raining down on this generation a virtual blizzard of distractions to keep us from thinking about God.

To keep us from thinking about eternity. And so it just goes further and further and further, and so pretty soon, by comparison, the life-changing truths in the Bible, people go, "well, yeah, that seems boring." Well, you know what? Your taste buds have to heal, and you can heal your taste buds so that the Word of God is exciting. It's satisfying. You know, it's possible to be filled and to starve to death at the same time. You can eat food that has no nutritional value at all so that you get a satisfied sensation in your stomach, but because there's no nutritional value, you can die of starvation at the same time.

I understand that in australia, there's a plant -- I think it's called the ngardu plant. And the people made a bread out of it, and it would satisfy their hunger, but there was no nutrition. And they wondered why the children were growing up with rickets and all these various problems. It's because they weren't getting -- they had that sense of being filled, but they were hungry. Jesus said, "blessed are those who hunger and thirst after" what? Righteousness.

"They will be satisfied." The things of the world will never satisfy you. You watch some exciting movie, and it's maybe a good distraction at the moment. I don't even want to say, "good." It might keep your interest for a moment, and then when it's over, you'll feel more empty than before. What is it that's going to fill your mind and fill your heart, that's going to give you some lasting satisfaction? You know, the most important thing is what you choose to put into your mind and what you think about. Now, how many of you sometimes struggle controlling your thoughts? Do you? I do.

We all do. How do you -- it's one of the hardest things to control. So how do you control your thinking? You know, the best thing is, as you feed into your mind good things, you overcome evil with good. Any of you ever have a thought in your mind, and you just, "oh, man, I don't want to be thinking about that; I want to get it out of my mind." Overcome it with something good. Sometimes, you know, I grew up in the world.

Until I was 17 years old, I was as deep in the world as anybody I know. And I knew all the music of our day and all the drugs and the things like that. And I'll walk into a supermarket, or sometimes even just a restaurant, and you're hearing the music and all of a sudden, I'll get this song in my head, because the music is catchy -- the words can be diabolical -- and then I'd walk out, and I find, here I am, I'm humming that song. "I don't want that in my mind." Terrible. And so, the only way to get it out of my mind is I'll start saying, "all right.

I'm going to sing something, another Christian song that I like," and I've got some Christian songs you get them in your mind, you can't get them out, and that's a lot better. You're meditating on something good. So you overcome evil with good. Matter of fact, it looks like we got a text right now, a text question coming in. Appreciate your questions.

From New York, New York. I used to live there. Well, it depends. Now, not all secular -- when it means "secular," that doesn't necessarily mean it's all automatically bad. You can have a folk song that will say, "this land is your land, this land my land," and so forth.

That's, you know, just to say, it's a campfire song. There's nothing in the words and the music that is essentially bad. And so it's not necessarily wrong to be listening to something like that. But there is definitely messages in lyrics, and there is a type of music that is a diabolical, hypnotic, sexually suggestive type of music. And sometimes you can have beautiful music with wicked words.

Matter of fact, I knew a song -- I better not tell you what it is right now. But I knew a song one time, it was the most beautiful melody. And after I became a Christian, I thought -- the words of the song were just sort of pathetic. I rewrote the words and made it a Christian song out of it, that I still sing today. I'll share it with you later.

And then there's, on the other side, there's sometimes, they call it maybe "Christian rock" or something like that, they'll take some Christian words and then they'll scream it at the wailing of a guitar and you're going, "what are they saying?" "Oh, but these are Christian words; it must be okay." And the music is satanic. And they think that somehow, having a few Christian words, just scream the name "Jesus," and it makes The Song okay. Scream "sanctified" and "all right, that must mean The Song's sanctified." Right? That doesn't work that way. If you want it to be a Christian song, it's gotta be consistently both. So if you're getting stuck with some of these old songs in your head, as it asked in the question, overcome evil with good.

Matter of fact, why don't you say that with me? Paul wrote that in Romans. Overcome evil with good. That's a principle -- one more time. Overcome evil with good. It works in every area.

If someone is unkind to you, don't be unkind back. Overcome evil with good. You got a problem smoking? Get a box of toothpicks. Better looking like a beaver than a chimney. Overcome evil with good, right? [Laughter] you struggle with food or something like that? Get some sugarless gum.

See what I'm saying? And if you get the wrong kind of words in your head? Start reading the right kind of words. This is the -- if there was a magic red button that I had up here on stage, and I said, "if you pushed this button twice a day, you're gonna be guaranteed of everlasting life." Would you come down here to the church and push that button twice a day? If you really thought this red button is gonna give you everlasting life... Well, I'm gonna tell you what the button is now, and you don't have to come here to push it. Matter of fact, you'd better push it three times a day; it's a devotional life. Talking to the Lord.

.. "Morning, evening and at noon will I pray." Daniel prayed upon his knees three times a day. It's your relationship with the Lord, filling your mind with the things of God... So that you think about him and you walk with him. And that changes your thinking.

And then when something devilish comes along and you're tempted to be distracted by it, you will have a screen in your mind so you'll know if it's bad or if it's good. Alright, question number five: you might be thinking to yourself, "well yeah, that's murder and adultery. Of course that's wrong. But I'd never do that. So, what's wrong with just watching it? I'm not doing it; I'm just watching it.

" Answer: psalm 101:3. He says: why would we want to deliberately set sin before our eyes? If we love Jesus, and if he was killed by sin, why would you want to worship the thing that killed him? Why would you want to be entertained by -- are you hearing me? Are you with me? I know this is heavy. Why would you want to be entertained by what killed Jesus... If he's come to save us from our sins? Well now, I'm just like you. My carnal heart is just like your carnal heart, and as any guy -- boy, those action scenes are really intriguing.

And seeing the good cowboy shoot the bad cowboy off his horse, that gets your attention. I mean, we're all sort of attracted to these things on a carnal level. But you might have to just stop and say, "hey, it doesn't do good things for me spiritually. I don't like where it takes me spiritually." And by the way, while you may not be committing the sin, you might be committing the sin by proxy. You ever read this here in Romans 1:32? "Who knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do them, but also approve of those who practice them.

" So it's one thing to do it; it's another thing to say, "I'm gonna be entertained by watching someone else do it. I'd never do it, but it's fun watching them to do it. I'd never murder, but I like watching murder. I'd never commit adultery, but it's sure entertaining watching other people commit adultery." Is that right for a Christian? Is it? No. You know, when you're born again, the Holy Spirit comes into your heart and it changes you.

There might be a caterpillar out there that feasts on cabbage while it's a caterpillar, but after it makes a cocoon and it turns into a butterfly... It loses its appetite for cabbage. Nothing against cabbage, those of you that like sauerkraut. Talking about when you're converted, all of a sudden, your desires change. That which you once loved you now hate.

And the things you once hate, you now love. You become a new creature. Your desires change. What I'm saying -- think about this. Think about what I'm saying.

If you knew right now that you could pray, and not only would God give you power to resist filling your mind with the wrong things, but he'd start helping you love the right things, that you'd find spiritual things captivating... Wouldn't that make it a lot easier for you if you knew your heart was transformed... So you wanted those things? Well, let me tell you friends, the things I once loved, I hate. I loved cigarettes. I hate it now.

I had to change hotel rooms today and they took me into one room that smelled like someone had been putting out their cigars in the carpet. And I said, "can we please find another room." I used to love that stuff. When I first quit smoking, it was so hard on me. If I saw someone smoking on the street, I'd follow him around and go... [Inhales deeply] I craved it so much.

Now I hate it. Things -- alcohol... Now I smell it, it just reminds me of vomit because I got nauseous so much from drinking. Hangovers -- the things I once loved, I now hate. The things I once hated, I now love.

God gives you a new heart. So some of you are scared. Before you surrender to Jesus, you think, "if I'm a Christian, I won't have any fun." You ought to follow me around for a week. Christians have a lot of fun, and you can, too. You have an abundant life.

It's not boring. Got another text question. This might be a good place to take this, that's come in. Indio, California -- not very far from where I used to live. Well, I tell you, it's pretty slim picKings.

I got a tv back at the hotel, and I gotta surf through the whole gamut two or three times. Sometimes I can't find anything that's good to watch. Now, I think for the most part, a lot of us would be better off if we tuned up our tv with a chainsaw. But that doesn't mean there's never anything good. Amazing Facts is on television.

3Abn has a lot of great television programs. There's some Christian television programming. You might -- you know, sometimes there's some nature things. National geographic -- there's some valid news programs. But you know what makes it awful, even the commercials.

You might even have a good program, but sometimes the commercials are... [Blows raspberry] that's the technical term... [Blows raspberry] ...for what that is. Alright, let's go to our next question. Question number six: some of you might wonder that.

Well, let's read the answer first. Matthew 5:28. I first wanted to go to the predictable answer. By the way, that works both ways, girls, doesn't it? So can a person sin in their mind? Matter of fact, I'll suggest there's no such thing as sinning with your body. All body sin begins as "brain sin.

" If all of a sudden somebody takes possession of your body and makes you do things that you have no intention of doing, and forces you -- you know what courts judge you on? Your intent. You're judged on your intent. If you're with someone, they're accidentally killed and you didn't intend to kill them, they don't give you first-degree murder. They look at your intent. If you walk out of the store with something you didn't pay for and you can prove that you were distracted, you got an emergency phone call, and you didn't mean to.

.. If it was not your intent, they won't prosecute. It begins here, and so if you want to have a change in your relationship with Jesus, you can do something very profound by what you're putting in your mind. Not only avoiding what is bad -- you go crazy doing that -- but fill it with what is good, and that'll work a miracle in your life. Question number seven: how do I determine? The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

It says, "test all things and hold fast to what is..." What? "Good." Prove things based on what is true... What is good... What is noble... What is virtuous. This is what's gonna make a powerful difference in your lives.

Test those things. You know what the bottom line is? What is a Christian? A follower of Jesus. As you get to know Jesus, you'll say, "what would he do?" That's a powerful litmus test to apply to any situation. Jesus came to earth, and you know he lived as a man among men for 33-1/2 years so he could be an example for us. The Bible says that we should walk in his steps.

The more you read about his teachings in His Word and through the heroes in the Bible, you'll know what you should do in different situations. And you're probably thinking, "Pastor Doug, what you're talking about is so radical. That's so extreme. How could I be a real Christian if what you're saying is true?" You're right, friends: it is radical. That's why Jesus said, "straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few find it.

" And if you're wanting me to tell you, "I've got a real popular version of Christianity I'm gonna Market to you," I'd be insulting you. I'd be lying to you. But some of you who are listening are thinking, "I want the real thing. I wanna be a real Christian. I wanna be spirit-filled.

I wanna see the miracle and powers I read about in the Bible." And you know where all of that begins? With faith. It's with your mind. It's with your worship. And all of that is happening up here, in your brain. So, what do you think about? You know, everywhere you go these days, it seems like they got cameras.

We got them here, don't we? And if they're not here, you see they got security cameras. I went to your gym -- cameras. In the hotel, up the halls -- cameras. I had to check my room, make sure there's no camera there, too. Got security -- you're being watched all the time.

Smile! You're on camera. It's kind of intimidating these days, but I've got news for you. God sees, not only what we're doing all the time -- there's no where you can flee from his presence -- but he sees your heart all the time. He not only sees what we do; he knows what we're thinking about, even when we're not thinking about what we're thinking about, doesn't he? And he loves us anyway. Isn't that amazing? You know, most of us just let our minds run rampaging wherever our thoughts happen to go.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, and through filling your mind with that which is good, you can have a change in your thinking. And that's what makes you a new creature. It's not your body so much as it's starting right here in your mind. God wants to give you a new heart and a new mind, friend. And it comes through fixing your eyes on him.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus and you become like him. You know, there's a verse I'd like to say and I'm gonna put it on the screen. And I'd like us to all say it together. It's from psalm 19:14, and I hope that this is your prayer for every one of us. You ready? Some of you know this one.

Would you be willing to say it out loud with me? [All read together] how many of you would like to say right now, "lord, by your grace, I want to have a new mind"? "I want to be transformed. I want that new heart. I want my thinking to be acceptable in your sight. I want the mind of Christ." Are any of you willing to say, "lord by, your grace, that's what I want"? Put your hand up. Praise the Lord.

He can do that for each one of you, friends. Remember the Bible promises that "blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." You might be thinking, "can I do it?" Through Christ, all things are possible, amen? Amen. God bless you. Thank you for watching this episode of M.I.Q. During our next presentation, we will discover how everything from dating to diet can affect your future.

See you then. Announcer: video games, television, shopping, they all eat up precious time. Well, why not take a much needed time-out and get connected with God, with the "most important questions" dvd series? A boxed set that includes ten one-hour presentations, and a 126-page companion guide to the most frequently asked questions on God, the Bible, and living a Christian life, presented by tv evangelist, Doug Batchelor. To get your copy, visit www.store.amazingfacts.org. Announcer: if you've missed any of our "Amazing Facts" programs, visit our website at amazingfacts.org. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including "Amazing Facts presents." One location, so many possibilities. Amazingfacts.org.

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