What is the source of Christian joy? We live in “the present evil world” (Gal 1:4) with darkness all around us. We look at the world and see that the imagination of men’s hearts is only evil continually (Gen 6:5). Paul says he was “troubled on every side, but not distressed.” (2 Cor 4:9) Why not distressed? Because “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts.” (v.6).
As Christians, we have “all joy and peace in believing.” We need not be cast down by the events going on in the world around us. As Moody says, “Though it is dark just here, remember it is light somewhere else. . . . If you are down in the valley amidst the thick fog and the darkness, get a little higher; get a little nearer to Christ, and know more of him.” (The Way to God, pp. 131-2 )
Our joy is anchored in Christ and it is no more effected by the sin around us than our love is, despite growing in all knowledge and discernment. (Phil 1:10) Abraham’s faith was in no way harmed by the sins of Sodom. He was entirely separate from them, and it was no concern of his what the Sodomites did at their public games or performed in their theaters. So it is for the Christian who is separate from the world and its forms of entertainment.
Those Christians, however, who have pitched their tents towards Sodom or even moved into town to participate in its activities and enjoy its entertainment, will be like Lot who “vexed his righteous soul day by day” because he was continually “seeing and hearing” their unrighteous deeds. (2 Peter 2:8) Indeed, those who entertain themselves with the world’s affairs are in grave danger of losing their joy. They will be always in a tizzy about what they see on the television screen and what they hear from Washington or Hollywood. The answer to this is not to get themselves more comfortable in Sodom and to go on watching its entertainment and teaching their children to do so. The answer is to get more of Christ and leave the world to the world. Let the dead bury the dead and get on with life in Christ.
Much of the sin of Sodom, according to the Scriptures, was: “fullness of bread and abundance of idleness.” (Ezekiel 16:49). A culture that caters to the flesh in the same way that Sodom did can not provide suitable entertainment for Christians, and they should not be surprised if their righteous souls are vexed when they indulge in it. If, however, they are not vexed, they should question whether they have righteous souls.