When we become followers of Jesus Christ, we need to focus on intentionally living for Him every moment of every day of our lives. We cannot live a life that is lukewarm and filled with compromise.
Angus T. Jones has grown up in front of America on one of our country’s most popular sitcoms, Two and a Half Men.
The show is famous for three reasons. First, the CBS sitcom was the #1 watched show in the country for quite a while. The New York Times called the show “the biggest hit comedy of the last decade.” Second, it starred Charlie Sheen…until he had his personal meltdown. And third, Two and a Half Men
is also one of the dirtiest shows on television. The show is known for its sexy female co-stars, its storyline built on sex, and its frequent dirty jokes.
Angus T. Jones played “Jake,” the son of “Alan” (played by Jon Cryer). Jake and Alan lived with Alan’s brother Charlie, a wealthy womanizer whose only goal in life is to have as much sex and money as possible. The three of them were sort of a family – hence the show’s name – and tried to keep one another sane given all the relationship turmoil going on in their individual lives. Charlie was replaced in the 9th season by “Waldon” (Ashton Kutcher), but the storyline remained largely the same: lots of sex, lots of relationship trouble, and lots of risqué joking. In short, it’s safe to say that Angus T. Jones grew up in a fairly rotten environment on the show’s set.
The Clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLqJIoglAco
The clip that’s linked above is ONE SECTION of a TWO PART VIDEO SERIES. This clip is taken from Part Two. We strongly suggest you watch BOTH 14-minute-long videos prior to leading this discussion to give yourself the crucial context of Jones’ full testimony, but this resource is only based on the clip that starts at 7 minutes and 14 seconds and ends at 10 minutes and 21 seconds.
Angus T. Jones has a very difficult decision to make. He’s become a Christian, but he still works on one of the dirtiest shows on television, “Two and a Half Men.” On one hand, he’s got a contract to keep which also pays really, really big money, but on the other hand, he knows his work is contrary to what the Bible teaches about Jesus. What a dilemma. But here’s the deal. You and I aren’t on TV. You and I aren’t millionaires. But you and I know exactly what he’s going through because, as Christians, all of us have the opportunity to compromise our faith. But when we become followers of Jesus Christ, we need to focus on intentionally living for Him every moment of every day of our lives. We cannot live a life that is lukewarm and filled with compromise. Let’s talk about that for a few moments.
Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.
CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.
- AROUND THE CIRCLE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite TV show.
- ASK A FEW: Have you seen the show “Two and a Half Men”? If so, how would you describe it?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think Angus had the right to label the show as “filth”? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Angus says that making poor decisions about which TV shows we watch can negatively affect us. Do you agree and can you give an example?
- ASK A FEW: Do you think he should quit the show (even though he has one more year on his contract)? Why or why not?
- ASK A FEW: Jones talked about Christians contributing to the devil’s plans. Is that possible? Can Christians be used by the devil? Explain.
- ASK A FEW: Angus talked about being lukewarm. What does that mean and what are some other words for lukewarm? (Leaders – The term means apathetic or complacent. It could also describe someone who continually makes compromises in their faith.)
Read the following passage:
ASK A FEW: In the video, Angus references the church of Laodicea and being lukewarm. After reading this passage, why do you think he said that?
ASK A FEW: Jesus says He wishes the Church of Laodicea was either hot or cold instead of lukewarm? Why is hot and cold water better than lukewarm water? (Leaders – Hot water has many uses. It can be used for healing, for warmth, for cleaning, for cooking, etc. Cold water is also very useful. It is refreshing. But lukewarm water tastes terrible, and it isn’t as useful as hot or cold water.)
ASK A FEW: What does Jesus say He does with lukewarm water?
ASK A FEW: It sounds like the Church of Laodicea was confused about itself. Can you give some examples based on the passage we just read? (Leaders – The church thought they were rich, but Jesus called them poor. They thought they could see; Jesus called them blind. They thought they had it all; Jesus called them naked and told them to come to Him for better things.)
ASK A FEW: What effect does compromise (or being lukewarm) have on our faith?
ASK A FEW: What effect does our compromise (or being lukewarm) have on other people?
ASK A FEW: What are some ways that you and I are tempted to be lukewarm or to make compromises?
ASK A FEW: When you face those temptations to compromise, how do you usually respond?
ASK A FEW: What does Jesus say will be our reward if we DON’T compromise or live a lukewarm life?
AROUND THE CIRCLE: What will you do to eliminate compromise from your life?
Revelation 3:14-22 (NIV)
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm-- neither hot nor cold-- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
Angus T. Jones is in a tough spot. You know what he’s facing. He’s got a very big decision to make, and in front of millions of people. By the way, YouTube is blowing up with other celebrities posting videos making fun of his testimony and newfound faith. But that’s just part of being a Christian; you will face temptation, trials, and suffering.
And all of that is trying to push you to make compromises.
Jake knows that now, and you probably do, too. No matter how long you’ve been walking with Jesus, you know what it’s like to stare down the compromise in your life. You know what Jesus wants you to do and how He wants you to live, but you exist in a world that seeks to tear down your faith and your relationship with Jesus. Too often, we let the world win. Too often, we let our enemy win.
But Jesus wants us to intentionally live our lives dedicated to Him at every second, at every turn. That was the gist of the passage we read from the Book of Revelation. I think it’s fitting that the very last book of the Bible talks so much about Christians being committed to Jesus. After all, it’s been 2,000 years since Jesus walked among us on Earth. It’s easy to abandon our faith in Him. It’s even easier to make little compromises along and along.
But Jesus says there is no reward in that. If we don’t live our lives fully dedicated to Him, then we won’t share in the reward that He has planned for those who are totally committed to Him.
So, which are you? Are you committed or lukewarm?
Which do you want to be? Do you want to live a life of commitment or complacency?
I hope you choose to live your life fully dedicated to Jesus. It’s tough. It will never be easy. But it will be worth it for eternity!
Close in Prayer
Written by David R Smith