CHRISTIANITY AND THE WORLD
[1 John:2:15-17]; [Romans:12:1-2]; [2 Corinthians:6:14-18]; [Deuteronomy:7:1-6]; [Isaiah:3:16-24]; [Ephesians:5:11-13]; [Isaiah:28:15-18]; [Colossians:3:14-17].
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
What is the world that the Christian should be separate from it? The Word of God refers to all systems, all peoples, all spirits that are opposed to, or contradict the law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as “The world”. To be part of the world, or in accord with its principles and movements, is to be at enmity with God. An eminent Minister once said of the world; “Of its maxims nine out of ten are false, and the other one selfish; and even that which is selfish has a lie at the bottom of it.” The Word of God states, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” [James:4:4]). That this is true is plainly seen in the Divine Record. “The Kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered against the Lord, and against His Christ” [Acts:4:26]).
What is Christian living? It is, briefly, living all of life for the Glory of God, spending ourselves for the cause of Christ, and being His living epistles, known and read of all men. Christians are representatives of the Kingdom of God, ambassadors for Christ through whom God beseeches the world to be reconciled unto Him by Christ. (Read 2 Corinthians:5:19-20).
Christians are to be lights in the world [Philippians:2:15]), living examples of the transforming grace of God. If those who profess to follow Christ are not recognized in the world for their holy way of life, known for their separation from the world, they can hardly be Christians.
Separation from the world is a requirement of Christian living. The Christian’s heart belongs to the Lord, and his citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. The Christian is in the world, but not part of it; he is a stranger and a pilgrim passing through it. (Read 1 Corinthians:5:9-11; [Hebrews:11:13]).
The command of God to all who would name the name of Christ is: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians:6:17-18).
Despite the unmistakable meaning of such portions of Scripture, there are many in the world who try to have favour with God and still have the friendship of the world. Such people desire the favour of God but cannot bear the reproach of the Gospel, nor the offence of the Cross.
Item 1: a) Who is a Christian? [John:1:12]; [Romans:8:14]; [2 Corinthians:5:17]; [1 John:3:9].
b) What is the world? All systems, all peoples, all spirits that are opposed to, or contradict the law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the world. [1 John:2:16]. Why should a Christian be separate from the world? [2 Corinthians:6:14-18]; [James:4:4]; [1 John:2:15], [1 John:2:17].
Item 2: Why are Christians commanded to love God and to forsake the pursuits of worldly riches and gain? [Luke:12:16-21]; [1 John:4:19]; [John:15:13]; [1 Timothy:6:10]; [Proverbs:11:28]; [Proverbs:23:5]; [Matthew:6:19-20].
Item 3: a) Mention few worldly pleasures that men pursue today to the detriment of their souls. Fornication, reveling, competitive sports, gambling/betting, drunkenness, fashion, homosexuality, sexual abuse, etc. [Galatians:5:19-21]; [2 Timothy:3:3-4]; [Proverbs:21:17]; [Proverbs:23:5], [Proverbs:23:31-35].
b) Why should a Christian not engage in worldly pleasures? 1 Timothy:5:6; [Proverbs:21:17]; [Isaiah:3:16-24]; [Daniel:5:1-5], [Daniel:5:30], [1 Corinthians:6:12], [James:5:5]; [2 Peter:2:13]; [Ecclesiastes:2:1]
Item 4: Mention some of the relationships that a Christian should not keep with the world.- Marriage. [Deuteronomy:7:2-4].
- Business Partnership. [2 Chronicles:20:35-37].
- Clubs and Societies, etc. [Proverbs:1:10], [Proverbs:1:13-16]; [2 Corinthians:6:14-18].
The words of the Holy Spirit through the Apostle John, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world” are not just idle words. They were the inspired command of God to all men, everywhere, who entertain any hopes or desires of dwelling in eternal peace with Him. To love the world is to hate
God! In the Epistles of James we read, “Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” [James:4:4]). That man or woman who dares to ignore such warnings does so at his own peril. There are many religions of the present day whose philosophy, precepts, and tenets permit and encourage fellowship and association with the world. Those religions are of the world. The lives, desires, affections, and the very being of those who accept them are part and parcel of the world, and cannot be separated from it. The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives no license for worldly associations and fellowship. The follower of Jesus Christ keeps the commands of his Master, and separates himself from the world.
When a soul harbors affection for the world, and the things it affords and promises, he cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ. The Bible draws a picture of the world in its true color, and declares in many ways, and in many places, that it is gaudy, sensual, devilish, and doomed to a soon and certain destruction. (Read [James:3:15]; [1 John:2:17]; [Luke:21:34]; [Matthew:24:38-39]?).
Challenge: Are you a Christian or part of the world?