Just How Close Do You Want To Get To The World?
By: Brian A. Yeager
One challenge we have as Christians is that we live in the world, yet we are expected not to be “of the world” (John 17:1-17). In fact, it is impossible to live in this world and not have some level of relationships with worldly people (I Corinthians 5:9-13). God even allows for us to associate and socialize with worldly people, to some degree (I Corinthians 10:23-33). While it is UNWISE (for reasons we’ll see later in this article), God even allows for a Christian to be married to a non-Christian (I Corinthians 7:8-16 and I Peter 3:1-7).
The more one grows in Christ the more one will gain a true disgust concerning worldliness (Romans 12:9). It is just not possible to develop a spiritual mindset and still be comfortable around worldliness (I Peter 4:1-5). So, the challenge is to be in the world and yet not conform to the world (Romans 12:1-2). For some, this becomes a spiritual death trap. For the spiritually minded, it becomes challenging to have to be around things and people that are utterly detestable.
I have found, over the years, that this subject is both challenging to teach and challenging to watch people struggle with. The world is wicked (I John 5:19). I, for one, do not ever forget that. I am also mindful that Jesus died, in part, to deliver us from this wicked world (Galatians 1:3-4). Therefore, I have no problem at all not investing in the world or relationships that revolve around worldliness. My question is, how about you? How close can you get to worldliness and still be comfortable in a spiritual way?
In this study, I want us all to read some Scriptures and think about them. Rather than me making the points, you do it. Remember the points in paragraphs one and two and try to balance them with the Scriptures you are about to read.
Consider These Inspired Words
- “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do” (Deuteronomy 18:9-14).
- “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalms 1:1-2).
- “I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked” (Psalms 26:4-5).
- “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me” (Psalms 101:3).
- “Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:104).
- “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not” (Proverbs 1:10).
- “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall” (Proverbs 4:14-16).
- “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
- “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked” (Proverbs 29:27).
- “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation” (Jeremiah 15:17).
- “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Corinthians 15:33).
- “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore 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” (II Corinthians 6:14-18).
- “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them… And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:6-7; 11).
- “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).
Solomon was a very wise man (I Kings 4:29-30). Solomon’s mother warned him of what women could do to him if he allowed it (Proverbs 31:1-3). Yet, even with all the wisdom Solomon had, his ungodly wives turned his heart away from God (I Kings 11:1-8). God was angry with Solomon over that and he took the kingdom from him (I Kings 11:9-13). Having the knowledge and wisdom of the truth does not make anyone safe (I Corinthians 10:12). We’d be wise to understand that the influence of the world on us can take us away from God (Luke 8:11-14 and II Timothy 4:10). So, take the Scriptures you read in this article to heart. Work hard on being in the world, but not of the world. Be careful in the bonds that you create with people of the world, lest you fall as did Solomon!
Volume 14 – Issue 32 - April 27th, 2014