Beware the World
Pastor Andrew began his message to us this past Sunday by reminding us of the rebellious nature within us and the rebellious state of this world gone godless. John, the disciple most known for his ardent love of the Lord, gives a similar warning…
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16).
In fact John wrote much about this world, it’s allures and the danger of falling into its traps. His gospel mentions the word “world” some 184 times… it occurs 52 times in his three brief epistles!
Jesus spoke of “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things” (Mar 4:19). He spoke of the indwelling Spirit believers would receive to guide them through this world, ”the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive…. He dwells with you, and shall be in you” (John 4:17). He reminded His faithful that they “are not of the world,” but are “chosen out of the world” (John 15:19).
Paul similarly wrote of the great contrast between the worldly and the godly spirit, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1 Cor. 2:12).
It wasn’t always that way. We too were deeply lost in the mire of sin and were idolizers of this world. Paul reminds us “in time past [we] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). “You gave them to me out of this world,” acknowledged Jesus to the Father (John 17:6).
The kingdoms of this world are in opposition to the Kingdom of our Lord… As Pastor Andrew read on Sunday: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, people Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Ps. 2:2-3).
Rebellion! – It is in the heart of every person; it is yet in us, and we must subdue it. Such was the case from the beginning, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” the Lord warned Cain (Gen. 4:7). And now, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:12). Our duty? — “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Tit. 2:12).
More than that, our purity is to lead the way… “You are the light of the world,” said Jesus (Matt. 5:14).
He knew how the devil tempts, “…the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them” (Matt. 4:8). But Jesus said “No” — and He expects us to do likewise.
He has prayed for our success in this “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15).
How are we to do this? We must draw and stay close to Jesus. We must lay ourselves open before Him. We must “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry.” (Ps. 2:12). Make peace with God. Keep short accounts with God. Shun all evil.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and its lusts: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.” (1 John 2:16).
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness,” wrote John (1 John 5:19). “…and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” (5:4).
To hear Pastor Andrew’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Nov. 17 message.