“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15:18, 19
As Christians i.e. followers and disciples of Jesus we are to be separated from the things of the world. We are in this world but not of this world. If we are genuine believers we should separate ourselves from many things that this world has to offer, we are not to participate in the things that the world seeks after. Jesus said: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Mat 6:33.
The apostle John in his second letter warned the Churches of the danger to compromise with the world: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” 2John 2:15, 16.
It was pride that caused Lucifer to fall from heaven, (Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14). When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he used those three to tempt Jesus to compromise and to worship him. Jesus did not give into those temptations. Jesus answered all three temptations with scripture, “It is written”. Satan is the ruler of this world and Jesus did not deny that, but He did not sub-come the schemes of the devil. Just as he tempted Jesus, so is he tempting people all over the world today. Satan really has no reasons to change his tactics, he knows mankind too well and knows how to keep the world in his grip. If it is not broken, why fix it? As Christians we have to be very careful not to buy into the deceptiveness of the world.
We need to discern the times and stand up against the wiles of the wicked one. We need to put on the whole armor of protection. (Eph 6). Everyday we are getting bombarded with all kinds of temptations, just turn on your TV. Everyday we have to decide, do I wanna serve God or do I want to serve the world? The problem is that the closer we want to be with God, the more Satan attempts to make us fall. Genuine believers have a bulls-eye painted on their chest. Satan could care less about the backsliders or lukewarm Christians, they have already compromised with the world sitting on the fence, one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom.
I am not writing this to criticize others, I am including myself in this and I once walked in the things of the world just as most of you have. When I surrendered my life to Jesus, and ask for His forgiveness, my mind was changed, I looked at things differently. I repented, which means a “change of mind”. Things that I used to do, just like everybody else, not even thinking that it is wrong in the eyes of God. Looking back now, most of the stuff I did was unfruitful, unimportant and a waste of time. Seeking after the things of the world never satisfied and I was striving after the wind as the wise King Solomon said. Sin may satisfy for a while and there certain pleasure in it, the Bible does not deny that, but in the end it stings. Living after the world is traveling on the broad road that leads to destruction, as Jesus said, “many will enter into it”. Traveling down the road of destruction has caused people all kinds of pain, just look at the world, it is so broken and lost, there seems to be no way out. Society is on a moral decline and is sinking deeper and deeper into it.
Paul wrote this: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Rom 1:28-32.
Sounds just like the world today, doesn’t it? This last part of the verse, “that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.” Do we as believers approve of these things, or have we become silent, not speaking out against these things? There are many that have the attitude of “live and let live” like it’s ok, let’s just not ruffle any feathers. I assure you if we as Christians stand up for the truth and the things of God not giving in to the world standards and it’s beliefs, we as people and children of God will suffer persecution, ridicule, mocking and genuine hatred. Just as Jesus said, the world loves its own, but they will hate us if we stand up and speak up.
As disciple of Christ we have to choose, either the narrow gate or the broad road that leads to destruction. Compromising and giving into the world is dangerous and can lead to a broken fellowship with God. Jesus had John write seven letters to the churches, Jesus rebuked all of them to a degree, except the church of Philadelphia. These seven churches were actual churches in then Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) but they were also representative of the churches throughout the church age. I also believe that these seven churches represent different believers, some have compromised, some have mingled with the world and some have become lukewarm. I think that Jesus had a purpose for the letters for us today, we need to examine ourselves if we are truly in the faith and are indeed seeking after the kingdom and not the world.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.” 2Cr 13:5
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Mat 7:13, 14
If the world calls us narrow-minded, good, it is better to be narrow-minded in the things of God, rather than being on the broad and dark road that will lead to certain destruction in a person’s life.
- A 2000 + year old desert religion; still relevant for us today? (media4lifeministries.com)