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At a meeting of church leaders one member of the group was reported to have said that if the Church is to make its greatest impact on our generation, it must become more worldly minded.  In the humanistic sense, that is true; yet in another sense, a biblical sense, it is false.

The word "world" is used at least 200 times in the New Testament.  The Bible teaches that since we live in the world, we are involved with the world.  Scriptures, such as "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world," (1 John 2:15) seem irrelevant and impossible to many Church leaders today.  They say, "We live in the world; we know there is plenty wrong with it, but we see no point in trying to avoid it."

However, as we read the New Testament, it is clear that we are not to become entangled with the world. At first glance, a Christian might shrink from this idea. 

Today's Modern Liberal, Apostate Chritianity, came up with a plan to use the world to win the world. We are not to "Use The World and The Things Of The World To Win The World" But the question I want to ask is, "what is the world?"

 First, the Bible says there is the created world: "God ... made the world and all things therein. (Acts 17:24)

Second, there are the inhabitants of the world, whom God loves and for whom Christ died: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." (John 3:16)

Third, there is the world system, which is headed by Satan.  This is "the world" that God warns about.

Clear Signals

The warnings are clear.  The Bible says, "Be not conformed to this world " (Romans 12:2) and, "Our Lord Jesus Christ ... gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world." (Galatians 1:3-4)

Throughout the Bible the lines are definitely drawn between the world of unbelievers and the world of the children of God: "Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4) Jesus said, "The world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." (John 17:14-15)

 "And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." (Luke 21:16-17)

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another" (Matt. 24:9-10).

The Bible also teaches that True Christians will face opposition in the world: "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." ( 2 Timothy 3:12) Just as Christ's life with all its love, concern and selflessness was a rebuke to the world of his time, so our lives, with Christ abiding in us today, bring about criticism, opposition and persecution from those who cannot comprehend the mystery of God's redemptive grace.

Don't Be Discouraged

The Bible teaches that we are not to be discouraged by this belligerence.  We are to consider it as evidence that we are identified with Christ.   Jesus said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven." (Matthew 5:11-12)

In this complex generation in which we live. is not easy for professing Christians to distinguish between  that which is spiritual and that which is worldly. In the Bible Satan is called an "angel of light " (2 Corinthians 11:14)    He is a great imitator, and it is not always easy to distinguish between Satan's world and the realm where God reigns.  Jesus said that if it were possible, Satan would "deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24)

Are You Tricked?

Many professing Christians are tricked into believing that we cannot enjoy life except as members of the world's crowd.  The Bible Teaches us that we are not to be part of the world's business and commerce, we are not to be part of the world's pleasures, we are not to be part of the world's politics, we are not to be part of the world's science and technology etc..

We are told by Jesus in the Bible we are to be completely separate from the world and the things of the world . However, the happiest people whom I know are followers of Jesus Christ.  They are not dependent on artificial stimulants.  They do not resort to sick, dirty jokes.  They do not abuse their bodies to relax their minds.  The Bible says, "In [God's] presence is fullness of joy." (Psalm 16:11)

Following Christ flings open the windows to the real joy of living.  The world would have us believe that following Christ is nothing but "thou shalt nots." The world would have us believe that Christianity is a stolid kind of life, unnatural and abnormal.

But the evidence in the Bible is to the contrary.  Christ said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Those who have been truly converted to Jesus Christ  know the meaning of abundant living.

No Neutral Ground

The Bible is clear that the world's inhabitants are either under the influence of this world's false systems with its cunning, deception and spell; or they are in Christ and under the direction of the True Holy Spirit of God. There is no neutral ground. The battle lines are drawn by the Bible.

Satan employs every device at his command  to harass, tempt, thwart and hurt the true people of God. His attack is relentless.

The Apostle Paul  wrote," 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. "  (Ephesians 6:12)

However, the true Christians are not left defenceless in this conflict. God provides the power to give us victory over satan. Paul wrote, " We are more than conquerors through him that loved us. " (Romans 8:37)

And the Apostle John wrote, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. " (1 John 4:4)

How Do We Win?

We can overcome the onslaught of Satan and the power of this world system of evil and deceit "by the blood of the Lamb." (Rev. 12:11)

We will never overcome by mere human effort.  We will never overcome by our own deeds of righteousness, however commendable those deeds may be.  We will never overcome by showing mere social concern or by identifying ourselves with the various social revolutions that take place in the world.

The Bible says that we will overcome by "the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony. " (Rev. 12:11)

The Bible warns us about being taken in by the evil of this world.  Satan's lies are cleverly mixed with truth.  When he tempted Jesus, Satan was convincingly logical and even quoted Scripture.  So the Bible proposes that the true Christians make a clean break with all the evil and deceitful things of the world and that the true Christians be separated from them.

Paul wrote, "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the  unclean thing; and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Jesus ate with publicans and sinners, and he associated with outcasts.  But his relationship  with them was redemptive, not merely social.

Are Your Worlds Mixed?

 We are not to get our worlds mixed.  This is  where the confusion lies.  God meant that we are  not to mingle with the world, but we are to witness to the world.  We are to love the men and women whom God loves.  We are to "weep with those who weep," (Romans 12:15) to suffer with those who suffer, to identify ourselves with the poor, the sick and the needy.

But our motives are not to be totally sociological, nor are they to be merely humanitarian.  Our relationships are to be primarily redemptive.  We are to love people that they might be delivered from their sins.  But we are not to love the world; we are to be separated from it.

This then is our problem: to associate with and to love those who are involved in the world without being contaminated, influenced or swayed by the world.  This distinction can be achieved only by a close walk with Christ, by constant prayer and by seeking the True Holy Spirit's leadership every hour of the day.  God has provided us the wherewithal to resist the world and be separated from it, and it is ours to appropriate that power every hour of our lives.

We are in the world, but the world is not to be in us.  Our Lord prayed, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil ." (John 17:15)

 Gulf Stream Christians

The true Christians are like the Gulf Stream: it is in the ocean, yet not part of it.  This mysterious current defies the mighty North Atlantic Ocean, ignores its tides, flows steadily on its course.  Its colour is different, being a deeper blue.  Its temperature is different, being warmer.  Its direction is different, being from south to Northeast.  The Gulf Stream is in the ocean, and yet it is not part of the ocean.

So we as true and faithful Christians are in the world.  We come in contact with the world, and yet we retain our distinctive Kingdom character and refuse to let the world press us into its mould.

The world is keenly aware of its emptiness, of its unfulfilled dreams, of its failure to cope with life.  The world is inadequate to meet the deeper needs of the human heart.  This is ideal soil for planting the Gospel.  God has seen fit to entrust the work of his Kingdom to us.

In Crusade meetings we have seen a tremendous hunger for God.  I wish that you could watch as thousands of people pack into stadiums often the largest crowds to gather for any event in the history of those stadiums-to listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The people are drawn there by the inexplicable hunger of the human heart for God.

God Loves You

The primary responsibility of the true Christian is not to reform the world nor to remake the world system, but to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel that God loves the world, has redeemed it through the cross and the resurrection of our Saviour, and seeks to save it. We are to call out from among the world, those that will have The True Christ as savior and will dedicate their lives to His Kingdom only.

Then, after men and women have come to Christ, they go back into the world to live for Christ as witnesses in the world; and they become salt and they become light, (Matthew 5:13-14) and they are to carry out "The Great Commission" of taking the gospel to all the world and having "Spiritual, Godly and Holy" influence on the world.

The Bible teaches that God will renovate the world and rid it of its wickedness. God will replace this current world's system of doing things, that is currently under Satan's control, with His System, His Government and that His Son Jesus Christ will be in charge and then Satan himself, his demons and all humanity that follows after them will be cast ultimately into the lake of fire and brimstone.

The Bible says, "The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God. " (2 Peter 3:10-12)

Thus we are not to hold the world in contempt.  We are to obey its laws.  We are to love those for whom Christ died.  We are to pray for them, witness to them, help in taking God's End Times message to all the world.  But yet we are to achieve that most difficult of all tasks, to not to be conformed to the world.  This is the true Christian's task; this is the true Christian's stand.

 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to OBSERVE all things whatsoever I have COMMANDED you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:19-20)

Let Us Pray Together--

PRAY: "God be merciful to me a sinner. Receive me now for Christ's sake. Cleanse me from my sin by your precious blood, shed on the cross for me; lead me to be Baptized and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me to pray each day; to read Your will for my life from your word, the Bible; and help me to worship and serve You in the fellowship of your church. I thank you Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN! 

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