The gospel and worldliness…

“Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” – Psalm 2:10-12

As a Christian I believe that the world is divided into two categories of men, those that kiss the Son and those that don’t. We both suffer from a disease that ravages every aspect of our lives. It is a hereditary disease which dwells deep within us and it is called sin. The effects are seen in death, famines, crime, sickness, and natural disasters. It was not intended to be this way, but we have been cursed. There is a great day of judgment coming when all will stand before the King and answer for every thought and deed. Condemnation is assured for those that still bear the marks of the disease. The good news is that a cure has been found or I should say has found us. The antidote requires the blood of one who was righteous and there is but one, Jesus, the Son. He took the disease upon himself, suffered, died and was buried. On the third day he rose again authenticating the efficacy of the cure. The cure has been freely given to all who have repented and believed this story. If you still bear the weight of your sin I press you to stop here and accept the cure, repent and believe. You will still sin; you will still bear the pain of living in a world marred by sin, but cure is assured and you will stand boldly before the throne on that last day with the righteousness of our King.

“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of you mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

“Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?” – 2 Corinthians 6:14

“It (the grace of God) trains us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” – Titus 2:12

“do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.” – James 4:4

“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, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.” – 1 John 2:15-16

The term “worldly” or “worldliness” is used to denote ways in which we mimic an unbelieving world in an unbiblical manner. Worldliness hinders spiritual maturation and interferes with our call to be salt and light. Conversion does not instantly solve the problem of sin or worldliness, but war is declared on both. The war continues until death and your victory is assured. Discussing worldliness can be a challenge, after all, who wants to be called worldly? What follows is a list of statements in which you should find little to disagree with. This should give us good foundation to begin working from.

  1. All Christians possess varying degrees of worldliness.
  2. We have a duty to recognize worldliness and then engage in battle against it.
  3. Christ’s bride, the church, bears a responsibility to teach and preach against worldliness, especially the most egregious forms.
  4. The church has a duty to enact disciplinary measures for the most destructive forms of worldliness.
  5. The church has a responsibility to dissuade worldly behavior through the social mechanisms of community.
  6. The church should promote Biblical alternatives to worldly behavior whenever possible.
  7. Battling worldliness is not legalistic and does not detract from the glory of the gospel or threaten the mission of the church.
  8. Battling worldliness may involve a degree of separation from the world but not to a point at which there is no impact on the world.
  9. Some forms of worldliness are more obvious that others.
  10. Some forms of worldliness are more destructive that others.
  11. Worldliness is sin, but not all sin is worldly. Freedom from worldliness does not equate to freedom from sin.

To be continued…

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