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It is Possible To Live For God In An Ungodly World
"May God by His grace keep both our hearts and lives clean from the love of the world, and from the temptations of wicked worldly men." - Matthew Henry
Is anyone really living for God in this world? Is it possible to stay clean of its corruption and evil influences?
When the Christian cooperates with the Holy Spirit in following the commands of the Scriptures - yes, by all means, it is possible!
What are some of those commands?
In this message, we will examine four specific ones.
1. Have Nothing To Do With What Is Unclean
2 Corinthians 6:17 says - "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."
God is calling the Child of God to leave all compromise and to separate himself from the frivolous, vain, idolatrous, wicked, and corrupting influences of the world. He is to be pure and have no connection or unholy contact with the world's idolatry and unholiness in any of its forms. This totally depends on his being separated from its works and workers of iniquity. This is done by forsaking or avoiding - like the plague - the company of worldly people - as much as is possible.
2. Guard Against The Corruptions Of This Godless World
James 1:27 says - "...and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
Isaiah 52:11 says - "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD."
The Child of God must keep on keeping himself from the maxims, tempers, customs, vices, and corruptions of this world. He is to live a pure, unsullied, and uncontaminated life that is unstained by the sins which are prevalent in this godless world. Just as the Israelites left Babylon and its captivity, even so must the believer "depart ye"...run away from...turn from...and entirely relinquish any and all ungodly connections with the world. Specifically, he must avoid - "touch not" - anything considered as filthy, forbidden, or unclean. As a "priest of the Lord" - one who is appointed to serve God - he is required to be holy. Hence, he must "be...clean," purify himself, or separate himself from all evil.
3. Put Forth Your Best Effort To Keep Yourself From Sin
1 John 5:18 says - "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."
This Child of God watches unto prayer. He takes unto himself the whole armor of God which guards him against the corruptions of his own heart, the snares of the world, and the temptations of Satan. As he depends on the Almighty for strength, the Lord - in turn - protects and keeps him safe.
4. Be Merciful With Sinners / Not Soft On Sin
Jude 1:23 says - "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
The Child of God is called to rescue any and all who need to be saved. This requires that he be merciful with those who need it - while at the same time - "hating even their garments" - or avoiding the most remote contact with sin.
It works like this -
a) He seizes the sinner away from his sin by the most vigorous effort - like stern preaching, for example. The image presented here is of one snatching a person who is caught in a fire or seizing on someone walking into a volcano. By word and gesture, he is obligated to demonstrate that he is deeply in earnest - as he snatches the sinner from his filthy and unnatural lusts, soul-destroying doctrines, or the literal fires of hell.
b) Using appeals that are adapted to produce fear...ministering with sharp admonitions and severe language...declaring the terrors of the Lord, hell, and eternal damnation...as well as endeavoring to frighten them out of their sins - he persuades men(2 Corinthians 5:11). .
c) As one would avoid any contact with the dead or the leprous, even so must he in no way partake of other men's sins. He must avoid being defiled by them...flee from all appearance of evil...and show a resentment at their wicked way of living. At all times, he must keep himself at a distance from what is or appears to be evil - avoiding all that leads to sin or looks like sin.
The Scriptures say this about the believer's relationship with the world -
"...a friend of the world is the enemy of God"(James 4:4)
"...they are not of the world..."(John 17:14)
"...Thou shouldest keep them from the evil"(John 17:15)
"...not conformed to this world..."(Romans 12:2)
"...deliver us from this present world..."(Galatians 1:4)
"...the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world"(Galatians 6:14)
"Set...affection on things above, not on things on the earth"(Colossians 3:2)
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world..."(1 John 2:15)
"...whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world..."(1 John 5:4)
"...he that overcometh the world...believeth that Jesus is the Son of God"(1 John 5:5)
As we can see from the above Scriptures, the Christian and the world do not have an affinity. And it is all because he is connected to Jesus - Whom the world hates(John 15:18).
Pastor Henry prayed - "May God by His grace keep both our hearts and lives clean from the love of the world, and from the temptations of wicked worldly men."
Is it possible to live for Him in an ungodly world?
"...With God all things are possible"(Matthew 19:26).
"...all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23)
May God Bless His Word.