Loving The World Or Turning It Upside Down?
"Does the world hate us? If not, why not? Has the world become more Christian or Christians more worldly? - Robertson's Word Pictures
"...true Christians are not of this world. The Spirit of Christ in them is opposite to the spirit of the world...It is their lot to be despised by the world; they are not in favour with the world any more than their Master before them was." - Matthew Henry
"How strange it is that people professing Christianity can suppose that with a worldly spirit, worldly companions, and their lives governed by worldly maxims, they can be in the favor of God, or ever get to the kingdom of heaven!" - Adam Clarke
"It becomes every professing Christian, therefore, to examine himself with the deepest earnestness to determine whether he is characterized a friend of the world or of God; whether he is living for this life only, or is animated by the high and pure principles of those who are friends of God." - Barnes ' Notes
1 Corinthians 2:12 clearly states - "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." The Apostle Paul made it plain and clear that we, as Christians, are not on the same wave length as the world with its views of truth...principles of evil...wisdom and knowledge...or learning and philosophy.
The "world" is under the influence of Satan. He is the persistently evil spirit that works in all the children of disobedience - working in them covetousness, uncleanness, pride, malice, and error. On the other hand, the true child of God is under the teachings and influence of the Holy Ghost Which proceeds from God.
This verse in 1 Corinthians 2 and this verse alone should convince every Christian that they are not to be under the evil sway or dominion of the world and its demonic philosophies. Yet, sad to say, that is not the case at all. Nowadays, we are finding that the world is becoming more churchy while the Christians are becoming more worldly.
It's time that somebody "blows the whistle" on this activity. It must be stopped. And the only way to stop it is to put the Word out for all to see and for all hearts to be convicted of "messing" where they shouldn't be "messing."
In 1 John 2:15, the Lord God through the Apostle John had given the command to His Church worldwide and that command was this - "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world..." In giving this command, He was not saying that she should not be interested in the flowers, streams, forests, or fountains. He was not implying that she should not have an admiration for His creation. He was not saying that she should not have a cherishing love for its inhabitants. Nor was He condemning her pursuit of life in making provision for her families.
What He was saying to His Church was that she was not to make this world the object of her chief affection nor be influenced by the maxims and feelings which prevail among its inhabitants.
God knows that - generally speaking - covetousness - the love of the world and worldly things - is the predominant vice of old age, while the younger crowd are more apt to be carried away with lust, vanity, ambition, pride, profits, pleasures, and honors.
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world..." - Why? Give one good reason why a Christian should not "love the world."
The Apostle John spelled it out in the remainder of the verse - "...If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." What he was saying here was that if anyone keeps on loving the world - loving it as his portion...lives for that reason...and makes it the principle of his life to gain and enjoy it, he is in total antithesis with the love of God. The love of God is not in him.
The love of the world and the love of God are not reconcilable. No matter how hard the so-called "Christian" tries to tie them together, they will not mesh. The ways of the world - its passions, pleasures, and pursuits - lie in the wicked one - Satan. And Satan and God are arch enemies. There is no way that there can be found the love of the world and a love to God in the same heart. The heart of man is very narrow. He does not have room to share both loves. The love or lust of the world intrudes itself on the believer - while usurping his affection from God and instigating and inflaming vile affections in its place. There is a great affinity and alliance between the world and the flesh. The world intrudes and encroaches upon the flesh - making the individual at enmity with God.
Pastor Henry made this comment about the insidious ways of the world - "The world draws down the heart from God; and so the more the love of the world prevails, the more the love of God dwindles and decays."
Right now would be a good time to stop and ask some very heart-searching questions - Just how much of the love of God or the love of the world do you have in your heart, O Saint of God? Which one is prevailing and which is dwindling and decaying? Which one has a greater "pull" on your life and family? What would others label you as - a lover of God or a lover of the world - after observing your lifestyle over a period of time?
The Bible boldly declares to every Christian - You are "in the world," but you are "not of the world." You have been "chosen out of the world." You are "dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world." You have been given the "Word;" therefore, the world hates you. The world listens to its own when they speak for they speak concerning the things of the world. Its rich, proud, ambitious, and sensual do not receive your instructions because your teachings are not like the world nor do they emanate from its spirit and standards. Your message is based on the Word of God and is diametrically opposed to the course of this world... its sensuality and indulgence of the flesh...and its pursuit after worldly and earthly things.
John 15:19 says - "If you were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
John 17:11 says - "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world..."
John 17:14 says - "I have given them Thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
John 17:16 says - "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
Colossians 2:20 says - "Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world..."
1 John 4:5 says - "They are of the world; therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them."
The Word of God magnifies the grace of God which destroys any boasting in man. This same grace opposes any carnal interests, worldly views, or lusts. Worldly men - under the influence of the god of this age - are wholly taken up with the pursuit of ambition and earthly things. Hence, they cannot stand the light and truth of God's Word. Nor can they tolerate the real Christian for his existence is a reproach to their sinful state. The true believer in Jesus is separated from their society by the hand of Almighty God which rests on his life. He has willingly placed himself under the government of God's Holy Laws. He is actuated by His love and holiness. The man of the world - on the other hand - is actuated by the love of sin.
Who would dare to call himself a Christian and be a "friend of the world"?
The Bible calls you - "an enemy of God"!
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4).
If you dare to call yourself a Christian and at the same time love the maxims that govern the world...follow after its reigning principles...copy its fashions and vanities...enjoy its sinful pleasures...share its friends and pastimes...or seek after its ends - you are in hostility against God.
If you dare to call yourself a Christian yet make the world your portion...endeavor to appropriate its wealth as your supreme portion...never allow your thoughts to rise to God...make worldly interests your great object of living... delight in the company and conversations of the men of this world...and conform to its sinful manners and customs, then you have made yourself the "enemy of God." You are on the same level with Satan - His arch enemy.
You have reduced yourself by sinking from living on the eternal plane to the temporal one - "And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever" (1 John 2:17). You are once again motivated by the "lust of the flesh," "the lust of the eyes," and "the pride of life" (1 John 2:16).
Did it ever occur to you that you were sent into this world as a child of God - not to "love the world" - but to "turn the world upside down" like the Apostle Paul did - "And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also" (Acts 17:6)?
You have been called to excite commotions and disturbances - to throw the whole world into disorder through the preaching of the Gospel. Wherever you go, you should cause a disturbance of some sort. Your job is to turn men from their old way of worship to the worship of the true and living God. Whenever the Gospel comes in its power to any place or soul, it works a change there. The love of the world is rooted out. The way of the world is contradicted in the life insomuch that it is turned upside down. People are turned from vice to virtue...from idols to the true and living God...and from malice and envy to love and peace.
When the "world" is "turned upside down," there is great commotion!
Loving the world or turning it upside down?
What in the world are you doing?
May God Bless His Word.
© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved