All That is In the World
The word “world” is used in different contexts in the Scriptures: the physical created world (Acts 17:24), the inhabitants of the world (John 1:10), and the ways that are contrary to the Lord (1 Corinthians 1:20) according to Bible dictionaries.
There is then no such thing as a worldly Christian, one who has his heart in the world and his conversion to the Lord. To be separated unto God, we must separate from the world. Upon conversion, God has commanded the Christian to submit a certificate of divorce with the world and as we mature, we must continually live apart from the world and her lusts.
Abstaining From the World
In 1 John 2, the Apostle commands us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world,” (1 John 2:15, ESV). Do you remember the prophet Daniel? Though a Jew living as a captive in Babylon (a foreign land!), he resolved to commit himself to the Lord and away from the way of the ruler of the land.
In Daniel 1:8, ESV, we read this, “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.”
As a stranger in the world, Daniel still lived like a son of God. As exiles in the world, we must abstain from the world. Whether that is in the darkness of a hidden movie theater, the brightness of daytime jobs, or in the privacy of our phone screens, we must abstain and not defile ourselves with the pollution of the world.
The Christian in the World
Do you blend in with the crowds that despise Christ? Is there a distinct flavor of your life from that of an unbeliever?
Thomas Brooks said this, “The two poles could sooner meet, than the love of Christ and the love of the world.” May we, as Jesus commanded, be in the world but not of the world — for friendship with the world is enmity with God.
The Christian must see himself as living in the world as one who lives in an inn. We are not residents, but aliens; passing through with our belongings, ready to checkout, and joyful to be bound for our home.
Charles Spurgeon wrote it well, “The Christian is the most contented man in the world, but he is the least contented with the world. He is like a traveler in an inn, perfectly satisfied with the inn and its accommodation, considering it as an inn, but putting quite out of all consideration the idea of making it his home.”
May God spurn our hearts to love not the world, but to be enthralled with our Lord.