Worldliness is our Enemy
We must remember that when Satan fell, dragging a third of the heavenly host with him, and when he succeeded in getting Adam and Eve to sin, he contaminated the world. This contamination extends to God having to remake the world one day.
1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
It is pretty clear that the Bible puts worldliness (being an active enthusiast of the world system) is dynamically opposed to being a Christian. God directly commands us to be different than the world system, to stand out and apart from that world system.
This is the problem with so many neo-evangelical Christians, they are trying so hard to merge their Christianity to be a part of the world, and the world a part of their Christianity. They want the two things (the world and Christian faith) to be one. That is impossible.
In the context here, God advises us that the world is set as our enemy, because the world rejects God, because the king of this world, Satan, has rejected God. There can be no truce. There can be no cordial working together of the two. You are for one or the other. To be for one places you as an enemy of the other.
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
We are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. The minister of God is to be an excellent example of denying the world and living the Christian life.
2Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
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Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
We need to meditate a little on what this means. All real estate claims will be overturned on this day, and God will reclaim the earth for himself, and he will distribute us on the earth as he sees fit, without anyone having any right to any place. All physical silver, gold, and money will be destroyed. None will survive. No diamonds, rubies, or precious stones will prevail through this remaking by God. If any were to survive, they would no longer belong to whoever had them before. The short of this is that every riches or possessions that anybody has now will not longer be their possession.
If that is true, and it is, then what do you have (an earthly possession) that you will continue to have in eternity? Nothing. Maybe your body, but even that is corrupted and God will have to reclothe us with a celestial body.
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Eccl 5:15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.
1Tim 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1Tim 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1Tim 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1Tim 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Prov 27:24 For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?
By worldliness here, I mean concentrating on earthly things to push out the things of God from our life. This is a horrible sin and a great danger to everyone.
These verses declare unto us some profound principles and truths of God.
- All we have and are, God has given it to us.
- All our earthly human labors will be left behind.
- Clinging to the earthly is evil and self-destructive.
- Seeking the heavenly (righteousness, godliness, etc.) is the only thing we should seek.
Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Eccl 5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.
What we see is that riches are a grave spiritual danger to us, and even possessions and money can pose the same threat to us, yet we cannot function in life without money. Moreover, the temptations in life which would pull us away from considering our condition and God’s sovereignty and goodness and seeking God are cares, riches, and pleasures. We should see these as our enemies or as possibly dangerous elements in life, not as goals for us to pursue.
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The road to riches is filled with problems that will ensnare a person’s soul.
Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Luke 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: Luke 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? Luke 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. Luke 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. Luke 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? Luke 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
The key here is to understand that our “worth” is not what we own, but what we are eternally in God’s sight. Our real worth has to do with being saved and having heavenly riches laid up for us.
Matt 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: Matt 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
We are to work to have “possessions” in heaven, not just on earth. We should provide for ourselves and for the work of God among us, also missions, and for the needy as God lays on our hearts. But our investments from our earnings should be heavily weighed in the eternal.
Ps 39:6 Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
Eccl 2:21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.
From this, we see that a mindset or worldview that is heavily invested and focused on earthly bound riches is dangerous and just wrong in God’s eyes. What we think will happen after our death is not always what happens.
Extremism against Worldliness
Moreover, we must insist on extremism in this relationship between us and the world.
1John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Matt 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: Matt 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: Matt 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matt 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Jas 4:4 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.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
According to God, there is no “half-way” in this dynamic. If you let worldliness into your life, you abandon God’s army. Therefore God calls on us to totally abandon the world’s system, goals, and methods, and to live for God wholly.
The underlying truth of this command is that only God’s way is eternal, and everything about the world’s system is temporary. God is allowing Satan time, but that time will come to a close. So why get so involved in the world’s system.
Exactly, our point here is that so many people put luxury, pleasure, and fame at the top of their priorities, and they place spiritual things very far down, if on the list at all.
How you live your life tells it all. Who is your God? Money? or the Lord Jesus Christ? You say Jesus, but then on Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and any other functions the church has, where are you? You have to work, and you have so much work Monday through Friday that it pressures your Saturday which is your fun day, so that you have to do chores on Sunday and don’t have time for God. The proof of who you God is can be seen clearly in how you order your life.
For the men of God, we are the living examples of Christ before the congregation so that they can see people can live for Christ like it should be.