Summary: A message warning of the dangers of compromise with the world.
The Christian And The World
II Cor. 6:14-17
The primary problem for many Christians could be in the difficulty encountered in being all they know they should be for the Lord. In having the sort of separated life that Paul talks about here and in Romans 12:1-3. If a Christian is not at all concerned about separation, then he perhaps has a larger problem than otherwise. Jesus simply said, "Be thou holy .. " John said, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (I John 3:3) Surely it must be possible for a child of God to live a pure and separated life, or we would not be urged to do so in the Word of God. But how to do it? How can we obey in a practical way the explicit commands of God to come out of the world and be separate? How can we reach that state of moral and doctrinal separation that pleases God?
Some deal with the challenge by saying that those of us who believe such commands are to be taken seriously and obeyed today are mere legalists and do not understand the liberty the believer has in Christ today.
But the Word of God does not speak of setting is free to sin against God. The truth should set us free to serve and obey Him according to His Word. We only free to do His will. Even our prayers are to reflect this. It is clearly His will that we be separated from this sinful world.
It is that a ship in the water is normal and desirable, but when water is in the ship, disaster lurks.
Illustration: I have read of a certain air breathing water bettle that exists in water. It seems this beetle constructs a dwelling place underneath a leaf on the surface of a quiet pool by bringing quantities of air to make a bubble under the concave surface of the leaf. Thus it is in the water but not of the water. So is the Christian to be in the wolrd. Paul in Colossians gives the analogy of Christians inhabiting a colony on planet earth. Let us examine just what is involved in the Christian’s relationship with the world.
I. THE CHARACTER OF THE WORLD.
A. The World Blinds and Deceives. II Cor. 4:4
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
B. The World Destroys. James 1:14-15
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
Destroys lives. Destroys families. Destroys relationships. Destroys testimonies. Destroys churches.
C. The World Damns. Mark 8:36-37
" For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
The Biblical example of Essau speaks to those who would trade their inheritance and testimony for a moment of please. The story of Lot’s wife does as well
D. The World Deadens. I Tim. 4:1-2
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; . ."
We are in those days today. Apostasy is rampant. Even among the Lord’s churches. Little by little the world seeps into churches and then it becomes difficult to tell the two apart.
II. THE CALL OF THE WORLD.
A. The World Calls Us To Sin. Luke 12:15-21
(Rich man leaves God out of his life...)
B. The World Calls To Satan’s Service. John 8:34
"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."
Satanic possession and oppression seem to exist today. Satan has certain access to the mind and through temptation and doubt can oppress the Christian.
C. The World Calls Us To Commit Spiritual Treason.
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."
It would seem logical that the adversity would place traitors in the midst of those he opposes. In our day of violence and terrorism, we understand that the greatest threat comes from those who may already in our midst.
III. THE CONTAMINATION OF THE WORLD. II Cor. 6:14-17
Illustration: A young lady wore a white dress on a school outing to a coal mine. As the class prepared for the tour, the tour guide told her, "You can’t wear a white dress into the mine." She replied, "Yes I can." He said, "You may wear a white dress into the mine but you will not wear a white dress out of the mine." So it is with the Christian and the world.