A Word of Exhortation – This World or That?
It is with a real sense of the failure of which we all have part that I must write this, dear brethren. We have lost the edge that gave the early followers of the Lord Jesus their strength and power. We have compromised with this world, the flesh and the devil, personally, spiritually, and any other way possible until we are barely distinguishable from the unbelievers or, collectively, from the systems of man’s religion around us. Our compromise with this world is the root source of most of our problems today. Our houses are full of this world and we are conformed to it in nearly every sense. Our sensitivity toward sin is dulled and nearly gone and our affections for Christ have almost been erased and have suffered greatly as the result. We many times have a form of piety without the power of it because we have lost contact with the Spirit of God due to our unfaithfulness in grieving Him, the Holy Spirit. Bear this word of exhortation.
It should not be so, beloved brethren. We should be repulsed by this world which hated, rejected and crucified our Lord Jesus. We should not tolerate any compromise with it. We should be so sensitive to sin and iniquity that we instinctively shrink from them. We often make excuses of all sorts to ease our troubled consciences but we know what the truth regarding this matter is. The apostle Jude says to hate “even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 23). How often we wear that filthy garment with pride! The apostle John says “Love not the world, nor the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). But our lives and houses are absolutely cluttered with the “things in the world”.
Any teaching which would in any way seek to make us comfortable in this world or to compromise with this world is of Satan. The teaching of the Scriptures is clear and easily understood. We are to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). This world crucified our Lord Jesus Christ and should be odious to us in every way. How we have failed to maintain our separation from it! We adopt worldly and fleshly methods in our lives and our gatherings. Our ideas about the Scriptures and meetings are tainted with the religion of man. The religion of man is just as much a part of this world as the immorality we see so often portrayed in this world. We read that this “whole world lies in the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).
The Lord speaks of “that world and the resurrection” (Luke 20:35). That world that He speaks of should be in our minds and hearts. Our eye should be single, for without the single eye our bodies will not be light. The Lord says in the same place, “See therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:35). Solemn warning! We cannot expect to have the power or support of God if we are compromising with that which is at enmity with Him (James 4:4).
Our houses should be places where the lordship of Christ is fully owned and the truth is set forth in practice. Our children should see piety and unworldliness in our lives. How often they see nothing but this world! We are to redeem the time because the days are evil. We spend time reading the literature of this world and spend hours watching the television, feasting on the garbage that Satan has to offer. We not only nibble at the edges of his dishes but we are content to eat full seven-course meals. This is not redeeming the time. This is wasting time. We are to keep our eyes from beholding evil. Brethren, the consequences of this are grave. We are becoming more and more conformed to this world because of this single activity for it is impossible to renew our minds (Romans 12) plugged into the television. This instrument of Satan has no place in our houses!
The clarion call has gone forth. Who is on the Lord’s side? The call is “Wake up, thou that sleepest and arise up from among the dead and the Christ shall shine upon thee” (Ephesians 5:14). May we be truly exercised before God as to our unfaithfulness, dear brethren. May we repent of our sins and seek God in true confession before Him. Holiness becomes God’s house (Psalm 93:5) and He glorifies Himself in holiness (Exodus 11:15). With the prospect of our Lord’s soon return, what manner of men ought we to be?
Give it up, THIS wicked world!
It hates our Savior so.
There’s nothing for a Christian here,
In this dark scene below.
Our treasure’s hid with Christ in God.
So let our minds be there.
Enjoy the wonders of His love
In that blest scene so fair.
The Lord’s now seated on the throne.
Let Him attract your heart!
He’ll draw to Himself e’en now,
And give you now a part,
In that blest realm, where all is light
And love and peace and joy.
His praise unhindered fills THAT world,
Where rest’s without alloy.