The Christian is IN THE WORLD, but is NOT OF THE WORLD - LLM
“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 15:19 .
I’ve heard someone say: “The Child of God has three great enemies, the external, the internal, and the infernal.” He was referring of course, to the world, the flesh and the devil. They are all three very real enemies, and we only have to look about us today to see how the Children of God are being affected and defeated by them.
When we read of the exploits and achievements of the faithful saints of God in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, we find it is recorded by God concerning them, “Of whom the world was not worthy”Hebrews 11:38 . The world NEEDS the servants and faithful witnesses of God, but is NOT worthy of them.
The Children of God, when it comes to conduct, hope, and habit, should be altogether different from the people of this world. Whenever the difference is not noticeable in a Christian’s life, he should pause to examine his life and change his conduct. Because of enmity, criticism, and persecution of an unfriendly world, the experience of a normal Christian is a life of suffering, yet a life of rejoicing in the LORD Jesus Christ.
When the Grace of God finds a sinner it finds him or her, “having no hope, and without God in the world” Ephesians 2:12 . It finds them walking “according to the course of this world, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” Ephesians 2:2-3 . It is needless to say that anyone who is walking according to the course of this world is walking contrary to the will of God; but the sinner can walk in no other way. How sad the sight, however, when the saint, The Child of God, is seen walking according to the course of this world. Many of the saints of God in this age are so worldly that you would never classify them as saints on account of their walk. Think about how that grieves Him who gave us ALL things!
Concerning His disciples, Christ said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” John 17:14 . But, He also said, “These are in the world”. The sinner is in the world and of the world; while the Child of God is in the world, but not of the world. Dwell on that.
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul!” 1 Peter 2:11 . The Children of God are considered by God as strangers and pilgrims on Earth, but, whose citizenship is in Heaven, sojourning in a land where their King, the LORD Jesus Christ, has been rejected, and where He is still despised as no other one in all this world is. It was Christ, who said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” John 15:18 .
The task of the Child of God, then, is to walk with Heavenly behavior in a world where the conditions and circumstances are unfavorable and the environment anything but conducive to such behavior; to walk among people who are rebels against God and His Heavenly Laws.
The Children of God are instructed to walk as becomes saints in the midst of fornication, and all uncleanness, and covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking and jesting. Ephesians 5:2-3 . Christ prayed for His disciples, “I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” John 17:15 .
The Lord does NOT want his disciple to be a recluse in a monastery, but wants him right in the midst of this wicked and ungodly world to touch the world and YET not to he touched BY the world. Get it?? Good!
God wants His Children to keep themselves “unspotted from the world” James 1:27 . “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 an enemy of God.” James 4:4 . How difficult it is for some of God’s Children to give up the world; BUT if a Child of God loves Christ in sincerity and in truth and will be faithful in his testimony, he will not only give up the world, but the sinners of the world will give him up, when those sinners find that they cannot bring him to the place or compromise.
Contact without contamination; association without fellowship, is the relation of the saint to the sinner. “For then must he need go out of the world” 1 Corinthians 5:10 .
“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.” 1 John 2:15 . Now you all know full well that this command is not to the sinner; for he can love nothing but the world and its sin. He may grow tired of it at times and yearn for something that will satisfy the longings of the soul, but he is in the world and of the world, walking according to the course of the world. This command is to one who has been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Body of Christ. How sad the experience of Demas which has been repeated by many a Christian, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica” 2 Timothy 4:10 . This companion of the Apostle Paul did the very thing Christians are told not to do: “Love not the world”
Now, there are three Greek words translated into the English word, “World”. One is the inhabited earth; one is the created world, and the other is this Age. Christ died to deliver us from this present evil age. Galatians 1:4 . Satan is the god of this age. 2 Cor. 4:4 . And, remember, Demas did not decide to go to Thessalonica on the impulse of the moment. His decline was gradual.
As a general rule The Children of God, today, are not plunged out into the world with its lust and pride in one shot. FIRST comes the neglect of the Bible, THEN the neglect of prayer, and THEN the lack of testimony; and then, of course, regular fellowship with UN-believers; after that, one questionable amusement and then another.
How many thousands of worldly Children of God there are in our great wicked cities who were once faithful Children of God back in the home town or city or out in the country church. They have been swept out into the current of the world, and find it hard to shake off its strong grip and give up the pleasures of sins. They are sad, poor, and miserable. How beautiful and attractive the prince of this world tries to make this ungodly age for God’s Children. But Christ is so much more attractive, when we know Him intimately and love Him sincerely.
The Body of Christ, is the light of the world. The Body of Christ in the world is God’s program; but the world IN the Body of Christ, is Satan’s plan. It is all right for the ship to be in the water; it is all wrong for the water to be in the ship. The assembly, or congregation, of The Body of Christ, that lowers its standards to meet the demands of the world will lose its spiritual power and blessing. Unconquered pride leads many Children of God to court favor and position in this world.
“Be not conformed to this world” Romans 12:2 . The Apostle Paul said, “I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 . The desire to be popular with the world is a great temptation. Many Children of God, especially young people, want to avoid all appearances that would cause them to be considered peculiar. Let us always remember that Christians are traveling to heaven, while sinners are traveling in the opposite direction, toward the sorrows of the second death; that the Cross of Christ stands between the Child of God and the sinner. The Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14 . This has always been one of my favorite Scripture verses.
If it took the death of the LORD of Glory, such suffering of such a Savior, to separate us from the world, certainly we should stay separated unto Him.
He said to His disciples: “In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 . “As He is, so are we in this world.” 1 John 4:17 .
This is what makes the “Worldly Child of God” such a Paradox.
“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4 . “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:1-2 .
God hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of The LORD Jesus Christ, and He wants us to be“blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom we shine as lights in the world.” 2 Cor. 4:6 ; and Philippians 2:15 .
No worldly Child of God can be a shining light; but is invariably a stumbling block. “And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died.” 1 Corinthians 8:11 . “Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.” Romans 14:17 . Surely, we do not want some poor sinner to stumble over our inconsistent lives, when we should be doing our JOBS as Ambassadors for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation. 2 Cor.5:18
It is a good thing to ask ourselves this question: “Can others see Christ, in ME?”; for God says, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.” 2 Cor. 3:2 . “They may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” 1 Peter 2:12 . “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” Colossians 4:5 . Sinners are closely watching the steps of those who name the name of Jesus Christ.
Now, while the sinner should get his eyes off man and on to Christ, the Child of God is The LORD Jesus Christ’s representative on earth, and should always be to the sinner an example and proof of the Power of Gospel over sin.
Because of his great sin, King David received these words from God: “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die” 2 Samuel 12:14 . The sinful deeds of a Child of God will always cause the enemies of Christ, to blaspheme. Is that what you want??
You have heard the story of the blind man carrying the lantern. Someone asked him if the light kept him from running into others. He said, “No, I carry the light to keep others from running into me these dark nights.” Every Child of God should carry such a bright light that sinners would not stumble over them in these dark days.
The Almighty God, the LORD Jesus Christ, desires, “that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9 . That you, “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. 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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17 .
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
LLM - Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)