God's Cure For Worldliness
Worldliness is a terrible problem for mankind -- from preacher, church leaders, and parents and for the youth of our land. Worldliness is to be secular, unspiritual, materialistic, and irreligious. Paul described worldliness in these words, “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2) Worldliness is “ungodliness and worldly lust.” “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” (Titus 2:12) Jesus “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:14)
Worldliness has resulted in immodesty, pornography, dancing, thefts, drugs, immorality, rapes, child abuse and divorce. Righteous Lot was vexed by the worldliness of His day and we should also be vexed by the worldliness of our day. (2 Peter 2:7-8)
Our escape from the world is through Jesus Christ. There is no other to whom we can go to find an answer to worldliness. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:68-69)
To escape worldliness Christians must make a conscience decision not to be squeezed into the mold of the world. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2) There are places, people and practices which Christians must avoid.
To escape worldliness Christians must use God’s way of escape. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (I Corinthians 10:13) A way to escape worldliness has been provided by God. If you fail to walk in that way you will become worldly.
To escape worldliness Christians must develop a strong faith. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.” (1 John 5:4) Faith comes as God’s world is implanted into our hearts. (James 1:21) Christians must do all they can to strengthen their faith. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) Faith is the victory over the world because through our faith we let go of the world and cleave to Jesus completely.
To escape worldliness Christians must “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts;” we must live “soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” (Titus 2:12) Christians must abandon sin. As we renounce worldliness and have no more to do with it we are able to “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
To escape worldliness Christians must come out and be separate from the world. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people. Therefore Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) The church is the “called out.” Christians must take care not to mingle themselves with unbelievers -- not to be unequally yoked with them. We must never choose the godless for our close friends.
To escape worldliness Christians are taught to: (1) be steadfast and unmovable in God’s service (1 Corinthians 15:58), (2) to avoid a love of the world (1 John 2:15-17), (3) keep yourself pure and clean (1 Timothy 5:22), (4) put to death sinful habits (Colossians 3:5-6), (5) bear the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and (6) be a light for Jesus. (Philippians 2:15-16)
Those that follow Jesus must choose to serve Him. (Joshua 24:15) To become a Christians you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe (Mark 16:16), repent (Acts 2:38), confess (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism YOU MUST be different from the world.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA