LIVING IN TWO WORLDS
There is a very real sense in which Christian people live in two worlds. As Christians we live an earthly life, but at the same time our citizenship is in heaven. Paul wrote, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20) Those who live their earthly life without God have no city except the one they have here on earth. Their only rights are those that they enjoy from secular things. Scripture says of them that their end is destruction, their god is their belly, their glory is in their shame and they mind earthly things. (Philippians 3:19) It is a terrible tragedy when a person is living only for this world. Christians have a heavenly city, a New Jerusalem. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ (Revelation 21:2) Christians have the rights and the privileges of that heavenly citizenship.
The world we live in today is a very different world. The Bible teaches that people should dress and act in a modest way. Sadly, the world that we live in today is filled with immodesty. The Bible says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” (1 Timothy 2:9) The Bible teaches that our life should be lived in reverence before God. Sadly, our music and movies are filled with the filth of gangster rap and other vulgarities. Those who write the music control the hearts and the minds of the people. Our music and movies are marked by a total absence of reverence for God. It cannot be that way for those of us who are Christians. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (Hebrews 12:28) Today’s world is also filled with all kinds of gadgets. Often these things are a blessing, but sometimes they are a curse. What do you do with your cell phone? What do you do with your phone during worship? Do you look at your Bible or do you read and send text? Do you leave your phone on during worship and when it rings disturb other worshipers with the ringing or with your going out to talk to someone about something that is of little or no consequence? Our computers, tablets or recorders can be a great blessing, but they can also be used in very, very bad ways. These things can be used in ways that demonstrate much reverence for God, or they can be used in ways that demonstrate absolutely no respect for the Almighty. How does God feel about the way that you use your electronic gadgets? Do you use them for His glory? We live in a wonderful world, but remember in all that we do and we must reverence God.
Even with all our gadgets, we must teach our self to keep our eyes on God. When you look at a beautiful mountain or valley you do not have to imagine that mountain, you just see it. The same applies to our relationship with God. David said, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” (Psalms 27:4) To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), Confess Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) We must nurture our faith and use the gadgets that God has given us to draw closer to Him instead of allowing those things to distract us from our spiritual journey. “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” (Psalm 89:7)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037