Verse of the Day – Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Daily Scripture ReadingPhilippians 2

Devotional Thoughts
In my sermon on Sunday we examined the influence of worldliness in the church today. It is actually a frightening thing to look at. AW Tozer is known for a quote where he says something along the lines that he went looking for the church and found her in the world and then went looking for the world and found her sitting comfortably in the church. And yet so much of the New Testament is devoted to telling us the dangers of worldliness – why can’t we stay away from the world?

There truly is a lot at stake here. If we are worldly then we cannot be holy. If we cannot be holy then we cannot commune with or worship God. This week we will study a few facets of this message I preached as we search the Scriptures to see how we are not to be like the world.

Consider this as we lay the foundation today for our study:

We are commanded to be holy. We are commanded to live godly lives. We are commanded to be without spot and blemish because Jesus is coming and He when He does He will judge the living and the dead. In 1 John we read, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

There has been a theme in our sermons these last few weeks. Jonah told Nineveh, “Repent or you will be destroyed.” Nahum said to Nineveh, “You’ve embraced your sin. You’ve not turned to God. You will be destroyed.” Jesus says, “Behold I’m coming quickly” and Peter tells us when He comes the elements we dissolve this world will be done away with. So we are awaiting a new heavens and a new earth. Indeed, we are told in 1 John 2 that the world is passing away.

Think about the foolishness here then when the church embraces the world. The church is holding on to something that will not last. To try to do things like the world, to think like the world, to talk like the world, to dress like the world, to act like the world, to worship like the world, to try to entertain ourselves, to try to please ourselves, to try to build up self, to try to do all these things is to do things in the way of the world and the world is passing away.

The Bible is clear. Friendship with the world makes one an enemy of God. We are told in no uncertain terms “Do not love the world. Do not love the things in the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him.” That is a powerful verse that we don’t hear preached very often. If anyone loves the world – and who it is written to? This is written by John to the church. This is the church – if anyone in the church loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. If you love the world, if you crave the things of the world, if you embrace the world, if you live for worldly entertainment and pleasures, the love of the Father is not in you.

Why? Because all that’s in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, it is all passing away. It’s not of the Father but it’s of the world and everything in this world is passing away and all the lust of it “but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

Romans 12:1-2 tells it to us this way. “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” – this is a hard truth to grasp because we have been so influenced and infected by worldliness in the church that it is hard for us to recognize that it is even there. But we are not to be conformed to the world. We are not to be driven by what motivates the world, we are not to desire what the world desires, we are not supposed to look like them, think like them, act like them, or live like them. We are to come out from among them and be separate. We don’t belong to this world. Don’t be conformed to the 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.” The church in the West, the church in America is dying today because she is so infected with worldliness.

As we look at the church today this is the truth that we must remember – to love God is to obey God. “His commandments are not burdensome and whatever is born of God overcomes the world.” Now listen to this. The Bible tells us whatever is born of God overcomes the world. Then what can we say about a church that is overrun by the world instead of overcoming it? “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, our faith.” What does that mean if the church is not overcoming the world? They don’t have faith!

Why do so many gather for worship and try to entertain themselves? Why do so many try to water down the gospel? And why when the world floods in do they allow it? Churches are full of people chasing after the world to fulfill their own lust in whatever form they can find it. But the truth is that if a “church” is not overcoming the world then it is not the church! “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. Who is he who overcomes the world he who believes the Jesus is the son of God.”

How did Jesus say it in John chapter 16? “Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

This week then we will study the following topics that relate to worldliness:

1. Do Not Think Like the World.
2. Do Not Talk Like the World.
3. Do Not Act Like the World.
4. Do Not Look Like the World.
5. Do Not Worship Like the World.

So I will see you tomorrow as we pick up with the topic Do Not Think Like the World.

Bible Reading For Further Study
Matthew 13:22; John 1:10; 15:18-19; 16:33

Recommended Songs for Worship
The World is Very Evil
Holy, Holy, Holy