By Dr. Kris A. Jackson
We don’t hear much from the pulpit anymore about the world or the old term, worldliness. Here are five quick thoughts about our relationship with this present world, number one, live in it but don’t love it. John warned, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…” (1John 2:16) The world is perishing. Its styles come and go. Who’s hot and who’s not changes with the wind. To love the world means it’s your focus and friend. It dominates conversation. You can’t break its addiction, like Lot’s wife taking one last look at Sodom’s shopping malls, concert halls and social balls. Looking back she became a pillar of salt, an eternal object lesson to what happens when the salt of the earth loses its savor.
Live in it but don’t love it, and second, use it but don’t abuse it. That is basically what it says in 1Corinthians 6:31. Yes, Christians have to use the world. We shop at Target. Believers eat at Chili’s just like other people. A Christian can drive a nice car, but he can’t let the car drive him. You can have money if money doesn’t have you. The church stands separate. We’re not a reluctant caboose following the train track of human history. Instead we’re a steaming locomotive, setting the agenda for planet Earth.
We use the world but don’t abuse the world, and third, we’re confined to it but not conformed to it. Paul declared, “Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2) Or as J.B. Phillips paraphrased, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mold”. The world is good at punching out copies and clones. It cracks the whip and orders its subjects on what to wear, what to read, who to vote for, what’s cool or what’s dorky. The world is the policeman of political correctness.
Next, we are not isolated from the world but are insulated in the world. In Christ’s high priestly prayer He prayed for believers to be “kept” in the world, not taken out of it (John 17:15). We’re in the world but not of it. No one can escape temptation. The whole world is under the spell of the evil one (1John 5:19). Centuries ago, to escape the evils of the world, a monk by the name of Simeon Stylites moved into a little doghouse on top a 60’ foot pole and he stayed there for thirty years! That’s how much fun isolation is. No, the salt of the earth is not to remain sealed in the Morton’s box up on the pantry shelf. Salt doesn’t fulfill its mission until it is out on the table. Rebecca Pippert’s book said, we have to get out of the saltshaker and into the world.
Finally, the church is a fixture in the world, not a mixture with the world. Most pastoral search committees look for a pastor who is a real good mixer, a socializer, the life of the party. But our mission is not to mix with the world, but rather fix it. The world system is broken. Only Jesus can rescue fallen man. That’s why we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel. While the world parties, the evangelist is trying to get a generation prepared. So let me ask again in closing, how in the world are you? Jesus said we will be hated, not loved and accepted. But if Christ resides in the heart the believer is secure. His true home is out of this world, so the last prayer of the Bible should be the first prayer on our lips, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
MGM Ministries-Article Source: beljourn.com/article_story/how-in-the-world-are-you/61/-9taken 2011-2014)