1 John 2:15-17 – 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.
Sadly we see Christians who are more in love with the world and the things in the world than they are with the God over all of it. They expect all the spiritual benefits of being a Christian without giving anything up. Christ paid the ultimate sacrifice by shedding His precious blood for us, Christians today sacrifice very little in return.
Romans 12:1-2 – 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.
Christians watch the same movies and shows as the world, listens to the same music as the world, wears the same clothes, reads the same books etc. And when they do actually give something up, there is the huge market of Christian merchandise to replace it and ensure that today’s Christians do not feel like they are missing out on anything. Former gang leader Nick Cruz pretty much summed it up by saying “The Modern Church is, quite simply, just the World with a Christian T-shirt on!”
Christians today are so comfortable in the world that they are having little effect on it. Even our churches are becoming less reverent and more “comfortable” so non-believers will hardly know they are even in a Church. And our churches are suffering for it. We cannot expect to change the world if the world doesn’t see anything to change.
The cross of Christ is not effective because very few Christians are daily taking up theirs. Instead of crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires, they are feeding it and keeping it alive and well. Today’s Christians do not want to hear that they shouldn’t read that book that everyone is reading, they don’t want to hear that they should miss out on that movie that everyone is going to see, they don’t want to hear that it isn’t a good idea to wear that trendy new style of clothes, they don’t want to even hear that what they are doing could even be sinful. They have freedom, you know, but there is no testimony or witness in that.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24 – All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
I know it’s hard (trust me I DO KNOW!) to draw a line and say “we aren’t going to do that, even though everyone else does (including Christian friends).” But that is what we are called to do!! How? First, get on our knees and ask God to forgive us for it. Then quite simply…read and study our Bible. Real and deep reading and study of God’s Word. Prayerful study. The whole thing. Cover to cover. You don’t need some other book to tell you what the Bible says…you need to know for yourself what the Bible says and let the Holy Spirit reveal to you what it says. Get to know God through His Word, and our love for Him will grow as our love for the world will diminish. And when our joy and worth is truly in the Him and not the world, it won’t bother us not to see that movie, read that book, wear that style, listen to that music etc…and we’ll be more than happy to share why!!
If all those that say they are Christians would take a stand…what a change it would make in this nation and the world.
Luke 9:23-24 – Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
1 Corinthians 1:17-18 – For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Galatians 5:24 – And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Philippians 3:18-19 – For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.