“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (I John 2:15-17)
Christianity is a distinct righteous way of life. Anything short of this righteous standard is not acceptable to the principle of the word of God. Brethren, I want you to know that man did not set the rule, God Himself through the mouth of His elect set the rule. That is the purpose of this study. From the memory verse, the challenge is very clear. If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above… We did not come to the Lord to satisfy the interest of the worldly system. The Lord sought for us, found us and paid the precious price of His precious blood for our redemption. We repented of our sins and embraced salvation through the grace of God according to the clear knowledge and understanding of the word of God. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) By the virtue of this priceless redemption on the Cross of Calvary, we became grafted to the covenant of His love. We are His spiritual adopted children, and we are joint heirs with Him. Since we are His spiritual adopted children, our characters and ways of lives must reflect the godly and righteous examples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our utterances must be with grace and season with salt. “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt …” (Colosians 4:6) Integrity should be our watch world. Holiness must be our house rule. He is holy, therefore we must be holy like Him. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, ‘Be ye holy; for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16) Above all, Jesus Christ prayed unto the father concerning His Church, “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:14-17) Therefore our paramount interest as children of God should be centered on things above—and not on the worldly earthly things. This is the standard expected of all of us.
WHAT IS WORLDLINESS?
Worldliness is an issue of the heart. It is the secret inward liking and craving for the fad, fancies and fashions of the world. It manifests in the worldly lifestyle of the individual, the type of worldly friends you keep, the type of corruptible street language you speak. Dressing is one area where worldliness speaks loudly and clearly in our society today. The scripture asked a soul searching question, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20) Whenever you are about to purchase a dress, the guiding principle should be that the dress properly covers your nakedness and present you as a responsible and dignify child of God. Any dressing that is intended to reveal your naked body to the people in the fashion world and presents you as a “sexy-individual,” for the singular purpose of showing off how fashionable you are to the world does not pass the test of honor unto God. Brethren, please let us understand the intentions of God concerning our dressing. Moderation is the watch word in our dressing. “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” (1 Timothy 2:9 NLT) At the same time, we can gorgeously dressed up and responsibly presented ourselves as good ambassador of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world.
Worldliness is not limited in dressing only. At the time of rejoicing, do the worldly people constitute the larger percentage of the crowd you mingled with? When you are in need of advice or counsel, do you always be prompted to seek counsel from the worldly people instead of godly people? As a believer do you have prayer partner? If you do not have prayer partner, perhaps you are dwelling among the worldly people who had relegated prayer to the forgotten background. Do you still crave for chieftaincy titles of your village because you think it is the inheritance of your ancestors? Do you still participate in the tribal meetings? If you are into all these, Brethren look inward and think deeply, worldliness is still manifesting in your characters. Remember the admonition of Paul to the Romans, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.( Romans 12:1-2)
WHAT IS WORLDLY AMUSEMENT?
Worldly amusement is an important aspect of worldliness. It is the instrument in the hand of Satan that he uses to occupies the mind of idle people. People call these amusements devices as fun but the true nature of worldly amusement is that they are thought and time killers. Amusement distracts and diverts attentions of humanity. Amusement is a powerful instrument of distraction that the arch-enemy of man is using against humanity to occupy him. The scripture encourage us to redeem the time—this means apportion quality time for good purposes. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) This includes the time we waste listen to type music that does not glorifying God. It includes the time we spent surfing internet and playing computer games. Our engagement in all kinds of gambling, sporting events and talk shows, political discussions and late night movie on the televisions that wiles away our quality times.
DANGER OF WORLDLINESS AND WORLDLY AMUSEMENT
Perhaps we may be wondering why we have to study this topic today. We need to understand that there are many dangerous temptations out there that appears to be harmless. There are many manipulations embedded in worldly amusements out there that is eating to the fabric of lives of the children of God. We need to understand the nature of worldliness and worldly amusement so that it will not be a factor of derailment in our Christian life journey.
There is a clear line of demarcation between godliness and worldliness. God does not want His people that are called by His holy name to cross this line of demarcation and stray away into worldliness. That is why we have a stern warning in I John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If a man love the world, the love of God is not in him.”
In Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, withal your soul, and with all your strength.
Also in Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment.
- Worldliness is deadly, it promotes lust of the eyes and of the heart, brings about envy and jealousy that drag the mind of people into sinfulness. “… know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4
- Worldliness leads believers to backslide
- Worldliness corrupts the hearts of children of God if it lingers in the church uncorrected.
- Worldliness causes the presence and power of God to diminish if allowed in the church.
- Worldly amusement weakens the Christian activities in that the quality times that would have been devoted to evangelism, praying, visitation and follow up are wasted on time-killing amusement devises.
- Unregulated time expended on worldly amusement is the reason why many people sleep during church activities.
Let us seriously consider the admonition of this study. Worldliness must be treated like a plague among the children of God. Adult and youths in the Church must mobilize their energy, resources and time for purposeful use and they must do everything within their power to curtail the worldliness in all activities of their lives. We must all remember that the idle hand is the workshop of Satan. We must get busy doing something useful for the glory of God.