What is Worldliness?
What is worldliness and how can we determine if we're a “worldly” person or a Christ-centered person? This is an important question since 1 John 2:15 tells us “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.” Yet it seems there are some who want to judge others as “worldly” merely because someone may own a television, play a game, celebrate a holiday, or enjoy some music. Where can we find balance concerning these thoughts and what exactly does the Bible teach about all this?
I. Is God against some fun, entertainment, personal interests and things we enjoy doing?
I truly do not believe God is against some fun, relaxation, festivities, or pleasures if done in God-honoring and glorifying ways. There are also various examples in the Bible of people engaged in life's simple pleasures:
1. Jesus attended a festive wedding (John 2:1-11)
2. God likes the idea of children playing (Zechariah 8:5)
3. The Lord loves the innocent pure spirit of little children and held them in his arms. (Matt. 19:13-15, Mark 9:36-37)
(Note: just because we grow up and leave childhood one day, it does not mean God wants us to leave behind some amazing qualities children have which are simply wonderful such as humility, faith, purity of heart, honesty, hope, playfulness, teachability, curiosity, wonder, sweetness, plus little children don't judge others based on skin color, financial reasons etc.)
4. The Bible tells of the joys of music and dancing when done in the spirit of glorifying our great God and not the flesh. (2 Sam. 6:5, 2 Sam. 6:14-16, Rev. 15:2-4, Rev. 14:2-3, Psalms)
5. We often read where Jesus enjoyed eating, visiting, and having relaxed spiritual conversations with people. Jesus seemed like a very down to earth type man with a simple yet very much needed message to share in the dark generation He lived in. He especially enjoyed sharing with those who would listen intently to His common sense message and who responded by showing a changed heart and way of living. He reached out to common men and women such as fishermen and especially those known as sinners such as Mary Magdalene, Zacchaeus etc. Even occasionally a fine military officer or a doctor might heed His words of truth and some could recognize that they were mere men despite their riches and honor and could see that they would one day have to make an account before a great and mighty God. On the other hand, some could not recognize that they were mere frail men, and Jesus pronounced great woes upon those who were proud and unbending. (Luke 11:42-52)
II. How exactly does God want us to view things such as 'fun', 'entertainment', 'personal interests', and 'past-times'?
How does the Lord want us to view such things? Does He like it when people indulge themselves in these pleasures galore while they really don't show any sincere interest in finding true lasting joy in Him? Most definitely not! Even in the majority of churches, it seems we find every conceivable form of entertainment and many forms of it are not godly at all. We read in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 of some of the perilous times to come which seem to describe the day we are living in today in which men will become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.
God wants to be our loving Father who guides us wisely in all the choices we make including those that involve the pleasures we partake in. Our #1 pleasure and joy by far as true Christians should be the simple joy of knowing God and having an intimate relationship with Him in which we can share with Him our every need, concern, joy, question etc. We will want to know other Christians who share this same great love for God. And yes, occasionally we'll have other forms of pleasure, BUT these pleasures will bring HONOR to God if we are true Christians and will be PURE and WHOLESOME in nature.
Let's look at some comparisons between how a true Christian would view various pleasures and how a person who loves this world would view these same pleasures:
A true Christian would view sports as a leisurely way to get a bit of exercise and perhaps have a little fun relaxation time with family or friends. Winning would not be something that concerns them one way or the other, but their main concern would be that everyone showed good sportsmanship and played fairly with no outbursts of wrath or arguing. Sports would be a minor interest next to doing the Lord's will.
A worldly person tends to view sports as an obsession to the point of idolatry that consumes hours and hours of precious time and energy whether they partake in it themselves, watch it on TV, or watch their children's games. They will consume endless hours engaged in sports and yet little to no time sincerely seeking the Lord and God's word, prayer etc. (besides perhaps going to church quick on Sunday many times for a good appearance.) A worldly person is consumed about winning and will find themselves having outbursts of wrath if their team or a player messes up somehow. A person such as this is truly a person who is a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God (2 Tim. 3:4). Such a person needs to repent of this idolatry and get right with God for as the Bible teaches idolaters will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven unless they turn from this in repentance to God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21 etc.)
A true Christian would desire by far to listen to music that sets their heart on the things of God and has a pure and spiritually edifying message. True Christians might also occasionally listen to a love song that makes them think of their precious spouse, a meaningful song that makes them think of the blessing of their family/friends, a children's fun song, happy party tune etc., but the songs will have to be pure and wholesome in nature or else the Holy Spirit will convict them to not listen to it. I do believe that certain people's consciences are more sensitive than others in this area and I have met people who were even uncomfortable about listening to Keith Green's Christian music, and other people are even very sensitive about listening to Christian folk music. We need to be sensitive to our conscience and obey the Holy Spirit's leading as the Spirit convicts us in this area which will always guide and lead us to keep us on the straight and narrow road.
A worldly person won't feel the conviction to not listen to music that has an impure message and will listen to it and enjoy it anyways. They don't mind it when singers sing about adulterous ways, lewd ways, immorality, being wild, saying wicked lyrics etc. They won't feel convicted if they happen to turn on a music TV channel where they will see countless people wearing skin tight-fitting outfits that reveal body parts that were meant to be kept modestly concealed. Much of their music will exude the wickedness of this world. Even much music that is called “Christian” wants to emulate these worldly bands more than desiring to emulate Christ so we have to guard our hearts and minds so very carefully in this day and seek the Spirit's leading. Do not be deceived about these things and seek God's word, for all those who love such wickedness as this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-7 etc). Repent of this and make sure you're right with God while God in His loving kindness and mercy is still yet making time for you to do so.
A true Christian should feel sensitive to those who can see them and who are seeking them as an example of how to lead a holy, God-fearing, and God-honoring life. Therefore I am seriously convicted that true Christians should seek to refrain from drinking any form of alcoholic beverage since alcohol can so easily lead to the potential of sin, and it could also be a real stumbling block to those who are weak in the faith. (1 Cor. 8:9) Why does a true Christian really need to drink alcohol when there are so many other beverage choices available? Is it worth the risk of possibly causing a Christian brother or sister to stumble and fall away from the faith? (1 Cor. 8:9) I will not judge a Christian who chooses to have a small glass of wine with a meal in a private setting for I do believe that there are a few verses in the Bible that do not prohibit this, but I do believe that true Christians should overall refrain from drinking alcohol and should realize that this is the wisest and most mature thing to do. Alcohol has caused more harm and grief than almost anything imaginable and almost always leads to exceedingly severe problems of one type or another.
A worldly person is not normally convicted about drinking alcohol or mindful of all the exceedingly great harms and pains it causes. They want to have a good time and they often think alcohol is a necessity for that. These people do not realize that the Bible clearly teaches in different areas that those who partake in drunkenness will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21) The Bible clearly teaches this, yet I have never been in a church that clearly taught this message and therefore they are allowing multitudes of individuals to continue on the broad road to hell without even warning them.
A true Christian knows that God created sex to be between one man and one woman who are married and God called this good. (Gen. 1:27-31) God commands that men and women use this in the proper way and not in forbidden sinful ways that violate God's perfect and healthy laws.
A worldly person is not concerned about God's good and perfect laws and loves pleasing his flesh more than he loves obeying God. Worldly people will oftentimes choose to engage in forbidden forms of sex including premarital sex, adultery, and homosexuality which the Bible teaches are all types of sin that lead the soul to hell. (Galatians 5:19 etc) Jesus said that even those who lust after a woman or man commit adultery in their heart (Matt. 5:27-30) and this form of adultery can be committed by watching filthy sights on the TV, computer, books, magazines etc. People need to repent of these sins while there is yet time.
A true Christian knows that various holidays were celebrated in the Bible and that these holidays were times to remember the Lord and make a special celebration about Him for special reasons. We have holidays in our day too when we celebrate victories in the Lord as well. A true Christian will want to use this time to focus on the Lord most of all and to give Him the glory. They will use it as a special time and opportunity to witness about Jesus, sing praises to Him, share stories from God's word relating to this holiday etc. They might also decide to have a family dinner and put up some meaningful decorations perhaps, but the celebrations will be holy and pure in nature.
A worldly person will not be truly concerned about celebrating the things of God to any real extent other than perhaps attending a church service. They will be more concerned about turning the holiday into an occasion to gain things for themselves. They will concentrate their hearts and minds more on their own desires than on using this as an excellent opportunity to share about the Lord.
A true Christian might occasionally enjoy a game where the whole family can get involved in such as a board game or a game of croquet in the yard etc. Winning would not be of concern one way or the other and the main enjoyment would just be the simple pleasure of spending special quality time together with family or friends. True Christians should not partake in any games that involve gambling which involves lust and greed or games that involve any sort of lewd behavior etc.
A worldly person oftentimes will love video games or computer games to the point of idolatry and will spend hours and hours of precious time on this useless activity. These video and computer games not only will become an idol to such individuals, but these types of games are also oftentimes known for all sorts of sinful activity such as immorality, violence, aggression, inspiring hate, greed, lust, coveting, cursing, lying etc. Worldly people also tend to like occult type games such as the Ouija board, and few of these people know that to engage in such sorcery and witchcraft leads men's souls to hell. (Rev. 21:8) Worldly people also tend to want to engage in games that involve gambling, drinking, or lewd behavior. The Bible clearly warns that such people as this will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Peter 4:1-5 etc) yet almost no churches in our day are warning people of these facts. These people must repent and turn from these sins and get prepared before their Judgment Day arrives. The Lord in His mercy is still giving people an opportunity to do so, but few will heed His gracious call.
A true Christian might occasionally enjoy a wholesome party which has some fun activities for family and friends. They may be celebrating a wedding, anniversary, or another special occasion. The time would not involve drunkenness, lewdness, or any other form of sin, but would only allow for wholesome fun.
A worldly person will oftentimes be interested in parties that glorify the flesh and involve sinful activities such as drunkenness, lewdness, crudeness, immorality etc. These people will enjoy places like wild immoral drinking parties. The Bible warns very clearly in 1 Peter 4:1-4 that anyone who wants to be prepared for the time of Judgment must leave all these sins behind.
A true Christian will only want to get to know another person who has a true passion for the Lord in the same way he does. Any time spent together will be a pure and respectful time that glorifies God. They will know not to tempt the flesh and engage in any activities that could spark lust. Young people especially should be accompanied by a chaperone to ensure a wholesome time.
A worldly person will see dating as an opportunity to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and other impure desires as the primary goal normally.
9. TV/ MOVIES:
A true Christian will always heed the Spirit and will only choose to watch things that are pure in nature such as a clean family movie or an educational program. They will probably only rarely watch TV, and if they do, the show will not inspire them to lust after sin. TV is an area that we have to be ever so careful of since the devil uses it to inspire greed, lust, violence etc even in commercials so the less of this the better. There are some family movies which are quite clean and pure overall, but even these we have to be careful of and watch with care and discernment.
A worldly person fills their eyes with all sorts of wickedness which goes directly into their minds and stays there. They do not have the discernment to turn off a show that promotes immorality, lust, filthy language, excess violence, horror, the occult etc but rather sit there and enjoy such things. It is rare for people to go to a church where they will preach against all the Hollywood indecency, in fact, many churches are known to show such films to their youth at camps or youth groups. People who love this world will also find themselves glued to the TV for hours on end which is idolatry since idolatry is when we love something more than we love God. The same goes with the computer, but the blessing with computers is that they can be used in ways to glorify the Lord and share the true Gospel!
10. READING MATERIAL:
A true Christian will mostly be interested in reading material that teaches God's wisdom. By far the person will want to read the Bible above and beyond anything and will thirst and hunger after the Word of God in the same way that a babe thirsts for milk. (1 Peter 2:2) There may be a few rare Bible-based teachers that a true Christian may respect and will perhaps read some of this person's articles etc., but they will be wise and compare everything against the Holy Word of God to make sure they are learning the fullness of truth. (Acts 17:10-11)
A worldly person will mostly love to read literature that promotes the world's values. They will get very bored reading the Bible and instead will pick up a magazine filled with people dressed very immodestly and living immoral Godless lives. They will also buy books about illicit romances, and other sinful literature. They will love books that adulate various forms of idolatry and intellectual/educational pursuits that obsesses their minds yet will never sincerely seek after the one true book that stands alone in perfect guidance and wisdom – The Bible.
A true Christian knows that dancing is something mentioned in the Bible and that there are joyous ways to dance that celebrate the Lord. We read in 2 Samuel 6:14 where David danced before the Lord with all his might. Such dancing is seen as delightful to God and it gives true Christians joy in their hearts to do so. (Psalm 149:3, Ecclesiastes. 3:4) Some dancing is also for fun or special purposes such as at weddings and anniversary dances.
A worldly person is not bothered by dancing that is done in a lewd or sexually suggestive type manner and they enjoy such things. This type of dancing is a form of lewdness and needs to be repented of.
12. INTERESTS/ HOBBIES/ PAST-TIMES:
A true Christian will mostly love interests and past-times that build them and others up in positive ways. They will mostly love to speak and witness to others about the Lord, help a person in need, or seek the time to visit the elderly who could use some company and kindness. A true Christian may have other hobbies such as gardening, sewing, playing an instrument, woodcarving, cooking, painting, writing, horse riding etc but it will be a wholesome productive type activity that can often be used to bring glory to God. God gives each individual unique talents and abilities and He expects us to not use these talents to glorify ourselves with pride or in sinful ways, but to use these talents to bring honor to the Lord as well as for giving peace and purpose to others.
A worldly person will most often love interests and past-times that center primarily around an obsession to the point of idolatry (idolatries include anything that consumes our hearts and minds more than the things of God.) These will often be people who can't feel alive unless they are living to the extreme by racing fast cars, constant skateboarding, and other types of extreme sports. They will obsess their hearts and minds with crossword puzzles, remodeling their homes, going to amusement places and all sorts of other things. It's not that some of these things are all that bad if done in moderation, but for a big majority of people in our day they have truly “become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.” (2 Tim. 3:4) When such things consume people's hearts for endless hours and they find that the things of God are not their number one focus in life or their greatest passion/love of all, then these activities have become an idol to these people which they must repent of and turn back to loving God above all. If people refuse to repent, God promises that they will not be able to enter His Kingdom and He will remove their 'candlestick.' (Rev. Chapter 3:14-20)
13. FRIENDS/ RELATIONSHIPS/ GATHERINGS:
A true Christian will seek after knowing friends that have the same strong passion for the Lord as they have. They will love friends who have pure and godly values and who love sharing about the wisdom of the Lord and the true Gospel above all else in life. They will gather with those who are 'hot' for the Lord and seek to fulfill God's great missions above all else in life. The true Body of Christ works as a 'team' of soldiers for the Lord for they are all members with unique talents and gifts to compliment each other and use their gifts to help grow God's Kingdom. True Christians need to be careful to not build close relationships with those who are not passionate for God, for these people will seek to bring the Christian down and lead them back into sin or back into a life that is lukewarm and dull about the things of God. These people are spiritually dangerous for true Christians and we can see an example of this when we see how Solomon chose to know women who were not followers of the Lord. These women led Solomon's once-passionate heart for God away into a love for their idolatrous ways instead. God warned Solomon of this danger, but Solomon chose to ignore God's warning and instead followed the way that led to his destruction.
A worldly person is not concerned about God's mission or goals so they do not choose friends who are truly passionate about the Lord and fulfilling His goals. People of the world tend to belong to various types of social clubs and lodges. Even churches of our day are usually nothing like the early church but are mostly just social gathering type clubs. Apostle Peter taught in 1 Peter 4:2 that true Christians should no longer live the rest of their time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. As true Christians, we really have nothing in common with the petty and meaningless endeavors of social clubs anymore but have to always keep our minds and hearts focused on the high calling we have from God to fulfill His missions during our short time here in this world. However, there are a few good helpful groups such as 4-H club where children learn to cook and sew etc. which can be truly beneficial. We are in this world, but we are not of this world and need to separate ourselves from those who live primarily for the pleasures of this world. Instead, we need to gather with those who are our true brothers and sisters in Christ and who are truly living to do the Lord's will. (Hebrews 10:25)
14. UNHEALTHY CHOICES IN PLEASURE (overeating junk food, smoking, excess sugar or coffee etc.):
A true Christian should seek to want to be healthy and pray to the Lord to guide them to do so. The Bible does not really speak specifically about these areas in ways where God expresses a strong judgment about, but the Bible does speak quite a fair amount about using moderation as opposed to being indulgent. An excess of anything whether it be sugar, fatty foods, coffee, smoke etc are not good for the temple body that God dwells in. A person who is overindulgent in eating lots of gooey sugary and fatty foods though should not look down their nose in pride and judgment at those who might have a tendency to smoke for both the smoker and the overeater are engaged in equally unhealthy choices that can negatively affect the pancreas, kidneys, heart, lungs, blood vessels, nervous system etc. All these types of overindulgences have been proven to not be healthy to the human body. Let us remember though to not be too overly judgmental in these areas for the Bible does not express great judgment in these areas, and we have to remember that with the same measure that we choose to judge others is the same measure with which God will judge us. We need to continue to abide and grow in the Lord day by day, and as we walk in the Spirit we should continue to grow in making healthier and wiser choices in these areas. Let us show love and compassion toward those who struggle in these areas and encourage and help them to make wiser healthier choices.
A worldly person tends to like to 'flaunt' and 'show off' the fact that he smokes and thinks it's 'cool' or sophisticated etc. Worldly people do not seem to be overly concerned about their bad eating habits but continue to overindulge instead of seeking to make healthier wiser eating choices.
III. Now let's look at a couple of other final key areas that are related to the subject of worldliness and seek to find the truths of God as found in God's holy word.
1. PHYSICAL APPEARANCE:
A true Christian will earnestly seek to follow the holy advice given in Holy Scripture and seek to be chaste and modest in their physical appearance. True Christians realize that their body is where the Holy Spirit dwells and is seen by God as the temple of God, therefore they desire to present themselves as proper in appearance and will have no desire to dress in ways that come across as suggestive or shocking. The Bible teaches about moderation when it comes to the way Christians should appear physically and Paul taught in Philippians 4:5 to “Let your moderation be known unto all men.” Peter also taught in 1 Peter 3:3-6 that women should not let their adornment be merely outward such as in doing things such as arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel, but instead to let it be the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God. Peter does not seem to be saying that women are not allowed to style their hair neatly and moderately or wear a moderate tasteful amount of jewelry, cosmetics, or pretty and modestly styled clothing. Instead, he seems to be stressing the fact that these outward adornments are nothing to God in comparison to the inward adornments of having a loving, gentle, and meek spirit which the Lord finds most precious and appealing by far.
A worldly person, on the other hand, does not seek the advice given in Holy Scripture on personal appearance but instead tends to seek out what the rest of the crowd is doing and follow along with them instead. When a person looks at a fashion magazine in our day, there does not seem to be much in the way of moderation whatsoever when it comes to anything. Mostly we see things like extremely expensive clothes, outrageous looking hairstyles, loads of thick makeup, lewd provocative type fashions, tattoos everywhere, and very attention type getting piercings on the body. The Lord's word teaches against markings/tattoos in such places as Leviticus 19:28, but this is not something we will be taught about in almost any church of our modern day that wishes to ignore the majority of the Bible's teachings.
We should not seek to teach new Christians about these matters in a spirit of harshness or superiority, but in a spirit of meekness and gentleness as we lovingly guide them to earnestly seek out holy scripture on these matters. If the person then becomes truly repentant and has a heart that sincerely comes to want to obey the Lord with all their heart and mind, then that person should truly desire not to flash around in immodest or overly worldly looking styles. If they are truly repentant they should not seek to flaunt their old tattoos and should start wearing clothing, jewelry, and cosmetics in ways that are modest and decent. They should also start wearing more appropriate and modest type hairstyles. The truly repentant do not live to draw attention to themselves, but instead, seek to use themselves in ways to draw attention to the things of God above all. If a person continues in rebellion to what Scripture teaches instead of sincerely seeking to obey God, then it can be quite clear that this is a person who loves this world and the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15) His soul will be in true danger come Judgment day unless he humbles himself before the Lord in true repentance and seeks to sincerely obey and follow the Lord.
2. MONEY AND MATERIAL POSSESSIONS:
A true Christian may or may not have a fair amount of wealth. When we look at the Bible we see that some very strong children of God were actually quite wealthy. Abraham possessed wealth, as well as Job, David, and Solomon for example. On the other hand, we see some very strong children of God who had nearly no possessions such as John the Baptist, the disciples etc. It seems the issue is not so much about whether or not a person possesses a certain amount of wealth or not, but whether or not that wealth rules a person's heart and mind, or if God rules a person's heart and mind.
How can we know what is ruling us? We can understand this better when we look at the story of Job and we can clearly see that God ruled Job's heart and mind instead of his wealth. When Job was full of wealth and prosperity he did not boast or set his mind on riches but only boasted and set his mind on the Lord. When God allowed Job to become poor and destitute, Job did not mourn over this loss of material things but still gave thanks and praise to God. Job is an example that whether or not we have prosperity, we see that riches can easily fade away and we should never trust in riches or love them. Instead, we should realize that God alone is our sure hope and trust, and realize that in Him alone can we know true peace and contentment.
Jesus told us that we cannot serve God and mammon both, for we will either love one and hate the other. (Matt. 6:24) We must choose whom we will serve. True Christians will be ever thankful to the Lord for their blessings but they will not put their trust in uncertain riches or fading material things. True Christians will not love this world and money but instead, they will place all their love and trust in God. (1 Tim 6:17) They will not live to lust after money but to thirst after doing the will of God.
True Christians will have giving and generous hearts to those in true need and will be cheerful givers. (2 Corinthians 9:7) They will not be people who want to be recognized for what they give or for their good deeds sinceJesus told us not to seek praise from men, but from God and to not even let our left hand know what our right hand is doing. (Matt. 6:1-4) They will strive to be wise stewards who use their possessions wisely and with a thankful heart. (Luke 12:42)
True Christians should also seek to live quite humbly and modestly as well and not act in haughty ways. (1 Tim 6:17) They will not have to have all the 'latest gadgets' and 'toys' but will be content with what they have. (1 Tim 6:6-11) If they do have 'gadgets' they will seek to not use these to exalt themselves but seek to use them in ways that can promote sharing the true Gospel with a world in need.
God typically calls the poor of this world over those who are 'noble' or 'high and mighty' (1 Corinthians 1:26-27) since the rich tend to be caught up in this world's ways and materialism. Those who are not so rich in fading earthly treasures will tend to be more likely to understand spiritual truths better since they are not so caught up in wealth. Those who possess great wealth are normally in true danger since Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter heaven. (Mark 10:25)
A worldly person is someone who tends to set their heart and mind on gaining material wealth and they lust after the things of this world without truly seeking after God. They may go to church regularly and give lots of money to their church in the same way the Pharisees did, yet their hearts are set on the things of this world and not on how they can truly serve the Lord. Men such as this love most of the churches in our day since most churches of our day have no interest in teaching the true Gospel which includes the need for repentance, forsaking sin, and living entirely for God. Instead, most churches of our day teach a dead worthless 'gospel' full of jokes, stories, and no real 'meat' from holy Scripture. They only teach a 'man pleasing gospel' so that men can feel comfortable in continuing in sin and self and yet feel 'religious' about themselves by going to church for about an hour a week. The Bible warns that men will heap up 'ear-tickling' religious teachers such as this so this scenario is no surprise for truth seekers to see. (2 Tim. 4:3)
God calls very few men who are rich in this life since most have their minds set on this world. It is sad that most never gain eyes to see that this life is just a quickly fading illusion and that the only true treasures are those that can be stored in heaven. (Matt. 6:19-21)
I hope this study was helpful in understanding the differences in mindsets between someone who is truly Christ-centered and someone who is overcome with a worldly mindset. The most simple definition of worldliness seems to be when people want to do things that violate and go against God's perfect written word, and choose to go ahead and live the way they want instead with no real regard for what God's perfect word teaches.
In Revelation 18:4 God commands for people to come out of the ways of this world so that people may not be partakers of the world's sins and that we may not receive of her plagues. We as true Christians have nothing in common with this world and we can relate to what the Lord told His disciples in John 15:19 “If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
What all of this boils down to is that God gives men a choice. In whatever we do in this life we have the God-given choice of either sowing to the flesh or in sowing to the Spirit. When we sow to the Spirit it results in wonderful things including godly attitudes and ways such as sharing love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness etc. Those who continue to sow to the Spirit are also promised the joy of everlasting life! Whereas if a person sows to the flesh it only results in destructive ways such as adultery, uncleanness, jealousies, selfish ambition, idolatries etc. God will not be mocked, and those who wish to rebelliously sow to the flesh will reap destruction (hell) as the Bible teaches. (Galatians 6:8) If we are sincerely keeping away from worldliness then it will be seen by the fact that we are seeking with all our heart to dedicate our lives to God and His will for our lives. We will earnestly seek God's word as our source of truth and follow the Spirit's leading in every aspect of our lives. When this occurs then godly character will prevail and we will live lives that exude moderation, modesty, and holiness before God and men. These are the ways that lead to a confident, joyful and peaceful life if we will just simply continue to ever abide in the Lord and His will.
The Bible tells us to examine and test ourselves to make sure we are truly of the faith. (2 Cor. 13:5) Many are deceived and being led into delusion since they love their sin more than righteousness, so God allows them to continue in their delusions. If you truly want to be prepared to meet the Lord in the very near future, then you seriously need to examine yourself and test yourself. I hope and pray that the tests and examinations in this article helped you to feel even more confident that you truly are a child of God. On the other hand, if this article caused you to see areas in your life of rebellion, I hope that this might cause you to humbly turn to God in true repentance and sincerely live for the Lord from this time forward. The Lord is mercifully calling men to repent before He returns, but all those who refuse His merciful call will not be able to enter the narrow gate that leads to life. If we are sincere to follow the Lord, He promises to give the Holy Spirit to all who obey Him (Acts 5:32) and to wash away our past sins. (Isaiah 1:16-20) Turn to Him with all your heart in this final hour! God bless you.
Article by F. A. Butler