I felt the Lord impressing upon me to write about worldliness on this last day of 2009, completing the first decade of the 21st Century. Many Scripture verses speak on worldliness. The Apostle Paul warns us to not be conformed to this world:
“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.” (Romans 12:2)
The Apostle John cautions us against loving the world and its possessions:
“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.” (1 John 2:15-17)
Jesus gave a parable showing how the cares of this world chokes His Word:
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)
I could meditate on and write about these three verses for days; however in my research something caught my eye. Take note of the words below from a sermon:
“And the city, therefore, was so grieved for the loss of a little wealth, that they came and besought Christ to depart; they did not want his company; they preferred a few poor swine before the company of Christ; and few worldly good, a little pleasure, or any thing rather than Christ, part with Christ before any thing; but one, who is sensible of the love of Christ, will part with all, rather than with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
The pastor is commenting on the following passage:
“When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?’ Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, ‘If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.’ And He said to them, ‘Go.’ So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.” (Matthew 8:28-34)
Is that not what is happening today? Are we not forsaking Christ for filthy lucre, preferring a few poor swine before the company of Christ? Do we not so desire political victory more so than Christ? Are we not willing to part with Christ before any thing? The pastor goes on to say:
“The whole city came to meet Jesus, not to worship, nor to thank him for the releasing of the two poor men who were possessed; no, but to beseech him to go from them; they valued their swine more than the Lord Jesus Christ, and had rather part from him, than them; and have we not among us, thousands who call themselves Christians, who had rather part with Christ than their pleasures? A play, a ball, or an assembly is far more agreeable to them than the company and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ: if they can but indulge their sensual appetite, please and pamper their bellies, satisfy the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, they regard no more, but rest contented, as if they were to live here always.”
Does that not describe American Christendom to a tee? The amazing part of this sermon titled “The Folly and Danger of parting with Christ for the Pleasures and Profits of Life” is that it was preached by George Whitefield in 1740.
O would that the pulpits of America once again be filled by men such as Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards who preached a year later a most famous sermon titled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” where Pastor Edwards wrote and delivered this most famous line:
“There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.”
Notice that these sermons were preached 35 years before the American Revolution, meaning revival came before revolution. And if America is to be restored then revival must come first.
I’ll start the new year out tomorrow with more on that.
In the meantime, be safe tonight.
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Copyright © 2009 David Jeffers