“This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
When Albert E. Brumley wrote those words back in 1965 he was expressing what every Christian feels when they begin to live an obedient life for God This world begins to lose its appeal, and in time, actually stands in opposition to his spiritual desires. This experience is consistent with what Jesus taught regarding this present world.
• John 15:19. Q. What did Jesus say we are “not of”?__________________.
Q. Jesus said that he has chosen us ___________________ the world.
When Jesus said “the world” he was not talking about this planet, but rather society. It is the social system that exists all around us, the philosophy, the morals, the entertainment, all of the constructs of fallen man that make up “the world”. When we got saved, Jesus gave us a new nature and immediately set us apart from this world. This setting apart is what the Bible calls sanctification.
In John 17 we find Jesus’ prayer to the Father. In this prayer he specifically prayed for us as believers.
• John 17:15. Q. What did Jesus not pray for us?
Q. What did Jesus pray concerning us and the world?
When we got saved our relationship to the world changed. We are still in the world but we are no longer of the world. God has throughout the ages always chosen to leave his people as a minority in the midst of a fallen world. It is our responsibility now to learn to walk in this world, while remaining separate from it. Though we remain in this world physically, our affections are to be “set on things above” (Col 3:2).
Hebrews 13:14 says For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
It seems that Albert E. Brumely was almost certainly influenced by this passage when he wrote his famous hymn. Our citizenship is not here in this world, but we are pilgrims, passing through, waiting for our true home in heaven. Our response to Jesus’ sacrifice is to turn from this world, even if it means bearing reproach. (Heb 13:13)
Now let’s examine a little closer what this world is all about. First of all, let’s consider the Satanic Dominance in this World.
The Bible refers to Satan as both the god and the prince of this world.
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the ___________
___________________ be cast out.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the ___________________________ hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
These verses and others help us to understand why Satan, when tempting Jesus in the wilderness could claim to have both power and glory in all the kingdoms of the world!
• Luke 4:5-7. Satan said that all the power and glory of the kingdoms of the world had been D__________________ unto him.
When Adam sinned against God, he lost his dominion over this world, and sin and Satan were delivered the power to dominate. Now, man in his fallen condition is heavily influenced both directly by sin and indirectly by Satan. Satan may not make himself known, nor appear directly to men, but he has built up a world system founded upon his rebellion against God
What are some areas of our society where you believe Satan’s influence can be seen?
So, in understanding the world we must recognize the Satanic Dominance of the world, and next, we must see the Sinful Depravity of this world. All one has to do is watch the nightly news or the latest Hollywood movie to witness the depravity of this world. Depravity means “morally corrupt”.
• 1 John 2:15 What are we told not to do?________________________
We are told not to love the world or anything in the world, why is this? Look at the very next verse in 1 John 2:
• 1 John 2:16. Q. What three categories can all that is in the world be divided into? ________________________________________.
This world system is driven by three main desires – the desire to have more (lust of the eyes), the desire to do more (lust of the flesh), and the desire to be more (the pride of life). These three things are absolutely opposed to the nature of God and to what he desires for his children. While the world desires to attain wealth, the Bible says “be content with such things as ye have” (Heb 13:5), while the world desires to indulge the flesh, the Bible says to not “fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16), while the world says we should always desire to be more the Bible says that we are to “be not highminded” (1 Tim 6:17). These unholy drives have been the foundation for this world’s philosophies and approach to life ever since Adam sinned in the garden. We must recognize the sinful depravity of this world and make a decided effort not to be conformed to it.
Romans 12:2 And __________________________________________: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…
Next, and lastly we must recognize the Sure Destruction of this World.
• 1 John 2:16,17. Q. What will happen to this world?
• 2 Peter 3:10. Q. How will this world be destroyed?_________________.
The Bible makes it clear that the this world and all the things within it will eventually be burned up. Recognizing this fact ought to change the way we live our lives.
Look at 2 Peter 3:11. Q. According to this verse, the future destruction of this world ought to motivate us to live in h_____________ and g______________.
Part of walking in newness of life is realizing that this world is only temporary and that we, therefore, should not invest too much into it! Jesus taught this same truth in Matthew 6.
• Matt 6:19-21. Q. Why should we not lay up treasures on earth?
Q. v20, Where should our treasures be? v21,What does this indicate about us?
The right attitude toward this world is that of a pilgrim. We are not invested in this world but are simply passing through. Because of our pilgrim nature we must be sure not to “set up camp” in this world!
What are some ways that a Christian may become “too invested” in this world?
Write out Col 3:2
So we have seen Satanic Dominance in the World, the Sinful Depravity of the World and the Sure Destruction of the World. Next let’s look at some important reasons for our separation from the world.
First of all, we ought to separate ourselves from the world in order to Protect our Walk with God.
If we desire to protect our walk with God than we must separate from the world. When we walk in this world we expose ourselves to all the sin and temptation that comes with it. The Christian who does not guard himself against these things will find himself slowly becoming affected by them.
The Christian who attempts to live both in the world and for God will struggle his entire Christian life and is very likely to eventually choose the things of the world over the things of God.
• Matt 6:24. Q. What can no man do?___________________________.
Q. What will eventually happen if one tries to serve both God and the world?
When a Christian develops a daily quiet time with the Lord, he ought to diligently seek to protect it. This protection comes when we guard our lives from the sinful influences of the world. The Christian who has no problem being friends with the world, or indulging in the world’s depraved entertainment probably does not have a daily quiet time with the Lord which he values.
• 2 Cor 6:17. Q. What must we do before God will receive us?
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. _____________ your hands, ye sinners; and ____________ your hearts, ye double minded.
Although we will never lose our salvation, we can certainly lose our fellowship with God. When we walk in this world and become defiled by it, God will not receive us until we repent of it. We must separate from the world and remain pure and clean from its influence on us.
Lastly, we must separate from the world in order to Proclaim the Word of God. Every Christian as been commissioned to preach the gospel. We are to be witnesses of what Jesus has done for us. In order to have credibility in our witness, we must be separate from the world and not take part in its sin.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but _________________________________.
We must maintain a testimony which is free from the sinfulness of this world, else the world will not accept our witness. When Lot tried to warn his family of the coming judgment they rejected him, why? Because he had not shown himself as a man that knew God or walked with Him. Next week we will examine more in depth the idea of setting safeguards in our lives in order to have a successful walk with God.