Turning from the World System

( [email protected] ) Aug 10, 2005 12:02 PM EDT

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

What, then, is that world against which we are warned by the apostles? . . .

. . . Here are a few infallible marks of identification:

. . . 3. Godless philosophies. Whether they know it or not, they who belong to the world live by a creed, and by their fruits we may know what their creed is. The man of the world, despite his protestations to the contrary, actually accepts the sufficiency of this world and makes no provision for any other; he esteems earth above heaven, time above eternity, body above soul and men above God. He holds sin to be relatively harmless, believes pleasure to be an end in itself, accepts the rightness of the customary and trusts to the basic goodness of human nature. And even though he be an elder in a church he is part and parcel of the world.

4. Externalism. The man of heaven lives for the kingdom within him; the man of earth lives for the world around him. The first is born of the Spirit; the other is born of the flesh and will perish with it.

To sum up: whatever promotes self, cheapens life, starves the soul, hopes without biblical grounds for hope, adopts current moral standards, follows the way of the majority whether it be right or wrong, indulges in the pleasures of the flesh to make bearable the secret thoughts of death and judgment--that is the world.

"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" (1 John 2:15).


Lord, there seems to be such confusion today among Your people as to what constitutes worldliness. Help me to be sensitive to and clearly distinguish between the world of people You love and the world system You reject. In Jesus' name.


Being friendly with the world is not friendliness with the people of the world. It is adopting the values of the world, its philosophy, its lifestyle, its God.