The Woes of Worldliness
2/28/08; 8/20/09; 2/5/10; 8/27/10; 10/17/11 (refining many small details); 2/4/12; 6/22/13
God’s view of worldliness is probably harsher than you thought. Do you claim to love Jesus? If so, beware of this “woe,” because if you are worldly then God says you’re His enemy! Look closely now at your life in light of these Scriptures and be sure you are hating this world so that you are not disqualified from being counted as a friend of God at the Judgment.
2Pe_3:7 WEB But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2Pe_3:10-12 WEB But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore since all these things are thus to be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness, 12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
Worldliness is imitating the less-than-perfect ways, beliefs, values, philosophies, mindsets, patterns, and behaviors of this condemned human race.
[See: Mat_5:48; 1Pe_1:15-16; 2Co_13:11; Col_1:28; Gen_17:1; Lev_11:44, Lev_19:2, Lev_20:26; Deu_18:13;]
Worldliness is rebelling against God’s plan to redeem mankind from this corrupted and sinful age.
Worldliness is getting trained and discipled by the devil through people who are inbondaged to sin.
Worldliness is being impressed with the human ways that God hates.
Worldliness is enjoying and being entertained by that which dishonors God.
Worldliness is doing what is socially acceptable rather than what is righteously demanded
Worldliness is the lifestyle of giving yourself to the worthless and sinful ways of your natural and fleshly desires, and emotions.
[This is associated with your own personal “soul” (Greek: ψυχικός): 1Co_2:14; 1Co_15:44, 1Co_15:46; Jam_3:15; Jud_1:19]
Worldliness is the selfish pursuit of indulging in this life
Worldliness is often a life of sinful pursuits sanctioned and encouraged by our culture.
1Th_4:3-9 KJB Because this is the will of God, your holiness, that you should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his own vessel in holiness and honor; 5 Not in the passion of lust just as the nations which don’t know God: 6 That no one go beyond [i.e. the limits] and defraud [or overreach] his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despises, does not despise man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit. 9 But as touching brotherly love…
Jer_10:2-3 KJB Thus says the LORD, “Don’t learn* the ways of the nations… 3 Because the customs of the people are vain…
* “μανθανετε” (manthánete): “be discipled by”
- We can see that God called Israel out of the world, and now He does this with us: 2Co_6:17 (quoted below).
- We see that we must not take cues from the world on how to live
3Jn_1:11 WEB Beloved, don't imitate that which is evil, but that which is good. He who does good is of God. He who does evil hasn't seen God.
Eph_5:11 EMTV And have no partnership [συγκοινωνειτε G4790] with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose [ελεγχετε G1651] them.
"...to share in company with, that is, co-participate in..." (Strong’s)
> The last part of this word comes from: G2841 “κοινωνέω”: which means to reciprocate or share in common with.
In the NT, to convict, to prove one in the wrong and thus to shame him.
Jam_1:27 Pure religion2356 and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep5083 himself unspotted from the world.
1Jn_2:15-17 WEB Don't love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father's love isn't in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn't the Father's, but is the world's. 17 The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God's will *remains forever [* μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα – lit. abides into forever].
Jas_4:4 WEB You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Deu_7:9-10 WEB Know therefore that Yahweh your God, he is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness* with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations, 10 and repays those who hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him who hates him, he will repay him to his face.
Eph_2:1-3 KJB …you were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 In which you used to walk according to the age of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom we also all used to have our lifestyle in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
So Why is worldliness wrong?
Mat_6:24 - Can’t serve two masters…
1Co_16:22 KJV If anyone does not affectionately love 5368 [φιλεῖ (Philei)] the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed331 …
Heb_12:14 KJV Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…
- Some of you are hypocrites, and you have nothing offered to you but God’s wrath.
- Others of you will acknowledge your guilt and turn to the promise from God offered to you in true repentance.
Where are we at in terms of the purity of our media? In most cases, we need to repent to obtain purity in this area of our lives.
Worldliness and rebellion always says: “If god did not say it was a sin, then there is nothing wrong with it”
The problem with saying, “there is nothing wrong with it” is that most of the time God does specifically say that our indulgence is sin, but we just don’t read and believe the Bible enough to realize how specific and practical it is to condemn what we irrationally assume is clean. We think we can sanctify anything by simply saying, “there is nothing wrong with it.”
Many times we assume that the Bible does not prohibit certain things that we take for granted, as though they are certain inherit rights for all those who are able to enjoy them. But though we think it is normal and ok, God fervently stands against the great majority of our indulgence in popular media.
We can know that there is no inherent sin in shining light in our eyes from a screen, or sound waves in our ears through speakers. In theory, media could be pure, but the media that we use and gluttonize in is already defiled because we addictively use it to function in life contrary to the Scriptures in countless places:
1Co_7:29-31 CAB But this I say, brothers, the time has been shortened; so that from now on even those having wives should be as though they had none, 30 and those weeping as though not weeping, and those rejoicing as though not rejoicing, and those buying as though not possessing, 31 and those using this world as not using it up. For the form of this world is passing away.
1Ti_5:6 WEB But she who gives herself to pleasure is dead while she lives.
Jas_5:5 WEB You have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure. You have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
Mat_16:24 WEB Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Luk_6:24-25 WEB "But woe to you who are rich! For you have received your consolation. 25 Woe to you, you who are full now! For you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now! For you will mourn and weep.
Though “entertainment” by itself is not wrong per se, our use of it to constantly gratify ourselves, always needing to be entertained and pampered, is definitely a gross and wicked sin. And this sin is the common use in modern christianity. We are not those who mourn and are blessed by Jesus, but those who laugh now, to which Jesus casts His “woe” (Luk_6:25).
But even as if this common addiction to media were not enough of a crime for us, beyond this we are content to pour into ourselves the greatest filth with our media that God has explicitly said that He hates and forbids:
Psa_119:37 WEB Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things. Revive me in your ways.
Psa_101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect8549 way1870 ( includes conversation ). O when will you come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect8537 (Complete.. innocence… integrity) heart. (I walk habitually in the integrity of my heart, In the midst of my house. YLT) 3. I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it will not cleave to me. 4. A perverse heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person . 5. Whoever privily slanders his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that has an high look and a proud heart I will not put up with… (KJV-Based)
Isa_33:14-17 WEB The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless ones: Who among us can dwell with the devouring fire? who among us can dwell with everlasting burning? 15 He who walks righteously, and speaks blamelessly; he who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands from taking a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from looking on evil: 16 He shall dwell on high; his place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks; his bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure. 17 Your eyes shall see the king in his beauty…
It happens that music as a whole is generally one of the greatest idolatries of the modern world, and in many ways, leaving this indulgence becomes one of the very first basic steps of repenting of living in sin to actually follow the real Jesus. I have found that people are generally not even close to becoming a real Christian until they are ready to zealously throw away their old music collection and fervently and bitterly hate what they once loved for so long.
You cannot sing the songs of truth until you have left the music of darkness.
Just as Satan turned His beauty from pleasing God to pleasing himself, so also he uses music (which was originally designed to worship God) to demonically inspire people today to generate music for the indulgence of sin
Eze_28:6-8 CAB Therefore thus says the Lord: Since you have set your heart as the heart of God; 7 because of this, behold, I will bring on you strange plagues… against the beauty of your knowledge, 8 and they shall bring down your beauty to destruction…
Eze_28:12 CAB …You were a seal of resemblance, and a crown of beauty.
Eze_28:13WEB You were in Eden, the garden of God… a
Eze_28:13CAB …you were adorned with every precious stone — the b sardius, topaz, emerald, carbuncle, sapphire, jasper, silver, gold, ligure, agate, amethyst, chrysolite, beryl and onyx…
Eze_28:14-15 CAB From the day that you were created you were with the cherub; I set you on the holy mount of God; you were in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 You were faultless in your days, from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you. 16 …you have been cast down wounded from the mount of God, and the cherub has brought you out of the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; your knowledge has been corrupted by your beauty: because of the multitude of your sins I have cast you to the ground, I have caused you to be put to open shame before kings.
If we ever listen to or sing music, we need to seriously consider the purity of the song writers
While David used prophets to create Divine music (2Ch_29:25-31), we are usually happy to select for ourselves filthy musicians for our own beloved and sinful melodies
Mat_12:33-37 CAB "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten; for a tree is known by its fruit. 34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of his good treasure brings forth good things, and an evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil things. 36 But I say to you, that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."
Psa_137:2-3 CAB We hung our harps on the willows in the midst of it. 3 For there they that had taken us captive asked of us the words of a song; and they that had carried us away asked a hymn, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
· This passage speaks of the Babylonian Captivity (see all of Psa_137:1-9, especially, verses 1, 3-4, 8-9)
· For the most part, “the songs of Zion” (the Psalms) had been divinely composed much earlier during the reign of David (1Ch_6:31-47; 15:15-25, 27; 16:4-7, 37, 41-42; 2Ch_29:25-31; and also see 2Sa_23:1)
· Just as these Babylonians so long ago, it is the filthy perversion of pagans today that still wants to use music for entertainment instead of worshiping God and directing people’s hearts toward faith and truth.
· We can see from this that it is filthy and sinful to use music for entertainment when God designed it for worship
· If we will be God’s people, then we, along with God’s people must “hang up” music when it comes to its potential filthy and pagan uses
· In Psa_137:2-3 it is because of the antagonism of indulgent pagans that God’s people had to hang up their harps in sorrow
· Why did they hang their harps? “For [Greek: “ὅτι” like saying ‘because’ in this case] there they that had taken us captive asked of us the words of a song…” (Psa_137:3 CAB)
- General Fleshly lustfulness
Hoshea Snake Smash: 2KI_18:3-4
Paul Looking at Idols: Act_17:16 (also 22-23)
1Co_10:19-22 – Idol = demon behind
2Pe_2:7-8 – Escape like “Righteous Lot”
1Jn_5:21 CAB Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Amen.
Loving the world means loving the flesh
This would not be so bad except that the flesh and world are counterfeits of “true riches” polluted by sin, so that satan is the master of them. You step into rebellion from God when you serve the demonic realm of this world.
Consider the subtle Greek repetition of the “age” of this world, and the “age” to come in Eph 2
What’s the Reward and What’s the Hope For Repenting of Worldliness?
2Co_6:12-18 CAB 12 …you are restricted by your own affections… 14 Do not become unequally yoked with unbelievers; for what participation is there for righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion is there for light with darkness? 15 And what agreement is there for Christ with Belial? [that is, the devil] Or what part is there for a believer with an infidel? [that is, “ἄπιστος” (apistos) - an unbeliever] 16 And what union is there for the temple of God with idols?... 17 Therefore "Come out from the midst of them and be separated," says the Lord. "Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." 18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty."
(Also: Isa_52:11/ Eze_20:34, Eze_20:41)
It is time to be like Job…
Job_1:1 WEB There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God, and turned away from evil.
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Why did the nations rage, and the people imagine vain things?