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Deal with World

 

Carnality, Deliverance from

The story is told of Handley Page, a pioneer in aviation, who once landed in an isolated area during his travels. Unknown to him, a rat got aboard the plane there. On the next leg of the flight, Page heard the sickening sound of gnawing. Suspecting it was a rodent, his heart began to pound as he visualized the serious damage that could be done to the fragile mechanisms that controlled his plane and the difficulty of repairs because of the lack of skilled labor and materials in the area.

What could he do? He remembered hearing that a rat cannot survive at high altitudes, so he pulled back on the stick. The airplane climbed higher and higher until Page found it difficult to breathe. He listened intently and finally sighed with relief. The gnawing had stopped. When he arrived at his destination, he found the rat lying dead behind the cockpit!

Oftentimes we, God’s children, are plagued by sin that gnaws at our life simply because we are living at too low a spiritual level. To see sin defeated in our lives requires that we move up—away from the world—to a higher level where the things of this world cannot survive.

 

Conformity

Merchandisers have found that customers find safety in numbers. One man in Utah bought several used cars and lined them up in front of his store. His business increased significantly. Because we are conditioned to conform, we tend to find the presence of others to be an assurance that what is available is good and right.

 

Conformity

On a bright sunny day, when you first walk into a dark movie theater, you usually remark about how dark it is. If there was no usher to show you to a seat, you probably had to stand in the back for a few minutes until the darkness seemed to clear and you began to see again. Before long, you could see without difficulty. Indeed, you seemed to be able to see normally. “Normally,” that is, until you walked out into the sunlight again and the bright glare forced you to cover your eyes.

        We Christians are often in the same predicament. We live in a dimly lighted world, where sin is the rule and not the exception. And yet we are really children of the light. We must always be on our guard that we do not become so accustomed to the darkness of our world that we think it is normal and conform to its dubious guidelines. It is not normal. The dime moral and spiritual insight of the world is not the standard that the Christian is to walk by.

 

Conformity

More than a hundred years ago, Soren Kierkegaard warned that the age of the crowd  was upon us. In such an age, said Kierkegaard, people would not think of deciding for themselves. They would follow the advice given to children going off to a party: “Look and see what the others are doing and then behave like them.”—Cited by Kenneth Hamilton

 

Conformity

A flock of wild geese was flying south for the winter, when one of the geese looked down and noticed a group of domestic geese by a pond on a farm. He saw that they had plenty of grain to eat, so he went down to join them. The food was so good, he decided to stay with the domestic geese until spring, when his own flock would fly north again. When spring came, he heard his old flock going by and flew up to join them. The goose had grown fat, however, and flying was difficult, so he decided to spend one more season on the farm and join the wild geese on their next winter migration. The following fall, when his former flock flew southward, the goose flapped his wings a little, but kept eating his grain. By the next time they passed overhead, the now-domesticated goose didn’t even notice them.

 

Conformity

The major reason for teenage suicide, drug addiction, and alcoholism is that most young people are conformists. They, like their parents, do what ”everybody else” does, feeling instinctively that if most people are doing it, then “it” must be good to do. In effect, we act like sheep.

        A television documentary showed a lot about the behavior of sheep. One scene was of a packing house where sheep were slaughtered. The sheep had to walk from their large pen up a narrow ramp and then turn right. In order to get the sheep to move up the ramp, a “Judas goat” was placed among the sheep and then walked confidently to the ramp as the nervous sheep watched. After the goat got about five feet up the ramp, he stopped and confidently looked around at the nervous sheep, who then began to follow. Near the top of the ramp the goat turned left, as a gate was opened only for him and then closed. The sheep, however, continued up the ramp and turned right, to their death.

 

World

        One of the ways we can recognize the world is that it loves noise. Why? Probably because it does not want to stop and think.

        What would it be like if some kind of solar ray suddenly caused all radios, tape players, stereos, and televisions to stop working? Trembling hands would immediately twirl dials, adjust knobs, and flip switches. Eyes would be dilated with fear of the silence. People would be running the streets in terror.

        Marx was wrong. Religion is not the opiate of modern man; incessant sound is. People will listen to anything to avoid silence. Why else do we have so much of long talk shows, round-the-clock news, call-in radio programs? Why? Because sound blocks out the despairing cry of our own souls, as well as the still, small voice of God. Perhaps we would be wise to occasionally take God’s hand and journey into the land of silence.

 

World

        The world is like a drunken peasant. If you lift him into the saddle on one side, he will fall off on the other side. One can’t help him, no matter how one tries. He wants to be the devil’s.—Martin Luther

 

Worldliness

        How would you feel if your spouse, needing something for the house, went to the next-door neighbor and got some money? Or if your child, needing help, always went to another instead of coming to you? It would break your heart.

        This is what we do to God when we go the world’s way in trying to meet our own needs. It is as if we are saying, “Lord, you aren’t adequate. You don’t know the best way for me. I’m going to have to get what I want by myself.”

 

Worldliness

       A Christian should be in the world and yet not of the world. How can this be? Consider the fish who, though he lives in the salty sea, does not taste salty.

 

Worldliness

        Imagine that you are in a round tower with slits in the walls used for shooting through with guns. Now imagine that you are whirled around the inner circumference. Would you appreciate the beauties of the surrounding landscape? No. But there are openings in the wall. Yes, but your eyes are set for objects near and do not have the time to adjust to distance as you are whirled past the slits. It would be as if the wall were solid.

        So it is with earth living. The near and earthly wall obstructs the view. An occasional slit is left open, perhaps a Sunday sermon or personal Bible reading. Heaven might be seen through these, but the eye which is set for the earthly cannot adjust itself to higher things during such momentary glimpses. So long has the soul looked upon the world, that when it is turned for a moment heavenward, it feels only a quiver of inarticulate light. Unless you pause and look steadfastly, you will not see or retain any distinct impression of the things which are eternal.—C.H. Spurgeon

 

Witnessing and Worldliness

        There was tremendous public resistance to the introduction of the Susan B. Anthony dollar. This small coin was designed primarily to be a durable and lightweight alternative to the paper dollar. But its size created problems, for it could easily be confused with a quarter. Legally it was worth a dollar, but practically speaking, many people considered it a nuisance because of its indistinguishable size.

        The same thing happens when the unbelieving world hears the words of a Christian who cannot be distinguished from the lost society in which he lives. This discounts his claims concerning Christ. It is not a matter of real worth-that is decided by faith-but rather of perceived worth.

 

Conformity

Merchandisers have found that customers find safety in numbers. One man in Utah bought several used cars and lined them up in front of his store. His business increased significantly. Because we are conditioned to conform, we tend to find the presence of others to be an assurance that what is available is good and right. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Conformity

On a bright sunny day, when you first walk into a dark movie theater, you usually remark about how dark it is. If there was no usher to show you to a seat, you probably had to stand in the back for a few minutes until the darkness seemed to clear and you began to see again. Before long, you could see without difficulty. Indeed, you seemed to be able to see normally. “Normally,” that is, until you walked out into the sunlight again and the bright glare forced you to cover your eyes.

We Christians are often in the same predicament. We live in a dimly lighted world, where sin is the rule and not the exception. And yet we are really children of the light. We must always be on our guard that we do not become so accustomed to the darkness of our world that we think it is normal and conform to its dubious guidelines. It is not normal. The dime moral and spiritual insight of the world is not the standard that the Christian is to walk by. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Conformity

More than a hundred years ago, Soren Kierkegaard warned that the age of the crowd  was upon us. In such an age, said Kierkegaard, people would not think of deciding for themselves. They would follow the advice given to children going off to a party: “Look and see what the others are doing and then behave like them.”— Cited by Kenneth Hamilton

 

Conformity

A flock of wild geese was flying south for the winter, when one of the geese looked down and noticed a group of domestic geese by a pond on a farm. He saw that they had plenty of grain to eat, so he went down to join them. The food was so good, he decided to stay with the domestic geese until spring, when his own flock would fly north again. When spring came, he heard his old flock going by and flew up to join them. The goose had grown fat, however, and flying was difficult, so he decided to spend one more season on the farm and join the wild geese on their next winter migration. The following fall, when his former flock flew southward, the goose flapped his wings a little, but kept eating his grain. By the next time they passed overhead, the now-domesticated goose didn’t even notice them. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Conformity

The major reason for teenage suicide, drug addiction, and alcoholism is that most young people are conformists. They, like their parents, do what ”everybody else” does, feeling instinctively that if most people are doing it, then “it” must be good to do. In effect, we act like sheep.

A television documentary showed a lot about the behavior of sheep. One scene was of a packing house where sheep were slaughtered. The sheep had to walk from their large pen up a narrow ramp and then turn right. In order to get the sheep to move up the ramp, a “Judas goat” was placed among the sheep and then walked confidently to the ramp as the nervous sheep watched. After the goat got about five feet up the ramp, he stopped and confidently looked around at the nervous sheep, who then began to follow. Near the top of the ramp the goat turned left, as a gate was opened only for him and then closed. The sheep, however, continued up the ramp and turned right, to their death. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

World

One of the ways we can recognize the world is that it loves noise. Why? Probably because it does not want to stop and think.

What would it be like if some kind of solar ray suddenly caused all radios, tape players, stereos, and televisions to stop working? Trembling hands would immediately twirl dials, adjust knobs, and flip switches. Eyes would be dilated with fear of the silence. People would be running the streets in terror.

Marx was wrong. Religion is not the opiate of modern man; incessant sound is. People will listen to anything to avoid silence. Why else do we have so much of long talk shows, round-the-clock news, call-in radio programs? Why? Because sound blocks out the despairing cry of our own souls, as well as the still, small voice of God. Perhaps we would be wise to occasionally take God’s hand and journey into the land of silence. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

World

The world is like a drunken peasant. If you lift him into the saddle on one side, he will fall off on the other side. One can’t help him, no matter how one tries. He wants to be the devil’s.— Martin Luther

 

Worldliness

How would you feel if your spouse, needing something for the house, went to the next-door neighbor and got some money? Or if your child, needing help, always went to another instead of coming to you? It would break your heart.

This is what we do to God when we go the world’s way in trying to meet our own needs. It is as if we are saying, “Lord, you aren’t adequate. You don’t know the best way for me. I’m going to have to get what I want by myself.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worldliness

A Christian should be in the world and yet not of the world. How can this be? Consider the fish who, though he lives in the salty sea, does not taste salty. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worldliness

Imagine that you are in a round tower with slits in the walls used for shooting through with guns. Now imagine that you are whirled around the inner circumference. Would you appreciate the beauties of the surrounding landscape? No. But there are openings in the wall. Yes, but your eyes are set for objects near and do not have the time to adjust to distance as you are whirled past the slits. It would be as if the wall were solid.

So it is with earth living. The near and earthly wall obstructs the view. An occasional slit is left open, perhaps a Sunday sermon or personal Bible reading. Heaven might be seen through these, but the eye which is set for the earthly cannot adjust itself to higher things during such momentary glimpses. So long has the soul looked upon the world, that when it is turned for a moment heavenward, it feels only a quiver of inarticulate light. Unless you pause and look steadfastly, you will not see or retain any distinct impression of the things which are eternal.— C.H. Spurgeon

 

Witnessing and Worldliness

There was tremendous public resistance to the introduction of the Susan B. Anthony dollar. This small coin was designed primarily to be a durable and lightweight alternative to the paper dollar. But its size created problems, for it could easily be confused with a quarter. Legally it was worth a dollar, but practically speaking, many people considered it a nuisance because of its indistinguishable size.

The same thing happens when the unbelieving world hears the words of a Christian who cannot be distinguished from the lost society in which he lives. This discounts his claims concerning Christ. It is not a matter of real worth-that is decided by faith-but rather of perceived worth. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

CONFORMITY

Athanasius, early bishop of Alexandria, stoutly opposed the teachings of Arius, who declared that Christ was not the eternal Son of God, but a subordinate being. Hounded through five exiles, he was finally summoned before emperor Theodosius, who demanded he cease his opposition to Arius. The emperor reproved him and asked, "Do you not realize that all the world is against you?" Athanasius quickly answered, "Then I am against all the world."── Source Unknown.

 

CONFORMITY

On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription: "James Butler Bonham--no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom." No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free can be seen in the lives of His true followers.── Bill Morgan.

 

CONFORMITY

A few years ago psychologist Ruth W. Berenda and her associates carried out an interesting experiment with teenagers designed to show how a person handled group pressure. The plan was simple. They brought groups of ten adolescents into a room for a test. Subsequently, each group of ten was instructed to raise their hands when the teacher pointed to the longest line on three separate charts. What one person in the group did not know was that nine of the others in the room had been instructed ahead of time to vote for the second-longest line. Regardless of the instructions they heard, once they were all together in the group, the nine were not to vote for the longest line, but rather vote for the next to the longest line. The experiment began with nine teen-agers voting for the wrong line. The stooge would typically glance around, frown in confusion, and slip his hand up with the group. The insturctions were repeated and the next card was raised. Time after time, the self-conscious stooge would sit there saying a short line is longer than a long line, simply because he lacked the courage to challenge the group. This remarkable conformity occurred in about 75% of the cases, and was true of small children and high-school students as well. Berenda concluded that, "Some people had rather be president than right," which is certainly an accurate assessment. ── C. Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p. 225.

 

CONFORMITY

Here is a similar story:

Em Griffin in his book The Mindchangers describes an experiment done by Solomon Asch with groups of 12 people. They were brought into a room where four lines of unequal length were displayed. They had to decide which two were the same length and publicly vote for their choice. Person after person after person (11 in all) voted for the wrong line--because they had all been told to ahead of time. The one individual who was in the dark couldn't imagine how in the world all these seemingly normal people could all choose the wrong line. When it was his turn to vote, he had to decide, "Do I go with what I know my senses are telling me, or do I go with the crowd?" 1/3 of those tested caved in to group pressure and changed their vote to agree with their peers. ── Em Griffin, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976, p. 193ff.

 

WORLD

A scuba diver lives in the water but breathes the air--he takes his environment with him. 

Source Unknown.


Believers are exhorted to be in the world but not of the world. The first (N.T. word translated "world") is kosmos. It is used in at least three different ways. In a number of passages it means the round planet earth on which man has his existence. Is such passages the Revised Version sometimes substitutes the word "earth." (See Matthew 4:14; 13:38; Acts 17:24; etc.) When John wrote of Jesus that "He was in the world" (John 1:10), he was referring to this planet earth. It is this world, the earth, which is the scene of the prophesied demonic activity. 

The second usage of the word kosmos refers to the inhabitants of this world, or earth. Both of these first two usages appear together in one verse: "He was in the world [earth] and the world [earth] was made by Him, and the world [inhabitants of the earth] knew Him not" (John 1:10). This world of mankind is the world God loves. Jesus said, "For God so loved the world" (John 3:16). However, there is that segment of the world of mankind that is alienated from God (Ephesians 2:12: 4:18) and hostile to Christ and His followers. Our Lord said, "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you" (John 15:18). So then it is this unregenerated world of mankind through whom the demons will accomplish their wicked deeds. 

The third use of the word kosmos in Scripture refers to the combined activities, affairs, advantages, and accumulated assets of the worldly men on the earth. The Bible calls all these "the things that are in the world" (I John 2:15), "this world's goods (I John 3:17). This usage of kosmos is not limited to material things, but it includes abstract things which have spiritual and moral (or immoral) values. Paul warns the believer to beware of "the wisdom of this world" (I Cor 1:20; 2:6; 3:19), "the spirit of the world" (2:12), and "the fashion of this world" (7:31). Peter wrote of the "corruption that is in the world" (2 Peter 1:4), and "the pollutions of the world" (2:20). Dr. Merrill Unger made note of the fact that "In more than thirty important passages the Greek word 'kosmos'...is employed in the New Testament to portray the whole mass of unregenerate men alienated from God, hostile to Christ, and organized governmentally as a system or federation under Satan (John 7:7; 14:27; I Cor 1:21; 11:32; 1 Pet 5:9; I John 3:1, 13; et al."

The second Greek word is aion. It likewise is translated world. However, it connotes the idea of time and is more accurately rendered "age." The disciples questioned Jesus about the "end of the world [age]" (Matthew 24:3), speaking of that time when He would return to the earth. Paul used the same word when he wrote of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world [age]" (Gal 1:4). This present aion, from Pentecost to the return of Christ, is described as "evil." 

Lehman Strauss, Demons Yes--But Thank God for Good Angels, Loizeaux Brothers, 1976, pp. 12-14.


The world system is committed to at least four major objectives, which I can summarize in four words: fortune, fame, power, pleasure. First and foremost: Fortune, money. The world system is driven by money; it feeds on materialism. Second: Fame. That is another word for popularity. Fame is the longing to be known, to be somebody in someone else's eyes. Third: Power. This is having influence, maintaining control over individuals or groups or companies or whatever. It is the desire to manipulate and maneuver others to do something for one's own benefit. Fourth: Pleasure. At its basic level, pleasure has to do with fulfilling one's sensual desires. It's the same mindset that's behind the slogan: "If it feels good, do it." 

Charles Swindoll, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity, p.219.

 

WORLDLINESS

The Bible defines worldliness by centering morality where we intuitively know it should be. Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are, what we have, and what we have done).  Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the point of idolatry; large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life. 

Worldliness is reading magazines about people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves and wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in disguises. It's being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievance, and wallowing in self-pity. These are the ways in which we are most like the world. 

Dave Roper, The Strength of a Man, quoted in Family Survival in the American Jungle, Steve Farrar, 1991, Multnomah Press, p. 68.


"If I had a brother who had been murdered, what would you think of me if I ...daily consorted with the assassin who drove the dagger into my brother's heart; surely I too must be an accomplice in the crime. Sin murdered Christ; will you be a friend to it? Sin pierced the heart of the Incarnate God; can you love it?"

C.H. Spurgeon. 


Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leaders, George Gallup said, "We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between churchgoers and those who are not active religiously...The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkable similar in both groups. Eight out of ten Americans consider themselves Christians, Gallup said, yet only about half of them could identify the person who gave the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still could recall five of the Ten Commandments. Only two in ten said they would be willing to suffer for their faith. 

Erwin Lutzer, Pastor to Pastor, p. 76.


The course of rebellion against God may be very gradual, but it increases in rapidity as you progress in it; and if you begin to run down the hill, the ever-increasing impetus will send you down faster and faster to destruction. You Christians ought to watch against the beginning of worldly conformity. I do believe that the growth of worldliness is like strife, which is as the letting out of water. Once you begin, there is no knowing where you will stop. I sometimes get this question put to me, concerning certain worldly amusements, "May I do so-and-so?" I am very sorry whenever anyone asks me that question, because it shows that there is something wrong, or it would not be raised at all. If a person's conscience lets him say, "Well, I can go to A," he will very soon go on to B, C, D, E, and through all the letters of the alphabet. . .When Satan cannot catch us with a big sin, he will try a little one. It does not matter to him as long as he catches his fish, what bait he uses. Beware of the beginning of evil, for many, who bade fair to go right, have turned aside and perished amongst the dark mountains in the wide field of sin.

C.H. Spurgeon.


The world's smiles are more dangerous that its frowns.

Source Unknown.


Some years ago, musicians noted that errand boys in a certain part of London all whistled out of tune as they went about their work. It was talked about and someone suggested that it was because the bells of Westminster were slightly out of tune. Something had gone wrong with the chimes and they were discordant. The boys did not know there was anything wrong with the peals, and quite unconsciously they had copied their pitch.

So we tend to copy the people with whom we associate; we borrow thoughts from the books we read and the programs to which we listen, almost without knowing it. God has given us His Word which is the absolute pitch of life and living. If we learn to sing by it, we shall easily detect the false in all of the music of the world. 

Donald Grey Barnhouse.

 

WORLD VIEW

James Engel summarized the belief system and the presuppositions that commonly prevail among what he calls modern man:

God, if He exists at all, is just an impersonal moral force.  Man basically has the capacity within himself to improve morally and make the right choices.  Happiness consists of unlimited material acquisition. There really is no objective basis for right and wrong.  The supernatural is just a figment of someone's imagination.  If a person lives a "good life", the eternal destiny is assured.  The Bible is nothing other than a book written by man.

Jim Peterson, Living Proof, NavPress, 1989 p. 198.


A.W. Tozer once remarked, "The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems for he sees at once that these have to do with matters which at the most cannot concern him very long."

Tim Hansel, Eating Problems for Breakfast, Word Publishing, 1988, p. 33.