Bulletin Articles

Bulletin Articles

A Clear Choice

“Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle — is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever” (1 John 2:15-17).

The world is demonstrating to us why, without God, life becomes a tragic and fleeting existence (cf. Ecclesiastes). The more this becomes obvious, the more people will know they need a Savior. Further, the more the world shows its godlessness and clear opposition to the gospel, the clearer and more unequivocal our choice must be. We should be able to see the contrast between real Christianity and the world. We cannot simply blend in (cf. Eph 4:17-20).

The world cannot be fixed. People must be saved, and the gospel of God’s grace is the only means by which this can happen (Acts 4:12). When the world appears to be doing fine, it is easy to become complacent. If it doesn’t seem so broken, why be concerned for it? We may not understand the urgency of submitting ourselves to the Lord. We aren’t so convinced of the outer darkness enveloping us. Our “dimness and neglect,” in response to God’s grace, may “keep some soul from its God.” We never wanted to “love the world,” but the world looked too comfortable because it didn’t seem like it was all that out of touch with what is good and right. Perhaps we thought God and the world could be friends.

James says otherwise: “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

The world is broken and needs Jesus. The world is miserable, and it is showing us just how wretched it can be. That is better than if it hid its misery in pseudo-righteousness and caused us to look upon it as if it is “just like us” or “one of our own,” even if just a tad out of sorts. It is not. The world is a monster that has broken free from its hypocrisy and is willing to show us just how horrible it is when steeped in sin, selfishness, and arrogance. There is no pretending. The world has been exposed, and our eyes should be wide open to this. We can’t hold its hands and think all is okay.

The urgency of the gospel message has come into clear view. This is not about politics. The political arena is another avenue for the world and its passing lusts. Politics won’t save the world. Politicians won’t preach the gospel. Instead, disciples are to let the dead bury their own dead, and get out to preach the kingdom of God (Luke 9:57-62). This does not mean they can have nothing to do with what is happening politically; it does mean that politics cannot rule our lives. The Lord does.

This is not about academics. The academic world has also shown how empty we are without God. This is not to say that Christians can have nothing to with academics. Yet so many have kicked God to the curb in their pursuit of knowledge. They have shown us that we must make that clear choice between sitting at the seat of the scoffers or delighting in the way of God (cf. Psalm 1). God is no longer just humored as a subject. Many have launched full scale war against God, and this should make it clear to us how we ought to respond and live (see Psalm 2).

When the world is so antagonistic toward God, there is an opportunity to show what the gospel can do. There is an opportunity to highlight the contrast of what Christians stand for in Christ. In the first century, what really sparked the spread of the gospel was that initial persecution (cf. Acts 8:1). While no one wants to be persecuted, there is going to be a purging effect that attends the world’s antagonism. The message of repentance will take on an even stronger meaning. The decision to follow Christ cannot be done in secret. Who we are and how we have chosen to live in Christ will demand nothing short of absolute commitment.

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory” (Phil 2:14-16).

We pray that God’s will be done and that all will come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved (1 Tim 2:3-4).