By Earl E. Robertson
Worldliness is not a popular subject, but it is a Bible subject nonetheless and must be discussed (1 John 2: f 5-17). Churches are going to the devil because they are either filled or are filling with worldliness. This problem renders helpless and powerless either a Christian or a congregation. It is something that must be fought by every God-fearing person with all the panoply of God. If one is interested in going to heaven, he is interested in the subject. Worldliness might be said to be the arranging of one’s life without regard to God.
Improper values are reasons for worldliness with some. Outward appearance is the meaningful thing with too many. The seeking of a certain place in life’s circle, an academic degree, a particular social standing, etc., have all too often stood between a Christian and Almighty God. Jesus 1 told many, “Ye are they which justify yourselves before men” (Lk. 16:15). The enemies of Paul were asked, “Do ye look on the things after the outward appearance?” (2 Cor. 10:7). Having men approve me does not make Christ accept me (2 Cor. 10:18). Seeking the approval of men might well be the very basis of leaving the Lord and becoming worldly (Gal. 1:10). The Jews of Jesus’ day loved the praises of men more than the praises of God (John 9:18-23; 12:42, 43). They wanted to stay in the synagogue! To face the task of telling the truth and being right with God was not of as great value to them as remaining in the right circle of Jews.
Some are worldly because they are indifferent. Some in the church in Laodicea really had this problem (Rev. 3:15, 16). “Indifference” is to regard something as of little or no consequence. People like this concerning spiritual and moral issues became such ignorantly or they are just insensitive to what the Bible says. The word of God impresses upon us the need to care about things of this nature – care with urgency. One cannot be godly without knowing that God requires a positive response to duties imposed by the truth.
Others are worldly because they are unwilling to pay the price for godly living. Godly living requires subjection and the investment of one’s whole life. They want to be popular without consideration for the right standard of conduct (James 4:4). The dividends outweigh the investment (Rom. 8:18).
Guardian of Truth XXVII: 6, p. 179
March 17, 1983