(Thousands and thousands of Coldplay fans queuing in torrential rain,
as we distributed tracts to them)
This verse pretty much says it all. Love NOT the world! The love of the saint should always be totally and unquestionably to the LORD. When a person loves the LORD totally and rejoices in Him, what else could possibly be needed to top-up a Christian’s love and dedication (Mark 12:30).
Yet if there’s one thing that grieves me, it is the sheer and quite blatant worldliness that too many Christians are guilty of (Phil. 4:4.)
Some believers spend more time watching television than they do witnessing to their neighbours (Ps. 119:11).
Some believers spend more time at sports stadiums than they do witnessing to lost people (Is. 33:14).
Some believers spend more money on foreign mission fields than they do in their own backyard (Pro. 14:25).
The late Dr. J. Vernon McGee once put it well, when he said that many Christians have such deep roots in this fallen world that when Jesus comes for them (if such are indeed saved), they will need to be totally uprooted (Ecc. 1:2).
My sentiment has always been that we are only left in this dying and fallen world to witness to lost people (Jude 23), enjoy fellowship with one another (Ps. 133:1) and praise God for His unspeakable and free gift of everlasting life (2 Cor. 9:1.).
The world all around us is going to Hell rapidly (150,000 die every day, that’s 7,000 an hour) yet why is it that so many professing believers are totally wrapped up in Coronation Street, the Sugababes latest CD, or the local PTA, not to mention all the many pressure groups out there, when Scripture commands all of us to be watchmen (Is. 62:6) and servants to those inside and outside the church (Acts 20:26-27).
I recall a recent conversation that my father and I had with a heretic about the Lord and separation (2 Cor. 6:14-18.) Two things surprised me about this individual. The first was to learn how he had been going to a charismatic church in our town. For a person who did not believe in the Trinity I was surprised this didn’t cause him to stick out in such a place. But apparently, it never did. (I do wonder if the Trinity was even taught in this venue?) The second thing that surprised me was to hear him speak rather well of their pastor, even though I had to point out to this man that this pastor was more worldly than I ever was, even before I was saved when I lived and breathed music (Ps. 73:25).
For example, on his pastor’s website, he boasts of his evangelical love for and regular attendance at Manchester City football games (home and away) and another team, which I cannot recall. He also loves walking in the hills and photography (Is. 31:7).
I told this man that if their one-man paid pastor (something which isn’t Biblical) had so much free time on his hands, he not only ought to get a job, but join some of Britain’s street evangelists at the weekends, instead of wasting his time watching 22 louts running around a pitch, swearing, blaspheming and helping to promote alcoholic beverages, gambling and other ungodly things (Ps. 139:21.)
There is one man, however, always outside Everton football ground, if my memory serves me right, who stands there every time they play, giving out tracts as their pour in and out of this stadium (Rom. 11:4).
I also recall a preacher stating unequivocally how he would only go to a nightclub to distribute Gospel tracts outside. I am sure he’d have the same philosophy about football stadiums too (Matt. 5:16).
It should also be pointed out that the fee to watch multiple games each season for one or more persons is rather expensive. Plus one needs to buy all the latest clothing to go with it (Matt. 6:19-21).
Now before I am accused to being a “Pharisee” or too “legalistic,” may I say that Paul makes it very clear that Christians are NOT to be tangled up with things of the world, but things above (Col. 3:2).
Yes, the apostle makes it abundantly clear that every believer has religious liberty and freedom in the Lord – praise Him for this – but he lists two pre-conditions. 1) That whatever a saint does, one must always make sure it has a spiritual benefit for him, that it isn’t addictive and not some carnal feeding of the flesh. 2) That a fellow brother or sister is not caused to stumble or sin when observing a believer enjoying their religious liberty either. Only when these two cautions are checked, and re-checked does our wonderful liberty in Christ Jesus become truly applicable. And of course one needs to be double sure that we don’t lose our testimony or witnessing integrity to the world by how we live and behave (Ecc. 12:14.).
Finally, may I remind the reader that we are not free agents to do as we please but are the property of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:20.)
31st December 2006
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