Being in the World But Not of the World

Rowland Croucher writes:

The whole world lies under the power of the evil one. 1 John 5:19.

'The world' is both evil, and also loved by God (John 3:16). We too will have this ambivalence towards the world. The systems of this world are not necessarily Christian; we are not to 'love' this 'world' (1 John 2:15-17). Some habits or pleasures or attitudes may not be wrong in themselves, but may lead us into sin if they are abused. The world and its 'glories' are ephemeral: they are passing away.

A famous, though aging actress was in tears in her dressing room after a great standing ovation. 'What's wrong?' she was asked. 'I'm afraid I'm getting old and there won't be many more scenes of enthusiastic applause like I've had tonight.' Glamour fades, popularity passes, our days are numbered. Those whose self-esteem is bound to such temporary 'fixes' die a little after the 'high' is over. Our priorities are rather to be those of 'the kingdom of heaven'. Our values have their source in another world, and our ultimate destiny is that other world.

Billy Graham used to say, 'If someone offered me some old crusts after I'd eaten a T-bone steak I'd say, "No, thanks, I'm already satisfied"'.

Jesus, you lived in the world, you loved 'worldly' people, but you were also 'not of this world'. It's a tricky business, living in a polluted environment without being contaminated by it. Help me to steer a safe course between the rocks of empty pleasure-seeking on the one hand, and an escapist other-worldly piety on the other. Amen.

Copyright & copy; 1997 Rowland Croucher. All rights reserved. May be freely used and reproduced by the Christian Church for the non-profit purposes of study and training only, provided all copyright information is included. May be resent only with copyright, authorship and contact information intact.

This article is published courtesty of Rowland Croucher, John Mark Ministries. If you would like to peruse more articles from the pen of Rowland Croucher, visit his website at http://www.pastornet.net.au/jmm.


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