Beginning today, we will be studying many facets of worldliness. In a study such as this, much information from different sources will be brought to bear. But, as in every study, we must depend upon the Word of God for our final authority in all things.

WHAT IS WORLDLINESS? It seems that a very concise definition of worldliness is to be found in 1 Jno. 2:15-17, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain-glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." This passage clearly teaches that worldliness consists of (1) the love of the world and (2) love of things of the world. The things of the world are (A) the lust of the flesh, (B) the lust of the eyes, (C) and the vain-glory of life.

Of course, each of the composite parts mentioned above, have many ramifocations. In the next several postings we are going to study the subject of worldliness by dealing with each aspect of it. In so doing, we hope to enlighten each Christian on the dangers of engaging in these different aspects of worldliness. We hope to be able to impress each and everyone with the sinfullness of such participation. You are strongly advised to study each one of these postings and keep them for future reference to the subject. Do so in light of what the Bible says about the matter and conduct yourself accordingly.

Ignorance of the meaning of worldliness causes people to be unable to properly discriminate between worldliness and godliness, as a result innocent people may sometimes be accused of worldliness and worldly-minded be praised for godliness and piety. Worldliness is opposed to spirituality, Christ- likeness. There are many more things that are worldly than most people think. Such things cannot be indulged in without the Christian being led away from Christ.

We should want to know what worldliness is, for it is destructive of spirituality and damning to the soul. The scriptures certainly teach us that a Christian is not to be worldly: Notice the following points:

A. Jesus said of Himself, "I am not of the world." Jno. 17:;14.
B. Jesus told Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world." Jno. 18:36.
C. Paul taught, "Be not fashioned according to this world." Rom. 12:2.
D. James instructs, "that the friendship of the world is enmity with God." Jas. 4:4.
E. Christ "gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of the present evil world according to the will of our God and Father." Gal. 1:4.
F. James also states, "pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself uspotted from the world." Jas. 1:27.
G. The saved are described as "having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." 2 Pet. 1:4.
H. The grace of God instructs us to deny "ungodliness and worldly lusts." Titus 2:12.

There is a growing tendency in the church today to minimize the curse of worldliness. The trend is to tolerate all manner of ungodliness among the membership in order to keep the favor of the world. Too many members are trying to be in the church and of the world at the same time. This is an unholy alliance and if the church is to keep the favor of God there must be a correction made.

The world itself looks with disfavor upon a worldly church. The church loses its place of self-respect in the eyes of the world when it tolerates worldliness within its ranks. Those who are to be won by the church and need the gospel message which the church has for them, are turned away in disgust as they behold those who profess to be Christians "running to the same excess of riot" with the world. Their attitude toward the church then is: "They are no better than we are." They regard the church as being filled with hypocrites. Such a church can have no power for good.

The ungodly nature of worldliness may easily be seen by the fact that the devil is the ruler of such. The following scriptures will show that worldliness is under the dominion of Satan, who is opposed to the will of God:

A. "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Here we find the devil tempting Christ by offering him "all the kingdioms of the world, and the glory of them." Matt. 4:8,9.

B. The devil is "the god of this world." 2 Cor. 4:4.

C. He "is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world." Rev. 12:9.

D. "The whole world lieth in the evil one." 1 Jno. 5:19.

E. He is "the prince of this world". Jno. 12:31; 16:;11.

Whatever worldliness may be, we know from the above scriptures that it is of the devil, therefore it is opposed to God's will. Caution must be observed when we study what the Bible says about the world, for the term "world", as it is used in the Bible, does not always signify that which is of the devil. Look at the two statements below:

A. "God so loved the world." Jno. 3:16.
B. "Love not the world." 1 Jno. 2:15.

It is evident from a study of Jno. 3:16, that "world", as used in it, means people of the world; God so loved the people of this world that He gave His only begotten Son "that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." On the other hand, John, in 1 Jno. 2:15, was condemning the materialistic love of the world and its life, which stands opposed to the spiritual life of the heavenly kingdom.

Remember: the world with all of its pleasures, treasures, glory, fame, glitter, glamour, etc., will soon pass away. Paul says in 1 Cor. 7:31, "The fashion of this world passeth away." We better believe it.

Lesson Two
Lesson Three
Lesson Four
Lesson Five

Return to the General Articles page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /