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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE WORLDLY MAN IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:16 ESV)

The contemporary church no longer looks for signs of gospel progress and thus allows anyone to claim he or she is a Christian. Every Sunday people attend church, perform their religious duties, believe they are saved, and are not. This is the state of the worldly man in the Christian Church. He is a double-minded man (James 1:6-8 ESV), yet he simply believes he is being open-minded and thus succumbs to unstable ideas which are not supported by truth.

In most modern churches, there is no obligation to become like Jesus Christ and set an example by following His teachings. The worldly man in the Christian Church believes that Christianity is true as long as it does not conflict with his own ideas.  He is religious, but guarded about how his secular friends outside the church see him. His life is one of inconsistency.

The worldly man bases his personal righteousness on his perception of good works.  He believes in salvation by approval, even though he acknowledges that Christ died for his sins.  He believes that his personal understanding of the Bible is true, and he takes his family to church.  He is, however, a stranger to the Christian spiritual life.  He looks like a Christian, talks like a Christian, but has never experienced the saving power of Jesus Christ.  He really lives only for the praise of others and to please himself.

worldly man in churchHis primary aim is to avoid conflict, discomfort, and pain.  When he reads the Bible, he reads only those parts that suit his predisposition.  He does not care to study or understand sound doctrine.  He is a fan of Eckhart Tolle, books like The Shack, and takes spiritual advice from someone like Oprah.  In fact, his “so-called” Christian beliefs have been formed more by sources outside the orthodox church rather than the Bible. Therefore, our churches are filled with the perpetually unconverted.

The worldly “cultural Christian” is a child of the world, rather than a child of the Word.  He chooses the broad road rather than the narrow way every time.  He thinks it inconceivable that God would send him to spend eternity in Hell.  He believes that would not be fair.  In his mind, he has conjured up the image of a god that meets his expectations. However, his god is false and bears little resemblance to the God of the Bible.

Many people in the Christian Church are making their brand of Christianity up as they go along. One unmarried man and woman, who were dating in a former church I attended, told me they believed it was alright for them to have sex because they would kneel by the bed and pray for God to bless their union each time before they hopped into bed. Even though the Scriptures teach us plainly that the sexually immoral will not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God (Ephesians 5:5 ESV), they did not want to believe it applied to them.

Perhaps you have not been sexually immoral, but does the attitude expressed above reflect your own? Do you believe that God will always make an exception in His dealings with you? “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV)

 

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