We live in a world that has largely forgotten the God of the Bible. While people are still quite religious, often their religion is either secularism or a vague form of pantheism (god-is-everythingism).
How should a Christian live in such a world?
1. Of which place does the Bible say Christians are citizens? Philippians 3:20
“Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2. What are Christians not to love? 1 John 2:15, 16
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. . . . For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world.”
“To accommodate to the world spirit about us in our age is nothing less than the most gross form of worldliness . . . we must say with tears that, with exceptions, the evangelical church is worldly and not faithful to the living Christ.”2
3. To what are Christians instructed not to conform? Romans 12:2
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Phillips’s translation, The Message, says: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.”
Vance Packard warns about advertising: “Many of us are being influenced and manipulated— far more than we realised—in the patterns of our everyday lives . . . typically these efforts [to mould our thinking] take place beneath our level of awareness so that the appeals which move us are often in a sense, ‘hidden’” (The Hidden Persuaders).
4. Whose kingdom should we seek first and what promise is given if we do? Matthew 6:33
“But seek first his [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [that we need] will be given to you as well. “
5. What law of the harvest are we called to remember? Galatians 6:7
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
A 30-year New Zealand study on the effects of television viewing found: “Children and adolescents who consistently watch television for two hours or more a day are at an increased risk of being overweight, to smoke, and to have high cholesterol concentrations in early adulthood— substantial risk factors for long-term health problems in later life.”3
The study also found, “No matter what your intelligence or social background, watching a lot of television during childhood means you do less well academically.” 4
6. What eight things does Paul give for guiding right thinking? Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
7. What response does God want from us? Luke 10:27
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbour as yourself.”
Christians need to be discerning and discriminating. Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters” (Luke 16:13). Paul counsels, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
1 George Barna, Faith Has a Limited Effect On Most People’s Behavior, May 24, 2004.
2 Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster, page 38.
3 www.thelancet.com, July 2004.
4 www.scoop.com.nz, July 5, 2005.