- Original Teaching: Friends
- Date: January 27, 2010
- Location: Calvary Temple in Sterling, VA
- Teacher: Pastor Star R Scott
- Scripture: “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, lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” I John 2:15-16
- By: Jason Felton
As we have reviewed the teaching “Friends” over the last couple weeks we’ve asked ourselves a couple questions. The first question was, “Are you a friend of God?” The second question was, “Who are your friends?” This week,we want to ask ourselves one last very important question: “Are you a friend of the world?” While your first answer would be, “Of course not!”, I think as we take a deeper look you will see that we are lot more friendly with the world then we realize.
James 4:4 says, “To be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God.” So right off the bat here the Word of God is being pretty blunt on how God views people who are friends with the world. They are his enemies! That’s a pretty strong statement and I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be found the enemy of an all powerful God! “Well I’m not really a friend of the world, I’m just involved in it occasionally.” Let’s take a closer look at how this term “friend” is used in the Bible. The word friend comes from the root word philea which means to love or to be loved or to have tender affection toward. So with that in mind we could read James 4:4 this way. To love (or be loved by) and have tender affection for the world is to be the enemy of God.
Friendship with the world doesn’t mean you’re totally sold out to carnality. It doesn’t just mean you’re out living a carnal, sexual, drunk, sinful lifestyle. It means that you befriend the world. You have an affection for and an attraction to the things of the world. “Well not everything in this world we partake of is sin! Can’t I enjoy myself some?” I John 2 says, “Love not the world AND don’t love the things that are in the world.” So the question shouldn’t be, “Can’t I partake of certain things?” The question should be, “Do you love (or have strong affection) for the things you are partaking of?” The majority of us would say that we are not friends of the world, but our actions speak otherwise. For example. When you face decisions in your life, do you habitually apply biblical standards, or do you use the world’s wisdom as your standard? Do you apply the wisdom from above or the wisdom that’s earthly, sensual, and devilish?
“So what is the world exactly?” As you continue in I John 2 it says, “All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” The “world” is a kingdom that operates under these forces. It is a kingdom that is diametrically opposed to the kingdom of God. Is the world offensive to you? I’m not just talking about gross sins. I’m talking about the spirit of this world. That spirit of pride, selfishness, and independence. The spirit of the world promotes tolerance over the truth of the Word of God. If you’re not careful, this spirit will overcome you, and you’ll find yourself on the broad path that leads to destruction. “Oh, I would never let it get to that point, I can handle it!” Lot was somebody who thought he could “handle it.” First he pitched his tent toward Sodom. Then he got closer to Sodom. After that He was sitting at the gates with the high rollers of Sodom. Finally, he had to be dragged out of Sodom by Angels against his will and pretty much lost everything that he had! We are more like Lot than we think! A lot of us think that we are pleasing to God just because we haven’t been destroyed, but it’s only because of His mercy that you are being sustained. A lot of us are being pulled out of this world by Angels as Lot was, and we don’t even realize it!
Brothers and sisters, we need to stop lying to ourselves by saying that the world doesn’t have an affect on us. So much of our lives are consumed with where we live, what we drive, how we dress, and how other people view us! We are bound and consumed too much by this world, and we weary ourselves by worrying about all the things of this life. The pride of life is one of the greatest sins we face today. Pride says, “I can make my own decisions, and I can set my own course. Then it goes to the Scriptures and finds Bible verses to justify its position. The church of tolerance and acceptance that has no cross and requires no repentance is a damnable spirit that is running rampant in churches all across this world. We need to be careful who we are cutting covenant with in these last days because of the rise of these seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. The Word of God says these spirits will rise up and deceive many.
“Man, I didn’t realize all that! How can I stay safe?” You stay safe by asking the Lord to reveal your heart to you. More often than not, God will do that by having somebody in your life bring the true condition of you heart to your attention. That’s why, last week, we stressed the importance of being intertwined into the body of Christ. Be vulnerable, and allow others to speak into your life. The other way we stay safe is by being on the offensive. We are in the world, but we are not of it! The number one reason we are in this world is not for personal gain, but to go into the highways and byways and compel them to come. Is the reason you live to preach the gospel and promote the kingdom of God? Friends, we are just sojourners passing through, and God is not coming back for a people who are friends of the world. Let’s be busy about His business and not the busy-ness of this life!