I have an honest question for those who consider themselves Christians. Can anything good come from the world?
This is a serious question; not a rhetorical one. I am not asking for some knee-jerk response. Really consider this question as well as your own response to it.
Do you personally believe that it is possible for the world to produce any good thing? Can anything that the world generates be modified and repackaged to make it acceptable to God and safe for His people? Is it "normal", "okay", and "just a part of life" to have some attachment to the things of the world?
"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 pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." I John 2:16
Look at the Scripture above. Does God really mean that ALL which is in the world is not of the Father? Aren't there even some things of the world that are okay?
I often get these types of questions/comments. What type of music is okay to listen to? What movies are okay to see? Shouldn't we be trying to win over the political, economic, and educational systems for God? How are we supposed to live down here, because we are still in the world and we cannot be hermits? It is only natural for us to partake in the things of the world. Plus, I like certain artists, certain songs, certain shows. How are we to reach the lost if we remove ourselves from everything?
My only response is for us to look at what God has to say. It is not a matter of personal preferences or opinions. What does God say about the world and a Christian's relationship to it?
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." James 4:4
This is very strong language. God is not just displeased or disappointed when we befriend the world. We make ourselves His enemy.
Can one be the friend of God and His enemy at the same time? Can you join with the world and at the same time be joined to God? According to the word of God such is not possible. Yet, many will tell you that you must embrace the world in order to fully do the will of God. They claim that the causes of the world are the causes of God.
They even claim that the degree to which you serve the world is the evidence to whether you really know God. It is this type of perverted thinking that allows the world to hold up individuals such as Madonna and Angelina Jolie as examples of the best of humanity, while their lives of debauchery, adultery, and sexual perversion are ignored as of no consequence. The world's definition of godliness is based on a perverted Gospel and exalts a false "god" of humanism that glories in man and attempts to eradicate any knowledge of the True & Living God.
One example is the "We Are the World" initiative for Africa and its remake "We Are The World: 25 for Haiti" as a relief effort for Haiti.
This version features Producers Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Wyclef Jean, Rickey Minor, and RedOne as well as the musical talents of Carlos Santana, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Sugarland, Adam Levine, Jason Mraz, Earth Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole, The Jonas Brothers, T-Pain, Justin Bieber, Nicole Scherzinger, India Arie, Mary Mary, Bebe Winans, Gladys Knight, Keir Hilson, Joel & Benji Madden, Heart, Brandy, Pink, Musiq Soulchild, Miley Cyrus, Akon, Jordin Sparks, Celine Dion, Ron Thomas, Katherine McPhee, Jeff Bridges, Randy Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Patti Austin, Kid Cudi, Usher, Will.I.Am, Kanye West, Bone Thugs and Harmony, LL Cool J, The Fray, Snoop Dogg, Nicole Richie, Trey Songz, Faith Evans, Robin Thicke, Barbara Streisand, and Lil Wayne just to name a few.
It is quite a collection of accomplished artists. A wonderful thing that they have all given of their time to participate in this endeavor and help raise awareness about the plight of those in Haiti. A very charitable act that may bring in much needed monies and resources to help a desperately impoverished country.
But I ask you again, "Can the world produce any thing that is good?"
A wise brother in the Lord recently said, "All good is done not just because of Christ, but THROUGH Christ. We don’t just do good because of Christ. Christ does good through us." The insight this brother shared is basically that all which can be called good is such only because it comes from God. Therefore, can something be called "good" if it is not inspired by God?
"And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God." Luke 18:19
Let's take a look at the lyrics for We Are the World.
There comes a time, when we heed a certain callWho is giving this "certain call" we should heed telling us that we "MUST" come together as one? Does the Bible indicate that the "world" will come together as one? Yes. It was tried in Babylon at the Tower of Babel and it will also be tried again at the end times when all of the people are united under the power of the Beast (Revelation 17:13).
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying, And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can't go on, pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
We are all a part of, God's great big family
And the truth, you know love is all we need
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
Send them your heart, so they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand
When you're down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe, there's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well, let us realize, that a change will only come
When we stand together as one
Is this present, temporal life (which will end) the "greatest gift of all" or is eternal life (which never ends) offered through Jesus Christ the greatest gift of all?
We are "all" a part of God's great big family? Is that what the Scriptures say? Are ALL people God's children, regardless of what they believe and how they live? God says that the only ones who belong to Him are those who have faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26).
What kind of "love" is it that we need? Is it the love that is of God which compels us into obedience of His commands or is it the love of the world which rejects God's commands in favor of tolerance and acceptance for even that which is against God?
What "choice" are we making by agreeing to join together with the world? Again, the song tells us. By joining together in unity with the world, we are "saving our OWN lives". As such, we no longer need God to save us. We in essence become our own saviors, our own gods. Indeed, in such a scenario all we need is "just you and me".
Does God say that we are to be "the world" or does He call us to be separate from the world? Whose "children" do we become when we follow the song's instructions and join with the world? The song lyrics tell you themselves!
"As God has shown us by turning stone to bread". WHEN has God turned stone into bread???? NEVER! However, there is someone who called upon Jesus Christ to reject God the Father and serve him instead by turning stone to bread.
In the Garden of Eden, God's words were twisted so that Eve would be enticed to disobey Him.
Who is twisting God's words here? Whose "call" is being heeded when you join with the world? Whose "children" do you become when you join with the world? Whose choice are you accepting when you do this?
The one who wanted God to turn stones into bread, who was none other than Satan.
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." II Corinthians 4:4
I can hear folks saying now, "Oh there they go! Everything has to be the devil. Can't they just appreciate the fact that people are trying to do something nice? Don't they see the love that is being demonstrated by these people? They are trying to help others and that is what God would want us to do."
Understand why I am taking the time to review this. On its surface, the "We Are the World" project seems respectable, honorable...even God-like. But what does God say? Can the world produce any good thing? What do the lyrics of this song tell you? Whom do they glorify? Do the best of intentions make it okay to disobey God?
This is exactly what the devil tries to get you to do. Believe that the world has some redeeming qualities. Think that there is something in the world which is worthwhile. Have the inkling that man can come together in righteousness without God. Possess some hope in this world.
This belief (whether verbally expressed or subconsciously held) is exactly why people come to this site defending the likes of Harry Potter, Twilight, Hip Hop, entertainers, Mardi Gras, Prosperity Preachers and other worldly perversions...all the while claiming to be Christians! They still have some hope in this present, evil world.
This is why the performance of "WE Are The World" at Michael Jackson's funeral showed the true intent and inspiration behind this song. It is an anti-christ agenda that aims to deny the deity of Jesus Christ and usher in a world-wide religion of humanism.
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:19
I fully expect the world to join with the world. Yet how do supposed Christian Gospel artists even bring themselves to sing the words of this song? How do Christians buy these records or even sing them?
Should you try to help those in need? Of course! Should you care about the sufferings of others? You will do so if the love of God is in your hearts. But it must be the love of God which motivates and leads you in all things, not some anti-christ agenda to unite across all humanity apart from God.
This is not about "We Are the World". It is about understanding how GOD views the world and ensuring that our views align with His.
"I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." John 17:9
Contrary to popular belief, the world is not a "good" place. This world will be destroyed (II Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1). God is not trying to redeem or save the world. He is not trying to set-up His kingdom in this world (John 18:36). God is against this world and is calling His people to come out of the world so that we are not destroyed when He executes judgment on it.
So, I ask you again, can any good thing come from the world? What does God have to say in this matter? If you profess to love the Lord, then you need to ponder this question in your own hearts.
"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." John 17:16
So with all of that said, what does it mean to be separated from the world? It means to be sanctified. This is the process whereby we are cut off or separated from that which is unclean in our inner man.
It is not about us moving off to a commune with no TVs, no music, and not interaction with the world. It means being reshaped in the image of God so that the attachments to and desires of the world are no longer in us. It is the sentiment Jesus expresses below:
"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." John 14:30
How many of us can say that the prince of this world has "nothing" in us? When the latest movies come out, are we one of the first ones going to see them? What stations are on our radios or songs are on our ipods? What shows are we watching on TV? What world figures are we listening and giving credence to?
I am not speaking of legalism or putting people up under chains. I am imploring you to take a real and honest look at your own desires for they reveal to you what is really in your heart. Any man, any message, any activity that tries to get your mind focused on this world is of the devil (Colossians 3:2).
When you are truly sanctified in your souls, you can be in the midst of sin, in the midst of the world, and not be contaminated by it. It will not be able to affect or defile you because you will not have any desire for it which can be used to pull you away from God. Remember, when a man is drawn into sin, he is drawn by his own lusts (James 1:13-15). This is why the flesh and its carnal, worldly desire must be crucified.
Why is sanctification so important? It is not so that we can say we are "better" than another. It is all about Jesus. When we are separated from that which is unclean - in the inner man - Jesus can be seen through and in us. It is not our efforts which reach the world, but the life of Jesus Christ being seen through a poured out vessel in a dying world that draws men unto Himself. We don't have to worry about reaching the world. If we sanctify ourselves and become vessels fit for the Master's use, He will draw men unto Himself all by Himself. Jesus in us draws men, not our own personalities or opinions.
This whole salvation walk is about getting Jesus Christ birthed within us so that He may be seen and glorified (Galatians 4:19). That is why the devil fights so hard to keep you entangled in the affairs of this life (II Timothy 2:4). Satan knows that if he can keep you alive to the world - or the world alive to you - this will impede Christ's development within you and hinder Him from being seen. Satan is seeking to put out the life of Christ in His Body - the only hope for the world - so that people will not be drawn to Jesus.
This battle is so much bigger than the music you like, the movies you like, the entertainers you like, how you like to dress, how you like to dance, what you think is nice, and what you like to do to enjoy your life in this present world. It is about WHO will deny themselves and lay down their lives so that Christ may live. Sanctification in the inward man is a requirement for Christ to be seen in you, so Satan fights this by trying to keep you tied to the world.
Are you still looking for some hope in this world? Still trying to find something in the world that is okay? Looking for that piece of the world which is acceptable? Are you still trying to have your best life now and find your place in this world? Forsake these things. Pray and ask God to cleanse you in the inner man and replace the love for the things of the world with His love so that He can give you the desires of your heart. Don't be deceived by taking the things of the world lightly. For God does not.
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." I Corinthians 2:12
"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27