I am bi-lingual. I speak the world, and I speak God.
I am a coin. I have two sides.
I stand on two continents. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of man.
I am hypocrite! You are hypocrite! (Matthew 23)
Would I be burned at the stake or hung on a cross for crimes against the Roman Empire as a Christian?
Would I be convicted by a jury for believing in Christ and going against the ways of the government/world?
Would the witnesses that come to testify say “why is he being tried? He is just like us? We see no difference in him than ourselves.” Or, would they condemn me for being a follower of Jesus?
The Bible says you cannot serve God and man at the same time. You serve one, you hate the other. Is serving the world with its lusts and desires essentially the same as turning your back on God?
Why then do we constantly try to walk in these two different, very hostile to each other, worlds? Man is spirit by nature and there are two different realms of spirit. There is the spiritual world of God and the spiritual world of the devil. This world we live on is fallen away from God. Not that He has lost control or has given it over to the devil as a play thing or a prize…on the contrary, God has let this fallen world to it’s own devices, given over as it were, more as a punishment. (Romans 1). This is literally the war we are involved in.
The flesh and the spirit.
Much is said about this battle in the Scriptures. Jesus said that we must deny ourselves (our flesh or the fleshly world) and take up our cross DAILY (Luke 9:23). We must die to self, putting off the old man (the flesh). Galatians 5 says “and those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
This is all said to remind us that the front lines of the battle is right here in front of us every moment of every day. We need to know this and decide. We have to choose. Choose this day whom you will serve. We need to determine what we want to be fluent in: the world or God.
And the evidence of this choice is clear: by the fruits we produce.
We live in such a watered down world, specially in America, where the world is accepting of all religions and ideologies as long as they are soft, not condemning, uplifting, and neutral. So to do good deeds, watch our mouths, keep smiles aloft in mixed company, and not tamper with the norm of the day by disrupting the complacency of the world is going to be accepted and tolerated. Even the mainstream churches have set aside the majority of the Bible, or the entire Bible, and only teach the happy positive things, the feel-good encouragements, and all that will be tolerable with the masses.
But, to bring up clear Biblical teaching that neutral is just as bad as being cold against God, that sin is an abomination to a Holy God, that the worldly unbelievers will perish in a lake of fire because of their sins….well, that is just plain unacceptable! True Christianity takes the Bible wholly and completely. No compromises! Sin and repentance are taught. Damnation is the punishment. God is Holy and Just and condemns sinners to hell. Ignoring the harshness of eternal misery doesn’t make it go away or that God will overlook the ugliness of sin!
Christ said in Revelation 3:15-16 to the church in Laodicea that “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
That is extreme for today’s world! The world sees God as a giant teddy bear. The world views God as a cosmic vending machine, producing blessings and joy upon prayers and requests to anyone who asks. The world has put God in a box, able to bend His ear and make Him dance to their whims. The world has redefined the Holy God of the Bible.
Isaiah had the right view of God though. In Chapter 6 of his writing he exclaims “woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Such reverence!
The God of the Bible is to be revered, feared, adored, honored, glorified, praised, worshipped, approached with trembling, listened to, respected, and above all loved by every fiber of our being. The great catechism of the Puritans has the question; “What is the chief end of man?” And the answer is to “glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31), and to enjoy Him forever (Psalm 73:25-26)”.
So how can we glorify and revere God if we treat Him with complacent disrespect? How can we worship God if we acknowledge Him once in a while? How can we stand righteous before His Holy throne when we are covered in the foulness and stench of this world’s sins? John’s first letter clearly shows the hypocrisy this world has: “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. The world doesn’t think it sins. Most will say that they are “good” people, good enough to get into heaven.
Christ didn’t die on the cross to wash away our sins so that we can walk in the darkness of this world. To claim Christ and yet wallow in the filth of this world is hypocrisy. Christ called out the religious leaders of the day who thought they were pious and upright before God, though inside they were filthy and worldly. They wanted the benefits of God without giving up the sins of the world. And the sins of the world are clearly spelled out within the pages of the Bible.
So why doesn’t the world want to hear about sin? Because it doesn’t like light being shown in the darkness. When you turn on lights in a building infested with rats, they scurry away because they don’t want to exposed. The world has watered down Jesus as a great teacher because the Bible clearly says that He is the Light. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. People don’t want to have their sins exposed because they enjoy them too much. They don’t want to give up their lifestyle. They don’t want to face the ridicule of their friends and family. So, the simple way is to just walk the water downed road. Lukewarm.
I, for one, am as guilty as the next self-proclaiming Christian of being lukewarm in my walk with God. There is none righteous, no, not one. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. This can be disheartening to say the least! We, and I mean myself, have a weak faith. The world rages all around us and we get distracted and often easily drawn into the worldly flesh…taking our eyes off of Jesus, just as Peter did when he walked on the water to Jesus and started to drown. But, like Peter, we can call out to our Lord for help! It seems I do that an awful lot!
Paul says in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 that “though our outer man (self) is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” It is a daily battle. It is a daily decision. We walk by faith, little or a lot, and not by sight. If we look around at the world, the flesh, through the lens of the Bible, we see ugliness. We cannot produce the evidence fruit of our faith if we are walking in the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. We must first gird up our faith and walk, then we can have the strength and courage to stand bold for the Word of God against the enemies of God.
Letting our light so shine before men means that we must first have a bright enough light to shine. If the candle of our faith is covered in filth because we walk among the filth, it will never properly light and we, as well as those around us, will remain lost in the darkness of this evil world.
Choose this day whom you will serve. If Christ, then you cannot not exist in both worlds. To claim Christ is to claim God’s Kingdom. Christ is not divided. Neither should we be divided.