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Tag Archives: worldliness

Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 13

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

We’ve looked at the first two videos and a couple of short pitches for the book. Let’s look at an eleventh pitch, a bit about . . . casseroles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 12

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

We’ve looked at the first two videos and a couple of short pitches for the book. Let’s look at a tenth pitch, a bit about . . . what it means to be worldly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Developing a 2020 Vision for the Lord (Part 2)

Friends: We are thinking about the incredible possibility that awaits us as we anticipate a brand new year — 2020. The expression “2020” reminds me of my first eye exam in high school — when I memorized the eye chart before going to the doctor’s! (I don’t know why).  As we face this new year, we have the opportunity to use our EYES to become more like the Lord Jesus. We can study His life in the Scriptures. And, by God’s grace, become more conformed to His image.

The second truth that I want to focus on for this New Year is not to be conformed to the world! The expression “the world” is used in three ways in the Word: the planet, the people of the planet, or the pagan system opposing God and the things of God. It is in this third sense that the Jesus-follower should determine, “I will NOT let the world around me determine my life, set my priorities, rule my heart!”

The classic passage on this issue, of course, is Romans 12:1-2 where we read —

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We must (1) recognize the world’s influences in all its many forms and (2) determine to resist being molded by that system!

Would you pray with me this morning the following prayer? “Lord, the world, the system opposing You, is all around me! Please give me wisdom in identifying its many efforts to squeeze me into its mold and to turn me away from the truths of Your Word. I don’t want to become a hermit, Lord, but I want to live a godly life right here. On this planet. But I need Your help. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2019 in vision

 

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Great Quote from John Piper on Worldliness

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2019 in worldliness

 

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Getting to Know . . . Ephesians Chapter 2! (Part 2: WHAT WE WERE!)

We are thinking about Sunday School class at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel on January 27.  The passage will be Ephesians 2:1-10 and we have already noticed the following:

1. If we think about WHAT WE WERE B.C. (before Christ), verse 1 says we were “dead in [our] transgressions and sins.” The word “transgression” (παράβασις) literally means “a going aside, overstepping, deviation” and comes from two words meaning “contrary” and “to go.”

We were dead in our overstepping, our deviation, from God’s laws!

2.  We were also “dead . . . in [our] SINS (v. 1). The term “sin” is the common word ἁμαρτία and is used 173 times in the New Testament and indicates “wrongdoing, any act contrary to the will and law of God, offense.”  Let’s continue noticing that —

3.  Dead men don’t live, do they?  But our text says that, even though we were “dead in [our] transgressions and sins” — we used to live [in them] when we followed the ways of this world! (v. 2).  Zombie living — that’s what I call it!  We lived in our transgressions and sins — even when we were dead!

4.  And we usually don’t think that dead men FOLLOW anyone or anything!  They are dead.  But the text says we “followed the ways of the world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (v. 2).  We not only followed WAYS — we followed a PERSON!  Who is that person?  He is called “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” and “the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (v. 2).  That’s none other than SATAN!

Jesus spoke often of the devil and once said to the religious leaders, “You aren’t following your father Abraham — you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44).

It is a sobering truth that each of us comes into this world, not as children of God, but as children of the Evil One.  And only the GOSPEL can rescue us “from the dominion of darkness and [bring] us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col. 1:13).

Today’s Prayer:  “Father, thank You for the sobering truth of my BEFORE CHRIST condition.  Teach me not to follow the ways of the world or give any of my allegiance to the Evil One!  I praise You for rescuing me from my transgressions and sins!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

 


 
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Posted by on January 8, 2019 in ephesians 2

 

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“Unlike Jesus” – A Theology Matters Retreat for Dayspring Camp – Part 3

In a few days I get to lead a group of young people through the topic of being a friend of sinners, like Jesus was (Mt. 11).  In our six-part study, we have already seen that we need a theology of lostness (we come into this world as enemies of God and under His wrath) and we need a theology of friendship (we need to learn to listen to our unsaved friends without resorting to conditional friendships).

Let’s notice a third aspect of being a friend of sinners and it is that we need —

Session #3-  A Theology of WORLDLINESS!

James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”  We are not to be a friend of the world (in the sense of siding with the pagan system opposing God and the things of God), but we are to be friends of sinners!  We need a clear understanding, a definitive doctrine of the world, that guides us is walking that fine line between those two imperatives.

Many Christians genuinely fear falling into sin if they intentionally become friends of sinners.  But we can love sinners without compromising our Christian convictions.  I’ve done a serious study of the “world,” a term used 17 times by the Lord Jesus in His high priestly prayer in John 17.  That word cosmos (in the Greek) can be translated the planet, the people of the planet, or the pagan system opposing God and the things of God.  Here’s my translation of John 17, attempting to insert the best translation of that word.

“And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the planet began.” (v. 5). … I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the pagan system. (v. 6). … I pray for them, I am not praying for the people of the planet, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. (v. 9). … I will remain in the planet no longer, but they are still in the planet, and I am coming to you. (vv. 10-11). … I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the planet, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. (v. 13). … I have given them your word and the pagan system has hated them, for they are not of the pagan system any more than I am of the pagan system. (v. 14). … My prayer is not that you take them out of the planet but that you protect them from the evil one.” (v. 15). … They are not of the pagan system, even as I as not of it. (v. 16). … As you sent me into the people of the planet, I have sent them into the people of the planet. (v. 18). … My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the people of the planet may believe the you have sent me. (vv. 20-21). … I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the people of the planet will know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (v. 23). … Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the planet. (v. 24). … Righteous Father, though the people of the planet do not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.” (v. 25).

There are ten conclusions that we can draw from looking at John 17 in this way:

 1. The full deity of the Lord Jesus is foundational. He had the Father’s glory before creation (v. 5) and was loved by the Father before the creation came into existence (v. 24).

2. We all are in the pagan system opposing God until He saves us. No one is spiritually neutral. We are all enemies of God before conversion (v. 6).

3. Jesus personally prays for each of us (v. 9).

4. He is leaving the planet, but we are staying here (vv. 10-11).

5. He says these things while here on the planet so that we might have the full measure of His joy. Now. Here. (v. 13).

6. We should not be surprised that the pagan system hates us, for it hated Him! (v. 14).

7. Jesus prays for our protection not our escape from this planet (v. 15).

8. We have been sent/commissioned by the Lord Jesus to the people of this planet (v. 18).

9. The unity of Jesus-followers can lead the people of the planet to belief in Him (vv. 20-23).

10. The people of the planet do not know the Father, but Jesus does (v. 25).

Being a friend of sinners does not automatically mean being a friend of the worldly system!  And our mission is in this world!  Although we long for the Lord’s return for us, we are not to embrace a kind of evacuation theology that shirks our ministry here!  (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2018 in the world

 

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AT&T – It’s Your Thing! Can Anyone Say . . . MARRIAGE?!?!?!!?

I’m sure it’s just me — but I’m kind of tired of the living-together-without-benefit-of-a-marriage propaganda.  Listen to the words of this commercial carefully! 

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2018 in marriage

 

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What Did Jesus Pray About? (Part 10)

We are spending the next few posts on Jesus’ prayer in John 17, and especially on His use of the word “world” (which He uses 17 times in His so-called high priestly prayer). Let’s continue asking what He means by that word in our next occurrence of it. We read in John 17 —

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2017 in the world

 

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UNLIKE JESUS! One Are Where Jesus-Followers Excel (Part 12)

We are looking at various excuses we Jesus-followers use for not following Jesus in this crucial area of being a friend of sinners. In our last post we began to think a bit about THE FORGOTTEN ART OF FRIENDSHIP.  Jesus was a friend of sinners.  But what do we do with James 4 which says, “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

It is absolutely critical that we recognize several possible meanings with the word “world.”  In John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world . . .”), it must mean the people of the planet.  In John 17:5 Jesus prays, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”  Here “the world” appears to mean the planet itself.  But we then read in I John 2:15- “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”  The God who loves the world (John 3:16) tells us not to love the world (I John 2:15).  Here “the world” must mean the pagan system opposing God and the things of God.  Obviously, the expression “the world” can have three different meanings, depending on context.

So what does “the world” mean in James 4:4 (“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”).  Looking at the context of James 4 we learn —

1. that fights and quarrels among believers often come from our ungodly desires (vv. 1-3).

2. that following Jesus means resisting the devil (v. 7), drawing near to God (v. 8), seeking holiness (v. 8), grieving about sin (v. 9), and humbling ourselves before the Lord (v. 10).

3.  that slandering and judging each other is really judging God’s law (vv. 11-12).

4.  that boasting about tomorrow can cause us to forget about God’s will over our lives (vv. 13-16).

5.  that not doing the good we should do is sin (v. 17).

These are the injunctions James gives for living life for God.  His admonition to not be a friend of the world occurs in verse 4.  So, we could say that being a friend of the world means —

(1)  living for our own desires which includes needless quarreling with fellow-believers;

(2)  not resisting the devil, not drawing near to God, not seeking holiness, not grieving about sin, not humbling ourselves before the Lord;

(3)  slandering and judging one another;

(4)  not pursing God’s will above our own future plans;

(5)  not doing the good that we should do.

Man, that puts some meat on the challenge NOT to be a “friend of the world,” doesn’t it?  (to be continued)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2017 in discipleship

 

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Time for a Great Tozer Quote: Christianity’s Surrender

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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in secularism

 

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