Free Course: Influence of the World

Christian believers often wonder about the apparently devote and saintly life of their unbelieving friends and neighbors.  Some of them even comment, `The lives many godly unbelievers is better than the life of an average believer’.  Even though such a comparison is often good for opening our eyes, this practice not to be indulged in without discrimination.

The life lived by believers cannot in any way be compared with the apparently good life of  unbeliever because the odds faced by them are very much different. For an unbeliever this world is his home, and he gets all kinds of help and cooperation from the world for his apparently religious activities.  The king of the present world knows that as long as this person does not trust in the Lord Jesus, he is bound for hell.  Hence the world-system of Satan does not interfere in the activities of this person.  In fact the religious set-up of the world motivates the unbeliever to be as religious and moral as he wishes because this external religion keeps him away from the real gospel for a long time.

On the other hand, a believer in Lord Jesus is not of this world.  Whether this person recognizes this fact or not, the master of the present world recognizes it very well.  As a consequence, a believer has to fight both internal as well as external enemies. The internal enemy is his old sin nature, often called `flesh’ in the word of God.  The external enemies are the devil and the world.  Since the world, the flesh, and the devil are constantly fighting against every believer, it not fair to compare his conduct with the conduct of a person for whom there is no such opposition.

However, the difficult situation of the believer does not excuse him of his sins, faults and shortcomings.  Rather, it should make every believer alert to the potential dangers facing everyone (like  soldiers on battlefield).

Of the three enemies mentioned above, world is the most subtle one in our generation. The word  "World" in our discussion does not refer to the mere physical world in which we live or 
move.  Rather, the reference here is to the false "world system"  that has been established by Satan.  The values placed by this system on different things is entirely different from the value assigned to them by the word of God.  For example, it has become a common belief that there is no harm in paying a bribe, if it can assure us a good job opportunity.  Many believers are known to indulge in giving and also in taking bribes, without realizing that ultimately a believer’s destiny is in the Lord’s hands.  Therefore, even if he seems to be a loser due to his beliefs, in the end he will turn out to be the real winner.

Satan’s false system of thought influences believers through many channels.  The newspapers that we read, the TV programs that we watch, the magazines we glance through, and even the social conversation in which we indulge have tremendous power to influence us.  Of course there is no way in which a believer can avoid reading newspaper or listening to common conversation, and so this should make them all the more alert in what is going into their minds.  The solution is not to avoid newspapers and such channels of communication, but rather in discerning when they try to influence our thought pattern.

Every generation of believers have many problems special to them, and one such problem of our generation is the world inside us.  Somehow, many of us have lost our alertness to this.  Many kinds of worldly attitudes have already crept into our thinking.  This will destroy us if we do not return to the norms and standards set by the word of God. 


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