What is the old adage, “The friend of my enemy is my enemy”. Those who makes friends of this world have become the enemy of God. It is a very sad fact that many of God’s children have made friends of the world. They have forfeited their right to the tree of life and a home in heaven by becoming entangled again in the pollution of the world. “The latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” (2 Pet 2:20-22.)
When a sinner hears the gospel today, believes in God and Christ (Heb. 11:6 f; John 8:24), confesses faith in Christ (Rom. 10:10), repents of sins (Acts 17:30), and is buried with Christ in baptism (Col. 2:12) to have his sins washed away in the blood of Christ (Acts 22:16 f; Rev. 1:5), he becomes a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17) and is raised to walk in a new life. (Rom. 6:4). Having thus escaped the pollution of the world, he is taught by God to avoid being entangled again therein, to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Tit. 2:11-14), shining as a light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil. 2:15).
Christians are commanded to: “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. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever.” (1 Jn 2:15-17.) “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2.) Attitudes and affections determine what we do.
Demas left Paul “having loved this present world.” (2 Tim. 4:10.) “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:6, 7.) “And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Rom. 12:2.) To be conformed (be like) the world is to be lost with the world!
“You adulterers and adulteresses, know you 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.” (Jam 4:4.) “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their
God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:14-18.)
It is not popular to be different from the world. Such an one is regarded as a narrow minded, fanatical, old-fogy. The world thinks “it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.” (1 Pet. 4:4.) Jesus said, “If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (Jn 15:19.)
Many are so blinded by this sin that they cannot see beyond the material things of this life. To them a man’s life consists in the abundance of the things he possesses, though Christ said otherwise. (Lk 12:15-21.) Thus they love and seek the things in this world, not the things above. (Col. 3:2.) They are laying up treasures on earth, not in heaven. (Matt. 6:19-21.) The deceitfulness of riches has choked out the word of God in their hearts and their lives have become unfruitful. (Mk 4:19.) They seek the things of this world first
and the kingdom of God last, peradventure if they seek it at all! (Matt. 6:33). Such excessive worldly goods constitutes covetousness, which is idolatry. (Col. 3:5.) Idolaters will have their part in the lake of fire. (Rev. 21:8.)
We should realize that “we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Tim. 6:7-10.)
The rich man (Lk 16:19-31) fared sumptuously every single day of his life. He refused to aid Lazarus, the sickly beggar, while heaping up treasure for himself. He must have seen Lazarus as lazy, useless, and a burden on society. He placed all of his trust in wealth and pleasure, and refused to help no one but himself. It is far better to live and be a saved penniless man than to live and die a lost rich man! Remember: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matt. 6:24.) “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mk 10:25).
Count the cost before it is everlasting too late! Think seriously before you trade your mansion in heaven for torment in hell! Serve God and build for the future, the future beyond the grave. Spiritual security is far more valuable than material security. Moth and rust can corrupt your treasurers on earth and thieves may steal it; but even if you keep it
till death you will surely lose it then for “it is certain we an carry nothing out” into eternity. Not one cent, not one house, not one inch of land, not one pleasure can be transferred beyond the grave. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” (Matt. 6:20.) “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26.)
Conclusion: The pleasures of sins are only “for a season.” (Heb. 11:25.) I plead with you to consider the brevity and uncertainty of life, the certainty of death, the coming judgment and your eternal destiny. “You have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent . . .” (Rev. 2:5.) “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God . . .” (Acts 8:22.) “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn 1:9.) Jesus says, “Be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev. 3:19.) “. . . The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” ( Heb. 10:30, 31)