We are commanded in God’s Holy Word, the Bible, to not be lovers of the world, nor to allow any of its characteristics to rub off on us so that we follow its erring ways. Beloved brothers and sisters it most likely isn’t a surprise to you that the church has become subsumed by the world and is characterized by worldly appetites and ungodly habits. Let’s look at what God has to say to us, His beloved children, called out of this world system into the kingdom of His Son through repentant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Holy Word the Bible so we can better understand how to avoid falling into this trap ourselves.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) 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. (17) And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides forever. (18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (19) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (20) But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. (21) I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (22) Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. (23) Whosoever denies the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledges the Son hath the Father also. (24) Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. (25) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (26) These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. (27) But the anointing which ye have received of Him abides in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him. (28) And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. (29) If ye know that He is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 2:15-29
The world is characterized by those who deny the truth of the Scriptures about Jesus Christ. This denial of Jesus Christ is not necessarily a disavowal of the Christ, but is instead identifying a Jesus who is at odds with the record of the Scriptures as the Christ. Many of these deniers have originated from the church and bedevil the church by their proficient attacks upon the Word of God. The instigation of this attack began in the 1700’s with rationalism and spread to Germany where the scholars concurred with the rationalists and denied the supernatural character of the Scriptures, apprising it as if it were any other ancient written document. Upon this bedrock of unbelief came the work of two apostates, Westcott and Hort, who supplanted the inspired, infallible, inerrant, preserved Word of God in the New Testament handed down through the ages by believers through the Received Text, with the Greek Critical Text based upon corrupt manuscripts. These corrupt manuscripts known as the Alexandrian texts count for only 45 MSS out of a total of 5255 manuscripts, so they are less than 1% of the total texts which represent the Byzantine texts from which the Received Text was produced. The corrupt Alexandrian texts differ from the Byzantine texts in 99 out of 100 cases and also disagree amongst themselves. The two most famous texts the Sinai and Vatican MSS differ amongst themselves more than they agree. They were rejected by the church in the fourth century as corrupt and the Byzantine text was established as the text passed down through the ages. The Alexandrian texts most perniciously attack the deity of Jesus Christ and so in our day our glorious Lord’s deity is corruptly denied while His humanity is exalted. Many times I have engaged with those who have denied that Jesus Christ is God the Son of God, much to my sorrow. This is the work of the devil through his human accomplices and emissaries. We have to remember that Satan had the audacity to try and subvert the work of Christ Jesus to which He was called by attempting to us the Holy Scriptures against Him, and so today godless men support the work of the enemy expertly executed through the proliferation of the modern versions that attack both the Word of God and God the Word.
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, (2) Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days He did eat nothing: and when they were ended, He afterward hungered. (3) And the devil said unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. (4) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (5) And the devil, taking Him up into an high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (6) And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. (7) If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. (8) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind Me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve. (9) And he brought Him to Jerusalem, and set Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: (10) For it is written, He shall give His angels charge over Thee, to keep Thee: (11) And in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone. (12) And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (13) And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season. Luke 4:1-13
The enemy is still at work deluding and deceiving many through the corrupt Alexandrian text that has been proliferated through the modern Bible versions. In order to make the taking up of this text acceptable to the church Hort came up with a wildly imaginative concoction declaring that they Byzantine text was a recession produced by church councils between 250-350 AD. When it was pointed out that early church fathers from previous centuries actually quoted the Byzantine text, Hort declared these quotes had also been altered. Through this deception, leaders within the church accepted the Critical Text and so the Received Text despised by Westcott and Hort has been overthrown. Men like B. B. Warfield along with the Presbyterians, A. T. Robinson along with the Baptists accepted the Critical Text and with it the pernicious lies that attacked the Holy Word of God and His Holy Son. The Critical Text is used throughout the seminaries, colleges and theological institutions leading pastor, elders, and teachers into apostasy and compromise with the world. This has resulted in the most grievous declination within the visible church and wickedness has come in like a flood spreading corruption throughout the majority of assemblies and the nations. Those who claim the name of Christ have forgotten the godly and holy principles of faith, love and faithfulness.
Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loves Him that begat loves him also that is begotten of Him. (2) By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous. (4) For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:1-4
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. (5) They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them. (6) We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God hears not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (7) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. (8) He that loves not knows not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:1-8
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. (5) And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. (6) And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (7) For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (8) Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. (9) Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 2 John 1:4-11
Faith in Jesus Christ and His Word overcomes the world. Faithfulness to believe the Holy Scriptures and contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints is an act of Christian love. We are to continue faithfully in faith believing what God has said in His Holy, inspired, inerrant, preserved Word, opposing the lies of the enemy and the darkness of deceit. Through love we oppose the treachery foisted upon the visible church and speak the truth to all. We hold fast to the doctrine that has been handed down from the beginning. We hold fast to what has been delivered to us through the holy apostles and prophets believing and obeying God’s Word for His glory and our edification. This is the exhortation given to us by God through His apostle John in his first epistle.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (2) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (4) And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:1-4
But whoso keeps His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. (6) He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. (7) Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. (8) Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in Him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shines. (9) He that says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness even until now. (10) He that loves his brother abides in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. 1 John 2:5-10
Lord Jesus Christ thank you for Your love and truth that succor us through this pilgrimage through this barren world. May we as Your beloved children speak the truth in love and contend earnestly for the faith which you have delivered to us in Your Holy Word the Bible. Amen!