In a recent Wednesday night Bible Study on the “Strait gate and narrow way that leads to life” (Matt. 7:13-14), we made the observation that one reason “few there be that find it” is because they cannot carry their sins through the “straitened” gate; it is not broad enough to accomplish this. One of the things mentioned that cannot be carried through is worldliness. I have been a member of the Lord’s church for almost 62 years, and in my judgment, the problem of worldliness in the church has never been worse than it is today. Many of the things that were preached against and not accepted as proper conduct in the past have, in many places, become accepted and overlooked; and it seems that not a lot of preaching is being done in these areas. In this article I want to discuss a few reasons that I believe are the contributing cause of this major problem.
A Lack of Spiritual Love. That there is a direct relationship between no love for God and worldliness is shown by Paul in II Timothy 3:2-5: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” John, writing by inspiration, commands, “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” (I John 2:15). Contrast that with what he wrote later in the same epistle: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). If a congregation is full of members who do not love God (by inspirations’s definition), how do you believe it is viewed by God? What hope could there be for such a blemished and spotted institution?
A Lack of Spiritual Concern. In the dawn of history God created man (Gen. 1:27). Man possesses both a body and spirit; man IS a spirit in a body! There is a part of you that cannot be educated with the books of man, nor fed with the food on your table, nor be sheltered with the roof over your head. However, when man forgets that he has a soul and must prepare for its salvation, worldliness results! Read and carefully study what is said about the rich fool in Luke 12:19-20. When we are more interested in the physical pursuits of this life, and when we permit anything and everything to get in front of our service to God, only worldliness can result.
Seriously, what does “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33) mean to you?
Paul M. Wilmoth