ARE WE LOCKED INTO UNDERSTANDING ONLY OUR PRESENT EXISTENCE ?
WHEN ASTRONAUTS ARE PLANNING TRIPS TO OTHER PLANETS TO STUDY THE ENVIRONMENT VERY CAREFULLY, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO KNOW THE CONDITIONS THEY WILL FACE ?
Without knowing their surroundings, they could leave a space craft, and walk onto a planet where there are gasses that could penetrate their suits. They could walk onto a surface which would consume them in a second. So, NASA sends exploratory vehicles to report on what they can expect when they land there.
The Christian has already landed on earth. In fact, we were born here. Very often his knowledge of his environment is incorrect because the sources of information are deliberately trying to make it appear better than it really is. But, our existence on earth is only temporary. When a Christian gets saved, Jesus uses the term, that he is “born-again” into the kingdom of God. That means that the Christian now has a new home.
Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: [conversation= citizenship” 4175 πολίτευμα politeuma pol-it’-yoo-mah]
God’s Word gives us instructions on how to handle our environment. We must begin treating it as a foreign nation, a hostile environment to the Believer.
1. GOD WANTS US TO FOCUS OUR KNOWLEDGE.
We are not supposed to focus it on this world.
A. FOCUS KNOWLEDGE UPON HIM. OUR NEW MAN IS RENEWWED–AND THUS GROWS–THROUGH OUR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.
Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him:
B. FOCUS KNOWLEDGE UPON HIS KINGDOM.
Why would He have us pray “Thy kingdom come…” if He didn’t set before us something wonderful and exciting ?
Acts 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
2. GOD WANTS US TO ACTIVELY DEAL WITH THIS WORLD, BUT NOT BECOME MONKS.
A. HE WANTS US AND OTHERS TO SEE THAT HIS CHILDREN ARE BLESSED.
GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO WRITE OFF HIS BLESSINGS FOR THIS PRESENT WORLD. HE STILL BLESSES PEOPLE NOW. NOT EVERYTHING IS FUTURE.
Luke 18:28-30 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee. And He said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
B. THE BLESSINGS AHEAD ARE A POWERFUL CONTRAST TO WHATEVER WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH IN THIS PRESENT TIME.
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
C. THERE ARE ALWAYS TRUE BELIEVERS, EVEN THOUGH THEIR NUMBER MAY BE SMALL.
Romans 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
–SOME BELIEVERS IN PAUL’S MINISTRY TEAM WENT ASTRAY. EVEN PAUL COULD NOT HAVE SEEN IT COMING, OR HE WOULD NOT HAVE CHOSEN THEM.
2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.
3. THIS WORLD IS HOSTILE TOWARD GOD.
A. THE GOD OF THIS WORLD IS SATAN.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
B. GOD’S PEOPLE ARE NOT A PART OF THIS WORLD SYSTEM. TRUE BELIEVERS STILL SUFFER IN THIS WORLD. IT IS AS IF WE ARE ALIENS IN A FOREIGN PLANET.
1 Corinthians 4:11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;
–WE ARE AT WAR WITH THIS WORLD.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
C. GOD MAKES CLEAR THAT WE MUST NOT BECOME A PART OF THIS WORLD SYSTEM.
Galatians 1:4 Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
D. WE MUST DEMONSTRATE A BETTER WAY OF LIVING TO THIS WORLD.
Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
”This Present World”
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams