Vol.XVI No.X Pg.4
December 1979

"Love Not The World "

Robert F. Turner

"And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat..." (Gen. 2:17). What happened? Man chose to listen to Satan rather than God. In Exodus 23, God instructed the Israelites to drive out the other inhabitants of Canaan "lest they make thee sin against me; for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee" (vs. 33). What happened? Israel did not heed God's command and was soon influenced by the nations around her. "But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations..." (1 Sam. 8:19). In Jeremiah 6:16, the prophet pleaded with Judah to rid herself of her idolatry and worldly practices and return to God's paths. What was the reply? "But they said, We will not walk therein."

By these and other examples in the Bible, it becomes obvious that man has the tendency to be influenced by those around him. It also becomes obvious that most of the time, most men choose the world's way rather than God's way. It would be foolish for us to think that we are not affected by this carnal nature. Paul warns us, "Be not deceived, evil companionships corrupt good morals" (1 Cor. 15:33). Yet, too often when those words reach our ears, we try to rationalize our choice of companions and "hear" Paul as saying "sometimes corrupt good morals" or "corrupt others good morals." Paul said, "EVIL COMPANIONSHIPS CORRUPT GOOD MORALS." Don't argue the point with me; those are God's words. Solomon wrote, "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." He also warned, "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and walk not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass on." And it was Solomon who said, "Walk with wise men, and thou shalt be wise; but the companion of fools shall be destroyed." (Prov. 1:10, 4:14, 13:20) Yet, it was recorded of this man in 1 Kings 11:4 -- "For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods..." If one of the wisest men who ever lived yielded to the influence of the world, who are we to assume that we can resist that influence? We should soberly remember God's word, "Wherefore, come ye out from among them, and be ye separate." (II Co. 6:14)

One brother, trying to defend his practice of visiting bars and dance halls, explained to me that he had to spend time with the world if he was going to convert anyone. It came as no surprise to me to learn that he no longer even professes to be a Christian. We cannot teach someone the truth by engaging in their worldly activities.

So, are we to avoid the world completely? Of course not. Christ prayed not that we should be taken out of the world, but that we not become of the world. (Jn. 17:15) A Christian is in the world, but he is not of the world. The scriptures tell us tit we have an obligation to the last. (Matt. 5:13-16, 28:19,20) Any relationship with an unbeliever should be one of concern for his soul. Kevan O'Banion