Posted with permission by author.
NOT BEING OF THIS WORLD
By Nate Marino
This study will focus on the importance of not being of this world. It will examine what the bible says about being of this world, why it is bad, and what can make you think and act like the world.
This is a huge issue today among modern Christians, especially in the U.S. Many Christians think, act, talk, and dress like the world to the point where there is no difference between Christians and unbelievers. This is dangerous. We need to be separate, a peculiar people, set apart from this world. There needs to be a clear line between righteous and unrighteous, holy and unholy, clean and unclean, but that line has been stretched to an enormous gray area.
If an unbeliever meets someone who claims to be born again and sees no real difference between the Christian’s life and the unbelievers life, this makes the unbeliever think they can become a Christian without having to make any major changes in their life. The unbeliever won’t think they have to give anything up. There will be no true repentance and turning away from sin.
When an unbeliever who has some knowledge of the bible sees a Christian living their life in contradiction to the scripture, they will view Christians as just big hypocrites whose actions and lifestyle don’t match up with the Word of God. This utterly repels them from accepting the Gospel.
Let’s take a quick look at the dictionary definition of the word “hypocrite” just to get a clear picture of what I’m talking about:
1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
So even if you have sincere beliefs, but your lifestyle and actions don’t match up with the beliefs you say you have, you will be a hypocrite.
PART 1 – NOT OF THIS WORLD
“ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
– Romans 12:2
Don’t conform to the world, but be tranformed by the Word of God.
“ 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
If you love the world the love of the Father is not in you. How can you help others without the love of the Father?
“ Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye 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.”
– James 4:4
Be faithful to God and not to men. It’s better to have no friends at all than to be the enemy of God.
“ And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?
 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.
 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
– Luke 12:22-31
Everyone of this world is constantly seeking more money so they can buy more material possessions. If we have faith and seek the Lord first he will provide for us the things we need.
“ If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
– John 15:18-21
If no one hates you then you are not speaking the pure Word of the Lord. The world doesn’t love the Gospel. This suffereing is nothing compared to what our master Jesus did for us. They hated him first.
“ Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.”
– II Corinthians 7:9-11
There are many reasons that people get depressed in this world. Most of the time this sorrow leads to negative things like alcoholism, drug addiction, and even suicide. Godly sorrow, which comes from the Holy Spirit’s conviction, will lead you to repentance and a change of your life. (This scripture proves that you have to be sorry when you repent, it’s not just “changing your mind”)
PART 2 – THE WISDOM OF THIS WORLD
“ For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
– I Corinthians 1:18-21
Many times when people hear the Gospel they think it is stupid or crazy. People are puffed up with their vain knowledge they gained in college. God makes the wisdom of this world foolish. One day he will destroy it.
“ Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
– I Corinthians 2:12-16
If the spirit of the world is in you, you cannot truly understand the Word of God. Man’s wisdom will only hinder you from learning.
“ And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.
 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
– Colossians 2:4-8
Don’t let any man beguile you with enticing words in a book or on TV. There are vain philosophies out there which sound moral and just on the surface, but are nothing but vain deceit.
PART 3 – WHO IS THE GOD OF THIS WORLD?
“ Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight,”
– John 18:36
Jesus tells us not to physically fight against injustice in this world because it is not his kingdom. This world will pass away and the Lord’s true kingdom will replace it.
“ Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
– Matthew 4:8-10
Why would the devil offer the kingdoms of this world to Jesus if they were not his to give?
“ But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
 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.”
– II Corinthians 4:3,4
Satan has blinded the minds of those who believe not and he will blind professing Christians as well who are lead astray by the things of this world.
“ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
– Ephesians 2:1-7
If you walk according to the course of this world, you are walking according to Satan’s will. You are walking in disobedience after the lusts of your flesh.
“ Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
– John 12:31
This world will be judged and Satan will be cast out. This is the end result of those who live like the world.
“ 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.”
– I John 4:4
Remember this always because it will help you to overcome the world. It’s not you, but Christ in you that overcomes the devil.
PART 4 – WHAT CAN MAKE YOU OF THIS WORLD?
This section is about how television, movies, videogames, music, etc. will make you of this world. They will alter the way you think and view the world. The changes in thoughts are for the worse turning you gradually further and further away from how you should think and live according to the Word of God.
“ They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”
– I John 4:5,6
Every secular song has a meaning or message which unbelievers can relate to. It is almost always immoral and unbiblical or in some cases outright anti-Christian. You should not be relating to this music. The same goes for TV shows and movies. They have messages, humor, and stories that are all completely of this world. They will desensitize you more and more until you view sinful, ungodly, rebellious behavior as normal. When the world speaks you should not hear it, but in turn have an answer from scripture.
“ I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
– Psalms 101:3
When you watch TV or a movie or play a videogame, are you setting wicked things before your eyes? Violence? Lustful and sexual content? Riotous sinful behavior? Cruelty to others as entertainment?
“ 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 passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
– I John 2:16,17
First we will look at the lust of the eyes. Remember, the world and it’s lusts will pass away so don’t get sucked in. It’s not worth it.
“ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
– Matthew 5:27-29
Jesus gives a strong warning here. If you look at a woman(or man) with lust in your heart you are committing adultery. How much sexual, lustful, and perverse content is on TV and in movies and videogames? Are you causing yourself to lust by constantly viewing these images? Jesus would rather have you cut your eye out than to lust your way to hell. This is not to be taken lightly.
“ Let no corrupt* communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
– Ephesians 4:29
* corrupt – (adjective) -debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil
(verb) – to destroy the integrity of; cause to be dishonest, to lower morally; pervert
The way that people talk on TV, in movies, videogames, and music is vulgar in many ways. This “entertainment” is full of cursing, sexual innuendo, mocking God and Christianity, and crude toilet humor. Repeated exposure to this corrupt communication will change the way you talk and the things you say.
“ But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”
– Colossians 3:8
Stop the filthy communication coming out of your mouth.
“ The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.”
– Psalms 10:4-7
The wicked man’s mouth is full of cursing, mischief, and vanity. Do we see this on TV?
“ My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
– James 3:1-18
This chapter is the biggest exhortation on controlling your tongue in the bible. We need to tame the tongue and control it. We need to show by good conversation our works with meekness of wisdom. TV and movies do not help us to achieve this, but in reality corrupt our communication.
The last section of how worldy entertainment affects us will deal with the pride of life. What is the attitude of people in worldy entertainment and what sentiments do they express?
“ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
– II Peter 3:3-9
Are there people on TV who scoff at the bible and God? Are there people who are willingly ignorant of the fact that the Lord created the universe and everything in it? The Lord doesn’t want anyone to perish, but many people would rather believe in evolution than in the God of the bible. In these last days, how do you think it afftects you when you constantly subject yourself to this contradictory attitude?
“ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, 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.
 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
– II Timothy 3:1-7
Do these verses describe almost exactly all of the behavior you see in movies and on TV? What does worldy entertainment show but people who only care about themselves and their own pleasure? How many shows are about people being lying backstabbers? Is not pride and arrogance the norm? These truly are the perilous times. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that subjecting yourself to this kind of “entertainment” will not affect you. Either you let the ungodly behavior displayed transform you or you let the Word of God transform you.
“ And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”
– Jude 1:14-19
This is the fate of wordly minded people.
PART 5 – THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLEAN AND UNCLEAN
“ I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
– Revelation 3:15,16
Jesus doesn’t like a lukewarm faith. You need to make a decision today and be all or nothing. There is no halfway. This sentiment is clear in scripture:
“ And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
– Joshua 24:15
You need to make as decision today. Who will you serve? There is no in between.
“ Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”
– I Corinthians 10:21
You can’t have it both ways. You have to give your whole life to Christ, not just part of it.
“ Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath 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 ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
– II Corinthians 6:14-18
If the majority of your friends are unbelievers then you most certainly will be negatively affected. Their influence will overwhelm you and compromise your walk. We need to be showing unbelievers love by witnessing to them, not drinking, watching TV, or participating in worthless conversations and activities with them.
PART 6 – THE DANGER OF BEING OF THIS WORLD
“ And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
– Mark 4:18,19
Using the parable of the sower, Jesus explains the danger of being of this world. It can choke the Word to the point where you are useless to the Lord.
“ For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, 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.”
– II Peter 2:20-22
It would be better for you to have never been saved than to let the pollutions of this world overtake you again after the fact.
PART 7 – HOW SHOULD WE ACT?
“ In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
– I John 4:9-17
God loved us so much he sent his only begotten son to die for us on the cross. We should show our love for him by being as Christ is in the world and not conformed to the ways of the world.
“ Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:13-16
“ Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
– Colossians 4:6
What does salt do? It preserves and irritates. Preserve the Word of the Lord you have received by not compromising it. Irritate by refusing to speak anything but the pure truth of the Gospel. Mega churches water down the Gospel so that it is not offensive to anyone. This doesn’t save anyone, but in fact sends people to hell with a false gospel. We need to be the light of the world also. We can’t be the light of the world if we are trying to be like the dark world. Don’t hide your candle.
“ He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
– John 12:25
We need to not care about losing anything in this world no matter what it is. We only need to be concerned about spreading the Gospel of salvation and the love of Christ. If people reject it, then that is their choice. We should not try to relate to them more by being of this world. This doesn’t make people listen more, it taints the Gospel and your personal testimony. We just need to present the Gosepl and pray for their salvation. Anything beyond this is not in our hands, but in God’s hands.
I hope and pray you will consider this exhortation. Let’s stop compromising and stand unwaveringly in the Word.