“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” ~James 4:4
I bet we all know people who are trying to have the world and Jesus too. Maybe you are in that category. There is an age-old argument concerning what people can get away with and still go to Heaven when the question should be, How holy can I become before Christ returns? Although it’s true that “there is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10), Peter instructs, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16, emphasis mine).
If you find yourself comparing your character to those around you, I encourage you to look in the mirror of God’s Word instead. Can you say with the rich, young ruler, “All these things I have kept from my youth” (Luke 18:21)? If so, then you should ask the follow-up question, “What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20). I expect that most of us would be more honest though and will find plenty of areas that we need to grow in.
As the world becomes more wicked and angry and out of control, the Church needs to be shining with more love and grace and peace and holiness. I cannot stress this enough. We should not be blending in with our culture. It’s time to “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:23
Amen! Let it be so!