Christ or the World
The Word of God always presents things in their true light, and its assessment of worldliness is typically stark: “Adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore is minded to be [the] friend of the world is constituted enemy of God” (James 4:4). Men may excuse their worldly ways by pleading human frailty, their friends may overlook their unseparate path under a false appeal to grace, but God in His Word is uncompromisingly blunt. He neither excuses or overlooks. He calls them what they are: ADULTERESSES! You claim to love God, yet like a woman who cheats on her husband, you have run after the allurements of another.
You may claim that it ‘does no harm’ to be no different from your neighbours, that it is necessary to participate a little at least in the world’s activities in order to get on in life, even, (and this is the most preposterous of all), that reaching men for Christ requires that we become like them and travel with them in all their walk and ways! Is this to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world”? (James 1: 27). People may say what they like, but worldliness betrays only one thing: a complete lack of heart for Christ. The world hates Christ, (John 7: 7, 15: 8), and no one who loves Christ could go on happily with it. “Purify [your] hearts” says James, (4: 8), and how needful this is, lest like Demas we slip into love “for this present age”! (2 Tim. 4: 10).
God allows no compromise on this issue: “Love not the world, nor the things in the world. If any one love the world, the love of the Father is not in him; because 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” (1 John 2: 15, 16). Can words be plainer? You profess to love God, yet your very actions show your heart turned in an altogether different direction. Like Lot’s wife, your affections lie in Sodom. Beware lest “if after having escaped the pollutions of the world through [the] knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”, you are “again entangled” (2 Pet. 2: 20).