2001-03-02 - The World is a Vampire
John 17:14 I have given them Thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
The topic headline is the opening line to a song by the secular rock band Smashing Pumpkins. I'm not advocating getting our theology, or for that matter anything, from their music, but I wonder if, in this phrase, they might have slipped into truth. The world sucks the spiritual life right out of Christians just as a vampire sucks blood from his victims to sustain himself.
When we dabble in worldliness, we are playing with fire. It is like getting into the ring with a prize fighter. Now, I'm fairly young and in decent shape, but I would be the king of fools to enter a boxing ring with a champion boxer. It would be less than a minute before he introduced me to the canvas. I wouldn't stand a chance. And it is no different when we engage the world and try to play by the world's rules. We don't stand a chance. The world will knock us around.
This is because our real home is Heaven. We are out of place in the world. Philippians 3:20 tells us, "For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." Christ even tells us that even when things are going great for us on Earth, we are not to rejoice in that, but rather, "...rejoice that your names are recorded in Heaven." Luke 10:20
Materialism is a trap that many Christians get caught in. There are endless preachers on television and radio who work this angle and deceive Christians. They promise blessings of health, wealth, and prosperity, if you would only send in a few dollars. They know this works because many Christians want more things than they currently have or they need money to pay off the debt they have incurred by living beyond their means. However, they can't deliver on their promises because they also are often caught in the same trap.
Heavenly-mindedness does not come easily. It must be cultivated. We are bombarded by the world's messages all the time and it is easy to adopt a worldly mindset without even realizing it. We must remember that as Christians, we are citizens of Heaven, not the world. We are only here as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). We represent Christ and His cause to a dying, hopeless world. We may live in the world, but we are not to be of the world. In fact, we are to stand out from the world as examples of a better way. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4,5.
Soli Deo Gloria,