What makes a Christian different from the world?

I’m working on an article and lesson with the above title, and am looking for points. I have several already, but maybe I’m missing something. How would you answer this question:

What makes a Christian different from the world?

I look forward to your replies.

#Christian #world #holiness

Not from the Father: 1 John 2.15-16

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

1 John 2.15-16

Christians must walk as Jesus did. They must love one another. They must be assured of their salvation. They must reject false teaching. The world and all it contains are opposed to the Father.

Love means commitment to, involvement in, support of the world. How do we show our rejection of the world and our commitment to God?

#votd #1-John #world


10-20-2017 Live In Not Of The World

Paul wrote to Corinthian Christians: “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10 NKJV). To “keep company” is participating with, or sharing in, “sexual immorality.” A Christian must stay spiritually safe, but at the same time continue living among worldly people. Jesus prayed about His disciples, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15 NKJV). On earth, Jesus showed how we must “walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5 NKJV).
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#fellowship, #keep-company, #world

VOTD: 2 Peter 2.9

“So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.”

2 Peter 2.9 NLT

This verse is the conclusion to a brief history of God’s rescue of the godly. Start at verse 1.

What trials do you face in the midst of a carnal and rebellious world?

#salvation, #trials, #votd, #world

A world hostile to God

“However, men obstinately refuse to change their lives, even before the most eloquent warnings (20-21). This is the world in which we live: a world hostile to God even in its core, a world that prefers to make for itself its own ‘idols’ and establish its own models of behavior.” Continue reading

#gospel, #mission, #world

FBI doesn’t know crime when it sees it

I wrote briefly about FBI Director Comey’s statement in which he declined to recommend criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton over the private email server.

My main interest is about how Christians react to this announcement, now that the U.S. is no longer a country of laws. (In such a country, everyone is equally subject to the law of the land, regardless of their position. That is not now true of the U.S.) I gave three quick points on how Christians ought to react.

How do you as a Christian regard this decision? Does it portend the breakdown of justice in the U.S.? Or is it a mere blip on the greater scene? And how do you see the Christian’s role at this moment?

#USA #politics #world

Influence of the world

A gospel preacher posted the following to a discussion group. We’ve left off names.

Each November, our congregation puts up a “thankful tree” on a wall. Over the course of several weeks members are invited to write on a paper leaf something or someone they are thankful for. They don’t have to sign their leaves.

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we have a devotional rather than regularly scheduled Bible classes.

We sing various hymns and chorus of praise and thanksgiving. We pray. We have a congregational reading of Psalm 107 interspersed between the songs. And we have our elders read from the leaves at four different points in the devotional.

This year, one leaf I did not have read aloud made the following comment: Continue reading

#focusfschallenge, #influence, #thanksgiving, #world

This world is perfect

Like Job, we lament constantly that this world is full of evil, and it is. We wonder if evil is not increasing, and it may well be. We ourselves feel the effects of sin and injustice, perhaps more than others.

It seems then a paradox to affirm that this world, as we encounter it, is perfect. Continue reading

#existence, #world


(#199) The Proverbs of Solomon 29:27-Sticks and Stones and Intimidation

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 29:27: “An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.”

There has always been bitter antagonism between those who practice evil and those who practice good. The explanation for the first murder in the world (Genesis 4:1-15) is clearly given in the New Testament: “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4); “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you” (1 John 3:10-13).

Which is exactly why it is useless and wrong for those who follow God’s Way (the righteous) to seek the approval and acclaim from the worldly. Ungodly teachers refuse to let righteous students get good grades if they have written truthfully about the Bible, Jesus Christ, or moral goodness! Ungodly entertainers ridicule the righteous who speak out from their honest, godly convictions! Ungodly parents punish and discourage their righteous children from Bible classes or studying the Word of God! Ungodly propagandists who use overwhelming headlines to “beat back” any and every attempt of the righteous to uphold and defend the existence of God! Ungodly Evolutionists and Global Warming fanatics who falsely label as “unscientific” any and all who use scientific facts to debunk and discredit those attacks on Bible faith! Ungodly accrediting boards set materialistic standards which, when “Christian Schools” accept and meet those standards, have made “Christian schools” nothing more than another worldly school!

Jesus offered His reward to the righteous: “Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.


#antagonism, #bible-study, #evil, #evolutionists, #global-warming, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #ridicule, #righteous, #scientific, #teachers, #ungodly, #unscientific, #world


Since God Created humans only God can provide…

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 25:26: “A righteous man who falters before the wicked Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.”

No one but Jesus Christ has been perfect but the ungodly Jews hurled every accusation against Him they could concoct. “And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him” (Luke 19:47-48); “Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none” (Matthew 26:59-60); “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?’ But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly” (Matthew 27:12-14).

Sinful people cannot wait to find “a righteous man” who sins, for then they may say, “Christians are hypocrites;” “I’m as good as anyone who goes to church;” “the Gospel of Christ hasn’t helped all others be good,” ad nauseum. And it is true as Solomon later said: “Dead flies putrefy the perfumer’s ointment, And cause it to give off a foul odor; So does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor” (Ecclesiastes 10:1). No one is justifying sin in a righteous man, “For a righteous man may fall seven times And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity” (Proverbs 24:16).

Sinners who point their finger at a Christian who “falters before the wicked” are: (1) hypocritical; arrogant; judgmental; unjust; and merciless, all of which are damned by the Word of God; (2) ignorant of the fact that they are “the wicked” and therefore damned by God; (3) expecting God to follow their standard of judgment (no sin can be condemned as long as a righteous person has sinned), instead of His standard of righteousness (John 12:48-50; Acts 17:30-31).

Knowing sinners seek to “justify themselves in the sight of men” (Luke 16:15), Christians must “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5). But know this, no sinner’s sins will be excused by any Christian’s sin(s) because “those who are outside God judges” (1 Corinthians 5:13). If you are outside of Christ, you have no excuse and only one appeal. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Sinners, are you too “chicken” to see if you can do any better?

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #hypocritical, #judgmental, #proverbs, #sinners, #world

The World’s Problem with Jesus

If Jesus just told everybody how to be a nice person no one would have a problem with that.

If Jesus just told everybody to eat and drink and be merry no one would have a problem with that.

But that’s not what Jesus told everybody. He didn’t come to impress the world. He came to save it, and that’s what the world has a problem with! The world doesn’t want a Savior no matter how bad it needs one.

No matter how much one talks about the grace of God the topic of grace coupled with God will agitate the world because the message reminds the world why they are in need of what they don’t want. The little ole’ word sin. You can’t have grace without it. And we all need grace because of it.

Jesus once told his unbelieving brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” (John 7:7) This hasn’t changed because Jesus hasn’t changed. His grace in and of itself testifies of hearts gone wrong, words gone wrong, works gone wrong and entire lives gone wrong.

Jesus came because the world has a problem, but the world has a problem with Jesus because he came. What a dichotomy! So now we must all decide whether or not we’re going to let Jesus take care of our problem which will include the world having a problem with us, or whether we’re going to blame the problem on him in which case we’ll find our self in a whole other world of problems. Because in case you haven’t checked lately, the world still has a problem with Jesus because the world still has a problem that we won’t let him deal with.

Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world has no love for you.” (1 John 3:13 – BBE)

#jesus, #love, #problems, #world

The world’s unsteady eye

The world’s unsteady eye
Will see, then pass you by;
Be not dismayed
When interests fade,
For God looks from on high.


#christian-poetry, #god, #world

The most important event of the past 1000 years

Life magazine published a book listing the most important events of the last 1000 years. Some of the events you might expect to be there, like #2, Columbus’s voyage to the New World in 1492. Some events you’re glad are there, like #93, the invention of painless surgery. Some events you might be surprised to find, like #82, the invention of Coke in 1886.

But the #1 most important event of the last millennium, according to Life? The printing of the Bible on Gutenberg’s printing press in 1455! This led to the Bible (and other books) being distributed to the public at large for the first time, which helped bring about the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the United States of America—to name a few things.

Life got it right. The Bible has been the key to the advance of civilization. It is also the key to our personal spiritual advancement.

Reference: The Life Millennium: The 100 Most Important Events & People of the Past 1,000 Years (Life Books, 1998)

Psalms 119:4-6 – You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes!Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#bible, #history, #world

The Greatest Gathering of Nations for All Time

I just finished watching the entrance of the nations for this year’s Olympics! I love watching the entrance ceremony. All the different flags. All the different nationalities. All the different individuals. All the smiles in the same spot together. It truly is a great gathering of the world’s people.

The Olympic Games brings nations together on a scale that no other event has rivaled. At least not yet. But a gathering of nations is coming that will cause the Olympics to pale in comparison. When will this event happen? It’s not my responsibility to tell when. My responsibility is just to teach that it’s coming, and that there won’t be a nation that’s not represented when it begins.

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:31-32 , NKJV)

This sight is unimaginable, but it will become a reality. This sight is incomprehensible, but the reason will be understood. This sight is unapproachable, but we will not be able to refuse its beckon.

At this gathering every nation will be present, but there will be no competition. At this gathering every nation will be present, but there will not be a universal celebration. At this gathering every nation will be present, but the glory will belong to only one Victor.

But honestly, this wasn’t the thought that entered into my mind as I watched all the nations usher in the Olympics of 2012. The thought that entered into my mind was another gathering of the nations that I can’t wait to see.

This gathering will begin on a high note, and stay there. This gathering will combine people from all of Earth’s nations into one eternal home. There will be no language barrier. There will be no envy. There will be no hate. There will be no harm. There will be no night. There will be no sadness. There will be no fear. There will be no end to this gathering; and thus this gathering, in my humble opinion, will not only be the greatest gathering of nations of all time…it will be the greatest gathering of nations for all time!

After these things I saw a great army of people more than might be numbered, out of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and languages, taking their places before the high seat and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, and with branches in their hands, saying with a loud voice, Salvation to our God who is seated on the high seat, and to the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:9-10, BBE)

The context is for those who came through the persecution, but the comfort is one of encouragement for all Christians. Just imagine what the entrance and gathering of the nations in Heaven is going to look like!

#comfort, #heaven, #judgment, #olympics, #world

World Turned Upside Down

Does the world seem right to you?

From everything we can see, the world seems to be in its proper place, but it’s not. It’s been turned upside down.

It’s been turned upside down by sin. Once, the world was a paradise and then sin entered the world. And by sin death came, too. When that happened, the world was turned upside down.

It took the death of Jesus on the cross and the teaching of the apostles to turn it right-side up. In Acts 17:6, after preaching in Thessalonica, Jews who opposed Paul incited a mob and a riot. The rioters dragged Christians before local officials screaming, “these that have turned the world upside down have come here also.”

The apostles were helping turn the world right-side up. But the wisdom of men is often true foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:27f).

Is your world upside down? Take another look; it might be.

#jesus-christ, #wisdom, #world