Everybody on earth has his or her own philosophy. Yet all boils down to two, namely, the philosophy of Christians and the philosophy of the world. The world’s philosophy is “My life belongs to me to live as I please”. We can see this in the life of the “rich man” and Lazarus of Luke 16: 19. Also the rich fool of Luke 12: 16-20. It has been argued that the strong distinction between the church and the world represents the outworking of the enmity between the seeds spoken of in Genesis 3: 15. In a way, the WORLD refers to the SEED of the serpent, the mass of unbelieving or unregenerate segments of humanity that resist God. See John 15: 18; 17: 25; 1 Cor.1: 21. Jesus declared that the “world” hates Him and us. John 15: 18.
What Is the World?
In classical (modern) Greek, the word, “world”, and “kosmos”, suggests that which has been “arranged” or what they call the perfect, cultured, harmonious, and impeccable order of things. it is a way of agreeing (unintentionally) that there must be a supreme being responsible for such an order and harmony of the universe.
The “world” by biblical usage also points to the totality of all human inhabitants on the earth. Psalm 33: 8. The philosophers refer to the world as comprising beings higher than animals. The world can also connote the physical planet Earth on which we live. Jer. 22: 29; Gen. 9: 1.
Another way to look at the world is in relation to the Corrupt World System; this is the way the world operates in politics, education, socio-cultural activities, government, administration, and religion; it is the world in opposition to God. Whatever originates from man outside Christ, will soon be corrupted because God is not in all their thoughts. Psalm 10: 4.
In the New Testament, “kosmos” is used with a variety of meanings. Paul, in his address to the Athenians, referred to the material universe. Read Acts 17: 24. 2.
The Characteristics of Worldliness
This is the world as an organized SYSTEM of humanity that is hostile to God; the lifestyle that is under the sway of Satan; it is the man-centered way of thinking; it is in perfect agreement with the human’s fallen nature; it shows interest in numerical success, covets human esteem and It is the mindset of the unregenerate.
J.I Packer, an English-born Canadian professor of Systematic and Historical Theology and a writer declared, “Worldliness is the spirit that substitutes earthly goals (pleasure, profit, popularity, privilege, power) for life’s true Goal which is the praise of God”. On this basis, he believes that “Enslavement to activities is worldliness in its purest form”. He warned that compulsive workaholism is as worldly as any form of laziness.
So a person regarded as worldly is not based on how much pleasure he takes from life but on the spirit in which he takes it. When pleasant things so engross us so that we forget God, then we are worldly. If we receive them gratefully with the purpose of pleasing God by our appreciation and use of His gifts, we are not worldly but godly. So worldliness is not pleasure but confusion of values.
Paul warned us from being conformed to the world. Romans 12: 2. Philips’s translation translates this as a warning not to allow the world around us to squeeze us into its mold. The devil is the spirit of the world systems. He has his products to entice many, particularly the youths; these include worldly pleasures in demon-inspired music, hard drugs to make them high, worldly pleasures, etc.
It arouses inordinate ambition to acquire wealth just for personal enjoyment, not caring to ask what God Has in mind for their life. According to Lain Murray, a British pastor, and author, “Worldliness is no accident; it is the devil’s use of such idols as pride, selfishness, and pleasure to maintain dominion over men”.
What Drives the World System?
The world system has four main driving forces namely, Fortune, Fame, Power, and Pleasure.
Fortune: The world system is driven by money and feeds on materialism.
Fame or popularity: it’s a desire to be known as a prestigious person.
Power: This is the desire to have influence and maintain control over individuals or groups. It includes the power to manipulate and maneuver others to serve one’s purpose.
Pleasure: This is the fulfillment of one’s sensual desires. It is the satanic slogan, “If it feels good, do it”.
Supernaturalism versus naturalism
These are the regenerate or born-again believers but are worldly, living like natural unregenerate people (unbelievers).
This is a self-centered life. In contrast, is the Christians’ philosophy, namely, “My life is Christ’s”, I live to please Him; this is a Christ-centred life. These two philosophies are in diametrical opposition. One is by revelation, the other is by reason. It is also called supernaturalism versus naturalism. The Christian philosophy is for those who have accepted Christ as their Lord and personal Saviour and are being led by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8: 14. Paul admonishes the children of God to present themselves as a living sacrifice on God’s altar. The Jihadist believes that if he dies in a religious war, he will receive a red carpet welcome in Heaven; this is a philosophy based on the human effort to make it to Heaven, not through Christ; it is a great mistake.
Level of Intimacy with God
Abraham was seen as a friend of God in Genesis 18 but Lot was seen as a friend of the world in Genesis 19. God confided in Abraham about His plan for Sodom. Abraham expected to see at least ten righteous people in Sodom namely, Lot, his wife, his two virgin daughters, his (at least) two married daughters (Gen. 19: 14), and at least four of his servants.
Seeking for Wealth
Lot chose the well-watered place of Jordan and so pitched his tent towards Sodom. Gen. 13: 12. He sought wealth without the counsel of God or Abraham. Lot was captured in a war but Abraham rescued him. Gen 14: 12. He soon became an elder in Sodom sitting at the city gate. Gen 19: 1. He enriched himself and his family financially in Sodom despite their sins. Peter called him righteous due to his faith, not his performance.
Yahweh reprimanded Israel in Malachi 1 for not honoring Him. This is the character of worldly people. They gave the blind and crippled animals to God. Mal. 1: 6-10.
Living in Carnality
The Corinthian Church members were carnal (or worldly) living like unbelievers. They broke into factions and deified their leaders. “I am for Paul, I am for Apollos”. Somebody had sex with his father’s wife in 1 Cor. 5 and they were suing themselves to court in 1 Cor. 6.
The Birth of the World System
The World System which was born with the seed of the serpent in Gen. 3: 15, was first institutionalized by Nimrod, the son of Cush ; he promoted Its ideology in Genesis Gen. 10: 8-11. Nimrod was said to be the mighty hunter before the Lord. His name signifies rebellion. The phrase, “mighty hunter before the Lord” depicted his aberrant character.
History calls him a giant. Harry Lancaster, an Old Testament scholar explains that the word, “before” in “before the Lord” means total antagonism to Yahweh. After the flood, there were many wild animals with few inhabitants. Nimrod helped in no small way to hunt down and kill the animals. He soon got the admiration of the people whom he dominated. Subsequently, he established tyranny and totalitarian control over them, hunting and destroying oppositions in an open rebellion against God. See Micah 5: 6.
The Jewish historian, Josephus talked of Nimrod’s contempt for God in Josephus (37-100) He refused to honor and respect God. Dr.Horatius Bonar, a Scottish and 19th-century churchman (clergy) and poet, in the 19th century, declared that Nimrod presented himself both for political obedience and also for worship. He declared that “Nimrod’s awful greatness was of ambitious rebellion, apostasy and defiance of God”.
Nimrod laid the foundation of Babylon, the symbol of worldliness and all world systems standing in opposition to God’s Government. The book of Revelation predicts the end of the Religious (metaphorical) Babylon in Rev. 17 and the end of the Commercial Babylon in Rev. 18.
The Image that Nebuchadnezzar Saw
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a frightful dream of a huge man-made composite metal. The Bible says that this man shone with worldly glory. Dan. 2: 31. The image’s head was gold, representing Nebuchadnazer’s government. The arms and chest were silver representing the Medo-Persian government, under Cyrus the first king who would conquer Nebuchadnezzar himself; note that silver is of a lesser value than gold.
The next was the belly of brass, the Greecian government under Alexander the Great that would conquer Persia. The legs referring to the Roman government were iron; they would defeat Persia. The feet and toes refer to the world of today made of iron and clay. This has been described as the modern democratic governments of today.
The iron is the government’s power and the clay stands for the voting power of the people. Please note that just as the world is growing in military sophistication, the world economy is nosediving. This is why in all nations including Nigeria successive governments are always worse economically and in performance than their predecessors.
Except for God’s promise of a New Nigeria, it is expected that the next government after Tinunbu will be worse. It has been a trend for thousands of years that people are not paying attention to. The entire image represents the world system standing in opposition to God. See what Satan revealed to Christ in Matt. 4: 8.
As the king watched, a stone came out of the mountain without human hands and broke that great image into pieces. The world system in spirit and in reality has a day of judgment coming when Christ will take over and rule over the whole world and all human governments will be terminated. This will be the end of the worldly system given birth to by Nimrod. Then, there shall be one Government and one king, Jesus and His Father. Please NOTE 1 Corinthians 15: 26-28.
Child of God, the Lord forbids us from loving the world and all its toys, dangerous children’s toys. Jesus Christ is the love of the Father. A regenerate man (mankind or human) has Christ in him and cannot have an interest in the world system. He can never have the ideology of “If you cannot beat them, you join them”. He shrinks at displeasing Christ at the end of his earthly journey. We shall not be ashamed at Christ’s judgment seat on the last day. Remain blessed.
BY ELDER SAMUEL OMOLE. NOVEMBER 12, 2023.