In The World, But Not Of It

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IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF THE WORLD

The Spirit of the Lord had been dealing with my spirit the past few years, especially during 2016 and I came to a crossroad in my personal life, that I knew I had to make a decision to accept Jesus Christ again as my Lord and Savior, in other words become born again or in ultimate danger of being eternally lost.  I give thanks and praise through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior for God's Grace and Mercy who is longsuffering, desiring not to see anyone perish and for my bride's continued witness to me along with our Pastor Sam Abee.

I had been telling my bride the past couple years and Pastor Sam Abee in 2016 that I planned to start going back to Church in January 2017 and obey God's Holy Word making a commitment to serve God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and support our local Church.  Her response was, "We'll see", because she had heard that many, many times in the past.  I kept my word and accepted Jesus Christ again as my Lord and Savior on January 1, 2017.  I give a recap of my renewed Salvation on this webpage hyperlink

Many things has changed since then, of which I will list a few; bad habits were totally given up such as, an occasional social alcoholic drink; e.g., beer, wine, liquor, etc.  I avoid places that serve alcoholic beverages as much as possible and do not socialize (hang out) with those individuals that do so, or are living an open lifestyle of sin which is against God's Holy Word.  Alcoholism and drunkenness is definitely a sin as is fornication and adultery.  I definitely cannot look into one's heart (the seat of understanding and will), however the Bible tells us in Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” 

I should make note, there are unavoidable family exceptions, but God understands and can only uplift them in daily prayer to Him!  We as Christians are separated from the world, but we are not isolated from the world.  I have made personal restitution, when it is possible for things I have done in the past (going back over forty (40) years) and will continue to do so, which is the Christian thing to do.  I have asked individuals for their personal forgiveness and have forgiven those that have wronged myself not harboring any grudges or ill will.  It is difficult to do on our own, but with the help of God's Holy Spirit, it is doable.

I remember my Grandma Coley saying, "If you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything at all" and "If you dig deep enough, you will find something good in everyone." With that said, you might need a deep drilling oil well rig for some folks; that is just the way it is.  That makes a lot of Christian sense.  I have to bridle my own tongue, because I am guilty of saying things that would be better off left unsaid, even though being the truth.  Listening to gossip and repeating gossip is definitely not Christian like behavior for sure!

The Bible addresses the tongue issue at this link

The ABC's of SalvationAdmit to God you are a sinner.  Believe in Jesus Christ as God's Son and receive Jesus' gift of forgiveness from sin.  Confess your faith in Jesus Christ to others as Lord and Savior after you receive Jesus Christ in your life.  Open this link about repentance.  This is just the beginning of your born again experience which is an on going process!  There is sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost The Fruit of the Spirit will manifest itself along with putting on the Whole Armor of God.  It is possible to receive salvation, sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the same time, of which is scriptural.  God's Holy Word gives the answers to what matters in this life!

With the aforestated introduction, I did some research on what it means to be in the world, but not of the world and Dr. Billy Graham had an excellent message aka sermon on "in the world, but not of it" which is at this link.  I have a copy and paste of his message below from 1968:

IN THE WORLD, BUT NOT OF IT

The following is a copy and paste of a message from Billy Graham on January 28, 2016 that apparently was given in 1968.

At a meeting of church leaders in Seattle, Washington, one member of the group reportedly said that if the church is to make its greatest impact on our generation, it must become more worldly minded. While in one sense that may bear some truth, in the biblical sense it is false.

As we read the New Testament, it is clear that we are not to become entangled with the world.  Now at first glance, a new Christian might shrink from this idea.  But the question I want to ask today is, “What is the world?”  There are at least three meanings attached to the word world.

First, the Bible says that there is the created world. “God … made the world and everything in it” (Acts 17:24).

Second, there are the inhabitants of the world, whom God loves and for whom Christ died.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).

Third, there is the cosmos, the world system, which is headed by Satan and based upon self, greed and pride.  This is the world that God warns about, and it is this world system and philosophy that Christians are to shun and remain free from.

CLEAR SIGNALS

The warnings are clear.  The Bible says in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world.”  The Bible teaches in Galatians 1:4 that, “[Christ] gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age [cosmos].”  In other words, the world was such a great danger to our souls that this danger caused Christ, the Son of God, to go to the cross to deliver us from it.

Throughout the Bible, the lines are definitely drawn between the world of unbelievers and the world of the children of God.  “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).  Jesus Himself said, “The world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world” (John 17:14-16).  Again Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).

The Bible also teaches that the Christian will face opposition in the world. “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution,” said the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3:12. Just as Christ’s life with all its love, concern and selflessness was a rebuke to the cosmos of His time, so our lives with Christ abiding in us today bring about criticism, opposition and persecution from those who cannot comprehend the mystery of God’s redemptive grace.

The Bible teaches that we are not to be discouraged by this belligerence.  We are to consider it evidence that we are identified with Christ.  Jesus said, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12).

DON'T BE DECEIVED

In this complex generation in which we live, it is not easy for the Christian to distinguish between that which is spiritual and that which is worldly.  In the Bible, Satan is called an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).  He is a great imitator, and it is not always easy to distinguish between Satan’s world and the realm where God reigns.  Jesus said that if it were possible, Satan would deceive even the elect (see Matthew 24:24).

This cosmos has its own entertainment and diversions that so permeate the atmosphere that it makes the way of the cross seem antiquated and irrelevant.  In much of the entertainment media fostered by the cosmos, the name of God is profaned, sex is glamorized, and high, ethical living and Christian moral standards are laughed at.

Even many Christians are tricked into believing that they cannot enjoy life except as a member of the cosmos crowd.  However, the happiest people I know are separated followers of Jesus Christ.  They are not dependent upon artificial stimulants.  They do not have to abuse their bodies to relax their minds. The Bible says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).

Christianity is not a long list of restrictions.  It flings open the windows to the real joy of living.  The cosmos would have us believe that following Christ is nothing but “thou shalt nots.”  The cosmos would have us believe that Christianity is a killjoy, a stolid kind of life, unnatural and abnormal.

But the evidence in the Bible is to the contrary. Christ said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  And those who have been truly converted to Jesus Christ know the meaning of abundant living.

The Bible teaches that worldliness is a force, a spirit, an atmosphere of the cosmos that is in opposition to all that is godly and Christian.  Its goal is selfish pleasure, material success and the pride of life.  It is ambitious, self-centered.  God is not necessarily denied; He is just ignored and forgotten.

NO NEUTRAL GROUND

The Bible is clear that the world’s inhabitants are either under the influence of this cosmos with its cunning, deception and spell; or they are in Christ and under the direction of the Spirit of God.  There is no neutral ground.  The lines are drawn by the Bible.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, about the sins “in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience … Even when we were dead in trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:2, 5).

The words course of this world carry the meaning of current or flow.  There is an undertow, a subtle current that runs against and in contradiction to the will and the way of God.  Its eddies are deep and treacherous.  They are stirred and troubled by Satan and intended to trap and ensnare those who would walk godly in Christ Jesus.

Satan employs every device at his command to harass, tempt, thwart and hurt the people of God.  His attack is relentless.  Paul wrote, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

However, the Christian is not left defenseless in this conflict.  God provides the power to give us victory over Satan.  Paul said, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

HOW DO WE WIN?

We can overcome the onslaught of Satan and the power of this world system of evil by the blood of the Lamb.  We will never overcome by mere human effort.  We will never overcome by our deeds of righteousness, however commendable they may be.  We will never overcome by mere social concern or by identifying ourselves with various social revolutions.  The Bible says, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

We are involved in a spiritual conflict.  This is a battle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan, and we are involved in it.  We are asked to choose sides.

The Bible warns us about being taken in by the evil of this cosmos.  Satan’s lies are cleverly mixed with truth.  When he tempted Christ, he was convincingly logical and even quoted Scripture.  So the Bible instructs Christians to make a clean break with all the evils of the world and that we be separated from them.  The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore ‘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).

Jesus ate with publicans and sinners (Mark 2:16).  Nearly everyone He associated with was an outcast.  But His relationship with them was not purely social; it was redemptive.

Christians are like the gulf stream, which is in the ocean and yet not part of it.  This mysterious current defies the mighty Atlantic, ignores its tides, and flows steadily upon its course. Its color is different, being a deeper blue. Its temperature is different, being warmer.  Its direction is different, being from south to north.  It is in the ocean, and yet it is not part of it.

So we as Christians are in the world.  We come in contact with the world, and yet we retain our distinctive kingdom character and refuse to let the world press us into its mold.

The world is keenly aware of its emptiness, of its unfulfilled dreams, of its failure to cope with life. The world system is inadequate to meet the deeper needs of the human heart.  This is ideal soil for implanting the Gospel.  God has seen fit to entrust the work of His kingdom to us.  If the world system is changed, it will be through our witness.

GOD LOVES YOU

The primary responsibility of the Christian is to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel—that God loves the world, has redeemed it through the cross of our Savior, and seeks to save it.

Then, after men and women have come to Christ, they go back into the world to live for Christ as a witness to the world; they become salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14), and they have their sociological, political influence upon the world.

We are not to hold the world in contempt.  We are to obey its laws.  We are to love those for whom Christ died.  We are to pray for them, witness to them, and help in all worthwhile social projects that we can.  But we are to achieve that most difficult of all tasks, not to be conformed to the world.  This is the Christian’s stand; this is the Christian’s job. ©1968 (revised 1998) BGEA

The above is copyrighted, but I have the link above to Dr. Billy Grahams website.  

BEING SET APART

Bible Verses About Being Set Apart

When it comes to being set apart for God, know that it cannot be done by our own efforts.  You must be saved.  You must repent of your sins and trust in Christ alone for salvation.  God desires perfection.  Jesus died on the cross and became that perfection on our behalf.

He satisfied the wrath of God.  We must have a change of mind about who Jesus is and what was done for us.  This will lead to a change of lifestyle.

The sanctification process is when God works in His children’s life to make them more like Christ until the end.  Christians are a new creation through Christ, our old life is gone.

We can’t go back to when we used to live in sexual sin, drunkenness, wild parties, and anything that goes against the Bible.  We don’t live for man, we live to do God’s will.

MODERN DAY SODOM AND GOMORRAH

Being set apart from the world doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, but we are not to indulge in the sinful activities and life styles of this world.  Hollywood, CA which is a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah in my humble opinion, does serious psychological and spiritual damage to the youth aka "In Crowd" of America and adults as well; promoting homosexuality, fornication, adultery, idolatry, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, revellings, murders, abortion, alcoholism, drug usage, satanic worship, deceit, boasters, proud, covetousness, maliciousness, unmercifulness, despitefulness and material success at any cost as an accepted lifestyle which are sins and an abomination in the sight of God! 

God is still in control and He does meet out his righteous judgments in our current age, however modern day "feel good" preachers will not preach on the wages of sin is death resulting in eternal damnation.  Houston, TX is a good place to observe such feel good preachers.  It would not surprise me in the least, if something catastrophic and devastating would happen to other major sin cities here in the US as they surely anger and provoke God to wrath.  BTW, Orlando and Miami, Fl. are listed in the top 10 major US sin cities as well.  Las Vegas is at the top of the list, depending on which survey you believe!

We are not to indulge in things that are contrary to the Word of God, like the fake Christians of this world who live like unbelievers.

The world is infatuated with materialism while others are in need.  We don’t live like this.  Christians don’t live or dwell in sin and things the Bible doesn’t condone.

Let your light shine before others.  God has chosen you out of the world to show His glory in you. You’re in the world, but don’t be part of the world.  Don’t follow the world’s desires and live like unbelievers, but walk like Jesus our Lord and Savior. Our holiness comes from Christ.

In Him we are holy.  We must allow our lives to reflect our appreciation and love for the great price that was paid for us on the cross of Jesus Christ.  God desires an intimate relationship with us.

Not only should we set ourselves apart by our lifestyle, but we should set ourselves apart by getting away to be alone with God in prayer.

To know the will of God, one must read and study God's Holy Word on a daily regular basis; study as the Apostle Paul said in: 2 TIMOTHY 2:15  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  

Many have made comments, why I do not send out emails like I use to.  My criteria is, "Would Jesus send this type of email?"  The majority of the forwarded emails are false and fall into the category of urban legends; some have good moral intent, but upon further checking, are simply not true.  I also became disgruntled with all the biased negative news broadcasts creating racial hatred and tension and on my second year of not watching a news broadcast on my home TV.  The past few months, I unplugged my personal TV.  I have not missed any of the false hyped up junk being aired and have plenty of time to read, study and concentrate on understanding God's Holy Word. 

I am not chained to a cell phone aka Obamaphone, but have one available when we travel as an emergency phone and the cell phone stays turned off otherwise!  Look around and see all the idiots texting and talking while driving which is a violation of the law, endangering the lives of others and themselves as well.  Go into any store or basically anyplace and observe people mesmerized to their Obamaphone not paying attention to their surroundings, reminiscence of a zombie.  It is no wonder they are called cell phones, because individuals are a prisoner to them.  Yes, I do realize cell phones are dependent on cell towers, but I like my descriptive terminology better relating to being a prisoner to them.  I had to verbally chastise one of my friends who would receive a call and tell me; "Let me take this call and I will call you back."  That would be fine for an emergency, etc., but not on a daily routine basis which was very annoying. 

This might sound to some as being "off the grid" of which there is nothing I can personally do to change the outcome of local, State and World events, but cast my vote in the political arena and uplift our country and leaders to God in daily prayer.  I also pray that God will smite down those that are destroying the morality of our country and smite down those committing terrorism; here in America and world wide.  This change of my personal lifestyle certainly does reduce my stress level and frees my mind up for things much more worthwhile. 

What a wonderful joy, privilege and pleasure it is to serve God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!  Yes, there will be trying of your faith; e.g., trials, tests, tribulations, spiritual warfare, but those who persevere until the end, will have eternal life as assured by God's Holy Word!

The important thing is, being a born again Child of God and staying in the center of God's will, being led by his Holy Spirit! 

It is imperative to use our time, talents and resources to further the Kingdom of God here on earth!

I like the recent sermon our Pastor Sam Abee gave concerning Justification plus Faith, equals Works, which many today have it turned around as far as works goes, depending on works alone to obtain salvation.

QUOTES

“He that chooses God, devotes himself to God as the vessels of the sanctuary were consecrated and set apart from common to holy uses, so he that has chosen God to be his God, has dedicated himself to God, and will no more be devoted to profane uses.”  Thomas Watson

“A soul disengaged from the world is a heavenly one; and then are we ready for heaven when our heart is there before us.” John Newton

“That cross has separated me from the world that crucified my Lord, just as much as if His body were now on the cross, marred and wounded by the world.” G.V. Wigram

Web published by Bill aka Mickey Porter on 09-05-17.

LEAVING ON A SPIRITUAL NOTE

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please take this moment to accept him by Faith into your Life, whereby Salvation will be attained.   

Romans 10:9 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Open this link of Bible Verses About Salvation, King James Version Bible (KJV).

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

In summation, it boils down to either serving God through our Lord Jesus Christ or serving Satan, there is no middle ground.  You are either saved or lost!

Satan (the god of this world) has blinded the minds of them which do not believe in Christ as stated by the Apostle Paul in:  2 Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Please accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior before it is too late!

IN GOD WE TRUST - GOD BLESS AMERICA - "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE"   JOHN 3:16 KJV 

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