YEAR OF UNLIMITED GREATNESS
STUDY 14: THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD (II)
TEXT: MATTHEW 5: 13 – 16.
If we must perform our functions well as Christians in the society, we need to stand separate as peculiar people. This does not mean that we should not reach out to the people. But we have a critical responsibility to prevent the world from impressing itself upon us, because you cannot be worldly and still think that you can influence the world. (Rom 2: 19 – 20; I Cor. 15: 33; Jam 4:4; John 15: 9).
Come Out From Among Them (II Cor. 6:14 – 17)
Realistically, there is no way to get away from the world entirely. It presses in on us through television, radio, magazines, newspapers, business contacts and social interaction. God’s people just have to deal with it (Col 3: 5; Rom 6: 6).
Being converted makes no difference in the fact that the world is always there. It is always right outside the door, an ever-present reality. With modern technologies like television, it is right inside the house! It is almost impossible to escape! Fortunately, God provides His people with a formula for escaping. With that formula, each person must do as best as he possibly can (Study Rom. 7: 23 – 25)
Flee from Babylon!
A prophecy against Babylon in (Jer. 51: 6) shows the basic formula. Speaking to the Israelite people regarding their responsibility, God warns, “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life!”
Remember! To save one’s life, one must flee from Babylon, go out from her, leave her in some way. “Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance.” Later, God says, “My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the LORD” (Jer. 51: 45). God often urges His people to “come out.”
- He commands Abraham to come out from among his people (Gen. 12: 1)
- He implores Lot to flee from Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19: 12)
- Even Noah, in receiving instructions about building the ark, is told to come out—that is, to get into the ark and leave the evil society of the time (Gen 6: 14 – 18)
- During Israel’s wandering in the wilderness, God directs Moses to leave the dwellings of the wicked (Num 16: 26).
- Isaiah echoes Jeremiah in saying, “Go forth from Babylon!” (Isaiah 48: 20)
As the Bible frequently shows, His instruction pertains especially to us living in the end time. In a New Testament prophecy that may most directly apply to Christians living today, God commands His people to flee from the world, echoing Jeremiah 51. The apostle John writes, “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues'” (Rev. 18: 4).