“Hey, what did you do this weekend?”
“Saturday night there was a great movie on T.V. What did you do?”
“Friday night there was a super rock concert at the Civic. Saturday night we went to the races in Martin.”
“There was a great group singing at the Pizza Parlor near our house this weekend.”
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Yes, as young people in today’s world we have a lot of leisure time. We have many of the world’s luxuries. This is the type of conversation that is sometimes heard Monday morning at school or at work. Oh yes, we all went to church twice on Sunday and we went to Young People’s Society. But, we’re young yet and we have to have some fun, too!
Young people, are we forgetting God’s command to us in I John 2:15-17 where we read: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”
No, maybe we did not go to the movie theatre Saturday night, but was the movie on T.V. any better? Didn’t that movie portray the great sinfulness of the world that we are called to turn away from? Wasn’t that movie a production of the very world we are commanded not to love? And the men and the songs they sang at the concert, are they not part of that world that we are commanded to despise and turn away from? We get thrills and excitement by joining the world in watching young men endanger their lives while they race around the race track in their cars. Along with the world, we take pride in our cars and the speed that we can drive them. Yet, we are commanded not to love the world and the things of the world. We must despise the world and turn from it.
We must take heed to this command not only in our leisure time, but in the whole of our life. When we walk on the street, work in the office or factory, or when we go to school, we are confronted by worldly temptations that we must despise. In our walk and conversation, whether we are on the beach, at work, or in school, we must turn from the world. In all that we do, we must show that there can be no harmony between the child of God and the world.
Beware, young people, of that popular teaching that it is the duty of the child of God to improve the world. I was told by a professor of religion that Christian liberty is the liberty of a Christian to enter every sphere of life, that he might win it for Christ In his view, a Christian may enter the sphere of politics and a Christian may enter the sphere of movie production as long as he strives to bring out the good in this sphere of life and eventually win it for Christ. A Christian must be tolerant and strive to bring improvement to the world.
Young people, we must beware of this idea that is so prevalent today in so called Christian literature and Christian teaching. We must not listen to those who say there is still much good in the world. Scripture commands us to love not the world. There can thus be no harmony or bond between ourselves and the world. Nor can we assume a neutral attitude; for man in his nature can only love the world or hate it as children of God, we are called to despise the things of the world.
As all of us know, this is a very difficult thing to do in this day. We are confronted on all sides by temptations that are disguised as enjoyable, harmless things. It is so easy to tell ourselves that everyone else is doing it and it can’t really be that bad. Through all of our life we must struggle against the many temptations that confront us daily. It is only through the grace of God that we will be able to stand against the evils of the world. We must have faith in Christ our Savior and pray daily that God will give us strength to turn from the evil temptations all around us.