This passage is a clear warning to both those in the world (in sin), and those who claim Christ as Lord yet want to be in the world. The question is “What lures you away from faith and what replaces faith?” We have to be on guard against sin and its allure. The ways of the world are tantalizing and seductive and will cater to Christians, seeking to entice them away from God and/or compromise their faith—and be gleeful about it (Jer. 50:8; 51:6; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 John 2:15-17)!
God hates compromise and lack of faith! He wants us, as committed Christians, to place Him first and be proactive—to be on the offense, not just the defensive with our faith. He is greatly saddened when we seek to be one with or identified with the world and its ways. This behavior results in the compromising of our faith! This means our spiritual formation becomes a pathetic, weakening of our character and the absence of Fruit, making us neutral, or apathetic, or insulting to God and others as Christians. When we mold ourselves or the church after the world, we create selfishness, pride, and thus discounted and disgruntled Christian lives without purpose or meaning. When we allow Christ to mold us and our church through His Word and Spirit, then we can be change agents to the world, effectively used by God, and pointing others to Him.
At the same time, God does not want us so isolated from the world that we cannot influence it; rather, He wants us insulated from its evils so we can influence it for His Glory. We can be a voice that says “seek Him first” in the midst of evils and not be touched by its evils. The key is where our eyes and trust lie; is it with luxury or with Him? So, who is your Babylon? What entices you, and how can you be on guard? Remember, accountability is key! Do not live for what is fleeting and temporary; rather, seek what is real, effectual, and eternal: Christ as LORD!
Questions to Ponder:
- Have you ever thought that the gossip, power plays, and manipulations in the local church can be evil? Don’t think so?
- Look up gossip/tongue in a concordance! How does gossip create bad character? How does the gossip of Christians show that they really seek to follow the world, not the Word? What can your church do to solve and prevent gossip?
- So, who or what is your “Babylon?” What entices you? How can you be on guard? How can accountability be of help to you?
- Knowing that God hates compromise and the lack of faith, what can you do to be on guard? What can you do to be on guard against sin and its allure?
© 2007 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries http://www.intothyword.org