WHAT IS A BIBLE CHRISTIAN?
(A message in two parts)
“I have given them thy word: and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the world. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
Introduction: We sing the song which we all love so well: “This World is Not my Home, I’m just a passin’ through; my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s golden shore, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” Now, I will repeat the title once more: “What is a Bible Christian?” and not repeat it again until this message is virtually completed. By then, you will readily understand my reasons for withholding the title until the sermon’s completion.
But about what “world” is this song referring? In the inspired Scriptures, you will discover that there are three distinct “worlds” about which God speaks. Let me illustrate the point: The Scriptures use the one word “death,” and this word always means “separation,” but there are four different usages of that word in the Word of God: (a) Spiritual death: the separation of man’s spirit from God’s Spirit due to sin—Gen. 3:14-19; (b) physical death: the separation of man’s spirit from man’s body when he dies—Rom. 5:12; (c)temporal death: the separation of the believer from daily spiritual defilement and sin—Gal. 2:20; (d) eternal death: the final eternal separation of unconverted people from God, in the lake of fire—Rev. 20:11-15
Likewise, with the use of the word “world.” There are three distinct “worlds” you will discover in the Scriptures:
(A) THE WORLD OF CREATION—Ps. 8:3-4: When I consider thy heavens, the works of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visiteth him?” The world of creation is a beautiful world, personally handcrafted by God. There is nothing so beautiful as the diverse colors of the fall leaves. Ps. 19:1 aptly expresses this truth when it says, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.”
Concerning this “world,” there are several Biblical truths to note:
(1) This world was created by God: Col. 1:16 states: “For by him were all thing created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones , or principalities or powers; all things were created by him.”
(2) This world “consists” [adheres] by Christ: Col. 1:17 states: and He is before all things and by him all things consist.” That word “consist” comes from a Greek word that means “adhere, glue, laminate, stick together.” Christ is the spiritual “glue” that holds this physical world together; He is the “binding energy,” that keeps the globes from exploding into a nuclear ball of fire.
(3)This world will be consumed by Christ—II Pet. 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements melt with fervent heat, the earth and that that is therein shall be burned up.” Christ is going to judge the (a) world’s system—I Cor. 11:32 ), the (b) world’s sinners—Rev. 20:11-15 and the (c) world’s sanctuary—II Pet. 3:10-12.
(B) THE WORLD OF GOD’S [HUMAN] CREATURES: This is the world of humanity that God loves—John 3:16: “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.” Our attitude toward this world of needy souls should be exactly the same as God’s: We should love the world of people, just like God loves it: The Apostle Paul expressed this divine compassion in II Cor. 5:14, when wrote that “The love of Christ constraineth us.”
(C)THE WORLD OF THE “COSMOS”[Greek word], the World that Satan Controls and Operates: This is the world of which Christ was speaking in John 17:14-16. It is that system of life, outside God, which the “God of this world” controls and operates, the world that the Apostle Paul described in Gal. 1:4: “Who gave himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this present evil world [system], according to the will of God and our Father.” This world, world number three, is the world of human culture and human society lived outside of the Will of God, the world where God is excluded and has no practical place in one’s daily living
THREE MAJOR FACTS ABOUT WORLD NUMBER THREE
1.THIS WORLD [SYSTEM] IS CONTRADICTORY TO GOD—James 4:4: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity against God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” This present world system is corrupt and polluted by sin and lust: “Having escaped the corruption that is in this world through lust—II Peter 1:4”; “For if after they have escaped the pollution of the world through lust…II Pet. 2:20.
2.THIS WORLD [SYSTEM] IS CONSPIRATIONAL AGAINST GOD: “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness—I John 5:19.” This “Cosmos” world literally lies in the lap of the wicked one, the lawless one, the “God of this world” (II Cor. 4:4) who shall consummate this lawlessness via his satanically empowered anti-Christ. who is called the “mystery of iniquity” in II Thess. 2:7.
3. THIS WORLD [SYSTEM] IS CONDEMNED BY GOD—I Cor. 11:32: “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” According to Christ in John 12:31, this world system and its evil leader—Satan—was judged at Calvary: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
At His REVELATION [not the Rapture some 7 years earlier], this world system will be destroyed. Daniel 2:44 prophetically says: “And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed: And the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all those kingdoms and it shall stand forever." At the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of time, the Scripture declares in Rev. 20:10 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
SOME ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT FACTS TO NOTE ABOUT THIS WORLD SYSTEM
1. CHRIST’S KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD—John 18:36: “My kingdom is not of this world: If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence.”
2. CHRIST DIED AND SHED HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD TO DELIVER US FROM THIS PRESENT WORLD SYSTEM: Gal. 1:4 says: “Who gave himself for our sins that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God and our Father.”
3. BECAUSE THIS WORLD SYSTEM IS CONTRADICTORY TO GOD, CONSPIRATORIAL TO GOD AND CONDEMNED BY GOD, IT HATES CHRIST: John 7:7: “the world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”
4. THE WORLD SYSTEM ALSO HATES THE LOYAL CHRISTIAN WHO STANDS UNCOMPROMISINGLY WITH CHRIST: I John 3:1 & 13: “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not.” “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”
“NOT OF THIS WORLD”
1. OUR COMMANDER IS NOT OF THIS WORLD: (SYSTEM): John 8:23: “And he said unto them, ye are from beneath; I am from above; ye are of the world. I am not of this world.”
Yes, He came to this world and took upon himself the garb of a real humanity—Phil. 2:5-11, but He was not of this world. For 33½ years He lived, slept, ate, walked and taught in this world, but He was NOT part of this world’s “system.”
He did not originate or begin here—He came from another world—an eternal world in heaven. Christ said in John 6:38 “For I came down from HEAVEN.” He stated in John 6:51, “I am the living bread that came down HEAVEN. “
We take our orders from our headquarters in HEAVEN, not fallible commanders on earth!
2. OUR CALLING IS NOT OF THIS WORLD: (SYSTEM)
a. We have a high Calling: Phil. 3:14: “I press for the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
b. We have a Heavenly Calling: Heb. 3:1: “Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession Christ Jesus.”
c. We have a Holy Calling: II Tim. 1:9: “Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”
3. OUR CITIZENSHIP IS NOT OF THIS WORLD: (SYSTEM) Phil 3:20: “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven from whence we also look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Heb. 11:16 says that we desire “a better country,” “an heavenly” country, which Heb. 12:22 calls “the heavenly Jerusalem.”
4. OUR CAPTIVATION IS NOT OF THIS WORLD: (SYSTEM) Heb. 11:24-26: “By faith, Moses when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of reward.”
Discerning believers today are NOT captivated by the nation’s major TV communications networks such as ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN. When we hear and see news via these networks, we automatically and quickly re-interpret what we hear. Liberals do NOT dominate our thinking processes!
5. OUR COMMUNION IS NOT OF THIS WORLD: (SYSTEM) I John 1:3 says: “that which we have heard and seen declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.” I John 1:7 states that “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
There may be physical family members with whom we have human fellowship, but with whom we cannot have spiritual fellowship because they are on a different spiritual wave length, not being saved or being associated with compromising church fellowships.
6. OUR CHAMPIONS ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD: (SYSTEM) Our roll call of real heroes does not consist of a list of this world’s famous athletes, many of whom live immoral, wicked life styles. Rather, our roll-call of great champions can be found in Hebrews the eleventh chapter where Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses are listed. Our spiritual super bowl champions are the Biblical characters like the Apostle Paul who faithfully ran the Christian race for more than 35 years and who vigilantly fought against the world, the flesh and the devil.
7. OUR COMPANIONSHIPS ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD (SYSTEM)The Psalmist courageously declared in Ps. 119:63: “I am a companion of all them that fear thee and that keep thy precepts.” James, the N. T. prophet wrote “whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God,” Perceptive Biblicist Fundamentalists are wary of those professing believers who claim to love God, but who are also courting the spiritual friendship of the ungodly world.
NOTE: This message will be continued in the Feb.-Mar 2017 issue of The Fundamentalist Digest when we will answer the answer the question “What is a Bible Christian?” at the sermon’s conclusion.