American cultural analyst George Barna (www.barna.org) says, “Many Christians are hard-pressed to convert their beliefs into action.” 1
We live in a world that has largely forgotten the God of the Bible. While people are still quite religious, often their religion is either secularism or a vague form of pantheism (god-is-everythingism).
How should a Christian live in such a world?
1. Of which place does the Bible say Christians are citizens?
Philippians 3:20 “Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
2. What are Christians not to love?
1 John 2:15, 16 “Do not love the world or anything in the world…. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.” “To accommodate to the world spirit about us in our age is nothing less than the most gross form of worldliness . . .
we must say with tears that, with exceptions, the evangelical church is worldly and not faithful to the living Christ.”2
3. To what are Christians instructed not to conform?
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Phillips’s translation, The Messasge, says: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould.” Vance Packard warns about advertising: “Many of us are being influenced and manipulated— far more than we realised—in the patterns of our everyday lives . . .
typically these efforts [to mould our thinking] take place beneath our level of awareness so that the appeals which move us are often in a sense, ‘hidden’” (The Hidden Persuaders).
4. Whose kingdom should we seek first and what promise is given if we do?
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things [that we need] will be given to you as well. “
5. What law of the harvest are we called to remember?
Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” A 30-year New Zealand study on the effects of television viewing found: “Children and adolescents who consistently watch television for two hours or more a day are at an increased risk of being overweight, to smoke, and to have high cholesterol concentrations in early adulthood— substantial risk factors for longterm health problems in later life”3. The study also found, “No matter what your intelligence or social background, watching a lot of television during childhood means you do less well academically.” 4
6. What eight things does Paul give for guiding right thinking?
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
7. What response does God want from us?
Luke 10:27; Luke 16:13 and 1 Corinthians 10:31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbour as yourself.” Christians need to be discerning and discriminating. Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters.” Paul counsels, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”