“And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” (John 8:23)
“Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” (John 18:36)
“But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (Galatians 6:14-15)
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves 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 boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
“We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (1 John 5:19)
Changing the World
Christians have for many centuries been involved up to their earlobes in attempting to change the world. Now when I say the “world” I am not referring to the people in the world but rather the world “system”. This word in the Greek is “kosmos” which literally means: a system, order, arrangement, or adornment. The scriptures are continually pleading with us believers that we are NOT of this world system and therefore should not be occuppied with it.
Here is an excellent translation of 1 John 2:15-17 from well known New Testament Greek scholar, Kenneth Wuest:
Stop considering the world precious with the result that you love it, and the things in the world. If anyone as a habit of life is considering the world precious and is therefore loving it, there does not exist the Father’s love in him. Because everything which is in the world, the passionate desire of the flesh , and the passionate desire of the eyes, and the insolent and empty assurance which trusts in the things that serve the creature life, is not from the Father as a source but is from the world as a source. And the world is being caused to pass away, and its passionate desire. But the one who keeps on habitually doing the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
Wow! That really makes it clear, doesn’t it?
Brothers and sisters, we are not part of this world system, we are not a part of this world culture, and we are definitely not to be in partnership with the forces behind it!
So… let me ask you a very directly penetrating question:
Why then are so many believers involved with trying to change this world system?
Right now many of you might be thinking: “Well c’mon Milt, aren’t we supposed to love and reach the world by working within the system to change it?”
No! No! A thousand times NO!
Can’t you see that according to the mind of God (as revealed within the writings of the New Testament) that He has absolutely no desire to save or change this world system? That system is controlled by the evil one (1 John 5:19). God has already condemned that system and it will have the same fate as satan and all his fallen angels. God has absolutely no use for that system whatsoever. It’s like the Titanic… its goin’ down! You can rearrange the tables and chairs all you want, but its still going down nevertheless. Christians being involved with changing the system (government and politics) is like trying to fix up the Titanic! What an absolute waste of time and effort! I tell you that this idea is a total diversion of the enemy to get you occupied with his system and to be totally distracted from God’s own “system” or culture.
Oh, you mean you didn’t know that God has his own system and culture? Of course he does.
It’s called the Kingdom of God!
“My kingdom is not of this world.”
This kingdom comes from another completely different realm. The heavenly realm. It doesn’t even come from the world of men at all! It comes from a much higher place indeed. It comes from within God himself. It comes from a place called Spirit. And it is not dictated by anything of men or angels (fallen or unfallen). Or for that matter, anything created! It’s Jesus Christ Himself!
“nor will they say, Lo, here! Or, Lo, there! For behold the kingdom of God is in your midst.” (Luke 17:21)
Christ Jesus Himself is the Kingdom and he has his own culture, society, and system (way) of doing things and living. And it has nothing to do with this world system at all!
If you want to know more about it just read Matthew 5-6 which we could call the “magnacarta” of the Kingdom. This Christ is completely different and “other” than anything the devil or man can come up with. Not even close!
So why would we (as believers) get involved with trying to save or change that world system? That system has been around for thousands of years and still hasn’t changed, except maybe for the worst.
“to all those who are in Rome, beloved of God, called-out saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1:7)
Paul said that we are “called-out saints” (the literal translation of holy ones). But what are we called out of? The world system and all that is within it! God loves and wants to save the people of the world, but not the system of the world.
So What About “Christian” Politics?
At the time of this writing (in the U.S.) folks are getting ready for a national election. As far as I am concerned it’s just a “parade of clowns”. Come on, really! Are you serious about the choices we have for a new “president”? Please… give me a break! I personally refuse to be responsible for any of it by casting my vote. I also refuse to even subject my mind and heart to watching these ridiculous debates, interviews, quotes, personal attacks, ad nauseum, of the presidential candidates.
Called-out saints: don’t we have better things to do with our energy and time than to invest in that kingdom? What about the kingdom of our Lord and Christ?
Isn’t Christ Enough? I mean really… isn’t He?
And for those of you who believe that this nation (U.S.) was founded by Christians on Christian principles, please let me tell you a brief story:
My wife Mary and I were recently visiting a wonderful group of saints (holy, set apart ones) in the Washington, DC area. Some of them were able (and gracious) enough to take us to see some of the sites of DC. We walked down the National Mall and saw many of the monuments and memorials. We also took a tour of the Capitol building. Of course, this is the building where our government makes decisions in the house and senate sessions. The tour was quick but was very informative and our guide was very good. The last thing that he drew our attention to was to look up and see the painting that is on the inside of the dome of the building. Of course, since it’s a dome, the painting is a circular one. There are figures (men) all in a circle with one man at the center. Our guide explained that the men all around the circle were the Greek gods and philosophers. The man in the center is George Washington!
At that point the lights completely came on for me. I saw it so clearly then that the whole world system is founded upon the evil one. And that the United States of America has been built upon the foundation and principles of the Greco-Roman world! And that these are just two kingdoms of man that have fallen in the past (even though we still follow many of their principles and philosophies in many areas of life!). But they will all fall as prophesied by Daniel of old.
“And in the days of these kings, the God of Heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed. And the kingdom shall not be left to other people. It shall break in pieces and destroy all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)
Saints, which kingdom are you investing your thoughts, attention, time, money, and energy on?
Again I ask the question: Is Christ Enough?
For more resources on this topic see:
The book: The Myth of a Christian Nation by Greg Boyd