The Battle With Sin: Passion for the World or Christ? (Part 6)

Is your motive for holy living Christ? Is your passion to know Him more? This is another part of the Battle With Sin Bible Study Series.


“I pray Lord, that you would sanctify us in this truth. We pray it in Christ's name, Amen.

Okay, last week, as we move forward in this series on doing battle with sin, we dealt with... anybody remember? Worldliness. I do want to go back there again.

Kind of the launching text for this whole series has been 1 Peter 2:11. Why don’t you turn there if you have your Bibles, 1 Peter 2:11.

says, “Beloved,” Peter’s clearly speaking to Christians to call them beloved. You guys know what that term means, “beloved”? Loved ones. Beloved, loved of God. “I urge you as sojourners”, that means you don’t live here, you’re just passing through, “and exiles”, you’ve been exiled from this system here. “I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.”

And as we started this, I emphasized to you that there are passions that wage war against your soul. In other words, there are passions that seek to destroy you. They wage war, they do battle. They seek to cause you harm, to cause you damage. The idea here is, that there are passions that press on you, that if you give into, you will perish, you will be destroyed.

Now look, every one of us has to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. You know where that comes from? Anybody have an address for that? Philippians 2:12. We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must persevere to the end. We must stay in the faith. We must not swerve away from the living God. We must cling to the Lord.

Isn’t that what Bob dealt with, clinging to the Lord? That’s what Joshua said, right as he was… his last words, “cling to the Lord”. That’s what Barnabas said to the disciples, “cling to the Lord”.

Brethren, you stop clinging, you fall away. You say, “Can somebody lose their salvation?” I’m telling you this, people make shipwreck of the faith all the time. And these passions wage war. And I’ll tell you what, people succumb to the passions that wage war against them, and they fall out of the race. You did run well, but people fall out and they quit running well. People, at one time, were counted as the people of God and then the passions of the flesh get them. Passions of the flesh, they wage war. People fall. People give place to them. People don’t continue to fight.

“Abstain”. They seek to wage war, if you don’t abstain, they take you down. And folks, the end is damnation. It’s a serious matter; serious.

Well, we’ve been talking about worldliness. Now, here’s the thing. Worldliness; let me just give you a couple verses right off. James 1:27, we looked at this last week but, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

Okay, here’s true religion in the sight of God: to keep yourself unstained from the world. I’m shifting gears just a second. I mean, I’m going to come right back to this. We have these passions that wage war.

Now, I’m stepping back and I’m looking at worldliness. Worldliness, as I said last week, seeks to stain us. We are to keep unstained from the world; it seeks to stain us, it seeks to soil us, it seeks to defile us, it seeks to dirty us.

Ephesians 2:1, listen to this, “You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world.” The world wants to stain us, the world wants us to follow it. That’s what lost people do, they follow the world. That’s what the world wants. The world wants to be followed.

Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”

So here’s the world. Keep yourself unspotted. It wants to stain us, it wants to stain us. It wants us to follow it. It wants to conform us. There’s the world. And like I told you last time, listen, this world is controlled by the prince of the power of the air. In fact, the devil, is he not called the god of this world? Now, that’s a different word, “world” there, but it’s the same. The same word “world” is used in other places to describe him. He that is with us is greater than he that is in the world. That’s the same term. One term is the one we get eons from, and the other one we get cosmos from. But, they’re similarly used in the Scriptures. But both of them are used to describe the devil. The devil is in control of this.

And like I told you last time, this thing isn’t neutral. It’s not like you just go out in the world and it’s kind of neutral and you almost have to force yourself to fall into it. It’s controlled by the devil, it seeks to spot you, it seeks to conform you, it seeks to get you to follow it. The devil is on an agenda, the world has an agenda.

Now here’s the thing. Here’s the thing I want you to see about the world. Here’s the thing I want you to see attached to the world. For one thing, the apostle says this, “You were dead in trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air,” who is in control of this world, “the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience,” now listen to this, “among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh.”

The course of this world is to live in the passions of our flesh.

Now, watch this. , “…he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world…” There is corruption. Remember I told you, it seeks to defile you.

There is corruption; corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Now listen to this, Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions.”

Where have I gone with this? Well, remember how I started. There is a battle for the soul. Abstain from these passions which wage war against the soul.

When we talk about worldliness, worldliness is characterized in the Scriptures by passions, by worldly passions, corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire, following the course of this world. And we, like the rest of them, lived in these sinful passions, carrying out the desires of the body and of the mind.

Brethren, what I want you to see here is, the world is a passion factory. These passions that seek to do war against the soul, they come right out of the world.

So, you know what, basically, think with me here. Worldliness, the world around us, this system, this fallen system that is all around us that is controlled by the prince of the power of the air, this dark system all around us, it has attitudes about things, it has mindsets about things, it has a thinking about things. There is a way the world thinks about everything.

Now, let me tell you this, you watch the nightly news, it’s the world. There are mindsets behind why they report things the way they do.

You look at the public school systems, controlled by the world. There are mindsets behind that.

You look at the whole agenda for abortion today. There are mindsets behind that.

You look at the vast majority of… you realize that the vast majority of religion in this world is controlled by the devil. It is worldly. There are mindsets behind it.

Look, the world thinks a certain way. But let me tell you this, passion drives the way it thinks, desire drives the way it thinks. There is a mindset behind Hollywood. There is a mindset behind the TV shows. There’s a mindset behind movies. I mean, there are some exceptions when you have people, who with purpose, want to honor God.

But I’m talking about the world. And Hollywood is owned by the world, it’s owned by the devil. There are mindsets behind the universities. There are mindsets behind governments. Governments in the Scripture are characterized as beasts. You look in Daniel’s revelation there were these beasts and it’s governments, it’s world powers. There is a mindset behind kings and presidents and supreme courts. And listen, they are driven by passion. Men’s lusts drive how he thinks. Guaranteed.

So, what I want to talk about is this. We as Christians are to do what with all of our thoughts? Bring them captive to Christ. Our thoughts need to be captive to Christ. We are to abstain from the passions that drive the mindsets and the thinking of the world. We are to abstain from those. We are to crucify the flesh and we are to bring our thinking into subjection to Christ, not be driven by our base lusts and passions.

So, here we go. Worldliness, worldliness is when I give in to the mindsets of the world that are driven by the passions of the flesh. Worldly passions. When, look, when the world wants to conform you to its image, when it wants to stain you, when it wants to get you to follow it, this is where the battle is. It wants you to think the way you think based on passion, desire. Versus, like we looked at last time, the will of God.

There’s a text that says this, 1 Peter 4:2, we are “so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” You see the difference? You’ve got the passions, the will of God.

The worldly passions, the world is driven by passions. The world has mindsets fueled by these passions, over and against all of our thoughts brought into subjection to Christ, into the will of God.

Whatsoever we do, we’re not driven by the passion, we’re driven by the glory of God.

Now here we are. I want to get real practical right now. Let’s just break off… There’s our theory, there’s our doctrinal substance right there. Do you see that? You see worldly passion; passions drive this whole thing.

Now, let’s think here.

Money--you know one thing I know about you folks? Every one of you, every one of you, were lost. Every one of you, you followed the world. Isn’t that exactly what he says? Isn’t that what Paul says? You were dead in your trespasses and sins, following the course of this world. “You were”, that’s all of us. We were that, we did follow the course.

So, you know what, I’ve got people in this room right now, you are as lost as anything. You are lost, you are still dead in your sins and you are following the course of this world. This is real! I know with this many people in a room, there’s any number of you that fit that description. So, I’ve got one of two kinds of people here. I’ve got people that are following the course of the world now. Or I’ve got people who were. So this isn’t foreign to any of us. Plus, we that are Christians, we’re not of the world, but we are still living in it and among it. We’re seeking to not be soiled by it, not be destroyed by it, not to succumb to the passions of the flesh, of it, which are waging this war against our souls. But we’re pretty familiar with it still.

Let me ask you this. What is the world’s mindset concerning money? Let’s just start here. I want to hit on... because see, the world has a mindset about everything.

There’s nothing that the world doesn’t think about and give its opinion on or have ideas about. It has ideas about everything. Now, let’s take the big things in life. I mean, somebody has said before… You know, in marriage counseling, the two biggest problems that people deal with in marriage: money and sex.

So, let’s deal with those. Let’s deal with those two first.

What are the attitudes of the world concerning money? Greed. Now remember, it’s driven, its mindsets are driven by lust, by passion. Right? All of its mindsets are driven by that.

Well, listen to this, Scriptures speaks to this. , “those who desire”. There it is- passion, desire, lust. They’re basically synonymous. Those who desire to be rich, fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. You see, there it is. They wage war against the soul, people end up in ruin and destruction.

So, the world’s mindset is what concerning money? The more the merrier; get as much of it as you possibly can. The mindset of the world… again, I say I’m speaking to people who, you’re either in the world now, following it, or you were, just like I was. The mindset? Get as much of it as you can, even if you have to cheat, if you have to steal, just get it. And it’s driven by passion.

Because, what’s the mindset behind that? You know what? People don’t want money for the sake of money. Nobody wants money because, you know, they want to hang the dollar bills from the ceiling and bow down and worship that. Basically, money is just, in it’s most fundamental aspect, money is symbolic of everything that man can make and produce and give. That’s what it is. That’s what money does, it buys stuff that man makes, produces, offers.

And so the mindset is to get as much as you can and to keep… oh, if you’re going to give some of it, you only give respectable levels. Of course, you don’t want to be seen too miserly, so you might give money to certain charitable things, but never enough to matter. Right? Never enough… certainly wouldn’t want to give that…

I remember when I was first saved, I was telling my dad and my aunt about how when God saved me, it just freed me to want to give. And my aunt was like, “My money is my money! It is not God’s money! It is my money!” That’s the mindset of the world. “It’s mine! It is not God’s. God doesn’t own it. It’s mine!”

And some people will say, “Well, ninety percent of it is mine. God might have entitlement to ten percent, but ninety percent of it is mine!”

So, that is, the mindset of the world is to get it; get it, be greedy, go after it! We said last week, the bumper sticker “Whoever Dies with the Most Toys Wins”. That’s the mindset of the world concerning stuff and possessions.

Men drive through this world and they say, “I want bigger houses; I want better cars; I want this, I want that; I want a boat; I want guns, I want this.” It’s man that is just greedy; he’s never satisfied. There is this desire to get and get and get.

And you know what we find? We find that God allowed a man like Solomon to write Scripture after going off into… he accumulated gold, silver, horses, chariots, wives, concubines. I mean, he had a throne such as was incomparable. God gave him riches. God gave him so much. Houses, he built the temple. I mean, things were just covered with gold. And in the end, you know, he writes Ecclesiastes and he just tells about the utter emptiness of it. It didn’t satisfy his soul.

That’s the mindset of the world. “Gold is going to satisfy my soul. Money, if I could just,” the mindset of the world, “if I could just win the lotto.” That was a mindset among my friends. We gambled all the time. I remember, we played poker all the time. You’d go in there and there’s this hope is set before you all the time. “I’m going to be a winner tonight!”

Isn’t it amazing! I remember… people actually think they’re going to win the lotto. They really think they are, and their hope is set on it. Their hope; there’s always this hope. Get rich quick! Somehow they’re going to make it out, they’re going to make it in the big time.

You seen the statistics about the people who actually do win the lotto? How fast most of them are broke and they’re in far more debt after than they were before? They just go on spending binges. Everybody's willing to give them credit.

The mindset of the world, “I’ve got to have; I’ve got to have.”

But brethren, if we’re going to resist that, if we’re going to abstain from that, what is the mindset that we should have?

I remember brother Andy speaking one time over there in Owensboro. He said, “Brethren, let me tell you what money can do.” He said, “It can fill children’s bellies. It can put clothes on their back.”

Brethren, can I tell you what money can do? Money can leave you with eternal reward. And I have that on the words of Jesus Christ. He says, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” Sell what you have.

The world says, “He who Dies with the Most Toys Wins”. Jesus says, “Whoever sells the most toys and gives alms to those who are in need”, He says, “They win”. That’s the mindset, storing up treasure in heaven. Vastly different. Work with your hands. Labor with your hands so that you have something to give to those that are in need.

You see a vast difference.

What’s the mindset of the world concerning sex? It’s all around us. I mean, what are some of the attitudes? I mean, you full well know this. “It doesn’t matter if we’re married or not. I mean, who said we had to be married? God will understand, He knows we love each other.” When all the time Ephesians chapter five says, “For these very things the wrath of God is coming.”

The mindset of the world is, for guys, girls, just use, use each other. In fact, when it comes to sex, just like with money, “Whoever Dies with the Most Toys”, it’s “Whoever conquers the most others”. You get married and you don’t like it anymore, just move on. That’s the mindset of the world.

The mindset of the world is, you just need to be happy. Covenant? Covenant before God, marriage? What’s all that? You get tired of that marriage, you just move on. You’re not required… just cheap.

The mindset of the world… my wife was just recently brought a book back with us from Denver from one of the sisters there in the church. This one has to do with, it’s a book aimed at young Christian teenagers and young ladies. And this woman gives scenarios in the schools today. Do you know, the basic, worldly mindset in the school system is that if a young lady is a virgin, it is not seen as a good thing. It’s seen as a negative thing. It’s seen as that she’s a prude. She’s somebody to actually be laughed at and mocked. There’s incredible peer pressure not to be a virgin.

This is what we’re in. We’re in a world where virginity, waiting till marriage, it’s laughable, it’s foolish. You go to God’s Word and it says, “For these very things the wrath of God is coming.”

You’ve got a world system that is bent on people’s destruction. You need to understand that. This thing is seeking to destroy. It is seeking to conform people to its image that it might destroy them. That’s the mindset out there.

God’s Word says, "the marriage bed is undefiled." Nothing else folks, nothing else. What do you think… you know what? When I was in high school, shows on television that portrayed homosexuality, did not exist. Do you know what the mindset is today? It’s normal. It’s hereditary. It’s the way people are born.

God’s Word says it’s an abomination. God’s Word says, again, “For these things, the wrath of God is coming.”

The world, it says, “Just be creative”. The school systems, what are they teaching the kids? They’re not teaching them abstinence. They’re teaching them to use condoms so that you don’t die of AIDS. There’s the mindset of the world!

Enjoy yourselves! If you’re homosexual, enjoy yourselves! Just don’t contract aids; don’t pass around venereal diseases. Make sure you’re protected. And if you get pregnant, well, you just abort it! That’s the mindset of the world! God says, “You shall not murder.” God says, “You shall not commit adultery.” God’s Word says, "Don’t be deceived. Adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, effeminate, they do not inherit the Kingdom of heaven." [1 Cor. 6:9-10] "The marriage bed is undefiled." [Heb. 13:4]

Oh, within marriage, God says, enjoy yourselves. But you know what, you know what the amazing thing is? With all the freedom that the world says we ought to have, then isn’t it amazing that the worldly mindset on sex is that it’s a dirty thing and an unclean thing? And so then, we come over to marriage where it’s actually good and it’s undefiled, and the worldly mindset is it’s dirty. It’s amazing! It just seeks to wreck it on both ends.

But God doesn’t say that. God says in marriage, enjoy yourselves. The wife’s body belongs to the husband, the husband’s to the wife, and it says, if you’re married, you ought to be often enjoying yourself. God created it to be enjoyed with thanksgiving, along with everything else in marriage. It’s undefiled.

The world puts graphic, ugly terms. Doesn’t it? Think about the terms the world uses to describe sex, just ugly, profane, blasphemous words. And God created man and woman and He said, “It is good”.

That’s the worldly mindset. Think about the world’s mindset with dress. What’s the world say about dress? It says, be an utter idiot and wear your pants down to your knees. My wife just said the other day, we were taking Charity to school, one of those guys that wears his pants down, was bending over, leaning in his car. I mean, why does he even have pants on? He might as well walk around in his… why don’t those guys just walk around in their underwear? Then when the police are after them, they wouldn’t trip! Then they would at least have their left hand free! That is utterly idiotic!

The world… basically, what does the world say about dress? “Ladies, you want to win the guy? Show cleavage, show leg, show rear-end.” Do you remember what, if any of you have watched the message that Al Martin did on modesty, the crotch, the rear-end, the cleavage, I mean, he hit on it. The world says, “Show it ladies. You want to win the guys?”

Do you know what the Bible says? “Ladies, do not let your adorning be external, the braiding of hair, the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear. But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight, is very precious.” [1 Peter 3:3-4]

The world says, “Ladies, nice shape, expose it all.” In the eyes of the world, that’s very precious. God says the adorning of the inner woman is what’s precious to Him.

Jewelry…I mean, the world says, “Be gaudy”. You look at the world, and they’ve got rings all over the place. In the world today’s got rings in the nose, rings up here, rings in the belly button, rings in indescribable places. Tattoos. That’s the world.

Now, here’s the thing, here’s the thing. There are mindsets; we need to think about the mindset. Glorifying God… I mean, I just ask all of you, when it comes to what you wear, when it comes to, you know, if guys are going to wear earrings, if they’re going to pierce their lips, their tongues, their noses, why? You trying to be like the world? You trying to be like the world as much as possible? The world intrigues you?

I mean, everybody needs to ask themselves, “What is the mindset that is driving this?” Remember, the mindset of the world is driven by the lusts, the passions, the desires. Why do we do this? Why do we do what we do? Why do we wear what we wear? Why do we do it?

I mean, if a person’s going to profess to be a Christian, and they’re going to end up with rings in all these strange places, they just need to ask, “Why?” Because if the guiding motivating factor is the glory of God, well, whatsoever you do, do to the glory of God. That is what needs to drive the Christian. You see, what drives the world are sinful passions.

Now, think about it. What worldly passion comes out when people put rings all over the place? I mean, you’ve got somebody that wants to put a ring somewhere, right in the middle of their tongue, or right in the middle of their nose, or whatever. I mean, that’s one thing. Look, again, we know what drives us, because either you are lost or you were lost. And here’s the thing that I know when I was lost, you know what, I didn’t pierce my nose, I rode a fast motorcycle. You say, those are world’s difference. Oh no, no; not necessarily.

You see, when I was lost, I prided myself in being recognized for certain things; again, desire for attention, desire for greatness, desire for admiration, desire for reputation. Not that… in worldly ways. How does God want us to be known? I mean, when He tells Timothy, “Let your progress be known,” progress in what? What are the things that Paul is telling Timothy need to characterize his life? That he should- his progress might be seen by others. What kind of things? Godliness, faith, love, purity, and on we can go.

But think, think with me here. Mark, he was known for his rap music, known as a guy on the east side, probably as a wild man, and carried around a gun. But he had a reputation. And you know what? As a lost person, when you get a reputation, especially if it’s one that others admire, you want to keep that reputation. He was known as a rapper, kind of a famous one.

And the thing is, all of us lost had a reputation for something that other people admired. And we wanted to keep… and if we didn’t have it, we wanted it and in those we saw it in, we wanted to be like them and it drove us. It drove us; we wanted to be recognized. We wanted to be seen as the rebel. I did; that was my reputation, rebel, wild, and I fed on it.

But see, reputation, that’s worldliness. People want to be pierced in all sorts of strange areas and they want to look strange and they want to do strange things with their hair and do all manner of things. Why? Is it primarily… I mean, this is the thing we have to ask!

Listen, if a Christian woman gets married and her husband says, “Honey, I like a nose ring right here on you,” and she does it to please her husband, you know what, that’s good, that’s great. We’re not going to be legalistic and say you can’t do that.

If you’re going to wear clothes that resemble the world and you want to say, “Well, I’m trying to become all things to all men that I might win some.” Let me tell you this, all who desire to live godly are what? They’re going to be persecuted. I’m afraid that sometimes what people are doing is, they’re trying to not be persecuted by the world, and so they want to conform and they want to look like it.

Now listen, there is a place, a godly place, a Christian place, for possibly wearing your hair like the Chinese like Hudson Taylor did, when you’re in China. But let me tell you this, when Hudson Taylor left China, he didn’t dress that way anymore. You know why? Because he was doing it for the sake of the gospel.

You see, if you say, “Well, I’m doing this for the sake of the gospel,” well then don’t do it all the time. Do it in that scenario where it’s likely to break down some barriers. But if you don’t just do it then, you do it all the time, then you’re trying to make more of a statement than you are trying to, basically, bring people to the gospel.

You see, the mindset! If the mindset is to be something to try to break down barriers to get somebody to come… like some of the ladies are possibly, hopefully, they’re getting some kind of open door with Saudi Arabians. You know what? To go eat food that they wouldn’t necessarily eat, or to partake in some kind of customs that they wouldn’t usually partake in, simply for the sake of the gospel, that’s understandable. But not to take on Muslim practices, when all of the sudden they’re at home. Well, that’s not, see that doesn’t fit.

The same thing is true with regards to jewelry, with regards to clothing. We need to… look the Bible speaks of modesty. If you dress to draw attention to yourself or you wear jewelry to draw attention to yourself, that is the essence of what modesty is not. Modesty does not seek to draw people’s attention to its self. Modesty seeks to defer, and if it’s going to be known for anything, it’s the spiritual, it’s the inward.

And let me tell you this, the world wants to destroy. Its passions lead men to destruction, whereas Christianity presses men towards life.

You see ladies, you won’t wear what’s going to make a brother stumble, if you’re driven by a desire to please God and to love and to help your brother. If you want to help brethren, you don’t dress in such a way that you’re going to make them stumble.

How about work? What does the world tell us about work? Retire; yea, do as little of it as possible, for the most money possible and retire as soon as possible. Isn’t that right? I mean, isn’t that the American dream? Retire by the time you’re forty-five, go play golf all the time and don’t work anymore, retirement?

I mean, what else does it tell us about work? I mean, you’ve got unions; unions are so much of the world. What do the unions tell us? Basically, what the world tells us is, “Entitlement; you are entitled to everything. In fact, you know what? You don’t even have to work! Just live on welfare and you’re entitled to it! Have more kids, have kids with eight different guys, . and you’re entitled to welfare and you’re entitled to food stamps. Don’t let anybody tell you you’re not. You’re entitled.”

Brethren, that’s what the world would say. You know what the Bible says? If you won’t work, you shouldn’t eat. You know what the Bible says? If you won’t work, the church should discipline you out of it’s midst. You know what the Bible says? Paul says, fight the good fight.

Yea, you know what the world says? Retire. The world says, live for your heaven here. That’s really what it is. Retire as soon as you can, to live as well as you can, without working.

But here’s what the Bible says: Revelation 14:13, “I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” You know when they rest from their labors? When they die.

You know what the Bible says? If you’re in Christ, you’ve been created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that you should walk in them. [Eph. 2:10] And the Bible says, we persist in them, we pursue them, and we don’t rest from them until we die.

This is our time to work. The time to rest is not on the golf course when you hit sixty-two. Brethren, you are called to work until you, physically, can not work any more. You are called to burn out working for Christ. He created you, He saved you, He gave Himself up, He purchased you, He redeemed you, a people to be zealous of good works till the end. There’s no vacation here. There’s no retirement here.

I mean, yes, there are times to rest. We need that. When I say no vacation, I mean there’s no checking out. We work to the end. Paul is at the end, he said, “I fought the good fight.” We’ve got to fight to the end, brethren. That is the mindset of the Bible.

Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. [Ecclesiastes 9:10] it says, “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you to do.”

How about the mindset of the world with regards to TV? I read something, I don’t even remember where I heard it, it was put out by, I think some Christian passed it on to me. It was kind of an allegory. It went like this: There’s a family. And the person writing the allegory was talking about this old man. You’re reading it and it’s set forth in the way that there’s this… you get this feeling like there’s this old man. And the guy writing it says, “And he sits over in the corner.” And it’s an allegory about TV.

“This old man sits over in the corner. And, boy, he’s been there ever since we can remember, and he just talks all the time.” And he’s creating this picture, and you’re imagining this old, perverted man sitting in his house. And he says, “This old man says things in our house that make us uncomfortable, that we would never approve of from anybody else in our house. We wouldn’t allow it in our house. This man suggest things that we wouldn’t want suggested in our house. But we let that perverted old man sit over there, and he speaks and he speaks, he speaks all the time. He says profane things. He makes suggestions about sex and sexual innuendo that we would never allow in our house. He tells stories that are perverse and our kids sit there and listen to him. We let that perverted old man sit over there in the corner.”

Anyways, the whole thing is developed this way. You know, when we come to the Scriptures, the Psalmist says something about, “I will not put certain things before my eyes.” Anybody know what he said? He wouldn’t put anything worthless. [Psalm 101:3]

The mindset of the world; the mindset of the world, “You’ve got to have a TV! In fact, probably four of them.” I mean, the mindset of the world just can’t even comprehend that somebody wouldn’t have one. Couldn’t comprehend that you wouldn’t have cable TV, or that you wouldn’t have an antenna on your TV, or that all you might do is watch DVD’s that you carefully selected. It doesn’t even have any comprehension. Just let it all flow.

I can remember one time, being up at my grandparents; in their eighties. I took my family into a back bedroom. I just, I made it clear, we were not going to be out there where the TV was if they were going to insist to… finally, my grandmother realized. My grandmother would sit there, and something would be said, and she would be like, “Oh, that’s not nice.” You know, isn’t that just like letting the guy in your house over in the corner? He’s just sitting over there speaking perversity. You would never allow it if a person walked in and said that. You’d say, “Sir, would you please leave my house.”

And yet, the mindset of the world, let that garbage just run in.

How about… I mean, we know the mindset of the world. The world, as we talked about last time, the lust, the lust of the eyes, the desires of the eyes, one thing that just fuels worldly passions.

Beauty; what the world thinks about beauty. I don’t think it’s any mystery what the world thinks about truth. What does the world say about truth? Everyone’s got their own. You remember, maybe, Paul Washer saying, “Oh, people admire you when you’re searching for truth.” What the world can’t tolerate is when you say what? “I’ve found it.”

Jesus Christ said, “I came into this world to bear witness of the truth.” There is truth! And He said, “I am the truth.” The world says there is no absolute truth. Christ says, “I am the truth.” [John 14:6] Oh, you’re going to come head to head with the world as soon as you say, “There is a truth.”

We meet a guy at campus today, claimed to be a Christian, but as soon as we started saying “There is truth,” he immediately wanted to say, “Everybody interprets it differently and that’s why there’s all the denominations and so there’s all these denominations because nobody really has the truth, nobody knows what the truth is, nobody can possibly interpret the truth. There’s just like one church out there somewhere that knows what that truth is. But, you know, who are we,” he said, “Baptists, they’ve only existed five hundred years, so we couldn’t possibly have it. It didn’t originate with us.” That’s what the world thinks. That’s the mindset of the world.

What I was trying to tell him, is that out of this very truth, Jesus says, “Many are going to say to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’” which means, many that are religious don’t have the truth,. they’re not known by Christ. They’re in error.

I mean, isn’t it amazing? We have people, even in our church, who are there and then they begin to go back into their sin, and what do they want to do first thing with the truth? They want to compromise it. They immediately want to say, “Ah, lordship isn’t real. It’s not true.”

Let’s just say this, what does the world want to do with Christ? Like I say, the world’s got opinions about everything, and I’ll guarantee you they have opinions about Christ.

What is…I mean, if you were to sum it up, I mean, if you were to take Islam and Hinduism and Buddhism and Catholicism and Atheism and just wrap it all up, the whole world, the whole satanic system, and you were to boil it all down, what does the world say about Christ? Crucify Him! Destroy Him! Whatever the world does with Christ, they want to undo the biblical Christ, tear Him apart. “He’s not what the Bible says He is. Make Him into something else, but we can not tolerate that Christ! Crucify Him, kill Him, undo Him!” Man would eradicate Christ if he could.

That is the world’s agenda. And so you know what they do? The world wants its sin. Remember, its passion driven. Right? It’s lust driven. Well, you know what, you can’t live comfortably with a Christ who says He’s going to come judge men, and that fornicators and adulterers and effeminate and thieves and greedy and covetous, and all these people with these unbridled passions are going to be cast into hell by the multitudes by Him who is the judge, who will judge the living and the dead in that day.

Men can’t tolerate that Christ. And so do you know what we’ve go to do? You know what our passions, our lusts, as natural men, require us to do? Redefine Christ. That’s what I did when I was lost. “Oh, the Bible says if I believe in Him... I don’t know what all that other stuff is, but it’s enough to believe in Him, that’s enough." Anything about repentance or doing the will of the Father or, you say you know Him and you don’t keep His commandments, you’re a liar… I didn’t know about that. I didn’t want to know that! "It just said believe. I believed He was a real figure.”

But you see, the Bible… you see, this is what the world says about faith, “Just believe.” And the Bible says, “Oh no, faith without works is dead! [James 2:17] Faith without righteousness is no faith at all. Faith that doesn’t sell everything that it has, a belief that Christ is more valuable than everything, you’re unworthy of Him.” [Luke 14:33] You see, that’s what the Bible says.

The world says, “Oh, faith, just believe. Christ, He’s not the…”. Basically, you know what the world, think with me here, you know what the world does? “He’s a baby in a manger.” Oh, does the world not love Christmas? What a harmless Christ. You come to the great white throne of judgment, you come to 1 Thessalonians chapter 1, and Jesus Christ coming in great glory and just tearing vengeance upon those… have men never read? “Bring those men who did not want me to reign over them and slaughter them before Me.” [Luke 19:27]

That is the Christ of the Bible and men cannot tolerate that. Men of the world… the world has no toleration. The world’s religions: God can be served and you can earn your way to heaven. The Bible says, “There is none that does good, not one.” [Romans 3:10,12] There’s nobody that does good, at all. Their righteousnesses are filthy rags. [Isaiah 64:6]

You see, the world has mindsets about all these things. Our thinking needs to be brought into subjection to Christ. Our lives need to be brought into subjection to the will of God, not driven by our passions.

Brethren, this is so important. You need to ask yourself why do you do what you do? Why do you think what you think? You need to ask yourselves, “Am I doing what I’m doing because I see this in God’s Word, I see it to be according to His will, I see it to be for His glory, as much as I know?”

Because I’ll tell you this, if you’re being driven by other desires and other passions, you better be very careful. Those passions are seeking to destroy your soul, they wage war. And if you’re living a life where you’re decisions, the way you dress, the things you do, the party’s you attend, what you do with your life, the way you deal with money, the way you deal with sex, the way you deal with those of the other sex, the way you deal with marriage, the way you deal with sin, the way you deal with Christ, the way you deal with religion... if it’s not being formulated by the Word of God… brethren, this is a battle; this is a battle right here.

We need minds and thinking that are subject to Christ, not that are subject to our base passions. This is key; they wage war. These worldly passions wage war. The world is seeking to conform us. We must resist being conformed. Brethren, you will resist by truth, by seeing things the way they really are, by being guided by biblical principle, by seeking to put proper value on things, value things the way Christ valued them, the way the Scriptures value them, the way God values them.

I guarantee everything that the world puts value in, God rejects. And what God puts value in, the world rejects. Anybody here of a verse that sounds at least somewhat similar to that, that Jesus spoke? What is it? "That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God." [Luke 16:15]

Brethren, the world is an abomination. You try to be a friend of that worldly system and you are at enmity with God. Listen brethren, to be conformed is to become alienated to God. The two don’t go hand in hand. You can’t serve money and serve God, they are totally at odds.

Well, no doubt, there are a number of other areas we could give attention to. Any big ones you think of that I didn’t deal with that the world has attitudes about? The world’s attitudes about everything are absolutely contrary to God’s. Lay it down.

That’s why to be a friend of the world is to be at enmity with God, because they are diametrically apposed. You show me the way the world thinks about anything, and God’s ideas are exactly opposite.

And brethren, like I said before, we literally swim in air that is permeated by worldliness. You are assaulted by it on the internet, TV, movies, billboards, radio, your cell phones. It comes at us from every hand.

Brethren, I’ll tell you, there is no substitute for being in this Word all the time, day in, day out. We need to be men and women of the Book. This is truth. That worldly system, it’s built on lies. It’s all lies. It seeks to destroy men with lies.

Those passions in Ephesians 4, they are called deceitful passions, because they always lie. You know it’s not true. Whatever the lusts of man seek after, it’s always a lie in the end; it never gives what it offers. Everything the world offers is a lie, all of it, all of it. You go stare at that dead body in the casket and you realize then, it’s all a lie.

What I’m asking you to do is, think. Please, think! Why do you do what you do? Why do you dress the way you dress? Why do you use the jewelry you use? Why do you do what you do with your money? Why do you do what you do with your time? Why do you watch what you watch on television or at the movies or on the computer? Why do you do what you do on the computer?

Do you have God glorifying reasons for all of it? Do you live in that faith, believing "what I am doing is glorifying God," because, whatsoever is not of faith, is sin? Whatsoever you do, whether you eat or drink, you are to do it for the glory of God. [1 Cor. 10:31]

We need to be people who think. Don’t just do it because other people at school do it. Don’t just do it because other people at work do it. The worldly system is everywhere around us. Do what you do because you can substantiate it from the Word of God. Period.

Are your motives deceitful desire, worldly desire, desire that wages war against your flesh or against your soul, driven? Are they driven by those passions or is it driven by a desire to please God? That’s what we have to ask ourselves.

What is the motive? “Well, I dress this way because I want to get this guy’s attention.” I hope you would see what the motive is. When the Bible says, if you want to get a guy’s attention, the kind of guy’s attention that you probably ought to be trying to get, you should be working on a meek and quiet spirit, ladies, knowing the Scriptures. That’s what 1 Peter 3 says.

I mean, young guys, if you’re working out to get the ladies attention, you’re working out because you want to be all hulked up and big and look like the world… now look, physical exercise profits some. If it helps you discipline yourself, and it helps you feel better and you’re not near as tired during the day, and you can get by with less sleep and it just overall makes you feel better, there may be a place for it. But is it godliness driven?

What we wear... I mean, do you wear what you wear because you’re wanting to glorify God? Do you give, do you use your money in ways that are God glorifying? What is your motive behind what you do with your money?

If you’re going to make the decision to have a television or not have one… I know Christians that have them, I know Christians that don’t have them. What’s your motive? What are you accomplishing?

When you eat, why do you eat the way you do? When you drink… if you were going to say, “Well, the Bible allows me to drink alcoholic beverage,” you need to ask yourself why. Why are you doing it? Is there a motive there that is God glorifying? It’s not God glorifying if you do things that will cause a brother to stumble, and you do it right in front of them. If meat or drink causes your brother to stumble, you need to abstain.

Why do we do what we do? Are we trying to win people to Christ? Hudson Taylor dressed like a China man to win China men. And he did! Paul became all things to all men that he might save some. By all means, he might save some!

You see, when you’re driven by love, when you’re driven by a desire to save people, when you’re driven by a desire to grow, when you’re driven by a desire to become more godly, when you’re driven by a desire to become more meek, more Bible knowledgeable, when you’re driven by a desire not to make my brothers and sisters stumble… see, see the motivation!

Versus when you just want pleasure. And so you’re going to do what you want to do because you want fun. You’re going to do what you want to do because you want to enjoy. You’re going to do what you want to do because you want to satisfy these desires. That’s dangerous ground.

Listen, they wage war against the soul. And people lose their soul in this fight all the time. By God’s grace, by God’s strength, by God’s power, abide in Christ and seek to live the right motives, bringing your thought life, bringing your motives in subjection to Christ all the time. In subjection to Christ, being led, guided, motivated by love. Let love rule your life. Let love for God and love for your fellow man rule your motives. Not passions, but love!

God help us!