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What is Worldliness?

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love 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 pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

Just what is worldliness? If we don't have a clear definition in our minds, we won't know how to resist it! Worldliness can be defined as the mind-set of the ungodly. Their reasoning processes, the things that interest them, their goals and motives, are all contrary to God's will. There is God's way, which is specified in the Bible, and there is Satan's way, which is taught, promoted and acted out by ungodly society. All who are not submitted to God are the devil's teachers of worldliness. To experience worldliness, we just need to associate with someone who doesn't love God. In various ways, he will demonstrate worldliness.

The influence of worldliness is very pervasive. Our only safey against it is to saturate our minds with the Word of God, and have a faith connection with Him through the Holy Spirit. That is how our eyes are opened to see the dangers of worldliness, so we can avoid falling into the enemy's trap.

Worldliness regarding our appearance is so prevelant, even in the church, that we have lost our sharp discernment. We have first abhored, then tolerated, then embraced worldliness as its familiarity numbs us.

The following quotations regarding worldliness should alert us to the dangers of carelessness in this area. We must be able to discern worldliness, or it will overcome us.

God expects those who bear the name of Christ to represent Him. Their thoughts are to be pure, their words noble and uplifting. The religion of Christ is to be interwoven with all that they do and say. . . . God desires His people to show by their lives the advantage of Christianity over worldliness , to show that they are working on a high, holy plane. {AH 519.5}

The natural heart does not love to think of God, of heaven, or of heavenly things. There must be a continual pressing back of the current of worldliness and inclination to evil and a letting in of heavenly light. {CG 532.5}

But many become so absorbed in business that they have no time for prayer, no time for the study of the Bible, no time to seek and serve God. At times the longings of the soul go out for holiness and heaven; but there is no time to turn aside from the din of the world to listen to the majestic and authoritative utterances of the Spirit of God. The things of eternity are made subordinate, the things of the world supreme. It is impossible for the seed of the word to bring forth fruit; for the life of the soul is given to nourish the thorns of worldliness . {COL 51.3}

It is often found that the change from godliness to worldliness has been made so imperceptibly by the wily insinuations of the evil one, that the deceived soul is not aware that he has parted company with Christ, and is His servant only in name.-- R. & H., Sept. 23, 1890. {CS 214.3}

Follow no one's example or custom in dress or in actions. If they lead to indifference and worldliness, do not express vanity in dress, but dress becomingly, neatly; but seek earnestly to be meek and lowly of heart and be obtaining a rich experience in the things of God. Learn to overcome vanity which exists in the heart that is not sanctified through the truth. Do not be forward, but be retiring and modest.{ DG 160.1}

A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other union must perish.... But this union costs us something.... There must be a painful work of detachment, as well as a work of attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness --sin in all its forms--must be overcome, if we would enter into a union with Christ. The reason why many find the Christian life so deplorably hard, why they are so fickle, so variable, is, they try to attach themselves to Christ without detaching themselves from these cherished idols. {FLB 221.5}

Brethren, the Lord will help you, if you seek His help; but do not exalt self, do not call the attention of the people to self. There is a spirit of worldliness coming into the church, and it must be firmly met and rebuked. Unless we humble our hearts before God, unless we seek Him earnestly, we shall be overcome by the temptations of Satan; and those whom we neglect to warn, to reprove, to exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine, will be ensnared by his devices, and we shall not be guiltless. {GW92 450.2}

The reason why you do not receive more of the saving help of God is that the channel of communication between Heaven and your own souls is clogged by worldliness, love of display, and desire for supremacy. While some are conforming more and more to the world's customs and maxims, we should be moulding our lives after the divine model. And our covenant-keeping God will restore unto us the joys of His salvation, and uphold us by His free Spirit. {GW92 452.1}

Those who claim to know the truth and understand the great work to be done for this time are to consecrate themselves to God, soul, body, and spirit. In heart, in dress, in language, in every respect, they are to be separate from the fashions and practices of the world. They are to be a peculiar and holy people. It is not their dress that makes them peculiar; but because they are a peculiar and holy people, they cannot carry the marks of likeness to the world. {HP 167.2}

As a people we are to prepare the way of the Lord. Every iota of ability God has given us must be put to use in preparing the people after God's fashion, after His spiritual mold, to stand in this great day of God's preparation. . . . Many who suppose they are going to heaven are blindfolded by the world. Their ideas of what constitutes a religious education and religious discipline are vague, resting only upon possibilities. There are many who have no intelligent hope, and are running great risk in practicing the very things which Jesus has taught that they should not do, in eating, drinking, and dressing, binding themselves up with the world in a variety of ways. They have yet to learn the serious lesson so essential to growth in spirituality, to come out from the world and be separate. {HP 167.3}

The heart is divided, the carnal mind craves conformity, similarity to the world in so many ways, that the mark of distinction from the world is scarcely distinguishable. Money, God's money, is expended in order to make an appearance after the world's customs; the religious experience is contaminated with worldliness, and the evidence of discipleship--Christ's likeness in self-denial and cross bearing--is not discernible by the world or by the universe of heaven . {HP 167.4}

The question to be settled is, "Are we willing to separate ourselves from the world, that we may become children of God?" This is not the work of a moment or of a day. . . . It is a lifelong work. Love to God must be a living principle, underlying every act and word and thought. {HP 167.5}

Many who profess to believe the Word of God do not seem to understand the deceptive working of the enemy. They do not realize that the end of time is near, but Satan knows it, and while men sleep he works. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life are controlling men and women. Satan is at work even among the people of God, to cause disunion. Selfishness, corruption, and evil of every kind are taking a firm hold upon hearts. With many the precious Word of God is neglected. A novel or a storybook engages the attention. . . . That which excites the imagination is eagerly devoured, while the Word of God is set aside. {HP 309.2}

The world is the chief enemy of religion; for satanic forces are continually at work through the world, and it is the object of Satan to bring the church and the world into such close fellowship that their aims, their spirit, their principles, shall harmonize, and that it will be impossible to distinguish between him who professes to serve God and him who serveth Him not. The enemy works continually to push the world to the front. {HP 309.3}

The Spirit illumines our darkness, informs our ignorance, and helps us in our manifold necessities. But the mind must be constantly going out after God. If worldliness is allowed to come in, if we have no desire to pray, no desire to commune with Him who is the source of strength and wisdom, the Spirit will not abide with us.- -OHC 154 (1904). {LDE 65.4}

Intense worldliness has been one of Satan's most successful temptations. He designs to keep the hearts and minds of men so engrossed with worldly attractions that there will be no room for heavenly things. He controls their minds in their love of the world. Earthly things eclipse the heavenly, and put the Lord out of their sight and understanding. . . . {LHU 28.5}





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