O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD. —Isaiah 2:5
As the world grows darker and darker in sin, the distinction between society and God’s people should grow greater and greater. The light of truth from God’s people will shine brighter and brighter as wickedness abounds. As the prophet Isaiah entreated God’s people of old, I entreat you: “Come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.”
The subject of the Gospel Truth this quarter is “Not of This World.” There is no ambiguity in the scripture concerning the necessity of God’s people forsaking the world and following Jesus in holiness. Holiness is a fundamental theme of both the old and new covenants, yet the religious leaders of our time are eradicating the principles of holiness from their preaching and are teaching a social, feel-good gospel. Too many people, even claiming to be Church of God, are living worldly lives. While not popular, the truth remains that holiness is much more than personal preference; it is an absolute necessity if we want to please God and make Heaven our home.
Saints are to represent holiness in every facet of life as good ambassadors of Jesus Christ. True holiness is much more than an outward act; it is inward pureness that comes from the presence of the Holy Spirit abiding in the heart. True devotion to God will cause people to turn away from the things and spirit of this world. Holiness is indeed an issue of the heart.
I yearn to see more souls saved and turned to the Lord; but my spirit is also very burdened at the lackadaisical, casual attitude many professing Christians have toward the detrimental practices and influences of the world. Friend, living for God still means that we turn our back on the world and live out the song: “I have left all the world to follow Jesus.”
Many young people are making life choices in careers, education, marriage, dress, etc. based upon the values and ambitions of the world. All the wealth and prestige of this world mean nothing to a holy God, and they will not bring happiness in this life nor in the life to come. Let us invest ourselves in spiritual things and follow after that which is good and profitable for the spiritual wellbeing of ourselves and those around us.
God’s true people have always been few, and it is no different in this generation. When we live a holy life, we will act, talk, and dress differently than the world. The things we involve ourselves in should be pleasing to our Holy Father, and we should reflect His righteousness. Many are not willing to accept this truth without reservation. Our lives should not be measured by the standard of the world but by the clear standard of holiness in God’s Word.
Child of God, we cannot afford to be conformed to this world. Let us embrace holiness and consecrate our lives completely to God. Let us lay aside the sinful things and ideologies of this world and separate ourselves from the influences that produce worldliness. Let us be heavenly-minded and glorify God in holiness.
Michael W. Smith