April 14, 2014
When we think about the term worldliness we think of the envy and strife that exists in our secular lives. Political parties split, and one group becomes pitted against another. As management and labor meet around the conference table, there is a battle going on. In the corporate world there are climbers on the corporate ladder who are stepping on the hands of others as they go up. In our neighborhoods, one family does not speak to another family. Within families there are quarrels, brother against brother.
When a church allows worldliness to enter its doors, the characteristics of the world become evident in the church. The envy and strife that exists in the world are displayed within the church. The symptoms of a worldly church are divisions, conflict, power struggles, and open warfare among its members.
Worldliness can be exhibited from both the pulpit and the pew. It can pray with self-righteous eloquence. It can find triumph in the middle of a deacon’s meeting. It can take over a trustee’s meeting. It can split churches over the color of the carpet, or a building program. It will begin in a fight over who to ordain to its ministry, who can become a church member, or who can be baptized. All are topics that can destroy the fellowship and evangelistic efforts of the church.
Listen to this podcast to learn that symptoms of worldliness are evidence of a problem that lies much deeper. It lies within the heart of the church member.
What is the answer to worldliness? Prayer. Personal prayer, properly performed, can reveal the worldliness in our hearts and can cleanse it. James teaches us the secret of obtaining an answered prayer from the almighty, living, God who tells us that we have not because we ask not.