Christ or the World?

A photo of a large auditorium of a church with thousands of people standing with hands in the air in a darkened area with numerous stage lights highlight singers and instrumentalists on a stage and a inspirational slogan displayed on a large screen behind them

How difficult it is today to tell the difference between the lives of the people in God’s Church and those outside of it! Each day it becomes clearer that the modern Church has been mostly taken over by worldliness. Many congregations build multi-building complexes to carry out their own worship, yet care very little about others in the world who never heard of Christ. It is also hard to tell their music from the world’s. They even dress the way the world does! The modern Church attempts to do God’s work using the world’s methods. 

The world has stolen into the Church, deceiving God’s people while attempting to entice them into spiritual adultery.

What a time of contrast and contradictions! Today we see both good and evil, the Church and the world, true Christianity versus false Christianity, all coming to their climax. The world has stolen into the Church, deceiving God’s people while attempting to entice them into spiritual adultery. And today’s Church will be held responsible for this situation. It is not because the modern Church doesn’t have access to the truth, but rather that it has turned away from it on purpose. Nothing will be left next but the judgment of God. 

A black and white engraving of the woman sitting on the beast with numerous kings and nobles kneeling around her as mentioned in Revelation 17 of the Bible

John the Apostle saw a woman riding a beast in a vision from God (Revelation 17:3), symbolizing today’s modern Church being infiltrated and corrupted by the world. This Church is depicted as a woman of great wealth, influence and eminence, but is especially noted for her worldliness—which also describes the modern Church today.

He immediately stated that apostasy (abandonment of loyalty to God) would be the foremost sign of the last days. It will be widespread, maybe even over the whole world.

Teachings about God antagonize people when they pay no attention to God’s Word. If people won’t let the Bible inspire them, doctrines of demons will gladly take its place. Christ’s disciples asked Him,”…what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). He immediately stated that apostasy (abandonment of loyalty to God) would be the foremost sign of the last days. It will be widespread, maybe even over the whole world. But it is in this time of contradictions that true Christians will spread their godly influence over the entire world.

The Church of Laodicea describes itself as “…rich…wealthy, and hav[ing] need of nothing…” It is generally considered the end times Church. But Christ described it as “wretched…miserable…poor…blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). It can easily be seen as wealthy in material ways, but in spiritual ways, it is destitute. This doesn’t describe a Church that has gone through great tribulation, but what a perfect fit for an end times period of peace, prosperity and plenty before the Great Tribulation comes! It will be “just as in the days of Noah,” and that is the period when Christ will come back to take His Bride away. He forewarned His people of this generation to “Watch ye therefore…lest coming suddenly [I] find you sleeping” (Mark 13:35-36).

Night view of a movie theater exterior with neon lights displaying the theater's name and streaks of light from passing vehicle tail and headlights

“Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” (1 Corinthians 10:6-7). Those who backslide in their relationship with God and His Word begin to prefer worldly books and films. Then they exchange the worship of God for a worldly religion instead, because people must worship something. Therefore, when Christ is pushed off the throne of their heart, an idol slides right in to take His place. 

Those who love the world more than the One they claim to love and give their heart to solely violate their marriage vows and relationship. This is spiritual adultery. The greatest rival to Christ in our heart is the world. 

“…they rose up early…and offered burnt offerings, and…peace offerings; and…sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves…” (Exodus 32:6-7). After they gave God offerings, His own people began to fellowship with ungodly people of the world, not people of God. Those who love the world more than the One they claim to love and give their heart to solely violate their marriage vows and relationship. This is spiritual adultery. The greatest rival to Christ in our heart is the world. 

An overhead black and white photo of a playground slide near a textured concrete wall

Whenever such Christians mingle with the world, their privileged position with Christ will not protect them, but will cause them to be condemned even more, and they will end up sliding down to its level. Christians have to choose: who will have utmost importance in their lives, Christ, or the world? In no way can it be both Christ and the world! Christ pulled His people out of the world when they knew no better, but He’ll never allow them to defile His grace by flirting with the world He took them out of.

Christ has not yet given up and cast these people totally aside, because He loves them. People may quench the fire of their love for Him, but in no way will He ever lose His love for them!

The Church of Laodicea lacks Christ in its heart—in fact, it gets along quite nicely without Him!  If this Church does not overcome the seductions drawing it away from God, it will soon have no love for Him at all. Let’s be plain: the Laodicean Church is the apostate Church of the end times. It has no intention of repenting or asking to be restored to its proper relationship with Christ. It is only entitled to be rejected by Him. But Christ has not yet given up and cast these people totally aside, because He loves them. People may quench the fire of their love for Him, but in no way will He ever lose His love for them!

Christ told the Laodicean Church: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Revelation 3:19-21). If you have been part of the Laodicean crowd, there is still time to come back to Christ and receive His everlasting love—don’t ever allow the world to steal you from Him!

[Image credits: Featured image (when applicable) Jeff Jacobs & free-photos/pixabay; El Lugar de Su Presencia(CC-BY-4.0); Cornelis de Hooghe/Phillip Medhurst Collection (CC-BY-3.0); Natan Engel/pexels; Rodrigo Ortega/freeimages]