Turn away from the lovely enchantress!
(J.A. James, "Faith's Victory over the World" 1852)
"Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you — for when you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust for everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the Father. They are from this evil world." 1 John 2:15-16
Such is the world that assails the Christian, and which he must overcome — or perish eternally! "For everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1 John 5:4. The whole current of Scripture commands runs against the love of the world. In every possible form, it is forbidden.
Worldliness is the most thronged road to everlasting ruin!
Worldliness does not merely consist in an intense love of money, and an excessive eagerness to be rich — but in a supreme regard to that which is visible and temporal, whether these relate to the quiet scenes of domestic comfort, or to those elegancies, splendors, and accumulations of wealth, which lead a man to seek his highest bliss in these!
The world is a foe which attacks us in various places!
In the shop — by all the temptations incident to trade and wealth.
In the halls of politics and public business — by all the enticements to pride and ambition.
In the places of amusement — by all the soft blandishments of pleasure.
In the haunts of vice — by all the gratifications of the flesh.
In the walks of science and literature — by all the delights of intellectual gratification.
In the social circle — by all the enjoyments of friendship.
Oh, how many are the scenes where the world meets man and subdues him!
Sometimes the world approaches the believer with a smiling face, making promises and offering caresses, like the serpent to our first mother in the garden; or like Satan to our Lord when he said, "All these things will I give you — if you will fall down and worship me!" How difficult is it on such occasions to turn away from the lovely enchantress, to keep the eye steadily fixed on heavenly glories — and instead of greedily quaffing the cup of poisoned sweets, to dash it to the ground!
If immorality slays its thousands — the world slays its tens of thousands!
"Supreme love of the world" will as certainly lead its possessor to the bottomless pit — as the love of open vice!
Worldliness, I repeat, and repeat with emphasis, is . . .
the most polished,
the most fashionable,
the most respectable
path to the bottomless pit!
The Christian is aware of his danger from the strength, subtlety, and ever-present activity of this enemy of his soul.
Victory over the world is subordination . . .
of the creature to the Creator;
of earth to heaven;
of temporal blessings to spiritual ones;
of time to eternity.
Victory over the world is the formation of an unearthly, spiritual, divine, and heavenly mind-set and character!
"It was the sight of Thy dear cross,
First weaned my soul from earthly things;
And taught me to esteem as dross,
The mirth of fools and pomp of kings!"
How all the splendor of earthly things pales before that infinitely more resplendent object — Jesus!