What gives the world its fatal charms?
(E.M. Bounds, "The World!")
"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other — or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Luke 16:13
The world is one of the Christian's enemies which must be fought and conquered on the way to Heaven. The Christian life is represented as a training school, in which to deny worldly desires is one part of its curriculum.
There is no more fundamental statement in Scripture, than that the world is to be renounced by every true disciple of Christ — and that to love the world and the things of the world, puts us in open and standing enmity to God. By virtue of our love or friendship to the world — we are the enemies of God.
Christ Jesus lays it down as an obvious truth that between the world and His disciples, there would be hatred. To serve two opposing masters is impossible. The call of Christ when accepted and obeyed, becomes at once the secret and the source of the world's hatred.
Jesus declares the native and inevitable enmity of the world to His followers: "The world has hated them, because they are not of the world — even as I am not of the world." Again, in His high-priestly prayer, He declares this distinct and eternal separation and conflict: "They are not of the world — even as I am not of the world." By virtue of their relation to Christ — they are separated from, and are in conflict with, the world.
The love of the world is hostile to and destructive of, the love of God. The two cannot co-exist. Yet many modern church members and church goers are friends of the world — its advocates and lovers.
"You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore would be the friend of the world, makes himself an enemy of God!" James 4:4. Friendship with the world is God's greatest enemy. Love of the world violates our marriage vows to Jesus.
Nothing is more explicit than this, nothing is more commanding, authoritative and more exacting. "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him!" 1 John 2:15. Nothing is more offensive to God, nothing is more criminal, more abominable, more violative of the most sacred relationship of the soul with God.
It remains true to this hour, that all the genuine disciples of Jesus are not of the world — but are chosen out of the world, have left the world, have renounced the world, and are crucified to the world.
What gives the world its fatal charms? What makes its enchantment so lethal? What makes it a deadly foe to Christ, and which poisons us against Heaven?
The world is the devil's pawn. The world gets its deadly and fascinating snares from the devil. The world is not simply the ally, but is the instrument and the agent of Satan.
The world's opposition and enmity have been always against the Christian — and often its smiles are more fatal than its hate!