Bible Reading: 1 John 2:15-17; 3:13; 4:5-6

No one who loves God will love and live for the temporal things of this world. Instead of a worldly life, the true Christian will live his life in this world “doing the will of God.” As a result, “the world [will] hate” him (3:13) and refuse to “hear” him (4:5-6).

Anyone confessing to be a Christian who is caught up in the things of this world and living a worldly life is a hypocrite. A true Christian can neither live his life inattentive to God’s Word nor indifferent to God’s will. Therefore, true Christians do not live their lives in conformity to the world, but in compliance with the Word and will of God. Consequently, the world will neither love nor listen to the true Christian, but will hate him and refuse to hear him.

How contrary are these truths of Scripture to contemporary church growth strategy. The contemporary church believes the only way it can reach the world is to be like the world and to be liked by it. In the contemporary church, worldly practices and popularity are not seen as sure signs of hypocrisy, but as effective means of evangelism. Instead of an evil we spurn, hypocrisy has unfortunately become an end we seek. Worldliness is no longer seen as hypocrisy, but as a high-priority in contemporary church pews and pulpits.