The World, the Word, the Work, and the Worry —Do not be deceived!
God wants us to perceive the world as it really is, not what it pretends to be. God gives us his word which enlightens us, and his work of spreading the word. The worry is that people won't listen.
1 The World
"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world —the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life— is not from the Father but from the world..."(1John 2:15-16 BSB).
"God has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires"(2 Peter 1:4).
"We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true —in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life"(1John 5:19-20 BSB).
"I have spoken these things to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world."(Jesus in John 16:33).
The World is Corrupt
The Bible has much to say about the world, and one of its main points is the corruption of the world. The above quotes from the Bible are examples of this.
So how did the world become corrupt? What caused its fall? The verses quoted earlier blame evil desires of the flesh. That's what Adam and Eve had in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6).
People of the world have had evil desires ever since. By pandering to them, they have corrupted the pristine world that God made.
The Bible calls this corruption "sin" and it is so bad that God had to give his only Son Jesus to die as a sacrifice for the fallen people of the world. By this their sins could be forgiven if they believe and follow the Son of God (John 3:16).
So we look for another world, "a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells"(2Peter 3:13).
2 The Word
"Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."(John 17:17 NKJV ).
"And we continually thank God because, when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as the true word of God —the word which is now at work in you who believe."(1Thessalonians 2:13 ESV).
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."(John 6:63 NKJV).
"Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. The word that you hear is not My own, but it is from the Father who sent Me"(John 14:24 BSB).
"Jesus answered, It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'"(Matthew 4:4).
The God’s Word is Truth
There are many things to be said about the word of God, and in today's world the main thing to be said is that the word of God is truth.
In today's world, people like to have their own personal truth based on what they feel. But "Let God be true and every man a liar"(Romans 3:4).
God’s word provides us with absolute truth, which comes from outside of ourselves, not from within us. This truth does not change; it is always the same. We can live by it with the utmost confidence.
3 The Work
"I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work."(John 9:4).
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved but he who disbelieves will be condemned"(Mark 16:15-16).
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age."(Matthew 28:18-20 BSB).
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."(1Corinthians 15:58 NKJV).
"The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."(Luke 10:2 NKJV).
"Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith"(Galatians 6:10 NKJV).
The Lord’s Work
Once you become a Christian, you have a duty to God as much as he has a duty to you. God will bless you in every way, but you must respond by doing what pleases him (Hebrews 13:20-21).
There are all sorts of ways to join in the Lord’s work. You can tell others about Jesus and God’s plan of salvation, or you can support someone who does. You can help the poor especially those of the household of faith. If you cannot help financially, you can pray for them often. You can make it your business, if possible, to attend meetings that other Christians have organised for their encouragement.
4 the Worry
"Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons"(1Timothy 4:1 BSB).
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables"(2Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV).
"As also in all [Paul’s] letters, speaking in them of these things, in which there are some things that are hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."(2Peter 3:16 NKJV).
"About this [Christ our High Priest] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing."(Hebrews 5:11 ESV).
"For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them"(Acts 28:27 NIV See Isaiah 6:10).
People Not Listening
In the parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-15) Jesus showed how the word needed good soil in which to grow and bear fruit. Few however make sure their hearts are cultivated to respond to the word of God.
It's a sad note on which to end our lesson, but not many will listen to the word. On the other hand, there is good soil, there are good hearts, sometimes in surprising places. We must look for them in hope of finding them.