Theme: The World’s Methods
In this week’s lessons, we see how the church can fall into becoming like the world, and so lose sight of thinking and acting the way God has laid out in Scripture.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Having looked at the world’s wisdom, the world’s theology, and the world’s agenda, we conclude our study with one more way in which the church can look like the world.
4. The world’s methods. What are the world’s methods? The world’s methods are politics and money, and this is where the thinking of the secular church is today. That’s why the secular church doesn’t care much whether evangelicals proclaim an evangelical theology. They don’t care much about theology one way or the other. What they’re interested in is power and money, and the two go together.
A number of years ago, I saw a cartoon in The New Yorker concerning two Pilgrims. They were coming over on the Mayflower, and they were having a conversation on the deck. The one was explaining his motivation to the other. He said, “My short-range goal is religious freedom, but my long-range goal is to go into real estate.” Well, this is where the church has come in the long range.
What are Christians to do? Well, first of all, Christians are not to be surprised because this is what the Word of God says will happen in the last days. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
That’s the secular church, you see, having a form of godliness, pretending to be the church, but knowing nothing of the power of the Word of God as it works in the lives of people. Christian people must understand that and be different. If the secular church is characterized by the world’s wisdom, the world’s theology, the world’s agenda, and the world’s methods, Christians must be characterized by the wisdom of God embodied in the Scriptures, the theology of God taught in the Scriptures, the agenda of God outlined in the Scriptures, and the methods of God, which are laid out in the Scriptures for our study and our application to our own circumstances.
What are the world’s methods for achieving its objectives?
How can the church fall prey to using these methods?
Prayer: Ask the Lord to give his people a greater knowledge and love for his Word, and that the church might carry out her divine calling using the means that God himself has given.