“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17Looking at the religious landscape of our country we see that many denominations that once preached and taught truth have traded in their old beliefs in order to be better accepted by society. If what the Bible says rubs people the wrong way, they stop proclaiming what the Bible says and replace it with new interpretations—or simply ignore the Scriptures all together and teach the doctrines of men. Such acceptance comes at a very high cost.A.W. Tozer said, “Religion today is not transforming the people—it is being transformed by the people. It is not raising the moral level of society—it is descending to society’s own level and congratulating itself that it has scored a victory because society is smiling accepting its surrender.”
Every church and every Christian must make a choice. Will we love the approval and the applause of the world, or will we love God and His Word? If we make the right choice, we can expect to be criticized and condemned. This should not come as any surprise to us. Jesus said, “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). When we take a clear stand for what is right, the world will not respond well. But such a stand is never taken alone. Like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, we will find God walking in our midst.