A Man of the World

A Confused Term

The term “man of the world” or “worldly” is used to describe someone experienced with the world at large. This type of person may be called refined or sophisticated, well connected to those of importance in the world. Such a person is sometimes admired for their experience or social stature. This type of a “worldly” man focuses upon the positive aspects of the world in which we live (at least at face value).

True Defintion

Jesus Christ, however, talked about a different kind of “worldly” man. This is one who is a part of the world at large – not only participating in the events of the day, but actively standing with the world in its opposition to God. Whether or not these men realize it, being a part of the world requires embracing its values, its opinions, and its following of the ruler of the world, Satan. This opposition to God manifests itself in several different ways.

The world’s refusal

The world refuses to listen to the words of the Light which was sent to them (John 1:9, 10, NASU).

The world’s hatred

The world more than disapproves or dislikes the teachings of Christ, it truly hates what He has brought to the world because His teachings show just how evil the world is (John 7:7).

The world’s focus

Third, the world teaches self-serving ambition, wanton disregard for others, and immediate carnal gratifications. It despises anyone who would challenge these practices as immoral or unethical. It cannot understand anyone who would choose to forfeit such things in this life for something greater (John 12:15).

The world’s false comfort

The world chooses to find comfort in a false peace – a peace of mind created by trust in one’s own power and destiny. A peace which will fail with the end of one’s life and will be destroyed by God in the end. It cannot understand anyone who would seek any other peace (John 14:27).

Don’t Be Worldly

Because of the ways in which the world opposes God, Jesus encourages His followers to be a light unto the world (Mat. 5:14), but not a people of the world. The reality is that being “worldly” does not mean that one is sophisticated, it means that one is standing by the side of the ruler of this world. The one who rules this world has no place with God or Christ (John 14:30) and he is going to be cast out into darkness (John 12:31), along with all those who stand by him. So, where do we stand before the world? Do we have its priorities in our lives? Do we follow its example in our everyday practices and opinions? Or do we shine a different kind of Light?

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