ENMITY WITH GOD
Holy Ghost conventions, Shiloh conferences, crusade grounds, miracle revivals, and Sunday services are full of people who, after escaping the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, are again entangled in them and enslaved. These are those who crawl back to the very things they profess to renounce the day they supposedly accept Jesus as Lord.
Unable to resist the alluring pull of the shining objects Satan dangles before their eyes, they succumb to the temptation and take the bait of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
As their conscience howls in loud screams, they shush it by rationalizing their surrender. To temper the burning heat of guilt churning up their inside, they dress up their compromise in the fig leaves of relevance in the twenty-first century. In their delusion, they believe Christianity has to be hip and cool for people to want to come to Church.
A defining characteristic of these Laodicean believers is a preoccupation with self. Hooked on Hollywood's portrayal of the glamorous persona, they fetishize the external attributes. The reality TV fictional depiction of what’s considered elegant transforms them into self-absorbed narcissists.
They go to great lengths and spend inordinate amounts of money to make themselves look good to the gaping world. With the advent of cellphones and social media, their innate desire for vainglory is made manifest. Their pathological fixation with the outward appearance is epitomized by their social media posts.
To illustrate this materialistic religiosity, we’ll consider two individuals, John Doe and Jane Doe, who are leaders in their respective denominations.
It's Saturday night and John Doe is having the time of his life at a party. Looking peachy in his designer suit, you’d think he stepped out of GQ magazine. As the booming sound of lewd songs with sexually explicit lyrics reverberate, he shows everyone his dance moves. On his table is an array of assorted brands of alcohol. Brandy, Cognac, Vodka, Rum, Tequila, Whiskey, you name it. Eager to bolster his reputation as a connoisseur of fine wine, he drowns shots after shots of hard liquor. “Life is too short not to enjoy,” he tells everyone within earshot.
It’s Sunday morning and Jane Doe is getting ready for Church. With yesterday’s makeover still very fresh, the mask-like makeup on her face screams, “See me! Notice me!!” Looking like a mannequin dressed up, provocatively, in costly attire valued at a year’s worth of salary, she gazes adoringly at herself in the mirror. Absolutely smitten with the image that reflects back to her, she picks up her phone and puts up a pose. With big eyes flirting and ruby red pouty lips leering, she snaps a few dozen selfies. Right away, she splashes them all on her Instagram feed with an all-CAPS caption that reads, “ON MY WAY TO CHURCH.”
That a Christian – a God-fearing Christian – would be up to his neck in the muck of this world seems far beyond the realm of possibility. It’s painful to imagine that someone who has been made clean and whose sins have been washed away by the precious Blood of the Lamb of God, and who is clothed in the robe of God’s righteousness would again immerse himself in the world’s cesspool. To think a Born-Again Believer would find comfort in and derive pleasure from the things the world considers comforting and pleasurable is profoundly disconcerting.
Yet, there are many “Christians” who continue to prove the truth of the proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit and a washed pig returns to the mud.” Heartily and cheerfully, they cuddle the world and the things of the world as though oblivious to the stern warning of Apostles James and John; that to roll in the mud with the world is to become an enemy of God.
“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).
“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 and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).
If this commentary pricks your conscience, my wish is you’d retrace your steps back to where you’ve fallen. Making an enemy of God is the last thing you’d ever want to do.