02 July 2013

Expect the World to Act Like the World

I expect the world to act like the world. What I don't expect is for the church to act like the world.
These words were spoken by Dr. John MacArthur at this past Sunday's evening service at Grace Community Church (GCC). Unfortunately, the audio and video of this session is not currently available online. The clip below is courtesy of Brannon Howse, who captured the audio live and shared a few excerpts on the July 1 episode of his Worldview Weekend Radio.

video

As he often does, Dr. MacArthur hits the proverbial nail on its head. Beloved, the world is going to act like the world. Pagans act like pagans. They celebrate sin and depravity. They glorify and exalt their fleshly lusts. And while it is not wrong to grieve and to speak out against the rapidly degenerating morals of society, Christians must be far more concerned with the state of Christ's church.

While American Christians busy themselves bewailing and bemoaning the ungodly decisions of ungodly, unbelieving leaders, they must be mindful not to ignore the very same issues growing within the church itself. There are those Christians in this country who are so consumed with patriotic idolatry that they are blind to the tolerance of those same sins within the church. It is terribly unsurprising to see the world compromise and celebrate immorality, but such compromise is becoming more and more common in the visible church, and this is what should raise the ire of the Christian.

Such an attitude of tolerance toward sexual sin is not new, as is demonstrated by the Apostle Paul's rebuke to the Corinthians:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)
As the world embraces various forms of sexual deviancy and other perversions, so too will the visible church. There will be those who claim the name of Christ who will bow the knee to the world and its debauchery. They will claim that if Christians would only soften their stance on one particular sin (and then another, and then another), then the gospel will be able to go forth with less hindrance. But the gospel of Jesus Christ is not one of softened sin and compromise. So let the world tolerate what it will, for one should expect nothing less from those who are unregenerate, but let the Christian be on guard against such crippling tolerance within the Body of Christ. Let him determine to first be a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, and seek to cultivate purity and holiness within his own life and within the life of the church.

Further Reading
Nurturing Perversion
Salvation Is a Work of God
Women Elders: the World vs. the Word

5 comments:

  1. Beautifully stated. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "So let the world tolerate what it will, for one should expect nothing less from those who are unregenerate, but let the Christian be on guard against such crippling tolerance within the Body of Christ. Let him determine to first be a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, and seek to cultivate purity and holiness within his own life and within the life of the church."

    This is so true, but can sometimes be hard to do when dealing with certain issues. Good reminder! ~Becky

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I expect the world to act like the world. What I don't expect is for the church to act like the world."

    I cannot find this sermon at GTY.org in the list (by date) or in the recent messages. Do you have a link?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      The audio above is from a recent Q&A session between MacArthur and Phil Johnson at Grace Community Church. The audio/video for this service is not currently available online.

      Delete

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