Text: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:1-21
- What is the “world”?
- Why should Christians be concerned about worldliness? (God says it is destructive to the soul; Jesus set the example of a lifestyle different from the world’s lifestyle; we are expected to be different from the world; our spiritual adversary is the god of this world; because as Christians we are subject to attack through the influence of the world.)
- Worldly influences will come to us through our senses. What can we do to protect ourselves?
- What does the “love of the world” mean?
- What are the dangers of close association with worldly influences?
- Name areas where “the world” might begin to infiltrate our Christian lives without us realizing it. What can we do to prevent this?
- Define the word “compromise.” When is it right to compromise? When is it wrong?
- What is an “unclean thing”? See 2 Corinthians 6:17
- The first two of the Ten Commandments instruct Israel to serve only the one true God in Heaven rather than idols (Exodus 20:3-6). How does this apply to us today? (Israel had left Egypt, a culture worshipping many idols and false gods. It was important for them to realize that God is not made by the work of men’s hands.We, too, need to worship God from the heart and put nothing in this life ahead of our commitment to Him.Discuss what things could come between God and us)
- Does God ever ask us to give up something that is lawful? If so, why might this be?
- Will Satan’s attempts to move us closer to the world be most likely subtle or overt? Why?
- Referring to 1 John 2:16, give specific examples of the “lust of the flesh,” the “lust of the eyes,” and “the pride of life.”
- What are the benefits of resisting the allure of the world?
- Explain 1 Thessalonians 5:22 in relation to worldliness.
Openers or Illustration Ideas:
Example of ink in water. It takes only a drop of impurity to taint the whole glass. Point: You can ruin your testimony by one harmful association.
Lonnie Carlson tells of his father putting oil and water together in a jar to illustrate to his children the fact that godliness and worldliness do not mix. One time Lonnie took the jar, determined that if he shook it hard enough, he could get the two liquids to blend together. However, when he came back a short time later, he discovered that they had once again separated.
Visual to illustrate being separate:
Use verse Romans 12:2 about not being conformed to the world.
Bring a pair of hair curlers, one labeled “Christ” and one that looks totally different. Show the one labeled “the world.” What is the purpose of a curler? What happens when the hair is wrapped around it? (It takes on that shape.)
We need to be sure we are not “wrapped around” the world, but rather, wrap ourselves around Christ and His principles.
A thought-provoking story:
A church member in Adelaide, Australia stormed into the preacher’s study to insist that he stop preaching so plainly about sin. It was his contention that the young people of the congregation would be tempted to try for themselves the evils he described if they heard so much about them. He suggested that the preacher simply refer to various sins as “mistakes” and let it go at that. The preacher quickly stepped to a nearby closet shelf and took down a bottle of strychnine, marked “POISON!” Returning to the gentleman, he said, “I see what you mean. You want me to change the label. Suppose I take off this “POISON” label and put one on it reading “ESSENCE OF PEPPERMINT.” Don’t you see, the milder you make the label, the more deadly you make the poison!” The point: beware of labeling the poison of the world as anything other than what it is!
Some statistics from George Barna Research Online:
- One out of four Americans (25%) purchase a lottery ticket each week. (1997)
- Born again Christians are just as likely as non-Christians to purchase a lottery ticket (23% to 27%,respectively). (1997)
- Evangelicals are less likely than average to purchase a lottery ticket (11%). (1997)
- In a typical month, one out of three adults (36%) read their horoscope.
- Horoscope reading is equally common among Christians and non-Christians, Protestants and Catholics. (1994)
- 32% of Christians and 64% of non-Christians say they drank an alcoholic beverage within the last month. (1997)
1 Corin 6:12
2 Timothy 2:4
1 John 2:15-17