Living Above the World

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18.

In His teaching, Christ sought to adjust the claims of heaven and earth…. He saw that men are in danger of cherishing an inordinate love for the world. The love of God is supplanted by a love for the world. Nothing but the power of the omnipotent God can dislodge this love. The things which are earthly and temporal lead men away from God, although the advantages to be gained are but an atom in comparison with eternal realities…. Turning away from heavenly attractions, from imperishable wealth, from peace, from nobility of soul, man pours out his affections on unworthy, unsatisfying things; and by constantly beholding this world, he becomes conformed to it. His mind, capable of elevation and privileged to grasp the eternal blessedness of the saints, turns away from an eternity of greatness and allows its powers to be chained like a slave to an atom of a world. It is humiliated and dwarfed by allegiance to worldly things.

Jesus came to change this order of things, to correct this widespread evil. He lifts up His voice as the voice of God in warnings, reproofs, and entreaties, seeking to break the spell which infatuates, enslaves, and ensnares men. He … says, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

God would have us lift ourselves above the world. Jesus, the world’s Redeemer, presents before us the eternal inheritance, the immortal riches…. He takes the world from its position of boasted supremacy, placing it where it should be, subject to the spiritual and eternal world….

Christ gave Himself a sacrifice for the world. He cheerfully gave His own life as a ransom for an apostate world, and he does not design that selfishness and worldliness shall exist in the hearts of His followers. Conformity to the world is expressly forbidden by the Word of God…. God’s chosen ones are to be just what He meant they should be, and what the apostle declares they are—“a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men” (2 Corinthians 4:9).

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