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Posted by Job on March 2, 2007

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

Matthew 6:19-21 is often preached in the simple context of not being greedy for wealth. There is also a deeper meaning, however, for not everyone loves wealth. Some people love fame, some love food, some love family, some love intellectual pursuits, some love leisure, some love their country, some love religion. All of these are vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2)! Why? Because they are things of this world. They will all pass away, and if they become what we love and pursue, they will distract us from seeking that which is eternal. People need to get back to the true gospel. The gospel is usually preached in terms of saving one’s spirit from eternal destruction in the lake of fire. That is not how it was preached in Christ’s time! In Christ’s time, what was the object of salvation was not one’s spirit from a bad eternal condition but rather one’s soul from a bad worldly condition. That notion is probably offensive to most Christians today, especially those of us in the west. We live in a modern wealthy society, and even those of us who lack material wealth have the personal freedom to indulge in the activities of our choosing. So, we do not want to be saved from the world; we love the world! So, we focus only on our spirits being renewed through Jesus Christ so that it can dwell with God in eternity.  

But in Christ’s time and place, such was not the case. The Jews were living in an oppressive, pagan
Roman Empire. That was their world; one utterly corrupt with no redeeming qualities: there was nothing about their world that they wanted saved. The Jews wanted a savior that would come take them out of that world by overthrowing the Roman Empire and re – establishing
Israel as it was under David. Their saviour was not someone who would reconcile them with God and lead them to eternal life in heaven; they believed that such was already accomplished for them through the law and by virtue of their being the children of Abraham. No, they were looking for someone who would destroy and overcome their wicked surroundings. Now, of course, we Christians do recognize that Jesus Christ was the Savior that the Jews were looking for but rejected! But in a sense, while we accept our Messiah, we also reject Him. We accept His ability to reconcile us with God, but we reject His ability to remove us from a corrupt and wicked world. And we reject Him in this manner not because we doubt His ability to deliver us, but rather because we do not want Him to deliver us. We like this corrupt world and we want to remain in this corrupt world.
 

Because we like the world, this perverts our very notion of works. Most Christians think that our job is to save the world and renew our minds through works. We think that by our doing so, we are building up an impressive record for ourselves in Heaven that God will respect and reward us for on judgment day. Oh, how wrong we are! God will not have respect for those works, no matter how hard we labor or how sincere we are towards Him, because our hearts are not with Him in heaven, but rather down here in this corrupt earth. Even the good we do as a result will be in spite of ourselves; it will be God’s taking what is essentially wrong and redirecting it for right. So people will be saved, healed, set free, and so forth as a result of our actions, but it will be indirectly, and we will not get credit for it in our spiritual accounts. In order for God to use us DIRECTLY, to do the things that He wants us to do in the way that He wants it to be done, we have to hate the world and reject it. In order for God to respect our works and credit us for them, we have to hate the world.  

We should not be working to improve the conditions of people in this world, we should be working to rescue them from it. Take a poor person. We should not tell that person that if he becomes a Christian that he can be rich, and thereby improve his quality and enjoyment of life by taking part in worldly pleasures that God rejects. Instead, we should get that poor person to trust God to provide all of his needs and to hate all of the things that God does not see fit to give him! If in the course of getting this poor person to see that God uses us to uplift that person from poverty, then so be it. But our goal should be to get the person to forget about his poverty in his possessions and instead concentrate on his poverty in his SPIRIT. The same goes for a Christian who seeks to have a renewed mind. Most Christians believe that they simply need to change their existing mind so that it will be better capable to resist certain temptations – but not others often! – while it stays and enjoys itself in the world. Christians want to enjoy worldly things that the religious system says is OK while rejecting worldly things that the religious system says is bad. They do not realize that by doing so, they are merely being double – minded. Take, for instance, a person who has been given a bowl of poisoned Neapolitan (chocolate on one side, vanilla on the other, and strawberry in the middle) ice cream. The true Christian who hates the world would simply reject the ice cream. But a Christian who has been taught to love the world through religion would use religious doctrine to justify eating the strawberry ice cream only while leaving the chocolate and vanilla! He might even consider himself a holy righteous consecrated spirit filled Christian by leaving a good portion of strawberry ice cream behind so as to limit the amount of vanilla and chocolate that he eats! He refuses to recognize that even if he does not consume ANY chocolate or vanilla, he is still going to die! Renewing your mind is not coming to a place where you would reject SOME of the poisoned ice cream, but rather being dead to the ice cream because it is poisoned. You have all of these Christian groups contending amongst themselves about which worldly things can be enjoyed and which need be rejected, and the manner which the enjoyment and rejection should be done. The truth is that we should be DEAD to ALL worldly things! Becoming dead to all worldly things, including religion, is renewing the mind.  

Now, we realize that as we ask of God, we shall receive. But because we have not rejected the world and hence still have so much of our treasure in it, we ask the wrong thing. We ask for God to deliver the poor from their poverty, and not for the gospel to be preached to them. We ask for God to help us resist the temptation of worldly things, and not for God to deliver us from the world so that we will have no source for temptation! Our prayers are not right because they are rooted in our hearts, and our hearts are dwelling in the world and not in Heaven! Now in order for this sad state of affairs to change for many of us, it is going to take persecution. Things are going to have to get like it was for the Jews in ancient
Rome, utter oppression and depravity, for folks to start getting sincere with God. People are going to have to see that things have gotten so bad that there is nothing in this world in them worth holding onto. And when it gets as that, so what? The truth is that it was always that way, but many Christians refused to see it because things were so pleasurable for them. They did not recognize that the reason for the pleasurable surroundings was not so that they could love the pleasure and live in and enjoy it! Instead, the reason for the easy Christian living – a result of our free prosperous society – was to use that freedom and prosperity to make it easier to do God’s true work! So that we could reach more people, and help people in areas less fortunate! How sad it is that so many will not do God’s true work until the freedom and prosperity to do it gets taken away, the opportunity is gone, and serving God becomes so much harder! We do not realize that when Christ said “the queen of the south will judge this generation”, he was not only talking about the Jews of His time, but he was prophetically speaking of us! The people living in all of these areas that are desperately disease – stricken and poor, in nations where it is illegal to even be a Christian under penalty of rape, prison, or death and as such have already rejected this world because there is nothing in the world in which they live for them. They have forsaken this world and its evil for the world to come already, because they do not experience the idle pleasures that we do that blind them to spiritual reality and as such causes them to call good evil and evil good. Such people will sit in judgment of US! And the reason for that will be that our spiritual portfolios are empty because our hearts are simply not in the right place as theirs are. Do not let it happen to you!
 

Not to worry, though, because as we have for the most part wasted the opportunity that God gave us, the storm is soon coming, and soon we will be as the early church was, and many Christians in other parts of the world are now. We will be fellow – companions in tribulation! But this is the rub. If you hate the world now, you will have an easy transition to the dearth to come. The things that will be taken away from you; you will not miss them or grieve over them because they were never yours and you never had any part in them. You will not be someone who is so used to giving God unacceptable worldly sacrifices that you won’t even know how to serve Him when your corrupt religious system is taken away; you will already be giving Him the pure riches of your renewed mind. You won’t have to go through the pain of separation from worldly things, because you will have gone through the trials and tribulations of leaving the world behind already. And moreover, it will not be something that is forced upon you, it will be something that you have chosen for yourself. 

If you love the world, then you will not be able to give the God an acceptable sacrifice no matter how you try. Everything that you offer God will be rejected as was the offering of Cain rejected; it will be tainted and corrupted with worldly poison. Do not think that you will be able to pick and choose and separate the good from the evil; the righteous from the unrighteous. Why? Because you are not a suitable judge! God alone is judge of what is righteous, of what is pleasing to Him. Besides, your vision would be clouded anyway; you will save the corrupt to offer to God, and cast aside the good for someone else who is truly serving God in spirit and in truth to offer up. Like the servant with the 10 talents, that what he has will be added to, and that which you have will be taken away! If you love the world, the things that you give God will be the things that come from your own heart. You will do for God the things that you believe need to be done, or the things that the religious system tells you needs to be done. The ultimate result is that rather than working for God, you will be working for yourself and working for the religious system, and in yourself and in the religious system shall be your investment. Those things will bring a return, but in this world. In the world to come, they will be useless; they will be cast into the fire!  

Only if you hate the world will you give an acceptable sacrifice, because only then will you truly have a heart to seek and obey God on a consistent basis. If you love the world, you will seek and obey God when it is easy. When it is convenient. Or when you feel guilty or scared. As a result, you will only do things for God part of the time, and even then what you do will be done haphazardly after the same disorganized manner as your doubled mind which will come from your trying to serve two masters. But if you hate the world, you will only have one master. You will wait on your master, God, to tell you what to do, and you will do it. When God has no instructions for you, then you will be at rest, being strengthened by the Holy Spirit for the next task. On the other hand, if you love the world, you will be constantly at work, following your own orders and the orders of man. You will never be at rest so that you can be made strong enough to do what is really important, and even if you were there would be no way for you to be strengthened because the Holy Spirit is absent from working in your life. Even though you may be saved, even though you demonstrate the gifts of the spirit, your love of the world will block your developing in the fruits of the spirit! Love the world, and be spiritually immature. Hate the world, and spiritually grow! Hate the world, and there will be nothing to corrupt your heart, no way to corrupt your sacrifice to God, and your investment will always be good ones that reap bountiful returns in this world and the next.  

But please, heed what I say. The storm is coming! Take notice of the times and seasons. You can literally see the spiritual storm clouds forming and swirling! In very short order, you will be forced to reject the world because the world that you are so sensually enjoying right now will turn on you. It will have none of you and you none of it save you renounce your Christ! Many Christians who are unable to let go of the world WILL renounce the true Christ and accept the anti – Christ and ultimately the beast because they are unable to let go of the world and its pleasures and sense of false temporary security, including that of worldly religion. Even if that does not happen to you, it is still in your interests now to reject the world. Choose the lesser pain of letting go of the world now rather than the greater pain of the world being torn from you later. So I entreat you: reject the world and all its wickedness and seek God and all his righteousness today! 

Prayer:

Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please help me to learn to hate the world and all of its wickedness so that I may begin to serve you in spirit and in truth. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen!   Deliverance:

The demon that works in this area is worldliness. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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