The Importance of having a Biblical World-View – Part 3
It has been said that wisdom is gained as we grow older. I would have to agree with that assessment. I am not sure when it happened in my life, but at some point I no longer thought as a child thinks, but as a responsible and accountable adult. That was indeed a shift in PERSPECTIVE and in thought processes.
What was nice about my process of growing up was that I was raised in a Christian home, with loving parents and being a part of church, as well. I was raised around the Bible, but I started to reject much of the foundational beliefs during my stint at public High School. Although I had influence from “biblical thought” in my life, it was not the greatest influencer. The greatest influences were from my “peers”, from school subjects, from Television and other media that I was inundated with on a regular basis. The 2 hours a week on Sunday, and the few other minutes here and there throughout the week could not compete with the massive campaign by the world-system around me that was aiming at making me an atheist or at least, an agnostic. I am glad for my parents and others in my life that never stopped believing in God and His Word, and this along with their prayers worked, eventually, and miraculously.
After I surrendered my life, trusting in Christ alone for my salvation, according to God’s Word, alone, I noticed my thinking started to change. I, also, noticed that my desires and interests started changing, not all overnight, but as time went on. I started to have an overwhelming desire to pray (to converse with God – to thank Him, to Praise Him, to Worship Him – I hungered for Him [and still do]), to read, study and memorize God’s Holy Word, the Bible. I started to have a greater appreciation for the Bible, a respect I never had before. I started to “see” things in-line with what God was saying in His Word, the Bible. I started to see things in life and I could match them up with warnings, encouragements, instructions, etc. in God’s Word. I started to SEE and UNDERSTAND. My mind and my heart were becoming more and more aligned with God’s Word. It was a cooperative change. That is, God supplied the change and I appropriated the change He provided by my trusting and loving obedience: to read and study His Word and to pray to Him, etc. (i.e. daily devotional times). To me, this is very miraculous, indeed. I would have to say, that I started to GROW UP after I became a DISCIPLE of JESUS CHRIST.
PERSPECTIVE is what this installment regarding Biblical World-View is about. PERSPECTIVE has everything to do with “sight” or “seeing” things in front of you and/or around you. And in the “bigger picture” of life, the universe, who we are, where did we come from, where are we going, why am I here, is there a God who created everything and so on… those BIG LIFE QUESTIONS are at the ROOT of what this Series is all about. Biblical World-View is very special and rare. It implies “seeing things from God’s PERSPECTIVE according to the Bible” in all of life’s situations we find ourselves in. Did you catch that? Seeing things from God’s PERSPECTIVE according to the Bible. Gaining PERSPECTIVE is at the very CORE of who we are.
If a person is physically raised by wild animals in the forest, as this has actually happened and has been documented, there is a greater expectation of that person experience a LACK of normal human PERSPECTIVE. It almost goes without saying. That poor person would have been robbed of the normal human nurture and other normal human experiences such as learning to talk, to walk, to relate to other humans, and so on. That person’s PERSPECTIVE would have been “shaped” by the animals and/or pack in which he or she was raised. Thus, the submission of the person to his or her animal “parents” and subsequent “raising” would have shaped that person’s PERSPECTIVE of his or her world.
PERSPECTIVE is shaped by influences and influencers. As a person grows up, he or she has more and more the ability to accept or reject certain influences by choice. Children tend to be fully influenced by their parents up to a certain age, and then they can choose to submit to their parent’s authority or not in varying degrees in various situations. We have all done this while growing up, we can all relate to this. And if you have had the privilege of raising children, you have experienced the “other side” of this equation, as well. So, to the degree I allow INFLUENCE from “SOURCES” is the degree my PERSPECTIVE (my World-View) is affected and/or changed. And this is the KEY to what we are looking at.
From the Biblical World-View – from Genesis through Revelation, God’s Word reveals a “world” a “reality” that is full of various dimensions, physical and spiritual – all at the same time. It also reveals the ONE and ONLY, TRUE and LIVING Everlasting, ETERNAL Creator GOD, Yahweh God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel. He is the ONLY Creator, Sustainer, Sovereign, God, King, LORD, Master, Judge, Redeemer, Savior, and Owner of all the Universe, all that has been created, seen and unseen, physical and spiritual. He has first and final say about everything. According to God’s Word, the Bible, it is His revelation to mankind through Israelis, His Chosen People. He did not choose any other people group to do this with, and that is His choice and it still stands. Yahweh God of Israel, according to the Bible, is the ONLY True God and all others are fakes and frauds, fallen angelic beings masquerading as “gods” but are nonetheless just created beings who rebelled against Yahweh God. Those fallen angelic beings are very real, and they, too, have a Message (or messages, PERSPECTIVEs, influences).
So, from God’s PERSPECTIVE, according to His Word, there are TWO Major Influencers (or set of influencers):
- Yahweh God, the ONE and ONLY, Living and True GOD
- Satan and his demonic forces (utilizing the human “world-systems” – powerfully, subtly and deceptively – almost completely unseen)
This is plainly seen in 1 John 5:19:
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
The world of lost sinners, regardless of if some think that they are Christians or not, if they are NOT truly born again, genuine disciples of Jesus Christ, they are lost, according to God’s Word, the Bible… and they are under the Powerful Influence, the Deluding Influence, the Subtle and Deceptive Influence of Satan. Satan works indirectly through LIES, deceptive ideologies that seem good on the surface but are satanic/demonic beneath the surface. Satan works through people who have bought into those lies and deceptions (but they would consider them “truths”) Satan works through these people to influence other people (via peer pressure, family pressure, and other social-relational “pressures”) – these are very subtle, crafty, softly deceptive, and are presented in ways that seem “good” and “for the good of…”, YET are very destructive in the end. The WHOLE WORLD LIES UNDER THE SWAY (or subtle control/influence) OF THE WICKED ONE (the EVIL ONE, the DEVIL, SATAN).
What? I thought God was completely in control.
He still is, ultimately, overall, eventually in everything and in all situations. But… and this is a big BUT… God has allowed EVIL in the world because of ADAM and EVE’s FALL into SIN in the GARDEN of EDEN. We live in a FALLEN WORLD, with FALLEN HUMAN BEINGS.
That is the reason why God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, He came to DIE for Sinners, like you and me.
When your EYES are OPENED – you can see the Warning Signs … for instance:
Colossians 2:8 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through vain philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of this world-system, and NOT according to Christ.
That sounds pretty clear, doesn’t it? YES, of course it does.
There is an AIM, an INFLUENCE CAMPAIGN of deceit, lies, deceptive ideologies, ideas based upon things that are NOT true, things that relate to HUMANISM (i.e: “Man Decides what is TRUTH”) [i.e.: “the traditions of men (human, man-made traditions), according to the ‘basic’ principles of this human world-system, and NOT according to Christ.”] This Campaign, this INFLUENCE Campaign has as its aim to INOCULATE lost sinners to their need for a Savior. That Campaign is to keep lost sinners trapped in world-systems of deceit so that they will never get to a point in their lives in which they can be SAVED by Jesus Christ.
It can be a campaign of Humanistic Atheism (with Evolution as its Origins belief), Agnosticism, etc…
– OR – it can be Religious: such as Mormonism, Jehovah-Witness-ism, ISLAM, Buddhism, Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, or some other religious belief-system that denies the God of the Bible and denies the Bible as the Word of God, etc.
The World-System that is under the control of Satan is very pernicious, persuasive, and pervasive, very flexible and varied throughout the world in which we live. It is very subtle, deceptive, and powerful. Satan is not called “the Prince of the Power of the Air” for nothing (see Ephesians 2:2; Hebrews 2:14-15). Without knowing it, as under a “spell”, fallen, sinful, lost humans have been under Satan’s subtle and deceptive control for ages. Yes, they are as if they are zombies, under the influence of some sort of drug – sleep walking, and not realizing it.
Unless we are AWARE of this CAMPAIGN of DECEIT, we will be fuel for the fire, stubble waiting to be burned … and the interesting thing about it is … we would be blissfully unaware that we are being deceived while we are trapped (in chains, in bondage, enjoying it) in the deception.
The ONLY time we might become “aware” or wake-up out of our sleepy deception is when someone comes along and CHALLENGES our assumptions that led us to being trapped in the first place.
You and I typically respond IRRATIONALLY, EMOTIONALLY, typically lashing out in anger, we are offended, HURT by such a “challenge”, saying things like “how dare you…” – or we seek to line up our “reasons” to rationalize and justify our positions, etc. But in almost all cases, it is irrational, unreasonable, emotional, and tends to want to “kill” the messenger bringing the “challenge”.
Now isn’t this the CASE we see in the Gospels and the book of Acts with Jesus Christ and His Apostles bringing God’s Holy Word to lost sinners who were trapped in their deception of Death and Sin? Yes, we see those whom God is seeking to bring LIFE and FREEDOM wanting to persecute and/or kill the messengers. In the same way, when real, born again, disciples of Jesus Christ are “caught” in a sin or a lie/deception – we who are not caught in that are to seek to RESCUE those who are (read Galatians 6:1-5). This implies that real, genuine, born again, disciples of Jesus Christ CAN be Deceived, even after they are saved. And with the many warnings in the Old and New Testament, it seems that we need to be very diligent and vigilant regarding this … keeping our EYES PEALED, as they say. PERSPECTIVE.
John 8:31: 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you ABIDE in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
This is not only a warning but an encouragement, and inspiring encouragement to STAY, ABIDE, LIVE IN, MAKE YOUR HOME IN, and OBEY God’s Word, the Bible. Our FREEDOM depends upon our “ABIDING IN” and “KNOWING” His Truth, His Word. Jesus says so.
The Word of God, that Jesus speaks of in this passage is not just limited to the words in “RED” in the Gospels, it is all of God’s Word from Genesis 1:1 through and including Revelation 22:21 – Alpha through Omega, from the Beginning to the New Beginning, from the first verse to the very last verse. All of it is God’s Holy Word, the Bible.
In this day and age, it seems rather extreme to have such “views” regarding life and “World-View”. Many accuse those of us holding such views as antiquated, out of touch with reality, arrogant, fundamentalist whackos, religious fanatics, extremists, and so on. I am sure they call us many other things I cannot put into print, as well. But I guess we are in great company, with those Prophets of God in the Old Testament, with Jesus Christ and His Apostles in the New Testament, with those who stood up for God’s Word in the same way throughout the ages who were persecuted, tortured, cast out of societies, suffered greatly, and who were killed for their faith.
Hebrews 11:35ff explains how the “world-system” treats true God-Followers:
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – 38 of whom the WORLD was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Acts 14:22 – God says: “… Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God”
2 Timothy 3:12, God says: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Suffering is inevitable for those who go against the grain of the world system. Sadly, today, so many churches, beyond a shadow of a doubt have been capitulating and placating to the world’s way of thinking and the world’s pressure of the prevailing world-system around us … and slowly but steadily becoming the fulfillment of the prophecy regarding the church of Laodicea (see Revelation 3:14-22). They don’t want to rock the boat, but want to “get along” and be happy, and in the process have become a part of the very things God told them not to.
How does God want us to Respond to this Prevailing Headwind, this worldly pressure – what is HIS PERSPECTIVE regarding these things?
Jude 1:3 says for us to “… earnestly CONTEND for THE FAITH which was once for all delivered unto the saints…” (emphasis mine). — Them sounds like fightin’ words, they do.
Yes those are fighting words, offensive and defensive fighting words. To CONTEND means to struggle and fight through for something. WE are CALLED to stand up and challenge and NOT back down, to never give up, ever. We are to DEFEND the FAITH, and to PROCLAIM and OPENLY LIVE that FAITH – with all forms of Effort and Energy.
The phrase “THE FAITH” in Jude 1:3 relates to all that God’s Word teaches … the FAITH … relates to all of the Doctrinal Beliefs, Doctrinal Believing PRACTICES (that which we do because of what we believe), and anything else the relates to and/or springs forth from our Beliefs as born again, disciples of Jesus Christ. The FAITH is not just a mental set of beliefs … it is ALL the body of the SOURCES of those Beliefs (i.e.: the written documents – The Bible), the WAY in which we are to LIVE out those Beliefs, AND the IMPLICATIONS, INFLUENCE, and IMPACT of those Beliefs in our lives. THE FAITH. The “FAITH” is to be ONLY founded upon the DOCUMENTS of the BIBLE, alone. It is NOT to have other mixtures of any other influences injected into it, nothing added to it AND nothing taken away from it (see: Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:28-32; Psalm 119:89; 119:160; Proverbs 30:5-6; John 17:17,19; Galatians 1:6-10; Revelation 22:18-19)
We are to EARNESTLY CONTEND for THE FAITH … that FAITH that was ONCE and FOR ALL delivered UNTO the saints (us, all the follower/disciples of Jesus Christ).
Once For All – implies only one thing – COMPLETION – FINALITY.
At the point in time that the last Living Apostle of Jesus Christ finished His last Document, in this case, the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible – that FAITH – its SOURCE Documents are complete. The Body of Beliefs and Practices are FINISHED – until Christ comes back. We are, now, to seek to live out those beliefs and practices as seen, ONLY, from within the Word of God. Remember the 3 P’s from our Part 2 of this series? Those 3 P’s come in handy when seeking to find out what God’s Word is saying to us, today, in our context. What is truly biblical?
The Biblical PERSPECTIVE – the Biblical World-View – has everything to do with the God of the Bible and His Holy Word, the Bible, alone – ONLY.
Gaining that PERSPECTIVE means that we must SHED other PERSPECTIVEs, reject other beliefs and view-points that CONTRADICT God’s PERSPECTIVE on things. NOTHING should ever COMPETE with God’s PERSPECTIVE on things in any way. Again this sounds very restrictive, extreme, and weird, in today’s ways of thinking – pluralistic and inclusive worldly thinking.
From this PERSPECTIVE, therefore,
–> Whose INFLUENCE are you going to submit to, to surrender to?
Your answer will determine your destiny and your PERSPECTIVE (your World-View) of LIFE.
Live like you mean it, for Yahweh’s Sake,