The unbelieving world tells people to “just say no” to drugs. So why doesn’t the church tell believers to “just say no” to the world? Christians should say “yes” to Jesus. They should also say “no” to the world, the flesh, and the devil. As wicked as these things are today, that “no” list should be miles long. A short list only questions the reality of a Christian’s conversion.
A friend told me a few years ago that he struggled with secular music, having given away some CDs. Then he decided that the struggle wasn’t worth it. Now he listens to secular music often, believing a person can find the gospel there if he tries. Another friend told me this week that he doesn’t think secular music is inherently evil and that one can find the gospel in it. Huh?
Secular lyrics are often laced with drugs, sex, and foul language. I’ve heard hundreds of secular songs (pop, classical) in the past 25 years and I have yet to find one that contains the gospel. Only Christian music can make that claim, which is why I’ve completely given up secular music – unlike many of my “Christian” friends. So-called “Christian” rock is no better. It’s cultural heathenism and worldliness in disguise, a refusal to “just say no.”
Looking for the gospel in secular culture (books, films, and music) is like sinners panning for gold downstream. Christians have traveled upstream to the mother lode, where Jesus is. They don’t bother to pan anymore. So why would any Christian leave that lode of gold, the presence of Jesus Christ, and travel back downstream to pan for a few nuggets? The idea is nonsense.
Sadly, many Christians have swallowed this nonsense. Some have given up their internal struggles with the world, flesh, and devil. Others have decided that there is no struggle, believing they can coexist in peace. As a result, the visible church is turning to heathenism. Whole denominations are embracing the occult and homosexuality – becoming apostate – while hardcore homosexuals and drug addicts are turning to Jesus in droves. Wine, women, and awards shows fill the mouths of some church-reared Christians while Jesus and evangelism fill the mouths of ex-gay converts. Jesus is still in the business of saving people from sin. Now he needs to save the church.
Coexistence is a demonic lie, a Satanic deception. The Holy Spirit and the flesh are “contrary to one another,” each lusting for the believer’s soul (Galatians 5:17). Satan is the ruler of this world, whom Jesus judged through the cross (Matthew 4:8-9, John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2, 1 John 3:8). He is our spiritual adversary and we must resist him (Ephesians 4:27, 6:11; James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8-9). No wonder that “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4)! Those who want to be friends with it are called spiritual adulterers (4:4). We must not love the world or be conformed to it (Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17). This wicked world, subject to Satan, hates Christians because it hates Jesus (John 1:10, 7:7, 15:18-25, 17:14-16; 1 John 3:13, 5:19). In light of these things, why would any Christian love or befriend the world? The idea is nonsense.
The Christian’s internal struggle is real. We must overcome the world, flesh, and devil if we want to enter heaven. Every day we must plead the blood of Jesus, in worship and prayer, and share our testimonies of God’s saving grace (Revelation 12:11). Eternal victory is ours, but we can win only through the Spirit’s power (Romans 8:1-14, Galatians 5:16-25, Ephesians 6:10-17). Therefore, let us humble ourselves in repentance and draw near to Jesus (James 4:8-10).