ARE WE FRIENDS OF THE WORLD OR FRIENDS OF GOD?
by Lynn D. Headrick
The book of James is inspired of God and is very practical in content. Such everyday actions as the use of our tongues, helping the fatherless and the widows, being careful not to show respect of persons, helping those in need, and restoring brothers and sisters who have sinned. We are all interested in having friends and being friends and James talks about this, too.
James issues a warning concerning friendship. He says, "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God," James 4:4. On the other hand, James identifies the faithful Abraham as one who was "called the friend of God," James 2:23.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD?
I once asked a group of teen-agers to write down what they thought it meant to be a friend of the world. I was surprised and gratified that they knew what this meant. A composite of their answers is as follows:
1. Hide the fact that you are a Christian. Let people believe that you are not a Christian. Remember Peter, Mt.26:69-74.
2. Go along with friends that do evil. Exodus 23:2; 1 Cor.15:33
3. Cursing, Drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking. Eph.4:29; Proverbs 23; 1 Corinthians 6:19,20
4. Listening to dirty Jokes; Going to sinful movies. Philippians 4:8
5. Wearing immodest clothing. 1 Timothy 2:9.
6. Putting things before the church (eg. ball game, Mt.6:33)
7. Finding something to do on Sunday besides worship. Heb.10:24,24; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2
8. Conforming to the world. Romans 12:1,2; 1 John 2:15; James 4:4
9. Slowly begin accepting what the world does as if it were all right. Heb.2:1
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FRIEND OF GOD, AS WAS ABRAHAM?
1. Believe God. Abraham did so, James 2:23. We like to have friends whom we can trust. It is impossible for God to lie and Abraham knew it. Therefore, he put his trust in God and did what He said regardless of what God asked him to do.God called him His friend.
2. Obey God. "By faith, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed..." Heb.11:8. It is impossible to be a friend of God without obeying what he says. Have you repented and been baptized for the remission of sins? If not, do you think you can be a friend of God?
3. Worship God. Over and over it its said in Genesis 12-15 that he "builded an altar unto Jehovah." What a privilege it is to worship Jehovah! Abraham did so and he was called the friend of God.
4. Be assured that God can fulfill His promises. Abraham was fully assured that what God had promised, he was able also to perform. Rom.4:21. Just as God fulfilled the promise of a son to Abraham, so God has promised eternal life to all who obey Him. God is able!
Conclusion: Choose to be a friend of God and not a friend of the world!
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