~Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Christ did not want us to be like the rest of the world. His ministry was consistently pointing people to their sin and encouraging them to forsake their worldliness. He did not just make a suggestion but also gave us directions as to how to accomplish this task. Renewing of our minds comes as a result of having a new nature.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Our old worldly nature can only become new if we are born into a new nature – if we are born again.

~John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

~Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

God’s Word lives and abides forever and is what pierces the heart to lead us to salvation. Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit guides us to live righteously and not like the world!

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

This isn’t to say that we will be “sinless” but after salvation we will desire to grow and “sin less.” Herein lies the difference between those who are born again and those who are not. The new nature we receive at the time of salvation nudges us, through the Holy Spirit’s leading, toward righteous living. That is why we are different from the world … we do not desire the same things we did prior to our salvation. We are now children of the King, and as any parent guides and teaches his child, so does our Heavenly Father!

~2 Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

There once was a duck who was swimming along in a beautiful lake.  One day, the duck saw a dog and his human playing on the beach. The human threw a stick into the water and the dog jumped in to fetch the stick. Oh how the duck wished he could be that dog for just one day! How wonderful it must be to play on the beach, barking and playing fetch with a human! The duck, desperate in his attempt to be a dog, swam ashore and waddled up to the human. He opened his mouth, hoping he could bark like the dog, to entice the human to throw the stick so he could fetch. Instead of a bark came a loud “quack.” The poor duck – no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t bark – just quack! Moral of the story: If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and water rolls off its back like a duck, then it must be a duck!

Yes, today’s little story sounds silly but it’s a good analogy of the state of the church today. In Jesus’ day, it was easy to recognize a Gentile, or even a Samaritan. Not a hundred years ago, the same could be said of non-Christians. At the turn of the 20th Century, the church allowed compromise to sneak in. Today, one can barely spot a Christian in a crowd.

A known saying that packs a punch is, “You are who you hang around with.” How true! We are exhorted by the Apostle Paul not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (II Cor. 6:14). The flesh desires to sin (Gal. 5:17, Rom. 7:18) and unsaved friends will bring even more temptation into the friendship.

But in today’s churches, one can’t even be certain as to who is truly saved and who isn’t! The Scriptures tell us to be fruit inspectors. Galatians 5:19-23 lists the works of unrighteousness, followed by the fruit of the Spirit. As we get to know a person, it doesn’t take long to see their true fruit. Unfortunately, most churches have allowed worldliness and compromise amongst their members and, therefore, one can hardly see any fruit of the Spirit.

What’s wrong with being different? Were Christians not originally called out to be different from the unsaved (Romans 12:2, Titus 2:14, I Peter 2:9)? If we’re going to conform to something, why not conform to the likeness of the Saviour? Romans 8:29

Is it any wonder, in these end times, that the world is laughing at true Christianity? Their example of compromise has made them like the world rather than separated from the world. (Jude 1:18-19) What are we teaching our children by compromising what we held dear twenty years ago? The weekly news show 20/20 recently reported on Independent Fundamental Baptists. What a tragedy that all independent Baptist churches are lumped in with the horrible acts of a few! Is it any wonder that Christians will be so hated in the end times? The world is hard pressed to find true Christians for the lack of standards.

No wonder Christ said that when He returns to earth there would be little faith! (Luke 18:8) How very sad that Christians have desired to dabble in the world – bit by bit – day by day – year after year. Now all we have is a poor testimony to the lost and churches filled with lost people. Our beacon of light has become a candle that is barely flickering. 🙁 People I know, some in my own family, claim to be born again but are deceived into believing that a Christian must be like the world in order to win them to Christ. But Christ did not teach this (II Cor. 6:17) – He taught exactly the opposite. He exposed sin (John 4:18) – He preached on a literal Hell (Luke 16:19-31) – and He showed the way to Heaven (John 14:6).

The Gospel has not changed, but the church has. Just like today’s story about the duck: If the church looks worldly, walks worldly, and talks worldly, then it must be worldly!