[Editor's note: Beyond Sunday is a Monday refresher to carry you through the week.]

Focus Verse of the Week

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

Commentary

If the path of accommodation and compromise continues unabated, eventually the church reaches a point of friendship with the world. This is an extremely dangerous place for the believer. Like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot, he has lost the ability to sense the heat slowly rising and is likely to slowly cook until almost all distinction from the culture is lost. This was precisely God’s point when He dealt with Israel in the Old Testament. God went to great lengths to separate Israel from the surrounding nations because He knew all too well the eventual destination of the path of incremental compromise and accommodation.

Yet the seriousness of God’s commands to Israel are merely a reflection of the waywardness of man. In many instances, God’s laws are not motivated as much by rectifying the immediate situation as they are by His perfect foreknowledge of the consequences which will eventually ensue once men begin down such a path. Christ’s NT condemnation of the worldliness of the Thyatiran and Laodicean churches stands in stark contrast to the modern “seeker-friendly” strategy of church growth: “Today’s user-friendly, seeker-oriented, market-driven church doesn’t preach much against worldliness. To do so might make unbelievers (not to mention many believers) uncomfortable, and is therefore avoided as poor marketing strategy” (John MacArthur).

(Adapted from Tony Garland's A Testimony of Jesus Christ.)

A Thought to Keep

It's much easier to justify our actions than to examine them in light of Scripture. Saturate yourself in God's Word and keep your focus on Christ.