Stephen Colbert, current host of The Late Show (and erstwhile comedian), once made an insightful remark while speaking at a graduation commencement. “You can change the world,” he told the graduates. “Please don’t do that, OK? Some of us like the way things are going now.” Colbert was saying more than he realized, for even the Scripture declares that the world is set in its ways and has no plans to change.
According to Jesus, the world refuses to come to the light because it loves to hide in the darkness. He said, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed” (John 3:19-20). The world also rests comfortably in the hands of its puppeteer, Satan (1 John 5:19). And those who belong to this world are dancing merrily down the wide and easy path that leads to eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13).
Continuing along the current course is the last thing this world needs. The world will be strangled by the choking thorns of worldliness if it remains entangled in sin (Matthew 13:22). God’s judgment awaits if the world will not change its ways (Isaiah 13:11; Romans 3:19). And this world will perish along with all those who “like the way things are going” (1 John 2:15-17). The world needs salvation from its spiritual plight, and that’s why Jesus came into the world.
“For God so loved the world,” Jesus promised, “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). When you believe in Christ, He saves and changes you—and He changes the world through you. He transforms you so that you no longer fit into the world’s pattern (Romans 12:1-2). And He “crucifies” your love for worldly things (Galatians 6:14).
This gospel is for the whole world (Mark 16:15). “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance,” said Paul, “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15a). One day, Christ will return to set the world aright (2 Peter 3:10). The heavenly host will exclaim on that day: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ” (Rev. 11:15a). It is, therefore, the duty of those who are “not of the world” to prepare a welcome place for Him by turning the world upside down (John 15:19; Acts 17:24).
Bible Gleanings is a widely-read weekend devotional column, written for the Murray Ledger & Times in Calloway County, Kentucky.
Brandon is the founder and main contributor to Brandon’s Desk, the blog with biblical resources from his ministry. He is proud to be the pastor of the family of believers at Locust Grove Baptist Church in Murray, Kentucky. He and his wife Dakota live there with their three dogs, Susie (Jack Russell), Aries (English Shepherd), and Dot (Bluetick Beagle).