It is the world that lies in the believer’s way to heaven, and is the great impediment to our entrance there. But he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God believes therein that Jesus came from God to be the Savior of the world, and powerfully to conduct us from the world to heaven, and to God, who is fully to be enjoyed there. And he who so believes must needs by this faith overcome the world.
For, the believer must be well satisfied that this world is a vehement enemy to his soul, to his holiness, his salvation, and his blessedness. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:16). He sees it must be a great part of the Savior’s work, and of his own salvation, to be redeemed and rescued from this malignant world. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). The believer sees in and by the life and conduct of the Lord Jesus on earth that this world is to be renounced and overcome.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8
“You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.” – Yahweh, Psalm 50:21
“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…” – Paul, Romans 1:22-23
Since many people in America today, including some Christians, clamor for all things fantastical in their personal search for augmented meaning, instead of resting in God’s pure word and the attending Holy Spirit to guide their spiritual understanding, it would be prudent for thoughtful believers to consider this current pathway of metaphysical delights, its brash direction, and where it will eventually end. Indeed, the signposts on this broad road have already been erected, if only Christians enthralled with inventive speculations would stop and see the illumined markers of its ultimate destination: Transhumanism.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” — Matthew 5:4
Let me give you a parable. In the days of Nero there was great shortness of food in the city of Rome, although there was an abundance of corn to be purchased at Alexandria. A certain man who owned a vessel went down to the sea coast, and there he noticed many hungry people straining their eyes toward the sea, watching for the vessels that were to come from Egypt with corn. When these vessels came to the shore, one by one, the poor people wrung their hands in bitter disappointment, for on board the galleys there was nothing but sand which the tyrant emperor had compelled them to bring for use in the arena. It was infamous cruelty, when men were dying of hunger to command trading vessels to go to and fro, and bring nothing else but sand for gladiatorial shows, when wheat was so greatly needed.
One of the most beloved hymns of all time is John Newton’s Amazing Grace, not only among Christians, but also among many non-Christians. Its widespread acclaim crosses all boundaries of the belief spectrum, it seems. Most notably, Judy Collins’ version of the hymn was released as a single for the Christmas season of 1970, peaking at number 15 on the U.S. Billboard 100, and became an even bigger bestseller in the U.K., staying on the British chart for a remarkable 67 weeks. Her version is considered “one of the most notable recordings of the song for its spontaneous popularity.”
The Christian’s interest is clearly understandable, but why do unbelievers find it so compelling? Some suggest it is the familiar and beautiful melody that draws the ear, regardless of faith; but surely the distinct biblical expressions of doctrinal truth cannot be ignored. In fact, some singers, who find the term, “wretch” (Romans 7:24), to be objectionable for its quality of self-loathing, will purposefully change the words to “That saved and strengthened me,” “Saved a soul like me,” or “That saved and set me free.” Despite the occasional offense, however, the overall theme of divine favor can still stir the most hardened heart during those low times of life.