Echoes From the Campfire

The facts were plain enough and always had been; you fought your whole life long if you wanted to live.”
              –Luke Short (Savage Range)

    “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.”
              –1 Corinthians 9:26 (NKJV)
I have heard it many times, especially in recent years–Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship.  If that is true, and I believe it is for the most part, then there must be fellowship.  I turn to 1 John for the main portion of this study, How to Live in a Pagan, Apostate, and Foolish World.  1 John is a book on fellowship, how to have fellowship, and how to maintain one’s position as a Christian in the world.
    Before going on I want you to key in on the central, focal verse of the study:  

        “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”
        –1 John 5:19 (NASB)

        “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
                   –1 John 5:19 (NKJV)

Remember, we are in an evil world.  There is no getting around it, no denying it, no ignoring it.  The whole world, its mind and outlook is opposed to God.  This world is under the dominion of Satan and is in his grip,  and the world will do anything it can to drag down the believer.  Don’t scoff at these words,   read 1 John 5:19,  “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”  It will attempt to fill the mind with things of the world, to satisfy them making it easy to quit the Christian walk and to accept the ways of the world.  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “It is a world in which Christians have to fight for their souls; it is easier to go down than to keep straight.”
    That being said, I want to concentrate on the words by J. Stuart Holden for a few minutes.  He speaks of the fight we have to face and our duty in facing it.

         “Opposition?  But that is what I am for!  That is what Christ saved me for!  Conflict?  But that is what I enlisted for!  The fact that there is likely to be trouble is the hallmark of the open door!  It assures me as to Whom has opened it!  Of course, I will take care, God helping me.  But what am I to take care of?  Of myself or my entrustment?  If I am in Christ’s way, how can I keep out of harm’s way?  They are practically synonymous, just one and the same thing!”

    The world fellowship is important!  I hear that Jesus had fellowship with the world, with sinners.  No, He did not!  He associated with them, He mingled with them, but He did not have fellowship with them.  For fellowship He turned to His disciples or to the Father.
    “This world is not my home,” says the words of the hymn.  Know that we are not here to Christianize the society.  However, also realize that we cannot turn our backs on the world–there is a place for reform and efforts should be made in that vein.  Our purpose is to rise above the evil; fulfill the Great Commission, and life in fellowship with Christ in this world.  Realize that “life outside God is not life, it is existence.” (Lloyd-Jones)