Following Jesus 162

Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.

Vanity Fair, or the hostile world system, is under the dominion of Satan (John 5:19; 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The world is his sphere of influence. In much the same way, the spirit of the antichrist which is coming, is even now, already in the world (I John 4:3) along with many false prophets who have gone out into the world (I John 4:1). Vanity Fair, the world, is an all-inclusive term for all those who the in the kingdom of darkness and have not been born of God (John 3:3).

The world does not understand the children of God (I John 5:19), just as the world did not, and does not, understand Jesus Christ (I John 3:1-2). Vanity Fair does not understand nor know God the Father (John 17:25).

Therefore, the church and Vanity Fair are in sharp contrast. At least biblically, they ought to be. They are two distinct groups. They are two separate groups. The church is under the dominion of God, knows God and is born of God. The other is under the dominion of Satan, who stands condemned (John 12:31; 16:11).

What does God’s Word say about this place John Bunyan called Vanity Fair? First of all, God gives us a warning about Vanity Fair, or the fallen world system. Let us look at what God says in I John 2:15-17.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)

What are God’ specific warnings regarding Vanity Fair? First, God says through the Apostle John, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world.” In no way shape, or form are believers to have a devotion or an affection for the fallen world system which hates and opposes God. A fitting description of the world is found in Romans 3:9-18.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:9-18 ESV).

An additional description of the world is found in Galatians 5:16-21.

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21 ESV)

This is the system which followers of Jesus are not to love.

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