Following Jesus 164

Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.

God not only warns His children about Vanity Fair, and the inherent wickedness of Vanity Fair, but also about the worthlessness of Vanity. I John 2:17 says, “The world is passing away with its desires. But the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

Vanity Fair is not eternal. It is temporary. It will cease to exist and will disappear. A force and authority greater than the world will make this happen. That force and authority is the sovereign God of the Scriptures.

Not only will Vanity Fair disappear, but so too its lusts. The sinful desires of the world will eventually cease. God will make it so.

Judaism spoke of the world passing away but of God’s word remaining forever (cf. also Isaiah 40:6–8). John’s words here could encourage those who preferred death for the sake of Christ over the survival that the world offered (cf. 1 John 3:16). Take note of what Matthew, Peter and Paul says about the world.

· Matthew 7:21-23. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

· I Peter 4:1-2. Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. (1 Peter 4:1-6 ESV)

· Philippians 3:20. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.(Philippians 3:20-21 ESV)

· Romans 12:1-2. I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.(Romans 12:1-2 ESV)

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