Verse 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
We started talking about how some people are enemies of the cross of Christ, but what characteristics identify those who are living as Christ enemies?
Paul makes an important point to start this thought by reminding us of their end. It isn’t that they are enemies of God and then will go to heaven and be one of God’s people. His enemies here will be His enemies for eternity. That isn’t popular thinking in this day and age but it is the truth. Not everyone is going to heaven and a person’s life can show us what they think of Christ, both positively and negatively.
One of the signs that a person is an enemy of Christ is their appetite for things of this world. They are obsessed with the things that are valued by the world, things like success, power, wealth, and other things that keep our focus wrapped up on this earth. Now, these things aren’t all bad in themselves, it is the obsession and god-like worship of them that reveal the heart that hates God. When those things are the only things that a person finds fulfillment in, they will never find fulfillment in God.
Next clue that someone is an enemy of God is that they brag about their sin. They may even point out how good they are at their favorite sin. This may sound absurd to a Christian that anyone would dare act like that but it only takes watching the news or taking a peek at social media and we know that there are those in the world around us that do exactly that. Whether it is a parade celebrating a sinful lifestyle, laws made to allow the killing of unborn babies and aging senior adults or just the partying on college campuses, there are many examples of loving and flaunting sin.
No matter if it is the hunger for more of the things of this world or bragging about sin, the people who are the enemy of Christ live in a way that is not God honoring, they live for self-honor alone. This is one reason it is so important for us to identify who is following God and who is not. We are to join together with those who are walking with Christ and be aware of those who may draw us away from that path. We need to be careful who we follow in life.
Making It Personal
Are there any in your close circle of friends that show these characteristics of following the world? What is the danger of having close relationships with people like this? Are you this kind of friend?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you know anyone that loves things that are in this world more than they love Jesus? Are you friends with people like that? Do you love the things the world loves instead of loving Jesus the most?
Father, we confess the times when we have looked to the things of this world instead of looking to You. Please give us wisdom in choosing friends so that our closest relationships are ones that lead us closer to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.