“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
The world as the “adulteress” tries to establish a long time affair with the born again believer in order to cripple their spiritual walk. Sometimes this can be done by causing the Christian to lose hope because of being overtaken in a fault and continuously stumbling concerning a particular sin or weakness.
This affair can also be established by causing the believer to choose to continue in a worldly path or practice expecting that God will overlook it, not care about it, or even bless it even though it might not be “exactly the right thing to do”.
The world as the “strange woman” (or harlot, or whorish woman) on the other hand, tries to convince Christians through various deceitful and erroneous means that they must be misunderstanding what God actually has said or wants them to do because everything else seems to point to the opposite.
One Biblical example of this would be the serpent in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit she would not “surely die”, when in reality her and Adam were separated from God and died spiritually.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen. 3:6)
As Jesus said concerning Satan:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
In the same way that Satan used the serpent, he uses the world.
Thus as the proverb says, the “strange woman…flattereth with her words.”
“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil, But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Prov. 5:3-5)
Here the Bible is clear. If the deceit of the world is taken and followed without repentance, it will lead to destruction.
One example of this worldly deceit is in our modern day cultural acceptance of the gay and lesbian lifestyle.
The Bible is very clear in both the Old and the New Testament that for a man to have a carnal relationship with a man and for a woman to have a carnal relationship with a woman is an abomination in the eyes of God.
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” (Lev. 20:13)
“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Rom. 1:27)
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” (1Cor. 6:9)
The Bible tells us in the Book of 1 Timothy that there is such a thing as an “opposition of science”:
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:” (1Tim. 6:20)
This simply means that when science is in opposition to the Word of God then it is a false science. Such is the case with many so called “scientific discoveries” in the world today.
When science makes the statement they have discovered that people are born with homosexual tendencies and that they cannot change, this is in direct opposition to God’s Word which states that homosexuality is a sin which is a choice to transgress the Word of God.
The gay and lesbian lifestyle is a sin; it is a choice to live in direct violation of the will of God. It is no different than fornication, or adultery, or telling a lie, or harboring unforgiveness. It is a choice and a sin that needs to be repented of.
However, because of the “flattering words” of the world and the “opposition of science”, many people have declared that “I was born like this” or that “God made me this way” and so ignoring the Word of God continue in a lifestyle that will lead to destruction.
Thus encouraged by those who say you cannot choose your sexual preference because you were born one way or the other, young people are told today to “discover your own sexuality’’ and feel free to live an “alternate lifestyle” for this is your destiny.
Because of the deceptive lies of the “strange woman” (the world), what once was a youthful temptation to be resisted and overcome now becomes a walk after the flesh that leads to condemnation if unrepentant.
The escape from condemnation for believers has a contingency:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)
There are those who say “God is love. He will love me no matter what I do.” (1 John 4:8) This is true. God is love, and He will love you no matter what. However, it does matter what you do.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
This worldly deception that “the flesh doesn’t matter” was a doctrine held by a cult of the early church called the Nicolaitanes. They believed that as long as you had accepted Christ then your spirit was right with God and it did not matter what you did with your flesh. God speaks in The Revelation concerning this doctrine:
“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2:6)
Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
By studying the scriptures in Proverbs concerning the harlot, we can further understand this deception of the world:
“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)” (Pro 7:10-12)
“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.” (Pro 7:13-15)
“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.” (Pro 7:16-18)
“For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.” (Pro 7:19-21)
Again we see, she “lieth in wait at every corner.” Satan uses the world to stalk the Christian. He will make sure that the world’s temptation will confront you face to face.
God told Cain: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…” (Gen. 4:7)
God wants us to know that as long as we are in the world we will always be confronted with temptation. We will always be faced with choosing the way of the Spirit or the way of the flesh.
The harlot says, “This day have I payed my vows.” In other words she is saying that she has already given God the sacrifice in advance for her sin, so everything is alright.
In the same way, the world says, “As long as you believe in God everything will be alright.”
While God says:
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)
We know the devils will not spend eternity with God in heaven. It takes more than just believing in God.
The world says, “Go to Church, pay your tithe, give God his day and the rest of the week is yours.”
While God says:
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:19-20)
It takes more than just one day a week.
God does not want a service. God desires a relationship. God wants you to “walk in the Spirit and fulfill not the lust of the flesh.”
And finally, the harlot says “the good man is not at home…he will come home at the time appointed.” In other words, “We have plenty of time. We don’t have to worry about being caught.”
The world today says, “I’ve heard about Jesus coming my whole life and he hasn’t come yet.” “No need to worry about that until it happens.”
The Bible says:
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)
“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Rom. 14:10)
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27)
Whether it be today, tomorrow, or years from now, when we die then that will be our time for the coming of Christ, because that is when we will see Him face to face.
And whether it is the day of the return of Christ to this earth or whether it is the day of our time to face death, “…of that day and hour knoweth no man”. (Matt. 24:36)
The world says, “God has more important things to worry about besides me.”
But Jesus says:
“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12:6)
“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 24:44)
The strange woman says, “…he is gone a long journey.”
This is symbolic of the Church Age. The time we are in now. The time before the second coming of Christ.
Jesus said, “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Jesus is coming for a people, a church “…not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27)
The Apostle Paul compares the Christian life to running a race (Heb. 12:1). Are we running toward the world or toward the Lord?
If we are walking away from the world, then we are walking after the Spirit.