For any human on planet earth to have a chance to get to heaven, choices have to be made. Choices regarding whether or not the things of this world are important to us, or whether the things of the next world are more important to us. Some are mutually exclusive. Loving the things of this world can make us hard and insensitive to others, because pride sets in, and the thought process becomes one of "what's in it for ME?" "How can I get more of the world's goods than my neighbor?" "Being beautiful is what life is all about." "Being rich and successful is the goal of life." "Power and control over the dumb masses is both good for me, and good for them." Etc., etc., etc.
Most of us know people that were just described in the preceding paragraph. We see them on TV and in the movies all of the time. We hear them on the radio. We can't seem to get away from people who try to infect us all with their philosophy of "I'm great, and you can be too, just do this, buy this, or think this way." There are even preachers on TV who actually claim that if you send them a lot of money, that God will make you wealthy as a result, which is nowhere to be found in the Bible. But are these pied pipers really telling us all we need to know to be successful in life? Are these guys and gals who are rich in the things of this world people we should be listening to? Or should we be listening more to people like Mother Teresa and Pope Benedict XVI? And what does the Bible have to say about "the world?"
Well, for starters, the Bible says in 1 John 5:19 that the whole world is in the power of the devil. In John 14:30, Jesus calls the devil the ruler of the world. This is why "the world" crucified Jesus 2000 years ago, and why "the world" today hates the Catholic Church. With satan in charge of the world, of course The Church will be ostracized, because The Church stands in the way of the devil's agenda to drag as many souls to hell as he can, through adultery, fornication, pride, riches, pornography, embryonic stem cell research, abortion, cloning, homosexuality, artificial birth control, physician assisted suicide, etc. And notice how "the world" has created an atmosphere wherby the aformentioned evils are now seen as great and wonderful things! Real Catholics oppose all of these things as being intrinsically evil. "The world", naturally, embraces all of these things as being part of "the enlightenment", an 18th century philosophical movement that replaced faith in God with reason and science.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with science and reason, of course, but if they take the place of Christ, then they are truly evil. How many atheists and secular humanists today embrace science as their false god? A LOT. The bible says that even satan can disguise himself as a being of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and the "enlightenment" is certainly a GREAT disguise. The Freemasons even promise their converts that they will come out of the darkness into the light if they become a mason (Hint - JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, not Freemasonry, John 9:5). The question that Catholics today have to ask themselves is:
"Am I going to blend in nicely with the way of the world, or am I going to separate myself from the filth of the world by being an obedient Catholic?" Do people at work even know that I'm Catholic?
Sadly, a lot of Catholics choose the former, rather than the latter, which is seen in most elections. An excessive amount of Catholics identify more with the wordly anti-Catholic tenets of a political party more than they do with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This isn't unheard of, of course, in the Bible. The nation of Israel, God's chosen people often melded in with their occupying force and its strange gods. In Egypt, for example, the Jews of that day totally embraced false Egyptian deities and really believed that a calf made out of gold was a god, and worshipped it accordingly. This brought the wrath of God down upon them, and they had to wander in the desert for 40 years as a result. None of those calf worshippers ever saw the promised land; only their children did. Today, none of us worship golden calves, but a lot of us do worship money, sex, porn, career, amusement, hobbies, etc., because we think about those things all day long, and only give God an hour a week on Sundays, if that. Jesus wants us thinking about Him all day, not worldly things. God called his own chosen people a harlot (being worldly), in Isaiah 1:21. The whore of Babylon (Babylon = Rome) was the great city where Jesus was crucified (Jerusalem), according to Revelation 11:8 and 17:18. As Jesus predicted in Matthew 24:2, that city was destroyed in 70 AD. Why? Because the chosen people in Jerusalem cozied up to the Romans to kill their own Messiah! What must God think about the great cities of the world today, where Catholics have numerous churches, but rarely if ever attend daily Mass, and where Catholics freely choose to cozy up to anti-prolife political parties?
Always remember the following:
1. The world say that unlimited sex is a great and wonderful thing; The Bible teaches that only procreational sex in marriage between a man and woman is allowed, while celibacy is an even greater calling.
2. The world says that being rich is the only way to be; the Bible says that it will be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.
3. The world says that self esteem and pride are great things; the Bible says that he who exalts himself shall be humbled, while he who humbles himself shall be exalted.
4. The world says to hate and destroy your enemies; the Bible says to love your enemies.
5. The world says that science and reason are the only way to go; the Bible says that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way.
6. The world says that constant amusement and entertainment are way to go; the Bible says that meditating on the scriptures is the way to go.
7. The world says that the poor should just leave us alone and "get a job"; the Bible says that whatever we do for the poor, we do to JESUS.
8. The world says that all-you-eat-buffets are the way to go; the bible says that we WILL fast after Jesus dies on the cross.
9. The world says that you are born a certain way, and therefore it's OK to sin. The bible says that with Jesus Christ NOTHING is impossible to overcome.
10. The world says that physical beauty is very important. The bible says that Jesus Christ left us two commandments - To love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind; and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
"God did not put me down here to be successful. He put me down here to be faithful."
Here are some great Scripture verses on "The World". And always remember, that the way of the world is the natural way of man, which leads to hell. The way of God is SUPERNATURAL, which leads to heaven, so choose wisely!
Matthew 16:26: For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?
(**NOTE - How many people today pursue success in business at all costs, and never, never, never even think about their final judgment?)
Isaiah 13:11: I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and lay low the haughtiness of the ruthless.
Wisdom 2:24: but through the devil's envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it.
2 Maccabees 7:23: Therefore the Creator of the world, who shaped the beginning of man and devised the origin of all things, will in his mercy give life and breath back to you again, since you now forget yourselves for the sake of his laws."
Matthew 5:14-16: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(**NOTE - While Jesus is the light of the world, we have to do good works as a result of our faith in him, so that, like a mirror, we can reflect HIS light onto the world. And the darker the world gets, which it is daily, the brighter our lights have to become.)
Matthew 18:7: Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes!
Luke 12:29-31: And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.
(**NOTE - How many people today are worried about global warming, the stock market, their future, etc., things ALL out of our control. Just TOTALLY trust in Jesus Christ to take care of you and your family ALL the time, and everthing will fall into place (Please read Romans 8:28)).
John 3:16-17: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
John 6:33: For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.
John 8:12: Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 12:47: If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
John 15:18-19: "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
(**NOTE - Kind of gives a new meaning to the phrase "out of this world." As Catholics, we cannot go along to get along with "the world." According to Jesus, the world will hate us because of our faith in Him. A lot of Catholics hide their faith from others, so that no one even knows that they are Catholic, because sadly, they prefer the love of man to the love of Jesus!)
John 16:33: I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
John 17:15: I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.
John 17:20-23: "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me.
(**NOTE - How does Jesus give us sinful humans His glory? Through the Eucharist. The Eucharist transforms us into the body of Christ, and the more frequently we receive it through daily Mass, the faster it transforms us. If we are not perfectly transformed in this life, the fires of purgatory will finish the job in the next life. Hint - Be transformed NOW, because the purification process in purgatory is very painful.)
Acts 17:31: because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead."
Romans 5:12: Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned
(**NOTE - The doctrine of original sin, from Adam)
1 Corinthians 1:20: Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
(**NOTE - Here Paul says that the wisdom of this world is foolish. And what do we hear from atheists these days? That science and reason (the enlightenment) are the only things that matter. Getting lots of degrees from Universities is a great thing, but not if it is at the expense of your soul. Going to daily Mass and receiving Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is infinitely more important than getting a PhD.)
1 Corinthians 1:27-28: but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,
(**NOTE - Here Paul is saying that people like Mother Teresa and people who love and serve the poor for the love of Christ are the true heroes of the world, not rock stars, presidents, or sports heroes.)
1 Corinthians 6:2: Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
(**NOTE - Here Paul is saying that those of us who make it to heaven will one day judge the entire world. No wonder satan, the ruler of the present world, hates us so much and is trying to keep us from sitting on the heavenly throne he once occupied!)
1 Corinthians 7:29-31: I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the form of this world is passing away.
1 Corinthians 11:32: But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
Ephesians 6:12: For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
(**NOTE - Any priest or bishop who denies the existence of the devil and the necessity of spiritual warfare in our daily lives does not understand the Bible. Most dioceses don't even have an exorcist assigned to it by the bishop. Saying the St. Michael prayer and a daily rosary, along with keeping blessed objects and holy water in your home are ways to fight back against the evil one. Satan wants to devour us for his food, Jesus wants us to devour Him in the Eucharist to overcome satan.)
Colossians 2:20: If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world?
(**NOTE - So which are you more concerned about - Money or your salvation?)
1 Timothy 6:7: for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world;
James 2:5: Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?
James 4:4: Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
1 Peter 5:9: Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.
(**NOTE - So if you are suffering now, just know that you are in good company, with millions of suffering Christians throughout the whole world. And know this also - Your suffering now, if you unite it to the suffering of Christ, is burning off the penalty for your sins, as well as for others if you so choose. The good news is that your purgatory time is being shortened with every day of suffering on earth you endure now, and that is a very good thing.)
1 John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.
(**NOTE - All of the carnal allurements of this world are the devil's sideshow. Giving in to these things now and thus forsaking heaven later on is as stupid as taking a penny now and giving up a billion dollars later.)
1 John 3:17: But if any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?
(**NOTE - As James said, "faith without works is dead". Many protestants accuse us Catholics of trying to work our way into heaven, as if our works precede our faith. They have it exactly backwards. Our faith precedes our works. Faith in Jesus and the resultant works go together like fire and heat. You can't have fire without heat, and you cannot have true faith in Jesus Christ without good works. Jesus cursed the barren fig tree in Matthew 21:19 because it didn't bear fruit. Yes, it was a fig tree with leaves, but a useless fig tree because it didn't do what it was supposed to do - bear fruit. Good works are the fruit of our faith, according to Paul in Colossians 1:10. Jewish works of the law, which Paul condemns in Romans 3:28, ARE NOT GOOD WORKS.)
1 John 4:1-6: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
(**NOTE - Here St. John is saying that we must listen to the leaders of the Church, which for us today is the Holy Father and the Magesterium. They have written everything down for us in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If you don't have a copy, please get one!)
1 John 5:4-5: For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
(**NOTE - Anybody who says that Hinduism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Islam, etc., is equal to Jesus Christ - The Way, THE Truth, and The Life - is guilty of moral relativism.)
2 John 1:7: For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
(**NOTE - The antichrist is never mentioned in the book of Revelation, also written by St. John, but rather is mentioned in his epistles. St. John says that ANYBODY who denies that Jesus Christ is the son of God is the antichrist.)