We are children of the age in which we live.
And then we do not simply mean that we are children who live in. this particular age. That is such an obvious fact that there is no need to write about it. Nor can we do anything about that. In His fear we simply stay in that age. The only way to get out would be suicide, and that is not in His fear. No, we are here to stay in this age or era as long as it pleases God to keep us here. Whether the times ire evil or good; whether there is war or peace; whether we lie on a bed of anguish and pain or are in full strength of life and living is sweet; whether we have little or whether we have much; here we are living in the twentieth century, in these significant sixties. The world makes much of it that we live in a critical time. It is called the space age, the atomic age, and who knows what the next phrase will be that is applied to the days in which we live? But live in this age, we surely do.
To be called children in this age is even to be questioned.
Children are quite liable to pass these lines up and not to read them. It is those who have left their childhood behind who will read these lines. And today there is more than one generation living in this age. There are the children, the minors who have not come to years of discretion. There are the parents who, instead of being classed as children, now have children of their own. And there are the grandparents and even here and there great-grandparents. Even then we insist that all these from the gray-haired great-grandparent down to the babe that has taken its first breath of life are children of our age.
And we mean that all these are children who have been produced by the age in which we live. The extremities of this human race as it is now found on this earth are children of this age to a lesser degree than those in the role of parent and of young manhood and young womanhood. Yet all from great-grandparent down to the wee infant have been produced by this age.
The aged among us are greatly children of the age in which they spent their lives from childhood through the prime of their lives. Yet even while they are amongst us today, they come under the influence of this particular age and are different because of it, be it reluctantly and to a lesser degree. And the infant in arms today will be more the product of the years to come than these present days. But he too is for the time being a child of our age.
And that means that we commit the sins of our age.
We follow the customs and habits of our age. We live in the type of homes built in our age with the labor-saving (?) devices of our age. We ride in or drive the modern automobile with its automatic transmission, its tremendous horsepower engines. We communicate with one another with amazing instruments invented by brilliant minds and put together by clever and nimble fingers. We sing the songs composed in our day. We eat the foods prepared in our day with an abundance of ingredients, preserved out of season by deep-freeze methods that leave so much of the fresh taste in them. We speed from corner of globe to corner of globe at breath-taking speeds. We have done away, to a great extent, the, chore of chopping wood, of carrying out the ashes, of getting up in a cold house and struggling with a reluctant furnace. With a flip of the wrist we flood a room with light and plunge it back again into darkness. And so we could continue. We do live differently than any age before us; and even the most aged amongst us enter with us into these experiences. Who could deny it?
But that is not the point we wish to make. As we began to say, We commit the sins of our age. We are swept along on a tide of wickedness and rebellion against God. Our flesh commits the same sins that the world commits all around us. We are in that respect also children of our age. Ours is not the day of literal and open idolatry such as Israel practiced it even in the promised land. But our life is indeed a life of wickedness before God. And we all are not only in that world. We live the life of sin of that world according to our old man of sin, who is with us till the day of our death. Make no mistake about that. He who is wise will not deny this but take heed and give it some very serious thought. He who would walk in His fear will seek God’s Word as a lamp for his feet and a light upon his path in the consciousness that he does walk through such a dreadfully wicked world and according to his flesh ispart of it.
We are willing to concede quite readily that our flesh is even as the flesh of this world. With David we testify that we are also conceived and born in sin, and we make no boast about it that in this respect we are better than the world. But we ought to go one step further, if we are to speak the truth and present the picture correctly. Our flesh is not simply like the flesh of the world, our flesh is part of that world. The flesh of the Philippian jailor was flesh of the world and not simply like that of the world. The flesh of Ruth the Moabitess was not simply like the flesh; of the world, it was flesh of the world. But the flesh of those who are born in the covenant sphere is just as much flesh of the world as those who are born outside that covenant sphere. He is not a Jew that is one outwardly, Paul says, but he that is one inwardly. Outwardly he is Gentile, he is part of this world of sinful flesh. What is born from here below is always part of this world. It is not the earthly father and mother, be they of pure Jewish blood, that brings forth the Church. They only bring, forth the, world. And that we are born in the covenant sphere does not mean yet that we are covenant children. All those born in the covenant sphere as well as those born outside of that covenant sphere, according to their flesh are not the church but the world. In the physical sense of the word we are not only in the world but also of the world. And that we are of the world is not only a physical distinction but also a spiritual one. My flesh is as much a part of this world as the flesh of Cain, Nimrod, Pharaoh, Pilate and Nero. Therefore it is to be understood that with my flesh I commit the same sins that the world commits. David’s murder was not different from Cain’s. There is no such thing as a Christian murder. David’s murder and my hatred in my heart are sins of the world as well as Herod’s and Nero’s murder.
For that reason we find so much of the world’s sin in our own daily lives. We find that we are children of our age also in a spiritual sense. A few examples of this worldliness in our lives is not out of place. There was a time in a different age when the godless entertainment of the world went under the name of shows. How it was emphasized and stressed that to go to shows was of the devil. And we did not go. Then along comes radio aid television with their spiritually corrupt programs which have nothing of the fear of the Lord in them. And these programs true to style and correctly expressing their ethical character are also called shows. Yet children of our age that we are, how frequently do we not hear church members, confessing members in the church of Jesus Christ, and their children asking each other whether last night they saw this show on TV or heard that show on the radio? Where are we going? What has happened to us? God have mercy upon us as we reveal ourselves to be children of our age, and when our flesh as part of this world seeks the entertainment of the world!
O, but you say, That is only a word. There is nothing ethical in a word. We have borrowed a word that the unbeliever uses for his entertainment, but what we look at and what we hear is not really a show in that evil sense in which it was formerly used.
Whom are you trying to deceive?
Who calls them by that name? Is it not the same world whose entertainment we might not seek before because our parents and grandparents, who at that time were children of another age, saw things correctly? Has that wicked world improved and is that why their shows today are quite all right for the believer to seek? Are the days of the antichrist not coming now because that world is getting spiritually better and better? Their programs of murder, rape, adultery, theft, rebellion against authorities, idolatry and blasphemy; the cursing and swearing they utter so profusely; the mockery of things spiritual; their lewd jokes and indecent dress speak quite a different testimony.
How much a child of this age are you?
How much do you intend to try to defend the world and its entertainment?
John says, “Love not the world, neither the things in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world,” I John 2:15, 16. The world is wicked, but John makes a point of it that there are wicked things also in the world. Sin does not consist in things. But there surely are sinful things, things that can never be used without sinning against God. The sin is always in the heart of man. But there are things which the world in its lust of the flesh, its lust of the eyes, and its pride of life creates for sinful practices and which the heart of man cannot use without sinning against God. And the worldly show is one of them. There is entertainment designed, given and sponsored by the world into which it always pours its own spiritually corrupt philosophy and standards. These THINGS are sin. And a child of God cannot seek and enjoy them without sinning.
Let us not take the words of the world, to which they themselves give content, and which they choose for their own lustful purposes to designate their carnal pleasures, and then try to deceive ourselves that the entertainment is harmless and that the word they choose for it after ail does not have an evil content to it. The shows of the age in which we live: are not less corrupt than the shows wk condemned in another age gone by. And seeking the shows of the world today, whether that be on the screen in the theatre, on the screen in the drive-in-theatre, on the television screen or the radio, is sin and nothing but sin. The fear of the Lord will have nothing to do with any of it.
Paul writes, “What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial, or what part he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God.” And he concludes, by saying, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you.” II Corinthians 6:14-17.
We have more td say in this respect and more examples to give to show that we are children of the age in which we live, but this will have to wait until later. Consider all this, in His fear.