Sodom and Gommorah
THE ART OF DECEPTION
This world has a prince. And, by the way, take a piece of paper and jot these scriptures down. This world has a prince. In John chapter 12 and verse 31, Jesus called Satan “the prince of this world”: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John 12:31) Satan is the prince of this world. In John chapter 16, verse 11, again he’s called “the prince of this world.” Jesus said the Holy Spirit is going to convince us and convict us “of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16:11) The apostle John said, in 1 John chapter 5, verse 19, “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19)—“The whole world lieth in wickedness.” And the figure there is of a baby in the arms, in the bosom, of its mother. Satan is rocking the world, as it were, in his bosom. This world has a prince.
Satan is the mastermind of this world’s conspiracy. People ask me, “Do you believe in a conspiratorial theory of history?” Yes, I do, but it’s bigger than what a lot of these people may think it is. There is a vast conspiracy, a worldwide network of evil. And so that’s the reason the Bible says, in Ephesians 6, verse 12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” (Ephesians 6:12) There is a world prince. His name is Satan.
Not only does the world have a prince, but the world also has a philosophy. There is a philosophical idea about this world. Let me give you some verses that speak of the philosophy of this world. For example, 1 Corinthians 2, verse 12, speaks of “the spirit of the world.” (1 Corinthians 2:12) The Bible, in 1 Corinthians 3:19, speaks of “the wisdom of the world.” (Corinthians 3:19) The Bible, in 1 Corinthians 7, verse 31, speaks of “the fashion of the world.” (1 Corinthians 7:31) The Bible, in 2 Peter 1, verse 4, speaks of “the corruption that is in the world.” (2 Peter 1:4) The Bible speaks, in 2 Peter 2, verse 20, of “the pollutions of the world.” (2 Peter 2:20) Now, think about that: “the spirit of the world,” “the wisdom of this world,” “the fashion of this world,” “the corruption of this world,” “the pollution of this world.” There is a system, and this system has a philosophy.
Not only does the world have a prince, and a philosophy; it has a purpose. What is the purpose of this world’s prince? And what has he crafted his philosophy to do? It is to draw away your love from the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, let me give you some Scripture that proves that. John 7, verse 7—Jesus said, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it.” (John 7:7) This world hates Jesus Christ. John 14, verse 17—Jesus spoke of the Holy Spirit, and He said, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.” (John 14:17) This world knows nothing of the Holy Spirit. Then Jesus spoke to those of us who are His followers, and He said, in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 14:18) And James warned us, in James 4, verse 4, that friendship with the world is warfare with God. (James 4:4)
D. The People of This World
So here’s a world—a world that has a prince, a world that has a philosophy, a world that has a purpose—and that purpose, brother or sister, is to draw away your pure love from the Lord Jesus Christ. And the world has a people. Luke 16, verse 8—Jesus said, “For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (Luke 16:8)—“the children of this world.”
Now you, if you’re saved, are twice-born, but you live in a world of once-born people. So what you are and what you believe is antithetical. It starts at a different source. It follows a different course. It arrives at a different conclusion. And you’re going to find out that you’re going to be going against the tide all the time if you are a separated person. This world wants to bring you, squeeze you, into its mold. Listen to Romans 12, verse 2: “Be not conformed to this world.” (Romans 12:2) Phillips translates that, I believe, “Don’t let this world squeeze you into its mold.”
Now most of us don’t want to be separated from the world, because if we’re separated from the world, the world is going to hate us. Jesus said, in John 15, verse 19, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
This world has a prince. This world has a philosophy. This world has a purpose. This world has a people. And if you come out from this world, if you begin to live a godly, separated life, you’re going to find out that the world is going to hate you.
What is the world? Again, 1 John 2, verse 16: “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.” (1 John 2:16) “The lust of the flesh”: that’s Sodom with its pleasures. “The lust of the eyes”: that’s Sodom with its possessions. “The pride of life”: that’s Sodom with its philosophies. And here is Lot, who is being courted by the world. And, by the way, you don’t have to be a rich person to be covetous. Abram was very rich, but he wasn’t covetous. He was magnanimous. He said, “Lot, you go this way, and I’ll go that way.” Lot was a covetous man. This world flirted with him, and he took the bait. And, again, I remind you that the Bible says, in James 4:4, that friendship with the world is warfare with God. Now the same forces that worked on Lot are working on you every day.