You have to understand something about living as a Christian in this world. In Matt 13:22, Jesus said that the cares of this world will choke the word and you will become unfruitful. We are strangers and pilgrims in this world and we must be careful to recognize when the world is choking the word of God in our lives and causing it to become unfruitful [Mk 4:19]. The word of God is choked by the:
Cares of this world – Matt 13:22 – I have watched the cares of this world choke the word in Christians across the country. Careers, debt, both spouses working, and children’s sports are the primary culprits. Christians are so tied up with these things they don’t have time for God. And the word of God in their lives, what little there is, has become unfruitful.
Fashion of this world – 1 Cor 7:31 – the fashion of this world passeth away. Nevertheless, Christians are covetous today and they envy sinners. They are deceived by riches and what riches can buy. Eph 5:5 says that a covetous man is an idolater. And that idolatry has turned them away from God and his word has become unfruitful.
The wisdom of this world – 1 Cor 2:6 – 1 Cor 3:19. The wisdom of this world comes to nought; the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. Nevertheless, Christians know and believe the wisdom of this world more than they believe the words of God. The disputers of this world [1 Cor 1:20] are convincing young Christians to quit believing in God, to follow their hearts, to do as they please, and to believe a lie. They are totally unfruitful.
The prince of this world – Jn 14:30 – 2 Cor 4:4. This world is not our home. Jesus said, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world,” [Jn 17:16]. This world is under the control of the devil. It is under the control of the rulers of the darkness of this world [Eph 6:12]. It is on a course that is completely contrary to God [Eph 2:2]. And Christians, by becoming worldly, have been following the devil rather than the Lord. And they are unfruitful.
Conclusion: When you find that life in the world is hard, don’t try to make it easier by getting along with the world. The world doesn’t like God’s children. We have been redeemed. We are no longer one of them. And we are going to meet with opposition when we live for God. But at least you won’t be unfruitful, unless you give in to the prince of this world.
You have to remember that Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” [Jn 18:36]. Jesus has not set up his kingdom here. He is rescuing sinners out of the world by saving them from their sins [Jn 1:29] and making them his children, instead of children of this world. One of these days Jesus will return and then this world will be under his control. In Rev 11:15, “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
Until then, we are to read and believe and obey the words of God so that they can bear fruit in our lives. And we are to guard ourselves against being choked by the cares of this world, the fashion of this world, the wisdom of this world and the prince of this world.