Shane Idleman (pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California,) ponders here what America has in common with Rome before its fall.
An important question for all Christians to ask is: "Are we 'affecting' the world, or is the world 'infecting' us?" A.W. Tozer reminds us: "Where does Christianity destroy itself in a given generation? It destroys itself by not living in the light, by professing a truth it does not obey."
The church should not reflect or imitate the world, but lovingly confront it. We do the most for the world when we are the least like the world. We are to love them but not learn from them (cf. Ps. 107:35-37). No other decision will impact our lives more than who or what we choose to follow ... what we choose to love.
... J.C. Ryle in his book on holiness wrote we must stand guard as a soldier on enemy ground. The problem is many who profess to be Christians love the world and have a hard time separating. They believe in heaven, but they don't truly long for it. They "say" that they fear God but they don't live like it. They indulge temptation rather than fight it. They enjoy sin rather than confront it. The lukewarm church avoids the heat of conviction. They don't like many of these articles. Holiness, to them, is outdated—old-fashioned.
... What we feed grows, and what grows can quickly become the dominating force in our lives. Sin is never static; it either grows or withers depending on whether we feed or starve it. A daily diet of violence, lust, anger and depression will fuel those very things in our lives. Pay close attention to what you watch and listen to, what you take pleasure in—the force controlling it ultimately controls you (cf. Eph. 2:12).
... We, like the mighty Roman Empire that collapsed centuries ago, are crumbling from within. Historian Edward Gibbon once wrote about the conditions of Rome before her fall. The spending of public funds on food and entertainment as well as the mad craze for pleasure and sport topped the list. Sound familiar today?