There are several portions of scripture we can look at to see the Lord’s teachings that we should ‘come out’ from the world and live lives that honor Him. Let’s begin by reading Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: but be ye TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” From this, we learn that we are to put ourselves in the Lord’s hands and become a ‘living sacrifice’ for Him to use according to His perfect will. That comes first! Then we are instructed to NOT BE COMFORMED to the world, but be TRANSFORMED by allowing the Lord to control us by His Spirit as we study His Word, renewing our minds on a constant basis. This is good, practical instruction concerning coming out of the world. First, we give ourselves to the Lord, we do not conform to the world (its practices and attitudes), and we are transformed by renewing our minds in the Word of God. By that, we exhibit God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will.

We might ask, why does the Lord want us to separate ourselves from the world? Doesn’t He love the world? Yes He does. We read in John 3:16, “For GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Lord loves all the world, but He is against all the world’s ways and those who refuse Him because they love the world’s ways. Let’s listen to the Lord Jesus as He prays for His disciples in John 17:9, “I pray for them: I PRAY NOT FOR THE WORLD, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” The word ‘world’ in John 3:16 and John 17:9 come from the same Greek word “kosmos”. This word is wide enough in its meaning to refer to the world as God’s creation, or the ‘world’s wicked system.’ Here, in the Lord’s intercessory prayer for His disciples, He does not make intercession for the world, meaning the world’s wicked system.

As the Lord continues in prayer, He prays in John 17:15-16, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” It should be clear to all of us that the Lord is referring to the world in the first instance, as being part of God’s creation. He doesn’t want His Father to take His disciples home to Glory, yet. There is much work for them to do. He then says that they, and He, are not of this world. He is referring to the world’s wicked system then. Surely the context makes that very clear to us. He also prays for us when He says to His Father, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” (Verse 20)

Let’s look at one more instance where the world is spoken of as the wicked system that controls it. In 1 Corinthians 11, the Lord is teaching us about the privilege and responsibility of partaking of the Lord’s Supper, or communion. In this portion, He speaks of the need for self-judgment among the believers. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 says, “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be CONDEMNED WITH THE WORLD.” Just those last few words are filled with truth and warning. THE WORLD IS CONDEMNED. It will not improve. It will not eventually get better and turn to the Lord. No, we are told that “…evil men and seducers shall WAX WORSE AND WORSE, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13). The world’s system is condemned! THAT is the world of which we should not have any part. The Apostle Paul sadly had to give a report to the saints about a man named Demas. He said in 2 Timothy 4:10, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…” Let us not depart from the service of the Lord. Rather, let us depart from the world by giving ourselves to the Lord, not conforming to the world, and being transformed by renewing our minds in the Word of God. (274.2)