Living In a Pagan World
America has become more pagan every year .
That is a fact.
As a nation we have had over 150 years of a strong Christian influence.
But that has rapidly declined.
People still attend religious services.
They still say they believe in God when they are polled.
But there is a practical atheism and a situational morality which pervades our society.
We would like to believe that our nation is Christians, but our Christianity has become hollow.
Our nation has affirmed its legislative bodies, its courts and its judges, a distinctively anti-Christian agenda.
Anything and everything that is distinctively Christian has being denied under the cry of equal rights.
The Christianity that once was part of the fabric of our nation is no more.
Biblical morality is assaulted constantly.
Situation ethics and "do what feels good" has replaced Christian standards.
Materialism, family breakup and breakdown is rampant.
Abortions, sexual immorality, drugs, violence and crime pollutes our nation.
We now have a generation of people who don't have enough police to curb the lawless.
We don't have enough courts to process them, and we don't have enough prisons to hold them.
We are weary of those who cry about their equal rights We are upset over those who get away with murder.
We are angry that perversion is legalized in our country and the will of God is blatantly rejected.
We should fear for the future of our children and for our grandchildren.
We dread to think of what they are going to face in the years ahead.
How should we respond to our pagan society?
How should we respond as Christians?
Paul answers that question in Titus 3.
Titus is on the island of Crete.
He come to deal with the difficulties in the church.
In verse 12 of the first chapter the Cretans were described as liars, evil beasts and lazy gluttons.
They were involved in the paganism that made up the Greek and Roman world of that day.
Titus' task was to encourage and instruct them on living and influencing their world for Christ.
Our mission is the same as theirs.
We have a commission to tell the world about Jesus.
That is our only mission.
We are to preach Christ!
And our preaching must be translated into righteous living.
In chapter 3 Paul says, "Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient,
to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle,
showing every consideration for all men for we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient,
deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy,
hateful, hating one another.
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness,
but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit
whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior that being justified by His grace
we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This is a trustworthy statement.
And concerning these things I want you to speak confidently so that those who have believed God
may be careful to engage in good deeds.
These things are good and profitable for men."
Paul says that "these things are good and profitable for men."
We must live in a way that will benefit everybody around us.
It's very important how we conduct ourselves.
In 2:5 Paul says that are to live so that the Word of God may not be dishonored.
Then our opponents will have nothing bad to say about us.
And then we will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.
We must live so as to exalt the Word of God.
This will shut the mouths of our critics and will display God's saving power.
We must tell the world to know that God is a saving God.
God transforms people -- He changes people!
Paul also told Titus that he should instruct the church about their behavior.
We must conduct ourselves as Christians.
This will give a powerful testimony to the world of God's saving transforming power.
And the way we live within the church and the way we treat each other is crucial in our witness to the world.
We must live a truly Christ-like life in our everyday living.
It is crucial for living in a pagan world.
All the existing religion, philosophy and thought, and all the existing values were derived
from a non-Christian system.
It was a pagan world until Paul arrived.
Paul knew what it was like to live in a pagan culture.
Paul knew what it was like to live in a world of abusive inequality and slavery.
He knew what it was to live in a culture of tyrants and murderous dictators.
He knew what it was to live in a society that fostered sexual perversion and the breakdown of the family.
The world was heavily populated with idols and other gods.
People were heavily taxed.
Most tax collectors were extortionists who took what wasn't justly due them.
If anybody complained they would take their life.
It was a wicked world.
And Paul never says in any of his letters,
"We must moralize and impact our pagan culture."
Paul’s message was: "We must evangelize it."
And Paul didn't call for a sit-in or a protest march.
He didn't call for a war to bring needed change.
Paul called for the preaching of the gospel of Jesus.
The preaching of the gospel coupled with Christ-like living would be the method and the mission.
Paul tells Titus to "Remind them."
Remind them that this isn't something new.
The Christians knew their responsibilities.
Then Paul urges them to remember four great realities.